I agree, Ed. I agree. What you said about the long-range hurricane forecasts, they hinge a lot on ENSO and it's very unpredictable that far out. Back in December, when Gray was prediciting a 13/8/4 season, there was some rather clear signals. They were:
1. Very warm Atlantic SSTA's
2. Clear lack of an ENSO event
But around April, we began to see these strong signals become more anonymous, more neutral. And by this month, ENSO is looking like it is going to be an increasingly negative factor on this year's activity, and Atlantic SST's are going to be anything but favorable, via SSTA's.
Even though a couple weaks ago I lowered my forecast to 12/6/2-3, that is going to be high. I expect around 8 storms, 4 hurricanes, and 1 or maybe 2 majors.
1. If the December 2001 parameters would have held (very warm SSTA's, clear lack of any ENSO event), we would have been in for a VERY violent hurricane season, folks. We should be glad that these parameters did not stick.
2. 2002 will be below average, but we all remember Andrew. Be vigilant.
3. We are in some type of masking of the strong effects of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation. This has been mentioned by Dr. Gray in his May forecast. I think that this is only a one year, temporary event.
4. Based on #3, 2003 should have significantly above average hurricane activity with the major strikes we've anticipated on the U.S. possibly beginning to occur.
Thoughts and comments welcome.