Seasonal Hurricane Predictions platform releases final 2017 forecasts

31 July 2017

The Atlantic hurricane season is about to get underway (usually around August 1st) and forecasts gathered by the Seasonal Hurricane Predictions website call for an active hurricane season: 14 tropical cyclones, 7 of which will become hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes (category 3 or above). This forecast is an increase with respect to the forecast initially made in June, which called for near-average hurricane activity. Higher hurricane activity is now expected because the potential development of an El Niño, - generally unfavourable to hurricane development- by the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season seems less likely than it was a few months ago. The forecast is also higher than the historical average since 1966, which is set to 6 hurricanes.

The Seasonal Hurricane Predictions platform is a project run by Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and Colorado State University in association with XL Catlin and it is the first platform to aggregate forecasts from all centers specializing in Atlantic hurricane forecasting. To make its prediction, it relies on data from 21 different entities (5 more than in 2016), located on three different continents. The project was launched in August 2016, aiming to improve understanding about hurricane variability among the scientific community and the general public. Last year´s forecast correctly predicted the total number of storms (15) while slightly over-forecasting the total number of hurricanes (8 predicted, 7 formed) and under-forecasting the total number of major hurricanes (3 predicted, 4 formed).

The website of the project was developed in collaboration with the graphic designer Iskiam Jara. The website was named “Site of the Day” in Design Nominees website and nominated to the Lloyd’s Market Innovation Awards in 2016.