Saturday, April 30, 2011

Above Average 2011 Hurricane Forecst

2011 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast
Forecasters at the Colorado State University are predicting an active hurricane season for 2011.   The season begins June 1st and continues through November 30th.  Their current (April 6th) forecast calls for above-average activity and it decreases their estimates slightly since the initial assessment done in December, 2010.

It is impossible to precisely predict this season’s hurricane activity in early April. NOAA won't even make their first prediction until sometime in May.  So, why is Colorado State University's team of scientists creating this forecast?   Mainly because the public is curious about predictions based on the current global oceanic and atmospheric conditions.   The forecasting team created their predictions using a statistical model based on 29 years worth of data. 

Not the storm you are looking for?  Click Image or Here
The scientists have decreased their seasonal forecast slightly from early December, due to anomalous warming in the eastern and central tropical Pacific and cooling in the tropical Atlantic. The forecast does not predict where within the Atlantic basin these storms will strike nor the probability of landfall for any one location.

They expect current La Niña conditions to transition to near-neutral conditions during the heart of the hurricane season. Overall, conditions remain conducive for a very active hurricane season.

The April forecast calls for 16 named tropical storms with 9 strengthening to hurricane status.   Of those hurricanes, 5 are predicted to be a major hurricane (Category 3,4, or 5).   The team forecasts a 72% chance of one major hurricane making landfall on the U.S. coastline (compared to 52% for last century) and a 61% chance for the Caribbean (compared to 42% average for last century).  More reading:  Current and Past Forecasts


Forecast Parameter and 1950-2000
Climatology (in parentheses)
Issue Date
8 December 2010
Issue Date
6 April 2011
Named Storms (NS) (9.6)  17 16
Named Storm Days (NSD) (49.1) 85 80
Hurricanes (H) (5.9) 9 9
Hurricane Days (HD) (24.5)  40 35
Major Hurricanes (MH) (2.3)  5 5
Major Hurricane Days (MHD) (5.0)  10  10
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) (96.1)  165 160
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (NTC) (100%)  180 175

Another reason why Colorado State University publishes forecasts is for hurricane preparedness.   We too are publishing this information, along with updates throughout hurricane season, to help protect life and property when danger approaches.   Additional information and links can be found on the Weather Tab of this blog.

As I've said many times,  the cruise line industry has safety of passengers, crew, and vessels as their number one priority.   The cruise lines work closely with the NHC and other agencies to monitor all sorts of weather conditions, including tropical storms.   The ships may alter courses and cancel ports of call in order to maintain the level of safety for all onboard.  We will keep you posted about any known itinerary changes during hurricane season.   Should your cruise itinerary change due to a tropical storm, don't be upset, but rather thank the Captain and crew for taking you out of harm's way.

Hurricane Preparedness Week - May 22nd through May 28th, 2011

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