“Predictions are hard, especially about the future.” Just ask NOAA. Last May they published this forecast for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season:
“For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA’s Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). These ranges are well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.”
The score so far, at half time, is six tropical storms and no hurricanes as of this writing. But the season is not over. NOAA says the season usually peaks around September 10, and we still have three months to go.
Back in May NOAA boasted: “New for this hurricane season are improvements to forecast models, data gathering, and the National Hurricane Center communication procedure for post-tropical cyclones. In July, NOAA plans to bring online a new supercomputer that will run an upgraded Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model that provides significantly enhanced depiction of storm structure and improved storm intensity forecast guidance.”
On August 8, NOAA gave an update: NOAA “continues to call for an above-normal season, with the possibility that the season could be very active. The outlook indicates a 70% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 5% chance for a below-normal season.” They base this prediction on “above-average sea surface temperatures in the MDR (main development region) and to an enhanced west African monsoon, both of which are now in place.”
According to climate alarmists, global warming should produce more hurricanes, but real data show a declining trend since 1998:
Yes, “Predictions are hard, especially about the future.” We will just have to wait to see how the second half plays out.
UPDATE: On September 11, tropical storm Humberto officially became a hurricane with sustained winds of 80 mph. It was centered about 340 miles (550 kilometers) west of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands and was moving north at 9 mph (15 kph).