Another hurricane forecast: where will they go?

courtesy National Oceanic Atmospheric Organization (NOAA)

I’ve blogged about Dale Link’s forecasting for hurricanes before: rather than forecasting HOW MANY hurricanes we will have in a given season, Dale forecasts the likeliest landfalls. His claim is that hurricane strength storms will pass through his forecast zones a little more than half the time. Last year, however, didn’t work out (thank goodness) as planned. Here is Dale’s 2022 forecast, the red areas being the different zones that should expect a pretty good chance for a hurricane:

courtesy Dale Link

Zone 4 along the southern Atlantic coast proved a hit, but most of these zones didn’t have hurricanes this past season. Southern Florida wasn’t a predicted zone, yet was clobbered by Hurricane Ian on the west side and then Nicole, a weak hurricane, struck Florida’s east coast. Fiona slammed into Canada, also unpredicted:

Few Gulf hurricanes this past year

Dale’s methodology is to look at hurricane history, the idea that tracks from the past couple of years will likely be repeated. So I asked about the 2022 bust and he replied:

Yes, I used the wrong data to calculate Zone 3, that zone should have covered the entire west coast of Florida. I will edit that change and show it on my 2022 forecast at the end of the year. Also, I’ll add another Zone that covers western Cuba and eastern Yucatan...Nicole is not forecastable by my methods, it is considered a strong tropical storm (two miles an hour above tropical storm strength) — a weak short-lived hurricane, I will use Nicole to forecast a Zone for eastern Florida in 2024. As far as Zones 1, 2, & 5, only 50% of zones in the U.S. have hurricanes on average. I’m surprised Zone 5 didn’t have a storm. But, I’m still a work-in-progress, determining which storms create zones and which storms are created by past storms is my biggest problem. In any event, I’ll send you my edited 2022 and the 2023 forecasts hopefully by the first of the year.


Even the more traditional forecasts from different universities and weather groups have flaws -- most of them this past year couldn’t consider the quiet July-August we had thanks to Saharan dust, nor did they forecast the heat wave in Europe which dried out the Atlantic, thus the season was largely over-predicted. All we can do is look at where a hurricane forecast goes wrong and work to improve the methodology. That is what science is all about!

Given that, Dale Link has issued his 2023 hurricane forecast and, at least for the Gulf Coast, let’s hope he’s right. He also shows past hurricanes used for his predictions:

courtesy Dale Link

While this forecast calls for a quiet season in Texas, clearly that isn’t a guarantee. You can see Dale’s worldwide predictions and read more about his methodology right here.

Thanks for the quick responses Dale and good luck to all of us as we close in on the 2023 hurricane season!


Email me with questions, ideas and comments!

About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with four decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.