Hurricane Matthew Isle of Palms

David Reedy of North Carolina wades in surging ocean water from Hurricane Matthew in 2016 during low tide on Isle of Palms. The waves bowled over boardwalks at high tide and continued eroding sand dunes as the tide subsided. File/Andrew Knapp/Staff

With surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean suggesting a less active hurricane season than previously thought, Tropical Meteorology Project lead scientist Phil Klotzbach on Thursday became the first of the forecasters to down-scale his earlier predictions.

He dropped one storm from each category which range from named-storms to catastrophic.

The numbers still suggest an active year.

​With the 2018 season set to begin Friday, here's a rundown of the predicted storms and their intensity as forecast by four of major Atlantic activity watchers. The season ends Nov. 30.

Named storms (at least 39 mph winds).

10 to 16 (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

11 to 18 (Coastal Carolina University).

14 to 18 (North Carolina State University).

13 (Tropical Meteorology Project).

Hurricanes (winds at least 74 mph).

5 to 9 (NOAA).

5 to 9 (CCU).

7 to 11 (NCSU).

6   (TMP).

Catastrophic hurricanes (winds at least 111 mph).

1 to 4 (NOAA).

2 to 5 (CCU).

3 to 5 (NCSU).

2  (TMP).

The historic average for a season is 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes. But some climatologists suggest that storms might be getting more severe in the warming seas.

In 2017, 17 storms were named, nine became hurricanes and six of those catastrophic hurricanes, including a series of the most destructive storms in recorded history.

In advance of the season, Gov. Henry McMaster made a stop in North Charleston on Thursday with emergency management officials to raise safety awareness.

McMaster said state agencies were highly prepared last year and that one of their objectives now is getting people to use reputable sources of information when making plans ahead of any storms.​

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Reach Bo Petersen Reporter at Facebook, @bopete on Twitter or 1-843-937-5744.

Science and environment reporter. Author of Washing Our Hands in the Clouds.

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