According to information released at a press conference Thursday, NOAA is projecting 10-16 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes, 1-4 major hurricanes and near/above normal overall activity. One to four of those are expected to be major hurricanes - Category 3 or higher.
Of those named storms, NOAA predicted there will be five to nine hurricanes that develop, and of those, one to four major hurricanes.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Colorado State University also has a long history of posting seasonal hurricane forecasts.
By the time the 2017 hurricane season wound to a close, a total of 17 named storms had formed in the Atlantic.
There is now a disturbance developing off Mexican's Yucatan Peninsula, he said. Forecasters there predicted a total of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes an three major hurricanes.
"We're not expecting it to be the most active on record". Past year was a very active season with 17 tropical storms, 10 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes.
After the most expensive hurricane season on record past year, U.S. officials said Thursday to expect a more normal Atlantic season in 2018 with five to nine hurricanes in total.More news: Fiat Chrysler warns 5.3M owners: Don't use the cruise
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"When you are predicting an active season, that's when you have more storms forming in the tropical Atlantic, and those storms tend to track farther west", Bell said.
"NOAA's observational and modeling enhancements for the 2018 season put us on the path to deliver the world's best regional and global weather models", said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction.
In the Atlantic they are called hurricanes, typhoons in the Pacific, and cyclones in the Indian Ocean.
If the depression picks up speed and organised winds over 39mph, forecasters will upgrade it to a full-blown tropical cyclone.
Also, "near-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea" have an effect on the number of hurricanes. "That's why the Caribbean and the US coast are more at risk".
But even though not classified as hurricanes, the storms can still do significant damage, generating large amounts of rain and storm surges along the coastline. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation has been in its warm phase since 1995.