Phil Klotzbach and Bill Gray have updated their forecast for the Atlantic Hurricane Season using a revised statistical technique. They update the seasonal forecast every year in early August before we get into the peak of the season. The forecast issued yesterday calls for 17 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes. This is an increase from the early April and early June forecasts. Klotzbach and Gray say this increase is due to a combination of a very active early tropical cyclone season in the deep tropics and more favorable hurricane-enhancing sea surface temperature and sea level pressure patterns in the tropical Atlantic. They also note that most years do not have named storm formations in June and July in the tropical Atlantic (like Hurricane Bertha last month). “…However, if tropical formations do occur, it indicates that a very active hurricane season is likely.”
I’m pleased to see that Klotzbach and Gray say “Coastal residents need to prepare for every hurricane season, regardless of seasonal predictions. There is an inherent uncertainty in seasonal predictions. Also, seasonal forecasts do not say anything about when or where storms are going to make landfall.”
South Florida residents should know by now that it is not all about the numbers. What really counts is where the hurricanes make landfall and how strong they are at landfall. However, this updated forecast calling for a very active season should still be a good reminder to make sure your hurricane plans are updated and executable.
The complete Klotzbach/Gray forecast can be found at http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts.