• Judith Curry

Climate Forecast Applications Network predicts above normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

(Reno NV, 19 December 2017) Scientists at Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN) have identified a breakthrough in understanding of the long-range impact of global climate dynamics on Atlantic hurricane activity.

CFAN predicts 80% probability of an above normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, with predicted values of Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) and 1-2 U.S. landfalling hurricanesthat are near the average for the active period since 1995.

Forecasts in December for next year’s Atlantic hurricane activity are desirable for writing insurance and reinsurance contracts. However, most providers of seasonal hurricane forecasts have judged seasonal forecasts this far in advance to have little to no skill. This is because hurricane forecast models based on tropical sea surface patterns responsible for El Nino and La Nina events and North Atlantic sea surface temperatures show little skill prior to June.

New research from Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN) has identified precursors to the seasonal Atlantic hurricane activity out to lead times of 12 to 24 months. These early precursors involve systematic, repeating interactions among tropical Pacific sea surface patterns, stratospheric circulation patterns, and atmospheric circulation patterns over the tropical North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea.

CFAN’s forecast model shows moderate predictive skill of US landfall totals and North Atlantic ACE two years later. High levels of activity are accurately indicated for the years of 1995, 2004, 2005, 2011 and most recently in 2017. Low levels of activity are indicated during multiyear hurricane ‘droughts’ of 2000-2002 and 2013-15. The forecast model captures low-frequency aspects of interannual hurricane variability, capturing periods of active and inactive years, but typically underestimate the amplitudes of specific annual anomalies.

Additional information and interviews are available on request.

Download a copy of the forecast report here: [link}

About CFAN

Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN) is owned and operated by climate scientists. CFAN was founded in 2006 by Judith Curry and Peter Webster and launched under Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute VentureLab program. CFAN’s world-class research team translates the latest research and forecast innovations into solutions for our clients’ most challenging weather and climate related problems.

CFAN issues seasonal hurricane forecasts for the Atlantic in December, March, May and August and May., CFAN’s seasonal hurricane forecast reports are available through paid subscription. See the CFAN website for more information about the firm, its research and forecast products:

Contact information

Dr. James Johnstone, Senior Scientist


Dr. Judith Curry, President



Telephone: (404) 803-2012

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