KEY: Bottom numbers indicate how many hurricanes were forecast for each year.
Red icons above the line indicate how many more hurricanes occurred than
predicted. Blue icons below the line indicate how many fewer hurricanes
occurred than predicted.
The Accuracy of 22 Years of Hurricane Season Predictions -
What it means for
boaters preparing for the 2017 storm season
BoatUS, damage from hurricanes is a leading cause for boat insurance claims. So
each summer, the national advocacy, services and safety group anxiously awaits
predictions, from a number of highly qualified experts with supercomputers, as
to how many tropical storms and hurricanes will form in the Atlantic.
With most 2017
storm forecasts now predicting average to above-average storm activity for the
2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season (June 1 – November 30), just how accurate are
these predictions, and do boaters need to adjust their hurricane prep plans
Seaworthy Program, which helps BoatUS members avoid injuries and boat damage by
analyzing insurance claims data and publishing its findings in BoatUS Magazine,
compared over two decades of storm predictions from one of the better-known
hurricane-season forecasts from Colorado State University’s Philip Klotzbach
and the late Bill Gray. Said Seaworthy Director Charles Fort, “Our mission was
not to judge the forecasters but to find out how much confidence we should have
in the hurricane-season predictions and what it means to boaters,” said Fort.
comparing annual predictions to actual weather, Seaworthy discovered that out
of 22 years of hurricane season activity forecasts, only one was 100 percent
accurate. In some years, there were up to eight more storms than predicted
(click here for chart
misinterpret what the forecasters try to do, says Fort. “Early season hurricane
predictions don’t attempt to forecast the percentage of storms that will come
ashore or which coastal locations will be in the crosshair.” BoatUS members can
get public advisories from the National Hurricane Center as they are issued, as
well as detailed maps of the forecast track, wind bands and wind field for each
“Weather forecasting is tricky business,” added Fort. “Despite what forecasters
may predict, a boater’s mantra should be hope for the best but prepare for the
worst. Have a well-thought-out hurricane plan, and prepare your boat as best as
possible. It could mean the difference between an easy recovery after a storm
or a complete loss.”
hurricane-planning help is available online at BoatUS.com/hurricanes.