Caribbean faces 60% chance of major 2011 hurricane

| 07/04/2011

(CNS): In the second forecasts for the Atlantic Hurricane Season 2011 the Colorado State University team is predicting 16 named storms instead of 17 as they had in December. The experts say the season, which is still two months away, will be above average with nine of the storms turning into hurricanes and five becoming major category 3-4-5 hurricanes with sustained winds of 111mph or greater. “We expect that anomalously warm tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures combined with neutral tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures will contribute to an active season,” said Phil Klotzbach of the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project. The team predicts a 61% chance of a major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean, compared to the long-term average of 42%.

“We have reduced our forecast slightly from early December due to a combination of recent ocean warming in the eastern and central tropical Pacific and recent cooling in the tropical Atlantic. It is recommended that all vulnerable coastal residents make the same hurricane preparations every year, regardless of how active or inactive the seasonal forecast is,” Klotzbach added. “It takes only one landfall event near you to make this an active season.”

The hurricaneforecast team made this early April forecast based on a new forecast scheme that relies on 29 years of historical data. The hurricane team’s forecasts are based on the premise that global oceanic and atmospheric conditions, such as El Nino, sea surface temperatures and sea level pressures, that preceded active or inactive hurricane seasons in the past provide meaningful information about similar conditions that will likely occur in the current year.

The team’s annual predictions are intended to provide a best estimate of activity to be experienced during the upcoming season, not an exact measure.

“We remain — since 1995 — in a favourable multi-decadal period for enhanced Atlantic Basin hurricane activity, which is expected to continue for the next 10-15 years or so,” said Gray. “Except for the very destructive hurricane seasons of 2004-2005, United States coastal residents have experienced no other major landfalling hurricanes since 1999. This recent 9 of 11-year period without any major landfall events should not be expected to continue.”

Since 1949, the team said, five seasons have had oceanic and atmospheric conditions in February through March that were similar to those seen the past two months: 1955, 1996, 1999, 2006 and 2008. All but 2006 were active hurricane seasons.

The team predicts that tropical cyclone activity in 2011 will be approximately 175 percent of the average season. By comparison, 2010 witnessed tropical cyclone activity that was 196 percent of the average season.
 

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Comments (5)

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  1. Loren says:

    There is a prediction that something is going to hit before the hurricane season on 17 May 2011.

  2. The Terrible says:

    Fear not – there is no chance at all that a hurricane will hit Cayman. So I predict.

    • Risk Management says:

      I agree. I’m not going to bother with home insurance this year. If I get unlucky I’ll just fall back on the Government handout plan.

  3. anonymous says:

    On the Road to Hurricane Season Again. Remember to prepare yourselves.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why do we bother with these early forecasts every year. What will be will be.. and guessing in April is not going to change it.