After a six year period of record activity in the Tropical Atlantic, Dr. Gray indicated that the overall normal weather patterns that have taken control across much of the United States over the past few months will yield only modest numbers for the upcoming hurricane season next year.
He still felt that the 2000 Atlantic Hurricane Season was an active one by many standards, and that his forecast team once again issued an accurate forecast this past year as their forecasting ability continues to improve.
Dr. William Gray, is the pre-eminent hurricane forecaster in the United States, and he works in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. He has issued accurate forecasts for the past two hurricane seasons including four major hurricanes last season, which was just short of the five actual major hurricanes that occurred in 1999.
For the second straight year, Dr. Gray and his forecast team at Colorado State issued a seasonal hurricane forecast that was very close to the actual numbers. This included a correct projection of 3 major hurricanes of Category Three strength or better on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
A major hurricane is a hurricane with winds of 115 mph or greater. Dr. Gray had lowered his expectations for the 2000 Hurricane Season after very little activity had developed in the Atlantic during the first two months of the 2000 Hurricane Season.
He had initially predicted 12 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes in June as the season began due to the fact that La Nina conditions were persisting longer than anticipated. However, the Madden Julian effect, which kept the numbers down in the first several months of the season, was stronger than usual and it prevented typical tropical development.
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However, the Atlantic Basin, would pick up after Dr. Gray issued his lowered expectations in August, and produced 11 named storms over the next eight weeks, and ended up with 14 named storms on the season, 8 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes which exceeded even the expectations made in June by Dr. William Gray.
In other areas of the forecast, Dr. Gray's forecasted team forecasted a total of 55 named storm days which was close to the 66 actual named storm days that occurred in 2000. Moreover, the team indicated there would be 30 hurricane days and 6 major hurricane days while only 32 and five and a quarter occurred.
The destruction potential was predicted to be 90 as supposed to the 85 that actually came out at season's end. Maximum Potential Destruction, which was forecasted to be 70 was actually 78 while the Net Tropical Cyclone Activity, which is a measure of how active the season was, was predicted to be 130, and actually turned out to be 134.
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Dr. Gray indicated that this season was an active year by many standards despite the fact that the media had indicated that it was much quieter than last year. What had contributed to that fact was the fact that there weren't any major hurricanes that made landfall across the United States in 2000, and storms such as Hurricanes Debby and Gordon weakened a great deal before they were able to make a significant impact on the Caribbean or the U.S. Coastline.
Nevertheless, we still had Hurricane Keith, which was a strong Category Four Hurricane that impacted on the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize with 135 mph winds. In addition, Tropical Storm Leslie brought heavy rains to South Florida while Hurricane Michael caused minor damage in parts of the Canadian maritimes. Hurricane Alberto was the longest lasting storm during the month of August while Hurricane Isaac was the strongest hurricane of the 2000 Hurricane Season, but it didn't impact anywhere.
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