AUGUST 08, 2009 NOAA and CSU have downgraded their forecasts… TRS has upgraded
Over the past week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric and Administration (NOAA), Colorado State University (CSU) and Tropical Storm Risk Consortium (TSR) issued their latest forecasts for the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Based on these recent forecasts, there is a split decision as to what the rest of the season will be like. NOAA and CSU are predicting a near to below normal season, while TRS is forecasting a near to above normal season. The reason for the downgraded forecasts by NOAA and CSU is the development of El Nino conditions in the Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, TSR is expecting August/September sea surface temperatures in the Tropical North Atlantic Ocean to be higher than previously expected, hence, their upgrade. CSU acknowledges the increasing sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean; however, they believe that El Nino will be the dominant factor resulting in suppressed tropical cyclone activity. In agreement with NOAA and CSU, the Meteorological Office Hadley Centre (MOHC) is also forecasting a below normal North Atlantic Hurricane Season (See table 1). Hence, by majority decision, a near to below normal season is forecast.
Table 1: Comparison of 2009 Hurricane Season Forecasts. 1Storms passing within 105 nautical miles of Antigua. Forecasts include those issued by Colorado State University (CSU), Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Meteorological Office Hadley Centre (MOHC). The MOHC forecast is issued for the July–November period.
So far for the year, only two depressions have formed. The last time there were no storms in June and July was in 2000. However, eventually, 15 named storms developed.
The 2008 Hurricane Season produced 16 named storms of which 8 became hurricane, including 5 major hurricanes. This was consistent with the forecasts issued by all four organizations mentioned above. The science behind the outlook is rooted in the analysis and prediction of current and future global climate patterns as compared to previous seasons with similar conditions.