U.K. Met Office 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast
May 28, 2011
Since 2007, the United Kingdom Met Office has been issuing hurricane season forecasts generated from dynamic forecast models. As their forecasts had covered July-November, they weren’t quite comparable to the June-November forecasts issued by everyone else. Because of that, I didn’t include their forecasts in season reviews or consensus calculations.
This year is different. On Thursday, the Met Office released their North Atlantic tropical storm seasonal forecast for 20011, covering the entire season. They predict 13 named storms (70% range of 10-17) and Accumulated Cyclone Energy of 151 (70% range of 89-212). Both are above the 1980-2010 averages of 12 and 104. The number of named storms forecast is essentially the same as that forecast by the other groups thus far, while ACE is the highest forecast so far, 9 units above NOAA’s ‘headline number’.
The Met Office forecasts have been pretty solid with the debut 2007 forecast being the best performance relative to the those issued by other groups. That year most organizations over-forecast the aggregate level of activity, as ACE was below normal despite an above-average amount of tropical storms. The Met Office forecast 10 named storms to from in the July-November period and 12 storms did so (ACE was not forecast). It correctly anticipated sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic to be lower than normal. 2008 was an outstanding performance (and a good year for seasonal forecasts overall). In 2009, they underforecast the number of named storms by three (but were very good on ACE) in a season everyone else was a bit over. Like everyone else, they were in the ballpark for named storms in 2010, but they went beyond everyone else in anticipating a 2005-like season for ACE as they forecast 204 units. As only 166 units were observed, that was a fairly significant over-forecast.
I have been saying that the Colorado State forecast would be the next season forecast I would report upon. The way things have been going though, Florida State will put out their forecast on May 31 just tto make my thinking wrong one more time. Either way, I will write about both when they are issued.
For those interested in the model, a presenation from the 2008 american Meteorological Society Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology describes the Met Office’s dynamical season prediction model