UK Met Office forecasts a below-average storm season

The North Atlantic is likely to see 10 tropical storms this season, according to the latest predictions from the UK Met Office.

The figure is lower that the 1990-2005 long-term average of 12.4 storms and includes a 70% chance that the number of storms will be in the range of seven to 13.

The prediction was announced during the launch of the Met Office’s new forecasting model which is currently the only system in the world to use global climate models to predict tropical storm activity.

The tropical storm frequency forecast is derived using the Met Office’s climate prediction model, taking into account the impacts of the ocean temperature and using atmospheric measurements to forecast for up to six months into the future.

Matt Huddleston, Met Office Principal Consultant on climate change says: "The Met Office forecast has already demonstrated its unparalleled skill over previous seasons, successfully predicting the change from the exceptionally active Atlantic season of 2005 to the below-normal season of 2006. This marked difference between seasons was missed by a number of statistical prediction methods, which have traditionally formed the basis of most published forecasts."