NOAA Expects Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season

UPDATE: NOAA on the same day predicts a below normal east Pacific hurricane season, see below for addeddum.

Contact:          Chris Vaccaro, 202-536-8911            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Susan Buchanan, 301-713-0622        May 27, 2010

NOAA Expects Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season

An “active to extremely active” hurricane season is expected for the Atlantic Basin this year, according to the seasonal outlook issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service. As with every hurricane season, this outlook underscores the importance of having a hurricane preparedness plan in place.

Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is projecting a 70 percent probability of the following ranges:

  • 14 to 23 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
  • 8 to 14 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
  • 3 to 7 could be major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

“If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared.”

The outlook ranges exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. Expected factors supporting this outlook are:

  • Upper atmospheric winds conducive for storms. Wind shear, which can tear apart storms, will be weaker since El Niño in the eastern Pacific has dissipated. Strong wind shear helped suppress storm development during the 2009 hurricane season.
  • Warm Atlantic Ocean water. Sea surface temperatures are expected to remain above average where storms often develop and move across the Atlantic. Record warm temperatures – up to four degrees Fahrenheit above average – are now present in this region.
  • High activity era continues. Since 1995, the tropical multi-decadal signal has brought favorable ocean and atmospheric conditions in sync, leading to more active hurricane seasons. Eight of the last 15 seasons rank in the top ten for the most named storms with 2005 in first place with 28 named storms.

“The main uncertainty in this outlook is how much above normal the season will be. Whether or not we approach the high end of the predicted ranges depends partly on whether or not La Niña develops this summer,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “At present we are in a neutral state, but conditions are becoming increasingly favorable for La Niña to develop.”

“FEMA is working across the administration and with our state and local partners to ensure we’re prepared for hurricane season,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “But we can only be as prepared as the public, so it’s important that families and businesses in coastal communities take steps now to be ready. These include developing a communications plan, putting together a kit, and staying informed of the latest forecasts and local emergency plans. You can’t control when a hurricane or other emergency may happen, but you can make sure you’re ready.”

The President recently designated May 23 through 29 as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. NOAA and FEMA encourage those living in hurricane-prone states to use this time to review their overall preparedness. More information on individual and family preparedness can be found at http://www.Ready.gov and http://www.hurricanes.gov/prepare.

NOAA scientists will continue to monitor evolving conditions in the tropics and will issue an updated hurricane outlook in early August, just prior to what is historically the peak period for hurricane activity.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us at http://www.noaa.gov or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/usnoaagov.

On the Web:

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center: http://ww.hurricanes.gov

FEMA: http://www.fema.gov and http://www.ready.gov

– 30 –

UPDATE

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Contact:          Susan Buchanan                                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

301-713-0622                                      May 27, 2010

NOAA Predicts Below Normal Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season

NOAA’s National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center today announced that projected climate conditions point to a below normal hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific this year. The outlook calls for a 75 percent probability of a below normal season, a 20 percent probability of a near normal season and a five percent probability of an above normal season.

Allowing for forecast uncertainties, seasonal hurricane forecasters estimate a 70 percent chance of 9 to 15 named storms, which includes 4 to 8 hurricanes, of which 1 to 3 are expected to become major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale).

An average Eastern Pacific hurricane season produces 15 to 16 named storms, with nine becoming hurricanes and four to five becoming major hurricanes. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 through Nov. 30, with peak activity from July through September.

The main climate factors influencing this year’s Eastern Pacific outlook are the atmospheric conditions that have decreased hurricane activity over the Eastern Pacific Ocean since 1995 – and the fact that El Niño has faded.

“La Niña is becoming increasingly likely, which further raises the chance of a below-normal season for the Eastern Pacific region,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

The outlook is a general guide to the overall seasonal hurricane activity. It does not predict whether, where or when any of these storms may hit land.

Eastern Pacific tropical storms most often track westward over open waters, sometimes reaching Hawaii and beyond. However, some occasionally head toward the northeast and may bring rainfall to the arid southwestern United States during the summer months. Also, during any given season, two to three tropical storms can affect western Mexico or Central America. Residents, businesses and government agencies of coastal and near-coastal regions should always prepare prior to each and every hurricane season regardless of the seasonal hurricane outlook.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us at http://www.noaa.gov or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/usnoaagov.

– 30 –

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85 thoughts on “NOAA Expects Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season

  1. Be interesting to see what happens. Definately something to track and check on at the end of the season.
    I’m really hoping we don’t see that many hurricanes, though.

  2. I just wonder if La Niña is around, will that not have some impact on the surface temprature making deep cold water surface ? Bisides that did I not see somewhere it already started ?

  3. These ranges seem quite wide. How do they compare to the ranges given on previously offered (failed) predictions?

  4. Whatever happens, fewer hurricanes or more than usual, it’ll be used as evididence of Climate Change.

  5. Supporting article: http://preview.bloomberg.com/news/2010-05-26/atlantic-hurricane-season-going-to-be-uglier-than-usual-researcher-says.html
    “A hurricane researcher who rarely issues seasonal forecasts says the coming Atlantic cycle is likely to be a bad one, unleashing the sort of storms that become “the big and the ugly ones.”
    Fifteen to 20 named storms may develop in the season, which begins June 1, threatening both the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. East Coast, said Greg Holland, director of the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.”
    Hopefully it will break up that oil slick 😉

  6. The raw number of storms seen by satellite is far less important than the number that are expected to make landfall. It is notable that this level of forecast accuracy is not attempted.

  7. Apparently the NOAA forecast was drafted a couple of weeks ago .
    The warm mid atlantic water is disappearing rapidly . Two days ago the hottest spot showed an anomaly of plus 2,1 degrees celsius , whilst yesterdays anomaly for the hottest spot showed a lot smaller spot with an anomaly of plus 1,77 degrees celsius , whilst at the african coast at the same time there is appearing an area with lower than normal temperatures . Given the rapid development of la nina in the pacific it all is remaining guesswork at its best and continued cooling of the atlantic may even lead to a season without hurricanes leaving at least the oil in the water of caribbean or do the noaa guys think that the south of the usa is needing the oil in order to prove that a carbon footprint is only a minor problem compared to an elvis presley style oily appearance . However it may be well received by Paris Hilton and other fashion celebrities .

  8. I expect a busy Atlantic hurricane season. I also expect NOAA to name a storm even if it meets the requirements only for 5 seconds because NOAA knows people associate the number of names used with how active a season really is.
    I think the hurricanes will either curve out to sea or stay south. It is looking like La Nina is coming. La Nina makes it hot and dry in the south-east US. Hot and dry is the result of big ridges of high pressure which is related the jet stream not dipping south. I’ve noticed that when the south-east has extended days of heat and no rain, the high pressure hovers somewhere in the area and the jet stream is very far to the north. A strong high pressure, like the ones that make it hot and dry, will cause a storm to go around it. It is too strong for a low pressure to push it out of the way. Since the high pressure is camping on the south-east area, it will drive the storm out to sea or force it south.
    The areas that I think will be affected are any place on or near the Gulf of Mexico. I think that northern Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia will not have a direct strike. New York and New Jersey are actually long overdue for a category 3 storm, the last one being in the 1930’s. If a cat-3 hits New York the story will be, not the fact that we have documented proof that two cat-3 storms have already made a direct strike on New York, but how global warming is causing storms to become stronger and survive more. A blocking high pressure may force a hurricane north to New York.
    I don’t have a computer model, so I don’t know for sure.

  9. Sure, they could be right, they could wrong, let’s wait & see?
    OT – Newspaper article in the south-west of England’s Western Morning News with an article by , wait for it, the “Met Office”, claiming a computer model shows the likelihood of increased droughts by 2100 depending upon different scenarios Interestingly, one model run scenario (yes soap opera terminology, at least they seem to have dropped the “story-line” term that the IPCC seems keen on) shows no increase in the normal 50-100 frequency, another showed up to 10 times the frequency, but equally interesting was that no % likely probability was given for any of the model runs, so I assume they were after all Lara Croft X-Box 360 fantasy world scenarios again!

  10. Pretty much the same forecast as they have had for the past several years. Kind of like a stopped clock that is right twice a day, the NOAA eventually has to be right. — John M Reynolds

  11. If poster “Tom In Florida” sneezes down there, it’ll probably be declared a “named storm.”
    I prefer the total storm energy tally (ACE IIRC). It takes the “to name or not to name” question out of play.

  12. Do we believe that people have some deeper understanding of nature when they pepper the table with guesses and occasionally and rather infrequently win a few chips at a roulette wheel? Do we believe that they’re naturally “lucky”? Do we believe they’re “on a roll”?
    There are help groups for gamblers who think they’ve worked out “systems” for predicting outcomes from, what is to all practical intents and purposes, incomprehensibly chaotic happenstance.

  13. NOAA made the same prediction for the last 3 years and proved itself wrong. Eventually it will be right, but given the cooling trend off Peru, there is little reason to suppose a banner year for Hurricanes. Last year would have seemed to be a very good candidate for Hurricanes, but it was rather quiet. Which just goes to show that in addition to mega-climatic trends, local conditions greatly effect storm formation.

  14. Richard deSousa-The CSU forecast (Phil Klotzbach and Bill Gray) is here:
    http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts/2010/april2010/apr2010.pdf
    With regard to the EPAC forecast by NOAA, this is very typical, the two basins behave in complimentary ways when it comes to activity. Ryan Maue has suggested that this is because in the EPAC African Easterly Waves are an important genesis mechanism, and if those result in storms in the Atlantic, they don’t make it to EPAC. So when NATL is active, EPAC isn’t, and vice versa.

  15. It bothers me that we never read about their ‘batting average’ for previous years’ predictions. The media jumps on their predictions. My recollection is that they’re not very successful in predicting. What is their record?

  16. I can’t wait to see who is the better forecaster … (and the one we might propose to become an honorary member of the WUWT forum)
    Dr James Hansimian, Ph.D. (at a trivial cost) with 6 to 8 hurricanes …
    or
    NOAA (at a slightly more than trivial cost) with 8 to 14 hurricanes …

  17. Is low solar activity being given the proper amount of consideration in this year’s predictions? Given the cloud cosmic ray experiment producing more clouds, shouldn’t the planet remain cooler this year thus producing fewer hurricanes? My prediction is for zero to two minimal hurricanes hitting the US this year. NOAA’s scary prediction is just to whip people into a frenzy to spend lots of money preparing for something that doesn’t happen just like the past few years.

  18. @ Norm Milliard
    Well, it depends on if you’re going to include OB% and/or Slugging AVG or not(Bill James where are you when we need you……lol). Here is a quote from last year’s prediction……no, really it’s true!!! “NOAA’s 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook calls for a 50% chance of a near-normal season Figure 2. The outlook also indicates a 25% chance of an above-normal season and a 25% chance of a below-normal season.”….Here’s for 2008 “The Climate Prediction Center’s 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook calls a 90% probability of a near-normal or above-normal hurricane season. An above-normal season is most likely (65% chance), but there is also a 25% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. See NOAA’s definitions of above-, near-, and below-normal seasons.”
    You can go here….http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/outlooks/hurricane-archive.shtml to check all the wonderful predictions NOAA gives us. I predict a 50% chance you’ll find it useful or interesting.

  19. I was thinking/wondering if a hurricane might not actually help alleviate some of the effects of the oil spill on coastal areas, as long as it is mostly contained at the time of the storm? I would think the driving wind/wave/rain/tidal action might not clean some of the coast of residual oil. Now if the oil is still covering large sfc areas of the Gulf, I’m not sure…maybe the heavy churing/wave action and precipitation might not help there too? Enlighten me…

  20. This is the tactic – repeat the forecast enough and people remember that and not the actual numbers. I bet it is only people who read WUWT (etc.) who actually know that NOAA has been over-forecasting for the past couple of years. When the general public hears “hurricanes” they just think “Katrina” and then sees the forecast as the actual number.
    This is the case for local forecasts broadcast in the media – the forecast for tomorrow is repeated time and time again, but the actual temperature (for yesterday) is given once (if at all). This is even true for the official sites – forecasts are shown for 5-7 days, but you often don’t even get yesterday’s numbers on the main page. You have to be a bit of a nerd to dig down and find out what it actually was and by then there is no record of what they forecast so you have to be an even bigger nerd to record forecasts and match them up.
    We need widely reported accuracy rating of forecasters, with a defined (and enforced) method for recording of forecasts so that these can be verified. Anyone know of initiatives on this front?

  21. I see that natural gas futures are up based on the NOAA hurricane forecast. Not that I am implying any funny stuff here, of course. I’m just noting that factoid as an observation.

  22. Just noted Norm Milliard asking for this – and James Sexton giving NOAA’s response. But again, you have to be nerds like us (sorry James) to find this information.

  23. If Dr. Hansimian out-predicts the NOAA, it’s going to be very, very embarrassing.

  24. I’m with Michael. The solar minimum will rule. You don’t get lots of hurricanes when you have less solar energy hitting the ocean.

  25. H.R. said at 9:18 am
    If poster “Tom In Florida” sneezes down there, it’ll probably be declared a “named storm.”
    You think Katrina was bad, Tom and I (in Tampa) are planning to sneeze together on July 4th @ noon so it’ll not only be named, it’ll be category 6!
    All kidding aside, we here take these predictions with a grain of Sea Salt and anyone with a brain who chooses to stay here thru the season gets prepared in a variety of ways depending on where you are and what condition your domicile is in. You plan for the worst and hope for the best. BUT there are events, no matter your situation, you can do NOTHING about: Storm surge (if your by the water), tornadoes and lightning and very local HEAVY RAIN. And none of the last three require an accompanying hurricane (although they are more prevalent therein) and they are far more dangerous AND UNPREDICTABLE than the wind or rain from a Cat 5!
    I’ve been thru numerous hurricanes (albeit luckily on the left side, the only good thing about being on the left of anything) and very violent thunderstorms – – if I had my druthers, I’ll take a hurricane. Of course, I’m smart enough not to live right on the water. That is why, if you live in FL, you stay prepared most of the year and take H predictions with a grain of – – well, sugar if you have high blood pressure…

  26. Right, with two different predictions released at the same date they can’t be wrong.
    No monkey could make that up.
    I stay with the chimp.

  27. Why is so called average 11 (named storms) when in reality it is between 14 and 15? That is something I have been curious about for a long time. Is it one of those things where they have picked a time range for the average rather than use a real average?

  28. “”pat says:
    May 27, 2010 at 9:36 am
    NOAA made the same prediction for the last 3 years and proved itself wrong.””
    Exactly Pat
    No one holds them accountable.
    Every time two clouds bump, they name it.

  29. Ok, if I read NOAA predictions right
    1 storm each week
    1 Hurricane every two weeks
    1 Major hurricane each month
    Seems pretty easy to predict. When can I get on the “gravy train”.

  30. Re Tom S at 11:11, and hurricanes being good for dissipating oil.
    Some years ago, there was a really bad oil tanker accident on the west coast of the Shetlands or Orkneys. The environmentalists were up in arms about the likely destruction of puffin colonies etc. However, up there they have things called gales which easily reach hurricane force at times. There were two weeks of those and the media rapidly lost interest as the damage was so small. Which was great. But Gaia doesn’t always heal so effectively.

  31. All I know is in the 14 years we have lived here on the Gulf coast south of Naples, it has never been this cold. You can barely stay in the pool for a half hour before you turn blue. Our coconut palms nearly croaked, our grass and bushes suffered badly all winter. It is chilly at night.
    And worst of all the local fish took a huge hit from the cold. So bad that they closed the regular spring season and said they would get back to us if the fall season would open.
    What did the donkey say? I think I will go with that.

  32. I lived in Hong Kong for 28 years; the-then Royal Observatory, now the Hong Kong Observatory, always said that the long term forecasting of the number and relative strengths of typhoons was not possible.
    What they did, and still do is track any tropical cyclone very carefully if it comes within 72 hours if being capable of striking Hong Kong. Detailed up-dates are given every 3 hours if the cyclone appears to be approaching. The closer the cyclone comes towards HK the more frequent the warnings.
    From my own personal experiences of quite a few Number Eight typhoons and two spectacular Number Tens, I can affirm that their system works well most of the time. I remember one very powerful typhoon which was tracked as heading towards Hong Kong on a direct hit course. The Colony (as it was then) came to a halt with everyone waiting with bated breath for the forthcoming devastation. An hour before the Big Hit the typhoon veered to the east and whacked the coast of China. All we got was lots of rain! A few hours later an Observatory spokesman appeared on the TV, he apologised for what many called a false alarm but he emphasised that even with the most accurate weather radar and other instruments he could not PREDICT the course of a typhoon. It went where it went to, all he and his colleagues could do was to track where it had been and where it was; its next course or change of course was entirely unpredictable.
    He stuck to his guns despite some very intensive questioning from the media and earned the respect of many in Hong Kong for his honesty.
    Have a quick look at the Observatory’s site:
    http://www.hko.gov.hk/contente.htm

  33. So Atlantic hurricanes may increase and Pacific hurricanes may decrease. Sounds like an average of zero to me.
    What about the Accumulated Cyclone Index throughout the world? What will it be?
    But fear not. The only news at 6:30PM will be “Atlanic Hurricane Season to be above normal”. Count on it.

  34. H.R. says:(May 27, 2010 at 9:18 am)
    If poster “Tom In Florida” sneezes down there, it’ll probably be declared a “named storm.”
    Good thing I have no allergies.
    Milwaukee Bob says: (May 27, 2010 at 11:53 am)
    ” and I (in Tampa)…..”
    tarpon says:(May 27, 2010 at 12:26 pm)
    “All I know is in the 14 years we have lived here on the Gulf coast south of Naples”
    Apparently we have the central and southwest coast of Florida covered. Milwaukee Bob in Tampa, I am in Venice about 70 miles south of there and Tarpon south of Naples about 120 miles south from my location. Don’t know about the other two but I live a mile from the beach, however my elevation is 15 feet above sea level. That puts me in a Cat 5 evac zone so I’m pretty safe from storm surge especially since very few hurricanes have ever hit this area directly from the west. My biggest fear is wind from the eye wall as a hurricane moves north up the coast.
    As Milwaukee Bob said, we stay prepared each year no matter what the monkees predict.

  35. Thanks, Timetochooseagain. Looks like Dr. Gray agrees with NOAA. However, the solar inactivity and cosmic rays could muck up their predictions.

  36. “8 to 14 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which: ”
    =========
    I thought you needed SUSTAINED winds of 74 mph or higher, are the goal posts moving again ?

  37. When they determine what Cat “X” a storm is based on the force of the winds, what size area or volume do they use? And can they now use satellites or do they still use direct observation to determine the number of cats in the air?

  38. Charles S. Opalek, PE says:
    May 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm
    “[…]
    What about the Accumulated Cyclone Index […]”

    Thank you Mr. Opaleck. I was thinking ACE for some reason unknown even to me. It’s ACI. (doh!) ACI as opposed to number of named storms is the way to add to our knowledge of the climate.
    I also note that neither ACI nor number of named storms matters not a whit to the public. You could have the worst Atlantic storm season in recorded or proxied history, but if the storms all veer off into the Atlantic without making landfall somewhere, it just doesn’t matter. Jane/Joe Public only cares about the storm that is headed “right at me.

  39. Earlier –
    See – owe to Rich says wrote –
    “See – owe to Rich says:
    May 27, 2010 at 12:24 pm
    Re Tom S at 11:11, and hurricanes being good for dissipating oil.
    Some years ago, there was a really bad oil tanker accident on the west coast of the Shetlands or Orkneys. The environmentalists were up in arms about the likely destruction of puffin colonies etc. However, up there they have things called gales which easily reach hurricane force at times. There were two weeks of those and the media rapidly lost interest as the damage was so small. Which was great. But Gaia doesn’t always heal so effectively.”
    That was the incident of the tnker “BRAER”. Fortunately no seaman nor rescuer hurt.
    It helped that the crude oil was light crude. Sub-optimal seamanship (and familiarisation) etc as cause – plus the wind.
    But – thanks largely to the storm [c.920 mb predicted at least 24 hours earlier, which made serious winds are an absolute a shoo-in in the UK] – very little pollution damage from the oil.
    (My rule of thumb –
    winter: –
    980mb – gales;
    960 mb – storm [Bf 10+];
    940 mb – Bf 12 – with all the knock on effects of such an event.)
    As for this forthcoming season – isn’t it a chaotic system?
    Hey – I live in England.
    I believe that the Met Office has now improved so that its forecasts are – statistically – better than – “Like yesterday”.
    [I have not sighted proof, just newspaper articles}

  40. Tom in Florida said at 1:21 pm
    …I live a mile from the beach, however my elevation is 15 feet above sea level. That puts me in a Cat 5 evac zone… Tom, at 15 Ft that mile would probably save you from the surge even at high tide. I’m inland 25 miles from the coast & 15 N of the bay, about 80Ft up. If we get flooded from a hurricane ….. I’ll be looking for an ark.
    BTW, no offense meant by the living by the water comment. If we could afford it, having a little condo on the beach…. of course that would come after the cabin in the Mts.

  41. Milwaukee Bob says:(May 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm)
    “BTW, no offense meant by the living by the water comment. If we could afford it, having a little condo on the beach…. of course that would come after the cabin in the Mts.”
    None taken as I am not right “on the water”. But, for all who may feel sorry of those of us who choose to live this way, save your tears. We know the dangers and we accept the risk because the rewards are worth it!

  42. kadaka asked: at 2:18 pm
    based on the force of the winds, what size area or volume do they use? And can they now use satellites or do they still use direct observation to determine the number of cats in the air?
    The “category” is determined by wind -speed- and can be very deceiving and therefore is NOT a very good indication of the REAL threat of a storm. The “intensity” of a compact (smaller size across) storm, like Andrew, can destroy and kill far more than a larger storm as they tend to produce highly localized very intense straight line winds and of course more tornados. And unfortunately, a lower category storm quite often will be taken less seriously and that gets people killed. Is there historically more “damage” from Cat 4 & 5’s than Cat 2 & 3’s? When your in the middle of one, you wont much care what happened in history.
    And yes, they now use satellites to determine many things about a storm but it is still limited and not detailed enough so they also continue to “send in the planes” from MacDill AFB in S. Tampa. And yes, sometimes they do see cats flying thru the air….

  43. Tom in Florida said at 2:56 pm
    and we accept the risk because the rewards are worth it!
    Well said, Bro! Like, right now – 85 degrees on the Lanai, feet dangling in the pool, Dave Koz playing in the background and an ice cold Yuengling……
    Did some monkey say something about hurricanes?

  44. u.k.(us) says:
    May 27, 2010 at 2:16 pm
    “8 to 14 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which: ”
    =========
    I thought you needed SUSTAINED winds of 74 mph or higher, are the goal posts moving again ?
    _______________________________________________________________________
    You are correct. I guess they did move the goal posts since IPCC said more hurricanes due to AGW.
    Glossary of NHC Terms
    “Apr 6, 2010 … The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida is responsible for … Hurricane Warning: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are … “

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutgloss.shtml

  45. Re: Milwaukee Bob on May 27, 2010 at 3:13 pm
    Say what? Please re-read my comment. If still unsure of the meaning, perhaps some live up-close footage of extreme wind events like tornadoes can help your understanding. 😉

  46. Re: kadaka (KD Knoebel) on May 27, 2010 at 3:53 pm
    (currently awaiting moderation)
    Whoops, never mind, just saw the tail end of your post.
    BTW, why so serious? 🙂

  47. The only useful predictor of hurricane activity is the surface temperature of the Atlantic Ocean between the West African equatorial areas and the Nortwest coast of Brazil. That’s the area where budding storms pick up energy and become hurricanes by the time they move into the Caribean. The last several years the temperature was on the low end of the normal range, particularly in the West Atlantic, resulting in few storms.
    Now the East Atlantic is relatively warm, but the NW of Brazil is about normal. The Caribean is on the cool side.
    My prediction therefore: more storms than the average last few years, but no big hurricanes; in particular, heavy storms entering the Caribean will tend to peter out before any land fall. Also, a good chance that the heavier storms travel north in the West Atlantic, so if there is a landfall, it will be on the Atlantic coast, Florida and the Carolines.
    Unless, of course, suddenly the West Atlantic and the Caribean warm up. (Which then will be blamed on the oil spill, no doubt).

  48. AW – as a forecaster (demand forecaster that is), I’m constantly held to metrics of forecast accuracy and forecast bias. Just once, when we get one of these forecasts, I’d like to see their prior accuracy/bias metrics. It would certainly help to judge whether or not to have any faith in these predictions if they provided their prior period forecasts and the resulting actuals.
    Cheers!
    Jim

  49. The current QBO status would indicate fewer Atlantic cyclones, but no reduction in intensity. The stronger events are going to be late in the season, particularly late September, through to November, with a big Caribbean hit, I think it will be fairly quite till then. The N.W. Pacific is likely to have an intense season later on as well.

  50. Ed Zuiderwijk says:(May 27, 2010 at 4:19 pm)
    “The only useful predictor of hurricane activity is the surface temperature of the Atlantic Ocean between the West African equatorial areas and the Nortwest coast of Brazil. ”
    Sorry Ed, but SST is only one factor. Wind sheer is a major player in whether or not a hurricane develops and El Nino conditions have held them in check for about 2 years even though the SST was very warm. Also, hurricanes do not form close to the equator. Eastern Atlantic storms begin as low pressure systems off the Cape Verde Islands at around 15 degrees N latitude. Caribbean storms about the same latitude. Gulf of Mexico storms much higher. BTW, does Brazil actually have a NW coast?

  51. Ulric Lyons says:(May 27, 2010 at 5:49 pm)
    “The stronger events are going to be late in the season, particularly late September, through to November, with a big Caribbean hit, I think it will be fairly quite till then. ”
    Just to be clear, the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is mid September; same time as peak arctic ice melt occurs; same time as peak annual warming in northern oceans occurs.

  52. I live in North Florida and our damage is generally from the spin off tornados. We’ve had years where the Atlantic and Gulf waters were hotter (signifcantly at times) than normal. People were predicting more hurricanes and/or more intense hurricanes. I don’t remember either being the case (and like most Gulf Coast residents, I follow TS and hurricanes VERY closely). I think that, once the minimum temperature for a hurricane to form is met, the only effect the higher temps might have is to provide a little protection against upwelling cold water if the hurricane decides to hover for awhile. The most damage that my commuity ever sustained from tropical weather was the flooding from Georges – we were an island (and boy did the water smell) for about a week.

  53. I pity the folks in Haiti if they get a direct hit. I can’t imagine all of that debris flying around in a hurricane. It would be like an artillery barrage.

  54. “Sorry Ed, but SST is only one factor. Wind sheer is a major player in whether or not a hurricane develops and El Nino conditions have held them in check for about 2 years even though the SST was very warm. ”
    In addition to wind shear, there is also the temperature of the air aloft. Cooler air at altitude makes for more powerful storms. Storms are a convection engine. It is the difference between sea surface temperature and air temperature that gets them going. Yes, warming the sea surface a degree will make storms stronger with a given air temperature but if you decrease the air temperature a degree, it is the same as increasing the water a degree. The key is the delta temperature.

  55. NOAA used to release the final seasonal tracking maps in late January/early Febuary. Now, you’re lucky to get them in March. And since ’06, they tend to upgrade a few tropical storms to hurricane status if they think that hurricane winds may have existed. Unbelievable.

  56. “FEMA is working across the administration and with our state and local partners to ensure we’re prepared for hurricane season,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.
    _________________________
    I was wondering what they were doing. Shhhhh.. don’t anyone tell them there’s an oil leak in the Gulf.

  57. * Warm Atlantic Ocean water. Sea surface temperatures are expected to remain above average where storms often develop and move across the Atlantic. Record warm temperatures – up to four degrees Fahrenheit above average – are now present in this region.

    The Gulf is below normal (or was the last time I looked) and so is (was) the region off the East Coast of the U.S. Shouldn’t this lead to less intense hurricanes even if the numbers are higher from high surface temperatures elsewhere?

    * High activity era continues. Since 1995, the tropical multi-decadal signal has brought favorable ocean and atmospheric conditions in sync, leading to more active hurricane seasons. Eight of the last 15 seasons rank in the top ten for the most named storms with 2005 in first place with 28 named storms.

    Of course, some of this is the expected result of a quick trigger for naming. If criteria were held constant how would those eight years compare?

  58. I wonder if the delay was because their initial forcast agreed with the chimp so they had to change to something else? Since their past success indicates they are just guessing anyway and the chimp said 6-8, they had to choose between less than 6 or more than 8 and they chose the latter?
    Or am I too cynical?

  59. Well since were all guessing anyway:) Heres my tarot reading for named storms that make landfall: Three and that tall dark stranger you met last year.. well turns out he is a jerk:) hehehe.

  60. @Tom in Florida says:
    May 27, 2010 at 8:19 pm
    “Just to be clear, the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is mid September”
    The equinox yes, same for the N.Pacific. The problem this year is that there are some very strong solar triggers occurring right from peak season and through October, so I am saying from the equinox through October and November for the bigger events this year. Given the QBO status, numbers of named storms should be down this year, July could see a US landfall event, August should be less busy. Bangladesh could also get a large hit in October.

  61. Tom in Florida says:
    May 27, 2010 at 8:19 pm
    “Just to be clear, the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is mid September”
    The equinox yes, same for the N.Pacific. The problem this year is that there are some very strong solar triggers occurring right from peak season and through October, so I am saying from the equinox through October and November for the bigger events this year. Given the QBO status, numbers of named storms should be down this year, July could see a US landfall event, August should be less busy. Bangladesh could also get a large hit in October.
    yes uric

  62. This is for events over the next six months, IPCC would have us believe they know what events are going to happen 50 years from now!! ROFLMAO
    http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local-beat/NBC-MIami-review-Hurricane-predictions-are-wrong-about-half-the-time-95081124.html
    Hurricane Hype? Predictions Wrong Half the Time
    An NBC Miami review of nearly a decade of pre-season predictions of hurricane season shows the two major predicting institutions are right about half the time. In some categories, they fail even more frequently.
    Still, predicting these hurricanes and storms is imperfect to be sure, as our review of the success of those pre-season predictions since 2001.
    First, in predicting named storms, NOAA has fallen within its range 5 times in 9 years. Dr. Gray has hit his number just once. But if granted a range like NOAA uses, Dr. Gray has been right 5 times also in 9 years.
    Of course, predicting hurricanes rather than storms is even more vital. In that category, NOAA has been right since 2001 just twice. Dr. Gray has been right just once. But, again, granted a range, Dr. Gray has been right 3 times.
    In sum, they are roughly equal with a rather poor success rate although one could argue they provide a general idea.

  63. While working with Piers Corbyn, I have helped to expand the knowledge base on triggers for individual tropical cyclones, timing for the majority of events in all oceans is regularly acheived. Piers also has a system for identifying location and likely tracks for any given event, which has a success rate of around 85%.

  64. If a gulf hurricane picks up the BP oil slick, and it caught fire, could we sue BP for global warming?

  65. I’ve always been of the opinion that the people that make the predictions should not be the same ones that categorize a tropical weather event as a Low, TD, Storm 0r Hurricane. There is always the open question of an inherent bias towards proving themselves right.
    Jose

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