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              2017 Hurricane Season Review - Will 2018 be Similar ? 


As predicted by GWO – the 2017 hurricane season was well above normal for the number of named storms and Strength of the storms in the Atlantic Basin - and as predicted by GWO – it was the most destructive and costly season in a very long time – since the 1940s. 


The Atlantic Basin saw 18 named storms with 10 becoming hurricanes, 6 of which were major hurricanes with 2 making United States landfalls (Harvey and Irma).


GWO provided vital forecasts that helped to safeguard property save lives.  Based on the Accumulated Cyclone Energy index, which measures the combined intensity and duration of the storms during the season - and is used to classify the strength of the entire hurricane season - 2017 was the seventh most active season in the historical record dating to 1851, and the most active season since 2005 (as predicted by GWO).


GWO’s preseason predictions called for an above normal season with 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes – very close to what did occur in 2017.


More importantly – GWO predicted there would be 6 named storm landfalls for the United States- up from five in 2016 and the most since 2008 when six storms struck. And as predicted by GWO - 2017 had two major impact hurricanes, one in Florida (hurricane Irma) and other in Texas (hurricane Harvey, and as predicted -both regions broke out of their 8 to 11-year hurricane landfall droughts.  In addition; GWO predicted a Category 1 hurricane for the Upper Gulf (Nate).   


Why 2017 Had So Many Landfalls – Will This Occur in 2018 As Well?

The upper graphic shows the hurricane and tropical storm activity that occurred in 2016 (red lines are hurricanes, yellow depict tropical storm tracks).

 Figures 2.1 and 2.2

 Show the hurricane and

tropical storm activity during 2016 (upper graphic) and 2017 in the lower graphic.  Hurricane tracks are red and purple lines, tropical storm tracks are in yellow.  The white circled areas indicate two distinct active regions in 2016 and then again in 2017.  Notice both areas shifted westward for the 2017 hurricane season

During 2016 - two distinct activity areas occurred.  One was in the Eastern Gulf to North Carolina.  The second was well east of the United States coast. Then in 2017; as predicted by the GWO Climate Pulse Technology Model - both active areas shifted westward during the 2017 hurricane season.


So, in 2017 - the active regions (see white circles) were more to the west with one encompassing the entire Gulf of Mexico area, and the second region just to the East of the United States Coast (both regions shifted west).


The GWO Climate Pulse Technology Model indicates the 2017 Climate Pulse Cycle is not that different from 2017 – thus only a little shift in the two regions are expected for the 2018 season. This indicates that both regions will once again be active – and the United States will see approximately the same number of named storm landfalls during 2018 as occurred in 2017.  


See GWO's store for you specific zone prediction.  The 2018 landfalls in most instances will differ from the 2017 locations  click here



GWO’s Climate Pulse Hurricane Tracking Model - indicates that Hurricane Mathew (2016) occurred on the same type of cycle that caused Hurricane David in early September of 1979, and this was detailed in the 2016 Premium Hurricane Prediction Package.  David was also a coastal hugger along the Florida coast and then made a direct landfall near the South Carolina – North Carolina borders.


Land Falling Named Storms in 2016 (courtesy National Hurricane Center) - Five named storms made landfall in the United States during 2016, the most since 2008 when six storms struck. Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Matthew struck South Carolina. Tropical Storms Colin and Julia, as well as Hurricane Hermine, made landfall in Florida. Hermine was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005.  Several Atlantic storms made landfall outside of the United States during 2016: Tropical Storm Danielle in Mexico, Hurricane Earl in Belize, Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas, and Hurricane Otto in Nicaragua. 


The strongest and longest-lived storm of the season was Matthew, which reached maximum sustained surface winds of 160 miles per hour and lasted as a major hurricane for eight days from September 30 to October 7th. Matthew was the first category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic basin since Felix in 2007.  Matthew intensified into a major hurricane on September 30 over the Caribbean Sea, making it the first major hurricane in that region since Poloma in 2008. It made landfall as a category 4 major hurricane in Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas, causing extensive damage and loss of life. It then made landfall on Oct. 8 as a category 1 hurricane in the U.S. near McClellanville, South Carolina.


Matthew caused storm surge and beach erosion from Florida through North Carolina, and produced more than 10 inches of rain resulting in extensive freshwater flooding over much of the eastern Carolinas. The storm was responsible for the greatest U.S. loss of life due to inland flooding from a tropical system since torrential rains from Hurricane Floyd caused widespread and historic flooding in eastern North Carolina in 1999.

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