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Maine Harbors
Marine & Coastal Weather
Hurricane
2003
Jun 1 - Nov 30
  Return to  Hurricane 2003
2003 Season Forecast
AUGUST 7, 2003

UPDATED FORECAST OF ATLANTIC SEASONAL HURRICANE ACTIVITY AND U.S. LANDFALL PROBABILITY FOR 2003
We anticipate a slightly above-average number of Atlantic basin tropical cyclones for the 2003 season and an increased probability of U.S. hurricane landfall. This is a downward adjustment from our prior 2003 forecasts.

Forecast Table

This forecast is based on new research by the authors, along with current meteorological information through July 2003

By William M. Gray, Philip J. Klotzbach, and Christopher W. Landsea
with special assistance from William Thorson and Jason Connor

Department of Atmospheric Science
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523

PROBABILITIES FOR AT LEAST ONE MAJOR (CATEGORY 3-4-5) HURRICANE LANDFALL ON EACH OF THE FOLLOWING COASTAL AREAS:
1) Entire U.S. coastline - 64% (average for last century is 52%)
2) U.S. East Coast Including the Florida Peninsula - 43% (average for last century is 31%)
3) Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville - 36% (average for last century is 30%)
4) Expected above-average major hurricane landfall risk in the Caribbean

ABSTRACT
Information obtained through July 2003 indicates that after 1 August, the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season will not be as active as previously indicated by our 30 May seasonal forecast. We estimate that 2003 will have the same number of named storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes as our 30 May forecast, but the duration of the storms will be reduced. The number of storms has not been lowered because we have had an active early season of 4 named storms and 2 hurricanes. We foresee a seasonal total of 8 hurricanes (average is 5.9), 14 named storms (average is 9.6), 60 named storm days (average is 49), 25 hurricane days (average is 24.5), 3 intense (category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.3) and 5 intense hurricane days (average is 5.0). We expect Atlantic basin Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity in 2003 to be about 120 percent of the long-term average. This is a reduction from our 30 May NTC forecast of 145. The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall for the rest of the season is estimated to be about 12 percent above the long-period average. We also foresee an above-average probability of Caribbean basin landfall. This 6 August updated forecast is partly based on a newly-developed individual monthly statistical scheme that shows significant hindcast skill over the past 52 years. We also utilize an analog technique which selects prior years and prior months that have global conditions similar to this year. Our final forecast consists of a qualitative adjustment of these separate seasonal, monthly and analog methodologies. We will be issuing short updates to this forecast on 3 September and 2 October.

DR. GRAY'S COMPLETE FORECAST INCLUDING FORECAST METHODOLGY CAN BE FOUND AT:
http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/forecasts/2003/aug2003/

The team will be issuing further seasonal updates of the 2003 Atlantic basin hurricane activity forecast on Wednesday 3 September and for October-only activity on Thursday 2 October.

GRAY RESEARCH TEAM EXTENDED RANGE
ATLANTIC BASIN HURRICANE FORECAST FOR 2003
-Update Released August 7, 2003-
Tropical Cyclone Parameters and
1950-2000 Climatology (in parentheses)

Forecast
Dec. 6
Update
Apr 4
Update
May 30
Update
Aug 7
Named Storms (9.6)*
12
12
14
14
Named Storm Days (49.1)
65
65
70
60
Hurricanes (5.9)
8
8
8
8
Hurricane Days (24.5)
35
35
35
25
Intense Hurricanes (2.3)
3
3
3
3
Intense Hurricane Days (5.0)
8
8
8
5
Destruction Potential (72.7)**
100
100
100
80
Tropical Cyclone Activity (100%)
140
140
145
120

* Number in ( ) represents average year totals based on 1950-2000 data.

** Hurricane Destruction Potential measures a hurricane's potential for wind and ocean surge damage.

Tropical Storm, Hurricane and Intense Hurricane Days are four six hour-long periods where storms attain wind speeds appropriate to their category on the Saffir/Simpson scale.

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