Predicting Atlantic Basin Seasonal Tropical Cyclone Activity by 1 June

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • | 2 Department of Statistics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Abstract

This is the third in a series of papers describing the potential for the seasonal forecasting of Atlantic basin tropical cyclone activity. Earlier papers by the authors describe seasonal prediction from 1 December of the previous year and from 1 August of the current year; this work demonstrates the degree of predictability by 1 June, the “official” beginning of the hurricane season. Through three groupings consisting of 13 separate predictors, hindcasts are made that explain 51%–72% of the variability as measured by cross-validated agreement coefficients for eight measures of seasonal tropical cyclone activity. The three groupings of predictors include 1) an extrapolation of quasi-biennial oscillation of 50- and 30-mb zonal winds and the vertical shear between the 50- and 30-mb zonal winds (three predictors); 2) West African rainfall, sea level pressure, and temperature data (four predictors); and 3) Caribbean basin and El Niño–Southern Oscillation information including Caribbean 200-mb zonal winds and sea level pressures, equatorial eastern Pacific sea surface temperatures and Southern Oscillation index values, and their changes in time (six predictors). The cross validation is carried out using least sum of absolute deviations regression that provides an efficient procedure for the maximum agreement measure criterion. Corrected intense hurricane data for the 1950s and 1960s have been incorporated into the forecasts. Comparisons of these 1 June forecast results with forecast results from 1 December of the year previous and 1 August of the current year are also given.

Abstract

This is the third in a series of papers describing the potential for the seasonal forecasting of Atlantic basin tropical cyclone activity. Earlier papers by the authors describe seasonal prediction from 1 December of the previous year and from 1 August of the current year; this work demonstrates the degree of predictability by 1 June, the “official” beginning of the hurricane season. Through three groupings consisting of 13 separate predictors, hindcasts are made that explain 51%–72% of the variability as measured by cross-validated agreement coefficients for eight measures of seasonal tropical cyclone activity. The three groupings of predictors include 1) an extrapolation of quasi-biennial oscillation of 50- and 30-mb zonal winds and the vertical shear between the 50- and 30-mb zonal winds (three predictors); 2) West African rainfall, sea level pressure, and temperature data (four predictors); and 3) Caribbean basin and El Niño–Southern Oscillation information including Caribbean 200-mb zonal winds and sea level pressures, equatorial eastern Pacific sea surface temperatures and Southern Oscillation index values, and their changes in time (six predictors). The cross validation is carried out using least sum of absolute deviations regression that provides an efficient procedure for the maximum agreement measure criterion. Corrected intense hurricane data for the 1950s and 1960s have been incorporated into the forecasts. Comparisons of these 1 June forecast results with forecast results from 1 December of the year previous and 1 August of the current year are also given.

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