Overture to Hurricane Season

Early forecasts indicate this year’s Atlantic hurricane season will be above-average, so it will be interesting to hear the latest updates to those predictions from forecasters attending next week’s National Hurricane Conference in Orlando.  Today’s Sarasota Herald-Tribune article by Kate Spinner points to a new study by NOAA researchers that may hold the key for forecasters making their long-range predictions. Apparently the research shows that the Atlantic and Pacific oceans act as opposites. In other words, a busy season in one ocean makes for a more tranquil season in the other. The study, by NOAA researchers Chunzai Wang and Sang-Ki Lee, is reported to be the first to demonstrate the dynamic clearly over five decades. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune states: “Last year’s quiet hurricane season in the Atlantic coincided with an active Pacific season. The reverse happened in 2005. This year, the Pacific is expected to be mild again, and the Atlantic, if the correlation holds, will be abuzz with hurricanes.† The NOAA study is published in Eos, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. Just last week, Joe Bastardi, chief long-range meteorologist and hurricane forecaster at AccuWeather.com warned this year has the chance to be an extreme season with 16 to 18 tropical storms in total and above-normal threats on the U.S. coastline. Bastardi called for five hurricanes, two or three of which will be major landfalls for the U.S. Look out for an updated forecast of 2010 hurricane activity April 7 from Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project. Check out I.I.I. hurricane facts and stats.

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