Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unique computer model used to predict active 2010 hurricane season

Date:
June 2, 2010
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
Scientists who have developed a unique computer model with a knack for predicting hurricanes with unprecedented accuracy are forecasting an unusually active season this year.

Florida State University scientists who have developed a unique computer model with a knack for predicting hurricanes with unprecedented accuracy are forecasting an unusually active season this year.

Associate Scholar Scientist Tim LaRow and his colleagues at FSU's Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) say there will be an average of 17 named storms with 10 of those storms developing into hurricanes in the Atlantic this season, which begins June 1, and runs through Nov. 30. The historical seasonal average is 11 tropical storms with six of them becoming hurricanes.

"It looks like it will be a very busy season, and it only takes one hurricane making landfall to have devastating effects," LaRow said. "The predicted high number of tropical systems means there is an increased chance that the eastern United States or Gulf Coast will see a landfall this year."

The COAPS model, unveiled just last year, is one of only a handful of numerical models in the world being used to study seasonal hurricane activity, and it has already outperformed many other models. The model uses the university's high-performance computer to synthesize massive amounts of information including atmospheric, ocean and land data. A key component of the COAPS model is the use of predicted sea surface temperatures.

The 2009 forecast, the model's first, was on target: It predicted a below-average season, with a mean of eight named storms with four of them developing into hurricanes. There were nine named storms with three that became hurricanes.

The model's 2009 forecast, plus its hindcasts of the previous 14 hurricane seasons -- that's when the data that existed prior to each season is plugged into the model to reforecast the season and then compared to what actually occurred -- really show the model's precision. From 1995 to 2009, the model predicted a mean of 13.7 named storms of which a mean of 7.8 were hurricanes. In reality, the average during this period was 13.8 named storms with a mean of 7.9 hurricanes.

How the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will affect the development of tropical storms this year is a question that scientists are still trying to figure out, LaRow said. The oil on the ocean surface can diminish the amount of surface evaporation, which would lead to local increased ocean temperatures near the surface, but LaRow said he's made no adjustments to the model to account for the oil that continues to gush from an underwater well.

"The oil spill will probably have little influence on the hurricane season, but we don't know for sure since this spill is unprecedented," he said. "It's uncertain how exactly the atmospheric and oceanic conditions might change if the spill continues to grow."

COAPS researchers spent about five years developing and assessing the numerical model before putting it to the test with its first real-time forecast last year. Numerical models require major computing resources in order to make trillions of calculations using the equations of motion along with the best physical understanding of the atmosphere. By contrast, statistical models, such as the one that produces Colorado State University's annual forecast, use statistical relationships between oceanic and atmospheric variables to make a forecast.

COAPS received a $6.2 million, five-year grant from NOAA in 2006 that has been used, in part, to support the development of the model.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "Unique computer model used to predict active 2010 hurricane season." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100601162322.htm>.
Florida State University. (2010, June 2). Unique computer model used to predict active 2010 hurricane season. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100601162322.htm
Florida State University. "Unique computer model used to predict active 2010 hurricane season." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100601162322.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) — The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Drought Is Good News for Gold Prospectors

California Drought Is Good News for Gold Prospectors

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) — For months California has suffered from a historic drought. The lack of water is worrying for farmers and ranchers, but for gold diggers it’s a stroke of good fortune. With water levels low, normally inaccessible areas are exposed. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener

Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — With only three weeks until Minnesota's fishing opener, many are wondering if the ice will be gone. Some of the Northland lakes are still covered by up to three feet of ice, causing concern that just like last year, the lakes won't be ready. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Warn Of Likely El Niño Event This Year

Scientists Warn Of Likely El Niño Event This Year

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — With Pacific ocean water already showing signs of warming, the NOAA says there's about a 66 percent chance the event will begin before November. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins