6 June 2016
Why Hurricane Season Forecasts are Very Tricky
Posted by Dan Satterfield
I’m not a fan of long-range forecasts for the hurricane season. We need to attempt them, because that’s how science advances, we test hypothesis, and reject the ones that fail in an experiment. That said, I am not sure these forecasts are worthy of public dissemination, unless they come with a strong warning that the skill is low.
You may know that El Nino reduces the number of hurricanes and La Nina enhances them, but there are more factors than just that, and there is a decadal temperature cycle in the Atlantic that plays a major role. This cycle is still poorly understood, and while we have been in the warm mode of this cycle for the last 20 years, that may be about to change. A complicating factor is climate change, which is giving us the warmest oceans ever recorded, and just how this may impact the Atlantic temperature oscillations is also unclear.
NOAA has a blog post on their climate page today that is well worth a read.