Peering Into the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season

With the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season closed, it’s already time to look ahead to next year’s hurricane season.

Forecasters at the Colorado State University’s (CSU) Tropical Meteorology Project and London-based consortium Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) have just released their extended range forecasts for the 2011 season.

Both are forecasting that another above-average or very active season is likely.

The team at CSU is predicting 17 named storms, with 9 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes (Category 3-4-5). They are also calling for above-average chance that a major hurricane will make U.S. and Caribbean landfall.

Similarly, TSR is forecasting 15.6 named storms, 8.4 hurricanes and 4.0 intense hurricanes. TSR says there is 66 percent chance that activity in 2011 will be in the top one-third of years historically.

Now for the caveats. Both teams acknowledge that this far out their forecast skill is low.

TSR says:

It is clear that the skill of the extended range hurricane forecasts issued in early December, while positive, is low. Skill climbs slowly as the hurricane season approaches. Moderate skill levels are achieved in early June and good skill levels in early August.†

CSU also comments:

Everyone should realize that it is impossible to precisely predict next season’s hurricane activity at such an extended range†¦we advise the readers to use these forecasts with caution.†

Dr. Jeff Masters’ Wunderblog has  further analysis of the December forecasts.

Check back for our coverage of  next year’s  forecasts as hurricane season gets closer.

Check out I.I.I. hurricane facts and stats.

3 thoughts on “Peering Into the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season”

  1. I hope that in next year’s Atlantic hurricane season, even with the number’s prediction of 17 named storms, with 9 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes (category 3-4-5), not one of them will make a US landfall. Though it can not be accurately predicted, we have to be ready. Just in case.

  2. Thank you for this information. I have subscribed to your blog as you obviously understand your subject well. As much as I do not want to see any natural disasters occur (anywhere), I realize that with global warming and other changes in climate we have to expect that disasters will indeed occur. I am hoping to become an adjuster that may well specialize in disaster claims. As my home has in the past been affected by flooding (thankfully our small town now has in place a working river diversion), having worked with subcontracted adjusters has been a very positive experience and I’d like to find a job in this field. I am looking forward to reading more of your blogs and than you for making this important information accessible. Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season.
    With best regards, Karen Smith

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