NOAA issued its 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook on May 27, 2010. According to the forecast, there is an 85% change of an above-average hurricane season in 2010. We can expect an “active to extremely active” season
On June 21, Joe Bastardi, Chief Hurricane Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com, revised his earlier forecast to predict that 18 to 21 named storms will occur in the 2010 hurricane season, four of which are expected to occur during July. The revised forecast expects five or six of the named storms to be hurricanes. My brother says that if you listened to AccuWeather, you’d never go outdoors.
Dr. William Gray and Dr. Phillip Klotzbach of Colorado State University‘s Tropical Meteorology Projecthave published their scheduled June 2 update to their 2010 hurricane season forecast.The famed forecasting team now predicts as many as 18 named storms, an increase of two since the original forecast on Dec. 9. According to the updated forecast, we can expect 10 hurricanes to form in the Atlantic basin, up from 8 in the original forecast. As in the initial forecast, five hurricanes are expected to become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir/Simpson scale). The revised numbers were based on the above-average warm waters in the Atlantic and the likelihood that a weak La Nina will form in the Pacific Ocean. Gray and Klotzbach will issue their final forecast for the 2010 season on August 4
Amusing no? A final forecast for a season effectively ending less than 3 months later, issued two months after the season has begun. Time for a quote from Neils Bohr (which is as close to chemistry as this post will get) “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.”
Maybe we’ll have a slambang finish, but this is yet another reason why I don’t trust models in general, climate models in particular. For details see http://luysii.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/i-dont-trust-models-in-general-climate-models-in-particular/
A final semantic point. After the really bad year with Katrina, etc. etc. similar apocalyptic predictions were made, but nothing much happened. The powers that be then took to calling weather disturbances tropical cyclones. Now cyclones in the Bay of Bengal can be terrible things, and Nargis, killed over 100,000 people over there in 2008. But a cyclone over there has to have winds greater than 74 mph (making it a hurricane by our Atlantic standards), while over here anything with a vortex pattern of winds and some rain comes under the rubric of tropical cyclone. This includes the nonentity known as the tropical depression (winds under 39 mph), and the more severe (but still nothing much) tropical storm — winds between 40 and 73 miles an hour.
This is all fairly harmless once you know how the terms are defined, but there are a lot of players out there with a good deal of political investment in making things seem dire and terrible.
Presently (10 PM EDT 20 July) this is all we have on the horizon. ”A tropical wave (Invest 97L) between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic has continued to become more organized today, and is a threat to develop into a tropical depression as early as Wednesday morning.” Pretty small beer.