Every year scientists such as meteorologists estimate the probability of an intense hurricane making landfall along the coast of the United States. They study previous weather patterns as far back as 100 years in the past and current climate trends in order to try and prepare the public for the upcoming hurricane season which runs from June 1 through November 30 on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and from May 15 to November 30 on the Pacific coast.
There are many universities and private companies that give the American public their hurricane predictions each year. Perhaps the most respected hurricane forecast predictors are Philip Klotzbach and William Gray who together run the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University. They predict upcoming hurricane seasons with a 78% accuracy record. The 2009 hurricane season is right around the corner and they have recently revised their prediction for the upcoming season. The professors predict that 2009 will be an average hurricane season with 12 named storms, six of those turning into hurricanes, and two of those hurricanes turning into intense hurricanes, measuring a category 3 or greater on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.
North Carolina University also annually predicts just how active the upcoming hurricane season will be and they also predict that the 2009 hurricane season will be an average season. They predict 11-14 named storms hitting in the Atlantic, Gulf and Caribbean regions. Six to eight may become named storms in the Atlantic and three to five may strike the Gulf with one making landfall as an intense hurricane.
Accuweather Inc based in State College, PA is predicting a lighter than normal hurricane season for 2009 with two intense hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater making landfall on the US coast. The reasons for the lighter than average predictions include cooling of Atlantic waters and the presence of El Nino in the Pacific which creates winds that would stop the formation of storms thousands of miles away in the Atlantic. In the last few years the Gulf has seen more storms than the Atlantic but Accuweather predicts that in 2009 the Atlantic would see more storms this year than the Gulf coast.
It is important for these scientists who study hurricanes to give the public some type of prediction as to the severity of the upcoming season so necessary preparations can be made. Preparations and planning is proven to save lives when it comes to hurricanes. If the accuracy of hurricane predictions improves over time more lives will be saved and it will benefit local and federal government agencies, insurance companies and emergency responders.