Klotzbach and Gray 2012 forecast – cooler Atlantic – fewer hurricanes

Worldwide Tropical cyclones from 1985 to 2005

Worldwide Tropical cyclones from 1985 to 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EXTENDED RANGE FORECAST OF ATLANTIC SEASONAL HURRICANE ACTIVITY AND LANDFALL STRIKE PROBABILITY FOR 2012

We anticipate that the 2012 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have reduced activity compared with the 1981-2010 climatology. The tropical Atlantic has anomalously cooled over the past several months, and it appears that the chances of an El Niño event this summer and fall are relatively high. We anticipate a below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. However, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.

ABSTRACT
Information obtained through March 2012 indicates that the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season will have less activity than the median 1981-2010 season. We estimate that 2012 will have about 4 hurricanes (median is 6.5), 10 named storms (median is 12.0), 40 named storm days (median is 60.1), 16 hurricane days (median is 21.3), 2 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (median is 2.0) and 3 major hurricane days (median is 3.9). The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 80 percent of the long-period average. We expect Atlantic basin Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity in 2012 to be approximately 75 percent of the long-term average.

This forecast is based on a new extended-range early April statistical prediction scheme that utilizes 29 years of past data. Analog predictors are also utilized. We anticipate a somewhat below-average Atlantic basin hurricane season due to a combination of an anomalously cool tropical Atlantic and the potential development of El Niño. Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.

Currently, SSTs are generally 0.0°C – 0.5°C below average across most of the eastern and central tropical Pacific, except for the extreme eastern part of the tropical Pacific where SSTs are above average. Table 7 displays January and March SST anomalies for several Nino regions. Note that the central and eastern tropical Pacific has experienced considerable warming since January.

Table 7: January and March SST anomalies for Nino 1+2, Nino 3, Nino 3.4, and Nino 4, respectively. March-January SST anomaly differences are also provided.

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There is considerable uncertainty as to what is going to happen with the current weak La Niña event. The spring months are known for their ENSO predictability barrier. This is when both statistical and dynamical models show their least amount of skill. This is likely due to the fact that from a climatological perspective, trade winds across the Pacific are weakest during the late spring and early summer, and therefore, changes in phase of ENSO are often observed to occur during the April-June period. By August-October, several models are predicting El Niño conditions to develop, while the rest predict ENSO-neutral conditions (Figure 9). We find that, in general, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) shows the best prediction skill of the various ENSO models.

The correlation skill between a 1 March forecast from the  ECMWF model system 3 and the observed September Nino 3.4 anomaly is 0.71, based on hindcasts/forecasts from 1982-2010, explaining half of the variance in Nino 3.4 SST. The ECMWF has recently upgraded to system 4, which is likely to have even better skill than the previous version. The hindcast skill from ECMWF is very impressive, considering that the prediction goes through the springtime predictability barrier. The average of the various ECMWF ensemble members is calling for a September Nino 3.4 SST anomaly of approximately 0.8°C, giving us increased confidence in our expectation for a weak El Niño by the peak of the hurricane season in September.

Approximately 2/3 of the ECMWF ensemble members are calling for SSTs to approach El Niño levels (anomaly >= 0.5°C) by September (Figure 10).

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Figure 9: ENSO forecasts from various statistical and dynamical models. Figure courtesy of the International Research Institute (IRI). By August-October, several models are calling for El Niño conditions while the rest are calling for ENSO-neutral conditions to be present.

ATLANTIC BASIN SEASONAL HURRICANE FORECAST FOR 2012
Forecast Parameter and 1981-2010
Median (in parentheses)
Issue Date
4 April 2012
Named Storms (NS) (12.0) 10
Named Storm Days (NSD) (60.1) 40
Hurricanes (H) (6.5) 4
Hurricane Days (HD) (21.3) 16
Major Hurricanes (MH) (2.0) 2
Major Hurricane Days (MHD) (3.9) 3
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) (92) 70
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (NTC) (103%) 75

Full forecast here:

http://tropical.atmos.colostate.edu/forecasts/2012/apr2012/apr2012.pdf

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37 thoughts on “Klotzbach and Gray 2012 forecast – cooler Atlantic – fewer hurricanes

  1. To those who may react to the word ‘prediction,’ I might remind you, that Dr Gray has been saying for 30 years, that hurricanes would be LESS likely in a warming world.

  2. That wont fit the global weirding meme at all. Gaia is going to have to puff a bit harder to come up with what’s expected of her.

  3. Of course, any hurricane that hits land will immediately be labeled the worst of the century and support 350.org’s meme.

  4. You guys are welcome to El Niño or la nina or whatever those two cretins are called!!!!! We downunder have had just about enough rain to do us for at least 2 years, I wanna see the damn sun, almost forgotten what it looks like.

  5. Named Storms (NS) (12.0) 10
    Named Storm Days (NSD) (60.1) 40
    ==================================
    good grief………
    Even with naming storms that exist for only 10 minutes….

  6. @Bloke down the pub:

    That wont fit the global weirding meme at all. Gaia is going to have to puff a bit harder to come up with what’s expected of her.

    I don’t think you have quite grasped the concept of climate change. ANY variation from average weather, measured over ANY timescale with ANY geographic boundary, is CONCLUSIVE proof of the need to cut human CO2 emissions and pay lots of taxes.

    SO any period of increased, decreased or similar weather compared to any other weather (either real, derived from altered data, or just predicted from a model) is completely undeniable proof that Hansen, Gore, Jones et al were right all along and should be paid large amounts of money..

  7. MB says:
    April 23, 2012 at 3:48 am

    > Fewer hurricanes, not less.

    Less risk of hurricane formation though. :-)

    Fewer – applies to things that are countable
    Less – applies to things harder or not intended to count.
    E.g. less tourism due to fewer storm chasers.

  8. “However, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”

    How very true, and it doesn’t even have to be a hurricane. Tropical storm Irene cause a LOT of damage in Vermont and NH last year (where I live), and there are still areas that are rebuilding even today.

    MB says:
    April 23, 2012 at 3:48 am

    “Fewer hurricanes, not less.”

    Ahh – this is one of my pet peeves too. Use “fewer” for countable objects (e.g. “There were fewer apples on the table.”) and “less” for uncountable things (e.g. “There is less water in the glass than before.”). At least that’s the way I use “fewer” and “less”.

  9. Use “fewer” when referring to discrete numbers; use “less” with continuous quantities. Fewer hurricanes. Less ocean heat. /grammar police

  10. Someone who has been on television and speaks in public should know it is “fewer” hurricanes, not “less” hurricanes.

  11. If a weather event makes it onto media broadcasts, scientific statistical analysis would confirm that because it makes it onto the broadcast, causing attention to it, it must be extreme, and is therefore caused by anthropogenic drivers. Case closed. Anthropogenic drivers are the cause of media attention centered, news-worthy weather events.

    Just thought I would provide some really good spin to AGWists. You are very welcome.

  12. If the earth warms then temperature gradient between equator and arctic decreases => less energetic hurricanes and fewer hurricanes.

    Similarly if the tropical atlantic cools anomalously then the temperature gradient decreases between equator and arctic => less energetic hurricanes fewer hurricanes.

    Sounds consistent to me.

  13. You shill for Big Oil !! “Everyone” knows its the Satanic Gases from your SUV’s and that it will cause huge numbers of level 5+ hurricanes to kill us all. [it says so right here in my Greenpeace primer on How Humans Are Killing the Planet with Global Warming]. /snark

    Sorry. Couldn’t help myself. I’ve been spending way too much time on Yahoo! News threads and their stupidity is begining to affect my thinking. It’s nice to stop in here and junkscience.com from time to time to read reasoned folks’ posts.

  14. The Infidel says:

    April 23, 2012 at 4:54 am

    You guys are welcome to El Niño or la nina or whatever those two cretins are called!!!!! We downunder have had just about enough rain to do us for at least 2 years, I wanna see the damn sun, almost forgotten what it looks like.

    So that’s where our English weather has gone. Can we have it back please?

  15. @Bloke down the pub:

    “That wont fit the global weirding meme at all. Gaia is going to have to puff a bit harder to come up with what’s expected of her.”

    It seems Gaia’s C-spot is not as sensitive as claimed. She has a long-term reputation of frigidity.

  16. Fewer hurricanes, even though global warming is real????? Sounds like a chronic case of self contradiction on the climate activist’s part………

  17. I’m sure that everyone here will want to send their congratulations to Mike Mann for being awarded the Oeschger Medal for his research in climate science. Well deserved.

  18. The “anomalously cool tropical Atlantic” might refer to the Atlantic ENSO being in its equivalent of La Nina (cold) state.

  19. Monty says:
    April 23, 2012 at 9:54 am

    “… for being awarded the Oeschger Medal…”

    Errr..is that supposed to be important, or something?? Certainly not nearly as important or prestigeous as getting a Nobel Prize for climate science like Al Gore did with the IPCC (and Al got half of the money too – well deserved!).

  20. It’s nice to see scientists going against the CAGW meme but this is an edjumacated guess. When someone can consistently guess the correct amount of hurricanes within a reasonable margin of error than I might start to believe the predictions.

  21. @ Monty:

    As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool. Proverbs 26:1

  22. Bloke down the pub says:
    April 23, 2012 at 3:39 am

    That wont fit the global weirding meme at all. Gaia is going to have to puff a bit harder to come up with what’s expected of her.
    _____________________________
    Well I am sitting here in Sunny North Carolina (1:30PM) and freezing at a chilly 52 F (11 C) (mean for the day is 73 F or 23 C) I get the feeling that Gaia is not going to be too cooperative this year in the CAGW category but cooler is generally stormier.

  23. Monty says:
    April 23, 2012 at 9:54 am
    I’m sure that everyone here will want to send their congratulations to Mike Mann for being awarded the Oeschger Medal for his research in climate science. Well deserved.

    ****

    Is that the award for achievement in the field of FOIA dodging? Good on him. I thought Phil Jones was a shoe-in.

  24. Frank K. says:
    April 23, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Monty says:
    April 23, 2012 at 9:54 am

    “… for being awarded the Oeschger Medal…”

    Errr..is that supposed to be important, or something?? Certainly not nearly as important or prestigeous as getting a Nobel Prize for climate science like Al Gore did with the IPCC (and Al got half of the money too – well deserved!).

    Duh, duh, dumb! It was the Nobel PEACE Prize Big Al got, and it’s a PR award for pushing the The Narrative™ with a bogus film. Nothing whatsoever, I assure you, to do with science.

  25. Monty says:
    April 23, 2012 at 9:54 am
    I’m sure that everyone here will want to send their congratulations to Mike Mann for being awarded the Oeschger Medal for his research in climate science. Well deserved.

    As with the Peace Prize and Yassir Yerarseisfat, the recipient defines the value of the prize, It just became a lowbrow joke.

  26. When Allen smashed into Florida not far south of Miami it was a “low number” year.

    It only takes one.

    A repeat of the ’38 storm would have the media doing back-flips.

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