Posted: August 1, 2013

CCU scientists unveil new hurricane outlook model

Hurricane Genesis and Outlook (HUGO) Project offers landfall prediction

A new hurricane outlook model system was unveiled today by scientists at Coastal Carolina University (CCU). The new model, called the Hurricane Genesis and Outlook (HUGO) Project, goes a step further than most other hurricane prediction instruments in that it offers landfall probability information. In addition to the seasonal outlook, this model system will predict the track and intensity of any incoming hurricane five days away from landfall.

The HUGO hurricane seasonal outlook model is based on calculations of 22 climatological factors encompassing oceanic, atmospheric and shoreline activity. The model also considers detailed statistical data from previous Atlantic hurricanes going back to 1950, a methodology that has produced highly accurate track predictions in hindcasting tests conducted by the team at CCU.

The HUGO model offers outlooks on both the U.S. East Coast and Gulf Coast. The probable number of landfalls is given in order of decreasing likelihood. According to the latest prediction, for both the East Coast and Gulf the most likely scenario for 2013 is 1 hurricane landfall, with 2 and 0 landfalls next in probability. Because the HUGO model system will provide specific data on probable storm surge and inundation as a hurricane approaches, including time, location and statistical representations of expected water depth along the coastline, it is expected to have special relevance for emergency management officials in their logistical planning in the event of evacuations.

For more information about CCU’s HUGO Project, contact Len Pietrafesa at 843-349-4017 or 704-910-7047 or email lpietraf@coastal.edu. The HUGO Project website is at bcmw.coastal.edu.

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