Every year we invite InFocus readers to enter a Hurricane Contest just like the one that AIR employees participate in. Now it's mid-May and we are just a couple of weeks away from the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, so we’re running the contest for you once again!
All you have to do is answer four questions and submit your responses before the entry window closes on May 31, 2021:
- How many named tropical storms will form in the Atlantic this year?
- How many of those tropical storms will become hurricanes?
- How many will become major hurricanes (Saffir-Simpson Category 3 or higher)?
- How many hurricanes will make landfall in the mainland U.S.?
For example, by the end of the official season in 2021, 30 named storms, 13 hurricanes, and 7 major hurricanes had been recorded and 6 hurricanes had made landfall in the U.S.
There is no prize for winning this contest, just bragging rights, kudos, and hopefully some fun along the way! The winner will be announced early in 2022.
So, gaze into your crystal ball, study your tea leaves, or simply grab some coffee and set aside a few moments for productive thought. Do whatever you feel necessary to help you make a prediction, and then submit your entry! We'll even give you a tip: in each of the last six years at least one hurricane has formed before the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season. Good luck!
Entries must be submitted by 4:59:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on May 31, 2021.
You must fill out the entire form using only non-negative integers and provide only one value for each field in the entry form (yes, in the past an AIR staffer included uncertainty in their entry).
It is recommended, though not required, that your entry follow these inequalities:
named storms ≥ hurricanes ≥ major hurricanes; hurricanes ≥ mainland U.S. hurricane landfalls
The winner will have the lowest combined error of total named storms in the Atlantic basin, total hurricanes, total major (category 3, 4, or 5) hurricanes, and mainland U.S. landfalling hurricanes.
The contest runs through December 31, 2021. In the event that a storm forms, becomes major, or makes landfall past that date, it will not count.
The National Hurricane Center's reanalysis by the end of the year will be the validation set, regardless of how the storm was named or categorized at the time.
Error count = |guessed named storms – actual named storms| + |guessed hurricanes – actual hurricanes| + |guessed major storms – actual major storms| + |guessed mainland U.S. landfalling hurricanes – actual mainland U.S. landfalling hurricanes
All data used in determining storm count error will come from the National Hurricane Center, as of December 31, 2021.
The winner will be announced after December 31, 2021.
Interfering with the contest is not permitted. For example, you are not allowed to seed clouds in a storm to try to prevent it from gaining strength. Similarly, you may not put ice into the ocean beneath a storm to try cooling the sea surface temperature. In the event of such interference, your entry will be disqualified.
If an issue comes up that is not addressed in these rules, a decision will be made by an appropriate subject matter expert within AIR.