A ‘head scratcher’ – No Atlantic Hurricane by August in First Time in 11 Years

From his vantage point high above the earth in...

From his vantage point high above the earth in the International Space Station, Astronaut Ed Lu captured this broad view of Hurricane Isabel. The image, ISS007-E-14750, was taken with a 50 mm lens on a digital camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where are all the hurricanes Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Joe Romm, and Brad Johnson say are supposed to happen due to global warming? Article includes most recent forecast from Klotzbach and Gray

Bloomberg News: August is about to end without an Atlantic hurricane for the first time since 2002, calling into question predictions of a more active storm season than normal.

Six tropical systems have formed in the Atlantic since the season began June 1 and none of them has grown to hurricane strength with winds of at least 74 miles (120 kilometers) per hour. Accumulated cyclone energy in the Atlantic, a measure of tropical power, is about 30 percent of where it normally would be, said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of Colorado State University’s seasonal hurricane forecasts.

“At this point, I doubt that a super-active hurricane season will happen,” Klotzbach said in an e-mail yesterday.

The most active part of the Atlantic season runs from Aug. 20 to about the first week of October. The statistical peak occurs on Sept. 10, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-30/no-atlantic-hurricane-by-august-in-first-time-in-11-years.html

FORECAST OF ATLANTIC SEASONAL HURRICANE ACTIVITY AND LANDFALL STRIKE PROBABILITY FOR 2013

We continue to anticipate an above-average season in 2013, although we have lowered our forecast slightly due to anomalous cooling in the eastern subtropical and tropical Atlantic. We expect an above-average probability of United States and Caribbean major hurricane landfall. 

(as of 2 August 2013)

By Philip J. Klotzbach1 and William M. Gray2

This forecast as well as past forecasts and verifications are available online at: http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts

Kate Jeracki, Colorado State University Media Representative, (970-491-2658 or Kate.Jeracki@colostate.edu) is available to answer various questions about this forecast

Department of Atmospheric Science Colorado State University

Fort Collins, CO 80523 Email: amie@atmos.colostate.edu

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”. Yogi Berra

clip_image0011 Research Scientist

2 Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science

ATLANTIC BASIN SEASONAL HURRICANE FORECAST FOR 2013

Forecast Parameter and 1981-2010 Median (in parentheses) Issue Date 10 April

2013

Issue Date 3 June 2013 Observed Activity Through July 2013 Forecast Activity After

31 July

Total Seasonal Forecast
Named Storms (NS) (12.0) 18 18 4 14 18
Named Storm Days (NSD) (60.1) 95 95 9.25 75 84.25
Hurricanes (H) (6.5) 9 9 0 8 8
Hurricane Days (HD) (21.3) 40 40 0 35 35
Major Hurricanes (MH) (2.0) 4 4 0 3 3
Major Hurricane Days (MHD) (3.9) 9 9 0 7 7
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) (92) 165 165 7 135 142
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (NTC) (103%) 175 175 10 140 150

POST-31 JULY PROBABILITIES FOR AT LEAST ONE MAJOR (CATEGORY 3-4-5) HURRICANE LANDFALL ON EACH OF THE FOLLOWING UNITED STATES COASTAL AREAS:

1) Entire U.S. coastline – 64% (full-season average for last century is 52%)

2) U.S. East Coast Including Peninsula Florida – 40% (full-season average for last century is 31%)

3) Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville – 40% (full- season average for last century is 30%)

POST-31 JULY PROBABILITIES FOR AT LEAST ONE MAJOR (CATEGORY 3-4-5) HURRICANE TRACKING INTO THE CARIBBEAN (10-20°N, 60-88°W)

1) 53% (full-season average for last century is 42%)

POST-31 JULY HURRICANE IMPACT PROBABILITIES FOR 2013 (NUMBERS IN PARENTHESES ARE LONG-PERIOD FULL SEASON AVERAGES)

State Hurricane Major Hurricane
Texas 43% (33%) 16% (12%)
Louisiana 40% (30%) 16% (12%)
Mississippi 14% (11%) 6% (4%)
Alabama 21% (16%) 4% (3%)
Florida 63% (51%) 28% (21%)
Georgia 15% (11%) 2% (1%)
South Carolina 23% (17%) 5% (4%)
North Carolina 37% (28%) 10% (8%)
Virginia 9% (6%) 1% (1%)
Maryland 2% (1%) <1% (<1%)
Delaware 2% (1%) <1% (<1%)
New Jersey 2% (1%) <1% (<1%)
New York 10% (8%) 4% (3%)
Connecticut 10% (7%) 3% (2%)
Rhode Island 8% (6%) 4% (3%)
Massachusetts 10% (7%) 3% (2%)
New Hampshire 2% (1%) <1% (<1%)
Maine 5% (4%) <1% (<1%)

POST-31 JULY PROBABILITIES OF HURRICANES AND MAJOR HURRICANES TRACKING WITHIN 100 MILES OF EACH ISLAND OR LANDMASS FOR 2013 (NUMBERS IN PARENTHESES ARE LONG-PERIOD FULL SEASON AVERAGES)

Island/Landmass Hurricane within 100 Miles Major Hurricane within 100 Miles
Bahamian Islands 64% (51%) 39% (30%)
Cuba 64% (52%) 37% (28%)
Haiti 36% (27%) 18% (13%)
Jamaica 33% (25%) 15% (11%)
Mexico (East Coast) 70% (57%) 30% (23%)
Puerto Rico 38% (29%) 18% (13%)
Turks and Caicos 32% (24%) 13% (9%)
US Virgin Islands 39% (30%) 16% (12%)

Please also visit the Landfalling Probability Webpage at http://www.e- transit.org/hurricanefor landfall probabilities for 11 U.S. coastal regions and 205 coastal and near-coastal counties from Brownsville, Texas to Eastport, Maine as well as probabilities for every island in the Caribbean. We suggest that all coastal residents visit the Landfall Probability Webpage for their individual location probabilities.

ABSTRACT

Information obtained through July 2013 indicates that the remainder of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season will be more active than the average 1981-2010 season. We estimate that the remainder of 2013 will have about 8 hurricanes (average is 5.5), 14 named storms (average is 10.5), 75 named storm days (average is 58), 35 hurricane days (average is 21.3), 3 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.0) and 7 major hurricane days (average is 3.9). The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall and Caribbean major hurricane activity for the remainder of the 2013 season is estimated to be above its long-period average. We expect the remainder of the Atlantic basin hurricane season to accrue Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity approximately 140 percent of the seasonal average. We have decreased our seasonal forecast slightly from early April and early June, due to anomalous cooling of sea surface temperatures in the tropical and subtropical eastern Atlantic.

This forecast was based on a newly-developed extended-range early August statistical prediction scheme developed over the previous 33 years. An earlier statistical model that was utilized for several years has also been consulted. Analog predictors were also considered.

Cool neutral ENSO conditions are currently present in the tropical Pacific, and we believe that these conditions are likely to persist for the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season. While sea level pressure anomalies across the tropical Atlantic have been relatively low during June and July, sea surface temperatures have anomalously cooled in the eastern tropical and subtropical Atlantic. These cooler SSTs are typically associated with less favorable thermodynamic conditions which we believe could cause slightly less TC activity than expected earlier.

Starting today and issued every two weeks following (e.g., August 16, August 30, etc), we will issue two-week forecasts for Atlantic TC activity during the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season from August-October. A late-season forecast for the Caribbean basin will be issued on Tuesday, October 1.

Why issue forecasts for seasonal hurricane activity?

We are frequently asked this question. Our answer is that it is possible to say something about the probability of the coming year’s hurricane activity which is superior to climatology. The Atlantic basin has the largest year-to-year variability of any of the global tropical cyclone basins. People are curious to know how active the upcoming season is likely to be, particularly if you can show hindcast skill improvement over climatology for many past years.

Everyone should realize that it is impossible to precisely predict this season’s hurricane activity in early August. There is, however, much curiosity as to how global ocean and atmosphere features are presently arranged as regards to the probability of an active or inactive hurricane season for the coming year. Our new early August statistical forecast methodology shows strong evidence over 33 past years that improvement over climatology can be attained. We utilize this newly-developed model along with an older August statistical models when issuing this year’s forecast. We would never issue a seasonal hurricane forecast unless we had a statistical model constructed over a long hindcast period which showed significant skill over climatology.

We issue these forecasts to satisfy the curiosity of the general public and to bring attention to the hurricane problem. There is a general interest in knowing what the odds are for an active or inactive season. One must remember that our forecasts are based on the premise that those global oceanic and atmospheric conditions which preceded comparatively active or inactive hurricane seasons in the past provide meaningful information about similar trends in future seasons. This is not always true for individual seasons. It is also important that the reader appreciate that these seasonal forecasts are based on statistical schemes which, owing to their intrinsically probabilistic nature, will fail in some years. Moreover, these forecasts do not specifically predict where within the Atlantic basin these storms will strike. The probability of landfall for any one location along the coast is very low and reflects the fact that, in any one season, most U.S. coastal areas will not feel the effects of a hurricane no matter how active the individual season is.

Acknowledgment

This year’s forecasts are funded by private and personal funds. We thank the GeoGraphics Laboratory at Bridgewater State University (MA) for their assistance in developing the United States Landfalling Hurricane Probability Webpage (available online at http://www.e-transit.org/hurricane).

The second author gratefully acknowledges the valuable input to his CSU seasonal forecast research project over many years by former graduate students and now colleagues Chris Landsea, John Knaff and Eric Blake. We also thank Professors Paul Mielke and Ken Berry of Colorado State University for statistical analysis and guidance over many years. We also thank Bill Thorson for his long-period technical advice and assistance.

DEFINITIONS AND ACRONYMS

AccumulatedCyclone Energy (ACE) - A measure of a named storm’s potential for wind and storm surge destruction defined as the sum of the square of a named storm’s maximum wind speed (in 104 knots2) for each 6-hour period of its existence. The 1950-2000 average value of this parameter is 96 for the Atlantic basin.

Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO) – A mode of natural variability that occurs in the North Atlantic Ocean and evidencing itself in fluctuations in sea surface temperature and sea level pressure fields. The AMO is likely related to fluctuations in the strength of the oceanic thermohaline circulation. Although several definitions of the AMO are currently used in the literature, we define the AMO based on North Atlantic sea surface temperatures from 50-60°N, 10-50°W.

Atlantic Basin – The area including the entire North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.

ElNiño– A 12-18 month period during which anomalously warm sea surface temperatures occur in the eastern half of the equatorial Pacific. Moderate or strong El Niño events occur irregularly, about once every 3-7 years on average.

Hurricane (H) - A tropical cyclone with sustained low-level winds of 74 miles per hour (33 ms-1 or 64 knots) or greater.

Hurricane Day (HD) - A measure of hurricane activity, one unit of which occurs as four 6-hour periods during which a tropical cyclone is observed or is estimated to have hurricane-force winds.

Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) – A globally propagating mode of tropical atmospheric intra-seasonal variability. The wave tends to propagate eastward at approximately 5 ms-1, circling the globe in roughly 40-50 days.

MainDevelopment Region (MDR) – An area in the tropical Atlantic where a majority of major hurricanes form, which we define as 10-20°N, 20-70°W.

MajorHurricane(MH)- A hurricane which reaches a sustained low-level wind of at least 111 mph (96 knots or 50 ms-1) at some point in its lifetime. This constitutes a category 3 or higher on the Saffir/Simpson scale.

MajorHurricaneDay (MHD) - Four 6-hour periods during which a hurricane has an intensity of Saffir/Simpson category 3 or higher.

Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) – An index defining ENSO that takes into account tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures, sea level pressures, zonal and meridional winds and cloudiness.

NamedStorm (NS) - A hurricane, a tropical storm or a sub-tropical storm.

NamedStorm Day (NSD) - As in HD but for four 6-hour periods during which a tropical or sub-tropical cyclone is observed (or is estimated) to have attained tropical storm-force winds.

Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) Activity –Average seasonal percentage mean of NS, NSD, H, HD, MH, MHD. Gives overall indication of Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane activity. The 1950-2000 average value of this parameter is 100.

Saffir/SimpsonHurricane Wind Scale – A measurement scale ranging from 1 to 5 of hurricane wind intensity. One is a weak hurricane; whereas, five is the most intense hurricane.

Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) – A normalized measure of the surface pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin. Low values typically indicate El Niño conditions.

SeaSurfaceTemperature– SST

Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly – SSTA

ThermohalineCirculation (THC) – A large-scale circulation in the Atlantic Ocean that is driven by fluctuations in salinity and temperature. When the THC is stronger than normal, the AMO tends to be in its warm (or positive) phase, and more Atlantic hurricanes typically form.

TropicalCyclone (TC) - A large-scale circular flow occurring within the tropics and subtropics which has its strongest winds at low levels; including hurricanes, tropical storms and other weaker rotating vortices.

TropicalNorthAtlantic (TNA) index – A measure of sea surface temperatures in the area from 5.5-23.5°N, 15-57.5°W.

TropicalStorm (TS) - A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds between 39 mph (18 ms-1 or 34 knots) and 73 mph (32 ms-1 or 63 knots).

Vertical Wind Shear – The difference in horizontal wind between 200 mb (approximately 40000 feet or 12 km) and 850 mb (approximately 5000 feet or 1.6 km).

1 knot = 1.15 miles per hour = 0.515 meters per second

1 Introduction

This is the 30th year in which the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project has made forecasts of the upcoming season’s Atlantic basin hurricane activity. Our research team has shown that a sizable portion of the year-to-year variability of Atlantic tropical cyclone (TC) activity can be hindcast with skill exceeding climatology. This year’s August forecast is based on a new statistical methodology derived from 33 years of past data along with an earlier August forecast scheme. Qualitative adjustments are added to accommodate additional processes which may not be explicitly represented by our statistical analyses. These evolving forecast techniques are based on a variety of climate- related global and regional predictors previously shown to be related to the forthcoming seasonal Atlantic basin TC activity and landfall probability. We believe that seasonal forecasts must be based on methods that show significant hindcast skill in application to long periods of prior data. It is only through hindcast skill that one can demonstrate that seasonal forecast skill is possible. This is a valid methodology provided that the atmosphere continues to behave in the future as it has in the past.

The best predictors do not necessarily have the best individual correlations with hurricane activity. The best forecast parameters are those that explain the portion of the variance of seasonal hurricane activity that is not associated with the other forecast variables. It is possible for an important hurricane forecast parameter to show little direct relationship to a predictand by itself but to have an important influence when included with a set of 2-3 other predictors.

A direct correlation of a forecast parameter may not be the best measure of the importance of this predictor to the skill of a 3-4 parameter forecast model. This is the nature of the seasonal or climate forecast problem where one is dealing with a very complicated atmospheric-oceanic system that is highly non-linear. There is a maze of changing physical linkages between the many variables. These linkages can undergo unknown changes from weekly to decadal time scales. It is impossible to understand how all these processes interact with each other. No one can completely understand the full complexity of the atmosphere-ocean system. But, it is still possible to develop a reliable statistical forecast scheme which incorporates a number of the climate system’s non-linear interactions. Any seasonal or climate forecast scheme should show significant hindcast skill before it is used in real-time forecasts.

1.1 2013 Atlantic Basin Activity through July

The 2013 Atlantic basin hurricane season has had approximately average TC activity, based on the ACE index, during June and July.

Andrea developed on June 5 from an area of low pressure in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. It slowly intensified as it moved northeast and then accelerated northeastward ahead of an upper-level trough. Andrea reached a peak intensity of 55 knots just before making landfall along the Big Bend of Florida late on June 6. It rapidly weakened after

landfall, becoming a post-tropical cyclone on June 7. Andrea’s post-tropical remnants were responsible for three fatalities in North Carolina.

Barry formed from an area of low pressure in the northwestern Caribbean Sea on June 17. It drifted across Belize as a tropical depression, nearly being downgraded to a remnant low in the process, before intensifying into a tropical storm when it emerged over the southern Bay of Campeche on June 19. A ridge over the southern Gulf of Mexico steered Barry westward, and it made landfall in the state of Veracruz, Mexico on June 20 with maximum sustained winds near 40 knots at landfall. It rapidly weakened over the course of the day, being downgraded to a tropical depression a few hours after landfall and then a remnant low later that day. Three fatalities in Mexico and Belize have been attributed to Barry.

Chantal developed from an easterly wave in the central tropical Atlantic late on July 7. It moved rapidly westward as it was steered by a strong ridge to its north.

Despite its accelerated speed, Chantal intensified slowly over the next day, due to relatively light vertical wind shear. It reached its maximum intensity of 55 knots on July

9. Strong westerly shear soon interacted with the system, and Chantal weakened rapidly. It degenerated into an open wave on July 10. Chantal’s remnants caused heavy flooding in Hispaniola and killed one individual in the Dominican Republic.

Dorian formed in the eastern tropical Atlantic from an easterly wave on July 24. The system intensified into a tropical storm later that day as it moved rapidly westward. It reached its maximum intensity of 50 knots the following day while traveling through an area of relatively light shear. By July 26, Dorian began to encounter relatively strong southwesterly shear and drier air and began weakening. A large upper-level trough to the west of Dorian continued to impart strong southwesterly shear over the system, and it degenerated into a tropical wave the following day.

Table 1 records observed Atlantic basin TC activity through 31 July, while tracks through 31 July are displayed in Figure 1. All TC activity calculations are based upon data available in the National Hurricane Center’s b-decks.

Table 1: Observed 2013 Atlantic basin tropical cyclone activity through July 31.

Highest Category Name Dates Peak Sustained Winds (kts)/lowest SLP (mb) NSD HD MHD ACE NTC
TS Andrea June 5 – June 7 55 kt/992 mb 2.00 1.5 2.4
TS Barry June 19 – June 20 40 kt/1003 mb 1.00 0.6 2.1
TS Chantal July 8 – July 10 55 kt/1003 mb 2.75 2.1 2.7
TS Dorian July 24 – July 27 50 kt/999 mb 3.50 2.6 2.9
Totals 4 9.25 6.8 10.1

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Figure 1: 2013 Atlantic basin hurricane tracks through July. Figure courtesy of Unisys Weather (http://weather.unisys.com). Yellow lines indicate TCs at named storm strength, while green lines indicate TCs at tropical depression strength.

2 Newly-Developed 1 August Forecast Scheme

We developed a new 1 August statistical seasonal forecast scheme for the prediction of Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity last year. This model uses a total of three predictors, all of which are selected from the ERA-Interim Reanalysis dataset, which is available from 1979-present. The major components of the forecast scheme are discussed in the next few paragraphs.

The pool of three predictors for this new early August statistical forecast scheme is given and defined in Table 2. The location of each of these predictors is shown in Figure 2. Skillful forecasts can be issued for post-31 July NTC based upon hindcast results over the period from 1979-2011 as well as a real-time forecast in 2012. When

these three predictors are combined, they correlate at 0.91 with observed NTC using a drop-one cross validation approach over the period from 1979-2012 (Figure 3).

Table 2: Listing of 1 August 2013 predictors for this year’s hurricane activity using the new statistical model. A plus (+) means that positive deviations of the parameter indicate increased hurricane activity this year, and a minus (-) means that positive deviations of the parameter indicate decreased hurricane activity this year. The combination of these three predictors calls for a slightly above-average hurricane season. None of these predictors deviate significantly from their 1981-2010 average values.

Predictor Values for 2013 Forecast Effect on 2013 Hurricane Season
1) July Surface U (10-17.5°N, 60-85°W) (+) +0.4 SD Slightly Enhance
2) July Surface Temperature (20-40°N, 15-35°W) (+) -0.1 SD Slightly Suppress
3) July 200 mb U (5-15°N, 0-40°E) (-) -0.1 SD Slightly Suppress

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Figure 2: Location of predictors for the post-31 July forecast for the 2013 hurricane season from the new statistical model.

Post-1 August NTC (Observed vs. Cross-Validated Hindcast)

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Observed

Jackknifed Hindcast

r = 0.91

200

150

100

50

0

1979 1982 1985 1988 1991 1994 1997 2000 2003 2006 2009 2012

Figure 3: Observed versus hindcast values of post-31 July NTC for 1979-2012 using the new statistical scheme – a very skillful hindcast verification.

Table 3 shows our statistical forecast for the 2013 hurricane season from the new statistical model and the comparison of this forecast with the 1981-2010 median. Our statistical forecast is calling for a relatively active season this year.

Table 3: Post-31 July statistical forecast for 2013 from the new statistical model.

Predictands and Climatology (1981-2010 Post-31 July Median) Statistical Forecast
Named Storms (NS) – 10.5 11.5
Named Storm Days (NSD) – 58.0 58.5
Hurricanes (H) – 5.5 6.7
Hurricane Days (HD) – 21.3 27.3
Major Hurricanes (MH) – 2.0 3.0
Major Hurricane Days (MHD) – 3.8 7.3
Accumulated Cyclone Energy Index (ACE) – 86 113
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (NTC) – 95 123

Table 4 displays our early August cross-validated hindcasts for 1979-2011 along with the real-time forecast in 2012 using the new statistical scheme. Our early August model has correctly predicted above- or below-average post-31 July NTC in 30 out of 34

years (88%). These hindcasts have had a smaller error than climatology in 24 out of 34 years (71%). Our average hindcast errors have been 19 NTC units, compared with 46 NTC units had we used only climatology.

Observed minus Hindcast improvement
Year Observed NTC Hindcast NTC Observed minus Hindcast Climatology over Climatology

Table 4: Observed versus hindcast post-31 July NTC for 1979-2012 using the new statistical scheme. Average errors for hindcast NTC and climatological NTC predictions are given without respect to sign. Red bold-faced years in the “Hindcast NTC” column are years that we did not go the right way, while red bold-faced years in the “Hindcast improvement over Climatology” column are years that we did not beat climatology. The hindcast went the right way with regards to an above- or below-average season in 30 out of 34 years (88%), while hindcast improvement over climatology occurred in 24 out of 34 years (71%).

1979 86 85 1 -9 8
1980 130 117 14 35 22
1981 108 132 -24 13 -11
1982 30 22 7 -65 58
1983 31 38 -7 -64 57
1984 80 60 21 -15 -6
1985 97 88 9 2 -7
1986 28 35 -7 -67 60
1987 46 43 3 -49 46
1988 117 155 -38 22 -16
1989 123 115 8 28 20
1990 90 111 -21 -5 -16
1991 55 86 -31 -40 9
1992 65 59 5 -30 25
1993 50 39 11 -45 35
1994 33 7 26 -62 36
1995 205 201 4 110 106
1996 163 111 53 68 16
1997 33 61 -27 -62 34
1998 166 156 10 71 61
1999 178 162 16 83 67
2000 134 112 22 39 17
2001 133 138 -5 38 33
2002 81 57 24 -14 -10
2003 155 143 12 60 48
2004 232 170 62 137 75
2005 204 185 19 109 90
2006 77 101 -23 -18 -6
2007 92 120 -28 -3 -25
2008 125 158 -33 30 -3
2009 69 95 -26 -26 0
2010 187 209 -22 92 69
2011 134 148 -14 39 25
2012 106 121 -15 11 -4
Average 107 108 |19| |46| +27*

* This shows that we obtain a net (27/46) or 59 percent improvement over the year-to- year variance from climatology.

2.2 Physical Associations among Predictors Listed in Table 2

The locations and brief descriptions of the three predictors for our new August statistical forecast are now discussed. It should be noted that all forecast parameters correlate

significantly with physical features during August through October that are known to be favorable for elevated levels of TC activity. For each of these predictors, we display a four-panel figure showing linear correlations between values of each predictor and August-October values of SST, sea level pressure (SLP), 850 mb (~1.5 km altitude) zonal wind (U), and 200 mb (~12 km altitude) zonal wind (U), respectively.

Predictor 1. July Surface U in the Caribbean (+)

(10-17.5°N, 60-85°W)

Low-level trade wind flow has been utilized as a predictor in seasonal forecasting systems for the Atlantic basin (Lea and Saunders 2004). When the trades are weaker- than-normal, SSTs across the tropical Atlantic tend to be elevated, and consequently a larger-than-normal Atlantic Warm Pool (AWP) is typically observed (Wang and Lee 2007) (Figure 4). A larger AWP also correlates with reduced vertical shear across the tropical Atlantic. Weaker trade winds are typically associated with higher pressure in the tropical eastern Pacific (a La Niña signal) and lower pressure in the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic. Both of these conditions generally occur when active hurricane seasons are observed. Predictor 1 also has a strong negative correlation with August-October- averaged 200-850-mb zonal shear.

Predictor 2. July Surface Temperature in the Northeastern Subtropical Atlantic (+)

(20°-40°N, 15-35°W)

A similar predictor was utilized in earlier August seasonal forecast models (Klotzbach 2007, Klotzbach 2011). Anomalously warm SSTs in the subtropical North Atlantic are associated with a positive phase of the Atlantic Meridional Mode (AMM), a northward- shifted Intertropical Convergence Zone, and consequently, reduced trade wind strength (Kossin and Vimont 2007). Weaker trade winds are associated with less surface evaporative cooling and less mixing and upwelling. This results in warmer tropical Atlantic SSTs during the August-October period (Figure 5).

Predictor 3. July 200 mb U over Northern Tropical Africa (-)

(5-15°N, 0-40°E)

Anomalous easterly flow at upper levels over northern tropical Africa provides an environment that is more favorable for easterly wave development into TCs. This anomalous easterly flow tends to persist through August-October, which reduces shear over the Main Development Region (MDR). This predictor also correlates with SLP and SST anomalies over the tropical eastern Pacific that are typically associated with cool ENSO conditions (Figure 6).

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Figure 4: Linear correlations between July Surface U in the Caribbean (Predictor 1) and August-October sea surface temperature (panel a), August-October sea level pressure (panel b), August-October 850 mb zonal wind (panel c) and August-October 200 mb zonal wind (panel d).

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Figure 5: Linear correlations between July Surface Temperature in the Subtropical Northeastern Atlantic (Predictor 2) and August-October sea surface temperature (panel a), August-October sea level pressure (panel b), August-October 850 mb zonal wind (panel c) and August-October 200 mb zonal wind (panel d).

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Figure 6: Linear correlations between July 200 MB Zonal Wind over tropical north Africa (Predictor 3) and August-October sea surface temperature (panel a), August- October sea level pressure (panel b), August-October 925 mb zonal wind (panel c) and August-October 200 mb zonal wind (panel d). The color scale has been reversed so that the correlations match up with those in Figures 4 and 5.

Table 5 summarizes the statistical model output from the new forecast as well as an earlier statistical model discussed in detail in Klotzbach (2007). The newly-developed model calls for a relatively active season, while the Klotzbach (2007) model calls for a very active remainder of the season.

Table 5: Summary of output from the Klotzbach (2007) statistical model for post-31 July tropical cyclone activity as well as the new forecast model (Klotzbach 2012).

Predictands and Climatology (1950-2000 – Post-31 July Average) Klotzbach (2007) Klotzbach (2012)
Named Storms (NS) – 10.5 13.2 11.5
Named Storm Days (NSD) – 58.0 71.3 58.5
Hurricanes (H) – 5.5 8.0 6.7
Hurricane Days (HD) – 21.3 34.6 27.3
Major Hurricanes (MH) – 2.0 4.0 3.0
Major Hurricane Days (MHD) – 3.8 10.1 7.3
Accumulated Cyclone Energy Index (ACE) – 86 144 113
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (NTC) – 95 155 123

3 Forecast Uncertainty

One of the questions that we are asked regarding our seasonal hurricane predictions is the degree of uncertainty that is involved. Obviously, our predictions are our best estimate, but there is with all forecasts an uncertainty as to how well they will verify.

Table 6 provides our post-31 July forecast, with error bars (based on one standard deviation of absolute errors) as calculated from hindcasts/forecasts of the Klotzbach (2007) scheme over the 1990-2009 period, using equations developed over the 1950-1989 period. We typically expect to see 2/3 of our forecasts verify within one standard deviation of observed values, with 95% of forecasts verifying within two standard deviations of observed values.

Table 6: Model hindcast error and our post-31 July 2013 hurricane forecast. Uncertainty ranges are given in one standard deviation (SD) increments.

Parameter Hindcast Error (SD) Post-31 July 2013 Forecast Uncertainty Range – 1 SD

(67% of Forecasts Likely in this Range)

Named Storms (NS) 2.3 14 11.7 – 16.3
Named Storm Days (NSD) 17.4 75 57.6 – 92.4
Hurricanes (H) 1.6 8 6.4 – 9.6
Hurricane Days (HD) 8.6 35 26.4 – 43.6
Major Hurricanes (MH) 0.9 3 2.1 – 3.9
Major Hurricane Days (MHD) 3.5 7 3.5 – 10.5
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) 36 135 99 – 171
Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) Activity 34 140 106 – 174

4 Analog-Based Predictors for 2013 Hurricane Activity

Certain years in the historical record have global oceanic and atmospheric trends which are substantially similar to 2013. These years also provide useful clues as to likely trends in activity that the 2013 hurricane season may bring. For this early August

forecast we determine which of the prior years in our database have distinct trends in key environmental conditions which are similar to current June-July 2013 conditions. Table 7 lists the best analog selections from our historical database.

We select prior hurricane seasons since 1950 which have similar atmospheric- oceanic conditions to those currently being experienced. We searched for years that had cool neutral ENSO conditions and slightly above-average tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures.

There were five hurricane seasons with characteristics most similar to what we observed in June-July 2013. The best analog years that we could find for the 2013 hurricane season were 1952, 1966, 1996, 2007, and 2008. We anticipate that 2013 seasonal hurricane activity will have activity that is slightly above the average of these five analog years. We believe that the remainder of 2013 will have above-average activity in the Atlantic basin.

Table 7: Best analog years for 2013 with the associated hurricane activity listed for each year.

Year NS NSD H HD MH MHD ACE NTC
1952 7 39.75 6 22.75 3 7.00 87 103
1966 11 64.00 7 41.75 3 8.75 145 140
1996 13 79.00 9 45.00 6 13.00 166 192
2007 15 37.75 6 12.25 2 6.00 74 99
2008 16 88.25 8 30.50 5 7.50 146 162
Mean (Full Season) 12.4 61.8 7.2 30.5 3.8 8.5 124 139
2013 Forecast (Full Season) 18 84.25 8 35 3 7 140 150
1981-2010 Median (Full Season) 12.0 60.1 6.5 21.3 2.0 3.9 92 103

5 ENSO

Cool neutral ENSO conditions currently persist across the tropical Pacific. SST anomalies are generally below-average across the central and eastern tropical Pacific.

Table 8 displays July and May SST anomalies for several Nino regions. No significant changes in SST have been observed in any of the four Nino regions over the past two months.

Table 8: May and July 2013 SST anomalies for Nino 1+2, Nino 3, Nino 3.4, and Nino 4, respectively. July-May SST anomaly differences are also provided.

Region May SST Anomaly (°C) July SST Anomaly (°C) July minus May SST Change (°C)
Nino 1+2 -1.4 -1.3 +0.1
Nino 3 -0.7 -0.7 0.0
Nino 3.4 -0.3 -0.3 0.0
Nino 4 -0.1 -0.1 0.0

It appears that cool neutral ENSO conditions are the most likely scenario for the peak of this year’s hurricane season. While there had been some upper-level ocean warming in the past few weeks, trade winds near the International Date Line have recently reasserted themselves. Consequently, the anomalous warming of upper ocean heat content that has developed in recent weeks has recently begun to level off.

clip_image012

Figure 7: Upper-ocean (0-300 meters depth) heat content anomalies in the eastern and central Pacific since August 2012. There has been an increase in upper ocean heat content anomalies since the middle of May, but this increase has leveled off during the second half of July.

Both dynamical and statistical models are in good agreement that neutral conditions are likely for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season from August-October. Figure 8 displays the current forecasts issued by various ENSO models. In general, the statistical models are calling for slightly cooler conditions than those predicted by the dynamical models. No statistical or dynamical models call for El Niño development during the August-October period.

clip_image014

Figure 8: ENSO forecasts from various statistical and dynamical models. Figure courtesy of the International Research Institute (IRI).

As was found with the early June prediction, the European Centre for Medium- Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) typically shows the best prediction skill of the various ENSO models. The correlation skill between a 1 July forecast from the ECMWF model and the observed September Nino 3.4 anomaly is 0.89, based on hindcasts/forecasts from 1982-2010, explaining approximately 79% of the variance in Nino 3.4 SST. For reference, the correlation skill of a 1 May forecast from the ECMWF model was 0.82, indicating that approximately 15% additional variance can be explained by shortening the lead time of the forecast from 1 May to 1 July. The ECMWF model has recently been upgraded to system 4, indicating that improved ENSO skill may be possible. The average of the various ECMWF ensemble members is calling for a September Nino 3.4 SST anomaly of approximately 0.1°C (Figure 9).

clip_image016

Figure 9: ECMWF ensemble model forecast for the Nino 3.4 region. Most members call for neutral conditions throughout the August-October period. The green dots represent the approximate average of the ensemble members.

Based on this information, our best estimate is that we will likely have cool neutral ENSO conditions during the August-October period. Consequently, we do not anticipate increased vertical wind shear associated with El Niño to be present this year.

6 Current Atlantic Basin Conditions

Conditions in the tropical Atlantic have become somewhat less favorable over the past couple of months. The primary negative factor has been the development and advection of cool SST anomalies from the subtropical northeast Atlantic into the tropical Atlantic. Figure 10 displays the SST change from late May 2013 to late July 2013, with the significant cooling of SSTs in the eastern tropical Atlantic being the most definitive feature.

clip_image018

Figure 10: Late July 2013-late May 2013 SST anomaly. Note the anomalous cooling that has taken place across the tropical and subtropical eastern Atlantic. This cooling predominately took place during the month of June.

Despite this cooling, SSTs across the MDR are still somewhat above their climatological averages (Figure 11). In addition, two early season TCs formed in the MDR (Chantal and Dorian). From a climatological perspective, thermodynamics are typically what restricts early season TC development in the MDR, and consequently, the development of Chantal and Dorian indicates that MDR thermodynamics are not particularly unfavorable. Table 9 displays the 10 seasons since 1851 that have had two storms form in the MDR prior to 1 August. All of these years had at least average activity, with many of these seasons being very active.

clip_image020

Figure 11: Current SST anomalies as estimated by NOAA/NESDIS. In general, warm anomalies still predominate in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic despite the recent cooling shown in Figure 10.

Table 9: Seasonal TC activity in years where at least two TCs formed in the MDR prior to 1 August.

Year NS NSD H HD MH MHD ACE NTC
1887 19 106.25 11 47.00 2 6.75 181 169
1901 13 85.75 6 18.75 0 0.00 99 81
1926 11 86.75 8 58.50 6 22.75 230 230
1933 21 136.00 10 50.25 5 10.50 213 216
1944 11 53.00 7 27.25 3 5.25 96 115
1966 11 64.00 7 41.75 3 8.75 145 140
1979 9 45.75 6 21.75 2 5.75 93 97
1995 19 121.25 11 61.50 5 11.50 227 222
1996 13 79.00 9 45.00 6 13.00 166 192
2005 28 131.50 15 49.75 7 17.50 250 279
Average 15.5 90.9 9.0 42.2 3.9 10.2 170.1 174.0
Median 13.0 86.3 8.5 46.0 4.0 9.6 173.7 180.7

Sea level pressure anomalies over the past month have been quite low, implying that the trade winds across the Main Development Region are weak and the Tropical

Upper Tropospheric Trough (TUTT) is reduced in strength (Figure 12). A weakened TUTT typically relates to reduced vertical wind shear across the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean (Knaff 1997). We do not foresee a strong TUTT formation this season.

clip_image022

Figure 12: July 2013 Atlantic SLP anomaly. Negative anomalies have predominated across the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean throughout the month.

As was the case last year, the tropical Atlantic atmosphere appears to be somewhat more stable than normal. The Cooperative Research Institute for the Atmosphere (CIRA) monitors real-time conditions for genesis in the tropical Atlantic, and according to their analysis, vertical instability is somewhat limited this year (Figure 13). Positive deviations from the curve displayed below indicate a more unstable atmosphere than normal. In general, the atmosphere has been more stable than normal since the start of the hurricane season.

clip_image024

Figure 13: Vertical instability across the tropical Atlantic since the start of the hurricane season. In general, this year’s instability has been lower than normal, indicating a relatively stable atmosphere this year.

It is primarily these mixed signals in the tropical Atlantic which are causing us to reduce our forecast slightly.

7 West Africa Conditions

Enhanced rainfall in the Sahel region of West Africa during the June-July time period has been associated with active hurricane seasons (Landsea and Gray 1992).

Figure 14 displays a combined satellite/rain gauge estimate, referred to as the African Rainfall Estimation Algorithm Version 2 (RFE 2.0) of percent of normal rainfall over the June-July 2013 time period. In general, it appears that rainfall in the Western Sahel has been at near-average levels during June-July.

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Figure 14: Rainfall Estimation Algorithm Version 2.0 (RFE) estimate of percent of normal rainfall for June-July 2013.

8 Adjusted 2013 Forecast

Table 10 shows our final adjusted early August forecast for the 2013 season which is a combination of our two statistical schemes (with June-July activity added in), our analog forecast and qualitative adjustments for other factors not explicitly contained in any of these schemes. The average of our two statistical forecasts (with June-July activity added in) and our analog forecast call for an above-average season. We thus foresee an above-average amount of TC activity for the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Table 10: June-July 2013 observed activity, our two early August full season statistical forecasts (with June-July 2013 activity added in), our analog forecast and our adjusted final forecast for the 2013 hurricane season.

Forecast Parameter and 1981-2010 Median (in

parentheses)

June-July 2013

Observed Activity

Klotzbach (2007)

Statistical Scheme

New Statistical Scheme (2012) Analog Scheme Adjusted Final Forecast (Whole Season)
Named Storms (12.0) 4 17.2 15.5 12.4 18
Named Storm Days (60.1) 9.25 80.5 67.7 61.8 84.25
Hurricanes (6.5) 0 8.0 6.7 7.2 8
Hurricane Days (21.3) 0 34.6 27.3 30.5 35
Major Hurricanes (2.0) 0 4.0 3.0 3.8 3
Major Hurricane Days (3.9) 0 10.1 7.3 8.5 7
Accumulated Cyclone Energy Index (92) 7 151 120 124 142
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (103%) 10 165 133 139 150

9 Landfall Probabilities for 2013

A significant focus of our recent research involves efforts to develop forecasts of the probability of hurricane landfall along the U.S. coastline and in the Caribbean.

Whereas individual hurricane landfall events cannot be forecast months in advance, the total seasonal probability of landfall can be forecast with statistical skill. With the observation that landfall is a function of varying climate conditions, a probability specification has been developed through statistical analyses of all U.S. hurricane and named storm landfall events during the 20th century (1900-1999). Specific landfall probabilities can be given for all tropical cyclone intensity classes for a set of distinct

U.S. coastal regions.

Net landfall probability is shown linked to the overall Atlantic basin Net Tropical Cyclone activity (NTC; see Table 11). NTC is a combined measure of the year-to-year mean of six indices of hurricane activity, each expressed as a percentage difference from the long-term average. Long-term statistics show that, on average, the more active the overall Atlantic basin hurricane season is, the greater the probability of U.S. hurricane landfall.

Table 11: NTC activity in any year consists of the seasonal total of the following six parameters expressed in terms of their long-term averages. A season with 10 NS, 50 NSD, 6 H, 25 HD, 3 MH, and 5 MHD would then be the sum of the following ratios: 10/9.6 = 104, 50/49.1 = 102, 6/5.9 = 102, 25/24.5 = 102, 3/2.3 = 130, 5/5.0 = 100,

clip_image027clip_image027[1]divided by six, yielding an NTC of 107.

1950-2000 Average
1) Named Storms (NS) 9.6
2) Named Storm Days (NSD) 49.1
3) Hurricanes (H) 5.9
4) Hurricane Days (HD) 24.5
5) Major Hurricanes (MH) 2.3
6) Major Hurricane Days (MHD) 5.0

Table 12 lists strike probabilities for the 2013 hurricane season for different TC categories for the entire U.S. coastline, the Gulf Coast and the East Coast including the Florida peninsula. We also issue probabilities for various islands and landmasses in the Caribbean and in Central America. Note that Atlantic basin post-1 August NTC activity in 2013 is expected to be above its long-term average, and therefore, landfall probabilities are above their long-term average.

Table 12: Estimated probability (expressed in percent) of one or more landfalling tropical storms (TS), category 1-2 hurricanes (HUR), category 3-4-5 hurricanes, total hurricanes and named storms along the entire U.S. coastline, along the Gulf Coast (Regions 1-4), and along the Florida Peninsula and the East Coast (Regions 5-11) for the remainder of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. Probabilities of a tropical storm, hurricane and major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean are also provided. The long-term mean annual probability of one or more landfalling systems during the last 100 years is given in parentheses.

Region TS Category 1-2 HUR Category 3-4-5 HUR All HUR Named Storms
Entire U.S. (Regions 1-11) 89% (79%) 79% (68%) 64% (52%) 93% (84%) 99% (97%)
Gulf Coast (Regions 1-4) 71% (59%) 54% (42%) 40% (30%) 72% (60%) 92% (83%)
Florida plus East Coast (Regions 5-11) 62% (50%) 56% (44%) 40% (31%) 74% (61%) 90% (81%)
Caribbean (10-20°N, 60-88°W) 91% (82%) 69% (57%) 53% (42%) 86% (75%) 99% (96%)

Please also visit the Landfalling Probability Webpage at http://www.e- transit.org/hurricanefor landfall probabilities for 11 U.S. coastal regions and 205 coastal and near-coastal counties from Brownsville, Texas to Eastport, Maine as well as probabilities for every island in the Caribbean. We suggest that all coastal residents visit the Landfall Probability Webpage for their individual location probabilities.

As an example we find that the probability of Florida being hit by a major (Cat 3- 4-5) hurricane during the remainder of this year is 28% which is higher than the long- term seasonal climatological average of 21%.

South Florida is much more prone to being impacted by a hurricane on an individual-year basis compared with northeast Florida. For instance, the probability of Miami-Dade County being impacted by hurricane-force wind gusts for the remainder of this year is 16%. For Duval County (Jacksonville metropolitan area) in northeast Florida, the probability of being impacted by hurricane-force wind gusts is only 4%. However, considering a 50-year period, the probability of Duval County experiencing hurricane- force wind gusts is 75%.

For the island of Puerto Rico, the probability of a named storm, hurricane and major hurricane tracking within 50 miles of the island this year is 43%, 21%, and 7%, respectively.

10 Summary

An analysis of a variety of different atmosphere and ocean measurements (through July) which are known to have long-period statistical relationships with the upcoming season’s Atlantic tropical cyclone activity indicate that 2013 should be a relatively active season. Cool neutral ENSO conditions should generally provide favorable upper-level winds across the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic. Two early season MDR storms are also indicative that the season should be quite active. The only significant negative factor at this point is the anomalous cooling that has occurred in the eastern tropical and subtropical Atlantic over the past two months. However, this cooling has abated in recent weeks.

11 Can Rising Levels of CO2 be Associated with the Devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy (2012) along with the Increase in Atlantic Hurricane Activity since 1995?

We have extensively discussed this topic in many previous papers which can be found on our Tropical Meteorology website. We believe the hypothesized influence of atmospheric CO2 increases on increased hurricane activity has been exaggerated. For more information on this topic we refer you to the following four references, which can be accessed by clicking on the links below:

Gray, W. M., 2011: Gross Errors in the IPCC-AR4 report regarding past and future changes in global tropical cyclone activity. Science and Public Policy Institute, 122 pp.

Gray, W. M., and P. J. Klotzbach, 2012: US hurricane damage – Can rising levels of CO2 be associated with Sandy’s massive destruction? Colorado State University Publication, 23 pp.

W. M. Gray, and P. J. Klotzbach, 2013: Tropical cyclone forecasting. National Hurricane Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 28, 2013.

W. M. Gray, and P. J. Klotzbach, 2013: Wind destruction from hurricanes. Windstorm Insurance Conference, Orlando, Florida, January 30, 2013.

11 Forthcoming Updated Forecasts of 2013 Hurricane Activity

We will be issuing two-week forecasts for Atlantic TC activity during the climatological peak of the season from August-October, beginning today, Friday, August 2 and continuing every other Friday (August 16, 30, etc). We will be issuing an

October-November Caribbean basin forecast on Tuesday, 1 October. A verification and discussion of all 2013 forecasts will be issued in late November 2013. All of these forecasts will be available on the web at: http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts.

12 Acknowledgments

Besides the individuals named on page 5, there have been a number of other meteorologists that have furnished us with data and given valuable assessments of the current state of global atmospheric and oceanic conditions. These include Brian McNoldy, Art Douglas, Ray Zehr, Mark DeMaria, Todd Kimberlain, Paul Roundy and Amato Evan. In addition, Barbara Brumit and Amie Hedstrom have provided excellent manuscript, graphical and data analysis and assistance over a number of years. We have profited over the years from many in-depth discussions with most of the current and past NHC hurricane forecasters. The second author would further like to acknowledge the encouragement he has received over the last three decades for this type of forecasting research application from Neil Frank, Robert Sheets, Robert Burpee, Jerry Jarrell, Max Mayfield, and Bill Read, former directors of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), and from the current director, Rick Knabb.

13 Citations and Additional Reading

Alexander, M. A., I. Blade, M. Newman, J. R. Lanzante, N.-C. Lau, and J. D. Scott, 2002: The atmospheric bridge: The influence of ENSO teleconnections on air-sea interaction over the global oceans. J. Climate, 15, 2205-2231.

Blake, E. S., 2002: Prediction of August Atlantic basin hurricane activity. Dept. of Atmos. Sci. Paper No.

719, Colo. State Univ., Ft. Collins, CO, 80 pp.

Blake, E. S. and W. M. Gray, 2004: Prediction of August Atlantic basin hurricane activity. Wea.

Forecasting, 19, 1044-1060.

Chiang, J. C. H. and D. J. Vimont, 2004: Analogous Pacific and Atlantic meridional modes of tropical atmosphere-ocean variability. J. Climate, 17, 4143-4158.

DeMaria, M., J. A. Knaff and B. H. Connell, 2001: A tropical cyclone genesis parameter for the tropical Atlantic. Wea. Forecasting, 16, 219-233.

Elsner, J. B., G. S. Lehmiller, and T. B. Kimberlain, 1996: Objective classification of Atlantic hurricanes.

J. Climate, 9, 2880-2889.

Evan, A. T., J. Dunion, J. A. Foley, A. K. Heidinger, and C. S. Velden, 2006: New evidence for a relationship between Atlantic tropical cyclone activity and African dust outbreaks, Geophys. Res. Lett, 33, doi:10.1029/2006GL026408.

Goldenberg, S. B., C. W. Landsea, A. M. Mestas-Nunez, and W. M. Gray, 2001: The recent increase in Atlantic hurricane activity: Causes and Implications. Science, 293, 474-479.

Goldenberg, S. B. and L. J. Shapiro, 1996: Physical mechanisms for the association of El Niño and West African rainfall with Atlantic major hurricane activity. J. Climate, 1169-1187.

Gray, W. M., 1984a: Atlantic seasonal hurricane frequency: Part I: El Niño and 30 mb quasi-biennial oscillation influences. Mon. Wea. Rev., 112, 1649-1668.

Gray, W. M., 1984b: Atlantic seasonal hurricane frequency: Part II: Forecasting its variability. Mon. Wea.

Rev., 112, 1669-1683.

Gray, W. M., 1990: Strong association between West African rainfall and US landfall of intense hurricanes. Science, 249, 1251-1256.

Gray, W. M., C. W. Landsea, P. W. Mielke, Jr., and K. J. Berry, 1992: Predicting Atlantic seasonal hurricane activity 6-11 months in advance. Wea. Forecasting, 7, 440-455.

Gray, W. M., C. W. Landsea, P. W. Mielke, Jr., and K. J. Berry, 1993: Predicting Atlantic basin seasonal tropical cyclone activity by 1 August. Wea. Forecasting, 8, 73-86.

Gray, W. M., C. W. Landsea, P. W. Mielke, Jr., and K. J. Berry, 1994a: Predicting Atlantic basin seasonal tropical cyclone activity by 1 June. Wea. Forecasting, 9, 103-115.

Gray, W. M., J. D. Sheaffer and C. W. Landsea, 1996: Climate trends associated with multi-decadal variability of intense Atlantic hurricane activity. Chapter 2 in “Hurricanes, Climatic Change and Socioeconomic Impacts: A Current Perspective”, H. F. Diaz and R. S. Pulwarty, Eds., Westview Press, 49 pp.

Gray, W. M., 1998: Atlantic ocean influences on multi-decadal variations in El Niño frequency and intensity. Ninth Conference on Interaction of the Sea and Atmosphere, 78th AMS Annual Meeting, 11-16 January, Phoenix, AZ, 5 pp.

Grossmann, I. and P. J. Klotzbach, 2009: A review of North Atlantic modes of natural variability and their driving mechanisms. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D24107, doi:10.1029/2009JD012728.

Henderson-Sellers, A., H. Zhang, G. Berz, K. Emanuel, W. Gray, C. Landsea, G. Holland, J. Lighthill, S-L. Shieh, P. Webster, and K. McGuffie, 1998: Tropical cyclones and global climate change: A post- IPCC assessment. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 79, 19-38.

Klotzbach, P. J., 2002: Forecasting September Atlantic basin tropical cyclone activity at zero and one- month lead times. Dept. of Atmos. Sci. Paper No. 723, Colo. State Univ., Ft. Collins, CO, 91 pp.

Klotzbach, P. J., 2006: Trends in global tropical cyclone activity over the past twenty years (1986-2005).

Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, doi:10.1029/2006GL025881.

Klotzbach, P. J., 2007: Revised prediction of seasonal Atlantic basin tropical cyclone activity from 1 August. Wea. and Forecasting, 22, 937-949.

Klotzbach, P. J. and W. M. Gray, 2003: Forecasting September Atlantic basin tropical cyclone activity.

Wea. and Forecasting, 18, 1109-1128.

Klotzbach, P. J. and W. M. Gray, 2004: Updated 6-11 month prediction of Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane activity. Wea. and Forecasting, 19, 917-934.

Klotzbach, P. J. and W. M. Gray, 2006: Causes of the unusually destructive 2004 Atlantic basin hurricane season. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 87, 1325-1333.

Knaff, J. A., 1997: Implications of summertime sea level pressure anomalies. J. Climate, 10, 789-804. Knaff, J. A., 1998: Predicting summertime Caribbean sea level pressure. Wea. and Forecasting, 13, 740-

752.

Kossin, J. P., and D. J. Vimont, 2007: A more general framework for understanding Atlantic hurricane variability and trends. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 88, 1767-1781.

Landsea, C. W., 1991: West African monsoonal rainfall and intense hurricane associations. Dept. of Atmos. Sci. Paper, Colo. State Univ., Ft. Collins, CO, 272 pp.

Landsea, C. W., 1993: A climatology of intense (or major) Atlantic hurricanes. Mon. Wea. Rev., 121, 1703-1713.

Landsea, C. W., 2007: Counting Atlantic tropical cyclones back to 1900. EOS, 88, 197, 202.

Landsea, C. W. and W. M. Gray, 1992: The strong association between Western Sahel monsoon rainfall and intense Atlantic hurricanes. J. Climate, 5, 435-453.

Landsea, C. W., W. M. Gray, P. W. Mielke, Jr., and K. J. Berry, 1992: Long-term variations of Western Sahelian monsoon rainfall and intense U.S. landfalling hurricanes. J. Climate, 5, 1528-1534.

Landsea, C. W., W. M. Gray, K. J. Berry and P. W. Mielke, Jr., 1996: June to September rainfall in the African Sahel: A seasonal forecast for 1996. 4 pp.

Landsea, C. W., N. Nicholls, W.M. Gray, and L.A. Avila, 1996: Downward trends in the frequency of intense Atlantic hurricanes during the past five decades. Geo. Res. Letters, 23, 1697-1700.

Landsea, C. W., R. A. Pielke, Jr., A. M. Mestas-Nunez, and J. A. Knaff, 1999: Atlantic basin hurricanes: Indices of climatic changes. Climatic Changes, 42, 89-129.

Landsea, C.W. et al., 2005: Atlantic hurricane database re-analysis project. Available online at http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/data_sub/re_anal.html

Mielke, P. W., K. J. Berry, C. W. Landsea and W. M. Gray, 1996: Artificial skill and validation in meteorological forecasting. Wea. Forecasting, 11, 153-169.

Mielke, P. W., K. J. Berry, C. W. Landsea and W. M. Gray, 1997: A single sample estimate of shrinkage in meteorological forecasting. Wea. Forecasting, 12, 847-858.

Pielke, Jr. R. A., and C. W. Landsea, 1998: Normalized Atlantic hurricane damage, 1925-1995. Wea.

Forecasting, 13, 621-631.

Pielke, Jr. R. A., and J. Gratz, C. W. Landsea, D. Collins, and R. Masulin, 2008: Normalized hurricane damage in the United States: 1900-2005. Nat. Haz. Rev., 9, 29-42, doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1527- 6988(2008)9:1(29).

Rasmusson, E. M. and T. H. Carpenter, 1982: Variations in tropical sea-surface temperature and surface wind fields associated with the Southern Oscillation/El Niño. Mon. Wea. Rev., 110, 354-384.

Seseske, S. A., 2004: Forecasting summer/fall El Niño-Southern Oscillation events at 6-11 month lead times. Dept. of Atmos. Sci. Paper No. 749, Colo. State Univ., Ft. Collins, CO, 104 pp.

Vimont, D. J., and J. P. Kossin, 2007: The Atlantic meridional mode and hurricane activity. Geophys. Res.

Lett., 34, L07709, doi:10.1029/2007GL029683.

Wheeler, M. C., and H. H. Hendon, 2004: An all-season real-time multivariate MJO index: Development of an index for monitoring and prediction. Mon. Wea. Rev., 132, 1917-1932.

14 Verification of Previous Forecasts

Table 11: Summary verification of the authors’ five previous years of seasonal forecasts for Atlantic TC activity between 2008-2012. Verifications of all seasonal forecasts back to 1984 are available here: http://tropical.atmos.colostate.edu/Includes/Documents/Publications/forecast_verifications.xls

2008 7 Dec. 2007 Update 9 April Update 3 June Update

5 August

Obs.
Hurricanes 7 8 8 9 8
Named Storms 13 15 15 17 16
Hurricane Days 30 40 40 45 30.50
Named Storm Days 60 80 80 90 88.25
Major Hurricanes 3 4 4 5 5
Major Hurricane Days 6 9 9 11 7.50
Accumulated Cyclone Energy 115 150 150 175 146
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity 125 160 160 190 162
2009 10 Dec. 2008 Update 9 April Update 2 June Update

4 August

Obs.
Hurricanes 7 6 5 4 3
Named Storms 14 12 11 10 9
Hurricane Days 30 25 20 18 12
Named Storm Days 70 55 50 45 30
Major Hurricanes 3 2 2 2 2
Major Hurricane Days 7 5 4 4 3.50
Accumulated Cyclone Energy 125 100 85 80 53
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity 135 105 90 85 69
2010 9 Dec. 2009 Update 7 April Update 2 June Update

4 August

Obs.
Hurricanes 6-8 8 10 10 12
Named Storms 11-16 15 18 18 19
Hurricane Days 24-39 35 40 40 38.50
Named Storm Days 51-75 75 90 90 89.50
Major Hurricanes 3-5 4 5 5 5
Major Hurricane Days 6-12 10 13 13 11
Accumulated Cyclone Energy 100-162 150 185 185 165
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity 108-172 160 195 195 196
2011 8 Dec. 2010 Update 6 April Update 1 June Update

3 August

Obs.
Hurricanes 9 9 9 9 7
Named Storms 17 16 16 16 19
Hurricane Days 40 35 35 35 26
Named Storm Days 85 80 80 80 89.75
Major Hurricanes 5 5 5 5 4
Major Hurricane Days 10 10 10 10 4.5
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity 180 175 175 175 145
2012 4 April Update 1 June Update

3 August

Obs.
Hurricanes 4 5 6 10
Named Storms 10 13 14 19
Hurricane Days 16 18 20 28.50
Named Storm Days 40 50 52 101
Major Hurricanes 2 2 2 2
Major Hurricane Days 3 4 5 0.50
Accumulated Cyclone Energy 70 80 99 133
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity 75 90 105 131
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127 thoughts on “A ‘head scratcher’ – No Atlantic Hurricane by August in First Time in 11 Years

  1. The one thing you can accurately predict about the weather is that it is going to be unpredictable. (Derek and Clive.) If the data do not support the model, the model MUST be wrong.

  2. Expect a groundbreaking Nature article explaining that AGW is so bad, it destroys hurricanes. Then a groundbreaking Science article explaining how the absence of hurricanes will destroy 95% of life on Earth.

  3. The lack of a Hurricane through August does not call into question anything.

    In fact it could be the lull before a record storm season next year when 743.31 hurricanes occur before the end of August.

    We may even be seeing a last gasp of survival as species just prior to our self imposed death sentence from nature abuse.

  4. High Treason says:
    August 30, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    If the data do not support the model, the model MUST be wrong.

    Klotzbach and Gray have been very good about developing new statistical models based on recent and long-term performance. Their post season analyses have been rather harsh on themselves when the forecast was way off. Those are also the most interesting analyses as they are the years people learn the most.

    We don’t hear nearly as much self-critique from the dynamical modellers.

  5. The K/G two week forecast for August 30 – September 12, 2013 is hot off the PDF generator at http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Includes/Documents/Two_Week_Forecasts/august_30_2013.pdf (We expect that the next two weeks will be characterized by average amounts (70-130 percent) of activity relative to climatology.)

    In it they look at the previous forecast and report:

    The two-week forecast of tropical cyclone activity from August 16 – August 29 did not verify well. Activity at above-average levels was predicted (>=19 ACE units), while observed activity was at well below-average levels (2 ACE units). Two systems contributed to ACE during the August 17 – August 30 period. Tropical Storm Erin and Fernand contributed small amounts of ACE.

    The primary reason why the forecast during the two weeks was a bust was due to the fact that the MJO took a much longer time to amplify into hurricane-conducive conditions than was predicted by the global models in the middle part of August (Figure 3 and 5).

    In addition, vertical shear has been much stronger over most of the tropical Atlantic than expected with the seasonal forecast issued in early August. Anomalously dry air at mid-levels in the atmosphere has also tended to be present for the past few weeks.

  6. Steve Oregon says:
    August 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    The lack of a Hurricane through August does not call into question anything.

    In fact it could be the lull before a record storm season next year when 743.31 hurricanes occur before the end of August.

    We may even be seeing a last gasp of survival as species just prior to our self imposed death sentence from nature abuse.

    How many tens of thousand people per year should die to make you “feel” more comfortable about “our self imposed death sentence from nature abuse”?

    Now, the latest car mileage regulations fro Obama’s CAGW-obsessed EPA/HT Commission assume 3,500/year extra deaths due to the lighter weight cars required by that law alone. Last winter, 5,000 in the UK died in the cold BECAUSE of the self-required CAGW-fearing fuel price increases. Worldwide, several millions die early every year because of fuel, feed, fodder, and food costs and YOUR demand for increased concrete, steel, shipping, water, and sewage costs only required because YOU fear CAGW hype. Worldwide, the economies have been destriyed – at a cost of biollios hurting every night from fear of real job loss, income loss, saving destruction, house worth lost, and sales and inflation increases. Every day. Billions suffer BECAUSE of YOUR fear of .. an on-going nothing.nothing increase in temperature.

    So, in the next hundred years, while the world warms at a 0.0 rate, how many tens of thousands do YOU require be killed every year?

  7. They have been as successful as predicting hurricanes, as our Met Office has been in predicting mild winters! But of course the weather is wrong and the models are right!

  8. Ric Werme says:
    August 30, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Fully agree. Statistical models do seem to be making some progress, unlike dynamical (ie theory based) models. I’ll speculate it’s because people don’t get so emotionally invested in statistical models.

    As for the lack of hurricanes, there is a lot of dust blowing off the Sahara this summer. Perhaps the dust is suppressing hurricane activity in the same way anthropogenic aerosols do.

  9. Brilliant post, Anthony. Thanks. That looks like the body of a hurricane reference page for WUWT.

    Regards from a so-far-this-year hurricane-free portion of the East Coast.

  10. Aw shucks, gold-durn you Hurricanes! Shame on you for not showing up to back up our lunacy!
    How COULD you let us down that way?! /sarc

  11. Dang my ham handed, numb fingered typing! Should read:

    While sea level pressure anomalies across the tropical Atlantic have been relatively low during June and July, sea surface temperatures have anomalously cooled in the eastern tropical and subtropical Atlantic.

    Def. Anomalously: adjective 1. deviating from or inconsistent with the common order, form, or rule;

    What ‘common order, form or rule’ is being deviated from by tropical Atlantic sea surface cooling? Why is this deemed an anomaly? If it doesn’t go the way your predictive model says it should, it’s an ‘anomaly’?
    MtK

  12. So the forecasts are based on 30 years of statistics when everyone is aware that the major driver for hurricanes is the PDO which is a 60 year cycle. The other cycles AMO, MJO etc are semi-independent of the PDO are also multi-deccadal and interact with the atmospheric effects of the PDO and ENSO, interactions that may not repeat in the same way over centuries. All without the taking into account undoubted effects of variance of cloudiness and insolation of the Atlantic due to latitudinal jet streams and the quiet Sun. This is like forecasting the height and effects of low and high tides when you have only watched the sea for 3 hours.

    As said at the beginning of this post – all the preseason forecasts were for a very ‘active’ hurricane season. These failed forecasts are now moving into the realms of improbability if not impossibility of a hurricane every few days to make their ‘numbers’. Counts are made of ‘fish storms’ that Hebridean islanders would just call a stiff breeze as if these occasional swirls reaching _gasp_ 35kts in mid-Atlantic were somehow important. For those of us who pay house insurance premiums predicated on the ‘forecast risk’ from these statistical dice throws, it can be expensive when seasons are ‘talked up’. The proposal has been made here that GCM modelers who have failed to forecast the pause in temperature increase of the current climate are defunded. I would propose the same for the unsuccessful preseason hurricane forecasters. Once a storm has developed by all means model its track that process IS getting more accurate. But we don’t need the excited wriggle-replication-based guesses apparently made more to get establishments publicity that to demonstrate any skill.

  13. Steve Oregon says:
    August 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm: Did you leave the /sarc ending off? Otherwise, I am really interested to see the final 0.31 hurricane. As to prior species abusing nature, I can conceive of dinosaurs, especially the really big plant eaters, farting so much CO2 that the poor old earth simply couldn’t handle the massive back radiation and consequent rapid heating that led to a hot spot somewhere offshore eastern Mexico that led to a titanic explosion of natural gas, various hydrates, and who knows what else that more or less extinguished everything other than a few tunnel-boring proto-mammalians that now rule the earth, and are again on a path of self-destruction caused by belching and farting that deadly factor CO2.

  14. All the warmth from CO2 is hiding so deep in the oceans it will never surface, so that children will never know what a hurricane is… errr, something like that.

  15. When was the last time when there was a hurricane free season ?.
    Because this year l think there is a real chance of us having one. With the conditions been what they are at the moment, the risk of a big hurricane looks to me to be somewhere between zero and highly unlikely. The best chance of a storm l have seen since Dorian has so far just become a large bank of heavy showers. lf we do get a hurricane then a think it will do a Sandy and turn up late in the season.

  16. Well here’s Piers Corbyn—WA1 Forming ~29-30th Aug reaching H2 (+/-1) at some point. Prob starting East of Leeward Islands, heads W/NW towards near Bahamas, standard models are likely to suggest landfall on the Islands but WA1 will veer slightly right of their projections and stay in Atlantic and HIT GEORGIA (or Florida/South Carolina) around 6/7th (5-8th) Sept.

    WA2 Forming ~13-15th Sept reaching H2 (+/-1) at some point, prob less strong that WA1. Prob starting East of Bahamas / Turks & Caicos, heads NW and HITS NORTH (or South) CAROLINA around 17th (16-18th) Sept.

    WA3 Forming ~27-28th Sept TS not H. Prob starting East of North Carolina, heads NE in Atlantic towards Eire, UK and Europe.

    http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=577&c=5

    Let’s see(or not).

  17. omnologos says:
    August 30, 2013 at 3:46 pm
    Expect a groundbreaking Nature article explaining that AGW is so bad, it destroys hurricanes. Then a groundbreaking Science article explaining how the absence of hurricanes will destroy 95% of life on Earth.
    =====
    Lack of hurricanes will accelerate global warming by preventing convective/phase change heat transport from the surface to the tropopause…

    Do I get a star on my forehead, teacher?

  18. Looking at the current upper level winds and associated troughs that have so far killed anything that has formed, it does not appear to be changing any time soon. Heat is being sucked from the mid latitudes and the resulting wind shear is tearing those systems apart.

    One thing I did not notice in the article above was the heat budget which drives the winds. The heat imbalance is growing as the Arctic and Antarctic continue to cool.. I may have to re-read it several times but it seams we are missing a key component. The SUN!

  19. What is the history by year of names storms? What is the criteria for naming them and why does it seem that everything that spins of late is named?

  20. Two things to keep in mind. First, the four named storms so far shouldn’t even be considered as they only lasted 2-3 days. But, you gotta make quota. Second, and more importantly, Hurricane Andrew was the first named storm of the year in 1992 and that was Aug 24th, and a whopper it was. No matter where we are today, we are not safe until early November. Having said that, since I spent a lot of money on new windows and storm shutters in 2012, I calmly claim that I am the causation of not having a hurricane hit in my area since then and that act will also be the causation of never having a hurricane hit here in the future.

  21. we can’t model winds, dry air, Saharan dust, PDO, AMO…..and on and on

    But we can predict hurricanes….

    These people drive me crazy calling any two clouds a cyclone in the Atlantic…knowing they will mislead a lot of morons

  22. Hasn’t anyone told the hurricanes the science is settled?

    I am for the effort to name hurricanes after deneirs. “Hurricane Anthony” has an ominous power to it.

  23. OldWeirdHarold says:
    August 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Lack of hurricanes will accelerate global warming by preventing convective/phase change heat transport from the surface to the tropopause…

    Do I get a star on my forehead, teacher?

    ========================================

    Convective phase change has changed where it is happening.. Look south or north to the polar regions. In a warming world that change happens in the equatorial regions. In a cooling world it happens in the upper latitudes. In recent years, as we began cooling the size and strength of storms began increasing in the upper latitudes and in the equatorial regions the storms began to weaken.. Its subtle, but look for yourself. It’s kind of awe inspiring to look at how storm energy is measured and then plot it out. The underlying patterns are present and seem to coincide with solar cycle strength or weakness pretty well. Once you get past the 11 or so year cycle and look at long term trends (we dont have a lot of data yet to go too far back) the greater trends follow the overall solar plot. Cooling when weak and heating when active..

    When you get back into the 1300’s there isn’t a lot of info but you can reconstruct regional areas and get a fair view of what was happening. London had frozen rivers and at the same time the sun was on hiatus. Was this coincidence?

    Just looking from a wide view at the implications.. Complex Chaotic Systems.. The oceans drive more than we know.. The air drives more than we know.. And I have come to realize we dont know a whole lot as a species..

    Just my 2 cents

  24. Tom in Florida says:
    August 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Two things to keep in mind. First, the four named storms so far shouldn’t even be considered as they only lasted 2-3 days. But, you gotta make quota. Second, and more importantly, Hurricane Andrew was the first named storm of the year in 1992 and that was Aug 24th, and a whopper it was. No matter where we are today, we are not safe until early November. Having said that, since I spent a lot of money on new windows and storm shutters in 2012, I calmly claim that I am the causation of not having a hurricane hit in my area since then and that act will also be the causation of never having a hurricane hit here in the future.

    ========================

    That was precisely my point Tom. They are naming everything that rotates even if it dies.. WHY?

    AS for preparing being causation of having no storms, please dont hold your breath, they will return and you will have spent your money well.. :)

  25. Ian W says:
    August 30, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    > So the forecasts are based on 30 years of statistics when everyone is aware that the major driver for hurricanes is the PDO which is a 60 year cycle.

    The statistics (from the “predictors” K&G use) reflect the various oscillations. The Atlantic tropical storm season is more influenced by the AMO than the PDO, as shown by the increase of activity in 1995 and Gray’s graphics showing the storm tracks during high and low AMO periods. K&G are far more aware of and use these features than computational models do.

    The term “AMO” was not in use until 2000, Gray referred to the related “thermohaline circulation,” but the switch was dramatic and sudden. From the oldest June forecast at Colorado State:

    Despite El Niño-linked suppression of hurricane activity during 1997, the last four years (1995-1998) are together the most active four (consecutive) year period on record. Total numbers include 53 named storms, 33 hurricanes, 15 major hurricanes, 36 major hurricane days and Net Tropical Cyclone activity value of 653 during the last four years. Despite the weak 1997 hurricane season, the annual average NS, H, IH, IHD and NTC values during the last four years are 142, 142, 170, 191 and 163 percent (respectively) of the average hurricane activity for 1950-1990. The annual average values for NS, H, IH, IHD and NTC during the last four years were 154, 160, 250, 419 and 216 percent of the average for the previous 25-year (1970-1994) period; the greatest increases occurring for IH and IHD activity. The three recent active hurricane seasons (1995, 1996 and 1998) had 311 and 524 percent of average intense hurricanes and intense hurricane days (respectively) relative to the means prior 25-year period 1970-1994. This trend towards increased hurricane activity supports the notion that an abrupt climate shift began during 1995, one manifestation of which is increased major hurricane activity that was typical of the 1940s and 1950s.

    8 The 1999 Hurricane Season and Global Warming

    Some individuals will interpret the great upswing in 1995 hurricane activity as being related in some way to increased man-made greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2). Such individuals are sometimes driven more by a political than a scientific agenda or do not fully understand the physics of tropical cyclones. There is no reasonable way that such an interpretation can be made. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas warming, even if a physically valid hypothesis, is a very slow and gradual process that, at best would only be expected to bring about small changes in global circulation over periods of 50 to 100 years. This would not result in the abrupt and dramatic one year upturn in hurricane activity as occurred between 1994 and 1995. And, even if man induced greenhouse increases were to be interpreted as causing global mean temperature increase over the last 25 years, there is no way to relate such a small global temperature increases to more intense Atlantic basin hurricane activity during this same period. Atlantic intense (or category 3-4-5) hurricane activity showed a substantial decrease during 1970-1994 to only about 40 percent of the amount of intense hurricane activity which occurred 25-50 years ago. These up-and-down multi-decadal changes have occurred many times in the past and are considered to be natural.

    Ian W also notes:

    The other cycles AMO, MJO etc are semi-independent of the PDO are also multi-deccadal and interact with the atmospheric effects of the PDO and ENSO, interactions that may not repeat in the same way over centuries. All without the taking into account undoubted effects of variance of cloudiness and insolation of the Atlantic due to latitudinal jet streams and the quiet Sun. This is like forecasting the height and effects of low and high tides when you have only watched the sea for 3 hours.

    The MJO (Madden-Julian Oscillation) is only months long and can significantly change during the Atlantic season. K&G mention it often, especially in their two week forecasts. It’s on six of the eight pages in their most recent two week forecast. I suggest you read it.

  26. “… the hurricane problem… .”

    Yup. The Fantasy Science Club has one.
    .
    .

    (echoing Chad Wozniak at 4:34pm)

    ****************
    @ Michael Hart — Too long for me (a non-scientist). I stopped reading long before the end. As Bob Tisdale said, EXCELLENT reference page.

  27. Anthony, as interesting as all this is, you perhaps miss the bigger points. Weather IS NOT climate.
    So none of the above relates to climate, on either side of the debate. Please get back to climate, defined by IPCC as a 30 year average of weather. What an easy target…!
    Regards.

  28. The tropical storm Julliette here in the southern Baja was supposed to track just west of La Paz with 60 MPH gusts at 2pm last Sat. morning. I (in La Paz) woke up early Sat with no water in my rain gauge and no evidence of wind. Was all excited, because we need rain in the Baja. Anybody in the southern Baja have any effects from this storm? Including Cabo? The weather channel had tropical storm alerts for the east and west sides of the lower Baja.
    Anybody?
    They don’t post rain totals here in La Paz, (a city of 250,000) at least that I can find.

  29. I am sure that the computer models used to predict this seasons hurricanes were very good and would have made accurate predictions if there had not been some basic changes in the Earth’s weather patterns that were not taken into account. This is the problem with computer models in general; in fact, it is true with all types of predictions. When there is a major unrecognized change, the predictions are no good. Just what basic changes are occurring is not clear; but we are seeing changes in the jet streams as well as in general weather patterns.

  30. http://scholar.google.com/scholar_url?hl=en&q=http://dspace.mit.edu/openaccess-disseminate/1721.1/62558&sa=X&scisig=AAGBfm1-Li2OE7X12A6I93HVnwbXfFLJow&oi=scholar

    Knutson, Thomas R. et al. “Tropical Cyclones and Climate
    Change.” Nature Geosci 3.3 (2010) : 157-163.

    “However, future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical models consistently suggest that greenhouse warming will cause the globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2 to 11% by 2100. Existing modeling studies also consistently project decreases in the globally averaged frequency of tropical cyclones, by 6 to 34%.

    ————–
    Did you know that the models actually predict LESS hurricane activity???

  31. Latitude says:
    August 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm
    we can’t model winds, dry air, Saharan dust, PDO, AMO…..and on and on

    But we can predict hurricanes….

    These people drive me crazy calling any two clouds a cyclone in the Atlantic…knowing they will mislead a lot of morons

    _—————————————————-

    We can model them. We just don’t know how to do it accurately Lat.

    The interaction of trade winds and SAL, to flipping oscillations, higher ITCZ positioning etc. are well beyond us with respect to cyclone development understanding.

    Here,,,,,, how about a dusty model you may not have viewed prior. ;-)

    http://wind.tau.ac.il/dust8/dust-atlan.html

  32. Sandy was just a tropical depression when it hit NY and surrounding areas… What would they say if they were hit by a real one? They were screaming CAGW when sandy hit and she wasn’t much more than a heavy rain storm.

  33. I think there has only been 2 years since 1850 that had no hurricanes.

    So, pretty good odds there will be hurricanes this year.

  34. @Janice Moore –
    Better be careful echoing me – I get snipped if I hit the alarmists too hard, sometimes. I thought the comment you “echoed” was stronger than the one that was snipped, but I guess Anthony disagreed.

    While I’ll do my best to stay within the rules, at the risk of being snipped now and again, I’m not going to pull punches dealing with people (the alarmists, I mean) who are themselves over the top with their lies and bully tactics.

  35. I think the chances of hurricane Watt is not looking good, perhaps we can get a special dispensation to automatically change the name if a hurricane reaches category Al Gore 6

  36. [Sigh] There are more hurricanes than ever. You just don’t see them right now because they are happening deep in the ocean.

  37. Has a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico ever crossed Central America and continued for a while in the Pacific Ocean?

  38. Strong vertical wind shear throughout the Carribean and Tropical Atlantic. 10-days from now…we still will not have had our First Hurricane!

  39. Let’s not be flippant. The greatest news is that we haven’t had a natural disaster. That CAGW predictions are worthless is well-known. Besides, if there had been more hurricanes than average, the happiness of the CAGW mob would in no way change the fact that CAGW predictions are worthless.

  40. morales at bloomberg gives “bob ward spin” precedence over the very people his story is about!

    29 Aug: Bloomberg: Alex Morales: Global Warming Slowdown Data Sought in UN Climate Report
    U.S. and European Union envoys are seeking more clarity from the United Nations on a slowdown in global warming that climate skeptics have cited as a reason not to “panic” about environmental changes, leaked documents show.
    They’re requesting that more details on the so-called “hiatus” be included in a key document set to be debated at a UN conference next month that will summarize the latest scientific conclusions on climate change…
    “Including more information on the hiatus will help officials counter arguments that the slowing pace of global warming in recent years is a sign that the long-term trend may be discounted, according to Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.”…
    “Much of the information is present but it requires a lot of effort on the part of the reader to piece it all together,” the 28-nation EU said in the comments document.
    The U.S. requested clarity on the implications of the data, commenting “this is an example of providing a bunch of numbers, then leave them up in the air without a concrete conclusion.” ..

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-29/global-warming-slowdown-data-sought-in-un-climate-report.html

  41. jai mitchell says: August 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    “…Existing modeling studies also consistently project decreases in the globally averaged frequency of tropical cyclones, by 6 to 34%.”
    “Did you know that the models actually predict LESS hurricane activity???”

    Jai – A simple search of “global warming causes more hurricanes” on google pulled up 905,000 results. Rather than hog all the space here, please search yourself as many (with “scientific article” sourcing) state that this fantasy called “global warming” not only causes more intense hurricanes but more frequent hurricanes. Others say the opposite because none of them have a clue. Please leave some cherries for others to pick.

    Love how every base is covered in the warmists argument. It causes more hurricanes, it causes less, it causes drought, it causes floods….somehow also causes cold.

    Here’s a model – when the earth freezes over in the next ice age, there will be less hurricanes. No open water at ~80F or higher that hurricanes need to develop. That’s also considered less hurricane activity than today, the very result that the models you cite are “predicting”.

  42. noaaprogrammer says:
    August 30, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    > Has a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico ever crossed Central America and continued for a while in the Pacific Ocean?

    Yes. They’re assigned an Eastern Pacific tropical storm name to replace the Atlantic one they had before.

  43. Re: Kevin K. who says, ‘A simple search of “global warming causes more hurricanes” on google pulled up 905,000 results.’

    A search of “global warming causes fewer hurricanes” on google returns 8,230,000 results.

  44. @Bill

    Searching google with “global warming causes fewer hurricanes” (including the quotes and thus ensuring the search for this phrase) returns 8,440 results

  45. This is one of those rare occasions when Mr Mitchell has gotten it correct.

    Previous versions of the IPCC reports predicted increased hurricane activity. The leaked version of AR5 however, quotes more recent literature and does in fact predict decreasing hurricane activity (at least until 2100).

    This oddly leaves the Alarmosphere out of step with the IPCC. The Alarmosphere continues to hype increased severe weather while the IPCC quietly says the opposite. The MSM, who typically don’t report how many people crossed the street and did not get hit by a car this year, are equally unlikely to report this positive outcome of a warmer world. So the mythology in the public consciousness will continue to be one of warming = more hurricanes.

    Rather than belittle Mr Mitchell on this matter, we should be encouraging him to stick to his guns and tell all who will listen the good news.

  46. Including the quotation marks, I get 42,000 results for ‘more’ and 7,000 results for ‘fewer’.

  47. Ric Werme says:
    August 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Ian W says:
    August 30, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    The fact remains that statistical prediction of a chaotic system of chaotic systems is no better than a guess. This may be exciting for those making guesses but it has other financial impacts that the researchers really do not care about.

  48. OT but

    “We row into Cambridge Bay, Nunavut this afternoon – August 28th, 2013 to officially conclude the Mainstream Last First expedition.”

    So much for doing the NW passage

    “At many Eastern places of NWP locals have not seen this type ice conditions. Residents of Resolute say 20 years have not seen anything like. Its, ice, ice and more ice. Larsen, Peel, Bellot, Regent and Barrow Strait are all choked. That is the only route to East. Already West Lancaster received -2C temperature expecting -7C on Tuesday with the snow.””

    http://mainstreamlastfirst.com/

  49. This should be another lesson in humility for all of us who debate weather and climate issues:
    Taking an abundance of historical data and using the best avalible tools to determine trends and dependencies even leading experts can be way of when they make predictions. Probably least surprised (but slightly embarrased) are the experts themselves, well aware of the inherent unpredictability in weather and climate. It’s still possible that developments in September and October will vindicate the original forcast so I advice against gloating .
    The main takeaway from this is an excellent illustration of how we (and our models) don’t have a satisfying understanding of how hurricanes form. As one of the most studied and best understood weather events we still haven’t progressed far enough from the qualitative to qualitative to have models that make reasonably precise seasonal forecasts. Not that WUWT readers generally need a reminder about the shortcomings of weather and climate models.

  50. In terms of “the science” this is not a win for the side of Climate Realists. The MSM though, needs the big-name storms, particularly ones that cause lots of damage in high-population areas to help push the “extreme weather” meme. The climate liars know this. They know that they need people to Believe, even if that Belief is based on misconceptions and myths. After all, Stephen Schneider famously said:
    “To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”
    Besides, they can always spin things so that even lesser storms cause more damage than they would have, due to “rising seas”, and of course then say that the effects in the future will be even worse.

  51. There’s still plenty of heat out there in the Atlantic. As I have seen discussed here and other blogs hurricanes and tropical storms seem rather effective at taking heat off the surface and dumping it into the upper atmosphere where it can more effectively radiate out. If the earth needs to dump a little extra heat, I am sure we will get some storms before the end of the season. Maybe even some big ones, since it has been such a wimpy start, I also recall seeing some charts where Sep 10th is about the peak, but there is more activity after Sep 10th, then there is before.

  52. Someone needs to tell these morons the bad news (for them):

    Maybe they could start naming forest fires, droughts, floods, and even snowstorms after people they don’t like instead.

  53. @ Keith Bates “They should name all those hurricanes that didn’t happen after climate deniers.”

    Best line of the week

  54. The number of possible storms we are talking about for any given year is very small, ranging from 0-about 26. Therefore, take climatology and make a wild guess as to whether it will be more or less active year and subtract for less active add for more active, and you’ll always be able to say that you were close and if your wild guess was right then you’ll be even closer. Then allow yourself the freedom to change your prediction halfway through the season, and you’ll look like genius as long as no one looks too closely. Rest assured the mainstream press won’t look closely at all.

  55. OssQss says:
    August 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm
    We can model them. We just don’t know how to do it accurately Lat.
    ====
    LOL…ain’t that the truth
    …when the cone of death is from New York to Rio
    and changes with every run

  56. what I would like to ask the modelers is why the yearly range of predicted named storms has increased from a 3-6 spread 10 years ago to 6-10 storm spread more recently? it makes it very hard to be wrong when the margin of error is so large…

  57. Rob, As of 31 st August, there is one area in the NA with a 40% probability of forming into a tropical storm in the next 5 days. See http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ This means that a new hurricane, if it forms from this disturbance, is at least a week away. So far, this season, these sort of disturbances have not developed into hurricanes; Dorian and Erin. So I go along with your guess (hope?) of ZERO hurricanes this year in the NA.

  58. Marcos, it’s worse than that….
    when an invest has a 90% chance of developing…and doesn’t….they are still right
    ..because it still had a 10% chance of not developing

  59. I see elsewhere I was pointing out the risk of a no-hurricane season 4 weeks ago based on the dust supply from the Sahara . Seems little has changed since .. Dust can damage predictions.

  60. nice try david hoffer but:

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/the-future-of-wind-shear-will-it-decrease-the-number-of-hurricanes

    Posted by: Dr. Jeff Masters, 1:55 PM GMT on May 21, 2008

    The future of wind shear

    In their 2007 paper, “Increased Tropical Atlantic Wind Shear in Model Projections of Global Warming”, Gabe Vecchi of NOAA’s GFDL laboratory and Brian Soden of the University of Miami looked at 18 of the models used to formulate the “official word” on the science of climate change, the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate report. Vecchi and Soden found that in the scenario where CO2 doubles to 720 ppm by year 2100 (the so-called “A1B” scenario), these models predict a 1.5-3.5°C increase in global surface air temperature. However, in the Caribbean and some surrounding regions, at least 13 of the 18 models predict that the amount of wind shear rises by 1-2 mph per degree C of warming (Figure 2). The shear increases largely as a result of a weakening of the Walker Circulation. This weakening brings strong upper-level westerly winds to the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean.

    —–

    If the report was published in 2007 and it is now 2013, why do you all still think that hurricane activity is supposed to INCREASE under global warming?

    the models were developed well before the 2007 report, some as early as 2000.

  61. jai mitchell says:
    August 31, 2013 at 8:48 am

    In the 1990 Report the IPCC says,

    “In summary, the maximum intensity of tropical storms
    may increase, but the distribution and frequency of
    occurrence will depend on the detailed changes in aspects
    of circulation in the tropics which are probably not yet
    adequately simulated by climate models ”

    Ah, but you see, dear jai, that your ever-precious IPCC models fail again in THAT prediction from 25 years ago.

    See, they are predicting that very “accurate” maybe-more-maybe-less-maybe-more-widespread-maybe-more-intense-maybe-less-intensive hurricanes based on an ASSUMPTION of increased global temperatures (due to to 23 years global warming which is caused by 28 years of increased CO2 production under a worst-case scenario). That is, those 23 year old models (at time of publication, that is) failed because

    (1) CO2 increased more than the models worst-case scenario anticipated,
    (2) Temperatures did NOT increase according to those same models,
    (3) Temperatures today (23 years later) are NOT what was predicted,
    (4) But hurricanes today – IF they were related top global temperature averages in any given year – did NOT increase according to the 1990 23 year old prediction of hurricane strength, numbers or areas covered,
    (5) Nor do hurricanes today – IF they were related to actual year-to-date global averages temperatures in any given year at all – do NOT correspond to hurricanes in 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005, or any other year in between 1990 and 2013!

    Thus, even the basic premise of the IPCC – that hurricanes might both increase or decrease in magnitude, numbers, and dispersion area if global warming continues – fails in all three predictions. Projections. Assumptions. Presumed results.

    Your IPCC fails. Well, it fails in all but what it was intended to do: Destroy western capitalistic societies, and transfer that money to world governments to disperse as the world government sees fit to the world government’s favored few.

  62. RE: Tom Baker says:
    August 30, 2013 at 7:19 pm
    “All it takes is one. Just like Sandy. Then Global Warming is real!!!!!”

    Exactly what I was thinking to myself. Actual facts seem to matter less and less to the Gores and McKibbens of Alarmism. This prediction I made last year concerning McKibben was proved true with Sandy, and will likely prove true again:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/21/hurricane-warning-mckibben-alert/

    It does seem odd that there has been so little activity this year. It a reason for wonder, but it is a waste of time to worry and fret, which some seem to like to do. They will even use nothing happening as an excuse to worry and fret.

    In the past I’ve noticed hurricanes can happen in clusters. Things such as the MJO have to be lined up right. Then quite abruptly you can have four or five storms happening at the same time. That would give the worry-and-fret crowd a real thrill.

    I recall one time, before the MJO was common knowledge, a very dull season abruptly came alive.
    A whole string of storms developed all at once, between Cuba and Africa. In a matter of days there were five. I was very excited, and tracked them all. Every single one went out to sea, though I think the first one might have clipped Cuba.

    Then you have an example such as Carol in 1954. On August 29 it was a small, weakening hurricane, drifting off the coast of Georgia, and then it abruptly revived and roared up the coast and knocked down every pine on the hilltops here in southern New Hampshire, exactly 59 years ago today.

    When it comes to hurricane seasons, the words of Yogi Berra apply: “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

  63. When I suggested up thread….
    Steve Oregon —-August 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    …that we may be approaching our tipping point and demise as a species I neglected to add that perhaps that is not the worst thing for the planet.

    If the planet would be purified and stabilized by our removal are we not obligated to oblige?

    Let’s face it, as a species we are a horrible horrible planetary tenant.

    Why can’t we consider self eviction for the sake of the planet and all other living things?
    It’s wouldn’t be all that bad once no one is left.
    The key is to make sure we achieve total annihilation and leave no one behind to screw things up.

    Then and only then will we all rest in peace.

    Naturally there will be many who object to this final solution.
    However, that should not deter us from scratching our heads and having the conversation about it. Who knows, there may be millions ready to begin the departure?

    Ultimately there may even be a grand after life reward from the almighty who may be impressed with our compassion for all of his greater creations. We could all end up in heaven observing a perfect earth in balance.

    How exciting!

  64. Steve Oregon says:
    August 31, 2013 at 9:43 am

    When I suggested up thread….
    Steve Oregon —-August 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    …that we may be approaching our tipping point and demise as a species I neglected to add that perhaps that is not the worst thing for the planet.

    If the planet would be purified and stabilized by our removal are we not obligated to oblige?

    Let’s face it, as a species we are a horrible horrible planetary tenant.

    Why can’t we consider self eviction for the sake of the planet and all other living things?
    It’s wouldn’t be all that bad once no one is left.
    The key is to make sure we achieve total annihilation and leave no one behind to screw things up.

    Then and only then will we all rest in peace.

    For the sake and safety of everybody else living, are you, your family, your parents, and everybody you know already neutered?

  65. One wonders why Americans listen to these socialist anti-energy dunces year after year??! Climate, global warming, get rid of our huge domestic energy resources: coal, oil, gas and even the use of safer nuclear energy and that dreadful, dreadful fracking. Lions and Tigers oh my. Obama and the liberal dunces that are destroying America domestically and internationally are to be avoided at all costs. Yet some of the climate gurus even on this site still beg for their solutions. Yikes. One word describes their ideology: insanity.

  66. Steve Oregon;
    Naturally there will be many who object to this final solution.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I don’t know if your sick and twisted comment is ugly sarcasm or rank stupidity.

  67. The Al Gore type hurricanes have reversed polarity so you can’t actually see them. But they are there and they are terrifying.

  68. On the more serious side, I suspect the forecast failures are related to these Atlantic indicators from the Wattsup Reference Pages (i.e., right under our noses).

  69. jaimitchell;
    August 31, 2013 at 8:48 am
    In the 1990 Report the IPCC says,
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Ah yes, to prove your point, you drag a quote out from 1990. Some reason that you are avoiding reports since then? Do you suppose the debate in the public eye is centered on reports from 1990 or from more recent ones like 2007?

    Results from embedded high-resolution models and global models, ranging in grid spacing from 100 km to 9 km, project a likely increase of peak wind intensities and notably, where analysed, increased near-storm precipitation in future tropical cyclones. Most recent published modelling studies investigating tropical storm frequency simulate a decrease in the overall number of storms, though there is less confidence in these projections and in the projected decrease of relatively weak storms in most basins, with an increase in the numbers of the most intense tropical cyclones.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-es-13-tropical-cyclones.html

    Pretty clear that while they prophecy fewer weak storms, they at the same time they prophecy increased numbers of intense storms, and that intense storms will be of increased intensity.

  70. If I was Colorado State or the National Hurricane Center, I would be embarrassed. I’m a high school only graduate and self employed in the auto industry for 35 years. I follow this blog and a few others and laughed at the earlier preditions of a higher than average season. I based this on what I have learned about ocean temperatures and solar cycles. I’m now surprised they are sticking with their original forcast….or maybe not considering they have to respect the government funding process.

  71. Someone should tell the Climate Institute director Mike McCracken who is spamming on Yahoo’s climatesceptics…

  72. John C says:
    August 31, 2013 at 11:51 am

    If I was Colorado State or the National Hurricane Center, I would be embarrassed. I’m a high school only graduate and self employed in the auto industry for 35 years. I follow this blog and a few others and laughed at the earlier preditions of a higher than average season. I based this on what I have learned about ocean temperatures and solar cycles. I’m now surprised they are sticking with their original forcast….or maybe not considering they have to respect the government funding process.

    I don’t follow the NHC forecast very closely, their releases doesn’t have much detail and the forecasters are likely all from Colorado State.

    The Colorado State forecast has changed, see the two week forecast whose link I posted.

    Their forecasts include the funding notice:

    This year’s forecasts are funded by private and personal funds. We thank the GeoGraphics Laboratory at Bridgewater State University (MA) for their assistance in developing the United States Landfalling Hurricane Probability Webpage (available online at http://www.e-transit.org/hurricane).

    Gray & Co have had funding problems in the past, and probably still do (note “personal funds”). For a while they had grants from an insurance company. As far as I know they don’t get direct government support, and given Bill Gray’s stand on global warming he’s not going to be getting any for a while.

    Even CSU expresses their annoyance with them because each forecast they release means more work for the PR dept and apparently that’s funded by their general fund.

  73. Just when we are asking “where are all the hurricanes”.
    What looks to me this seasons strongest threat so far has just moved off the west coast of Africa. lts a cloud formation that’s starting to spin and looks like its going to do more then the half hearted efforts we have seen so far this season. lf this does not make it to at least a TS then we really are in for a low activity season.

  74. I was doing some statistics on Hurricanes and I found that in 2006, the first Hurricane was Forance that first exceeded 74 MPG on September 11, 2006.
    That’s only 7 years ago, not eleven.

  75. Years with first hurricane on Sept 1 or later. 1930-2010
    It seems not uncommon. Maybe 30% of the years.

    2006 09/03 Storm # 7 of 10 with 4 hurricanes
    2002 09/08 Storm # 7 of 12 with 4 hurricanes
    2001 09/01 Storm # 5 of 15 with 6 hurricanes
    1997 09/03 Storm # 6 of 8 with 1 hurricanes
    1994 11/02 Storm # 6 of 7 with 2 hurricanes
    1988 09/08 Storm # 8 of 12 with 3 hurricanes
    1987 09/20 Storm # 6 of 7 with 1 hurricanes
    1986 09/10 Storm # 5 of 6 with 1 hurricanes
    1984 09/08 Storm # 5 of 13 with 3 hurricanes
    1982 09/13 Storm # 5 of 6 with 1 hurricanes
    1973 09/14 Storm # 6 of 8 with 1 hurricanes
    1971 09/05 Storm # 6 of 13 with 2 hurricanes
    1968 10/13 Storm # 8 of 8 with 1 hurricanes
    1967 09/05 Storm # 2 of 8 with 5 hurricanes
    1959 09/20 Storm # 8 of 11 with 2 hurricanes
    1946 09/12 Storm # 4 of 6 with 2 hurricanes
    1941 09/16 Storm # 2 of 6 with 3 hurricanes
    1939 10/12 Storm # 4 of 5 with 2 hurricanes
    1937 09/09 Storm # 4 of 9 with 3 hurricanes
    1934 09/05 Storm # 6 of 11 with 3 hurricanes
    1931 09/08 Storm # 6 of 9 with 1 hurricanes

  76. Obviously, global warming/climate change is going to force us to add a new category of hurricane below Cat 1.

  77. The headline begins, “No Atlantic hurricane by August . . . .” It would be better phrased as “. . . by September . . .” or “. . . through August . . .”

  78. Fine compilation of carefully considered techniques, which now look destined for the circular file.
    Sob despairingly, start over excluding all methods so far attempted.

    Good luck with that!

  79. To Stephen Rasey:

    In 2006, Hurricane Ernesto formed on August 24th, and Hurricane Florence was the second hurricane of the season.

  80. It’s 1:20am mountain time (Sept 2nd) and I’m looking at the 2 storms in the Atlantic, and the 2 storms in the Pacific. In the animation, I really can’t find them. they all look like they are dissipating. They just aren’t there. But we need some tropical storms for rain in certain places, like here in the Baja.

    It’s a crap shoot as far as land falling Hurricanes. I’ve probably tracked all of them since the mid 50’s.
    If Sandy had come ashore in NC at the outer banks, it would still have been significant, but it wouldn’t have been Super Storm Sandy. And if Katrina had come ashore say a hundred miles to the east, New Orleans wouldn’t have flooded, but it would have been significant to Mississippi, Alabama and the Fla.panhandle. Probably a category 1 hurricane coming ashore at the right angle and the right high tide in New Orleans, New Orleans would probably flood again. Many times Ive seen Hurricanes come ashore at low tide and the damage is much less. Like I said, it’s a crap shoot

  81. @David, the data I have shows Ernesto as a tropical storm, highest wind speed of 65.
    66695 TS
    66700 08/24/2006 M=12 6 SNBR=1379 ERNESTO XING=1 SSS=0
    66705 08/24* 0 0 0 0* 0 0 0 0* 0 0 0 0*127 616 30 1008*
    66710 08/25*130 630 30 1007*133 644 30 1005*137 658 35 1005*140 671 35 1004*
    66715 08/26*143 683 40 1002*146 695 45 999*151 704 50 997*157 712 55 997*
    66720 08/27*163 720 55 995*169 727 65 992*174 734 55 997*178 740 45 1002*
    66725 08/28*183 746 40 1003*191 752 40 1004*200 756 35 1005*208 764 35 1007*
    66730 08/29*216 774 35 1007*224 785 40 1006*232 793 40 1006*239 799 40 1005*
    66735 08/30*247 804 40 1004*253 808 40 1003*261 810 35 1002*270 809 35 1001*
    66740 08/31*281 807 35 1000*294 804 45 999*306 799 55 995*319 792 60 993*
    66745 09/01*332 784 60 988*345 780 50 985*358 776 30 991E366 772 40 997*
    66750 09/02E371 770 40 1002E376 768 40 1005E382 767 40 1007E389 767 40 1010*
    66755 09/03E399 767 35 1012E413 771 25 1014E431 775 20 1014E445 770 20 1015*
    66760 09/04E456 758 20 1015E465 744 20 1014* 0 0 0 0* 0 0 0 0*

    This was downloaded in 2011. It is a fixed field format.
    But looking for it today, I notice this from NOAA:

    This dataset (known as Atlantic HURDAT2) has a comma-delimited, text format with six-hourly information on the location, maximum winds, central pressure, and (beginning in 2004) size of all known tropical cyclones and sibtropical cyclones. The original HURDAT database has been retired.

    Detailed information regarding the Atlantic Hurricane Database Re-analysis Project is available from the Hurricane Research Division.

    So, are they adjusting hurricane records, too?

  82. From the 2011 data file:
    66720 08/27*163 720 55 995*169 727 65 992*174 734 55 997*178 740 45 1002*

    From the 2013 HURDAT2 file
    AL062006, ERNESTO, 47,
    …..
    20060827, 0000, , TS, 16.3N, 72.0W, 55, 995, 80, 50, 0, 50, 20,
    20060827, 0600, , HU, 16.9N, 72.7W, 65, 992, 80, 70, 20, 50, 25,
    20060827, 1200, , TS, 17.4N, 73.4W, 55, 997, 80, 80, 20, 30, 25,
    20060827, 1800, , TS, 17.8N, 74.0W, 45, 1002, 80, 80, 20, 0, 0,

    OK, clearly I boo-boo’d.
    Wind speeds are in kts, with 65 as the threshold, instead of mph with 74 as the threshold.

    Thank you, David, for point out the problem.
    I’ll refigure the stats.

  83. Aside, I was surprised that the database used times 0000, 0600, 1200, 1800 zulu, but the advisories were 0300, 0900, 1500, 2100 zulu. The new format of the data allows for additional times to be inserted, such as landfall, closest approach, and dog-leg tracks. Perhaps the advisory data will be added at a later date.

  84. Years 1931 to 2010 with first Hurricane on or after September 1.
    2002 09/08 Storm # 7 of 12 with 4 hurricanes
    2001 09/01 Storm # 5 of 15 with 9 hurricanes
    1984 09/08 Storm # 5 of 13 with 5 hurricanes
    1982 09/13 Storm # 5 of 6 with 1 hurricanes
    1941 09/16 Storm # 2 of 6 with 4 hurricanes
    1937 09/09 Storm # 4 of 9 with 3 hurricanes
    1931 09/05 Storm # 5 of 9 with 2 hurricanes

    It does appear to be unusual with about 10% of the years
    The Aug 31 6:30 pm post erroneously used windspeed > 74 on the database when the windspeed was specified in knots. There was another minor difference where I only considered the wind speed for 00:00 time period.

    This analysis used the 2011 hurricane dataset, a >=65 Knot threshold and tested all four time periods.

  85. Using the Hurricages from 1931 to 2010,
    If the first hurricane is seen on or after Date,
    What then is the average number of storms for the year and the Average Number of Hurricanes?

    The average number of storms stays constant between 9 and 10 if the the first hurricane is anytime between June to Sept 5. Later than Sept 11 the number of storms falls off, but there were only two years where that happened.

    More surprisingly, the average number of hurricanes in the year stays about 6 unless the first hurricane is later than mid August. If the first hurricane as Sept 1 or later, the average is down to 4 with an observed high of 9.
    Date Count Avg#Storm Avg#Hurr
    06/01 ___76__10.6__ 6.0
    06/11 ___72__10.6__ 6.0
    06/21 ___70__10.5__ 6.0
    07/01 ___64__10.3__ 5.8
    07/11 ___57__ 9.9__ 5.6
    07/21 ___54__ 9.9__ 5.6
    08/01 ___45__ 9.7__ 5.5
    08/06 ___41__ 9.5__ 5.3
    08/11 ___34__ 9.6__ 5.4
    08/16 ___26__ 9.1__ 4.9
    08/21 ___18__ 8.9__ 4.5
    08/26 ___13__ 9.3__ 4.5
    09/01 ____7__10.0__ 4.0
    09/06 ____5__ 9.2__ 3.4
    09/11 ____2__ 6.0__ 2.5
    09/16 ____1__ 6.0__ 4.0

  86. Using the Hurricanes and Tropical Storms from 1931 to 2010,
    If we have only 5 storms by Date,
    What the expected total number of storms for the year?
    Date ___P90 __P50 _Mean __P10
    07/11 ___6.0__10.5__10.8__15.3
    07/22 ___6.0__10.0__10.6__15.0
    08/02 ___6.0__10.0__10.3__14.0
    08/13 ___6.0__10.0__10.1__14.0
    08/21 ___6.0___9.0___9.8__13.9
    09/01 ___6.0___9.0___9.0__13.0
    09/06 ___6.0___8.0___8.3__11.0
    09/11 ___6.0___7.0___7.6__10.0
    09/18 ___5.6___7.0___7.0___9.0
    09/21 ___5.2___6.0___6.5___8.0
    09/26 ___5.0___6.0___6.5___8.0
    10/03 ___5.0___6.0___6.3___8.0
    10/05 ___5.0___6.0___6.3___8.0
    10/11 ___5.0___6.0___6.0___7.2
    10/19 ___5.1___5.5___5.5___5.9
    10/29 ___5.0___5.0___5.0___5.0

  87. Using the Hurricanes and Tropical Storms from 1931 to 2010,
    If we have only 6 storms by Date,
    What the expected total number of storms for the year?
    Date Count__P90 __P50 _Mean __P10
    07/21 ___75___7.0__11.0__11.0__15.6
    08/04 ___74___7.0__11.0__10.8__15.0
    08/11 ___72___7.0__10.5__10.6__14.9
    08/21 ___68___7.0__10.0__10.3__14.0
    09/01 ___57___6.6__10.0___9.8__13.0
    09/05 ___49___6.0___9.0___9.6__13.2
    09/11 ___35___6.0___8.0___8.7__11.0
    09/16 ___23___6.0___8.0___7.7___9.0
    09/22 ___17___6.0___7.0___7.4___9.0
    10/01 ___14___6.0___7.0___6.9___8.0
    10/12 ___11___6.0___6.0___6.7___8.0
    10/22 ____5___6.0___6.0___6.4___7.0

  88. Using the Hurricanes and Tropical Storms from 1931 to 2010,
    If we have only 7 storms by Date,
    What the expected total number of storms for the year?
    07/23 ___67___8.0__11.0__11.6__16.0
    08/16 ___64___8.0__11.0__11.2__15.0
    09/01 ___57___8.0__11.0__10.7__14.0
    09/11 ___43___8.0__10.0__10.1__13.8
    09/16 ___33___7.2___9.0___9.5__11.0
    09/21 ___24___7.3___9.0___9.3__11.0
    09/26 ___19___7.0___9.0___8.9__11.0
    10/01 ___13___7.0___8.0___8.2___9.8
    10/13 ____9___7.0___8.0___8.1___9.2
    10/22 ____5___7.4___8.0___8.4___9.6

  89. Test;
    Attempt to use ‘pre’ (-format) tag to impose fixed font for DIY tables:

    07/23       67      8.0    11.0    11.6    16.0
    08/16       64      8.0    11.0    11.2    15.0
    09/01       57      8.0    11.0    10.7    14.0
    09/11       43      8.0    10.0    10.1    13.8
    09/16       33      7.2     9.0      9.5     11.0
    09/21       24      7.3     9.0      9.3    11.0
    09/26       19      7.0     9.0      8.9    11.0
    10/01       13      7.0     8.0      8.2      9.8
    10/13         9      7.0     8.0      8.1      9.2
    10/22         5      7.4     8.0      8.4      9.6
    
  90. Test 2;
    Attempt to use ‘pre’ (-format) tag to impose fixed font for DIY tables:

    07/23       67      8.0    11.0    11.6    16.0
    08/16       64      8.0    11.0    11.2    15.0
    09/01       57      8.0    11.0    10.7    14.0
    09/11       43      8.0    10.0    10.1    13.8
    09/16       33      7.2     9.0     9.5    11.0
    09/21       24      7.3     9.0     9.3    11.0
    09/26       19      7.0     9.0     8.9    11.0
    10/01       13      7.0     8.0     8.2     9.8
    10/13         9      7.0     8.0     8.1     9.2
    10/22         5      7.4     8.0     8.4     9.6
    
  91. Test 3;
    Attempt to use ‘pre’ (-format) tag to impose fixed font for DIY tables:

    07/23       67      8.0    11.0    11.6    16.0
    08/16       64      8.0    11.0    11.2    15.0
    09/01       57      8.0    11.0    10.7    14.0
    09/11       43      8.0    10.0    10.1    13.8
    09/16       33      7.2     9.0     9.5    11.0
    09/21       24      7.3     9.0     9.3    11.0
    09/26       19      7.0     9.0     8.9    11.0
    10/01       13      7.0     8.0     8.2     9.8
    10/13        9      7.0     8.0     8.1     9.2
    10/22        5      7.4     8.0     8.4     9.6
    
  92. Test darkening and enlarging with ‘H2′ tag:

    07/23       67      8.0    11.0    11.6    16.0
    08/16       64      8.0    11.0    11.2    15.0
    09/01       57      8.0    11.0    10.7    14.0
    09/11       43      8.0    10.0    10.1    13.8
    09/16       33      7.2     9.0     9.5    11.0
    09/21       24      7.3     9.0     9.3    11.0
    09/26       19      7.0     9.0     8.9    11.0
    10/01       13      7.0     8.0     8.2     9.8
    10/13        9      7.0     8.0     8.1     9.2
    10/22        5      7.4     8.0     8.4     9.6
    
  93. Test 5;
    darkening with ‘b’ tag:

    07/23       67      8.0    11.0    11.6    16.0
    08/16       64      8.0    11.0    11.2    15.0
    09/01       57      8.0    11.0    10.7    14.0
    09/11       43      8.0    10.0    10.1    13.8
    09/16       33      7.2     9.0     9.5    11.0
    09/21       24      7.3     9.0     9.3    11.0
    09/26       19      7.0     9.0     8.9    11.0
    10/01       13      7.0     8.0     8.2     9.8
    10/13        9      7.0     8.0     8.1     9.2
    10/22        5      7.4     8.0     8.4     9.6
    

    [Best to use the "Test" page. See the index tab list near the top of the WUWT home page. Mod]

  94. I forgot I had access to preview with Greasemonkey CA Assistant script; much easier to get everything aligned using it! Sorry for all the unnecessary posts.

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