Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Hurricane Predictions

From Dr. Jeff Master's blog:

CSU's forecast numbers for the coming hurricane season remain unchanged
A very active Atlantic hurricane season is on tap for 2010, according to the seasonal hurricane forecast issued today, August 4, by Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University (CSU). The CSU team continues to call for 18 named storms, 10 hurricanes, 5 intense hurricanes, and an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index 185% of average. These are the same numbers as their June 2 forecast. Between 1950 - 2000, the average season had 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. But since 1995, the beginning of an active hurricane period in the Atlantic, we've averaged 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes per year. The new forecast continues to call for a much above-average chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S., both along the East Coast (50% chance, 31% chance is average) and the Gulf Coast (49% chance, 30% chance is average). The risk of a major hurricane in the Caribbean is also high, at 64% (42% is average.)

The forecasters cited four main reasons for an active season:

1) Moderate La NiƱa conditions should be present during the most active portion of this year's hurricane season (August - October). This should lead to reduced levels of vertical wind shear compared with what was witnessed in 2009.

2) Current SST anomalies are running at near-record warm levels. These very warm waters are associated with dynamic and thermodynamic factors that are very conducive for an active Atlantic hurricane season.

3) Very low sea level pressures prevailed during June and July over the tropical Atlantic. Weaker high pressure typically results in weaker trade winds that are commonly associated with more active hurricane seasons.

4) We are in the midst of a multi-decadal era of major hurricane activity, which began in 1995. Major hurricanes cause 80 - 85 percent of normalized hurricane damage.

Analogue years
The CSU team picked four previous years when atmospheric and oceanic conditions were similar to what we are seeing this summer. Those four years were 2005, the worst hurricane season of all time; 1998, which featured 3 major hurricanes, including Category 5 Hurricane Mitch; 1952, a relatively average year that featured just 7 named storms, but 3 major hurricanes; and 1958, a severe season with 5 major hurricanes. The mean activity for these five years was 17 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes, almost the same as the 2010 CSU forecast.

In 2005 we had 5 storm remnants come through our area. They were only Tropical Depressions. We lost power twice for several days during September of that year. It was a very unpleasant experience to say the least. Luckily we did have one portable generator -- now we have two. We expect something wicked this way to come -- to paraphrase Ray Bradbury-- one day. You never know and cannot be prepared enough, because one minute your life is normal and the next it's not. Since Hurricane Season has been extremely active again, our guard has not been let down. Each week there should be a wave forming off Africa that will enter the Atlantic Basin, development depends on several factors, but from the looks of it the true heart of Hurricane season is upon those of us who reside upon the East Coast, and Gulf States.

Here is the next area of concern being watched, again from Dr. Master's blog:

A tropical wave (Invest 92) in the south-central Caribbean is moving west at 15 - 20 mph. This wave is over warm water and is experiencing low wind shear of 5 - 10 knots, and could show some development over the next two days. However, the wave's rapid westward motion should bring it ashore over Nicaragua and Honduras on Friday, and 92L probably does not have enough time over water to develop into a tropical depression. NHC is giving a 20% chance of this disturbance developing into a tropical depression by Friday morning. This storm was being tagged as 98L yesterday; I'm not sure why it is being called 92L today.


  1. Thanks for pointing this out to us. We don't have a generator. Maybe it would be an idea to get one. The most significant hurricane remnant that Mom remembers to come our way was in September 1979, though. They canceled the first day of school and my folks had only lived in their house for a couple of weeks. The pinoak trees swaying were quite something. Luckily they were flexible. Of course back then, even my cat mother probably didn't exist, let alone me.

  2. I'll be praying that nothing serious comes your way! We live in an area that is not really affected by weather conditions like that, but I imagine it is quite stressful to have that on your mind all the time. Sounds like you are well prepared for all eventualities.

    Stay safe friends...

  3. Oh please please take care everyone at Manx Mnews!! I hope and pray that this hurricane season passes by quickly and goes away from you all!!

    Lots of hugs and purrs!

    Take care

  4. In 2004 we lost power for 9 days after Frances and about 4 after Jeanne. We bought a generator the following year.

    The computer models of 92L show it going into south Florida (Miami area) or into the gulf.

    We're purring and praying for another quiet season.

    Sniffie and the Florida Furkids

  5. Please do take care. Purrs from the kitties.


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