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Thread: CSU's 2012 Hurricane Season - April Early Prediction (FWIW)

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    Member STexan's Avatar
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    Default CSU's 2012 Hurricane Season - April Early Prediction (FWIW)

    From the crew at Colorado State university earlier in April 2012 ...

    Specific predictions for the 2012 Atlantic basin hurricane season:
    • A 45 percent chance that the THC continues in the above-average condition it has been in since 1995 and that no El Niño develops. If this happens, hurricane activity would be approximately 140 percent of the average season. This is typically characterized by 12-15 named storms, seven to nine hurricanes, and three to four major hurricanes.
    • A 30 percent chance that the THC continues in the above-average condition it has been in since 1995 with the development of a significant El Niño in which tropical cyclone (TC) activity is reduced to approximately 75 percent of the average hurricane season (roughly eight to 11 named storms, three to five hurricanes, and one to two major hurricanes).
    • A 15 percent chance that the THC becomes unusually strong in 2012 and no El Niño event occurs. This would bring about TC activity typically associated with approximately 180 percent of the average hurricane season (roughly 14-17 named storms, nine to 11 hurricanes, and four to five major hurricanes).
    • A 10 percent chance that the THC becomes weaker and there is the development of a significant El Niño. This would be associated with TC activity that is approximately 40 percent of the average season, or approximately five to seven named storms, two to three hurricanes, and zero to one major hurricanes.
    ... All the talk of chaser convergence and the associated problems in certain other forums. I'm gonna get an early start and go chase hurricanes on Conception Cay in the Bahamas and leave it with you. Those yahoos at CSU are probably gonna be wrong again, so I'll be sure to take several cases of tequila and rum just in case How are the roads there???
    Robert Keck

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    Administrator Team Mark Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STexan View Post
    Those yahoos at CSU are probably gonna be wrong again
    Does this statement include the likes of Dr. William Gray? Even though I do not chase hurricanes, I actually have an immense amount of respect for Dr. Gray and his body of work. He was the best key note speaker I can remember at Chasercon in recent years and the organizers (Roger Hill and Tim Samaras) typically line up high quality members from the meteorological community on an annual basis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Blue View Post
    Does this statement include the likes of Dr. William Gray?
    Anyone who releases predictions for exact numbers of storms in a season is a yahoo. Dr. Gray included. Not to mention he's a global warming conspiracy theorist, which really doesn't speak well to his scientific state of mind.

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    Administrator Team Mark Blue's Avatar
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    Even though each person is entitled to their own opinion, I think it's disrespectful to call a pioneer in hurricane forecasting a "yahoo" because he had the fortitude to take a firm stance later in life regarding controversial issues in the eyes of certain other scientists. Whether you choose to agree or disagree with the things he says is your prerogative, but remember we are suppose to be "excellent to each other" per the first rule of this forum, so please bear that in mind should this thread continue.

    I'd prefer to see the members who follow this sub-forum more closely than I do debate how CSU's Atlantic Basin outlook for 2012 stacks up against the other forecasts that are currently available (WSI and TSR). It also appears Phillip Klotzbach has taken more of a lead role in the development of the CSU outlook, so that should place him in limelight more so than Dr. Gray as far as their outlook is concerned.

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    I didn't mean any disrespect really and "yahoos" may have been a poor word choice, it's just that they've said this almost verbatim the last 2 seasons and the the end result was the past 2 seasons have been exceptionally non-eventful. I don't think forecasting hurricane probabilities in April and especially forecasting the number of US landfall probabilities is really even worth attempting but I guess certain insurers and emergency preparedness leaders do something with this data and actually want these estimates?

    And yes, the fact many of these "experts" seem to be heavily invested on the idea of "man-made global climate change", kind of turns me off to any of their 'best guesses".
    Robert Keck

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    STexan - Dr Gray feels that human-influenced climate change is a conspiracy theory... I think you have it backwards.

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    Administrator Team Mark Blue's Avatar
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    Not a problem Robert, you didn't really single anyone out in your OP, I guess I was the dummy that asked for clarification. I'm sure hurricane forecasters have their work cut out for them trying to predict a season so far in advance. "Global Warming" is a whole other animal that I'd rather not get into as no one knows what the climate will be like 50 or more years from now. Only time will tell I suppose.

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    I didn't mean to over-generalize. There are plenty of respected scientists who disagree on different aspects of future climate change. But as rdale reiterated, this is not scientific disagreement, this is conspiracy theory: he thinks that the government is propagating fraud in order to install a new world order. That's not really the kind of mind I take seriously.

    And I suppose I was a bit hasty on judging their overly-precise forecasts: they do go into detail about the uncertainty in the forecast, but not until page 19 of their report. In my opinion it hurts the public's perception of science not to be up front with uncertainty, especially with extremely speculative forecasts such as these. We're talking a standard deviation of over 3 storms, which means they only have 67% certainty that there will be between 6 and 13 named storms. But they choose to give a fixed number, implying their forecasts are much more certain than they actually are.

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    I would like to see a detailed year-by-year comparison,
    between predicted numbers and actual numbers.

    Does anyone know where I can find one ?

    Also I would like to see unambiguous language in the predictions.
    Like, is the number a predicted "mean" or do they really mean to bullseye
    a single number. It hardly seems correct to say that they were totally wrong if
    they predicted 12, and we got 13. I hear a lot of this.

    It seems to me that the numbers they give out have been pretty close to the mark.

    It is also instructive to remember that the numbers that Dr. Gray predicts are for the
    Atlantic Basin, not just landfalling storms.

    I remember one year, my dad, a geographer, said something like
    "I wonder why anyone even reports those things anymore,
    last year they predicted 14 storms, and we didn't get but 2-3".
    I reminded him that the predictions are not just for the US,
    and they were actually right on the mark.

    Food for thought... -T

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