Forecasters Call for “Very Active” 2013 Hurricane Season


It’s that time of year again.

June 1 marked the official start of the 2013 Hurricane Season and forecasters are calling for an active six months before the season officially ends on November 30.

Philip Klotzbatch and William Gray of Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project, which has been issuing hurricane predications for the past 30 years, are calling for 18 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes of category three or higher this year, according to the group’s Extended Range 2013 Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Forecast, issued on Monday, June 3.

Klotzbatch and Gray’s June 3 forecast predicted the same number of storms which the two called for in the group’s first report issued in April.

The predictions are above average than the median determined from 1981 through 2010, according to the Klotzbatch and Gray forecast.

“Information obtained through May 2013 indicates that the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season will have more activity than the median 1981-2010 season,” according to the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project forecast. “We estimate that 2013 will have about nine hurricanes (median is 6.5), 18 named storms (median is 12.0), 95 named storm days (median is 60.1), 40 hurricane days (median is 21.3), four major (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (median is 2.0) and nine major hurricane days (median is 3.9).”

The lack of an El Nino event, which helps to inhibit hurricane formation, and high sea surface temperatures, which contribute to hurricane formation, point to an abundance of activity this year, according to Klotzbatch and Gray.

“We continue to foresee a very active 2013 Atlantic hurricane season,” according to the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project forecast. “We anticipate an above-average Atlantic basin hurricane season due to the combination of an anomalously warm tropical Atlantic and a relatively low likelihood of El Niño. Overall, we are predicting a very active season for the Atlantic basin in 2013.”

2013 Hurricane Names


The forecasters are also calling for an “above-average” probability of a hurricane making landfall in the US and Caribbean.
“Given the above-average forecast, we are calling for an above-average probability of United States and Caribbean major hurricane landfall,” according to the Klotzbatch and Gray forecast. “For the island of Puerto Rico, the probability of a named storm, hurricane and major hurricane tracking within 50 miles of the island this year is 50 percent, 26 percent, and 8 percent, respectively.”
The probability for at least one major (category 3, 4 or 5) hurricane tracking into the Caribbean (defined as 10-20 North and 60-88 West) is 61 percent, whereas the average for the last century is 42 percent, according to the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project forecast.
The probability of a hurricane making landfall in the US is 140 percent, according to the forecast.
Klotzbatch and Gray issued a reminder that it only takes one storm making landfill to make the season an “active” one.
“Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much or how little activity is predicted,” according to the forecasters.
Unless an El Nino event is seen or sea temperatures lower — neither of which is likely, according to Klotzbatch and Gray — residents should expect “well above-average” activity this year, according to the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project forecast.
“Both the statistical and the analog scheme call for well above-average activity this year,” according to the forecast. “An analysis of a variety of different atmosphere and ocean measurements (through May) which are known to have long-period statistical relationships with the upcoming season’s Atlantic tropical cyclone activity indicate that 2013 should be a very active hurricane season.”
“The only apparent obstacles to this assessment would be either the formation of a moderate to strong El Niño event or a significant cooling of the tropical Atlantic,” according to Klotzbatch and Gray’s forecast. “At this point, we judge either of these events to be unlikely.”
Klotzbatch and Gray will issue their final seasonal update for the 2013 Atlantic Basin Hurricane season on Friday, August 2. The two will also issue two-week forecasts for Atlantic Tropical Cyclone activity during the peak of hurricane season from August through October.
To read the entire forecast, check out