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NOAA Seasonal Hurricane Forecasts
Gerry Bell - Climate Prediction Center
Chris Landsea - Hurricane Reasearch Division
Stan Goldenberg - Hurricane Research Division
Richard Pasch - OAR
Eric Blake - OAR
Muthuvel Chelliah - Climate Prediction Center
Kingtse Mo - Climate Prediction Center
To develop, produce and verify seasonal
hurricane forecasts for the Atlantic basin
Method: NOAA - through a partnership of meteorologists
from the Climate Prediction Center, the OAR
and the Hurricane Research Division - issue seasonal hurricane
forecasts for the Atlantic basin (i.e. the North Atlantic Ocean,
the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea). These have been
released since 1998 for an early August prediction and since 1999
for a mid May forecast.
NOAA's seasonal hurricane forecasts take the form of the probabilities
of an active/near normal/quiet seasons occuring along with ranges of
likely activity, rather than a discrete numerical prediction. Seasons
are classified by a simple combination of their frequency, intensity
and duration - called Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE). The
forecasts are based upon diagnostic and predictive tools (analog years
and regression techniques) with a subjective blend of the actual
forecasters own interpretation and insight. Specific climate features
identified for influencing seasonal hurricane activity in the Atlantic
are the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, the global mode (a multidecadal
signal in the upper tropospheric circulation of the tropics and
subtropics), Atlantic sea surface temperatures and the stratospheric
Quasi-Biennial Oscillation. Increases in skill in these forecasts
are to be strived for through better objective aids as well as a more
complete understanding of the seasonal climate influences on Atlantic
These outlooks are not designed to compete with hurricane outlooks
issued by groups outside NOAA. We gratefully acknowledge the
pioneering research of Dr. William Gray and others, which have
significantly increased scientific understanding of the links between
various climate factors (particularly the El Ni?o/La Ni?a cycle) and
the atmospheric circulation features that affect Atlantic hurricane
activity. We also acknowledge the leading role that Dr. Gray and
colleagues at the Colorado State University have played in developing
and providing seasonal forecasts of Atlantic basin hurricane activity.
- August 1998
First NOAA prediction of seasonal hurricane activity.
- May 1999
First mid-May seasonal hurricane forecast by the NOAA team.
- October 2000
Awarded a U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze Medal "for
issuing the accurate and first official physically-based Atlantic
seasonal hurricane outlooks for the 1998/1999 seasons, based upon
new research" to forecast team: Lixion Avila (NOAA/National
Hurricane Center), Gerry Bell (NOAA/Climate Prediction Center),
Muthuvel Chelliah (NOAA/Climate Prediction Center), Wilbur Chen
(NOAA/Climate Prediction Center), Stan Goldenberg, Chris Landsea,
Kingtse Mo (NOAA/Climate Prediction Center) and Richard Pasch
- All issued predictions are available on
a web archive.
Landsea, C.W., G.D. Bell, W.M. Gray, and S.B. Goldenberg, 1998: The
extremely active 1995 Atlantic hurricane season: Environmental
conditions and verification of seasonal forecasts. Mon. Wea. Rev.,
Bove, M. C., J. B. Elsner, C. W. Landsea,, X. Niu and J. J. O'Brien,
1998: Effect of El Nino on U.S. landfalling hurricanes, revisited.
Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 79, 2477-2482.
Bell, G. D., M. S. Halpert, C. F. Ropelewski, V. E. Kousky,
A. V. Douglas, R. S. Schnell, and M. E. Gelman, 1999: Climate
assessment for 1998. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 80, S1-S48.
Pielke, Jr., R. A., and Landsea, C.W., 1999: "La Ni?a, El Ni?o, and
Atlantic Hurricane Damages in the United States" , Bull. Amer.
Meteor. Soc., 80, 2027-2033.
Bell, G. D., M. S. Halpert, R. C. Schnell, R. W. Higgins, J. Lawrimore,
V. E. Kousky, R. Tinker, W. Thiaw, M. Chelliah, and A. Artusa, 2000:
Climate Assessment for 1999. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 81, S1-S50.
Landsea, C. W., 2000: "El Ni?o-Southern Oscillation and the seasonal
predictability of tropical cyclones". El Ni?o and the Southern
Oscillation : Multiscale Variability and Global and Regional Impacts,
edited by H. F. Diaz and V. Markgraf. pp. 149-181.
Lawrimore, J. H., M. S. Halpert, G. D. Bell, M. J. Menne, B. Lyon,
R. C. Scnell, K. L. Gleason, D. R. Easterling, W. Thiaw, W. J. Wright,
R. R. Heim, Jr., D. A. Robinson, and L. Alexander, 2001: Climate
assessment for 2000. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 82, S1-S55.
Waple, A. M., J. H. Lawrimore, M. S. Halpert, G. D. Bell, W. Higgins,
B. Lyon, M. J. Menne, K. L. Gleason, R. C. Schnell, J. R. Christy,
W. Thiaw, W. J. Wright, M. J. Salinger, L. Alexander, R. S. Stone,
and S. J. Camargo, 2002: Climate assessment for 2001. Bull. Amer.
Meteor. Soc., 83, S1-S62.
Bell, G. D. 2003: Atlantic Hurricane Season Bull. Amer.
Meteor. Soc., 84, S19-S26.
Bell,G. D., S. Goldenberg, C. Landsea, E. Blake, M.Chelliah,
K. Mo, R. Pasch, 2004: The 2003 North Atlantic Hurricane
Season; A Climate Perspective. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.,
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Last modified: 12/7/2004