The United Kingdom’s Met Office has issued a forecast for the number of tropical storms expected for the Atlantic Basin (includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico) for the period July through November. The Met Office uses a dynamical seasonal prediction model which simulates the ocean-atmosphere processes and interactions that determine tropical storm development.
This forecast that uses a dynamical model is different from the Phil Klotzbach/Bill Gray and NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts that are primarily statistical in nature. The statistical methods rely on past relationships between storm numbers and preceding observed conditions.
The Met Office is forecasting a 70% chance that there will be 10 to 20 tropical storms, with 15 being the most likely. So what does this mean for South Florida? Not much other than the fact that these tropical storm numbers are pretty much in line with the Klotzbach/Gray and NOAA outlooks. Note that the Met Office does not forecast the number of hurricanes or major hurricanes.
The various seasonal forecasts should have nothing to do with preparedness efforts. If you live in an area vulnerable to hurricanes, you need to prepare for every season – no matter what the seasonal forecast is. It just takes that one hurricane over our community to make for a bad year.