Atlantic Basin Seasonal Hurricane Forecast for 2019

The hurricane research team at Colorado State University has released its initial hurricane forecast for 2019. The outlook states that the 2019 season is expected to be slightly below normal activity, thanks in part to a weak El Nino. The forecast touches on several important points, but the most important one to note, especially for coastal residents, is that it only takes one tropical storm or hurricane landfall to make the season active.

Although, residents living in the general Atlantic tropical storm belt should always be prepared well in advance of the annual hurricane season, forecasting offers a more accurate outlook of things to come. These forecasts are important because they provide bases on which plans can be made for the hurricane season. National disaster and emergency management agencies can use this information as they formulate disaster relief efforts and mobilize disaster relief teams and resources.

Seasonal Forecasts

Colorado State University has been providing forecasts of the Atlantic Tropical Storm season for thirty-six years. The seasonal forecasts provided by CSU were developed by the late Dr. William Gray, who was a leading author and researcher in topics related to weather and hurricanes. Along with his guidance and tutelage, several former students have made valuable contributions to hurricane forecasting, which is in itself a relatively difficult science.

The university mentions several people who were instrumental in creating these seasonal forecasts. They are Chris Landsea, John Knaff and Eric Blake. We have also benefited from meteorological discussions with Carl Schreck, Louis-Philippe Caron, Brian McNoldy, Paul Roundy, Jason Dunion, Peng Xian and Amato Evan. Additionally, predictions are released with support from several partners including Interstate Restoration, Ironshore Insurance; the Insurance Information Institute; Weatherboy; the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation and the GeoGraphics Laboratory at Bridgewater State University.

Seasonal Hurricane Forecast for 2019

The 2019 seasonal hurricane forecast provides an outlook that there will be 13 named tropical storms and 5 hurricanes. Of the five hurricanes, two are expected to be major hurricanes with a Category 3 rating or higher. The developing El Nino conditions will have an impact on the Atlantic hurricane season. It is believed that this may be the underlying reason for what is forecast to be a “slightly below average” hurricane season.

Additionally, the forecast also looks at the landfall probabilities of named storms impacting countries in the Caribbean and the Americas. This is an important aspect of the research by CSU and its partners. There is a 95% chance that the United States will be impacted; an 80% chance that the Gulf Coast will be hit; a 77% chance that Florida and the East Coast will be impacted; and a 94% chance that a named storm will hit the Caribbean.

Because of the dynamics of weather and weather forecasting, the CSU will be issuing updates to its seasonal hurricane forecast for 2019. These updates will be released on 01 June, 02 July and 06 August. In November 2019, discussions and analyses of these forecasts will be issued.

To read the report in full, please visit the Colorado State University’s website.

Meteorological Predictions for the 2018 Hurricane Season

Each year, people wait with bated breath for the latest meteorological predictions for the hurricane season. For some, the formation of one tropical storm is very bad news, because it could mean a setback for countries still recovering from the previous hurricane seasons. For others, it could mean that the chances of a direct hit by a storm are significantly reduced.

Tropical storm outlooks and predictions require the highly scientific work of esteemed hurricane scientists who tirelessly pore over weather models. One of the results of this work and analysis is a best guess prediction that states how many tropical storms will be expected and whether or not the season will be active.

Meteorological professionals are unfairly accused of providing inaccurate information. But, it should be noted that because weather changes so rapidly, it is almost impossible to forecast every possible occurrence. Weather scientists can look at data of what has happened in the past and make predictions based on this information.

2018 Hurricane Predictions

In April 2018, the first prediction for the 2018 tropical storm season was released. It was stated that there would be fourteen named storms, six of which would form into hurricanes and two of which would be severe.

However, in July 2018, a revised outlook showed that the season was expected to be a low activity one. The revised prediction was that there would be ten named tropical storms, and of these, four would form into hurricanes. This revision came as a result of changes in the meteorological world.  Named storms of the 2018 Atlantic tropical storm season include Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helen and Isaac.

There are cooler ocean temperatures which mean that there is less support for tropical storm development. Additionally, there is the belief that the oceans are transitioning towards an El Nino occurrence, which is a drought like event. Also wind pressure gradients are strengthening, which make it more difficult for storms to form in the Atlantic and progress on their usual path through the Caribbean and upwards to North America.

Impact of Meteorological Predictions

The impact of meteorological predictions is not just limited to the people in countries which may be affected by tropical storm activity. Insurance companies around the world, who have interests in the region are also interested in these predictions. Past tropical storm seasons in conjunction with predictions for the future seasons can impact insurance rates and premiums.

For some, these predictions bring stress due to thoughts of what could happen. As the most active period in the 2018 hurricane season approaches, people living in storm prone areas, should be prepared for anything and everything. Because of extensive monitoring by sites like Weather Underground and Weather, it’s easier to track storms from the time they form off the coast of Africa.

Be prepared.

References

Caribbean Business: Puerto Rico under tsunami of insurance claims caused by Hurricane Maria

Wall Street Journal: Hurricane Maria Caused as Much as $85 Billion in Insured Losses, AIR Worldwide Says

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation: Hurricane Irma Claims Data

Orlando Weekly: Hurricane Irma insurance losses in Florida pegged at nearly $7.4 billion

Weather Underground: 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Now Expected to Be Less Active

Weather Forecasts and Outlooks

Accurate forecasts and outlooks can make all the difference when it comes to being prepared for tropical storms and hurricanes. The science of meteorology is rapidly advancing and this has resulted in more detailed forecasting that offers greater insights into weather events. Weather forecasting itself is a detailed process that includes the collection and observation of raw data which is gathered from several sources.

Forecasts and Outlooks

The World Meteorological Organisation has defined meteorological forecasting ranges, which range from nowcasting to seasonal outlooks. Nowcasting describes “current weather forecasting” where a weather event may occur anytime between 0 and 2 hours from the current time, whilst seasonal outlooks are average weather values for a particular period of time, usually referred to as a season.

Short-Term Weather Forecasts

Short term weather forecasts provide a more immediate outlook of what weather can be expected in the short term. The National Weather Service states that the main purpose of the short term forecast is to “provide users with a concise, non-technical short term forecast of ongoing weather conditions.”

NCAR RAL LogoWho: The Research Applications Laboratory conduct research that enhances weather monitoring, nowcasting and forecasting.
What: The Research Applications Laboratory is one of the libraries in the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Where: Online
More: The Research Applications Laboratory also performs collaborative research in the area of atmospheric and related sciences.
Earth NetworksWho: Earth Networks helps organisations to mitigate weather related risks
What: Through its revolutionary ENcast innovation, Earth Networks provides accurate short-term forecasts that can be produced for specific locations.
What: The Research Applications Laboratory is one of the libraries in the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Where: Online
More: Earth Networks’ weather forecasts are more accurate and reduces the occurrence of forecasting errors.

Medium-Term, Seasonal & Long-Term Outlooks

Medium term forecasts, seasonal forecasts and long-term forecasts are even more complex than creating short term forecasts. Many websites and companies often predict what weather is likely to occur at some time in the future. But, there is always the possibility for weather expectations to deviate. This often causes some frustrations among weather watchers and enthusiasts, especially during the tropical storm season.

The Old Farmer's AlmanacWho: The Old Farmer’s Almanac is a periodical published for home makers, gardeners and weather watchers.
What: Long range weather forecasts are based on solar science, climatology and meteorology.
Where: Online, In Store
More: Long range forecasts cover regions in the United States of America.
CPC LogoWho: The Climate Prediction Centre develops products that cover time scales from one week to seasons.
What: The Research Applications Laboratory is one of the libraries in the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Where: Online
More: The Center aims to promote the management of risk and thus create a climate-resilient society.
Con Wx LogoWho: ConWx is a knowledge based company that provides advanced weather and energy forecasting services.
What: ConWx provides forecasts for retail purposes, wind farm operations and conducts wind site assessments.
Where: Online
More: ConWx focuses on solutions for energy and offshore related needs.

References:
Britannica: Principles and Methodology of Weather Forecasting
World Meteorological Organisation: Definitions of Meteorological Forecasting Ranges
Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences: A World of Weather
NOAA Climate.gov: Weather Forecasts Versus Climate Outlooks: What’s the difference?
Precision AG: Weather Forecasting: How Does It Work, and How Reliable Is It?