Pacific La Nina conditions are connected to above normal number of Atlantic hurricanes

Why is a long range prediction of 2011 hurricanes made in December 2010? A natural curosity is aroused when studying each year’s history of hurricanes. The only thing we can be sure of is the fact that the Atlantic basin has the largest year-to-year variability of any of the earth’s tropical cyclone basins.

Predictions such as this can help bring attention to the hurricane problem, especially for our coastal redisents. A study of past seasons by Colorado State University’s Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray has led to a forecast of another above-average probability of a U.S. and Caribbean Major Hurricane landfall. The 2011 prediction is for 17 named Tropical Storms, 9 of them becoming Hurricanes, and 5 become Major Hurricanes. While a probability of a strike on the U.S. coast is close to 50%, the chance of any one particular location is very low.

Apart from the long range outlook for the next hurricane season, the more reliable not-so-distant forecast for our area this La Nina cycle is a to 70 to 90 percent probability of below-average rainfall through April.


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