â Weather Research Center

5104 Caroline Houston, Texas 77004 Phone: 713-529-3076 Fax: 713-528-3538 E-mail: wrc@wxresearch.org

 

Press Release

For Immediate Release

March 21, 2005

For Information Contact: Jill F. Hasling 713-529-3076

2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

Houston – It is hard to believe after the grueling hurricane season of 2004 that it is time again to start and prepare for the 2005 hurricane season. Meteorologists of Weather Research Center suggest that all coastal residents especially Texans and Floridians prepare for what could be an active Gulf of Mexico hurricane season in 2005.

WRC’s Orbital Cyclone Strike Index [OCSI®] indicates the sections of the coast with the highest probability of a land falling tropical storm or hurricane in 2005 is the Texas coast and the west coast of Florida which both have a 70% chance of experiencing a tropical system this year. The section of the coast from Georgia to North Carolina has the second highest risk with a 60% chance of experiencing a land falling tropical storm or hurricane.

Below is the forecast for the 2005 Hurricane Season. The table not only gives the OCSI percent risk of landfalling storms along the North America Coast but also gives the percent risk based on the average number of landfalls years for a particular section using the entire record 1871 to 1995.

2005 OCSI FORECAST FOR THE ATLANTIC

COAST OCSI CLIMATOLOGY

Mexico 40% 40%

Texas 70% 51%

Louisiana to Alabama 50% 59%

West Florida 70% 71%

East Florida 30% 41%

Georgia to N. Carolina 60% 56%

East Coast of US 20% 36%

Gulf Oil Blocks 81% 88%

Bahamas 70%

In order to compare WRC’s Annual Hurricane Outlook to other seasonal forecasts, WRC meteorologists issue secondary predictors as shown in the table below.

Secondary 2005 Predictors from the OCSI:

Number of Storms : 10

Number of Hurricanes: 5

Number of Hurricane Days: 21

US Landfalls: 4

Cat 3 or Higher Storms: 50%

 

The OCSI has been used by WRC meteorologists Jill F. Hasling and Dr. John C. Freeman since 1985 to make an annual outlook for the section of the US coast which has the highest risk of storm landfall. The years which make up this phase of the OCSI are 1876, 1887, 1898, 1910, 1922, 1932, 1942, 1953, 1963, 1973, 1985 and 1995. Some significant tropical events in those years were:

    1. Category 3 hurricane made landfall over the southwest Florida

coast in October.

    1. Category 4 hurricane made landfall south of Galveston, Texas in August.
    1. Category 3 hurricane made landfall in Central Texas in August
    1. Hurricane Gloria, a Category 3 storm, made landfall along the East

Coast of the US

    1. Hurricane Opal became a Category 5 storm in the eastern Gulf of

Mexico but weakened to a Category 3 storm before making landfall on the west coast of Florida.

Texas storms in this phase of the OCSI occurred in August 1887, September 1898, September 1910, August 1932, August 1942, August 1963, and September 1973.

During other Phase 10 years of the OCSI, such as 1953 the west coast of Florida experienced 5 landfalling storms and in 1995 there were 3 storms which made landfall on the west coast of Florida. Unfortunately, 2005 could be another busy hurricane season for Florida.

The OCSI is also indicating a long season. Three out of the 11 years in this Phase of the OCSI had storms as early as May and two out of the 11 years had storms in December. Four out of the 11 years had 5 or more storms make landfall somewhere on the United States coast. Five out of the 11 years had hurricanes that were category 3 or higher on the Saffir/Simpson Damage Potential Scale.

WRC meteorologist have been making annual hurricane outlooks for the Atlantic since 1985. During the 20 year period 1985 to 2004, there have only been three years 1987, 1992 and 1999 when a storm or hurricane did not make landfall in the section of the United coast that had the highest risk. In all three of these years cyclones made landfall in the section of the coast with the second highest risk. This gives the OCSI an 85% accuracy rate.

The OCSI model is based on the premise that there are orbital influences that are reflected in the global circulation pattern on the sun and subsequently the global circulation pattern of the earth. The sun's orbit influences the sun spot cycle. Using this solar cycle to make an index, hurricane climatology has

been summarized into an index called the OCSI. This index has been used

since 1985 to make annual forecasts of which section of North America has the highest risk of experiencing a tropical storm or hurricane. In addition to its ongoing research, the Center also provides storm and hurricane information via the Internet through Storm Navigator®. This service helps people navigate weather information on the Internet as well as providing detailed storm updates and related information. All of the Center's projections including past predictions can be found on the Internet, http://www.wxresearch.com/outlook .

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