US predicts up to 10 Atlantic hurricanes this season

May 19, 2011
A trucks drives along a flooded street during a hurricane in Florida. The Atlantic will experience a rougher than normal hurricane season this year with up to 10 hurricanes, the US weather service forecast Thursday.

The Atlantic will experience a rougher than normal hurricane season this year with up to 10 hurricanes, the US weather service forecast Thursday.

"The United States was fortunate last year. Winds steered most of the season's and all hurricanes away from our coastlines," said Jane Lubchenco, who heads the .

"However we can't count on luck to get us through this season. We need to be prepared, especially with this above-normal outlook."

The weather service predicted that the will experience 12 to 18 named storms between June 1 and November 1.

Six to 10 of those storms could reach hurricane strength with sustained winds of more than 74 miles per hour (119 kilometers per hour).

Three to six of those storms could be major hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or higher (187 kilometers per hour.)

The seasonal average is 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

Landfall is dictated by at the time the storm approaches and hurricane impacts often reach far inland.

"The tornadoes that devastated the south and the large amount of flooding we've seen this spring should serve as a reminder that disasters can happen anytime and anywhere," said Craig Fugate, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"Now is the time, if you haven't already, to get your plan together for what you and your family would do if disaster strikes."

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omatumr
1 / 5 (2) May 19, 2011
"However we can't count on luck to get us through this season. We need to be prepared, especially with this above-normal outlook."

"The tornadoes that devastated the south and the large amount of flooding we've seen this spring should serve as a reminder that disasters can happen anytime and anywhere."


What are the track records of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for predicting disasters?

Do these agencies make useful predictions or do they just earn their government pay-checks by scaring the public?

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

spectator
5 / 5 (1) May 19, 2011
Omatumr:

The meteorologists have a very high skill level in their seasonal forecasts for hurricanes.

Also, Dr. Greg Forbes on the weather channel predicted the Tornado outbreak incredibly accurately a day and a half ahead of time.

Between the human experts and the computer models they've invented, they are able to tell where a tropical wave will form and where it will go up to 15 days ahead of time.

Once it becomes a tropical depression, the models get even better, and can often predict it's 5th day position to within less than a degree on longitude and lattitude.

And for Colorado State University, their skill in the pre-season prediction is more experimental, and isn't quite as good as the predictions they release on June 1. However, their June 1 predictions have, with only a few exceptions, been uncannily accurate and beat climatology and "random guessing" every year.
ryggesogn2
3 / 5 (2) May 19, 2011
"Six to 10 of those storms could reach hurricane strength with sustained winds of more than 74 miles per hour (119 kilometers per hour).

Three to six of those storms could be major hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or higher (187 kilometers per hour.)"
Many things COULD happen.
spectator
5 / 5 (1) May 19, 2011
What you have to realize is that with tropical systems, the science is orders of magnitude better than it was in the early 1990's.

They have multi-spectral satellites, space-based radar in ASCAT, aircraft, dropsondes, ground radars, and shipping reports and buoys everywhere now. The resolution of the data is amazing, not as good as we could hope for, but incredible.

Between the human intuition and problem solving, combined with the computer models, the NHC forecasts have reached absurd skill levels, and improved vastly even since 2005.

The only thing they are still mainly lagging in is the forecasting of maximum peak intensity of any individual storm, which they are statistically not nearly as good at compared to forecasting formation and track.

They also refine some models and science at the end of each season, and go back and try to "post-dict" each season with the refined models. This allows rapid improvements in models and thermodynamic theories of the storm behaviour.
spectator
5 / 5 (1) May 19, 2011
"Six to 10 of those storms could reach hurricane strength with sustained winds of more than 74 miles per hour (119 kilometers per hour).

Three to six of those storms could be major hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or higher (187 kilometers per hour.)"
Many things COULD happen.


The forecasts are given a range of typically the middle 2/3rds of probability based on the model runs or other system of prediction they used, just as the "cone of uncertainty" in the forecast track works.

The "Official" forecast is taken to be center of the statistical probabilities, rounded up. Therefore NOAA is "officially" forecasting 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 5 majors. They are forecasting Accumulated Cyclone Energy to be 105% to 200% of normal, which is an average of 153% of normal. This suggests these hurricanes will be long duration, long track systems, in addition to the "slightly" above average number of storms.
GSwift7
not rated yet May 24, 2011
These predictions are sorta a joke among the experts you know. The real message here is that people who live within reach of a hurricane should be prepared. I happen to be one of those people. I've taken note of the non-freeway hurricane evacuation routs, marked with blue signs, for example. We have enough pet carriers to get all the pets into the cars. My well-meaning but somewhat OCD fiance even has little life vests for her cats. lol.

I know these guys are the experts, but such a high prediction doesn't seem in line with ENSO and the Atlantic both in a basically neutral state this Summer. I'm surprised that so many experts are predicting a big season.
AAhhzz01
not rated yet May 26, 2011
I lice in Florida and in the past 20 some years I can only recall One year in which they predicted a LOWER than average season.

If almost every year predicts Higher than average, doesnt this mean that the "Average Prediction" is biased to the High end of the model?

I can understand them rounding up a bit...but Every Year?
GSwift7
not rated yet May 26, 2011
The answer to that is easy AAhhzz01.

If they predict a low number and they are wrong, then people can say stupid things like "how come you didn't warn us", but if they predict a high number and they are wrong then it makes people happy. Kinda like when the pizza guy tells you how long to expect. Better to under-promise and over-deliver. It's just human nature, not a conspiracy though.

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