Comment on “How Nature foiled the 2006 hurricane forecasts”



In a recent Eos article, Lau and Kim [2007] suggest that the increase in North Atlantic dust cover in 2006, relative to 2005, depressed ocean temperatures by as much as 1.2 K, and that this cooling was a key factor in the inaccurate forecasts for the last hurricane season. Despite the fact that tropical Atlantic Ocean temperatures in 2006 were the second highest on record and likely not the culprit for the near-normal hurricane activity (G. Bell et al., The 2007 North Atlantic hurricane season: A climate perspective, submitted to Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2007), I argue that Lau and Kim exaggerated the well-known direct radiative forcing effect of dust on surface temperature [Miller and Tegen, 1998].