A Look Back at the Historic 2020 Hurricane Season and Kickoff to the 2021 Season with Dr. Phil Klotzbach

Episode #21

The Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University has been releasing a seasonal hurricane forecast every year since 1984 under Dr. William Gray. Dr. Phil Klotzbach currently leads the research program and is well known among the emergency management community for his annual forecasts. Dr. Klotzbach will share the latest update for the 2021 season and indications on how the forecast might be changing on the eve of an updated forecast, which will be released by Colorado State on June 3, 2021.

Today marks the official start of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season. In this episode, Dr. Phil Klotzbach will look back on the historic 2020 season and look ahead to this year’s season and projected number of storms.  

Key Takeaways

  • [00:40] Introduction of Dr. Phil Klotzbach

    Phil have you caught your breath yet after such a historic season in 2020. 

  • [01:40] As we take a look at the 2021 Season

    is it going to be another 30+ storm year?

  • [02:30] We saw so many storms in the Gulf last year with Louisiana impacted multiple times, was that unusual?
  • [03:30] There was a late surge of major hurricanes latest that ever before recorded in a season, how unusual was that?
  • [05:20] I know you are looking at other factors, including climate change, what are those atmospheric conditions impacting the number of storms we are seeing?
  • [07:00] I know in South Beach they are having sea level rise issues now.
  • [08:15] This past season we also experienced impacts up the East Coast, how unique were those impacts?
  • [09:50] With all the active years we are seeing now, does that mean we won’t experience inactive years like we experienced in 1992?
  • [12:45] There was a lot of confusion with the Greek alphabet naming system used last year…..

    Does the new naming system make sense to you?

  • [15:25] As we look toward the beginning of the 2021 season, what are some of the new products that your team will have to support emergency managers in tracking storms?
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klotzbach formal 2019
Dr. Phil Klotzbach
Research Scientist
Colorado State University

Phil Klotzbach is a Research Scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. He received his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from CSU in 2007. Klotzbach has been employed in the Department of Atmospheric Science for the past 20 years and was co-author on the Atlantic Basin hurricane forecasts with Dr. William Gray through 2005. He became first author on the seasonal hurricane forecasts in 2006. Klotzbach developed the two-week forecasts currently being issued during the peak months of the hurricane season between August-October. He has authored over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Climate and Weather and Forecasting.

Supplemental Links:

To see Colorado State’s Tropical Meteorology Programs updated forecast on Thursday, June 3rd, visit https://tropical.colostate.edu/