Mon Nov 21 2005 10:00 PM

Thought I'd start 'er up early. Usually in November, a little before Dr. Gray (and heretofore Dr. Klotzbach, who's taken over the lead role) puts out his early December lead forecast for Atlantic activity, we put up a forum thread for folks who like to prognosticate about the next year's activity. You can put out your numbers and thoughts as to why we'll see an active/inactive/normal season. Come May when we're reassessing things at the edge of the oncoming season, you can adjust them once again with the context of your old forecast to fall back on. It's sort of a friendly competition, as we'll tally who gets the closest to the totals, and also have some sort alternate competition like 'when will the first named storm form?' or something.
Anyhow, here's the format, if you want your numbers to count. Present them in the following simple format:
Where 11 would be total named storms (including subtropcial systems), six would be total achieving hurricane strength, and 2 would be total achieving intense/category 3 hurricane strength.
It's not a bad idea to add your thoughts as to the what factors will be at play, i.e., QBO will be positive, ENSO will run neutral but there will be a warm pocket in Nino 3.4, the PDO and AMO parameters will be favorable... etc. From November it's hard to tell much about the coming season; all that stuff is more important in May, when we can forecast with some skill. But if you think you're on to what things may be like next season, no reason not to include them.
Just add your forecast to this thread. Dr. Klotzbach will post the 'Graycast' on or just before December 5. Getting your forecast in prior, without the help of those official forecast numbers, will look more authentic. You can post afterwards for the rest of December, just the same.
HF 0300z22november

Mon Nov 21 2005 10:13 PM

ENSO I'm thinking will continue to run near neutral, with the persistent weak warm anomalies in the western Pacific. The AMO/PDO pairing is overall favorable, like it will remain for the coming decade or two. Not too keen on QBO phase, so ignoring that.
Based more on a climatology of past active seasons, this follow-on could go strong or weak. There is precedent for both. Since I don't see an El Nino coming on (though it's not possible to say with certainty how that will go), will go with an active season, but not as intensely active as the 2005 season was. I don't think we'll see quite the Western Atlantic focus that we did this year. Probably more normal with the Eastern Atlantic going active in August. Again, assuming ENSO neutral, MJO can activate and cluster the activity some.
Will be watching for the persistence of blocking type events. Even during the summer they can lower heights in the mid latitudes.. which weakens the trades and lets storms form more easily in the deep tropics.
The tendency for hurricanes to form/get far west and strike the U.S. this year according to Gray's bunch hinged on the Pacific SST profile, with a warm central/west Pacific keeping heights low in the west, and high in the east. If that persists, or very warm SSTs become apparent in the Atlantic in the spring... I'll tick everything up a notch. If El Nino starts coming on, or La Nina for that matter.. that'll change things a lot as well.
HF 0313z22november

Ed DunhamAdministrator
(Former Meteorologist & CFHC Forum Moderator (Ed Passed Away on May 14, 2017))
Mon Nov 21 2005 11:20 PM
Piece of Cake - Almost

I actually started to gather my thoughts on this annual subject about two months ago. I'm thinking 13/7/2 or 13/8/3 - haven't made up my mind yet, but I'm leaning toward the latter if you are looking for some forecast numbers.

Only a couple of primary reasons - 1) I expect a colder winter over the southeast U.S., so a colder Atlantic basin next season, and 2) Climatology (thinking 1934). Haven't really looked at ENSO yet, but I'd anticipate a neutral SST state. What really surprises me is that HF and I are actually rather close for a change!

(Storm Tracker)
Tue Nov 22 2005 10:42 AM
Re: Piece of Cake - Almost


In my opinion the season will slow down compared to the last few years. As has been shown in the past, two sraight extremely active years are not rare and they are usually followed up by a less active season. I think even with the cold winter that is forecast for hte US, the Atlantic will be just as warm. I also believe that we will see less landfalls, but with the majority of the landfalls being farther up the coast.

Of course, thats just me.

(Weather Master)
Tue Nov 22 2005 03:08 PM
Re: 2006

Total wishcast


I think mother nature needs a break

Tue Nov 22 2005 03:35 PM
Re: leadoff

I'm no good at the seasonal stuff, so I'll leave a lot of the description to those who do. I think we'll see another above-normal season in terms of activity across the board, with 15/9/4 as my baseline forecast. I feel that this winter will be about normal in terms of temperatures across the eastern US, though the extremes will be quite a bit more than normal -- not out of the question to see some hard freezes into Florida this year. I feel that next season will bring a bit more of a Cape Verde season than we saw this year, with slightly less activity close-in. There is no skill in predicting any activity locations any more specifically than that right now, however. More or less, I feel we'll see a season in line with the past 10 years, with all of the caveats and such that it brings.

(Weather Master)
Tue Nov 22 2005 03:47 PM
2006 leadoff

I've read that the Norwegian arctic is not receiving any significant snowfall- it appears to correlate with climate changes that may- or may not- be caused by human intervention. The jury is out on that call.

I understand this may ultimately cause the extinction of the beloved polar bear among other arctic animals.

In light of the continuing disruption of the climatic 'norms' I am calling for 21/10/5 for 2006.

I mean, why not?

maybe they ought to supplant some of those bears in antarctica. of course, that might mean the end of penguins.. but the climate around antarctica is cooling some, in spite of the slight warming at global scales. the north atlantic/arctic seems to be more of a global 'switch' where things tend to vary more. by the way, nice numbers. i was tempted, but don't think 2005 was the sort of thing we can expect to see in the near future. -HF

(Weather Guru)
Tue Nov 22 2005 09:15 PM
Re: 2006 leadoff

eleven tropical storms? maybe there will be enough lilliputians to tie down gulliver... -HF

(Weather Hobbyist)
Wed Nov 23 2005 08:40 AM
Re: 2006 leadoff

My early numbers are 15/9/4.

(Verified CFHC User)
Wed Nov 23 2005 07:29 PM
Re: leadoff

2005 numbers, according to Drs Klotzbach and Grey, were 23/13/7. Add Gamma and Delta and you get 25/13/7 (possibly 25/14/7).

As we are in the middle of an active multi-decadal era according to the Drs, I would expect 2006 to still be busy but not so much so as 2005.

Therefore I will go with 18/11/5. Hopefully with fewer landfalls.

(Registered User)
Wed Nov 23 2005 08:59 PM
Re: leadoff

I think we'll exhaust the list again.


Hurricane Fredrick 1979
(Weather Guru)
Wed Nov 23 2005 10:34 PM
Re: leadoff

I beleive that next year we will have another active season. it will be interesting to monitor the SST's this winter and see how warm the water stays. So I am going with the following:


(Registered User)
Mon Nov 28 2005 01:52 PM

It's nearly the first of December and I would have expected to see the wintertime continental pattern established. Instead, the jet is oscillating north/south and east/west, with disastrous results for those in the midwest US. We still have a lot of winter to get through - and hence, a lot of cooling - but the early pattern suggests storminess, which may keep SSTs in the GOM up a click.

Also saw the macrospheric levels of CO2 are at a geological-era high and climbing. Atmospheres don't respond quickly to change, and this may fortell not only an increase in the global heating capacity, but a sluggishness in the cool-offs ahead.

Thinking maybe 2006 will be above average but not at 2005 levels.


Tue Nov 29 2005 04:50 AM
Re: 2006

Part of the problem with predicting a season that has never happened before, is even when you look at the numbers, there is no way you can externally justify your call without looking like you're wish casting.

I think we're still going to see weaker than normal shear throughout the season, along with warm waters that will lead to another extremely active season.

Right now, I'm thinking the following (to borrow rabbit's style)

January - April 1/0/0
May 1/0/0
June 2/1/0
July 4/2/1
August 4/3/2
September 5/3/2
October 3/1/1
November -December 2/1/0


As much as I want to say next season will be worse, I just can't bring myself to do it.

my gut feeling says to up all the 2005 numbers by 1 for 2006

Either way, my prediction is one I would be blad to be wrong!


(Weather Watcher)
Tue Nov 29 2005 06:03 PM
Re: leadoff

I think 18/13/6.
So far looks like no El Nino so the best we can hope for is neutral conditions and not a cold event. I think SST's will stay high and SLP's will stay low in the W. Atlantic/Carib and it will be a room full of gas fumes waiting for a match. And I hope this is all wrong.

(Weather Watcher)
Wed Nov 30 2005 08:00 PM
Re: 2006

I'm thinking 17/10/4

(Weather Hobbyist)
Thu Dec 01 2005 02:01 PM
Re: 2006

Not too happy with these numbers, but with the current information available I will go with 20/8/3. Hope I'm way off....

(Senior Storm Chaser)
Fri Dec 02 2005 12:04 AM
Re: 2006

I have no technical expertise in this area so I looked only at historical statistics. I looked at all the years and first, based on years with high numbers and with similar tracks (although there is never going to be a terribly close match) I focused on 1887-1888, 1933-34, and 1969-70. 1995-1996 was not a good fit. Then I factored in a little higher activity because of 2003-2004 statistics. Also looked at how quickly the stats tend to fall off after peak years.

I came up with initial ranges of 14-16 / 7-8 / 2-4 and an ACE of 160-175, and 3-4 GOM landfalls.

I'm still working on figuring a way to narrow that down.

* * * * * *

OK this is what I came up with.

15 / 8 / 3

ACE of 165

Now I thought this was very interesting: When you go back and look at Dr Gray's forecast, at the beg of Dec 2004 he forecast a normal year: only 11/6/3. In April he updated that to 13/7/3, and in May to 15/8/4.

From looking at the data, apparently 2005 is the very first time there was a third year in a row with ACE values above normal (75-117). The records are only a little over a hundred years old so we may be looking at more like a 500-year cycle, or overall global warming may be kicking the ACE stats up a bit. There were pairs of years with high ACE values well before this past decade, so it still does not definitely follow that something out of the ordinary is occuring. However if we do have a 4th year with a high ACE value as I think, it will definitely be considered unusual. So my ACE prediction could be way too high for what should be expected next year.

The reason I picked the three storm numbers that I did, is because I looked at the dropoffs from similar years and went down about the same percentage. But I didn't spend enough time on the pattern of the tracks each season and this weekend am going to go back and try to find good matches on the tracks, for years that did not have a high number of storms, and may make some changes based on that, before Monday.

So, because my guess is based on statistical patterns from previous years, which are set, I won't change it as the year progresses, based on other factors, because I didn't take those factors into account in the first place. And I don't think it is sporting to change the numbers once the season starts.

(Senior Storm Chaser)
Sat Dec 03 2005 11:05 AM
Re: 2006

Not sure where to post this...but looking at the ACE numbers again, between 1851 and 1994 there were nine years with an ACE higher than 175...and since 1995 we've had six years with an ACE higher than 175.

And if you add up all of the ACE energy beyond the top of the 'near normal' range (117), it turns out that the above-normal ACE for the past 11 years (1995-2005 inclusive) is almost exactly half of the above-normal ACE for the previous 143 years totaled (about 1200 vs 560), which is a time period 13 times longer.

neat figure, but it's like comparing apples and oranges. that's mostly an artifact of improved detection. years like 1886 and 1933 may have exceeded this one, but we didn't have satellites to find the lees and brets and epsilons. it's extremely likely that a lot of storms in the historic record have escaped detection. but anyhow, if you wish to beat dr. klotzbach's forecast. believe it's coming out tomorrow... CORRECTION, coming out tuesday, dec 6 -HF

Well sure, but there were still a lot of ships in the ocean, and not that much could have been missed, especially big storms, that would render previous ACE values useless for purposes of comparison for this large a discrepancy. The weaker tropical cyclones that were surely missed wouldn't have impacted the ACE number so much.

you'll notice that in a lot of years there are no major hurricanes, or just one.. and the tracks don't have realistic intensity trends for the stronger stroms. believe me, comparing the ntc data of 1872 and 2002 like they're the same thing is a mistake. -HF

(Registered User)
Mon Dec 05 2005 02:09 PM
Re: 2006


I hope I'm wrong but I think it'll be worse than 2005, more intense and I wouldn't be suprised to see a few tropical storms before May.

Whatever factors caused 2005's frightening hurricane season whether these were multidecadal cycles, climate change or (more likely) a combination both they'll probably still be there next year. A slow down in the Gulf Stream looks ominous too.

(Storm Tracker)
Mon Dec 05 2005 03:13 PM
Re: leadoff

I have absolutely no expertise so I won't pretend to...
21/14/6 purely a guess.

Mon Dec 05 2005 11:04 PM

i'm calling it that because it sounds better than klotzbachcast. but anyway, the colostate numbers are in, and they are wicked. the december numbers don't always end up looking the same by may or august, but they'll have to come down a long way before not seeming harsh.
so anyhow, according to them we'll make it to rafael next year. seventeen named storms, nine hurricanes, five majors. you guys who bet high are with the more official predictions. odd to be below the graycast personally... never happened thus far.
interesting that they're predicting the pro-landfall conditions of the last two years to switch back to the stuff we're more familiar with from previous years. the only hole i can see in that logic is that we spent quite a number of years with the east coast trough snatching most everything away, and that run of luck seemed pretty unlikely.
hard to say what '06 will be look, but the early numbers don't look good. bummer.
HF 0404z06december

(Senior Storm Chaser)
Tue Dec 06 2005 01:00 AM
Re: graycast

Well when I learned, in the process of putting together a prediction for this thread, that their Dec numbers last year couldn't have been more wrong (11 / 6 / 3), after the year we just had, that eroded my confidence in their Dec predictions. I think I'll wait for their May update; at least that prediction was a little closer, even if they subsequently spent the entire season playing catch-up with the actual numbers.

How well has their Dec prediction done in prior years? Has it ever been close?

sometimes. they have past verification stats at the end of their forecast. -HF

I found it this morning in Jeff Masters blog:

"How good are these long-range hurricane forecasts issued in December? Last year, the December forecast called for an average 2005 hurricane season with 11 named storms, six of them becoming hurricanes. Obviously, the forecast was a bust--we had 26 named storms and 14 hurricanes. The updated forecast issued on May 31 of 2005 performed much better--15 named storms were forecast, with eight hurricanes. However, over the past five years (not including the forecast for the 2005 season), the skill of the December hurricane forecasts by the CSU team has been quite good--in four out of five years, the predicted number of named storms was within three of the actual number."

Also he had a really good summary. I'll post it below and if you don't want it in the forum feel free to delete it.

(Weather Hobbyist)
Tue Dec 06 2005 08:13 AM
Re: graycast

I'm just going to go completely with the number trend and totally ignore logic

2003 12/7/3
2004 15/9/6
2005 26/13/7

2006 38/19/8

xtrap. yep, totally ignores logic. -HF

(Storm Tracker)
Tue Dec 06 2005 09:19 AM
Re: graycast

Wow 38 named storms ? I think thats stretching it a bit.. I hope you meant 28. Whats Dr. Gray have to say about 2006 ?


(Senior Storm Chaser)
Tue Dec 06 2005 11:00 AM
Re: graycast

More on the Graycast (more like 'overcast' it's so gloom and doom!); this is from Jeff Master's Wunderground blog this morning, and I found this summary of the factors taken into account in the forecast very helpful (for newbies like me):

"The CSU team uses observations of monthly average atmospheric winds and pressures over six specific regions of the globe taken this Fall to determine whether favorable or unfavorable conditions will exist for the 2006 hurricane season. All six of these "predictors" are favorable for an active 2006 hurricane season. A condensed summary:

"1) El Niņo, which acts to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity, is not expected to be active during the 2006 hurricane season. It is more likely that neutral or even La Niņa conditions will develop, which are favorable for Atlantic hurricane activity.

"2) The stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO), an oscillation in the stratosphere that creates alternating westerly and easterly winds there, is expected to be in it west phase during the hurricane season of 2006. The west phase of the QBO has been shown to provide favorable conditions for development of tropical cyclones in the deep tropics.

"3) The observed pressure and wind patterns over the North Atlantic will allow stronger than normal southerly winds to keep sea surface temperatures over the entire North Atlantic well above normal during 2006. Sea surface temperatures during 2005 were the highest measured since at least 1950, and helped fuel 2005's record-breaking intense hurricanes. Sea surface temperatures during the 2006 hurricane season may be just as warm.

"4) Perhaps most importantly, observed wind and pressure patterns this Fall indicate that upper-level winds in the upper atmosphere (200 mb) will blow from the east during the hurricane season of 2006, like they did during 2005. This results in low wind shear over hurricane formation regions of the tropical Atlantic. Low wind shear is the key ingredient needed for tropical storm formation and intensification.

Jeff Masters"

margie, for large excerpts like this you should just put a link... unless you have a bunch of specific comments related to the text. -HF

(Weather Watcher)
Tue Dec 06 2005 06:07 PM
Re: graycast

Discouraging but not surprising. Going to 17 right from the gitgo.
In the abstract they state that NTC activity is predicted to be 195% of the long period average. And all 6 predictors were positive for increased activity.
I wish they had gone more into the steering mechanics/scenarios/predictions. Perhaps that isnt that reliable this far out. I hope they are right about "the probability of seeing another two consecutive hurricane seasons like 2004-2005 is very low".
Their landfall probabilities at http://www.e-transit.org/hurricane/welcome.html are helpful.

(Senior Storm Chaser)
Mon Dec 12 2005 01:03 AM
Re: graycast

Uh-oh. One thing I didn't think about was hybrid storms in Jan, Feb timeframe, and it suddenly seems as if this Nov/Dec pattern could continue right into 2006, although it sounds like something that isn't very common. When I was thinking about a prediction for the 2006 season, I was thinking more along the lines of the traditional start of the season, not January. If we have a number of off-season named storms in early 2006, that is the one thing that would make me update my numbers in May. But who would think I'd even be considering whether a tropical storm would form before my birthday (Jan 30th)?

(Registered User)
Wed Dec 21 2005 12:52 PM
Re: graycast

As a relative newcomer to this whole debate, I wonder if someone can help me with a question. Has anyone put any serious thought into deciding which of the professional, or semi-professional, forecasters is generally the most reliable/accurate? I see a huge amount of discussion and prediction, but I can't find anywhere or anyone that tries to bring together all the science or all the forecasts into a consensus theory or a definitive view.

Or would this be to attempt the impossible...?

different groups win out from year to year. some years like last nobody really gets it right. the forecast schemes are different from group to group, so that's sort of an apples/oranges issue. not everybody is doing a raw storm number forecast either, such as the coastal impact forecasts bastardi does. usually when you read the post-season reports things referred to will not have been predicted by anybody (i.e. the central pacific ridge/upstream west u.s. trough pattern that persisted 2004-2005). so no, there isn't really a consensus view, outside of maybe everybody predicting above or below average activity. -HF

Random Chaos
(Weather Analyst)
Wed Dec 28 2005 09:00 AM
Re: graycast

I think I'll throw out numbers - I think we'll have near the same number of storms, but weaker systems:


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