Little Compass RoseCaribbean Compass   June 2008
2008 Hurricane Activity
Predicted to Be Above Average Again

by Teri Rothbauer

The renowned hurricane forecasters, Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray of Colorado State University, warn that 2008 is likely to be an above average year for hurricane activity. Perhaps you have already given thought to plans for weathering the hurricane season safely, if not, now is the time.

Comparison of Forecast and Average Parameters

PARAMETER                       FORECAST        AVERAGE

Named Storms                      15                 9.6
Named Storm Days                80                 49.1
Hurricanes                             8                  5.9
Hurricane Days                      40                 24.5
Intense Hurricanes                   4                 2.3
Intense H'cane Days                 9                  5
Accumulated Cyclone Energy    150                96.1
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity    160                100
The above table compares selected parameters forecasted on April 9, 2008 to the observed parameters averaged from 1950 through 2000.

Both the warmer-than-normal water temperatures in the Atlantic and the La Niña weather pattern during the 2007-2008 winter are similar to prior years (1951, 1989, 1999 and 2000) when above-average hurricane activity occurred. Klotzbach and Gray use these observations and other factors such as the weaker-than-normal Azores High and the reduced tradewind strength this spring, to generate their forecasts. The CSU professors admit their April forecasts have not been as accurate as they would like, but with hundreds of variables and interactive relationships in global oceanic and atmospheric conditions, forecasting is a huge challenge.
An early warning of the potential severity of the hurricane season is valuable to all who are living on, or leaving their boat, in the Atlantic Basin.

If you wish to read more about Klotzbach and Gray's forecasting techniques visit


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