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Pacific ENSO Update

3rd Quarter, 2011 Vol. 17 No. 3


The TSR consortium1 places the odds of lower-middle-upper tercile for western North Pacific tropical cyclone activity during 2011 at 31-44-25. This is a forecast biased quite heavily toward near-normal activity. The climate research center at the City University of Hong Kong anticipates that western North Pacific TC activity is likely to be near-normal. They are predicting 31, 27, and 16 for annual totals of TS+TY+TD, TS+TY, and TY respectively. The first two numbers are exactly normal, and the number of typhoons is one below normal. As of mid-July 2011, experimental forecasts for the annual total of western North Pacific TC activity issued by Paul Stanko (Senior forecaster, Guam WFO) indicate that the most likely category of 2011 TC activity is “normal” (among seven groupings ranging from “record high” to “record low”. His complete forecast statistics are as follows: Record High (45 or more TC's): 1.9%, Far Above Normal (37 to 44 TC's): 13.5%, Above Normal (33 to 36 TC's): 26.9%, Near Normal (29 to 32 TC's): 30.8%, Below Normal (26 to 28 TC's): 21.2%, Far Below Normal (20 to 25 TC's): 5.8%, Record Low (19 or fewer TC's): Insignificant.

Given the available guidance1 , the PEAC anticipates that the tropical cyclone activity for the remainder of 2011 will be near normal in the western North Pacific basin and in Micronesia. Normal activity includes named tropical cyclones passing through Micronesian waters and threatening island locations. The level of threat to individual islands is included in their local variability summaries. Given the recent lack of cyclone activity, a normal distribution of tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific may seem like quite a busy year for some locations in Micronesia. Outlooks for the level of activity in the next Southern Hemisphere cyclone season will appear in next quarter’s ENSO Newsletter.

The seasonal hurricane outlook for the State of Hawaii is produced by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in collaboration with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. For 2011, the outlook calls for a 70% chance of a below normal season, a 25% chance of a near normal season, and a 5% chance of an above normal season. 2-4 tropical cyclones are expected to affect the central Pacific this season. An average season has 4-5 tropical cyclones, which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes.

1 The PEAC tropical cyclone forecasts for 2011 are based on forecasts of the status of ENSO and input from three seasonal outlooks for tropical cyclone activity in the western North Pacific basin: (1) The Guam Weather Forecast Office (WFO), (2) The City University of Hong Kong Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, under the direction of Dr. J. C-L. Chan, and (3) The Benfield Hazard Research Centre, University College London, Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) research group, UK, led by Dr Adam Lea and Professor Mark Saunders.

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Page Last Modified: August 05 2011 22:59:03 GMT


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