The experts disagree

Dr William Gray of Colorado State University, USA, is recognised as one of the world’s foremost experts in Atlantic hurricane prediction. And he reckons that the Caribbean and US Southern States are in for a hard time this year.

“We continue to call for a very active Atlantic basin hurricane season in 2007. Landfall probabilities for the United States coastline are well above their long-period average.” He goes on to predict 17 named storms and 9 hurricanes.

Meanwhile on the eastern side of the Atlantic the UK’s Met Office is making a very different forecast. “Ten tropical storms are predicted as the most likely number to occur in the North Atlantic during the July to November period, with a 70% chance that the number will be in the range 7 to 13. This represents below normal activity relative to the 1990-2005 long-term average of 12.4.”

They go on to claim, of the prediction models used, “Recent studies have shown that GloSea and other European models have considerable skill predicting the number of tropical storms, for example successfully predicting the change from the exceptionally active season of 2005 to the below-normal activity of the 2006 season. This marked difference between seasons was missed by a number of statistical prediction methods, which have traditionally formed the basis of most published forecasts.”

I hope they’re right.