Atlantic hurricane season begins Friday; normal to above-average season predicted

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It's that time of year again. The Atlantic hurricane season starts Friday with a normal to above-average season predicted.

The U.S. has already seen its first named storm of the year in Subtropical Storm Alberto, which pushed through the gulf and made landfall in the Florida panhandle on Memorial Day. The Lowcountry felt its impacts in the form of rain from the storm's outer bands.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a normal to above-average season for 2018.

NOAA is forecasting for 10 to 16 named storms. Five to nine of those could become hurricanes.

One to four of those could become "major" hurricanes, which means Category 3 strength or higher.

Last year there were 17 named storms, including Harvey, Irma and Maria.

It will go down as the 5th most active hurricane season since records began in 1851 and the most active since 2012.

Following on the heels of Hurricane Matthew in 2016, the big storm for the Lowcountry was Hurricane Irma. It made landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane and on Marco Island, Florida as a Category 3 storm.

The hurricane moved northward through Florida into Georgia bringing significant impacts to the Lowcountry as it began to weaken.

The most significant damage that occurred in the Lowcountry was due to a significant inundation of water due to storm surge.

The storm surge measured at 9.92 feet in the Charleston Harbor. That's the 3rd highest level ever recorded. Significant beach erosion occurred at most area beaches and significant damage occurred to personal property due to the inundation of saltwater flooding into homes and damage to docks.

Hurricane season officially ends Nov. 30.

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