Nine Atlantic hurricanes could hit in 2008: experts



TAMPA, Fla. -- U.S. government forecasters expect between six and nine hurricanes to form in the Atlantic this year.

They say two to five of those could be major hurricanes.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials say they expect the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season to be near or above normal.

They say there is a 60 to 70 per cent chance of their predictions happening.
In all, they predict 12 to 16 named storms in 2008.

An average season has 11 named storms, including six hurricanes of which two reach major status.

Didn't they say last year was supposed to be above average too? I think NS got hit by one sorry looking tropical storm and that was it.
The early forecast (April) was for 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 intense hurricanes.

It's hard to tell in advance what the Walker circulation will be doing, what the jet stream will be doing, and the various other perturbations which cause wind sheer will be doing. It's only the last half decade that more attention has even been paid to wind sheer.

Sea surface temperatures matter of course, but they aren't enough to rely on for skillful predictions. That's where you get that the frequency could stay the same or even drop, but the accumulated energy could go up. Lots of uncertainty there.

I have a thread going on the 2008 hurricane predictions in the S&E sub-forum. There's a good link there too, to one of the hurricane experts.

ETA, that early forecast was made by Bill Gray from Colorado State University.

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