1998 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

HOUSTON - The 1998 hurricane season predictions made by research meteorologists
Jill F. Hasling and Dr. John C. Freeman of Weather Research Center indicate
that Florida has the highest risk of experiencing a tropical storm or
hurricane this year.  The west coast of Florida has a 90% chance with the
east coast of Florida having a 70% chance of experiencing a tropical storm
or hurricane.  Mexico also has a 70% chance of experiencing a storm.   Texas
has a 60% chance.

In addition, the team's outlook calls for eight named storms to develop in
the Atlantic basin with five reaching hurricane intensity.  Also, there was
a 45 percent chance of having a Category 3 or greater hurricane.  A major
hurricane is a storm with maximum sustained winds greater than 111 MPH.
The outlook calls for 2 to 3 storms to make landfall on the US coast.

The Center has been making these predictions since 1985.  In the past 13 years,
the outlook has only missed the highest probability strike area in two years,
1987 and 1992.   However in both of those years, storms made landfall in the
second highest probability strike area.  This is an accuracy percentage of
85 percent.

Significant storms that have happened in this phase of the outlook.
Hurricane Gilbert 1988, 1915 Galveston storm, 1935 Category Florida Keys
Storm.  1925 when only 2 tropical storms formed.

The montly distribution;  50% chance of a June storm, 70% chance of July
storms; 90% chance of August Storms; 100% chance of September storms; 90%
of October storms; 80% chance of November storms; 10% chance of December
storm.  So it could be a long season.

                1998 Outlook:
                West Coast of Florida   90%
                East Coast of Florida   70%
                Mexico                  70%
                Texas                   60%
                Louisiana/Alabama       40%
                Georgia/North Carolina  20%
                East Coast of US        20%

The names for the 1998 are:  Alex, Bonnie, Charley, Danielle, Earl, Frances,
Georges, Hermine, Ivan, Jeanne, Karl, Lisa, Mitch, Nicole, Otto, Paula,
Richard, Shary, Tomas, Virginie, Walter