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Hurricane forecasts can be made years in advance

Climate modelers push Atlantic predictions beyond a single season

1:02pm, November 7, 2010

The parade of storms that pummels the western fringe of the North Atlantic every year just got a bit more predictable. Scientists say they have developed a way to forecast how many Atlantic hurricanes there will be — not just for the upcoming year, as some groups already do each spring, but for several years out.

“This is the first time anyone has reported skill in predicting the number of hurricanes beyond the seasonal time scale,” says Doug Smith, a climate modeler at the Met Office Hadley Centre in Exeter, England. A paper by Smith and his colleagues appeared online Nov. 7 in Nature Geoscience.

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