Hurricane Research

2011 FSU COAPS Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast

FSU COAPS Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast Archive

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2011 FSU COAPS Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast

On June 1, 2011, COAPS scientists released their third annual Atlantic hurricane season forecast. This year's forecast calls for a 70 percent probability of 14 to 20 named storms and 8 to 10 hurricanes. The mean forecast is for 17 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and an accumulated cyclone energy (ACE; a measure of the strength and duration of storms) of 163. These numbers are above the 1995-2010 average of 14 named storms and 8 hurricanes, and are related to warm tropical North Atlantic sea surface temperatures, a weakening of La Niña conditions, and the ongoing positive phase of the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation.

The scientists use a numerical climate model developed at COAPS to understand seasonal predictability of hurricane activity. The model is one of only a handful of numerical models in the world being used to study seasonal hurricane activity and is vastly different from the statistical methods used by other hurricane forecasters The COAPS model uses high performance computers to synthesize massive amounts of information, including atmospheric, ocean, and land data.

The COAPS forecast is already gaining recognition for its accuracy only two years after its launch. The 2009 forecast predicted 8 named storms and 4 hurricanes, and there ended up being 9 named storms and 3 hurricanes that year. The 2010 forecast predicted 17 named storms and 10 hurricanes, and there were actually 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes. Details about past forecasts are archived here.

To learn more about this forecast, contact lead scientist Tim LaRow (; (850) 644-6926) and see the following article:


2011 Atlantic hurricane season predictions and observed activity.

Forecasting GroupForecasting MethodForecast Issue DateNamed StormsHurricanesAccumulated Cyclone Energy
FSU COAPSDynamical6/1/1117 (70% chance of 14-20)9 (70% chance of 7-10)163 (70% chance of 130-183)
NOAAHybrid5/19/1112-186-10105%-200% of 1981-2010 median
UK Met OfficeDynamical5/26/1113 (70% chance of 10-17)N/A151 (70% chance 82-212)
Colorado State UniversityStatistical6/1/11169160
Tropical Storm RiskStatistical6/6/1114.1 (+/-3.4)7.6 (+/-2.4)123 (+/-48)

*For the latest updates on 2011 hurricane activity, visit the National Hurricane Center.