Government forecasters are set to release their prediction later today for how many hurricanes and tropical storms they expect to form over Atlantic and Caribbean waters in the next six months.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts Friday, June 1 and ends on November 30.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters will release their storm season outlook later today at the agency's aircraft operations center in Lakeland, Florida. That facility is the base for NOAA's "hurricane hunter" aircraft that fly into storms to collect data used in storm forecasts.
NOAA predicted that 2017 would be an above-average season, and it certainly was: A trio of devastating hurricanes — Harvey, Irma and Maria — ravaged Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and many Caribbean islands. Overall, last year saw 17 named storms, including 10 hurricanes.
The National Hurricane Center says a mass of low pressure in the western Caribbean may become the first named storm of 2018 before the start of hurricane season. Forecasters say the disturbance has an 80% chance of becoming a subtropical or tropical depression within the next five days.