Tuesday, April 03, 2007

2007 Hurricane Season

Background:
Each year Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray (Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science) make their initial predictions in December for the upcoming Hurricane Season. This prediction is updated in April, May, August, September and October of the following year, based on new information. Their predictions include data such as Named Storms, Named Storm Days, Hurricanes, Hurricane Days,
Intense Hurricanes, Intense Hurricane Days and Net Tropical Cyclone Acitivity.
Dr. Gray is taking a step back this year. In his words…
After 22 years (since 1984) of making these forecasts, it is appropriate that I step back and have Phil Klotzbach assume the primary responsibility for our project’s seasonal, monthly and landfall probability forecasts. Phil has been a member of my research project for the last six years and has been second author on these forecasts for the last five years. I have greatly profited and enjoyed our close personal and working relationships.
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For the predictions released today, here's some background
This early April forecast is based on a newly devised extended range statistical forecast procedure...... We have increased our forecast from our early December prediction (7 hurricanes) due largely to the rapid dissipation of El Niño which has occurred over the past couple of months. Currently, neutral ENSO conditions are observed. We expect either neutral or weak-to-moderate La Niña conditions to be present during the upcoming hurricane season. Tropical and North Atlantic sea surface temperatures remain well above their long-period averages.


Colorado State University's hurricane predictions have a pretty good track record as far as I can see. Take a look at this data, gleaned from their website at
http://typhoon.atmos.colostate.edu/forecasts/

This chart is based on their April predictions of hurricanes

2000 Forecast: 7
2000 Actual: 8

2001 Forecast: 6
2001 Actual: 9

2002 Forecast: 7
2002 Actual: 4

2003 Forecast: 8
2003 Actual: 7

2004 Forecast: 8
2004 Actual: 9

2005 Forecast: 7
2005 Actual: 14

2006 Forecast: 9
2006 Actual: 5

2007 Forecast: 9

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