Good chance of further Atlantic tropical storm activity in October


The 2010 Atlantic tropical storm and hurricane season has been unusual in many ways. We’ve witnessed some extremely powerful storms and intense activity in the Atlantic and yet losses and landfalls have been light. Officially, the Atlantic hurricane season ends on the 30th November but the next two weeks are the most likely for a major storm to form.

The Colorado State University has started to issue forecasts covering periods of two weeks using a new index measure that they have devised. The two week forecasts are based on both observation and modelling tools, the primary tools being; 1) current storm activity, 2) National Hurricane Center Tropical Weather Outlooks, 3) forecast output from global models, 4) the current and projected state of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) and 5) the current seasonal forecast.

From this data and observation they have created the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index. The average for the period of September 29 – October 12 from 1950-2009 was 10.7 ACE units, this year for that same period they predict 13.9 ACE units. Most storm development is expected to be in the northwest Caribbean.

You can download the Colorado State Uni forecast here.

Meanwhile, Risk Management Solutions have been discussing October hurricanes (as mentioned on the National Underwriter) and have highlighted that October can still mean large land falling hurricanes. They mention the 2005 season when hurricane Wilma caused $11.3b in insured losses after it made landfall in Florida and hurricane Opal from 1995 which caused nearly $3b in losses.

RMS point out that the two named storms above occurred in the only two seasons to have had as much activity as this season up to this point. Typically, RMS said that during October we can expect to see two named storms with one becoming a hurricane.

There is an area of low pressure in the northwest Caribbean right now which looks like it will develop into a depression or storm later today so it’s still worth keeping an eye on our tropical storm page.

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