Coastal Carolina University Scientists Release June Hurricane Update

Conway, SC – According to its latest update, the HUGO Hurricane Landfall Outlook Program at Coastal Carolina University is forecasting a slightly lower probability of Atlantic hurricanes in 2015 than was indicated in its April report. The new update, however, forecasts a higher probability of a landfall on the U.S. East Coast and Gulf Coast than the April report.

The latest HUGO outlook, calculated in mid-June and detailed in the table below, predicts that there will be three named hurricanes this season, rather than the four predicted in April. The June report also indicates the likelihood that there will be one major hurricane (Category 3 or above) in 2015 rather than two, as was forecast in April.

Hurricane graph

TS = named storms per season; NH = number of hurricanes; MH = major hurricanes (category 3 or higher); ECLF = number of landfall hurricanes on the Atlantic seaboard; GMLF = number of landfall hurricanes along the U.S. Gulf Coast. *The number of landfalls is given as a probability in order of decreasing likelihood in two stages: most likely and second most likely.

According to the June outlook, the statistical probability of a landfall on the East Coast rose from 0.14 to 0.31, and on the Gulf Coast from 0.10 to 0.38, in comparison with April. However, the new numbers did not necessitate any change from the April report’s original forecast for the most likely landfall scenarios for 2015. The most likely scenario is that no hurricanes will make landfall on either the U.S. East Coast or the U.S. Gulf Coast during the 2015 hurricane season (June 1 to Nov. 30); the second most likely scenario is that one hurricane will make landfall on either the U.S. East Coast or the Gulf Coast; and the third most likely possibility is that one hurricane each will make landfall on the U.S. East Coast and the Gulf Coast.

The HUGO Hurricane Landfall Outlook Program is a unique hurricane model system developed by scientists at Coastal Carolina University and unveiled in 2013. The new model differs from most other hurricane prediction instruments in that it offers landfall probability information. In addition to the seasonal outlook, the model system will predict the track and intensity of any incoming hurricane five days away from landfall.            

The HUGO hurricane seasonal outlook model is based on calculations of 22 climatological factors encompassing oceanic, atmospheric and shoreline activity. The model also considers detailed statistical data from previous Atlantic hurricanes going back to 1950, a methodology that has produced highly accurate track predictions in hindcasting tests conducted by the team at CCU. The HUGO team has made a major advance in computing a key factor, the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) Index, which calculates the kinetic energy of storms based on peak wind values.