German Scientists: NOAA 2013 Hurricane Prediction Completely Missed The Barn…Not A Single Major Hurricane!

News of the NOAA’s miserable, failed 2013 hurricane prediction performance has spread to Europe.

Dr. Sebastian Lüning’s and Prof Fritz Vahrenholt’s Die kalte Sonne site took a look at the results. They compare the official NOAA prognoses from

May 23, 2013:

NOAA predicts active 2013 Atlantic hurricane season – Era of high activity for Atlantic hurricanes continues

For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA’s Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).”

to the NOAA press release from November 25 November 2013:

NOAA: Slow Atlantic hurricane season coming to a close: No major hurricanes formed in the Atlantic basin – first time since 1994

The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends on Saturday, Nov. 30, had the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982, thanks in large part to persistent, unfavorable atmospheric conditions over the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and tropical Atlantic Ocean. This year is expected to rank as the sixth-least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950, in terms of the collective strength and duration of named storms and hurricanes. […] Thirteen named storms formed in the Atlantic basin this year. Two, Ingrid and Humberto, became hurricanes, but neither became major hurricanes. Although the number of named storms was above the average of 12, the numbers of hurricanes and major hurricanes were well below their averages of six and three, respectively. Major hurricanes are categories 3 and above.”

Scientists Vahrenholt’s and Lüning’s conclusion:

This year’s failed prognoses show just how difficult forecasts still can be. In regards to these prognoses, forecasts for an entire century into the future are even more questionable. While annual forecasts at least can be checked and compared to the actual development, this is certainly not possible for prognoses up to the year 2100. The followers of the climate catastrophe theory gleefully exploit this. Activists scientists such as Stefan Rahmstorf or Mojib Latif would be well-advised to be more careful with their argumentation and to be more clear about the huge uncertainties.”

Please note that Lüning and Vahrenholt are not being overly critical of the NOAA, but simply just want to point out that climate scientists shouldn’t be so cocky about their predictions – especially those dealing with the future, let alone 100 years out.


12 responses to “German Scientists: NOAA 2013 Hurricane Prediction Completely Missed The Barn…Not A Single Major Hurricane!”

  1. matthu

    “but simply just want to point out that climate scientists shouldn’t be so cocky about their predictions – especially those dealing with the future”

    the implication being that their predictions about the past haven’t been too bad?

    1. DirkH

      Yep. They get the hindcasting better. Because they can optimize the parameters of the GCM’s until the deviation becomes minimal.

      1. Ed Caryl

        Don’t forget, they are hind casting against data that they have “adjusted” themselves. Because of those adjustments they also need to adjust the future for the models to match anything. It’s all, “Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

      2. PvT

        Climate scientists are “smarter” than other any other scientist with all their forcing and/or feedback parameters used in their GCM’s, even smarter than scientists as John von Neumann. And von Neumann was smart : “With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk”

        What is really worrying is, that they still seem to get away with that..

        1. Ed Caryl

          It’s not that they’re smarter. They just have the best PR agencies that money can buy: governments.

  2. Mike Heath

    You can hindcast every lottery number but never predict the next one.

  3. Green Sand

    The “Jewel in the Crown” seem quite pleased with their forecast:-

    “Verification of 2013 Seasonal Tropical Storm Forecasts for the North Atlantic”

    Suppose it depends on what size of barn you start with?

    1. Kurt in Switzerland

      Green Sand:

      From the Met Office report:

      “ACE index forecasts performed poorly in 2013. On each occasion the observed value fell outside the forecast range.”

      They can’t be too happy about that, particularly given their demonstrably poor predictions on severe UK drought and mild winters the past several years!

      Kurt in Switzerland

      1. Green Sand

        Kurt, it never ceases to amaze what the MO can be happy about! ACE only one third of their forecast other two hit the mark so all is well.

        “Concluding Remarks”

        • Multi-model seasonal forecasts issued by the Met Office between April and September 2013 provided good guidance on the number of tropical storms throughout the season, with observed values falling within the predicted range for all forecasts issued.

        • Forecasts of the number of hurricanes provided good guidance for all forecasts issued apart from May. However, observed values were at the lower end of the range predicted…”

        They also managed to get in a reference to a good looking NINO3.4 SST forecast, first one I can recall! Though to be fair that could be due to the introduction of GloSea5, time will tell.

        However to bolster your point I don’t recall a press or blog release shouting about how good their forecast was?

        1. DirkH

          Getting a critical metric like the ACE entirely wrong over a year is still total failure for the models.

  4. Jimbo

    A six month prediction / projection / scenario / ‘what if’ / guess / failed.

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