Cuba and the 2013 Hurricane Season

More than average activity predicted

Eduardo A. Fernandez Diaz

Hurricane Sandy hit eastern Cuba last October. Image: INSMET

HAVANA TIMES — Research scientists* at the Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science anticipate that the 2013 hurricane season (June 1 – November 30) will have enhanced activity in comparison to the 1981-2010 climatology, primarily due to an anomalous warming of the tropical Atlantic and the unlikeliness of an El Niño event during the summer and fall.

They have estimated that this year will have 18 named storms, 9 of which will reach the category of hurricane and 4 will become major hurricanes (category 3 or higher).

The probability of at least one major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean is estimated to be about 61%. For category 1 and 2 hurricanes, it is estimated at 77% and, for tropical storms, at 95 %.

According to the forecast, this year’s hurricane season will be similar to 2004’s (with hurricanes Charley and Ivan) and 1996’s (which saw hurricane Lily)

This year’s forecast is based on a new extended-range statistical prediction scheme that was developed utilizing 29 years of past data and analog predictors.

Seasonal updates of the forecast will be issued on June 3 and August 2.

This forecast is similar to the one offered by Joe Bastardi from the private meteorology company WeatherBell, which predicts 16 named storms and 12 hurricanes.

The World Meteorological Organization’s hurricane committee has decided to retire Sandy from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical cyclone names because of the human and material losses it caused in the Caribbean, the United States and Canada last year.

In Cuba, 11 people (9 in Santiago de Cuba and 2 in Guantanamo) died as a result of the hurricane, and material losses were estimated at 2 billion dollars.

*Philip J. Klotzbach – Research Scientist
William M. Gray – Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science
Department of Atmospheric Science. Colorado State University
Email: [email protected]