Hurricane forecasters hedge their bets for 2010

| 11/12/2009

Cayman Islands weather news(CNS): Admitting their December forecasts have been less than spot on over the years, the hurricane forecasting team at Colorado State University (CSU) is offering a wider window of opportunity to get it right for its first prediction of the 2010 season. Less than two weeks after the close of the uneventful 2009 Altantic hurricane season, Dr Phil Klotzbach and Dr Bill Gray are calling for above normal levels of tropical cyclone activity with 11 to 16 named storms and six to eight hurricanes, three of which are likely to become major hurricanes. Klotzbach and Gray also said they expect a major hurricane landfall in the US and Caribbean.

Being less specific the famous duo are hoping to get nearer the mark.

The CSU team is one of the few to issue hurricane season forecasts so far in advance of the June to November ‘official’ hurricane season, but these early preditions tend not to be exact and have often ben revised several times but they believe this year the skill in preiction has ben improved. “We believe our new early December forecast scheme will begin to demonstrate forecast skill in the coming years,” they stated.

This year the two hurricane experts have said the range of storms could be between 11 and 16, giving them considerable leeway in this early prediction and moving away from the tradition of calling a set figure. But they did say that they will narrow down the number in April.

“Everyone should realize that it is impossible to precisely predict next season’s hurricane activity at such an extended range,” the hurricane duo stated in their report. “There is, however, much curiosity as to how global ocean and atmosphere features are presently arranged as regards the probability of an active or inactive hurricane season for next year.”

Klotzbach and Gray explained that they issue the early forecasts to satisfy the curiosity of the general public and to bring attention to the hurricane problem. “There is a curiosity in knowing what the odds are for an active or inactive season next year. One must remember that our forecasts are based on the premise that those global oceanic and atmospheric conditions which preceded comparatively active or inactive hurricane seasons in the past provide meaningful information about similar trends in future seasons.”

Gray said the conditions for this season show warm sea surface temperatures, which will contribute to the above-average activity predicted for 2010. The 2009 season was quieter because of high wind shear over the Atlantic and the global weather pattern shift due to El Niño. A total of nine storms developed during 2009, three became hurricanes.

The Colorado forecasters will issue updates in April, June, and August.

Go to the season’s first prediction

Category: Science and Nature

Comments (21)

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  1. Dennis Smith says:

    "Being less specific the famous duo are hoping to get nearer the mark"

    Must be a spelling mistake. The correct word should be "infamous."

    Always amazes me that people actually get paid for "Working" on stuff like this. And tenured as well I expect. Makes me realize that complaints about our Civil Service are way off the mark. They are worker bees by comparison and by god, every single one of them will be out there saving lives and rebuilding our island when the time comes. Can’t think of a better bunch of people to have in our corner. We should be glad that these guys are not employed here. As for me, I’m working on the worst-case scenario, going to assume that every storm is dangerous and coming straight for us. Ivan really outfoxed me.

    The thought struck me the other day; all those folks that were here before Ivan and stayed afterwards must have really loved Cayman. Everybody put their shoulders to the wheel on that one. Seems a shame that they were the same ones we rolled over. Not hard to understand all the tears when they left. Boy do I wish we had kept them, it would be handy to have people like them around in the future.

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    So it might rain, but it might not.

    Thanks a lot for your interesting and very useful insights

  3. Anonymous says:

    Fools, they get it wrong so often, when they do get it right we’ll all get caught out again like Ivan!

  4. Johnny Cake wid a cup of coffey(e) says:

    What a mess.  Hope they are as right….not wrong…as they were this year.  No more said.

    Where my sanka

  5. Ginnip Seed says:

    Just make sure your prepair like no other; and you have a generator and satellite phone.

    • Dick Shaughneary says:

      A generator, a satellite phone and a good dictionary are essentials for both hurricane preparation and avoidance of the use of the word "prepair".

  6. Braca says:

    PLz close this post    pure foolishness!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Unemployed says:

    How do I get in to this business? What an excellent career choice it would be. Where did I leave my crystal ball?

  8. You don't need a Weatherman says:

    I predict there will be some named storms and some unnamed storms and maybe some big hurricanes and a few not so big hurricanes and I could be right or I could be wrong and I have an opportunity to upgrade this prediction or downgrade.  Thank you.

  9. Thankful says:

    bah humbug!!  Will they just go away.  Its approaching Christmas and we just over the six month stress.  Lets not even talk about this during our stress-free months…at least these times anyway.

    They were wrong and simply put: its all in His (capital H) hands period.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The reality is that these forecasts are simply educated guesses, just a level up from what the average person might be capable of producing. It is simply coincidence when the forecasts actually match the final true number of storms and hurricanes and more often than not the forecasts are wrong. At this time there is simply no scientific way to predict storm activity for any given hurricane season. Over many years there are an average number of storms and hurricanes and the forecasters simply manipulate these averages up or down to produce the forecast each year.

    • Night Flyer says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more you can never second guess the weather,and predictions are just predictions.

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Yup, you got that right.  Bunch of damn tealeaf readers … the lot of them!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, yeah, yeah… and there’s no such thing as global warming, the ozone layer is just fine, the human species did not evolve from lower life forms and the US moon landing was faked. You may not want to accept it, but there are such things as scientific statistical probabilities, which, while not completely accurate, can give mankind a better inkling of what might happen, given certain known variables. I would venture to guess Klotzbach and Gray are much more educated about meteorological science than you and that your assertions are based entirely on something you’ve either read or heard secondhand. But go ahead and just dismiss science as manipulation and you and people like you will lead this planet to ruin. Oh, I forget: everything is in God’s hands, right? Now go and read your horoscope; maybe you’re destined to come in to some big money and next week you can buy the brand new SUV you covet so much and it won’t matter a bit because the concept of carbon emissions causing a greenhouse effect is all just a conspiracy to get people to pay more taxes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow! Did you come home and find that someone had eaten your porridge, broken your chair and slept in your bed? What a grouch! Take some time to check the forecasts at the start of each hurricane season and then look at the final figures. The experts are always revising the numbers as the season wears on, changing them upwards or downwards as the case may be. Heck, I could do that, and you probably could as well. All I’m saying is that there is no accurate way for them to make these projections in the first place. They are simply educated guesses.