AUSTIN (KXAN) — Hurricane season is ramping up, with the first major hurricane outbreak expected to occur very soon. How do we predict what this hurricane is going to look like? By using computer models.

Meteorologist Kristen Currie spoke with Dr. Jeff Masters about hurricane models, including which ones are the “best” and how last year’s models can help us predict this year’s tropical storm season. You can read the full interview below or watch the video above to learn more.

KRISTEN CURRIE, KXAN NEWS: Joining me today is Dr. Jeff Masters with Yale Climate Connections. Dr. Masters, we’re kind of looking back at the last hurricane season and evaluating how some of those forecast models did. Was there anything that surprised you looking back at 2021 and doing your evaluation of those forecast models in the National Hurricane Center?

DR. JEFF MASTERS, YALE CLIMATE CONNECTIONS: Yeah, one of our top models for making intensity forecasts didn’t do as well last year as in previous years, that’s called the HWRF model. It got outperformed by the older model called the HMON model. So, you know, older, sometimes better.

It’s not good to look at just one model, you should really look at a whole suite of models and kind of average together in your mind. A consensus model is a better model than just an individual model.

CURRIE: Any sort of projections or extrapolations we can make for this coming season based on last year’s data?

MASTERS: You know, the conditions last year are very similar to this year. We’ve got a La Niña event going on in the eastern Pacific, and the ocean temperatures are quite similar in their pattern to the last year. So I think another active year on tap for 2022.

CURRIE: If someone were to ask you what is the one model that tends to do better than the rest, if you had to put all your eggs in one basket…

MASTERS: If you’re talking about the actual formation of a new tropical depression, I would look at the American GFS model. I mean, it gives you a lot of false alarms. But if there’s going to be something developing that pretty much is going to sniff it out.

If you’re talking about the actual track of where it’s going to go, either the GFS or the European models are good. And if you’re looking at the intensity, you want to look at one of the specialized hurricane models called the HWRF or the HMON model.