Klotzbach and Gray: "the next two weeks will be near climatology"

Guest Post by Ric Werme

The CSU Klotzbach/Gray Sep 1-14 hurricane forecast (PDF) is out. This period is the peak of the hurricane season and average conditions are pretty active:

“Climatology” is just the average weather, and “We expect that the next two weeks will be characterized by amounts of activity near (70 to 130 percent of) climatology.”

“Only” average, given that all eyes are on Earl, and a few more on Fiona? While Earl is racking up Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) points now thanks to it being a category 4 storm, the NHC isn’t expecting new storm development, citing a high pressure system and dry Saharan air in the eastern Atlantic. Global models have no more storms in their forecasts.

This is not to say Earl and Fiona are it for the next two weeks, the total ACE expected from them is 15 units, but the forecast range is for between 20 and 37 units.

Another factor in tropical storm development is the Madden-Julian Oscillation, a band of enhanced and suppressed precipitation areas. Currently the oscillation is weak, as it was for the past two week period, so it will have little impact on storm development.

Overall, the expectations for an active season are balancing out the near term outlook:

The most recent seasonal forecast calls for a well above-average season. We utilize the seasonal forecast as a baseline for our two-week forecasts. Since the MJO is predicted to be weak over the next two weeks, and forecast models are not calling for much additional storm development over the next two weeks, we believe the next two weeks should have activity at near-average levels.

Finally, the two week period just ending came in at 250% of average. Klotzbach and Gray are only forecasting three ranges during the season, and they forecast activity would be “high,” or > 130% of the average. They credit the activity to low wind shear in the Main Development Region, but note that’s expected with warm Atlantic water and moderate La Niña conditions.

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35 thoughts on “Klotzbach and Gray: "the next two weeks will be near climatology"

  1. It is only September 1. Geez.
    Look, I want it to be over, too. Already tired of false alarms and unnecessary interruptions in business.
    There is a long, LONG way to go in this season.
    And with the deep bathwater temperatures in the Atlantic, and if the MJO cooperates, there is no reason to believe it won’t be a long season. Through November.
    We shall see…
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  2. The problem is the wave engine itself. It can only generate waves about every 3 days. So in the next 91 days, one can expect about 30 more waves…Of these waves not all develop. Most don’t. The average of developed waves is 15%, so 15% times 30 equals 4.5 more named storms from Cape Verde weather this season. Summing this with what has already occurred plus throw in a couple of local events gives a good approx for the year…I’m guessing 12 named storms. At this point all the forecasters are seeing this and realize their numbers are excessivye and will adjust as they can.

  3. Never had so many eyes on me. Can’t wait til Earl gets out the way and I can take centre stage.
    A bit wet out here mind… 🙂
    Fiona, UK

  4. Climatology is not weather, the average of the past is no predictor of the future.
    The planetary influences that drive the electromagnetic interactions that in turn, drives the production of the tropical storms, will be lacking and the winds they will be a slacking, from the 3rd or 4th of September;
    http://space.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/wspace?tbody=399&vbody=10&month=9&day=3&year=2010&hour=00&minute=00&fovmul=1&rfov=45&bfov=30&porbs=1&brite=1&showsc=1
    until the 22nd of September 2010;
    http://space.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/wspace?tbody=399&vbody=10&month=9&day=22&year=2010&hour=00&minute=00&fovmul=1&rfov=45&bfov=30&porbs=1&brite=1&showsc=1
    Then in the middle of their [ Sept 14-28th 2010] next two week forecast the first of the activity will start up again and the oceans will churn, the winds return, the foam will fly, and neat hurricane Satellite pictures will again meet your eyes.

  5. savethesharks says:
    September 1, 2010 at 12:10 am
    Look, I want it to be over, too. Already tired of false alarms and unnecessary interruptions in business
    I agree
    here look at the links below
    http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/?lat=24.0&lon=-71.2&zoom=6&type=hyb&rad=0&wxsn=0&svr=0&cams=0&sat=0&riv=0&mm=0&hur=1&hur.wr=0&hur.cod=1&hur.fx=1&hur.obs=1&fire=0&ft=0&sl=0
    wunderground/ wundermap, scrole down to Map Controls click “weather stations”
    expand +++ to show “weather buoy (MADIS) M41046”
    Earl passed directly over. TOP SPEED 76 mph Top Gust 96 mph 03:30 EST
    http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.asp?ID=M41046
    Just a (cat 1) not that a cat1 don’t mess up the fishing, it is not worth (IMHO)
    The “false alarms and unnecessary interruptions in business”
    Jim
    Melbourne, Fla, USA

  6. [Disclaimer: the following is not meant to minimize the concerns for life, limb and/or financial loss. For those that have experienced loss in such catastrophic events, please pass on this post and/or accept my apologies for seeming callous; I am quite aware of ramifications… the following is little more then a puerile run of nostalgia and attempt to entertain, no more ]
    Yet, another hurricane season is slipping into the books with barely a few good waves to surf. The good ole days of the ’60s, ’70s & ’80s, when we had a few hurricanes per season are held ever more reverent, if not further embellished in my minds eye.
    My brothers and I were thrilled at the thought of another hurricane. We donned our wetsuits, being bay rats all our lives, umm, baymen. When the winds hit 110mph, we were out into it, marveling at the show Mother Nature had in store for us. There is nothing like watching a 40′ tree get lifted out of the ground so far that it was being held into place by only a few root hairs, exposing all else to the winds and rain, and me; and then to watch it get firmly reset by the winds such that there would be no negative impact in the weeks thereafter., not a leaf went brown. A rite of passage was shared by being able to pull oneself from the front of the house to the back along a 2″ rope secured to cement anchors by the back fence.
    We knew quite well the dangers; we learned what was important after being without power, water, TV for days at a time 😉 In one of the later storms, after loosing power for a few days, I made my way across the island and managed to secure a dozen bags of ice. Upon returning home, I spread some out among the neighbors. My place in the local community has never been the same, since. That same storm, I fashioned a siphon to my above ground pool, affixing it to my neighbors fence so that he could have water to flush his toilets without having to ask.
    Thurs. the storm will come as close as it will come to our shores. I’ll be one to those nuts you see in pictures of people watching monstrous waves, only because I’m getting on just a bit to surf them, well, at least that’s what I’ll tell my wife~

  7. It will be small consolation to the person along the coast who gets clobbered by a hurricane to be told that it was an average hurricane in an average season.
    Meanwhile, the NHC has upgraded Invest 98 to having an 80% chance of becoming a depression/storm in the next couple days. If it gets named it’ll be Gaston. Even with Earl brushing along the east coast of the US, we’ve been lucky so far. Let’s keep those fingers crossed.

  8. These are the same charlatans experts who wrote in June, “We foresee a very active hurricane season in 2010”, and got it completely wrong, as pointed out by Steve Goddard’s thread ‘Thoughts on 2010 hurricane season so far’.

  9. On dry air effects:
    I mentioned a few days ago that I don’t think the NHC handles dry air very well in their forecasts. Some of the imagery in the last few days appeared to show storms doing better than I expected, but that may have been from the color scale on different images.
    In particular, a grayscale image like http://www.goes.noaa.gov/browsh3.html has black for really dry air, whereas a false color image like http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t2/wv-l.jpg uses black for fairly dry air and dust-brown for really dry air.
    That really dry air, especially at low levels, is what cuts a tropical storm off at the knees. In both images you can see how the dry air wraps into the storm and there’s nothing to drive convection until the air column can saturate. If the dry air makes it into the eyewall, it can disrupt the delicate balance that a cat 4/5 storm needs to maintain. Even at cat 3, it can have quick impact.
    The NHC notes it in Earl’s forecast discussion:

    The intensity forecast is a conundrum. On the favorable side…the hurricane is over very warm sea surface temperatures…has good cirrus outflow in all directions except to the south…and has a good convective structure. On the negative side…Earl is experiencing 15-20 kt of southwesterly vertical wind shear…and water vapor imagery shows a tongue of mid/upper-level dry air wrapped more than halfway around the cyclone. Some shear is likely to continue for the next 36-48 hr…and none of the intensity guidance calls for much strengthening at this time. Based on this…the NHC intensity forecast calls for little change in strength for 36 hr…followed by weakening as Earl encounters cooler sea surface temperatures and increasing shear.

    So even while they acknowledge the dry air, they highlight wind shear (which impacts the upper part of the storm) and only forecasts “little change in strength.”
    I’m really reluctant to forecast anything about tropical storms, (I know what I don’t know) let’s just say the dry air is worth paying attention to today. If Earl gets knocked back to cat 2 or even cat 1 today I’ll be pointing to that dry slot wrapping into the eye.

  10. Richard Holle says:
    September 1, 2010 at 3:19 am

    You mean that the Moon is the conductor of the waltz, going southwards from the 3rd. on. But, let me ask you, if, by the same token, does it mean that temperatures in the SH will get colder/wetter again from that date on, as the Moon goes south?

  11. Richard Holle says:
    September 1, 2010 at 3:19 am
    The planetary influences that drive the electromagnetic interactions

    It is good to know that somebody, at last, is describing reality (about what happens on the surface of this cathode we live on-as in a galvanic cell-). Those surrounded with a dielectric psychological “buffer”(a.k.a. “self conceit”) can not see it. 🙂

  12. LOL: “the next two weeks will be near climatology”…who cares if they are wrong one more time…one more line does not make a zebra change.

  13. Enneagram says:
    September 1, 2010 at 5:45 am
    Reply; It is Spring down there right now, there is a surge of warmer moisture headed South across Paraguay, the northern tip of Argentina, and Uruguay. as the Moon passes the equator headed South, this movement will slow, the speed up again as this flow will then become powered by primary tidal effects.
    We are in a phase of declinational tidal camaraderie from the sun and the moon being the same declination (~23.5 degrees) at culmination (mid winter / summer) driving all of the loopiness of the jet stream for the next couple of years. If you notice the air mass passing OVER the Andes in Southern Argentina in the Global map I just posted above, where in less active periods it does not cross in volume.
    This additional zonal flow reoccurring through out this last Southern Hemisphere, has helped to maintain the record cold temps in the whole SH. May have something to do with SOI, el nino cycles, I haven’t had much time for looking south of the equator lately.
    As to colder / wetter? I think it will be a wet spring for them as the global surge in increased moisture will be back in force, post 20th of September, so maybe an early wet SA / SH spring?
    If you have Data you could filter by the patterns posted on my site, and generate your own forecast.

  14. Ric Werme
    September 1, 2010 at 5:44 am
    I am pretty familiar with Data Visualization techniques as it is part of my job. I have always been a bit confused regarding the false colors used to display water vapor. Particularly the desaturated orange used for very dry air, who’s value is inversely proportional to the amount of moisture. The colors of the scale are also discontinuous, but a water content scale seems to me to be continuous. Are there water content thresholds that have special meaning?

  15. “Climatology” is just the average weather, and “We expect that the next two weeks will be characterized by amounts of activity near (70 to 130 percent of) climatology.”
    This makes no sense at all.

  16. TomRude says:
    September 1, 2010 at 8:38 am

    “Climatology” is just the average weather, and “We expect that the next two weeks will be characterized by amounts of activity near (70 to 130 percent of) climatology.”
    This makes no sense at all.

    I’m not sure exactly where you’re going astray other than the use of “climatology”. From the .pdf:

    The average ACE accrued during the period from 1950-2009 from September 1 – September 14 was 28.4 units, and consequently, our forecast for the next two weeks is for between 19.9 and 36.9 ACE units to be generated.

    The 70-130% range is one of the three levels they’re forecasting:
    Table 1: ACE forecast definition.
    Above-Average: Greater than 130% of Average ACE
    Average: 70% – 130% of Average ACE
    Below-Average: Less than 70% of Average ACE
    ACE units, BTW are velocity squared. From http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/outlooks/background_information.shtml :

    The measure of total seasonal activity used by NOAA is called the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index. The ACE index is a wind energy index, defined as the sum of the squares of the maximum sustained surface wind speed (knots) measured every six hours for all named systems while they are at least tropical storm strength.

    Kinetic energy has a velocity squared component, so it makes sense to sum up the velocity squared instead of just velocity. Even better would be to integrate it over the area of tropical storm force winds, but we don’t have that information until Doppler radar can see the storm.

  17. ““Climatology” is just the average weather..”
    Now that is a mouthful!!! That must mean that “Climatologists” are just average schmucks who think they know more than the rest of us about the average weather. Hummmm… I’ve been called many things, I’m not sure I ever want to be called a “Climatologist”.
    No! I don’t! Never! Ever! Nooooo way, Jose! Nada! Nichts! Neht! Nein! Unh Uha!

  18. Pascvaks says:
    September 1, 2010 at 1:32 pm
    > ““Climatology” is just the average weather..”
    > …I’m not sure I ever want to be called a “Climatologist”.
    “Please God, please – don’t let me be normal.” – from The Fantasticks

  19. Richard Holle says:
    September 1, 2010 at 3:19 am
    “The planetary influences that drive the electromagnetic interactions that in turn, drives the production of the tropical storms…”
    Richard, do you have any idea please as to why coronal holes, which can cause an increase in the strength of solar wind hitting Earth, develop and disappear so quickly as shown in the two images on the link below, courtesy of Solen Info…
    http://www.solen.info/solar/images/AR_CH_20100830.jpg
    http://www.solen.info/solar/images/AR_CH_20100831.jpg
    Any ideas welcome.

  20. Tenuc says:
    September 1, 2010 at 3:07 pm
    Reply; In this particular case, the best guess would be the coupling between the Earth and Mercury with the fields of the sun riding on the solar wind, follow the action from this viewpoint:
    http://space.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/wspace?tbody=399&vbody=10&month=9&day=1&year=2010&hour=01&minute=25&fovmul=1&rfov=45&bfov=30&porbs=1&brite=1&showsc=1
    See it this gives you answers, past examples I have followed seen to indicate CMEs are magnetic flux ropes that just come out of the surface of the sun where ever they can (weak spots? or concentrations already?).

  21. Ric Werme September 1, 2010 at 5:44 am
    On dry air effects:
    I mentioned a few days ago that I don’t think the NHC handles dry air very well in their forecasts. Some of the imagery in the last few days appeared to show storms doing better than I expected, but that may have been from the color scale on different images.
    In particular, a grayscale image like http://www.goes.noaa.gov/browsh3.html has black for really dry air, whereas a false color image like http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t2/wv-l.jpg uses black for fairly dry air and dust-brown for really dry air.
    That really dry air, especially at low levels …

    This ‘dry air’ drum that keeps getting beat –
    See my post under ‘Trio’ regarding this ‘dry air’ business; I contend the WV (Water Vapor) imagery depicts WV in the troposphere topping out at about 20,000 feet give or take …
    At what (altitude) level do the T-storms in a hurricane draw atmosphere (containing warm, moist air) – 5,000 ft? 10,000 ft? 20,000 feet?
    I ask the question rhetorically …
    .

  22. Per Ric’s post:

    The NHC notes it in Earl’s forecast discussion:
    ” On the negative side…Earl is experiencing 15-20 kt of southwesterly vertical wind shear…and water vapor imagery shows a tongue of mid/upper-level dry air wrapped more than halfway around the cyclone. ”

    Vindication; ‘moist’ air (as indicated on WV imagery) to altitudes of only 18 – 20 k feet …
    Apparently this is sufficient to ‘keep the beast fed’ …
    .

  23. _Jim says:
    September 1, 2010 at 6:57 pm
    Apparently this is sufficient to ‘keep the beast fed’ …
    =====================================
    Your instincts have been correct, _Jim. And Earl has become downright scary.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  24. Here is an interesting discussion and way to analyze hurricanes that you don’t hear much about, but should.
    This measurement accurately predicted when Ike, a Cat 2 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, would cause catastrophic and Cat 4+ storm surge damage on the Bolivar Peninsula in Texas in 2008.
    The IKE as it is called, by the way, is an acronym, and has nothing to do with the name of the storm.
    From Dr. Jeff Master’s I give you this quote:
    Earl is a large hurricane, which gives it a higher potential for storm surge damage than a smaller hurricane with the same top winds. One measure of a storm’s power, useful for gauging storm surge threat, is to measure the speed of the winds and multiply by the area over which those winds blow. This total is called the Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE). Based on the storm’s IKE, one can come up with a scale from 0 – 6 rating the storm’s destructive power from its storm surge. A separate rating can be given to the destructive potential of the storm’s winds. The IKE value of 112 Terrajoules for Earl, at 3:30pm EDT today, gives its storm surge a destructive power of 5.0 on a scale of 0 – 6. Earl’s winds have a lower destructive power, 3.4 on a scale of 0 – 6. Let’s hope the right front quadrant of Earl, where the main storm surge would occur, stays offshore! For comparison, the small Category 5 Hurricane Camille of 1969 had an IKE of 80 Terrajoules, and the very large Category 2 Hurricane Ike of 2008 had an IKE of 116 Terrajoules–similar to Category 3 Earl’s. –Dr. Jeff Masters
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  25. _Jim says:
    September 1, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Per Ric’s post:
    The NHC notes it in Earl’s forecast discussion:
    ” On the negative side…Earl is experiencing 15-20 kt of southwesterly vertical wind shear…and water vapor imagery shows a tongue of mid/upper-level dry air wrapped more than halfway around the cyclone. ”
    Vindication; ‘moist’ air (as indicated on WV imagery) to altitudes of only 18 – 20 k feet …
    Apparently this is sufficient to ‘keep the beast fed’ …

    The beast is feasting quite well! Maybe next time I’ll look for a cold front associated with the dry air, that will have dry air at low levels. Check out http://twister.sbs.ohio-state.edu/surface/dewpoint.gif for old-fashioned surface dewpoint temps – the dry air is in Canada. And the Great Basin – it’s amazing how quickly things dry in hot, dry air like that.
    Earl is a big enough storm so that it may be able to saturate the dry air by the time it gets to the eye.
    If Earl had stayed at cat 3 or declined to cat 2, I could excuse that with notes about dry air affecting the strongest storms the most, but I gotta give Earl credit for shrugging off that dry slot. Remind me to get out of its way, and let’s hope it stays off shore.

  26. PaulM says:
    September 1, 2010 at 5:42 am
    > These are the same charlatans experts who wrote in June, “We foresee a very active hurricane season in 2010″, and got it completely wrong,
    Do keep in mind that the peak date for storm formation is Sept 10, and that’s before the 50% of the storm making days – the fall off from the peak is slower than the rise to the peak. Calling any seasonal hurricane forecast completely wrong before it’s half over is a bit of a reach. I would have said they have some catching up to do, and that seems to be happening!

  27. Now this is the type of article I wish all the talking heads would do! Easy to understand and follow, without the hype. We can supply the hype ourselves.

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