This year’s storm activity in the Atlantic basin is expected to be near historical averages, according to data collated by Moody’s. 

The rating agency said cooler waters, strong winds and sea level pressures, as well as a weak El Niño, were likely to lead to the average season across the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico from 1 June to 30 November.

Moody’s collated the predictions from eight weather organisations which were made in April and May for the year ahead - with nearly 13 named storms on average expected in 2018.

Six of these storms are anticipated to become hurricanes, with just two having the potential to reach major hurricane status. 

OrganisationForecast DateNamed StormsHurricanesMajor Hurricanes
2018 Atlantic Ocean hurricane forecasts (Source: Moody’s)
Colorado State University 31-May 14 6 2
Tropical Strom Risk 30-May 9 4 1
AccuWeather 26-May 14 7 4
UK Met Office 25-May 11 6 0
NOAA 24-May 13 7 3
The Weather Company 18-May 12 5 2
North Carolina State University 16-Apr 16 9 4
WeatherBELL Analytics  10-Apr 13 6 2
Average   12.75 6.25 2.25

Since Moody’s conducted its analysis, Colorado State University researchers have tempered its annual Atlantic hurricane forecast for this season down from 14 to 13.

It said the lack of a significant El Niño will translate into a less active season.

North Carolina State University forecasts the most named storms and hurricanes, pegging estimates at 16 and 9 respectively.

Tropical Strom Risk’s predictions are at other end of the spectrum, predicting 9 named storms and 4 hurricanes.

Moody’s said that if predictions prove correct, reinsurers rated by the agency would be unscathed by this year’s hurricane season.

“We believe that our rated reinsurers are entering the hurricane season with solid capital positions to withstand potential losses arising from hurricane events, despite last year’s large losses,” Moody’s said.

JLT Re said in May it expected “above average” forecasts made earlier in the year for the hurricane season to be reduced because the Atlantic tropical waters are the coldest since 1994.