2012 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Outlook

Lian Xie
Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, NCSU

Morgan Lennon, and Montserrat Fuentes
Department of Statistics, NCSU

The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to be on par with the long-term average. Specific forecasts are described below.

  1. Expected number of tropical cyclones (tropical storms and hurricanes) developing in the Atlantic Basin: 7-10 (1950-2012 average: 10.5)
  2. Expected number of hurricanes developing in the Atlantic basin: 4-7 (1950-2012 average: 6.2)
  3. Expected number of major hurricanes developing in the Atlantic basin: 1-3 (1950-2012 average: 2.7)
  4. Expected number of tropical cyclones in the Gulf of Mexico: 2-4
  5. Expected number of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico: 1-2
  6. Expected number of major hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico: 0-1
  7. Number of tropical cyclones making landfall along the US Gulf coast: 1-3. There is a 84% chance at least one tropical cyclone will strike the US Gulf Coast, which reduces to 51% for a hurricane and 24% for a major hurricane.
  8. There is a 58% chance at least one tropical cyclone will strike the US Southeast coast. This probability reduces to about 35% for a hurricane, and approximately 13% for a major hurricane.
  9. There is a 32% chance at least one tropical cyclone will make landfall along the US Northeast coast. The chance reduces to about 13% for that storm to be a hurricane. The chance for a major hurricane to make landfall in the Northeast US coast is historically small, and is essentially unpredictable due to insufficient data sample.

Note: Range of expected values obtained using a 95 percent prediction interval for the number of counts. Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1, and ends on November 30. Atlantic basin includes the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Northeast coast extends from Virginia to Maine. Southeast coast covers the coastal region of the east coast of Florida to North Carolina.

Technical reports can be accessed from. [PDF]

Disclaimer: Results presented herein are for scientific information exchange only. Forecasts are expected to contain certain level of uncertainty due to scientific limitations. Users are at their own risk for using the forecasts in any decision making.