Klotzbach and Gray forecast predicts another active Atlantic tropical storm season for 2011

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The early forecasts for the 2011 Atlantic tropical storm and hurricane season are predicting another active year ahead for storm formation and landfall risks. A week ago we wrote about the forecast from Tropical Storm Risk. Here we cover the early forecast from Colorado State Universities Tropical Meteorology Project.

Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray have been providing forecasts for over ten years and have a good degree of accuracy with regards to the number of storms that will form in a coming season. Re/insurers hoping for a quiet year will be disappointed to see the number of storms forecast in their recently published document.

Klotzbach and Gray forecast that the 2011 season will see 17 named Atlantic tropical storms, 9 of which will become hurricanes and 5 of which they predict will become major hurricanes (of category 3 to 5 severity).

They give the probability for at least one major hurricane making landfall somewhere on the entire U.S. coastline at 73% (average for the last century is 52%). Their forecast probability for at least one major hurricane making landfall on the U.S. east coast including Florida is 49% (average for the last century is 31%). And their forecast probability for at least one major hurricane making landfall on the Gulf Coast is 48% (average for the last century is 30%). They also give a 62% chance that at least one major hurricane will track into the Caribbean (average for the last century is 42%).

So, another highly active season prediction. These forecasts will get updated every few months as we approach the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season. The predictions generally get a bit less severe but it is likely, given the severity of the two early forecasts, that an active season will be experienced. Of course it’s very hard to predict how that will translate into actual hurricane losses as climate factors at the time of storm formation will affect the course and track they take. You can read the full forecast from Klotzbach and Gray here.

We’ll bring you updates as new forecasts are published.

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