The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season was by far the worst Atlantic Hurricane season on record in both categories of devastation and destruction. The season intotal produced 34 Named Storms, 27 Hurricanes and 19 Major Hurricanes, shattering all records set in 2005. Of these storms, Hurricanes Caillou, Danilo, Elena, Giada, Johnathan, Logan, Neemias, Omar, Rosanne, Sergio, Wilma, Gamma, Theta and Lambda caused a majority of the destruuction seen throughout the season. Hurricanes Caillou, Johnathan, Neemias, Rosanne, Wilma and Theta all reached Cat. 5 status being the first record of highest multiple Cat. 5 Hurricanes in a season. Hurricane Danilo became the strongest pre-August storm on record. Hurricane Caillou became the second Cat.5 Hurricane in July in the Atlantic basin. The season also saw to US landfall Category 5 Hurricanes which were Caillou and Neemais, a new record set once again.
In addition, a fatality reading if 100,680 people killed throughout the season reported also the highest in the Atlantic, mainly caused by Hurricanes, Caillou, Danilo and Neemias as strong landfalling storms due to the monsterous storm surge brought by these Hurricanes. Hurricane Lambda became an off-season Major Hurricane along Hurricane Mu as Category 3&4 storms in December. This event was rare because of the unusual warm waters in the sub-tropics in late December due to the super strong La Nina which formed in late June and rapidly developed in mid-July. However, almost all of the activity took place during and after the month of July, due to dry air outbreaks really strong in the Atlantic through June and very early July. However, the NHC began monitoring an area of development on May 17th which became Tropical Depression One on May 20th, and lasted for 1 day till May 21st. And due to persisted activity, once again Hurricane Mu dissipated on January 3rd being record the second latest ending to an Atlantic Hurricane Season.
The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season also observed the strongest storm in both the Atlantic and Pacific basin which was Hurricane Wilma, which then also became the second most intense storm on record globally. Hurricane Wilma reached it's record peak on October 12th after explosively intensifying overnight on October 11th and jumped from a Category 1 to Category 5 within 12 hours, breaking the record for the fastest intensifying storm on record globally. Hurricane Caillou which became a rare super-strong Cat. 5 August storm in July also maintained record for longest duration of a Category 5 equivalent Tropical cyclone globally, for being a Category 5 Hurricane for 50+ hours straight.
Predictions of tropical activity in the 2018 season
* June–November only. † Most recent of several such occurrences. (See all)
Ahead of the hurricane season, forecasters look at the Atlantic Hurricane Season with the probability of the amount of storms will form, the weather trends that are likely throughout the season including the two weather factors El Niño and La Niña and which ones are likely to happen that year or will the earth be in a neutral. This season, the forecasters originally thought of a well-formed El Niño to form through the season and surpass the Atlantic Hurricane activity with the exception of sum warm spots of water in the Atlantic, even though an El Niño means cooling in the Atlantic. By late June that became a problem as the El Niño has faded away and the La Niña was then reported to have started in the Atlantic ocean causing consistent business in July and August. On average, Atlantic Hurricane Season has 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.
On December 7th, a very early forecast has been released by the TSR indicating a slightly-above average season with 14 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes. Forecasts at that time indicated a weak El Niño will form by March and persist till November. The CSU stated on April 5 saying the El Niño would be stronger and called for slightly-below average season with 13 named storms, 4 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes. The same day, the TSR released another outlook this time more active with 15 named storms, 8 major hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes. The NCSU release their forecast about 11 days later and called for a well-above average season in their article. They made a forecast of 13-18 names storms, 7-11 hurricanes and 2-5 major hurricanes.
At that time, models were indicating a weak La Niña to form during August in time to speed up activity, which would be true later on. The weather channel also accounted an above-average season calling for 16 named storms, 10 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes. The NOAA was the next to release a prediction on May 24, calling for a near to above-average season saying there would be 1015 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes and 1-6 major hurricanes throughout the season, Forecasters quickly picked up on the active season activity prediction. The UKMO however called for 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes and no predicted major hurricanes. The TSR on May 30 reported a well above average hurricane season calling for 19 named storms, 12 hurricanes and 7 major hurricanes. The CSU indicated still a slightly above-average season for 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes.
On July 2, the CSU released an outlook with 14-22 named storms, the highest predicted number of storms since the 2010 season. 3 days later on July 5, the TSR predicted 9-24 named storms, 4-14 hurricanes and 1-9 major hurricanes throughout the season likely. The CSU released on August 2, with 16 named storms, 11 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes calling for 6 landfalling named storms. The TSR then predicted on August 6 of 8 named storms and 3 hurricanes. The main idea was a strong El Niño to redevelop during September and suppress activity from Mid-September and October, the most active part of the season. However, the El Niño, by FAR failed to form. The NOAA then re-released calling for 12-26 named storms, 8-17 hurricanes and 1-11 major hurricanes throughout the season. The new record for the highest predicted storms.
The season officially ran from the June 1st to November 30th. But Tropical Depression One formed on May 20th of the season and persisted activity flowed the season into the early part of January of 2019. And the last storm to dissipate was Hurricane Mu on January 3rd after attaining Category 3 Hurricane Status. There were times though of inactivity or eased activity that happened during the peak of the season.
May and June
On May 20th, the NHC reported an area of low pressure to have broad of rotation. It was then classified as Potential Tropical Cyclone One as for possible formation within 24 hours was very high. Then during the 5pm advisory, the storm then upgraded to Subtropical Depression one, making it the 6th consecutive year for a pre-season storm to form, still behind the record from 1954-1961 with 7 years of pre-season storms. The NHC originally thought to have been a subtropical depression during it's entire life time from May 20-23. But in post-season analysis, the NHC found the storm to have gained all tropical characteristics on May 22, less than 24 hours before dissipating. The NHC then noted on an article saying that "the depression in May gained all Tropical characteristics to soon before dissipation."
Afterword, June became a quite month with no major Tropical activity within the Tropical Depression range. This was due to the dry air which inhibatted any major development at the time.
On July 4, the NHC began monitoring an area of low pressure off the coast of africa which turned into Tropical Depression Two. The next day, it strengthened into Tropical Storm Aline, becoming the first named storm of the season. Deep convection was found during the storm as it strengthened into a Category 1 Hurricane. The next day, an area of low pressure in the Caribbean sea reported rotation with gale-force winds and was identified as Tropical Storm Berry. Meanwhile, Aline continued to strengthen and became a Category 2 Hurricane. The storm peaked later that day as a Category 2 Hurricane with winds at 110 mph (1-minute sustained) and pressure of 954 mbar. The next day, the storm began to weaken, however, Berry became a concern to the Gulf USA coast as it was expected to become a hurricane. However, environmental conditions did not became any favorable and peak intensity on July 8 with winds of 60 mph (1-minute sustained).
That was the day where Aline became extratropical over the leeward island and it's remained their for over a week. Berry grew in size and began to bring Tropical Storm conditions later that evening and made landfall early on July 9 west of New Orleans. A tropical storm warning was issued for the gulf coast from West Florida to Louisiana where winds were recorded up to 60 mph. The storm then died inland of July 10th. Then a low pressure of the coast of Africa and developed on July 12th. It was classified as Tropical Depression Four. The storm steadily strengthened to Tropical Storm Caillou on July 13. The storm then went under rapid
intensification on July 14 and became a Category 5 Hurricane later that day. Due to unfavorable conditions, the storm weakened after 2 hours of Cat 5 strength. The storm then moved into an area of 86 degrees water temp and then re-strengthened and became a Category 5 Hurricane. This time for 2 days straight. Caillou remained an issue. On July 21, hurricane emergency was issued for South Carolina following the predictions that officially the storm would make landfall as a Category 5 hurricane, causing huge chaos along the coastline to get out of the coast. The storm was set to hit on July 22. The day before, Hurricane Caillou reached initial peak with winds of 180 mph (1-minute sustained) and a pressure of 921 mbar. The next evening as the storm made landfall, the ENTIRE coastline decimated from the storm's impact. A storm surge of 30 FEET and winds at 180 mph completely knocked down the coastline killing 6,000 PEOPLE especially in GoAnimate city where 90% of the city fled completely underwater, drowning 4,000 more people.
The storm rapidly weakened overnight and was a Category 1 hurricane by dawn break. Afterword, Caillou stalled overland causing extensive flooding killing about 345 more people while over-flooding the river banks dumping about 30 inches of rain. Then on July 24th, the storm then turned extratropical then accelerated toward the Northeast duming up 12 inches of rain in spots of New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. About 30 more people were drowned by the rain totaling the death total at 10,375 people, being one of the deadliest Tropical Cyclones in history.
August, September and October
The timeline above shows the Activity for the months of August-October where the seasons majority of activity took place.
The month started of with Elena which actually formed on July 30, also right off the coast of Africa. Elena strengthened and became a Category 1 Hurricane on August 1 and rapidly intensified and became a Major Hurricane by August 2. Afterword, the storm explosively intensified into a Category 4 Hurricane several hours later. News reports indicated worries of two things. One that storm could intensify to a Category 5 Hurricane again and take the same path that Hurricane Caillou previously did about 2 weeks before. This sparked worry as homes along the coastline of South Carolina and North Carolina. However, on August 14th, Elena began a NW to N trend which spare the USA Coast landfalling where Caillou stroke it's big number there. Elena peaked intensity with 150 mph winds the same day, slowly then weakening before changing corses to a complete NE track which would target Nova Scotia Canada and parts of New founland. Elena continued causing rough seas all up the east coast. Following Elenas was Hurricane Giada which formed from a low pressure between the virgin islands and East Africa, on August 7th as well as Hurricane Hector following, the same day. Giada became a Tropical Storm and earned it's name in the overnight of August 7th and Hector waited till the
morning of August 9th, due to wind shear and dry air surrounding the Tropical Cyclone. Giada too took aim at the USA East coast but was spared once again as the Bermuda high resulted in weaker stregnth not being strong enough to push the storm ashore. Giada under went rapid intesification on August 11th reaching peak of 135 mph and a central pressure of 949 mbar. Hector only strengthened into a Cat 1 hurricane due to more dry air holding down the upward convection of Hector causing it to weaken to a tropical storm and effect Belieze with landfall on the 16th. Now ashore Hector, it weakened and lost convection causing it to degenerate into a remnant low on August 17th. In between, Fabian formed from a group of thunder storms forming in the Caribbean sea. on August 3rd, the NHC was able to find a good center circulation with Tropical-Storm force winds deeming the low Tropical Storm Fabian. Warnings were issued for Florida and the Alabama Mississippi shore line for potential landfall on August 5th. And so did this happened, on August 4th, projections showed Fabian with the potential to be a Hurricane prompting Hurricane watches and warnings over Louisiana and Alabama. However, because of how fast Fabian was moving, the storm was unable to strengthen to Hurricane status before landfall and made landfall in the early morning hours of August 5th. The storm then dissipated inland on August 6th. Going out the Main Development region, a vigorous Tropical Wave comes off the coast of Africa on August 10th. Favorable conditions allow the NHC to outline the area with a 70 percent chance of formation. Conditions were favorable enough that on August 12th, the wave developed into Tropical Depression Ten. It strengthened quickly into Tropical Storm Inez that same day. A layer of Saharan air sat in on the storm causing struggles for continuing development. So on August 13th, Inez reached a peak of 45 mph and a central pressure of 994 mbar. The storm maintained central convection. Inez, now a Tropical Depression was slowly moving due North slowly at 7 mph and conditions began to clear for development which allowed Inez to attempt to become a Tropical Storm again. It did but only lasted six hours due to more persisting dry air. For 26 hours, Inez struggled for development till early August 16th, Inez degenerated into a low and dissipated the same day. August 15th, a convective area of low pressure just off the coast of Florida turned into Tropical Depression Eleven. Tropical Storm watches were posted for parts of Northern Florida to Southern Carolina as it was thought for potential strengthening to Tropical Storm status but failed to do so. On August 16th, the depression made landfall on the coast of South Carolina and dissipated inland on August 17th
On July 1st, an area of low pressure coming off the coast of Africa produced a strong area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Low wind shear prompted organization the next day soon giving the NHC a high chance of development in the next 5 days outlook. The low strengthened and on July 3rd, topping clouds showing more organization prompted the NHC to upgrade the Storm to Potential Tropical Cyclone Two. Aircraft arrived on the morning of July 4th finding a well defined center and Gale-Force winds, up grading the storm to Tropical Storm Aline near the Virgin Islands.
Immediatley following formation, Tropical Storm watches and warning were issued for Aline along the Virgin Islands for potential Tropical Storm conditions and Aline made landfall in Saint Lucia at around 8:45 PM EST the same day. In the overnight hours, Aline stregnthend further due to warn waters prompting the next day to a Category 1 Hurricane - making Aline the first Hurricane of the season. Aline continued slowly at W at 6 mph through the Carribean. Low Wind shear in the region allowed further strengthening and Aline topped out as a Category 2 Hurricane on July 6th, with winds at 105 mph and a pressure of 954 mbar. Aline began turning Northward towards the Dominican Republic taking prompting Hurricane watches and warnings. By this time, Aline has already begun to speed up and made landfall on the morning of July 7th. No major deaths or damages have been reported by Aline‘s landfall. Aline significantly weakened into a Tropical Storm and back to a tropical depression. Colder waters and dry air weighed down the system causing it to weaken further. Convection soon dropped significantly and on July 8th, completely dissipated causing Aline to become post-tropical. The low meandered and combined with a cold front on July 9th. However, a low taking control of the remnants redeveloped within a passing cold front on July 13th. Soon after, the NHC took note for potential redevelopment and on July 14th, this happened. The storm re-developed lopsided prompting Aline to return Subtropical. Due to colder water, Aline was only able to persist till July 16th before combing with another cold front and completely dissipating.
On July 6th, the NHC notes an area of low pressure that formed in the Caribbean sea. Low wind shear allowed rapid organization and later that day prompted the NHC to issue advisories on Tropical Depression Three. Also stregnthening to Tropical Storm status as well. On July 7th, the storm took a northward turn clipping Cuba, causing tropical storm conditions there. The storm entered the Gulf of Mexico slowing down on July 8th, reaching peak intensity of 60 mph winds and 995 mbar heading towards the gulf coast issuing Tropical Storm watches and warnings. By July 9th, evacuation orders were put in effect and states of emergency were issued upon Berrys arrival on Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The storm made landfall later that day causing 234 million dollars in damage and 12 deaths, and a cold front lifted the storm off causing it to die inland on July 10th.
On July 10t, the NHC noted a low coming of the East Coast Africa to likely move into an area of favorable development, just of the coast, being highly unusual for this time of year. The low strengthened and gained organization, on July 12th, advisories began issuing for Tropical Depression Four. The next, it strengthened into Tropical Storm Caillou, the name that would soon make Hurricane history. Very favorable environment allowed Caillou to rapidly strengthen faster than every from a Tropical Storm to a Category 5 Hurricane on the scale in just a matter of 18 hours. An explosive convection area near the center was to take part in such event happening. However, dry air took place in the storm and it weakened. The next day, Caillou was able to move over favorable conditions redeeming Category 5 status and continued on this strength for 53 hours straight. Soon Caillou gained national attention all around the world as it's target was the USA Carolina's.
Hurricane Caillou continued strengthening to its peak of 175 mph winds and a central pressure of 928 mbar, breaking records of Hurricane Earl in 2012 for being a strong July storm. Hurricane Caillou weakened back down to a Category 4 as it approached the Carolina's on the 17th. Trump began talking about the dangers of this storm striking the USA coast on July 18th saying that they would be completely decimated. He was extraordinarily correct. On July 20th, Caillou now at a Category 3, states of emergency were issued for Hurricane Caillou as forecasts called for Caillou to restrengthen and become at Category 4. Officials urged residents to immediately leave the coastline as dangerous conditions will take shape. But on July 21st, it became a catastrophe. Warmer water in depth allowed Caillou to explosively strengthen to a Category 5 Hurricane again, this time strong. Caillou reached it's initial peak of 180 mph winds and a pressure of 921 mbar and showed no signs of weakening. An explosive center kept it's big nature alive. The storm was then set to hit the coast as a Category 5 Hurricane the following evening leaving for residents and officials to scramble in chaos. Such rapid change caused for many road closures leading to traffic for evacuation to be chaos leaving 4 hour gas lines, Amtrak train stations flooded with people and causing some to stay behind. GoAnimate city was urged to evacuate as well as the coast adding on to another 6 hours of traffic. Officials and the South Carolina governor said that "people should leave as soon as possible along the coast. By late afternoon, conditions are expected to be deteriorating and by late evening should be too dangerous to be outside in." The NHC issued a dire Tropical cyclone discussion calling for "mass destruction. Extreme flooding possible. Well built homes may be badly damaged and beach houses, none-existant. Winds will cause certain death if exposed and flying people will be in result. Skyscrapers may shake violently till windows collapse and soon upper floors leveled.Flood waters will instantly topple over smaller brick buildings and wood homes."
This report leaving the attention to many people. Still people along the coast refused to leave, others unable to. By the evening of July 22nd, Caillou made landfall with ragging 180 mph winds, and mass destruction notably seen. Debris flying everywhere as in result of nearly all homes along the coast and in the path of the storm knocked over instantly by Caillou's wind. Decimation also being caused by 30 foot storm surge was notable as well from Caillou, overseeing reports of instant death from flooding coming in quickly. Within July 23rd, conditions began to ease as Caillou was now a Category 1 Hurricane inland. Already along the coast, to some, indescribable mass-decimation was noted by Caillou. As many as 100,000 homes in just the first few hours after Caillou were noted to be completely knocked over. Many describing some areas, unreachable because of the debris and destruction left. Which lead to a serious problem. But it wasn't only that, Caillou stalled inland causing 30 inches of rain, leaving many homes already damaged, now completely submerged from Caillous impact. 6,000 people were have reported to die from coastline decimation and 4,000 others from the extreme flooding, stirring up chaos to find relieve for this storm. Emergency responders unable to reach many areas a first hand target of Caillou because of the impassable road ways, leading for many slow deaths which added up to a total of at least 10,000 confirmed deaths. Caillou turned Extra-tropical on July 24th from already causing extreme flooding, then causing even more, while accelerating to the north causing flooding issues in New England and New York, leaving an estimate of 345 more people dead. Damages have totaled up to 349 Billion dollars in damage already marking up the costliest tropical cyclone on record and the lack of rescure, causing nearly 11,000 deaths, making Caillou the worst natural disaster in USA history.
On July 24th, a tropical wave half-way between Africa and the Leeward Islands, developed in Tropical Depression Five. The storm steadily strengthened moving quickly at 18 mph into Tropical Storm Danilo. Warm waters allowed further intensification into a Category 1 Hurricane the next day. Convection weekend, causing the storm to weaken as it accelerated towards the Leeward islands as a Tropical Storm, posting tropical storm watches and warnings to be posted. On July 25, Danilo crossed the Leeward Island at Barbados and Saint Lucia, the common threat for developing Tropical Cyclones in the season so far. The storm made quick landfall then restrengthened to Hurricane status. Danilo moved into a very favorable environment south of Haiti and rapidly strengthen to a Category 4 Major Hurricane, topping out at 155 mph and a pressure of 919 mbar. The storm began to take a turn to the North prompting watches and warnings issued for Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Soon, watches would be issues for south eastern Florida as well. On July 26, Danilo took an official track to Haiti, making landfall there later that night. Danilo then affected yeh eastern Florida coast and the Bahamas brining 130 omg winds and Hurricane condit along the FlorIda coast as well as the Carolinas. Early on July 28th, Danilo made a landfall in Cape Hatters as a Category 2 Hurricane and continued up the coast. Then New England came in the picture, first affecting Long Island and Jersey shore. Danilo back to a Category 3 Hurricane affected the eastern tip of Long Island then later that night, Cape Cod. Danilo caused major flooding issues on Long Island and the Jersey shore as well as Hurricane conditions there, Danilo on July 29 accelerated towards Canada as a Category 1 Hurricane, making landfall early on the 30 of July, heavy rain and flash flooding also a problem there as well as Storm Surge. Danilo finally turned Extra-tropical on July 31 and went towards Iceland. In all, Danilo was a problem all up the east coast, deeming second costliest storm behind Caillou days earlier with 125 Billion dollars in damage.
The following names were used during the season. This was the same list used in 2012 with no new replacements. The greek alphabet was used because of the amount of activity that took place throughout the season. On rare occasions this happens. The seasonal list was reused in 2024.
On May 22 during the 45th session of the WMO analysis, the WMO retired the names Caillou, Danilo, Elena, Giada, Johnathan, Logan, Neemias, Omar, Rosanne, Sergio, Wilma, Gamma, Theta and Lambda due to the deaths and damage done by these storms. This also broke another record of 14 names in total surpassing the previous record of 7 names in 2005. The names Carl, Dan, Ella, Gwen, Jacob, Luther, Nestor, Owen, Ruby, Sincere and Wendy at the end. The WMO however decided that the greek names could be reused in the future if necessary.
Damage and deaths
There were numerous deaths throughout the season including 98,000+ deaths throughout the season cuased by several storms, including Hurricanes Caillou, Danilo Logan and Wilma which caused 80% of all of the deaths. The damage totaled out to 2.39$ (2019 USD).
Throughout the season, various turnouts of events happened including Hurricane Omar projected on a West track towards Belize but last minute turned NE and smashed into Puerto Rico causing 12 Billion dollars in damage there, then riding up the east coast inflecting more damage being very widespread.
Government and Economic effects
A big factor into making the season so deadly and phenomenal was the reason that many big US cities were in the path of the monstrous storms that took place in 2018.