The strength of hurricane activity striking the United States during the main hurricane season can now be predicted with significant accuracy thanks to a new computer model developed by scientists at University College London (UCL).
The model, unveiled in a paper in the 21 April issue of the journal Nature, will enable government, public, emergency planning bodies and insurers with US interests to receive warning in early August of the likelihood of either high or low hurricane damage during the subsequent main hurricane season from August to October. This scientific breakthrough offers the potential to significantly reduce the financial risk and uncertainty associated with each hurricane season.
The model, developed by Dr Mark Saunders and Dr Adam Lea of the UCL-based Benfield Hazard Research Centre and Tropical Storm Risk forecasting venture, uses anomalies in wind patterns from six regions over North America and the east Pacific and North Atlantic oceans during July to predict the wind energy of US striking hurricanes for the main hurricane season. The July wind anomalies are from heights between 750 and 7,500 metres above sea level and exhibit a consistent and significant link to the energy of US landfalling hurricanes during the subsequent hurricane season. The wind anomalies in these regions are indicative of atmospheric circulation patterns that either favour or hinder evolving hurricanes from reaching US shores.
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