EXTENDED RANGE FORECAST OF ATLANTIC SEASONAL HURRICANE ACTIVITY FOR 2005 EXTENDED RANGE FORECAST OF ATLANTIC SEASONAL HURRICANE ACTIVITY AND US LANDFALL STRIKE PROBABILITY FOR 2005


We foresee an above-average hurricane season for the Atlantic basin in 2005. Also, an above-average probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is anticipated. We have adjusted our forecast upward from our early December forecast and may further raise our prediction in our later updates if we can be sure El Niño conditions will not develop.



(as of 1 April 2005)




This forecast is based on new research by the authors,
along with current meteorological information through March 2005



By

William M. Gray1 and Philip J. Klotzbach2


with assistance from William Thorson3






[This forecast as well as past forecasts and verifications are available via the World Wide
Web: http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts - also,


Brad Bohlander, Colorado State University Media Representative, (970-491-6432) is available to answer various questions about this forecast.




Department of Atmospheric Science

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, CO 80523

email: barb@tutt.atmos.colostate.edu




ATLANTIC BASIN SEASONAL HURRICANE FORECAST FOR 2005



Issue Date Issue Date
Forecast Parameter and 1950-2000 3 December 1 April
Climatology (in parentheses) 2004 2005

Named Storms (NS) (9.6) 11 13
Named Storm Days (NSD) (49.1) 55 65
Hurricanes (H)(5.9) 6 7
Hurricane Days (HD)(24.5) 25 35
Intense Hurricanes (IH) (2.3) 3 3
Intense Hurricane Days (IHD)(5.0) 6 7
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (NTC)(100%) 115 135









PROBABILITIES FOR AT LEAST ONE MAJOR (CATEGORY 3-4-5) HURRICANE LANDFALL ON EACH OF THE FOLLOWING COASTAL AREAS:



1) Entire U.S. coastline - 73% (average for last century is 52%)

2) U.S. East Coast Including the Florida Peninsula - 53% (average for last century is 31%)

3) Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville - 41% (average for last century is 30%)

4) Expected above-average major hurricane landfall risk in the Caribbean






Acknowledgment

We are grateful to NSF and AIG - Lexington Insurance Company (a member of the American International Group) for providing partial support for the research necessary to make these forecasts. We also thank the GeoGraphics Laboratory at Bridgewater State College for their assistance in developing the Landfalling Hurricane Probability Webpage (available online at http://www.e-transit.org/hurricane).


DEFINITIONS

ABSTRACT

Information obtained through March 2005 indicates that the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season will be an active one. We estimate that 2005 will have about 7 hurricanes (average is 5.9), 13 named storms (average is 9.6), 65 named storm days (average is 49), 35 hurricane days (average is 24.5), 3 intense (category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.3) and 7 intense hurricane days (average is 5.0). We expect Atlantic basin Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity in 2005 to be about 135 percent of the long-term average. The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be 140 percent of the long-period average. We expect this year to continue the past-decade trend of above-average hurricane seasons.

This early April forecast is based on a newly devised extended range statistical forecast procedure which utilizes 52 years of past global reanalysis data. Analog predictors are also utilized. We have increased our forecast from our early December prediction due to a continued Atlantic Ocean warming and a belief that significant El Niño conditions for this summer/fall are now less likely. If the next few months verify this supposition, it is probable that we will be further raising our 31 May and 5 August seasonal forecast numbers. Conditions in the Atlantic are very favorable for an active hurricane season.

1  Introduction

      This is the 22nd year in which the first author has made forecasts of the coming season's Atlantic basin hurricane activity. Our Colorado State University research project has shown that a sizable portion of the year-to-year variability of Atlantic tropical cyclone (TC) activity can be hindcast with skill significantly exceeding climatology. These forecasts are based on a statistical methodology derived from 52 years of past global reanalysis data and a separate study of prior analog years which have had similar global atmosphere and ocean precursor circulation features to this year. Qualitative adjustments are added to accommodate additional processes which may not be explicitly represented by our statistical analyses. These evolving forecast techniques are based on a variety of climate-related global and regional predictors previously shown to be associated with the forthcoming seasonal Atlantic tropical cyclone activity and landfall probability. We believe that seasonal forecasts must be based on methods showing significant hindcast skill in application to long periods of prior data. It is only through hindcast skill that one can demonstrate that seasonal forecast skill is possible. This is a valid methodology provided the atmosphere continues to behave in the future as it has in the past. We have no reason for thinking that it will not.

2  April Forecast Methodology

       Our initial early April seasonal hurricane forecast scheme demonstrated hindcast skill for the period of 1950-1995. Our new, recently developed early April forecast scheme uses more hindcast years (1950-2001) and shows improved hindcast skill and better physical insights into why such precursor relationships have an extended period memory.


Through extensive analyses of NOAA-NCEP reanalysis products, second author Phil Klotzbach has recently developed a new set of 1 April extended range predictors which shows superior hindcast prediction skill over our previous 1 April forecast scheme. The location of each of these new predictors is shown in Fig. 1. The pool of six predictors for this new extended range forecast is given in Table 1. Strong statistical relationships can be extracted via combinations of these predictors (which are available by the end of March) and the amount of Atlantic basin hurricane activity occurring later in the year.

AprilPredictors.jpg

Figure 1: Location of predictors for our early April forecast for the 2005 hurricane season. A plus (+) means that positive values of the parameter indicate increased hurricane activity this year, and a minus (-) means that positive values of the parameter indicate decreased hurricane activity this year.

Table 1: Listing of April 2005 predictors for this year's hurricane activity. A plus (+) means that positive values of the parameter indicate increased hurricane activity this year, and a minus (-) means that positive values of the parameter indicate decreased hurricane activity this year.



Values for 2005 Forecast
(1) - February 200 MB U (5S-10N, 35-55W) (-) +0.1 SD
(2) - February-March 200 MB V (35-62.5S, 70-95E) (-) +0.6 SD
(3) - February SLP (0-45S, 90-180W) (+) -2.0 SD
(4) - February SST (35-50N, 10-30W) (+) +1.5 SD
(5) - Previous November 500 MB Ht. (67.5-85N, 50W-10E) (+) 0.0 SD
(6) - Previous September-November SLP (15-35N, 75-95W) (-) -0.7 SD

2.1  Physical Associations among Predictors Listed in Table 1

      Brief descriptions of our early April predictors follow:


Predictor 1. February 200 MB U in Equatorial East Brazil (-)

(5S-10N, 35-55W)

Easterly upper-level zonal wind anomalies off the northeast coast of South America imply that the upward branch of the Walker Circulation associated with ENSO remains in the western Pacific and that cool ENSO or La Niña conditions are likely to be present in the eastern equatorial Pacific for the next 4-6 months. El Niño conditions shift the upward portion of the Walker Circulation to the eastern Pacific and cause 200 mb westerly wind anomalies over the tropical Atlantic. These anomalies inhibit Atlantic hurricane activity.


Predictor 2. February-March 200 MB V in the Southern Indian Ocean (-)

(35-62.5S, 70-95E)

Anomalous winds from the north at 200 mb in the southern Indian Ocean is associated with a northeastward shift of the South Indian Convergence Zone (SICZ) (Cook 2000), a more longitudinally concentrated upward branch of the Hadley Cell near Indonesia and warm sea surface temperatures throughout most of the Indian Ocean. This also implies that warm ENSO conditions have likely been prevalent throughout the past several months due to the lag teleconnected effect of a warm Indian Ocean with a warm eastern Pacific Ocean. Strong lag correlations (r > 0.4) with this predictor indicate that a change in phase of ENSO from warm to cool is likely during the summer.


Predictor 3. February SLP in the Southeast Pacific (+)

(0-45S, 90-180W)

High sea level pressure in the eastern Pacific south of the equator indicates a positive Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and stronger-than-normal trade winds across the Pacific. Increased trades drive enhanced upwelling off the west coast of South America that are typical of La Niña and hurricane-enhancing conditions. Cool sea surface temperatures are associated with these higher surface pressures that tend to persist throughout the spring and summer thereby reducing vertical wind shear over the tropical Atlantic and providing more favorable conditions for tropical cyclone development.


Predictor 4. February SST off the Northwestern European Coast (+)

(35-50N, 10-30W)

Warm sea surface temperatures off the northwest coast of Europe correlate quite strongly with warm sea surface temperatures across the entire North Atlantic Ocean. A warm North Atlantic Ocean indicates that the thermohaline circulation is likely stronger than normal, the subtropical high near the Azores is weaker than normal and consequently trade wind strength across the Atlantic is also reduced. Weaker trade winds induce less upwelling which keeps the tropical Atlantic warmer than normal. This pattern tends to persist throughout the spring and summer implying a warmer tropical Atlantic during the hurricane season which is an enhancing factor for developing tropical waves.


Predictor 5. Previous November 500 MB Geopotential Height in the far North Atlantic (+)

(67.5-85N, 50W-10E)

Positive values of this predictor correlate very strongly (r = -0.7) with negative values of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Negative AO and NAO values imply more ridging in the central Atlantic and a likely warm north Atlantic Ocean (50-60N, 10-50W). Also, on decadal timescales, weaker zonal winds in the subpolar areas are indicative of a relatively strong thermohaline circulation which is favorable for hurricane activity. Positive values of this November index are negatively correlated with both 200 mb zonal winds and trade winds the following September in the tropical Atlantic. The associated reduced tropospheric vertical wind shear enhances conditions for TC development. Other features that are directly correlated with this predictor are low sea level pressure in the Caribbean and a warm North and Tropical Atlantic the following summer. Both of the latter are also hurricane-enhancing factors.


Predictor 6. Previous September-November SLP in the Gulf - SE USA (-)

(15-35N, 75-95W)

Low pressure in this area during September-November of the previous year correlates quite strongly with the positive phase of the PNA. According to Horel and Wallace (1981), the PNA is positive during the final year of most warm ENSO events. Therefore, a change to neutral or cool ENSO conditions are to be expected the following year. This feature is also strongly correlated with the following year's August-September sea level pressure in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic. August-September SLP in the tropical Atlantic is one of the most important predictors for seasonal activity, that is, lower-than-normal sea level pressures in the tropical Atlantic provide more favorable conditions for TC activity. In addition, easterly anomalies at 200 mb throughout the tropical Atlantic are typical during the following year's August-September period with low SLP values.

2.2  Hindcast Skill

Table 2 shows the degree of hindcast variance explained by our 1 April forecast scheme based upon our 52 year developmental dataset (1950-2001). To reduce overfitting, we use no more than five predictors. Note that there is substantial skill for predictions of HD and NTC.


The 1 April forecast picks the best combination of five predictors from a pool of six predictors or until the hindcast variance explained increases less than three percent through the addition of another predictor.

      

Table 2: Predictive parameters used (Table 1) for each seasonal parameter and the variance explained (r2) based upon 52 years (1950-2001) of hindcasting.



Jackknife Skill
Variance (r2) (Year of Forecast Not in the
Variables Selected Explained Developmental Data Set)

NS- 1 2 4 5 0.454 0.338
NSD- 1 2 4 5 0.594 0.496
H- 2 3 5 6 0.529 0.414
HD- 1 2 5 6 0.650 0.566
IH- 2 3 4 5 0.610 0.527
IHD- 1 2 4 5 6 0.548 0.460
NTC- 1 2 4 5 6 0.707 0.637

3  Analog-Based Predictors for 2005 Hurricane Activity

       Certain years in the historical record have global oceanic and atmospheric trends which are substantially similar to 2005. These years also provide useful clues as to likely trends in activity that the forthcoming 2005 hurricane season may bring. For this 1 April forecast, we project atmospheric and oceanic conditions for August through October 2005 and determine which of the prior years in our database have distinct trends in key environmental conditions which are similar to current March 2005 conditions. Table 3 lists our analog selections.


Analog Years. We have found four prior hurricane seasons since 1949 which appear to be similar to current March 2005 conditions and projected 2005 August-October conditions. Specifically, we expect the North Atlantic (50-60N, 10-50W) warm SST anomalies to remain warm for the 2005 hurricane season due to the predominately negative values of the AO and NAO since the middle part of January. An usually warm north Atlantic is indicative of a strong Atlantic thermohaline circulation. The tropical equatorial Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) is projected to be from an easterly direction. Easterly QBO conditions typically act to slightly reduce Atlantic major hurricane activity. We anticipate that the recent global atmosphere and ocean circulation regimes which have been present in all but two of the last ten years will continue to be present in 2005. In addition, we looked for years that had weak El Niño conditions the previous fall and winter with neutral ENSO conditions in the eastern and central Pacific observed during the summer of the year being selected.


There have been four hurricane seasons since 1949 with characteristics similar to what we observe in March 2005 and what we anticipate for the summer/fall 2005 period. These best analog years are 1952, 1959, 1995 and 2003 (Table 3). Thus, based on this analysis, we expect 2005 to be an active hurricane season and in line with the average of eight of the last ten years (1995, 1996; 1998-2001; 2003, 2004). We anticipate 2005 to be considerably more active than the average season during the inactive 1970-1994 period.

Table 3: Best analog years for 2005 with the associated hurricane activity listed for each year.



NS NSD H HD IH IHD NTC

1952 7 40 6 23 3 4.00 93
1959 11 40 7 22 2 3.75 94
1995 19 121 11 62 5 11.5 222
2003 16 80 7 33 3 16.75 173

Mean 13.3 70.3 7.8 35.0 3.3 9.0 146

2005 Forecast 13 65 7 35 3 7 135


4  Comparison of Forecast Techniques

       Table 4 provides a comparison of our statistical and analog forecast techniques along with the final adjusted forecast and climatology. Column 1 is our 1 April statistical scheme, column 2 is our analog scheme, column 3 is our adjusted final forecast, and column 4 is the 1950-2000 climatology. Our final forecast is an average of our statistical and analog forecast techniques, with slightly higher weighting toward our analog technique.

Table 4: Comparison of our statistical and analog forecast techniques along with our final adjusted forecast and the 1950-2000 climatology.



(1) (2) (3) (4)
Forecast Statistical Analog 1 April 2005 1950-2000
Parameter Forecast Forecast. Final Fcst Climatology

Named Storms (NS) 10.0 13.313 9.6
Named Storm Days (NSD) 52.7 70.3 65 49.1
Hurricanes (H) 4.5 7.8 7 5.9
Hurricane Days (HD) 23.1 35.0 35 24.5
Intense Hurricanes (IH) 1.5 3.3 3 2.3
Intense Hurricane Days (IHD) 6.6 9.0 7 5.0
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (NTC) 110 146 135 100


5  Discussion

       We have been closely watching the eastward propagation of a series of equatorial Madden-Julian (MJO) waves in the western and central Pacific for their possible influence on the development of a significant El Niño event for this upcoming year. A moderate El Niño event would likely reduce the number of Atlantic hurricanes occurring during the 2005 season. We currently do not expect a significant El Niño event to develop. If the next few months verify this supposition, then it is probable that we will be raising our 31 May and 5 August seasonal forecast numbers to be more in line with the average of 8 of the last 10 hurricane seasons.

       This will be an easterly Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) year. Low-latitude Atlantic hurricane activity is typically reduced in these seasons. But, this association has not worked well since we have entered this new era of enhanced activity that began in 1995. We do not anticipate the QBO exerting a significant reducing influence on this year's activity.


6  Landfall Probabilities for 2005

       A significant focus of our recent research involves efforts to develop forecasts of the probability of hurricane landfall along the U.S. coastline. Whereas individual hurricane landfall events cannot be accurately forecast months in advance, the total seasonal probability of landfall can be forecast with statistical skill. With the observation that, statistically, landfall is a function of varying climate conditions, a probability specification has been developed through statistical analyses of all U.S. hurricane and named storm landfall events during the last 100 years (1900-1999). Specific landfall probabilities can be given for all cyclone intensity classes for a set of distinct U.S. coastal regions.


Figure 2: Flow diagram illustrating how forecasts of U.S. hurricane landfall probabilities are made. Forecast NTC values and an observed measure of recent North Atlantic (50-60N, 10-50W) SSTA* are used to develop regression equations for U.S. hurricane landfall. Separate equations are derived for the Gulf and for Florida and the East Coast (FL+EC).


Figure 2 provides a flow diagram showing how these forecasts are made. Net landfall probability is shown linked to the overall Atlantic basin Net Tropical Cyclone activity (NTC; see Table 5) and to climate trends linked to multi-decadal variations of the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation as inferred from recent past years of North Atlantic SSTA*.


Higher values of SSTA* generally indicate greater Atlantic hurricane activity, especially for intense or major hurricanes. Atlantic basin NTC can be skillfully hindcast, and the strength of the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation can be inferred as SSTA* from North Atlantic SST anomalies in the current and prior years. These relationships are then utilized to make probability estimates for U.S. landfall. The current (March 2005) value of SSTA* is 62. Hence, in combination with a prediction of NTC of 135 for 2005, a combination of NTC + SSTA* of (135 + 62) yields a value of 197.


As shown in Table 5, NTC is a combined measure of the year-to-year mean of six indices of hurricane activity, each expressed as a percentage difference from the long-term average. Although many active Atlantic hurricane seasons feature no landfalling hurricanes, and some inactive years experience one or more landfalling hurricanes, it is found that, on average, the more active the overall Atlantic basin hurricane season is, the greater the probability of U.S. hurricane landfall. For example, landfall observations during the last 100 years show that a greater number of intense (Saffir-Simpson category 3-4-5) hurricanes strike the Florida and U.S. East Coast during years of (1) increased NTC and (2) above-average North Atlantic SSTA* conditions.

Table 5: NTC activity in any year consists of the seasonal total of the following six parameters expressed in terms of their long-term averages. A season with 10 NS, 50 NSD, 6 H, 25 HD, 3 IH, and 5 IHD, would then be the sum of the following ratios: 10/9.6 = 104, 50/49.1 = 102, 6/5.9 = 102, 25/24.5 = 102, 3/2.3 = 130, 5/5.0 = 100, divided by six, yielding an NTC of 107.


1950-2000 Average

1) Named Storms (NS) 9.6
2) Named Storm Days (NSD) 49.1
3) Hurricanes (H) 5.9
4) Hurricane Days (HD) 24.5
5) Intense Hurricanes (IH) 2.3
6) Intense Hurricane Days (IHD) 5.0


Table 6 lists strike probabilities for different TC categories for the entire U.S. coastline, the Gulf Coast and Florida, and the East Coast for 2005. The mean annual probability of one or more landfalling systems is given in parentheses. Note that Atlantic basin NTC activity in 2005 is expected to be greater than the long-term average (135), and North Atlantic SSTA* values are measured to be above average (62 units). U.S. hurricane landfall probability is thus expected to be above average owing to both a higher NTC and above-average North Atlantic SSTAs. During periods of positive North Atlantic SSTA*, a higher percentage of Atlantic basin major hurricanes cross the Florida and eastern U.S. coastline for a given level of NTC.

Table 6: Estimated probability (expressed in percent) of one or more U.S. landfalling tropical storms (TS), category 1-2 hurricanes (HUR), category 3-4-5 hurricanes, total hurricanes and named storms along the entire U.S. coastline, along the Gulf Coast (region 1-4), and along the Florida and the East coastline (Regions 5-11) for 2005. The long-term mean annual probability of one or more landfalling systems during the last 100 years is given in parentheses.


Coastal Category 1-2 Category 3-4-5 All Named
Region TS HUR HUR HUR Storms

Entire U.S. (Regions 1-11) 87% (80) 82% (68) 73% (52) 95% (84) 99% (97)
Gulf Coast (Regions 1-4) 69% (59) 54% (42) 41% (30) 73% (61) 92% (83)
Florida plus East Coast (5-11) 59% (51) 60% (45) 53% (31) 82% (62) 92% (81)


7  United States Landfalling Hurricane Webpage Application

       Over the past four years, we have been compiling and synthesizing our landfalling hurricane data and have developed a webpage application with extensive landfall probabilities for the Gulf and East Coasts of the United States. In partnership with the GeoGraphics Laboratory at Bridgewater State College, a web application has been created that displays landfall probabilities for eleven regions, 55 subregions and all 205 U.S. coastal and near-coastal counties from Brownsville, Texas to Eastport, Maine. Individual probabilities of sustained winds of tropical storm force (40-75 mph), hurricane force ( > 75 mph) and intense or major hurricane force ( > 115 mph) are also given. These probabilities are based on the current forecast of NTC activity and on current values of SSTA*. Probabilities of winds in the vicinity of a subregion and county as well as 50-year probabilities for winds of tropical storm force, hurricane force, and intense hurricane force are also provided. Table 7 summarizes the data currently available on the webpage.

Table 7: Data currently available on the landfalling hurricane probability webpage.


Annual Annual
Landfall Vicinity 50-Year
Probability Probability Probability

NS X X X
H X X X
IH X X X

Landfall_Webpage1.jpg

Figure 3: View of landfalling hurricane webpage centered on Subregion 1E - the Houston/Galveston metropolitan area.


Figure4.jpg

Figure 4: Example of data available from the United States landfalling hurricane webpage.


Figures 3 and 4 display example screens of data that is available on this website. The user can select tracks of all intense hurricanes that have made landfall in a given area over the last 100 years. This webpage is currently available at http://www.e-transit.org/hurricane. One can also reach this webpage from a link off the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project homepage http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu.

8  The 1995-2004 Upswing in Atlantic Hurricanes and Global Warming

       Many individuals have queried whether the unprecedented landfall of four destructive hurricanes in a seven-week period during August-September 2004 is related in any way to human-induced climate changes. There is no evidence that this is the case. If global warming were the cause of the increase in United States hurricane landfalls in 2004 and the overall increase in Atlantic basin major hurricane activity of the past ten years (1995-2004), one would expect to see an increase in tropical cyclone activity in the other storm basins as well (ie., West Pacific, East Pacific, Indian Ocean, etc.). This has not occurred. When tropical cyclones worldwide are summed, there has actually been a slight decrease since 1995. In addition, it has been well-documented that the measured global warming of about 0.5C during the 25-year period of 1970-1994 was accompanied by a downturn in Atlantic basin hurricane activity over this quarter-century period.


We attribute the heightened Atlantic major hurricane activity of 2004 season as well as the increased Atlantic major hurricane activity of the previous nine years to be a consequence of the multidecadal fluctuations in the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation (THC) as we have been discussing in our Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane forecasts for several years. Major hurricane activity in the Atlantic has been shown to undergo marked multidecadal fluctuations that are directly related to North Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies. When the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation is running strong, the central Atlantic equatorial trough (ITCZ) becomes stronger. The stronger the Atlantic equatorial trough becomes, the more favorable are conditions for the development of major hurricanes in the central Atlantic. Since 1995, the THC has been flowing more strongly, and there has been a concomitant increase in Atlantic major hurricanes in the tropical Atlantic. Even though the 2004 hurricane season has been quite active, it is only somewhat more active than seven of the past nine hurricane seasons (1995-1996, 1998-2001, 2003). It was the environmental steering currents that drove four of the six major hurricanes of 2004 on such long, low-latitude westerly tracks that made this season so special. The very damaging Atlantic 2004 hurricane season this year was simply a low probability event resulting from unusual natural variability in the ocean-atmosphere system. Similarly, the ten typhoons that struck Japan last year were also a rare statistical event that was in part a consequence of the anomalously warm tropical central Pacific sea surface temperatures and a weaker-than-normal West Pacific subtropical anticyclone. This caused a high percentage of West Pacific typhoons that formed in the central Pacific to be steered toward the Japanese Islands. Such high U.S. and Japan landfalls events of last year should in no way be associated with the human-induced global warming hypothesis.

9  Forecast Theory and Cautionary Note

      Our forecasts are based on the premise that those global oceanic and atmospheric conditions which precede comparatively active or inactive hurricane seasons in the past provide meaningful information about similar trends in future seasons. It is important that the reader appreciate that these seasonal forecasts are based on statistical schemes which, owing to their intrinsically probabilistic nature, will fail in some years. Moreover, these forecasts do not specifically predict where within the Atlantic basin these storms will strike. The probability of landfall for any one location along the coast is very low and reflects the fact that, in any one season, most US coastal areas will not feel the effects of a hurricane no matter how active the individual season is. However, it must also be emphasized that a low landfall probability does not insure that hurricanes will not come ashore. Regardless of how active the 2005 hurricane season is, a finite probability always exists that one or more hurricanes may strike along the US coastline or the Caribbean Basin and do much damage.

10  Forthcoming Update Forecasts of 2005 Hurricane Activity

      We will be issuing seasonal updates of our 2005 Atlantic basin hurricane activity forecast on Tuesday 31 May (to coincide with the official start of the 2005 hurricane season on 1 June), Friday 5 August, Friday 2 September and Monday 3 October 2005. The 5 August, 2 September and 3 October forecasts will include separate forecasts of August-only, September-only and October-only Atlantic basin tropical cyclone activity. Table 8 displays our upcoming forecasts in a tabular format. A verification and discussion of all 2005 forecasts will be issued in late November 2005. Our first seasonal hurricane forecast for the 2006 hurricane season will be issued in early December 2005. All these forecasts will be available at our web address given on the front cover: http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts.

Table 8: Upcoming 2005 Atlantic Basin tropical cyclone forecasts and seasonal updates.


Date 31 May 5 Aug. 3 Sep. 2 Oct.

Seasonal Forecast X X X X
Monthly Forecast X X X

11  Acknowledgments

       The first author gratefully acknowledges valuable input to his CSU project research over many years by former graduate students and now colleagues Chris Landsea, John Knaff and Eric Blake. We thank Professors Paul Mielke and Ken Berry for much statistical analysis and advice over many years. A number of meteorologists have furnished us with the data and given valuable assessments of the current state of global atmospheric and oceanic conditions. This includes Arthur Douglas, Richard Larsen, Todd Kimberlain, Ray Zehr and Mark DeMaria. In addition, Barbara Brumit and Amie Hedstrom have provided excellent manuscript, graphical, and data analysis assistance over a number of years. We have profited over the years from many indepth discussions with most of the current and past NHC hurricane forecasters. The first author would further like to acknowledge the encouragement he has received for this type of forecasting research application from Neil Frank, Robert Sheets, Robert Burpee, Jerry Jarrell, former directors of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), and from the current director, Max Mayfield and their forecast staffs. Uma Shama and Larry Harman of Bridgewater State College, MA have provided assistance and technical support in the development of our Landfalling Hurricane Probability Webpage. We also thank Bill Bailey of the Insurance Information Institute for his sage advice and encouragement.


The financial backing for the issuing and verification of these forecasts has in part been supported by the National Science Foundation and by the Research Foundation of AIG - Lexington Insurance Company (a member of the American International Group) for the last two years. We thank the GeoGraphics Laboratory at Bridgewater State College for their assistance in developing the Landfalling Hurricane Probability Webpage.


12  Citations and Additional Reading


13  Verification of Previous Forecasts


Table 9: Summary verification of the authors' six previous years of seasonal forecasts for Atlantic TC activity between 1999-2004. Verification of our earlier year forecasts for the years 1984-1998 are given in our late November seasonal verifications (on this Web location).

Update Update Update
1999 5 Dec 19987 April 4 June6 August Obs.

No. of Hurricanes 9 9 9 9 8
No. of Named Storms 14 14 14 14 12
No. of Hurricane Days 40 40 40 40 43
No. of Named Storm Days 65 65 75 75 77
Hurr. Destruction Potential(HDP) 130 130 130 130 145
Major Hurricanes (Cat. 3-4-5)4 4 4 4 5
Major Hurr. Days 10 10 1010 15
Net Trop. Cyclone (NTC) Activity 160 160 160 160 193

Update Update Update
2000 8 Dec 1999 7 April 7 June4 August Obs.

No. of Hurricanes 7 7 8 7 8
No. of Named Storms 11 11 12 11 14
No. of Hurricane Days 25 25 35 30 32
No. of Named Storm Days 55 55 65 55 66
Hurr. Destruction Potential(HDP) 85 85 100 90 85
Major Hurricanes (Cat. 3-4-5)3 3 4 3 3
Major Hurr. Days 6 6 8 6 5.25
Net Trop. Cyclone (NTC) Activity 125 125 160 130 134

Update Update Update
2001 7 Dec 20006 April 7 June7 August Obs.

No. of Hurricanes 5 6 7 7 9
No. of Named Storms 9 10 12 12 15
No. of Hurricane Days 20 25 30 30 27
No. of Named Storm Days 45 50 60 60 63
Hurr. Destruction Potential(HDP) 65 65 75 75 71
Major Hurricanes (Cat. 3-4-5)2 2 3 3 4
Major Hurr. Days 4 4 5 5 5
Net Trop. Cyclone (NTC) Activity 90 100 120 120 142

Update Update Update Update
2002 7 Dec 20015 April 31 May7 August 2 Sept Obs.

No. of Hurricanes 8 7 6 4 3 4
No. of Named Storms 13 12 11 9 8 12
No. of Hurricane Days 35 30 25 12 10 11
No. of Named Storm Days 70 65 55 35 25 54
Hurr. Destruction Potential(HDP) 90 85 75 35 25 31
Major Hurricanes (Cat. 3-4-5)4 3 2 1 1 2
Major Hurr. Days 7 6 5 2 2 2.5
Net Trop. Cyclone (NTC) Activity 140 125 100 60 45 80

Update Update Update Update Update
2003 6 Dec 2002 4 April 30 May6 August 3 Sept 2 Oct Obs.

No. of Hurricanes 8 8 8 8 7 8 7
No. of Named Storms 12 12 14 14 14 14 16
No. of Hurricane Days 35 35 35 25 25 35 33
No. of Named Storm Days 65 65 70 60 55 70 75
Hurr. Destruction Potential(HDP) 100 100 100 80 80 125 131
Major Hurricanes (Cat. 3-4-5)3 3 3 3 3 2 3
Major Hurr. Days 8 8 8 5 9 15 16.75
Net Trop. Cyclone (NTC) Activity 140 140 145 120 130 155 173

Update Update Update Update Update
2004 5 Dec 2003 2 April 28 May 6 August 3 Sept 1 Oct Obs.

No. of Hurricanes 7 8 8 7 8 9 9
No. of Named Storms 13 14 14 13 16 15 14
No. of Hurricane Days 30 35 35 30 40 52 46
No. of Named Storm Days 55 60 60 55 70 96 90
Major Hurricanes (Cat. 3-4-5) 3 3 3 3 5 6 6
Major Hurr. Days 6 8 8 6 15 23 22
Net Trop. Cyclone (NTC) Activity 125 145 145 125 185 240 229


After considerable discussion, we have decided to remove Subtropical Storm Nicole from our seasonal statistics for the 2004 Atlantic basin hurricane season. Nicole was never considered tropical by the National Hurricane Center, and therefore, it never achieved named storm status according to our definition. The 2004 tropical cyclone statistics at the end of this forecast have been changed accordingly.


Footnotes:

1Professor of Atmospheric Science

2Research Associate

3Research Associate


File translated from TEX by TTH, version 3.12.
On 31 Mar 2005, 11:51.