December 10, 20101372Views

Friday, 10 December 2010 – The forecast for the Atlantic seasonal hurricane activity has been released which indicates an above-average Atlantic basin tropical cyclone season in 2011 and reveals  an above-average probability of major hurricane landfall, according to Research Scientist, Philip J. Klotzbach,  and retired Professor of Atmospheric Science, William M. Gray.

 The predictions for the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season show more activity than this year. Scientists predict  the season could expect to see about nine hurricanes, one more than last year; 17 named storms, two up from last year;  85 named storm days, ten more than last season; 40 hurricane days, five more than last year; five intense hurricanes, one up from last year and ten intense hurricane days, same as last year.

Forecasters have cited two main reasons for their predictions, noting that the combination of these will lead to favourable conditions for hurricane formation and intensification. These reasons included a weakening of the El Nino conditions and the favourable Atlantic basin conditions.

Predicting future hurricane seasons is inherently difficult given all the factors involved and their variability. Scientists examine previous  seasons for which records are available and the conditions that existed then, current  and  expected conditions and run mathematical models and computer simulations.

When asked about the early predictions, the forecasters responded by saying, “We issue these forecasts to satisfy the curiosity of the general public and to bring attention to the hurricane problem.  There is a curiosity in knowing what the odds are for an active or inactive season next year. One must remember that our forecasts are based on the premise that those global oceanic and atmospheric conditions which preceded comparatively active or inactive hurricane seasons in the past provide meaningful information about similar trends in future seasons.”

The Department of Disaster Management is urging residents to pay close attention to this information and to ensure that they make very early preparations in the coming year.

For more information on the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season outlook  telephone the department at 468-4200 or visit the  offices at #3 Wailing Road, MacNamara.