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Subject: G7) Does an active June and July mean the rest of the season will be busy too?
Contributed by Stan Goldenberg (HRD)

Yes and No. The vast majority of Atlantic activity takes place during August-September-October, the climatological peak months of the hurricane season. The overall number of named storms (hurricanes) occurring in June and July (JJ) correlates at an insignificant r = +0.13 (+0.02) versus the whole season activity. In fact, there is a slight negative relationship between early season storms (hurricanes) versus late season - August through November - r = -0.28 (-0.35). Thus, the overall early season activity, be it very active or quite calm, has little bearing on the season as a whole. These correlations are based on the years 1944-1994.

However, as shown in (Goldenberg 2000), if one looks only at the June-July Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes occurring south of 22°N and east of 77°W (the eastern portion of the Main Development Region [MDR] for Atlantic hurricanes), there is a strong association with activity for the remainder of the year. According to the data from 1944-1999, total overall Atlantic activity for years that had a tropical storm or hurricane form in this region during JJ have been at least average and often times above average. So it could be said that a JJ storm in this region is pretty much a "sufficient" (though not "necessary") condition for a year to produce at least average activity. (I.e., Not all years with average to above-average total overall activity have had a JJ storm in that region, but almost all years with that type of JJ storm produce average to above-average activity.) The formation of a storm in this region during June-July is taken into account when the August updates for the Bill Gray and NOAA seasonal forecasts are issued.

Last Revised : June 1, 2001

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