U.S. East Coast is the next wild weather target

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow, Weatherbell co-chief Meteorologist

This is August and the east coast season peaks in September with activity in October. August systems often provide just a hint at what is to follow. This year after the winter record cold and snows, spring heavy rains and record flood and tornadoes, a 60 to 100 year drought in Texas and nearby areas. A year without a summer in the Northwest and brutal heat in the south central and at times most other areas of the central and east. Now comes the hurricane season. La Ninas often do far more damage from El Ninos. This was a super La Nina, the second strongest in history (either behind 1917/18 if you use the atmospheric measure, 1955/56 if you use the other measures.

We have already had 5 named storms…nothing significant. But the season really doesn’t kick in most years until mid August. NWS NHC has upgraded their forecast for the hurricane season. Here is the normal hurricane tracks from August to October.

image

Enlarged.

image

Enlarged.

image

Enlarged.

The warm Atlantic and cold Pacific usually mean an east coast landfall. The analogs and model forecasts suggests the trough which has been off the east coast moves inland far enough to threaten trouble for the east coast.

These troughs amplify than lift out leaving a weakness a storm in the waters off the east coast can penetrate. The Carolinas and the coast further north including New Jersey and New York are vulnerable. This region is is overdue. This summer was a lot like the 1954 and 1955 summers.

image

Enlarged.

Carol, Edna and Hazel hit in 1954, Connie and Diane in 1955. Even New York City felt the storms effects though not a direct hit.

Historically, some storms have tracked that way.

image

Enlarged.

image

Enlarged.

I wrote on WeatherBell about the Hurricane of ‘38, Hurricane Carol in 1954 and the hurricane season of 1893.  And covered the reasons why the northeast east coast and maybe NYC might be threatened this year.

The worst storm recorded for the big apple was the Norfolk and Long Island storm of 1821.

image

Enlarged.

It was estimated to be a category 3 or even 4 when it brushed New Jersey before making landfall on New York CIty 1930 UTC on September 3. This makes it the only major hurricane to directly hit the city since 1800. The late great weather historian David Ludlum summarized it below and enlarged PDF here.

image

Enlarged.

The hurricane produced a storm surge of 13 feet (4 m) in only one hour at Battery Park. Manhattan Island was completely flooded to Canal Street. The flooding would have been much worse, had the hurricane not struck at low tide However, few deaths were reported in the city, since the flooding affected neighborhoods much less populated than today. Strong waves and winds blew many ships ashore along Long Island. One ship sank, killing 17 people.

Please come to WeatherBell and see the daily posts that Joe Bastardi and I provide all through the hurricane and winter seasons ahead. If you have energy, agriculture or retail interests, we provide special services to those markets.

Reference PDF’s:

1893 a hurricane season analog

Remembering Hurricane Carol in 1954

The September Surprise

Advertisements

35 thoughts on “U.S. East Coast is the next wild weather target

  1. Joseph,
    Just a friendly piece of advice:
    You need an editor to correct spelling istakes and over written language issues. Because it passes spell-check, it doesn’t mean it’s right.

  2. Thanks. It is always useful to reference the analog years so that the warmistas can’t hijack the info. Whether or not we get the landfalls, activity is due to differences in weather systems rather than increases in heat. We get that Atlantic tripole of Joe B’s going and…..

  3. Just curious, Joe – what other measures rank the most previous Super La Nina as second strongest? Using the ocean temperature based measure, ONI, the La Ninas in the years 07/08, 98/99, 88/89, 73/74/75, 54/55/56, and 50/51 all had equal or stronger (cooler) La Ninas.

  4. ha ha – i saw the press release: “NOAA’s Atlantic hurricane season update calls for increase in named storms”
    how carefully worded is that? lol.
    don didn’t do squat; emily evaporated – but i’m sure this is one prediction that will come true because they name the storms!
    they name the storms that make the whole world cringe
    fear mongrels barking on a paranoid binge
    and when you call them on it they just whinge.
    they name the storms – THEY NAME THE STORMS!
    sorry, mr manilow…

  5. 14-19 named storms….
    …when they will name anything with winds over 39 mph
    We used to call those squall lines…………………and they didn’t get a name
    3-5 major hurricanes…..and one “might” hit the US

  6. I used to go to Weather Bell quite often but then it stopped allowing me to see Mr. Bastardi’s postings without paying the “premium” fee which is too steep for me to pay just to read the articles. It might be worthwhile if I used any of the additional products that they might offer.
    Landing on the front page doesn’t show a link to any daily posts and $160 a year is a little steep for what amounts to blog postings.

  7. Joe D’Aleo writes, “La Ninas often do far more damage from El Ninos. This was a super La Nina, the second strongest in history (either behind 1917/18 if you use the atmospheric measure, 1955/56 if you use the other measures.”
    Super La Nina? Hardly.
    The 2010/11 La Nina was strong but it was far from Super! It was not the second strongest using the “atmospheric measure”, assuming you mean the Southern Oscillation Index. According to the BOM SOI, the peak (maximum) SOI value during the 2010/11 La Nina came in tied for 4th. But notice how the 1997/98 El Nino, which WAS a Super El Nino, comes in a distant 6th according to the SOI:
    http://i53.tinypic.com/261gqwx.jpg
    And based on “other measures”, NINO3.4 SST anomalies assumedly, it was far from the second strongest La Niña event. According to Kaplan-based NINO3.4 SST anomalies, the 2010/11 La Niña doesn’t appear in the top 10 strongest La Niña events:
    http://i55.tinypic.com/e0qy5w.jpg
    Based on ERSST.v3b NINO3,4 SST anomalies, it’s not in the top 20:
    http://i51.tinypic.com/72uceq.jpg
    And based on HADISST NINO3.4 SST anomalies, the 2010/11 La Niña ranks 7th since 1900:
    http://i54.tinypic.com/slqis3.jpg
    And that’s not too “Super”, considering there were about 30 La Niña events since 1900.
    All we need to do is look at the satellite-based Reynolds OI.v2 SST version of NINO3.4 SST anomalies to see that there were 4 La Niña events that had lower NINO3.4 SST anomalies than the 2010/11 La Niña since 1982:
    http://i54.tinypic.com/2lizq05.jpg

  8. Latitude says:
    August 6, 2011 at 5:15 pm
    “14-19 named storms….
    …when they will name anything with winds over 39 mph
    We used to call those squall lines…………………and they didn’t get a name”
    If they have a closed circulation at 39 mph they need to be monitored. Easiest way is to name them so average people can keep track if there are more than one at the same time. However, I agree that the hype that these named storms get in their early stages is ridiculous.

  9. Those of us who look at history know it is not if but when a Cat-3 strikes New York City again. It happened before, it will happen again. But that fact will be lost on the media. A major hurricane on New York will cause much loss of life and damage. Some lives will be lost because they could not afford to leave, far too many will be lost because they do not take the warnings seriously. Such events will be used to “prove” global warming, while the History Channel’s show about the last two hurricanes to strike New York City will suddenly disappear never to be seen again on TV. What I think will happen is that NOAA will suddenly re-visit those old New York hurricanes and decide to downgrade them from major hurricanes to barely hurricanes in much the same way as NASA adjusts past temperatures down and present temperatures up. History will be rewritten to make it seem like the current major hurricane is unprecedented and new.

  10. Beth: Referring to my August 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm comment, it appears I could’ve saved myself some time plotting ENSO indices and uploading them to TinyPic had I scrolled through comments and found your question to Joe.

  11. I am an avid reader of WUWT and Weatherbell. I do pay the fee and have to say I love it so far. I farm in E WA and the info is very helpful even to someone like me who is far from the usual geographic spotlight of the East and Midwest. I like the approach, looking at analogs.

  12. When I was little growing up on the DemMarVa peninsula, Hazel was still a frequent topic of conversation. I would hate to see such a thing strike that area today. Ocean City, Maryland looks much different today than it did in 1954.

  13. Tom in Florida says:
    August 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm
    =======================================
    Tom, did you completely miss the point of what I was trying to say….
    ….my fault, I should have been clearer

  14. Robert of Ottawa,
    There’s an old saying around here: point your finger at someone and the rest point back at you.
    Maybe you were just making a joake.

  15. Bob Tisdale says:
    August 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm
    =========
    Had a feeling you would weigh in Bob, it’s hard to argue with data.
    Keep us on the straight and narrow.

  16. I’m wondering what the Gulf SST’s are doing, and how much influence they’ll have.
    Is this gearing up to be likely a heavy atlantic series or will it hammer the Gulf as well?

  17. Bob
    Yes it was based on the measures that include the atmosphere (MEI and SOI) that I ranked it there. And as you pointed out the measures don’t always agree.
    It was the second strongest La Nina according to the MEI of Wolter (top being 1954/56) since 1950 http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/mei.html (scroll down to last section), and according to the SOI (using the April to April average) according to the BOM SOI data base (See http://icecap.us/images/uploads/SOI_APR_to_APR.jpg)
    It certainly behaved as a super La Nina in terms of effect – snow and cold southeast then west and north, major river flooding and spring tornadoes, severe drought in Texas and maybe with the 5-7 month lag a hurricane to remember.
    Not something I wish for here in the northeast, having lived through minor hurricanes and ice storms and sat in the dark for days. Still it beats losing everything in a Joplin tornado.
    Joe D

  18. crosspatch says:
    August 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm
    When I was little growing up on the DemMarVa peninsula, Hazel was still a frequent topic of conversation. I would hate to see such a thing strike that area today. Ocean City, Maryland looks much different today than it did in 1954.

    Do not forget the 1933 Hurricane that cut the Ocean City inlet from the Atlantic Ocean to the now Isle of Wight Bay:

    The Ocean City Inlet was formed during a major hurricane in 1933, which also destroyed the train tracks across the Sinepuxent Bay. The inlet separated what is now Ocean City from Assateague Island. The Army Corps of Engineers took advantage of nature’s intervention and made the inlet at the south end of Ocean City permanent. The inlet eventually helped to establish Ocean City as an important Mid-Atlantic fishing port as it offered easy access to the fishing grounds of the Atlantic Ocean.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_City,_Maryland
    And that was only a Cat 1 storm when it did that.

  19. My workboot began losing its sole in Oklahoma walking around on the hot pavements. All the stores were sold out of ‘Shoe Goo’ and I didn’t find any in Arkansas at a couple of places I stopped. Pulaski, Tennessee only had two, now they only have one. What’s up with that?

  20. Yeah, it’s Delmarva, I guess my fingers went walking a bit too far.
    I grew up in that area and we from time to time had to deal with some serious hurricanes. Not nearly as many as people in the Gulf of Mexico or even the coast of North Carolina had to deal with, but about this time of year the old timers would get together in the cafe and swap horror stories.
    Of course it was much worse “back in the day” before there was a bridge across the bay. You had to take a ferry across. A bad storm could stop ferry operations for a few days and people would get stranded.

  21. \\Here is the normal hurricane tracks from August to October./
    Is there any chance of someone making these plots for years following
    A: La Nina
    B: El Nino
    C: Neutral (all others)
    I once played around with a hurricane prediction model based upon historical precedence using Spotfire.
    from the way-back-machine:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20050406113802/http://spotfirepeople.typepad.com/spotfirebuilders/2004/09/wiserways_spotf.html
    Some of the pictures can be found at
    http://web.archive.org/web/20041211225415/http://stephenrasey.com/Hurricanes/20040910_11pm_Ivan.htm
    and other links via it’s index.
    When I did this in Sept 2002 and 2004, I did not know enough to filter by A, B, C.
    I could blow the dust off it and repeat the work if no one else wants to.

  22. jdaleo says: “It was the second strongest La Nina according to the MEI of Wolter (top being 1954/56) since 1950…”
    Thanks for the clarification.

  23. I hope Texans will understand that I’d like them struck by 2 or 3 Category 1 or 2 hurricanes very soon. For their own good, you understand

  24. Am I the only person wondering why one of these storms was given a name. It did not form any organised storm characteristics until 32 degrees north a full 10 degrees outside the tropics.

  25. Unfortunately it will only take one good sized hurricane smacking squarely into the east coast anywhere from Virginia Beach to New York City to get the CAGW crowd and main stream media yelling again. On the lighter side, if a category 3 or higher hurricane does hit squarely into Ocean City, Maryland, the condominiums and hotels on the beach there might make really great fishing reefs.

  26. “These troughs amplify than lift out leaving a weakness a storm in the waters off the east coast can penetrate.”
    I presume that “than” should be “then”.
    IanM

  27. crosspatch says:
    August 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Yeah, it’s Delmarva, I guess my fingers went walking a bit too far.

    Having spent a year here watching the politics of Delaware I assumed that you were just being more accurate calling it DemMarVa.
    Quite a few years ago one of the Balt/Wash newspapers had an article about what might happen if a major Hurricane hit Ocean City, Md. A large part of the damage was cause by the storm surge spilling over into the bay behind the beach strip and then washing back out when the storm passed taking all of the debris and slamming it into to condo’s that line the beach area. That whole are is nothing but a sand bar and has grown considerably since the article was written. Not going to be pretty if(when) it happens.

  28. Stephen Rasey
    AMS issued a bulletin [Vol 79,NO (1998) called Effect of El Nino on Us Land Filling Hurricanes , Revisitsed . It found that no El Nino event has ever been associated with more than one major US hurricane but there is a 27 % chance for 2 or more major hurricanes during cold ENSO[La Nina ] phase and a 8 % chance during neutral phase. Seeing that this another neutral phase summer , consequently I think the probabilty of more hurricanes making US land fall is higher this year . [as many as 3 or more perhaps ] . However I dont think they will be of intense level [ level 2 or lower]
    The overall hurricane season forecast looks about right[7-10 hurricanes ]

Comments are closed.