August  2017
CFAN predicts an active Atlantic hurricane season
CFAN’s latest seasonal forecast continues to predict an active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season:
  • The forecasted number of landfalling is 1 or 2, vs. an average of 1.5 since 1995.  This is a decrease from CFAN’s June forecast of 3 landfalling hurricanes.
  • The forecasted Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) is 128, versus an average of 103 since 1982.  This forecast is comparable to CFAN’s June ACE forecast of 134.
  • There is no clear signal from an El Nino or La Nina, making this a difficult forecast.

We have developed a new understanding of the complex relationships among global and Atlantic circulation patterns, and between ACE and landfalls. CFAN’s forecasts provides greater prediction skill for years when there is no clear signal from El Nino or La Nina.

CFAN’s latest 30 day outlook indicates a steady stream of African easterly waves that will be kicking off the heart of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.  Our 30 day outlook shows a preference for tracks curving north into the Atlantic, with greater probability of Atlantic coast impacts.

Peter Webster Symposium 
The research of Peter Webster, CFAN’s co-founder and Chief Scientist, will be celebrated at the Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Austin, TX on 9 January 2017. 
“The Webster Symposium honors Dr. Peter J. Webster for his seminal contributions to the study of tropical dynamics and monsoons. His work on tropical wave dynamics, monsoons, and tropical atmosphere-ocean coupling have guided the research in these fields for the past several decades. Particularly, his studies on monsoon processes, predictability and prediction, and monsoon-ENSO connections have become classics. Dr. Webster’s accomplishments and contributions have been recognized internationally (Adrian Gill Medal and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz international Prize) as well as by the AMS (the Jule G. Charney Award, the Carl Gustav Rossby Research Gold Medal, the Bernhard Haurwitz Memorial Lecturer). He received the AGU 2015 International Award for his outstanding contributions to using science for the benefit of society in developing nations.”

Peter Webster’s research has provided the foundation for many of CFAN’s forecast products.

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Assessment of global climate models 
CFAN President, Dr. Judith Curry, has written a comprehensive assessment report that addresses the debate surrounding climate models. Climate scientists disagree about the amount of weight to give to climate models relative to observational analyses. Climate model outputs are also used by economists and policy makers.  Therefore, they have received considerable scrutiny from a broader community of scientists, engineers, software experts, and philosophers of science.

The report addresses the follow questions about climate models:
  • What is a global climate model?
  • How reliable are global climate models?
  • What are the failings of global climate models?
  • Are climate models a reliable tool for predicting climate change?

The report concludes: “Climate models are useful tools for conducting scientific research to understand the climate system. However, current climate models are not fit for the purpose of attributing the causes of 20th century warming or for predicting global or regional climate change on timescales of decades to centuries, with any high level of confidence.”

Update on 15 day temperature forecasts  

CFAN is Beta-testing new forecast calibration schemes for our 15 day city temperature forecasts.  The new calibration scheme will become operational on September 1.  We also plan to launch our new city forecast product for Europe and Asia around October 15.