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Thursday, May 27, 2010

NOAA Expects Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season

The NOAA is predicting an “active to extremely active” hurricane season with:
  • 14-32 Named Storms
  • 8-14 Hurricanes
  • 3-7 Major Hurricanes (category 3 or higher)

If this forecast holds up, this could be the most active hurricane season since 2005.

This was NOAA's pre-season forecast last year (issued May 21, 2009)

  • 9-14 Named Storms
  • 4-7 Hurricanes
  • 1-3 major Hurricanes

The Result? A below average season!

  • 11 Named Storms
  • 3 Hurricanes
  • 2 major Hurricanes

The forecast was actually pretty good! But I always take exact hurricane forecasts with a grain of salt. Hurricane development depends on so many variables...but it's still good to get a general idea of what the season will be like.
Over the past twelve years, a forecast made using climatology was in error, on average, by 3.6 named storms, 2.5 hurricanes, and 1.7 intense hurricanes. NOAA's May forecast was not significantly better than climatology for these quantities, with average errors of 3.5 named storms, 2.3 hurricanes, and 1.4 intense hurricanes. Not surprisingly, NOAA's August forecasts were much better than the May forecasts, and did significantly better than a climatology forecast. Image Credit: Verification of 12 years of NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts,

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