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NOAA Seasonal Hurricane Forecasts

Principal Investigator:
Gerry Bell - Climate Prediction Center
Collaborating Scientists:
Chris Landsea - National Hurricane Center
Stan Goldenberg - Hurricane Research Division
Kingtse Mo - Climate Prediction Center
Todd Kimberlain - Hydrometeorological Prediction Center
Richard Pasch - National Hurricane Center
Eric Blake - National Hurricane Center

August outlook
2007 NOAA Seasonal Forecast Page
2007 NOAA Seasonal Forecast Power Point

Objective: 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 National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Research Division, and the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center , issues seasonal hurricane outlooks 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 along with range of activity. Seasons are classified by a simple combination of their 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 Niño- Southern Oscillation, the global mode (a multidecadal signal in the upper tropospheric circulation of the tropics and subtropics), and Atlantic sea surface temperatures. 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 hurricane activity.

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 Niño/La Niña 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.

Accomplishments:

  • 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:
    • Gerry Bell (NOAA/Climate Prediction Center)
    • Muthuvel Chelliah (NOAA/Climate Prediction Center)
    • Wilbur Chen (NOAA/Climate Prediction Center)
    • Kingtse Mo (NOAA/Climate Prediction Center)
    • Stan Goldenberg (NOAA/AOML/Hurricane Research Division)
    • Chris Landsea (NOAA/AOML/Hurricane Research Division)
    • Lixion Avila (NOAA/National Hurricane Center)
    • Richard Pasch (NOAA/National Hurricane Center)
  • All issued predictions are available on a web archive.

References:

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. , 126, 1174-1193.

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 Niña, El Niño, and Atlantic Hurricane Damages in the United States" , Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. , 80, pp.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 Niño-Southern Oscillation and the seasonal predictability of tropical cyclones". El Niño 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.

Goldenberg, S.B. and L.J. Shapiro "Physical Mecahnisms for the Association of El Niño and West African Rainfall with Atlantic Major Hurricane Activity", Journal of Climate, 1996, 9(6): 1169-1187

Bell, G. D., and M. Chelliah, 2006: Leading tropical modes associated with interannual and multi-decadal fluctuations in North Atlantic hurricane activity. J. Climate, 19, 590-612.

Bell, G. D., and Co-authors 2004: The 2003 Atlantic Hurricane Season: A Climate Perspective. State of the Climate in 2003 . A. M. Waple and J. H. Lawrimore, Eds. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc, 85, S1-S68.

Bell, G. D., and Co-authors 2005: The 2004 Atlantic Hurricane Season: A Climate Perspective. State of the Climate in 2004 . A. M. Waple and J. H. Lawrimore, Eds. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc, 86 , S1-S68.

Bell, G. D., and Co-authors 2006: The 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season: A Climate Perspective. State of the Climate in 2005 . A. M. Waple and J. H. Lawrimore, Eds. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc ., 87, S1-S78.

Bell, G. D., and Co-authors 2007: The 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season: A Climate Perspective. State of the Climate in 2006 . A. M. Waple and J. H. Lawrimore, Eds. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 88, S1-S78.

Goldenberg, S. B., C. W. Landsea, A. M. Mestas-Nuñez, and W. M. Gray, 2001: The recent increase in Atlantic hurricane activity: Causes and implications. Science, 293, 474-479.


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Last modified: 11/1/2007

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