June 2018
The results are in: CFAN’s 2017 track forecasts were the most accurate
Analysis of Atlantic hurricane forecasts for the 2017 season shows that CFAN’s accuracy in predicting tracks was superior to other government and publicly available forecasts beyond 2 days. CFAN uses a proprietary tracking algorithm to improve upon the forecasts provided by the ECMWF model, including a calibration that corrects for track forecast errors.

At five days lead-time, the average track error for the NHC forecasts was 170 miles. CFAN’s five-day track forecast error was smaller than the official NHC forecast by an average of 39 miles. For the 2018 season, CFAN plans to offer real-time track verification as part of our TropiCast forecast product.

While the NHC did not provide forecasts beyond 5 days, the average track error for CFAN’s forecast was 287 miles at 10 days lead-time. Longer lead times for hurricane forecasts are becoming increasingly important for planning for emergency management, restoring electric power, anticipating financial losses, and accelerating insurance payments.

New product for 2018: Predictions of high-resolution landfall winds 
CFAN’s forecasts of high-resolution landfall winds are helping a major electric power provider in Florida to rapidly restore power from landfalling hurricanes. CFANs forecasts drive an outage models that helps them to plan for emergency crew placement. CFAN’s forecasts helped the client to rapidly restore power following Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew in 2016 and Irma in 2017.

For the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, CFAN is extending the domain of our high-resolution landfall winds forecasts to include the entire Atlantic and Gulf coasts. These forecasts can interface with client models of damages to assets and operations.

CFAN is providing a new interactive tool that allows the user to dynamically zoom and cycle through each ensemble wind field to better anticipate potential impacts. 

Check out the verification statistics for Hurricane Hermine (2016), Matthew (2016) and Irma (2017) [link] 
CFAN predicts below average activity for 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

CFAN predicts a below average 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. Our current forecasts predict below-normal activity in 2018: 4 hurricanes, 1 to 2 major hurricanes, total ACE of 63, and 0 to 1 US landfalls.  

CFAN’s seasonal forecast is based on a new understanding of the complex relationships among the global and Atlantic circulation patterns. CFAN’s June prediction is close to our prediction last April.

 
CFAN identifies the causes of the extremely active
2017 hurricane season 
The 2017 North Atlantic hurricane season was unusually active and far exceeded pre-season predictions. Why was the 2017 season so active? The developing La Nina explained a relatively small amount of the elevated hurricane activity.

CFAN identified a new circulation pattern in the Arctic that has a close relationship with the number of US landfalls. Identification of this circulation pattern was a factor in CFAN’s forecast of an active 2017 season, particularly the U.S. landfalls.

CFAN has also identified important atmospheric circulation patterns in the Gulf of Mexico and the western subtropical Pacific, showing how they contributed to 2017’s storms. This pattern was already established in early summer, before development of La Niña and strong late-summer hurricane activity. This is potentially an important new predictor of Atlantic seasonal hurricane activity.

Beyond ENSO: new signals of seasonal climate predictability

CFAN's President Judith Curry gave an invited presentation at the Weather Risk Management Association (WRMA) annual meeting in Miami on June 8, 2018. The talk presents a new vision that integrates global model forecasts with data mining and climate dynamics analysis. This vision underpins CFAN's new developments in seasonal forecasting.