Today (June 1) marks the beginning of the hurricane “season” in the North Atlantic ocean, in which the ocean and atmospheric conditions are generally the most favorable for creating tropical storms. There is always a little bit of curiosity as to how active the year will be and many groups now produce seasonal forecasts of activity (something we have discussed here in the past). Most forecasts for this year predict a less active season because of the potential development of El Nino.
Cyclone Center, now in its third year, is a website that allows citizen scientists like you to help meteorologists like us determine the maximum wind speed (or “intensity”) of historical global tropical cyclones. We need your help to complete this ambitious project.
Why am I needed?
First, there are way too many images (nearly 300,000!) for us to do it alone! Second, your responses as a group are almost always just as good as an expert! And third, there are disagreements in the historical record that must be addressed. For instance, there are studies in published literature that suggest that typhoon activity is both increasing and decreasing in the western Pacific Ocean. Clearly both cannot be true!
Why are there questions about tropical cyclone data?
Our first major publication appeared online the week of September 8 (link at the end of the post) in the #1 journal for meteorology papers, the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. We have been working with nearly 300,000 classifications from over 5,000 of our valuable citizen scientists over the past year (we now have over 365,000 classifications from 7,400 registered users). Our primary goal was to assess how well Cyclone Center is working and whether it can lead to even more valuable results down the road. The answer is Read More…