Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), the academic initiative which partners with re/insurance industry and science to provide tropical weather forecasts, is the second forecaster so far to increase their prediction for the 2014 Atlantic tropical storm and hurricane season.
TSR’s Professor Mark Saunders and Dr. Adam Lea have increased the number of hurricanes they are calling for from the 2014 season by one, to now call for 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes (up from 12, 5 and 2).
The Colorado State University forecast team led by Klotzbach & Gray increased its forecast by one named storm in June, to 10 named storms, 4 hurricanes and 1 major hurricane, but in their latest update on the 31st July left the forecast unchanged.
So TSR now has the second most active forecast for the season, according to the list we have collated on our storm season page. This takes the average of the forecasts we cover to 10.7 named storms, 4.8 hurricanes and 1.6 major hurricanes, which is very close to the TSR forecast as well.
The TSR forecast is still for a below-normal hurricane season however, which the team at TSR explain as due to two primary factors:
The first factor is that current forecast computer model projections are still indicating that trade winds over the Caribbean Sea and the tropical North Atlantic will be moderately stronger than normal in August and September. These trade winds influence the spinning up of storms, and the report states that the current projection is similar to forecast values in July. The second factor is that sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean’s main development region have remained cooler than normal, and this is expected to continue through the peak cyclogenesis period in September. It is worth noting that temperatures are slightly warmer than what was seen in July. The forecast skills for these predictors at this lead time are 73% and 83% respectively.
With two named tropical storms forming in the Atlantic basin so far this year and both of them reaching hurricane status, the forecasts may look a little under ambitious to some. However, the Atlantic remains influenced by dry and dusty air masses from the African continent, which is not conducive to tropical system development, as well as some of the more typical tropical development regions having below average sea surface temperatures.
TSR notes however that the sea surface temperature has actually been a little above its July forecast number, hence the increase to its forecast in August.
We are only just over one month into the 2014 hurricane season though and there is plenty of time left for storms to form which threaten losses to insurers due to landfalls. The increasing of the TSR forecast may be a very timely signal that complacency is not advisable when it comes to preparing for or protecting yourself against Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes.
You can track the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, compare forecasts and monitor the progress of storms here on Artemis. Visit and bookmark our 2014 Atlantic hurricane season page.