A nice wrap up of the season.
I like city predictions. The city database and ranking
is a great tool, a very indepth version of return rates
. The predictions are not specifying the particular weather pattern that explains why a city is more likely to be impacted, mostly that in years with a certain amount of storms certain cities are more or less likely to be impacted. (2016 city predictions blog
) Trying to pick the weather pattern that might explain what will happen would be impossible, but on average in history there are certain return rates, with often hit areas a little easier to predict when something is overdue. You can't ignore that kind of thing. It really is a great resource when you work out the numbers each year.
Obviously people can be hit at anytime with a storm, whether an area is overdue or not. It only takes one. Repetitive for the regulars here to hear, but important for others to realize. I kind of say the same thing each year about the statistics. People can't look at the city predictions and say their area is safe, but it is nice to have some general idea of cities that are overdue and cities that get hit when there are a certain number of storms. Why certain cities are more likely to get hit when there is a certain amount of storms is rather uncertain, no one can probably decipher that very well yet. But certain weather patterns can exist in seasons when there is a certain range of storms. These can make a city more or less likely to be hit. Even though you can't explain the reasons for the weather pattern (who knows how long before people and models can much more accurately forecast the weather and even climate in advance) you can learn a lot from the statistics.
The bad thing if your picks were widely publicized would be people complaining about their city either in or not in it. People wouldn't get that it doesn't mean your city is guaranteed to be hit or that you are safe in a season. The good would be for those that simply were not going to prepare would finally give in if they saw their city. People should always prepare the same pretty much regardless of what anyone anywhere says, but that's probably not reality for many people. If they see a below normal forecast, a lot of people unfortunately don't prepare and then likely blame everyone if they get hit. (or the really insane people who complain about having to prepare and then don't get hit)
It would be nice if you got more respect in regard to predictions among those that do it. I like that people and organizations try to make predictions. As long as there is reasoning, I think its beneficial for the betterment of forecasting. The general public just needs to understand that it is and will always be imperfect. You can't know exactly how things will unfold, but hopefully the science gets better and the predictions get a little more accurate, on average, from people over time.
I have mixed emotions about seasonal predictions being really widely disseminated. On the news every time CSU or NOAA does a seasonal forecast they make a really big deal about it, especially local news. I like the information as a weather geek, and other people would like to know it too, but a lot of times way too much weight is put on it by the media. I feel like people really need all the additional information, not just the headline numbers. You need to know more about methodology. People need more explanation. It can't be condensed down to the length of a tweet or headline. If you don't get the explanation some people see it as being told whether they need to prepare or not, and that is the wrong idea. You always need to prepare.
I'm not sure about things like the MJO:https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/enso/what-mjo-and-why-do-we-carehttp://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/mjo.shtml
Given a lot of shear that we have seen over many hurricane seasons, I think that while the MJO might help something that was likely already going to develop, if other conditions are not right, such as shear, the MJO is not going to be enough to let something develop. It might be the tipping point for some storms' development, but I don't know to what extent. Shear and a lot of dry air rule over all else usually. The convective phase of the MJO is likely not going to be enough to counteract areas with a lot of shear and/or an already really dry air mass.