Employment slump at NHC

Bob Tisdale writes in with:

What Do You Suppose They’ve Been Doing At The National Hurricane Center This Summer?

http://i27.tinypic.com/im1m2r.gif

Source: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Bocce maybe? Horseshoes?

UPDATE – Ryan Maue of Florida State University writes in comments:

Global (Northern Hemisphere) tropical cyclone ACE for the months May – June – July is the lowest in at least the past 30-years or more.

I, for one, am not surprised.  Continued inactivity should persist for the next few weeks until the atmosphere catches up with the radiative warming of the tropical oceans due to the season called summer.

2007 was a dud.   2008 was saved from being a record year by 2007.  2009 is behind the pace of both years.  Amazing how natural variability affects tropical cyclone formation, tracks, and intensity.  Who would have thought?

Ryan’s Tropical web page at Florida State University has this graph that shows accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) :

click for larger image

Sorted monthly data: Text File

Note where 2009 is in the scheme of things.

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Pamela Gray

The primary reason for no hurricanes in the Gulf is because the jet stream is too far North. And the reason it is North is because of the condition of the PDO. This all results in the oceanic conditions of the Atlantic not having to fight the jet stream. So the turbulence that sets up hurricanes is taking a siesta. However, the occasional swing of the jet stream to its southern track can still happen during a cold/neutral PDO.

H.R.

Rock, scissors, paper?
Sudoku?
Organize ipod lists?
Bet on lap times when the groundskeepers are mowing?
Word on the street is everyone’s fingernails there look great.

Skeptic Tank

Not that unusual. Hurricane Andrew didn’t strike until the last week in August, which is when things really pick up.
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gifs/peakofseason.gif

Matt

There are NO tropical cyclones globally right now either. None. Nowhere.

KZimman

Even better is the comment at the top of their site:
NHC predicts a near-normal season…have your disaster plan ready!

I wrote to NHC and asked what was the latest date for a first named tropical storm or hurricane. In the modern era, since 1966, the latest date for a first named storm was August 30th 1967, Arlene; and the latest date for a first hurricane was September 11th 2002, Gustav.

KW

Rooting on the El Nino, perhaps.

They are probably worrying about the increasing number of LNG regasification facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, since those chill the ocean surface and act as hurricane preventers. Or minimizers.
I wrote: “One other thing about importing LNG, especially into the Gulf of Mexico. Re-gasification requires great quantities of heat, and that heat is derived from ocean water in some processes. The ocean water cools in the process. This is just the opposite of how power plants heat a local body of water with once-through cooling for their steam condensers. It may not be enough to notice or even to measure, but it could help cool the surface waters so that hurricanes (which require warm water to sustain their winds) decrease in strength or even disappear. Another benefit in the Gulf of Mexico might be that cold water absorbs more oxygen compared to warm water, and that could help the notorious “dead zone” in the Gulf.
The floating LNG regasification system referenced above uses a two-tier vaporizer with a closed-loop system of propane vaporizing the LNG, then ocean water is used in the second tier to warm the cold propane. The net effect is colder ocean water with high-pressure natural gas produced for moving via a pipeline to shore.”

Glenn

I think no matter what the outcome we can shoe-in ‘climate change’ as the fault.

JAN

Maybe they’ve just been going around in circles?

SteveSadlov

They are not even getting occluded fronts, cut off lows or Tiny Tims for count padding! They must be on suicide watch down there.

JMcCarthy

What Do You Suppose They’ve Been Doing At The National Hurricane Center This Summer?
Maybe they have been trying to clean off the Oscar and the Nobel Prize that Al Gore won because they sure has been collecting a lot of tarnish lately. His jumbo size heated pool could always use some extra cleaning as well.

SteveSadlov

RE: The primary reason for no hurricanes in the Gulf is because the jet stream is too far North.
Too far south. Cold fronts are reaching the Gulf. That is more like mid to late October than late July / early August.

wws

They’re trying to come up with ways to threaten California’s fruits and nuts.

Craig Moore

Pan-Pan, Pan-Pan, Pan-Pan.

KZimman

Just one other thing–June and July are usually relatively slow months for hurricanes in the Atlantic, and it’s not unknown for a season to start late (Andrew was around Labor Day in 1992). September is the peak of the season. Let’s wait until at least Labor Day, or maybe the Equinox, to start getting critical…

The NHC may have missed a chance to name a subtropical storm last week.
Things weren’t windy at home near Concord NH, but apparently it was plenty windy near the track of a “subtropical nor’easter” off of Massachusetts. The wind field of extratropical storms is wide enough so I was quite surprised at the reports from last week closer to it.
See http://www.weathernewengland.com/tim-kelley/walks-like-a-duck-tropical-storm-or-not/1004027.html for a lot of discussion from the weather staff at NECN (New England Cable News Network).
Tim Kelley reports:
Tonight we are sharing some inside information regarding the characteristics of this second major Nor’easter for New England this summer of 2009. The first one lasted three days from June 21 to June 23. This one came through in 28 hours from 4 PM July 23 to 8 PM July 24. Each storm hit during an astronomically high new moon tide. Thank goodness, we had the worst of the wind during low tide early Friday July 25th. I woke up to the sound of my grill slamming to the ground after an estimated gust to 48 mph about 5:35 AM.
Both storms had peak gusts of 45 mph. The June storm had a central pressure of 994 Millibars or 29.35″. That one was clearly a cold core storm. This one however, had many tropical characteristics, with ingredients form Africa, The Bahamas, And The Pacific. The central pressure was about 1000 Millibars or 29.53″. The temperature was 63 degrees with a dewpoint of 61, clearly not a true tropical storm. But the characteristics of the wind and the rain appeared tropical in nature.
I feel terrible about how badly I missed the Marine Forecast. If we had a named storm boaters would have been better prepared. The wind at Island Shoals Buoy was sustained at 39 knots this AM, 5 knots great than Tropical Storm Force. We had no statements form any National Hurricane Center or Weather Service that tropical storm conditions would prevail this morning. Matt Noyes was the lone voice of reality yesterday, thanks for the heads up Matt. So far there are no reports of injuries. But as Joe posted earlier, we have many reports of trees down and flooding. This is how the sea looked in Massachusetts Bay at 5:40 AM.
[From another NECN met.]
“It seems NHC is not calling everything a T.S. like they have in the past, which I think is a good thing. To many storm wannabees doesn’t help us get the message across. I can think of 3 others this season they have not named which have some of your same “duck” qualities”. Sure in the past I could see this being named a subtropical storm. I believe tropical systems and nor’easters are much more related than most think, and the line of purity between the 2 is rather thin.
That said, too much points to a RARE late July subtropical nor’easter loaded with tropical moisture. PW values around 2 !! I think this situation should have been a big deal from the local offices with wording and special statements. I haven’t seen all the discussions, but it seemed by Thursday night it would have warranted stronger wording. Sustained winds even well below TS strength along with the super wet soils you guys have had resulted in dozens of non t-storm wind damage reports. Sometimes as Mets. we focus on what the storm is not, rather than what it is.”
Yes I do think we are more vulnerable.
July 2009 Rainfall records are rivaling July of 1938!
[The hurricane of ’38 took down huge swatchs of trees and wind and rain were aided by saturated soils. References to 1938 are worrisome, though I’m not sure if the weather pattern is similar. OTOH, the pattern this year with the persistant low in the upper great lakes helped steer this nor’easter this way.]
I have more to say but it’s the weekend.. JJ take over form here. Tell us about how this is the wettest July on Record in at PVD (Warwick RI), and how this is this second coldest July on record at NYC (Central Park NY).
Make the connection to Global Cooling.

Bob Tisdale:
Are you crazy, man? What if the Watts Effect applies to cyclonic storms as well as sunspots? You’re going to have live with what you’ve done….
Jim Cripwell (10:03:15) – nice initiative… so a prolonged spell without hurricanes is not THAT unusual.

Nogw

No warm water, no hurricanes, big chief says…

Adam

Pamela Gray (09:45:12) :
“The primary reason for no hurricanes in the Gulf is because the jet stream is too far North. And the reason it is North is because of the condition of the PDO. This all results in the oceanic conditions of the Atlantic not having to fight the jet stream. So the turbulence that sets up hurricanes is taking a siesta. However, the occasional swing of the jet stream to its southern track can still happen during a cold/neutral PDO.”
Sorry Pamela, but that makes no sense. Currently, the jet stream is actually further south and closer to the Gulf than usual. That is why it is so cool for this time of year over the eastern half of the US. Furthermore, the jet stream does not help with hurricane formation.

Sandy

Well if anyone from the NHC is bored and has some hurricane modelling software can I suggest….
Flood basalt events cause ground temperatures of > 50C over 1000s of sq. miles, what sort of hurricane will that set off (24/7 geological heating of course)??

John Silver

Well, since the global warming have been masked by global cooling so have the hurricanes been masked by doldrums.

cotwome

Andrew is a good example; or rather the 1992 Hurricane Season is a good example of what might happen this year. Relative to normal we may have few named storms this year. Of course, in respect to anyone who may experience a named storm, its good to remember, it’s not the number of named storms in a given year, it’s the number of named storms that make landfall that is most important.
The 1992 Hurricane Season only had 6 named storms, (1 subtropical storm, which today would be named) if that were to occur this year, it would make the ‘Forecast’ of around 11 named storms, wrong… …again.
http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2009/20090521_atlantichurricane.html

I’d say they’re doing some inner reflection, that maybe alarmism isn’t such a good idea after all.

Jeff Masters at wunderground.com (who is a strong AGW supporter, by the way) has a very interesting blog about the late starting hurricane season. According to records, some of which he admits is incomplete before weather satellites, only 2 out 10 hurricane seasons that started in August was above average for the number of storms the season produced.
In any event, it is going to be a mild year. Ever since that season which we had so many Atlantic hurricanes that we ran out of names, it is like a light switch was turned off.
The mantra was “Look what global warming is going to do.” Then suddenly, poof, quite. The season was so mild the past several years that the NHC now classifies a tropical storm the hour it happens, even if it is an official tropical storm just for an hour. The result was, of course, many more named storms than in years past. Thus, people still thought global warming makes more hurricanes. Still, accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) was calculated to be WAY down. (It just so happens, that NOAA uses ACE along with the number of named storms to determine how active a season is. Since NOAA and the NHC are now overzealous in naming storms, this makes the season appear worse than it really is.) When look at just the ACE, it has not been this calm in 3 decades. It was like someone turned off a light switch for hurricanes.
http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/
I am interested to see when a hurricane will hit New York City. New York is actually overdue for a strong hurricane. That last Category 3 hurricane to hit New York was in the 30’s. It only takes one hurricane to make a season memorable. When, not if, a strong hurricane hits New York, I believe it will make Katrina look tame. Will this finally be the year?

Global (Northern Hemisphere) tropical cyclone ACE for the months May – June – July is the lowest in at least the past 30-years or more.
I, for one, am not surprised. Continued inactivity should persist for the next few weeks until the atmosphere catches up with the radiative warming of the tropical oceans due to the season called summer.
2007 was a dud. 2008 was saved from being a record year by 2007. 2009 is behind the pace of both years. Amazing how natural variability affects tropical cyclone formation, tracks, and intensity. Who would have thought?

Gary

Revising predictions.

Nogw

See those blue colors surfacing along peruvian costs? That´s humbold currents´cold waters surfacing, fighting against the red&oranges noaa´s jet printing. That means exausted surface water heat. Gulf waters are just light orange predicting no hurricanes.
http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomw.7.27.2009.gif

P Walker

Since I live on the coast of Georgia , I watch tropical weather activity pretty closely . The Atlantic basin has been awfully quiet this year – a couple of tropical waves , but no depressions – so far . This is unusual . However , as stated in other comments , things don’t really crank up for another few weeks . As always , I’m hoping for a quiet season . BTW , it has not been a particularily hot summer yet . August will tell though…

Nogw

It´s time for Bill Gates´hurricanes abatement engineering….or will dismiss it like vista´s?

Stephen Wilde

I’m surprised by how closely that graph above matches the ups and downs of the solar cycles 20 through 23.
Draw a line down across the peaks from 1971 to 2008 and it’s an accurate reflection of the slow weakening of those cycles over the period.
Modified slightly by El Nino and La Nina events.
Given the smallness of solar variation and the time lags caused by oceanic variability even I was expecting a much less obvious relationship.
More thought needed by the climate establishment ?

AndyW35

SST’s are not high currently, El Nino is getting slightly more active and SSA is a bit dusty, so all the long track hurricanes are on hold until the season really starts. Indeed I thought most early Atlantic hurricanes at this time of year start in the Caribbean?
Saying there is not much activity at the moment is like claiming there is a lot of Arctic ice about in May, ie it doesn’t really matter.
Regards
Andy

Bill Illis

The Atlantic has developed its own mini-La Nina-like state right now so we shouldn’t expect sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic tropical storm formation zone to reach normal levels this year.
http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.7.27.2009.gif
http://www.ecmwf.int/products/forecasts/d/getchart/catalog/products/forecasts/ocean/real_time/xzmaps!20090729!Anomaly!Temperature!chart.gif

Bill Illis

Sorry, link to the chart of equatorial upper ocean heat anomaly didn’t show up. Here’s the page.
http://www.ecmwf.int/products/forecasts/d/charts/ocean/real_time/xzmaps/

AEGeneral

What Do You Suppose They’ve Been Doing At The National Hurricane Center This Summer?
Holding a “Go Fish” tournament to determine who gets an office with a window at the new $50M hurricane center.

AEGeneral (11:25:47) :
What Do You Suppose They’ve Been Doing At The National Hurricane Center This Summer?
Holding a “Go Fish” tournament to determine who gets an office with a window at the new $50M hurricane center.

Actually that’s a computer model of “Go Fish” which predicts that everyone will win, and everyone will lose.

Lance

KZimman wrote wait until Sept.
Yes, Sept is usually when things kick in down there, however, I would suggest we just wait until the end of the season and then do a post mortem on it.
I believe the cooler the earth gets, the more these hurricanes will kick in again…
IMHO

Frank K.

Ryan Maue (10:57:13)
“Amazing how natural variability affects tropical cyclone formation, tracks, and intensity. Who would have thought?”
Well, apparently not UCAR, way back in 2006…
http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2006/hurricanes.shtml
Global Warming Surpassed Natural Cycles in Fueling 2005 Hurricane Season, NCAR Scientists Conclude
June 22, 2006
BOULDER—Global warming accounted for around half of the extra hurricane-fueling warmth in the waters of the tropical North Atlantic in 2005, while natural cycles were only a minor factor, according to a new analysis by Kevin Trenberth and Dennis Shea of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The study will appear in the June 27 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, published by the American Geophysical Union.
“The global warming influence provides a new background level that increases the risk of future enhancements in hurricane activity,” Trenberth says. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s primary sponsor.
The study contradicts recent claims that natural cycles are responsible for the upturn in Atlantic hurricane activity since 1995. It also adds support to the premise that hurricane seasons will become more active as global temperatures rise. Last year produced a record 28 tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma all reached Category 5 strength.

François GM

If I may say so: No contest. The winner here is JAN (10:08:31) :
“Maybe they’ve just been going around in circles?”

Nogw

Ryan Maue (10:57:13) :Who would have thought?…Obviously WUWT

Kevin Schurig

What are the employees at NHC doing? Probably seeing their doctors about their CTS from playing too much spider solitaire. Counting the number of holes in the ceiling tiles. Holding staring contests. Picking lint out of their belly-buttons. The list is endless.

I found some information about when the first named storms usually form. A write-up is here:
http://wxtalk.wordpress.com/2009/07/29/all-quiet-on-the-atlantic-front/
Original info from the Caribbean Hurricane Network is here:
http://stormcarib.com/climatology/first1886.htm

Daniel M

Skeptic Tank (09:52:28) :
Not that unusual. Hurricane Andrew didn’t strike until the last week in August, which is when things really pick up.
OK, you’re not the only one to bring up Andrew (1992), but it formed mid August, and it would have been the SECOND named storm of the year using today’s standard – that first storm forming in APRIL. There were also multiple tropical depressions before Andrew, whereas we have only had one this year that hardly rates a sniffle, much less a sneeze.
That being said, I agree with all those who say to wait until the first week of September before getting too excited…

Tenuc

Quiet sun = fewer large cyclones.
Current theory about the formation of tropical cyclones, hurricanes, and tornadoes fails to take into account that the origin of these phenomna take place under conditions of an abnormally strong electric fields which together with electromagnetohydrodynamic interaction occupies a key position in the intensification process.
As the sun is a major suppler of electricity to the earth, I thnk the lack of solar actvity at the moment means the earths electromagnetc field is too weak to fuel these energetc events.

crosspatch

What is the strength/location of the Bermuda High this year relative to previous years? How have the trade winds been in the tropical Atlantic? Strong trade winds will cool the water surface like a fan blowing on a wet towel. You won’t get much formation over cooler water. Location of the Bermuda High will give you some clue as to the track storms are likely to take. If it is positioned more to the South and West, you will see storms pushed into the Gulf. If it is more to the North and East, the Atlantic coast has a better chance of being in the track but too far East and the storms will miss the coast altogether and curve before making landfall. Probably the worst possible scenario would be a weak-ish Bermuda High sitting right over Bermuda with sluggish trades.

Pierre Gosselin

Bill Illis
This chart shows Atlantic tropical waters being on the cool side. Note the big horseshoe of cold water.
http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html
Still, the Carribean is a little warm, and that ought to be a factor in spawning hurricanes.

Gary Pearse

Pamela Gray (09:45:12) :
“The primary reason for no hurricanes in the Gulf is because the jet stream is too far North”
Pamela we’re being told in eastern Canada and the NE USA that the reason we have had no summer this year is because the jet stream too far south! WUWT?

JR

The NHC and TWC caveats have been humorous. Today TWC says: “At this time, it appears the Atlantic Basin will not see its first named storm before August 1st. This is not too uncommon, as about 25% of the time the first named storm does not occur until August. The last time this happened was 2004 when Alex was named on the first day in August.”
It may not be common (25%), but how does that reconcile with the AGW gloom and doom of “more frequent and stronger hurricanes”?
I live on the northen Gulf Coast, and for years those with a vested interest have been hyping the frequency and strength of storms. We have noticed the NOAA hurricane updates repeatedly overstate the strength of the storms. The hurricane hunters will go out and send back data, which NOAA will convert into an update. Yet, the estimated strength does NOT correlate with the buoy data, even when the longitude and latitude of the eye of the storm is virtually on top of the buoy. The buoys are online at the National Data Buoy Center website – http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov.
You can review the buoy data for the 12 hours before a storm reaches the buoy, and for the 12 hours after the storm passes the buoy, and the wind speed and gust speed recorded by the buoy is ALWAYS less than the NOAA updates, generally by about 30%. We have had a general suspicion for some time that the measure of sustained wind speed has been replaced by estimated wind gusts. How often does the NOAA estimated wind speed UNDERSTATE the wind speed. How often do you see a headline indicating the storm was stronger than anticipated?

Hell_Is_Like_Newark

We have had a number of coastal storms the past couple of months here in NYC metro area. This pattern of coastal storms, humidity (but not a lot of heat) and some really wicked thunderstorms (I had a funnel cloud pass over my apartment building on Sunday) seems to be holding as the weeks pass.
Could a quieter tropic mean more severe weather for the mid-Atlantic states?

pkatt

I was wondering when someone was going to comment on this. 🙂 Two named hurricanes this year, no major land hits is my prediction. My model is very accurate.. lol really it is.. hehe ..
*flips over the last tarot card* and you will meet a tall dark stranger in September:P