Spring is upon us, and it is time to start looking toward this year’s Atlantic hurricane season. Readers should be instantly dubious of any hurricane season forecast, such as this one, due to their inconsistent skill. Last year, myself and every major forecasting agency that I know of predicted a more active hurricane season than normal, and we were all wrong. In fact, 2013 turned out to be one of the top 10 least active seasons since 1950, with only 2 hurricanes and an ACE of 34% of normal. In hindsight, there are a couple of possible reasons for this, such as an apparent faltering of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation and the local Atlantic Hadley Cell.
Regardless of how well hurricane activity is predicted in advance, you the reader should be aware that nobody can predict individual hurricanes months in advance, and no matter what the season as a whole is like, there is always the potential for a hurricane to form and impact you. Hurricane Andrew destroying south Florida during the otherwise completely quiet 1992 hurricane season is the poster child example of this. With this in mind, and despite forecasting failures like 2013, meteorologists can usually glean useful insight into how active the hurricane season will be before it has even begun. Here, I will offer my thoughts on what 2014 may bring.
The video above is there so that I don’t have to type a long post and so you don’t have to read a long-winded analysis. Some basic points are outlined here, but watch the video discussion for details.