Although it is only December 2009, and we have just ended the 2009 hurricane season, the predictions for 2010’s upcoming season are out and they are busy. The Atlantic has not seen a busy hurricane season since 2005 when the likes of Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma pummeled both New Orleans and South Florida leaving many dead, and many others homeless and power-less.
With the past five years seeing below-normal storm seasons, those in the “danger-zone” may have become quite comfortable. But this may be the year things take a turn. Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray with the Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project have come up with the projection: “We foresee an above-average Atlantic basin tropical cyclone season in 2010 and anticipate an above-average probability of U.S. and Caribbean major hurricane landfall,” according to the Extended Range Forecast of Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity and Landfall Strike Probability for 2010.(http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts/2009/dec2009/dec2009.pdf)
“We expect to see approximately eleven to sixteen named storms, six to eight hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes occur during the 2010 hurricane season,” say Klotzbach and Gray. A major hurricane is classified as a category 3 or higher. They also predict a 64 percent chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S. coastline. The predictions made come from their statistical model, their analog model and qualitative adjustments and insights. The brunt of the storms is expected to be seen between August and October 2010, just in time for crossings and the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
Hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on December 1 each year. Keep in mind, these are preliminary predictions and both Klotzbach and Gray agree that the Atlantic Basin can change drastically throughout the course of the year altering the results of these predictions. The next set of predictions will be made in April.