Hurricanes and Tropical Storms - Annual 2018

Atlantic Basin

2018 Season Summary:

The 2018 North Atlantic hurricane season had 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. This is above the 1981-2010 average of 12.1 named storms, 6.4 hurricanes, and 2.7 major hurricanes. The number of named storms ranked as a tie for the tenth most on record. Both of the major hurricanes — Florence and Michael — impacted the U.S. mainland causing approximately 49 billion in damages between them and contributed to one of the costliest years in terms of weather and climate disasters for the nation. Although Florence weakened significantly before making landfall as a Category 1 storm, she brought unprecedented amounts of rainfall and subsequent flooding to parts of North and South Carolina. During the 2018 North Atlantic hurricane season, Tropical Storms Alberto and Gordon as well as Hurricanes Florence and Michael made landfall in the U.S.

The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index of tropical cyclone activity also indicated an above-average season in the North Atlantic. The ACE index is used to calculate the intensity of the hurricane season and is a function of the wind speed and duration of each tropical cyclone. The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season had an approximate ACE of about 129 (x104 knots2) which is greater than the 1981-2010 average value of 104 (x104 knots2).

East Pacific Basin

2018 Season Summary:

The 2018 East Pacific hurricane season was very active with 23 named storms, including 13 hurricanes, ten of which became major. The 1981-2010 average number of named storms in the East Pacific is 16.5, with 8.9 hurricanes, and 4.3 major hurricanes. This ties with 1985 and 1982 as the second highest number of named storms for a season. Four East Pacific tropical cyclones made landfall in 2018 along the coast of Mexico: Bud, Rosa, Sergio and Willa. Hurricane Walaka formed in the Central Pacific Ocean and was included with the East Pacific storm count and ACE value. The ACE index for the East Pacific basin during 2018 was 316 (x104 knots2), which is the highest ACE value on record and almost three times the 1981-2010 average of 132 (x104 knots2 ).

Information on specific events during the 2018 North Atlantic and East Pacific Hurricane seasons is available in the monthly reports as well as from NOAA's National Hurricane Center.

Citing This Report

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Hurricanes and Tropical Storms for Annual 2018, published online January 2019, retrieved on February 17, 2019 from