Digging deeper into the CSU seasonal hurricane forecast

Dr. Phil Klotzbach sees another seriously busy season ahead

Dr. Phil Klotzbach forecasting another busy season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The details sometimes can reveal better news, sometimes not.

The details include: Similar overall pre-season conditions to what we experienced one year ago, before the record breaking 30 storms. Including, La Nina over the Pacific Ocean and warmer than normal Atlantic Ocean water temperatures.

La Nina is a condition of the surface water temperatures over the Pacific Ocean. Near the equator, for thousands of miles, the surface water temperatures run below normal. The impact is to reduce rising air over the Pacific Ocean along the equator. Less rising air there usually allows for more rising air to the east of this massive cool spot. That would mean more rising air over the Atlantic Ocean near (and north of) the equator and over the Caribbean Sea. These areas are where many hurricanes, and worse, major hurricanes develop.

In La Nina mode (cooler than normal)

Basically, La Nina is a big player when it comes to the serious, destructive, hurricanes.

Meanwhile, over the Atlantic, the same story as we have seen for years. Above normal to well above normal water temperatures are nearly everywhere. This is especially true at higher latitudes (say, from New York to Portugal).

When waters are warm here, atmospheric winds tend to be light and that translates to weaker surface winds. Less surface winds means less mixing of cooler sub-surface waters. This cycles back into more warmer than normal water temperatures. That leads to weaker atmospheric winds. This feedback loop is probably one of the reasons we have been in the long term condition of warm Atlantic Ocean temperatures and super active tropical seasons.

Well above normal (again)

It’s not all bad news.

The La Nina has been weakening since last hurricane season and Atlantic Ocean surface water temperatures are not as warm as they were last year at this time.

So, we’ve got that going for us.

Then again, last April’s forecast from CSU was for just 16 storms and this was one of the HIGH end forecasts. By early August, they were predicting basically a near record season of 24-26 named storms.

So, it is going to be busy, but will there be storms in Florida and/or Georgia?

Well, forecasting how many storms has become rather skilled over the past 35 years. Forecasting where storms will impact is a whole different story, but... There has been some recent skill shown in both numerical and statistical forecast models.

Dr. Phil Klotzbach has been focusing his research on these models. His research suggests these pre-season statistics.

StateChance of Tropical Storm within 50 milesChance of Hurricane within 50 milesChance of Major Hurricane within 50 miles
GA79% (Climatology 63%)45% (Climatology 31%)11% (Climatology 7%)
FL96% (Climatology 86%)75% (Climatology 58%)41% (Climatology 28%)

Statistically, there will be a well above normal chance of all categories of tropical cyclone activity for both Florida and Georgia. This includes tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes. For Georgia, they are seeing a probability forecast suggests their day of reckoning maybe nearer than most people think.

I have had my eye on their growing possibilities for years.

More than 100 years ago, a category 4 hurricane plowed right into Brunswick. Hundreds of people died.

Want to read Dr. Phil Klotzbach complete forecast? Go HERE.

And stay ready for the upcoming 2021 season.