The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and lasts through November 30. Fortunately, this year is predicted to be better than last year’s, which saw an unusually high number of devastating hurricanes. (If you’re planning travel to an area hit during the 2017 season, make sure to read our Caribbean Travel Update).
Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecast that this year’s hurricane season has a 40 percent chance of being near-normal, a 25 percent chance of below-normal, and 35 percent chance of an above-normal season. The forecasters predict: “A 70-percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which five to nine could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including one to four major hurricanes (category three, four, or five; with winds of 111 mph or higher). An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.”
Traveling outside the Atlantic area? NOAA predicts an 80 percent chance of a near- or above-normal season for the eastern and central Pacific regions.
If you’re planning a vacation for an area that’s at risk for hurricanes, make sure you buy travel insurance and always read the fine print to be sure that you will be covered due to weather. You won’t be alone–according to travel insurance website Squaremouth, purchases of travel insurance with hurricane and weather-specific coverage increased 14 percent compared to last summer.