NOAA Lowers Hurricane Season Outlook

While NOAA is lowering forecasts, the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) from FSU COAPS is also quite low. Ryan Maue’s Tropical web page at Florida State University has this graph that shows accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) :

Sorted monthly data: Text File Note where 2009 is in the scheme of things. More here.


NOAA Lowers Hurricane Season Outlook, Cautions Public Not to Let Down Guard

August 6, 2009

El Nino visualization.

Animation of El Niño in Pacific.

El Niño animation (Credit: NOAA)

According to its August Atlantic hurricane season outlook, NOAA now expects a near- to below-normal Atlantic hurricane season, as the calming effects of El Niño continue to develop. But scientists say the season’s quiet start does not guarantee quiet times ahead. The season, which began June 1, is entering its historical peak period of August through October, when most storms form.

“While this hurricane season has gotten off to quiet start, it’s critical that the American people are prepared in case a hurricane strikes,” said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

Slow Starts Not Unusual.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, now predicts a 50 percent probability of a near-normal season, a 40 percent probability of a below-normal season, and a 10 percent probability of an above-normal season. Forecasters say there is a 70 percent chance of seven to 11 named storms, of which three to six could become hurricanes, including one to two major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5).

The main change from the May outlook is an increased probability of a below-normal season, and an expectation of fewer named storms and hurricanes. The May outlook called for nine to 14 named storms, of which four to seven could become hurricanes, including one to three major hurricanes. During an average season, there are 11 named storms with winds of at least 39 mph, of which six become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or greater and two of those become major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher.

In recent weeks, forecasts for the return of El Niño – warmer than normal waters along the equatorial central and eastern Pacific Ocean – have come to fruition.

“El Niño continues to develop and is already affecting upper-level atmospheric pressure and winds across the global tropics,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “El Niño produces stronger upper-level westerly winds over the Caribbean Sea and tropical Atlantic Ocean, which help to reduce hurricane activity by blowing away the tops of growing thunderstorm clouds that would normally lead to tropical storms.”

Records for latest date for season's first tropical storm and hurricane.

“El Niño may mean fewer storms compared to recent seasons, but it doesn’t mean you can let your guard down,” said Jack Hayes, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “History shows that hurricanes can strike during an El Niño.” Some examples include Betsy in 1965, Camille in 1969, Bob in 1991, Danny in 1997 and Lili in 2002.

Even though El Niño tends to decrease the number of storms, other climate factors may help to create some storms. As predicted in May, conditions associated with the high-activity era that began in 1995 are in place, and include enhanced rainfall over west Africa and warmer tropical Atlantic Ocean water, which favor storm development.

The calm start to this hurricane season is not a reliable indicator of the overall activity for the entire season. The 1992 Atlantic hurricane season, for example, had a below-normal number of named storms and hurricanes. The first storm did not form until late August, when Hurricane Andrew hit southern Florida as a destructive Category 5 storm.

Hurricane Andrew.

Hurricane Andrew slams into South Florida in August 1992 during a hurricane season that began late.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

“These outlooks are extremely valuable when determining cycles and trends for the season, however they don’t tell us when the next storm will occur or where it may strike,” said FEMA administrator Craig Fugate. “It only takes one storm to put a community at risk. That is why we need to take action and prepare ourselves and our families before the next storm hits, including developing a family disaster plan. By taking a few simple steps now we can help ensure that we are better prepared and that our first responders are able to focus on our most vulnerable citizens.”

Predicting where and when a storm may hit land depends on the weather conditions in place at the time the storm approaches. Therefore NOAA’s seasonal outlook, which spans multiple months, does not include landfall projections. But once a storm appears to be forming, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center will issue track and intensity forecasts.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

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90 thoughts on “NOAA Lowers Hurricane Season Outlook

  1. And right on queue, tropical wave 99L has just left the coast of Africa and is expected to develop into this year’s first named Atlantic storm.

  2. Just when Obama could have used a good hurricane to distract from healthcare debate. Nature just doesn’t seem to cooperate.

  3. Almost half-way through the huricane season (that they said would be well above normal) without a single named storm (Heck, without a single tropical depression that I have heard about), NOAA goes boldly out on the limb to dare say that it might be “a near- to below-normal Atlantic hurricane season”.
    Ya’ think?
    Stand back and admire this daring prediction!

  4. Yeah, but it IS unusual to start this late since the AMO shift in 1995-Lubos checked this:
    http://motls.blogspot.com/2009/08/silence-of-hurricanes.html
    * 2009: after August 9th (or never)
    * 2008: May 31
    * 2007: May 9
    * 2006: June 10
    * 2005: June 8
    * 2004: July 31
    * 2003: April 20
    * 2002: July 9
    * 2001: June 4
    * 2000: August 3
    * 1999: June 11
    * 1998: July 26
    * 1997: June 30
    * 1996: June 19
    * 1995: June 2
    Another indication of the role of AMO? Seems like it to me!

  5. Once again I will quote from my home insurance policy:
    “Two unprecedented back-to-back hurricane seasons, with eight hurricanes and four tropical storms, have caused tens of billions of dollars in insured damages. PREDICTIONS OF MORE CATASTROPHIC HURRICANES MAKING LANDFALL IN THE U.S. HAVE TRIGGERED SIGNIFICANT INCREASES TO INSURANCE PREMIUMS TO COVER POTENTIAL FUTURE LOSSES” (emphasis mine)
    Thanks a lot Hansen et al. Your hardheadness in clinging to your climate religion costs real people real money. Perhaps I could put a PayPal button over at Real Climate so they can donate to my insurance bill, now that would be putting your money where your mouth is.

  6. “NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.”
    – just a bit of hyperbole there.
    And what happens if the predictions don’t fit the facts? Maybe a little ex post facto adjustment?

  7. It will be what it will be. But I don’t know about this talk of hurricane season starting late, as if that’s unusual. I remember back in the day when that ‘old guy’, I forgot his name, was TWC hurricane expert. Every June he’d show up and I’d be glad to see the familiar old face and a bit raunchy sense of humor. Then I’d forget about hurricanes until September.
    And sure enough, September would come along and so would the hurricanes.
    ::shrug::

  8. That is so funny. Hansen’s coolaid drinkers swear that global warming causes more hurricanes. You would think that they would get their stories straight.
    By the way, that NOAA statement at the end of their report is a vision statement. It is how they would like to be thought as. It is what they would like to be. And in truth, I see them as being far more likely to report natural variability as the cause of the day then most other climate involved entities.

  9. Andrew, Carla, Camille, Betsy, Bob, Danny…
    Looks like the earlier named storms can be doozies ;o)
    I suppose there’s a grant waiting for someone willing to prove a high correlation between storm intensity and the star letter of the alphabet for the storm name. Sillier studies than that have been funded.
    How about starting the names from Z to A on alternate years?

  10. Invest 99L, if it develops will (according to all the models) likely be short lived and peak at under hurricane strength

  11. It has been very wet in central Florida this summer. The lakes are back full and we do not need a rain maker. It has been nice this season not to have any storms headed our way.
    The weather guys on TV have been rather subdued. I almost feel sorry for them, and I think a couple have had to go into rehab.
    🙂

  12. Oh. So there is a ‘normal’ situation where there might be only one or two (or even no) hurricanes in June or July. This is weather. But sometimes there are more than one or two hurricanes in June and July. This could still be weather, but we at NOAA prefer to attribute it to climate change. Mind you we acknowledge that it gets confusing when it’s weather one year, climate change the next , weather the following two years, then climate change, then…..

  13. Eyeball only and far too short a time frame for any accuracy but that bar graph seems to show an approximate 11 year long cycle with the ACE minimums just following the solar minimum.
    Coincidence?

  14. I’d be worried if I was living anywhere near the Hurricane belt. If NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment as well as the way that the UK Met. Office understands and predicts the British Summer then pile those levees high Folks!

  15. Average so-so hurricane season?
    Not to worry. There’s always the Arctic sea ice melt they can rush to cover. Latest AP/NSIDC story spins the melt as possibly matching the 2007 melt.
    Spare me the spin — I’ll wait and see what it looks like in three weeks or so.
    In the meantime, if that Cape Verde disturbance fires up in a couple days it’ll give media types something to hype, even if it is too far out to topple any hotels into the ocean.

  16. Having attended a presentation yesterday, this situation we find ourselves in is likely to be changing. Our newly forming el nino condition historically favors bid bad late season storms along with late starts for the named storms. While there’s no guarantees when tossing dice, we can expect a real possibility that we may have a cat 4 or cat 5 slamming in – perhaps to the western gulf area – sometime in the next couple of months. It seems we are still in the rising area of the longer term hurricane cycles so with history as a guide – B.O. may still get the last laugh within the next couple of months. And I might get blown all the way to Kansas.

  17. We need to remember something. Just because more storms are named does not mean that season is more active. NOAA now names a storm even if it meets the minimum tropical storm/subtropical storm requirements just for 1 hour. In times past, such storms would not have been named. I truly believe NOAA exploits this to scare people. “Oh, we had 15 named storms. It is an active year. Never mind a few years ago some of these storms would not even be named. No, it is an active year and the number of storms is increasing! Now pay up and give up your rights!”
    The true metric in how active a year is by the number of hurricanes and by the ACE. Hurricanes already have a name and thus we do not rush names out just to scare people with hurricanes. And ACE is objective because it does not require a storm to be named.
    But have fun getting the media to disassociate activity with the number of storm names.
    As far as the Cape Verde disturbance. There is a very good chance it will be nothing but a tropical depression. It is going to creep north into dry air and wind sheer. Whatever the case, it will have a short life, meaningless life. Experience has told me that the path this storm is predicted to take usually end up curving out to sea.
    http://my.sfwmd.gov/sfwmd/common/images/weather/plots/storm_99.gif

  18. As well they might lower thier hurricance forecast, given that there haven’t so far been any.; in spite of worse than previously thought global warming /sarc

  19. ” cba (15:18:47) : ”
    “we can expect a real possibility that we may have a cat 4 or cat 5 slamming in – perhaps to the western gulf area – sometime in the next couple of months.”
    Non-sequitur. There is ALWAYS a “real possibility” of a cat 4 or cat 4 (perhaps in the Western gulf area) in August/September. That statement pretty much means nothing. Sort of like the recent “sea level rise” warning that basically said that the rate of sea levels will either drop, stay the same, or rise. Uhm, yep!
    There is no higher possibility this year than any other year. Statements like that of cba above are the sort of meaningless blather that the news media loves to spout off with. It sounds almost ominous … until you think about it a minute.

  20. QUoting:
    “I remember back in the day when that ‘old guy’, I forgot his name, was TWC hurricane expert. Every June he’d show up and I’d be glad to see the familiar old face and a bit raunchy sense of humor. ”
    Might be this guy, who I would trust to the end about hurricanes:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Frank

  21. @ROM (14:47:33) :
    It’s not even close to a coincidence. Tropical cyclones are literally heat engines that actively transport energy from the tropics towards the poles.

  22. it’s intended to say that there is definitely not a reduction from the average statistical liklihood caused by the current conditions versus other possible conditions but may even be a slight increase in liklihood due to the new conditions that we will get hit. Since we average around 1 hurricane landfall here per decade that puts the base liklihood at 10%. These new conditions may have (as an off the cuff example of the concept I’m trying to convey) may have increased this liklihood to 11% or 12%.
    This is NOT the same thing as trying to say that going 11 years without a hurricane landfall here increases the liklihood of one.
    History shows we get hit most often by storms names starting with A B or C and that we normally are hit after mid August. That doesn’t mean we will get one this year and it doesn’t mean the next one we get can’t be an H or even a Z name. However, it should be evident – to the extent that the statistic can provide something – that we are most likely to get a hurricane when the conditions are such that favor late season starts – or at least with some conditions that cause late season starts.

  23. “Morakot looks to be a really nasty SOB.”
    Cable weather girl today said it wasn’t really a strong storm, just that when it hit Taiwan it stalled and hung around for 24 hours instead of passing through.
    “Might be this guy, who I would trust to the end about hurricanes:”
    I agree with your sentiment, but it wasn’t him I was thinking of. It was:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hope_(meteorologist)

  24. 100 yrs of US Major Hurricane Index (Saffir 3-5)
    http://nofreewind.com/files/us_major_hurricanes.jpg
    notice the 1st half of the 20th Century was more active than later half, although 2005-06 were big years.
    100 yrs of Atlantic Basin Major Hurricane Index (Saffir 3-5)
    http://nofreewind.com/files/atlantic_major_hurricanes.jpg
    10yr trend same as in 50’s. There is nothing new under the sun as far as climate goes, except we will now pay per degree, or per 10th of a degree!

  25. Tiny Tim storm naming, even if it only lasts an hour out in the middle of the ocean? Where did they get THAT idea?
    The withdrawals must be intense.

  26. Everyone seen this one?
    Vast expanses of Arctic ice melt in summer heat
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090809/ap_on_re_ca/cn_canada_ice_retreats
    TUKTOYAKTUK, Northwest Territories – The Arctic Ocean has given up tens of thousands more square miles (square kilometers) of ice on Sunday in a relentless summer of melt, with scientists watching through satellite eyes for a possible record low polar ice cap.
    From the barren Arctic shore of this village in Canada’s far northwest, 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) north of Seattle, veteran observer Eddie Gruben has seen the summer ice retreating more each decade as the world has warmed. By this weekend the ice edge lay some 80 miles (128 kilometers) at sea.

  27. “it’s intended to say that there is definitely not a reduction from the average statistical liklihood caused by the current conditions versus other possible conditions”
    But the way it was phrased gave the impression that some new information was available that made such a landfall more likely.

    Having attended a presentation yesterday, this situation we find ourselves in is likely to be changing. Our newly forming el nino condition historically favors bid bad late season storms along with late starts for the named storms. While there’s no guarantees when tossing dice, we can expect a real possibility that we may have a cat 4 or cat 5 slamming in – perhaps to the western gulf area

    The implication here being clearly that there was some INCREASE in probability due to unfold (situation will change) and then it goes on to state that there is a “real possibility that we may have a cat 4 or cat 5 ‘slamming’ in.” There is a “real possibility” that a meteor may come “slamming in” to your living room right now. A cat 5 storm making landfall is quite a rare event. Katrina wasn’t even at cat 5 at landfall. It was a cat 3 storm when it “slammed” in.
    Words such as those can be quite (and unnecessarily) alarming to the average person and can even cause some uninformed politicians and business people to take unnecessary actions based on such statements. This can disrupt economies, spike markets in sensitive areas, etc. The language being used is very important.

  28. Observation satellites’ remote sensors will tell researchers in September whether the polar cap diminished this summer to its smallest size on record. Then the sun will begin to slip below the horizon for several months, and temperatures plunging in the polar darkness will freeze the surface of the sea again, leaving this and other Arctic coastlines in the grip of ice. Most of the sea ice will be new, thinner and weaker annual formations, however.
    Where is this data? I seem to be seeing a different story at two other sites.
    By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent Is this guy a complete fraud, liar or what exactly.

  29. “Cable weather girl today said it wasn’t really a strong storm, just that when it hit Taiwan it stalled and hung around for 24 hours instead of passing through.”
    Yeah. It dropped EIGHTY inches of rain on Southern Taiwan in some areas. Any way you cut it, nobody is configured to take 80 inches of rain in urban areas.

  30. Steven Hill (17:53:32) : “Everyone seen this one?
    Vast expanses of Arctic ice melt in summer heat
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090809/ap_on_re_ca/cn_canada_ice_retreats
    Where is this data? I seem to be seeing a different story at two other sites.
    By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent Is this guy a complete fraud, liar or what exactly.”

    Perhaps this is worth a post from one of the experts here? Agreed. Would like to see the evidence.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA

  31. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090809/ap_on_re_ca/cn_canada_ice_retreats
    TUKTOYAKTUK, Northwest Territories – The Arctic Ocean has given up tens of thousands more square miles (square kilometers) of ice on Sunday in a relentless summer of melt, with scientists watching through satellite eyes for a possible record low polar ice cap.
    From the barren Arctic shore of this village in Canada’s far northwest, 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) north of Seattle, veteran observer Eddie Gruben has seen the summer ice retreating more each decade as the world has warmed. By this weekend the ice edge lay some 80 miles (128 kilometers) at sea.

    Don’t tell them, but it looks like the arctic is getting colder. The link at the side has the temperature somewhere around 273K. Which is freezing. Of course, I am of the belief that if the polar bear population tripled than the already high number there is now, the MSM would focus on how climate change is causing polar bears to starve, even though overpopulation causing starvation because of less food. I am convinced that no matter what happens, it will always be worse than last year. It is all about making money and getting more powerful. Nothing does that better today than being scared.

  32. Wade (18:45:41) :
    I can see the headline: “overpopulation, caused by man made global warming, causes polar bear mass starvation”.
    Who’d be a polar bear? If you don’t drown because all the ice has melted due to global warming, you’ll starve because there are too many polar bears due to global warming.

  33. Okay, I’m pretty dumb about all this stuff but something is bothering me. It has been cooling for the last few years (atmosphere and oceans) yet the Arctic ice cap may reach very low levels. The data, if correct, seems to be contradictory. Can anyone help me understand why this is happening? I’m gonna take some harrassment tomorrow and I need a sensible come-back. Thanks.
    Jesse

  34. During an average season, there are 11 named storms with winds of at least 39 mph

    On the Beaufort scale, that barely qualifies as a strong breeze! Why is it now a named storm?
    DaveE.

  35. Jesse (19:23:55),
    This is an easy one. If someone harasses you, show ’em this chart: click.
    It shows Northern Hemisphere sea ice, Southern Hemisphere sea ice, and Global sea ice. Notice that global ice extent is increasing.
    The reason the alarmists only show N.H. sea ice should be obvious.
    And for over half a century Antarctica has been cooling: click. That’s why the warmists keep trying to distract, by only pointing to the Arctic. Keep in mind that global warming means global warming.

  36. Smokey (19:34:11) :
    This is an easy one. If someone harasses you, show ‘em this chart: click.
    Thanks Smokey. That will help a lot.
    Jesse

  37. NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.
    I look to be the 3rd person to comment on this. Wow!
    I’ll buy “NOAA endeavors to understand …”.

  38. Pamela Gray wrote:
    “By the way, that NOAA statement at the end of their report is a vision statement. It is how they would like to be thought as. It is what they would like to be. And in truth, I see them as being far more likely to report natural variability as the cause of the day then most other climate involved entities.”
    You are far too kind. You don’t put an internal vision statement out for the world in almost every press release. And if it is an external vision statement and they are also claiming to be in the business of putting out objective data, they need to be far more careful with their language. I could probably choke down their ever-present statement at the end of all their press releases if they would say “NOAA seeks to understand . . .” rather than saying “NOAA understands . . .”

  39. Jesse (19:23:55) : Arctic ice cap – it comes and goes.
    Go to the top of this page. Scroll down until you see a nice Western Hemisphere in a black square. Below that is a small multi-color chart. Click on that. It shows a one-day-lag in sea ice extent.
    For a different view go here:
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/cgi-bin/seaice-monitor.cgi?lang=e
    The following post with comments is also enlightening:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/13/watching-the-2007-historic-low-sea-ice-flow-out-of-the-arctic-sea/#more-7019
    Note the term “Arctic Ocean.” Part two of this is ocean. Why anyone would expect it to behave in a non-ocean like manner is a key question. There has been less ice at times and more ice at times. Nothing special is going on.

  40. Air temperature really doesn’t mean much. The arctic ice melts mostly from the bottom up, not from the top down and 5 degrees of air temperature isn’t really going to make as much difference as the amount of sunshine, severity of storms, and wind direction.
    If you have a cloudy summer with calm winds or winds that tend to jam the ice against a major continental shield (looks like this year the ice is being jammed against Canada) then you can have more ice with warmer air temperatures. If you get a lot of storms that break the ice up and winds that disperse it or blow it out into the Atlantic past Greenland, then you can have less ice with cooler temperatures. 2007 was an example where you had a lot of sunshine and the worst possible wind currents for conserving ice.
    Air temperatures aren’t really going to make that much difference unless there is a HUGE difference. The ice begins to thin as soon as air temperatures begin to rise from their winter minimum. There might be a few meters of ice at -60C but as the temperatures warm, the ice begins to melt from the underside. At -10C air temperature, the ice underneath is probably melting (thinning) at a pretty good rate while the surface is still frozen. If you held it at -5C long enough, you might end up with a thin surface layer of skim ice but a decent storm would break that right up. You could end up losing all the ice without ever reaching the freezing point.
    Air temperature doesn’t mean as much as water temperature does.

  41. “The Arctic above 80 degrees Latitude is back to freezing again.”
    Sea water freezes at about -3C or so.

  42. ” Steven Hill (17:53:32) :
    Everyone seen this one?
    Vast expanses of Arctic ice melt in summer heat..”
    We all know that often AP=BS; but Walt Meier’s statement ist quite a disappointment.
    Looking at AMSR-E, the 2009 curve has followed the 2008 one astonishingly close, and Meier’s hope for a record low was never really supported by facts. Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit shows that seaice change has been going up an down quite regularly.
    (I wonder though if the momentary UPTICK in ice-extend at Nansen is for real).

  43. Why is it that NOAA and the UK’s Met Office are both useless at predicting seasonal weather events?

  44. OT, but very interesting I think:
    ‘Consensus’ Takes Another Hit! More than 60 German Scientists Dissent Over Global Warming Claims! Call Climate Fears ‘Pseudo ‘Religion’; Urge Chancellor to ‘reconsider’ views ‘Growing body of evidence shows anthropogenic CO2 plays no measurable role’
    Tuesday, August 04, 2009By Marc Morano – Climate Depot
    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/2282/Consensus-Takes-Another-Hit-More-than-60-German-Scientists-Dissent-Over-Global-Warming-Claims-Call-Climate-Fears-Pseudo-Religion-Urge-Chancellor-to-reconsider-views

  45. Tom in Fla
    Not that insurance companies have any financial interest in catastrophic scenarios.
    J. Bob & rbateman,
    Arctic summer temps play only a minor role on ice melting. More important is the extent of the preceding wintertime freezing, summertime wind patterns and summertime arctic water temps. Looking only at the summertime air temp to guesstimate ice melt will get you nowhere. It really is far more complex than that.

  46. Tom in Fla.
    Please write to your insurance company and tell them you don’t appreciate the baseless fear tactics that they irresponsibly use. Ask them where the ACE is!

  47. “nofreewind (17:22:07) :
    100 yrs of US Major Hurricane Index (Saffir 3-5)
    http://nofreewind.com/files/us_major_hurricanes.jpg
    notice the 1st half of the 20th Century was more active than later half, although 2005-06 were big years.”
    The reporting is much better now thanks to satellites. In the 1920s, when the eye of a hurricane went right over Miami, people died because they did not know the back wall was coming, too. I would assume that many storms that just made the curve in the middle of the Atlantic were never reported, and the force of a storm was only registered at landfall (even if it was stronger at sea). Strengthens your point.

  48. “Joseph (14:28:51) :
    It has been very wet in central Florida this summer. The lakes are back full and we do not need a rain maker.”
    How about the aquifer? Is there information anywhere on the net about the amount of water there?

  49. Better not contradict the NOAA. According to Nancy Pelosi, as of this morning all dissent is “un-american.”

  50. Jesse (19:23:55) :
    “Okay, I’m pretty dumb about all this stuff but something is bothering me. It has been cooling for the last few years (atmosphere and oceans) yet the Arctic ice cap may reach very low levels. The data, if correct, seems to be contradictory. Can anyone help me understand why this is happening? I’m gonna take some harrassment tomorrow and I need a sensible come-back. Thanks.”
    Just to reinforce the other posts, the current ice extent: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm
    show 2009 currently the 4th highest in the last 5 years. It’s higher than 2008, 2007 (by a lot), and 2005. Don’t let the bastards wear you down!

  51. I’ve been watching the extent this year via JAXA and July showed a steep drop akin to 2007 but the overall track this summer has been more like 2005. Based on following the sea ice threads on CA it seems that currents can play a big role in the melt due to the ice being forced out of the Arctic basin into the Atlantic. My conclusion is that either catastrophic melt or major recovery isn’t going to happen. The spin will be that 2009 is the third or maybe fourth lowest extent (even though that may be signaling the recovery of the ice).

  52. crosspatch (21:19:45) :
    Air temperature really doesn’t mean much.
    Air temperature doesn’t mean as much as water temperature does.
    OK, then what cools the water? You might say that air temp is a necessary but not sufficient condition for sea ice formation.
    I heard that Lake Superior fishing is poor this year, water to cold.

  53. crosspatch (00:46:10) wrote:
    “The Arctic above 80 degrees Latitude is back to freezing again.”
    Sea water freezes at about -3C or so.
    The ice that is melting is presumably close to pure water, since the salt gets squeezed out in freezing. So the air temperature should be of importance regarding melting since the ice shold melt at or close to 0°C. As for refreezing, then the salt content and the -3°C freezing point would come into play. That’s the way I see it, anyway.
    IanM

  54. For an agency that alleges to “understand” everything, these predictions appear to be simply numerology plus fervor. I don’t see any justification for any predictions other than statistical, which is a ridiculous way to “predict” anything.
    Again, if they “understand” everything, we should be seeing real justification rather than just spouting numbers and averages.

  55. IanM (07:58:59) :
    You made me think of a question. Is the ice in the Arctic Ocean fresh water ice or is it salt water ice? Is some of it fresh water ice? Is all of it fresh water ice?
    If I was to freeze some salt water in my fridge, it would be salt water ice – I think – but that would be a closed system. What happens in an open system like an ocean?

  56. I am hearing “chatter” in many locations that seem to indicate that the current el nino might already be waning. This animation is interesting and shows that not only are sea surface temperatures dropping along the Western Hemisphere coast but notice how far North the warm water is compared to a “normal” el nino event.

  57. rbateman (22:31:43) :
    Don’t try to run your sailboat in the Northwest Passage. There isn’t a passage this year.
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent.png
    Check at Cyrosphere Today: You might sneak on past the NorthEast passage along Siberia.
    Better check with Putin first, though.

    Too late, these people are trying to sail around the north pole in one season:
    (Norwegian: “Kan bli de første i historien. Skal seile rundt Nordpolen på én sesong”)
    Can be the first in history
    Will sail around the North Pole in a single season
    http://www.seilmagasinet.no/id/31957.0
    You can follow the GPS signal here
    http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0sh4D6qB4SbUlL8PQTx67P76naNiL79ys
    Blog (norwegian). Ice spotted today.
    http://trondaasvoll.seilmagasinet.no/

  58. Looking at the chart seems like an eleven year periodicity. I wonder if the current minimum will change the future look of the chart.

  59. Jimmy Haigh (08:53:31) wrote:
    IanM (07:58:59) :
    You made me think of a question. Is the ice in the Arctic Ocean fresh water ice or is it salt water ice? Is some of it fresh water ice? Is all of it fresh water ice?
    If I was to freeze some salt water in my fridge, it would be salt water ice – I think – but that would be a closed system. What happens in an open system like an ocean?
    Jimmy-
    Here’s an experiment. Mix up a 3% salt solution and freeze it in an ice cube tray, etc. If everything goes according to theory, you will end up with a thick piece of pure-water ice and a thin layer of concentrated salt water. Given the proper conditions, a freezing liquid will squeeze out the impurities ahead of the “freeze front”. The same process is used to remove impurities from ingots of silicon for semiconductor purposes.
    The same thing happens with ice formed in the oceans. The ice is generally pure water ice, though there may be inclusions of the concentrated brine that got trapped in the freezing process. There has to be an open “face’ at which the impurities can be expelled, hence my reference to “proper conditions”.
    IanM

  60. TerryBixler (09:31:27) :

    Looking at the chart seems like an eleven year periodicity. I wonder if the current minimum will change the future look of the chart.

    It just occurred to me that graphic is for the Northern Hemisphere and not just the North Atlantic.
    A quick attempt a finding a better graphic to show the ebb and flow of Atlantic ACE yielded http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/outlooks/hurricane2004/May/figure5.gif . A cleaner version is http://www.safehaven.com/images/to/5364_a.gif from http://www.safehaven.com/article-5364.htm .

  61. Pierre Gosselin (08:13:14) :
    Looks like NYC will hit 90° today. What a pity – must be global warming.
    http://www.accuweather.com/us/ny/new-york/10001/forecast-15day.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=1&zipchg=1&metric=0
    I’m at my parents place in Cleveland helping my dad recover from surgery. We had that weather here the past two days. Atrocious heat and humidity, but it should be back to more seasonable temperatures after the front passes tonight. It’s a shame we didn’t receive that much rain. Looks like the thunderstorms developed just east of their house before racing off.

  62. Pierre Gosselin (02:37:23) :
    “Ask them where the ACE is!”

    As I understand it it isn’t anywhere. It seems to me that “ACE” is a severe misnomer as the “E” does not “A”. See [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accumulated_cyclone_energy[/url][tag]here[/tag] for the definition.

  63. Colder oceans=Less hurricanes
    Loehle, Craig. 2009. Cooling of the global ocean since 2003. Energy & Environment 20(1&2): 99-102.
    Ocean heat content data from 2003 to 2008 (4.5 years) were evaluated for trend. A trend plus periodic (annual cycle) model fit with R2 = 0.85. The linear component of the model showed a trend of -0.35 (±0.2) x 1022 Joules per year. The result is consistent with other data showing a lack of warming over the past few years.

    http://www.ncasi.org/publications/Detail.aspx?id=3152

  64. Pierre Gosselin (02:37:23) : “Tom in Fla., Please write to your insurance company and tell them you don’t appreciate the baseless fear tactics that they irresponsibly use. Ask them where the ACE is!”
    Unfortunately wind insurance is not an free market. The insurance companies go to the State regulators for an increase in premiums using the stated reasons of global warming. It is the State regulators that fall prey to the religion of Hansen, Schmidt et al and base their rate hike approval on the bogus agruments from the bogus models. It would be a miracle if, using the insurance company’s own argument in reverse, they would reduce my premiums now that hurricane losses have been less than expected.

  65. You can drink the ponding water on top of melting Arctic ice because it is fairly free of salt. Arctic animals do this. You cannot drink Arctic water because it is too salty. But when it freezes, the salt is left behind. That process is one of the reasons why salt water freezes into salt free ice at a lower temperature than salt-free water.

  66. Has anyone but me noticed that the Colorado State tropical predictions used to feature Dr William Gray’s name prominently, but since he’s spoken up against the AGW religion, his name disappeared from the story? Is he no longer the “respected expert” that they once said he was when reporting the annual forecast?

  67. acementhead (13:27:08) :

    As I understand it it isn’t anywhere. It seems to me that “ACE” is a severe misnomer as the “E” does not “A”. See [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accumulated_cyclone_energy[/url][tag]here[/tag] for the definition.

    Yeah, it’s a so-so term. Energy can be integrated, so ICE (Integrated
    Cyclonic Energy would be better but for the unfortunate name. Maybe
    TCE (Total…). HED (Hurricane Energy Days) would link to HDD
    (Heating Degree Days) or my SDD (Snow Depth Days).
    What would you suggest?

  68. Thanks for the replies. It was something i hadn’t ever thought about!
    IanM (10:27:08) : The semiconductor analogy is a good one.
    Pamela Gray (14:33:26) : If I ever work in the Arctic, I know where to get my fresh water now. But I will keep an eye out for the polar bears and let them go first.
    Roger Sowell (15:58:12) : That’s an interesting desalination method.

  69. I am no high and mighty climate ‘scientist’ like the esteemed AlGore, just a lowly mechanical engineer with 30 years of IR, UV, and XRay energy transfer machine design and experience. The sun is on low output, the hurricanes are less…pretty simple. Really, really simple. This is what I learned in my junior year in college. Too bad I didn’t sell out to the government, I could be a rich as AlGore.

  70. Just though of something. Will we be pouring over weather maps of the Atlantic ocean counting days without a cell and arguing over the size of a swirling spot of clouds? Will we be coming up with new terms for tiny cells? Will we have arguments back and forth about what constituted a hurricane back in the day and what is called a hurricane today? Will we be calling for long underwear if hurricanes go to sleep????

  71. Ric Werme (14:59:19) :
    What would you suggest?

    I don’t have a really good suggestion because I don’t know to what use the “information” is put. I don’t see any predictive value no matter what is done. Just looks like stamp collecting to me. The more numbers that climatologists have to play with the more “work” for climatologists.
    My point which I expressed poorly(or maybe not at all for most people) is that no energy is being stored up, “accumulated”, available for future release, as it is in, say, a hydraulic accumulator in a hydraulic system.

  72. ” Pierre Gosselin (02:37:23) :
    Tom in Fla.
    Please write to your insurance company and tell them you don’t appreciate the baseless fear tactics that they irresponsibly use. Ask them where the ACE is!”
    Not all is scare tactics. More, and more expensive, homes are being built on the shore, so the damage increases even if the number of the hurricanes do not. And the people living further away from the sea do not like to help pay for the others. Well, Travis McGee warned us a quarter of a century ago.

  73. Alexej Buergin (05:28:14) : “Not all is scare tactics. More, and more expensive, homes are being built on the shore, so the damage increases even if the number of the hurricanes do not. And the people living further away from the sea do not like to help pay for the others. Well, Travis McGee warned us a quarter of a century ago.”
    Two things, I have no problem with insurance companies temporarily increasing premiums to cover ACTUAL losses from a bad storm season. Afterall, law requires them to keep certain liquid reserves. What I have a problem with is the use of bogus AGW claims to rip me off and have uneducated politicians jump on the band wagon.
    Second, those that take the risk and continue to build along the coast should pay more as they are more at risk. My problem is that my costs were just fine until the insurance companies found a wonderful “bogeyman” that they could tie a rate increase to. It’s the part about “potential future losses” based on bad science that gauls me to death.

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