Klotzbach/Gray continue to call for a very active hurricane season

Drs. Phil Klotzbach and Bill Gray are sticking to their guns on the seasonal hurricane forecast.  They continue to call for a total of 18 named storms, 10 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes.  Those numbers are well above the long-term averages. 

I have never been too keen on using only the number of storms or hurricanes to characterize a season.  I prefer to use a more robust parameter like the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) Index that accounts for the number of storms, the intensity, and the duration.  Short-lived storms like Bonnie and Colin that were only weak tropical storms for around 18 hours, would get very little ACE while a major hurricane that lasts for a week would get a very high ACE value.

ACE Index from 1995 to 2009

The above grahic shows a lot of variability in ACE going back to 1995.  Only three years had ACE values above 200 (1995, 2004 and 2005).  The Klotzbach/Gray forecast calls for an ACE of 185 this year.  If that is anywhere close to what actually verifies, we have a lot of activity ahead of us.


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