UK Met Office spot on in Ivan
A new tropical cyclone
forecast product from the United Kingdom Met Office is predicting fewer
named storms for the remainder of the 2007 hurricane season than other
The UK Met Office predicts seven to 13 named storms from July through November, with 10 being the mostly likely number.
represents below normal activity relative to the 1990–2005 long–term
average of 12.4 [tropical storms per year],” the forecast states.
prediction is considerably lower than several other noted forecast
products, which made predictions for the entire hurricane season.
Already this year there have been two named storms in the Atlantic,
Sub–tropical Storm Andrea, which occurred in May, and Tropical Storm
Barry, which occurred earlier this month.
The American NOAA
Climate Prediction Center forecasted 13 to 17 named storms and a
hurricane season that had a 75 per cent chance of above normal
activity; the Colorado State University team of Phil Klotzbach and
William Gray predicted 17 named storms; and the UK’s Tropical Storm
Risk predicted 15.7 tropical storms and an approximately 80 per cent
chance of one of the top one–third of years in history in terms of
tropical cyclone activity.
The UK Met Office forecast uses a
dynamic seasonal prediction computer model of the global
atmosphere–ocean system called GloSea.
The forecast states that
studies have shown that GloSea and other European models have
considerable skill predicting the number of tropical storms, for
example successfully predicting the change from the exceptionally
active season of 2005 to the below normal activity of the 2006 season.
of Grand Cayman might recall that the UK Met Office’s predicted path of
Hurricane Ivan in 2004 was the only one of the world’s major computer
models that accurately predicted, days in advance, Ivan would not turn
toward the north before reaching Grand Cayman as originally expected.
of the main reasons the UK Met Office forecast is lower than previous
forecasts deals with predicted sea surface temperature anomalies.
season, a cooling trend in SST is expected in the tropical North
Atlantic, and this favours fewer tropical storms than seen in recent
years,” the report states.
Jeffrey Masters, director of
Meteorology for The Weather Underground, wrote in his blog that he had
high hopes for the UK Met Office forecast because of its methodology
based on sound science.
Regardless, Mr. Masters believes a better
forecast of Atlantic basin tropical cyclone activity can be derived by
averaging together the four major models into a consensus forecast.
forecasts are difficult to beat,” he wrote, adding that the consensus
of the four major models yields a prediction of 13 more names storms
this year, for a total of 15 in 2007 when Andrea and Barry are added