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NOAA's Seasonal Hurricane Forecasts: Climate Factors Influencing the 2006 Season and a Look Ahead to 2007

Eric Blake1, Gerry Bell2, Muthuvel Chelliah2, Todd Kimberlain3, Chris Landsea1, Richard Pasch1, and Stan Goldenberg 4

Eric.S.Blake@noaa.gov

National Hurricane Center/TPC/NCEP1 Climate Prediction Center/NCEP2 Hydrometeorological Prediction Center/NCEP3 Hurricane Research Division/AOML4

The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season was quieter than anticipated and did not feature a landfalling hurricane in the United States for the first time since 2001. However, seasonal hurricane forecasts from NOAA and most other forecast groups indicated a strong probability of an above-average hurricane season. A verification of last year’s seasonal hurricane forecast will be presented along with the reasons for the failure of the NOAA seasonal forecast. These reasons include the rapid development of an El Niño episode and an abundance of sinking air in the western portion of the basin, leading to dry air and a more stable atmosphere than average. Preliminary indications for the upcoming 2007 Atlantic hurricane season will also be discussed.

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