Below-normal Atlantic hurricane season ends

From NOAA:

The Atlantic, eastern and central Pacific hurricane seasons officially ended yesterday, and as predicted, the Atlantic season stayed below normal with 11 named storms, while the eastern and central Pacific were above normal with both regions shattering all-time records.

Overall, the Atlantic hurricane season produced 11 named storms, including four hurricanes (Danny, Fred, Joaquin and Kate), two of which, Danny and Joaquin, became major hurricanes. Although no hurricanes made landfall in the United States this year, two tropical storms – Ana and Bill – struck the northeastern coast of South Carolina and Texas, respectively. Ana caused minor wind damage, beach erosion and one direct death in North Carolina, and Bill produced heavy rain and flooding while it moved across eastern Texas and Oklahoma. Hurricane Joaquin is the first Category 4 hurricane since 1866 to impact the Bahamas during the month of October.

NOAA scientists credit El Niño as the leading climate factor influencing both the Atlantic and Pacific seasons this year.

“El Niño produces a see-saw effect, suppressing the Atlantic season while strengthening the eastern and central Pacific hurricane seasons,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “El Niño intensified into a strong event during the summer and significantly impacted all three hurricanes seasons during their peak months.”

Bell said El Niño suppressed the Atlantic season by producing strong vertical wind shear combined with increased atmospheric stability, stronger sinking motion and drier air across the tropical Atlantic, all of which make it difficult for tropical storms and hurricanes to form and strengthen. However, El Niño fueled the eastern and central Pacific seasons this year with the weakest vertical wind shear on record.

2015 Atlantic tracker

The 2015 Atlantic hurricane season ended with a below-normal 11 named storms, four of which became hurricanes. (Credit: NOAA)

Active Eastern and Central Pacific seasons

The eastern Pacific saw 18 named storms, including 13 hurricanes, nine of which became major.  This is the first year since reliable record keeping began in 1971 that the eastern Pacific saw nine major hurricanes. Hurricane Patricia was the strongest hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere in terms of maximum wind speed at 200 miles per hour and lowest air pressure at 879 millibars. Hurricane Sandra, which formed at the tail end of the season, was the strongest hurricane in the eastern Pacific so late in the year, with a maximum sustained wind speed of 145 miles per hour.

The central Pacific shattered its records too, with 14 named storms, including eight hurricanes, five of which became major hurricanes, the most active season since reliable record-keeping began in 1971. Three major hurricanes (Ignacio, Kilo and Jimena) churned at the same time east of the International Dateline, the first time that was ever recorded.

2015 Eastern Pacific tracker

The 2015 eastern Pacific hurricane season ended with an above-normal 18 named storms, 13 of which became hurricanes. (Credit: NOAA)

Hurricane research

The Atlantic hurricane season provided opportunities for NOAA to conduct research to benefit future forecasts. Highlights include:

  • More than 15 successful manned and unmanned aircraft missions into Hurricane Danny and Tropical Storm Erika to collect and provide real-time data to NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and evaluate forecast models.
  • Using the tail Doppler radar aboard the NOAA P-3 hurricane hunter aircraft, researchers documented high levels of wind shear across the Caribbean, a major factor contributing to the dissipation of both Erika and Danny.
  • Researchers from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory tested new instruments such as a wind LIDAR that complements radar observations by measuring wind velocity in regions without rain.
  • NOAA’s use of unmanned systems advanced this season with the first transmission of real-time data into operational hurricane models from NASA’s Global Hawk, part of NOAA’s Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT) project.
  • Below the ocean’s surface, two underwater gliders collected and transmitted real-time data on Tropical Storm Erika’s interaction with the upper ocean as the storm passed through the Caribbean.
  • Hurricane hunter aircraft flew a total of 96 missions during the 2015 season; the U.S. Air Force Reserve 53rd Weather Squadron flew 75 missions and NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center flew 21 missions.

76 thoughts on “Below-normal Atlantic hurricane season ends

  1. Notice the absence of the words “climate change” in that article.
    Probably since what it is saying would be considered a good thing regarding the changed climate.

    • JohnWho commentd: “..Notice the absence of the words “climate change” in that article…”
      +1 I reread it just too make sure. 18 years and counting of no temperature rise and organizations are realizing their credibility is at stake no matter what the popular belief is or who’s paying them. The major push for climate reparations is happening because they know the window for their guise has closed, and thankfully so.

      • Actually, Dr. Bell and others on the hurricane season forecast team have always avoided involving ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ in their discussions. There is no way to quantify it or even demonstrate there is any long-term trend in hurricane activity. Not everyone in NOAA buys into the narrative on AGW.

    • From that font of wisdom, Wikipedia…..
      The credit for the first usage of personal names for weather systems is generally given to the Queensland Government Meteorologist Clement Wragge, who named systems between 1887 and 1907. This system of naming weather systems subsequently fell into disuse for several years after Wragge retired, until it was revived in the latter part of World War II for the Western Pacific. Formal naming schemes and naming lists have subsequently been introduced and developed for the North Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Western and Southern Pacific basins as well as the Australian region and Indian Ocean. Names are assigned in order from predetermined lists with one, three, or ten-minute sustained wind speeds of more than 65 km/h (40 mph) depending on which basin it originates. However, standards vary from basin to basin with some tropical depressions named in the Western Pacific, while tropical cyclones have to have a significant amount of gale-force winds occurring around the center before they are named within the Southern Hemisphere.

      • Already been down that road with Wiki pedia but thanks for the tongue in cheek on wiki. They have earned their reputation.
        When the process started around the turn of the 20th century they named hurricanes, when did they start naming Tropical Storms? Seems It has been only in the past decade or two if recollection serves. What we might call the ALGORE era of Global Warming Hysteria, for lack of better identification. But I never saw an official proclamation and reasoning for the naming of tropical storms which bring life sustaining rain to land masses in their path.
        I surmise that when the media began using the term “named storms” in their season-to-date and the Hurricane season ending reports, it led to naming Tropical Storms in addition to Hurricanes, and when a season would fall way behind Hurricane predictions they would jump on naming a tropical depression in anticipation of forming into a storm with no consideration that often never materializes. Hence “named storms’ on the rise is all part of the end of days propaganda reporting.

      • Dear Arbeegee,
        Wragge started the convention of using personal names for Australian tropical cyclones because he wanted to encourage Australian women to consider naming their girls with the more mellifluous South Sea island names, such as “Mahina”. In 1944, the Army Air Force meteorologist on Saipan started using their wives names for the typhoons in their forecast area and the practice took. The Weather Bureau was reluctant to use this scheme in the Atlantic, but in 1950 used the phonic alphabet to designate storms. By 1953 they came around to using women’s names, too. It was more convenient and there is a special place in people’s brains for handling human names. We relate better to them than abstract or alphanumeric designations. I think Wragge knew this intuitively. Anyway, it has always been the custom in the Atlantic to name a system once it reaches Tropical Storm status.

      • One of the early names was ‘The Divine Wind’, because it sank the Chinese navy attacking Japan.

      • For tropical storms – Steve Hurricanes were named, on a category scale from: “Everybody out of the outhouses” to “bend over and kiss your arse goodbye.”

  2. The global ACE is higher in 2015 that it has been in 2014, 2013, and 2012. Even with that, it is lower than any other year in the record back to 1970. The apocalypse of global warming creating massive storms will be a bit late again this year it seems.

  3. Can’t we geo-engineer a large prop airplane to fly against the wind breaking up the storms. Hmmm… bet I can get a grant on that idea.

  4. As I have been saying for the last couple of weeks, the November satellite data was showing November to be cooler than October notwithstanding the current Strong El Nino. Dr Spencer notes that the anomaly is +0.33 degC, which is down on the October anomaly of 0.43degC. According to Dr Spencer;

    The global, hemispheric, and tropical LT anomalies from the 30-year (1981-2010) average for the last 11 months are:

    2015 01 +0.28 +0.40 +0.16 +0.13
    2015 02 +0.17 +0.30 +0.05 -0.06
    2015 03 +0.16 +0.26 +0.07 +0.05
    2015 04 +0.08 +0.18 -0.01 +0.09
    2015 05 +0.28 +0.36 +0.21 +0.27
    2015 06 +0.33 +0.41 +0.25 +0.46
    2015 07 +0.18 +0.33 +0.03 +0.47
    2015 08 +0.27 +0.25 +0.30 +0.51
    2015 09 +0.25 +0.34 +0.17 +0.55
    2015 10 +0.43 +0.64 +0.21 +0.53
    2015 11 +0.33 +0.43 +0.23 +0.53

    The tropics continue warm due to El Nino conditions, but the temperature in recent months seems to have plateaued despite the climatological expectation of increasing temperature as we approach peak El Nino warmth in the next few months. This plateau, of course, could end at any time.

    So despite this years current Strong El Nino, 2015 is not shaping up to break any records as far as the satellite data is concerned.

    • I knew that UAH could not even reach second place before this. However a huge upward spike in November could have made it interesting. But with a drop, reaching second place it totally out of the question. It is stuck in third.
      So what happens to the length of the pause on UAH and RSS? I will assume that RSS will show a similar drop as UAH, but at the very least, not a huge spike. If so, based on the anomalies where their present pauses start, namely February 1997 for RSS and May 1997 for UAH, I would say the pauses will probably AT LEAST stay at the lengths they are at present, namely 18 years and 9 months for RSS and 18 years and 6 months for UAH. The only possible difference with the November data is that the pauses may start and end a month later.

      • Richard Barraclough says:
        December 1, 2015 at 7:57 PM
        Hello Werner,
        The “Pause”, as defined by various commenters on this site and Watts up with That, is still the same length as last month. In other words, the start date has moved forward by 1 month to June 1997

      • When the October anomaly was released, I thought that the satellite was just beginning to pick up (be influenced by the warm tropical waters) this years Strong El Nino.
        There is always a lag between the warm sea temperatures and the impact on the atmospheric temperatures as the Super El Nino of 1997/98 demonstrated, so I was expecting to see the November anomaly rise, perhaps to 0.5 to 0.65 degC, with further rises in December 2015 to about February/march 2016.,
        Obviously, it is a little early to say how the 2015/16 Strong El Nino will impact on the satellite data, but unless it shows up soon in December, 2015 whilst being a warm year, will not be unduly remarkable.
        No doubt you and/or Lord Monckton (if he is not otherwise too busy in Paris) will provide your usual monthly insight into all of this, and no doubt Bob will within the next couple of weeks provide his update on the El Nino and how it is shaping up.

    • Worth pointing out though that October and November 2015 both set new respective warmest records for those months in UAH, despite the reduction in the November anomaly relative to the October one. In fact, the November anomaly beat the previous warmest November record by a slightly wider margin than that by which the October anomaly beat the previous October record. So it may still be early days to rule out a significant El Nino impact over the NH winter.

    • Everything else has been fudged, why not the ENSO ‘data’? Indeed, any ships with water intake in the region will have been “Karled” upwards by the pause buster fudge. Don’t forget, they even topped up sea level by introducing an isostatic rebound of the ocean floor so that the figures we have for “sea level” don’t coincide WITH sea level. The water is actually below that level. I’ve been waiting for the Paris fudge of arctic ice extent because I notice the major data sources stopped reporting (Denmark, Norway, Japan) a month or so ago. Look for a new ‘generation’ of sea ice extent stuff now that they don’t have to coincide with the ice and water boundaries. There is a last ditch effort to shut the data up since it stopped cooperating this century.

  5. You just have to adjust the headline; Worst Atlantic Hurricane Season EVAH.
    2015 hurricane season has officially closed with the highest number of unnamed storms since …
    Shattered is a bit extremist for a system that used to only name storms when they hit land.

  6. Been in the Hawaiian Islands since 1961. Two hurricanes of note during that time. Hurricane Iwa in 1982 (strong La Nina) and hurricane Iniki in 1992 (moderate El Nino). This year’s monstrous, gargantuan, Godzilla El Nino pretty much a non-event… as usual. Haven’t even had a decent tidal wave in all that time. When, oh when, will I get some excitement?

  7. Thanks, Anthony.
    The Tropical Meteorology Project reported
    (Dr. Philip J. Klotzbach, Dr. William M. Gray. Colorado State University – CSU):
    Summary of 2015 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Activity and Verification of Author’s Seasonal and Two-Week Forecasts
    (.pdf, 30 December 2015):
    The 2015 Atlantic hurricane season had slightly more activity than predicted in our seasonal outlooks although we did correctly predict a somewhat below-average season. Strong vertical wind shear driven by a strong El Niño was the primary reason why below-average activity was experienced. Overall ACE activity in 2015 was approximately 65% of the 1981-2010 median.
    The 2015 hurricane season was relatively quiet. The season was characterized by slightly below-average numbers of named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes. This year’s seasonal forecast slightly under-estimated Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) and Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity levels. Notably, nearly half of this season’s ACE was generated by just one storm (Joaquin).
    Integrated measures such as Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity and Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) were at below-average levels. The primary inhibitor to TC formation this year was very strong vertical wind shear, especially in the central tropical Atlantic and Caribbean. Several TCs formed in the eastern Atlantic, only to be sheared apart as they approached the Lesser Antilles.
    There were 4 hurricanes, 92% of the 1981-2010 median (6.5)
    There were 11 named storms, 67% of the 1981-2010 median (12.0)
    There were 46.25 named storm days, 58% of the 1981-2010 median (60.1)
    There were 11.50 hurricane days, 81% of the 1981-2010 median (21.3)
    There were 2 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes, 100% of the 1981-2010 median (2.0)
    There were 4 major hurricane days, 90% of the 1981-2010 median (3.9)
    The Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity was 82, 79% of the 1981-2010 median (103%)
    The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) was 62 units, 70% of the 1981-2010 median (92)
    Thermohaline Circulation (THC) – A large-scale circulation in the Atlantic Ocean that is driven by fluctuations in salinity and temperature. When the THC is stronger than normal, the AMO tends to be in its warm (or positive) phase, and more Atlantic hurricanes typically form.
    As has been the case the past two years, the Atlantic was characterized by significant changes in SST over the course of 2015. The SST pattern observed during June 2015 was much more indicative of a weak THC, with cold anomalies observed in the tropical and North Atlantic and warm anomalies off of the US East Coast.

    • Summary of 2015 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Activity and Verification of Author’s Seasonal and Two-Week Forecasts
      (.pdf, 30 December 2015):

      Probably 30 November 2015!

      • …”other numbers seem way off too”
        Amazing what meteorologist can do with number now isn’t it!

      • I will put up as a ‘Number Way Off’ – Hurricane Patricia was the strongest hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere in terms of maximum wind speed at 200 miles per hour and lowest air pressure at 879 millibars.
        Must be a new kind of wind that at 200 mph, palm tree branches cannot be blow off or tin shacks do not fall apart.

      • DD More said:
        Must be a new kind of wind that at 200 mph, palm tree branches cannot be blow off or tin shacks do not fall apart.
        I’m sorry…WHAT?? I don’t know of many palm tree branches or tin shacks out over the Pacific Ocean where the wind speeds were recorded. You obviously don’t read the NHC Forecast Discussions they post 4 times a day for specific storms, do you?
        What is your point?

  8. “since reliable record keeping began in 1971”
    I’m glad they included this important qualifier since it gives much needed perspective on their biggest, strongest, highest, yada yada yada “on record” claims. If only more people actually understood and conveyed that instead of just parroting the juicier talking points. Can’t let the facts get in the way of a good story though.

  9. Emperor Obama Moonbeam will NOT be pleased.
    Obama: The World is at RISK.
    Obama: The World is SUFFERING from Climate Change.
    Obama: The World will DIE if we do NOT EXTERMINATE the cause of the CLIMATE CHANGE which is HUMAN BEINGS!
    Obama: Such fools, I am surrounded by such fools! How can I survive with such FOOLS around me!
    Obama: Such fools. They suck my BLOOD, and eat my ENTRAILS, as if I am not watching. Such fools.
    [snip… over the top. -mod.]

    • Bit overly dramatic, and sad.
      Emperor Zero does not allow reality to interfere with his desire.
      Reality is refiltered thro trusted sycophants, who adjust it as needed.meltdowns are thus prevented.
      Obamanation rules.

    • way OTT. I dislike Obama. But I want him to LIVE with his failures and lies. Not die like ome martyr.

  10. El Nino heat release andcthe TC’s that spawned released all those aHiroshima A bombs ergs back into 4 K space. Syanora CO2 forcing, we hardly knew ya’. Adaptive feedback at work.
    The GCMs can’t model feedbacks, nor sub-grid convection, not even the massive advection-convection ocean heat stripping transport to the tropopause of a single TC, not to mention the several dozen that “worked” across the Pacific Ocean this year. The climate models are fail, writ large.

  11. But…. but…. but…. Greenland melting…. uh…. 6th major species extinction impeding…. and…. uh…. drought in Syria…. uh… uh…. methane bombs in the Arctic…. and… uh…. and hockeysticks!!!!!

  12. In the UK, the Met Office have become so desperate to promote catastrophic Climate Change, that we are now naming strong winds and gales. So far this year there have been 3 named strong gales, but whilst causing a little bit of local damage, the odd tree down, a bit of localised flooding, nothing remarkable has happened.
    However, this works subtly on the human psyche, and with more and more reporting of named storms, people begin to think that more extreme weather is occurring, and hence the game continues.

    • Yes, Atlantic hurricanes are often spawned by African Easterly Waves (AEW). However, El Nino can influence the amount of vertical wind shear experienced over the Main Development Region in the Atlantic. High wind shear due to El Nino can stifle those AEWs, keeping the tropical cyclone counts low. The wave train keeps a-comin’ but they don’t develop into much.

  13. I have what might be a dumb questions. Why do Hurricanes (and Typhoons?) for north of the equator and run mostly north-west. They don’t seem to form south of the equator and run southerly? Or do they and we just don’t hear about it?

    • CNN reports:
      The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its final numbers Tuesday, and for the second consecutive season the Atlantic yielded below-normal activity.
      • No major hurricane landfalls in over 10 years. The U.S. had never gone 10 years without a major landfall since records began.
      • 10th consecutive year without a hurricane impact in Florida, a record.
      • Only 12 total hurricanes in the last three years, the lowest total since the 1992-1994 three-year period.
      Will this trend continue next season? It’s too early to tell…

      They’re speculating on the weather. But no one really knows, do they?
      And for certain, no one correctly predicted global warming. When global warming stopped in the late ’90’s, all alarmist predictions were for ‘runaway global warming and climate catastrophe’.
      Didn’t happen, did it?

      • DB
        Yep Atlantic season down… Pacific up
        “And for certain, no one correctly predicted global warming. When global warming stopped in the late ’90’s, all alarmist predictions were for ‘runaway global warming and climate catastrophe’.”
        It hasn’t stopped DB. Even satellite data of Mr Spencers shows hottest Nov and Oct on record

      • It hasn’t stopped DB. Even satellite data of Mr Spencers shows hottest Nov and Oct on record

        While that may be true, about 20 other months beat those anomalies.
        UAH Update for November
        UAH for November showed a drop of 0.1 from October. I knew that UAH could not reach second place before this. However a huge upward spike in November could have made it interesting. But with a drop, reaching second place it totally out of the question. It is stuck in third.
        This is the warmest November on the UAH6.0beta4 record. However it seems as if the El Ninos just fail to produce high November anomalies. For example, the first 10 months of 1998 all beat 0.33. As well, the first 9 months of 2010 beat or tied 0.33.
        The pause for UAH remains at 18 years and 6 months. It is just shifted over by a month so now it starts in June 1997 and ends on November 2015.
        RSS Update for November
        RSS for November came in at 0.426, a slight drop from the October value of 0.447. While it is the warmest November on record for RSS, the anomaly of 0.426 was beaten in the first 10 months of 1998 and the first 9 months of 2010. 2015 is in third place now and there is no way it can even reach second in 2015.
        The pause remains at 18 years and 9 months, however it is shifted by one month. So it is no longer from February 1997 to October 2015, but rather from March 1997 to November 2015.

  14. Werner
    “The pause remains at 18 years and 9 months, however it is shifted by one month. So it is no longer from February 1997 to October 2015, but rather from March 1997 to November 2015.”
    You mean the satellite pause, because that is all it is, and it is nearly finished. All the accurate data sets that actually measure the place where we live, show significant warming. Temps not seen since accurate reliable records started being taken. You want to live with your head up there in the clouds, be my guest, but I want to know what is happening where it matters.

    • Werner,
      Simon doesn’t understand. Therefore, he is reacting emotionally.
      The emo-crowd. including Simon, is the prime hunting ground for the rent seeking alarmist clique. They have Simon petrified, because Simon doesn’t understand.
      He doesn’t understand that everything currently being observed is well within normal parameters. Those parameters have been exceeded in the past, and not by just a little.
      Past climate parameters, including global temperatures, were often wildly beyond anything observed since CO2 recently began rising.
      Thus, CO2 cannot be the primary cause of global warming, because it was very steady and flat while global T was much higher — and much lower.
      But Simon just doesn’t understand.
      Simon also fails to understand that satellite data is the most accurate temperature data there is. Land surface stations are very sparse, and the land itself only comprises about 29% of the planet. Furthermore, most surface stations have error bars of 2ºC to more than 5ºC. It is preposterous that the alarmist crowd claims they can measure ∆T to within tenths of a degree on land, when their measurement tolerances are twenty to fifty times greater than that. Those are verifiable facts. But…
      …Simon just doesn’t understand.

    • You want to live with your head up there in the clouds, be my guest, but I want to know what is happening where it matters.

      From Professor Brown:
      “The two data sets should not be diverging, period, unless everything we understand about atmospheric thermal dynamics is wrong. That is, I will add my “opinion” to Werner’s and point out that it is based on simple atmospheric physics taught in any relevant textbook.”

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