The Washington Post

Reaction to Colorado State hurricane outlook

Capital Weather Gang’s tropical weather expert Greg Postel reacts to Colorado State’s hurricane outlook issued this morning....

Given the expected ENSO-neutral (neither strong El Nino nor strong La Nina) conditions this summer, the relatively warm surface waters across much of the tropical Atlantic, and the multi-decadal upswing in hurricane activity we’re still in ... the long-range hurricane forecasts are appropriately converging on the idea that 2011 will be yet another active season.

Though informative, hurricane season predictions made the spring prior to hurricane season (or before) inherently leave plenty of wiggle room for things to turn out differently than advertised. They have ... so far ... not shown much skill in predicting the next season’s activity in real-time situations. Intraseasonal (weekly or monthly) variations in the wind/temperature/humidity/dustiness of the tropical atmosphere will always play a big role in the productivity of our hurricane seasons. And it’s too early to get a reliable handle on how these conditions will vary locally when it really matters.

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