At the beginning of each year, I issue a Tropical Gulf Forecast specifically for the Gulf of Mexico. I will also issue a Landfall Target Area Forecast for the United States. Since the season is coming to an end, now is a good time to look back at those forecasts and see how they did.
My Gulf Forecast called for three to five storms in the Gulf of Mexico, including Tropical Depressions, Tropical Storms and Hurricanes. In 2012, four storms entered the Gulf. They were Debbie, Ernesto, Helene, and Isaac. Ernesto and Helene struck the coast of Mexico, Debbie tracked across Florida and Isaac made landfall in south Louisiana before tracking through the ArkLaTex.
I identified two Target Areas for landfalling systems this year. Debbie hit the first area, the west coast of Florida. Isaac struck the eastern edge of the second area I marked between Houston and just west of New Orleans. I did not identify the northeastern U.S. as a Target Area and it was hit by Hurricane Sandy. It's the second year in a row I have not identified a landfalling storm in the northeast. Overall, in the past two seasons, five of the six areas I have named as Target Areas have been hit by tropical systems.
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