TSR predicts very active hurricane season; Atlantic May MDR SSTs warmest on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:51 PM GMT en Junio 10, 2010

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The British private forecasting firm Tropical Storm Risk, Inc. (TSR) has joined the ranks of NOAA and Colorado State University in calling for an exceptionally active 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. The latest TSR forecast issued June 4 calls for 17.7 named storms, 9.5 hurricanes, 4.4 intense hurricanes, and an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) 181% of average. These numbers are much above the 50-year average of 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes, and are an increase from their April forecast of 16.3 named storms, 8.5 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes. The TSR June forecast numbers are the highest they've ever gone for in the eleven years they've been issuing Atlantic hurricane season forecasts. TSR predicts a 85-90% chance that activity will rank in the top 1/3 of years historically, and a 85% chance that U.S. landfalling activity will be above average. TSR rates their skill level as 20-34% higher than a "no-skill" forecast made using climatology, though an independent assessment by the National Hurricane Center (Figure 1) gives them somewhat lower skill numbers.

TSR projects that 5.7 named storms will hit the U.S., with 2.5 of these being hurricanes. The averages from the 1950-2009 climatology are 3.2 named storms and 1.5 hurricanes. They rate their skill at making these June forecasts for U.S. landfalls at 10 - 17% higher than a "no-skill" forecast made using climatology. In the Lesser Antilles Islands of the Caribbean, TSR projects 1.8 named storms, 0.8 of these being hurricanes. Climatology is 1.1 named storms and 0.5 hurricanes.

TSR cites two main factors for their forecast of an exceptionally active season:

1) Their model predicts that sea surface temperatures will be 0.6°C warmer than average in August and September over the Main Development Region (MDR) for Atlantic hurricanes. This is the area between 10°N and 20°N, between the coast of Africa and Central America (20°W - 80°W). It is called the Main Development Region because virtually all African waves originate in this region. These African waves account for 85% of all Atlantic major hurricanes and 60% of all named storms. When SSTs in the MDR are much above average during hurricane season, a very active season typically results (if there is no El Niño event present.)

2) Their model predicts slower than normal trade winds in August and September over the Main Development Region (MDR). Trade winds are forecast to be 1.2 meters per second (about 2.7 mph) slower than average. This would create more spin for developing storms, and allow the oceans to warm up, due to reduced mixing of cold water from the depths and lower evaporational cooling.


Figure 1. Comparison of the percent improvement over climatology for May and August seasonal hurricane forecasts for the Atlantic from NOAA, CSU and tropicalstormrisk.com (TSR) from 1999-2009 (May) and 1998-2009 (August), using the Mean Squared Error. Image credit: Verification of 12 years of NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts, National Hurricane Center.

2010 hurricane season forecasts from CSU and NOAA
NOAA's 2010 Atlantic hurricane season forecast, issued May 27, called for 18.5 named storms, 11 hurricanes, 5 major hurricanes, and an ACE index 210% of normal (using the mid-point of their range of numbers.) The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season forecast from Colorado State University (CSU) issued on June 2 called for 18 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes. So, the consensus forecast from NOAA, CSU, and TSR is 18 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes. The June forecast numbers from all three groups were the highest they've ever gone for in their history of issuing Atlantic hurricane season forecasts.

May SSTs in the tropical Atlantic set a new record
Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) in the Atlantic's Main Development Region for hurricanes had their warmest May on record, according to an analysis of historical SST data from the UK Hadley Center. SST data goes back to 1850, though there is much missing data before 1910 and during WWI and WWII. SSTs in the Main Development Region (10°N to 20°N and 20°W to 80°W) were a remarkable 1.51°C above average during May. This is the fourth straight record warm month, and the warmest anomaly measured for any month. The previous record warmest anomaly for the Atlantic MDR was 1.46°C, set last month. Third place goes to June 2005 and March 2010, with a 1.26°C anomaly. As I explained in detail in a post on record February SSTs in the Atlantic, the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and its close cousin, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), are largely to blame for the record SSTs, though global warming and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) also play a role. However, trade winds over the tropical Atlantic have increased to near-normal speeds over the past week, since the Bermuda-Azores High has strengthened to near-normal pressures. The Bermuda-Azores High and its associated trade winds are forecast to increase to above average strength during mid-June, according to the latest runs of the GFS model. This means that Atlantic SST anomalies have probably peaked for the year, and we can anticipate that the June SST anomaly in the MDR will not be as great as the May anomaly--and may even fall below the June record set in 2005.


Figure 2. The departure of sea surface temperature (SST) from average for June 10, 2010. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

Oil spill update
Light southeast or south winds of 5 - 15 knots will blow today through Tuesday, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. These winds will keep oil near the beaches of Alabama, Mississippi, and the extreme western Florida Panhandle, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. The latest ocean current forecasts from the NOAA HYCOM model are not predicting eastward-moving ocean currents along the Florida Panhandle coast this week, and it is unlikely that surface oil will affect areas of Florida east of Pensacola. Long range surface wind forecasts from the GFS model for the period 8 - 14 days from now show a southeasterly wind regime, which would prevent any further progress of the oil eastwards along the Florida Panhandle, and would tend to bring significant amounts of oil back to the shores of eastern Louisiana next week. If you spot oil, send in your report to http://www.gulfcoastspill.com/, whose mission is to help the Gulf Coast recovery by creating a daily record of the oil spill.


Figure 3. The oil spill as imaged on June 9, 2010, by NOAA's Terra satellite. The spill appears highly reflective in the sunglint portion of the image.

Oil spill resources
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
NOAA's fact sheet on Hurricanes and the Oil Spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
Oil trajectory forecasts from NOAA
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

I'll have a new post on Friday. The tropical Atlantic is quiet right now, with no models predicting tropical cyclone development over the next seven days.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
It may sound ridiculous to you, (I won't give an opinion on it) but why don't you wait to see if he's right before you put him on your ignore list? Because it seems to me that by putting someone that you said yourself sounds knowledgeable on your ignore list is arrogant.
That's not what he meant. It's just he's closing off the SW Caribbean for no development and it's evidently the area most conducive for development at the moment. He is using climatology, which seems wrong because when looking at current conditions climatology isn't something you look at.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


Trend has been since 2004 for storms to move further west. 80's & 90's in Florida were very quite except ANDREW.
That's not true if I may say so... I calculated the average tracks of all of the hurricanes in each season and the average trends back and forth between east and west on a five year cycle. The most recent furthest west year was 2007.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The only way that I could say that the eastern seaboard is at a higher risk of a land-falling hurricane, is the location of the A/B high. Simple as that. But It very much varies if there is some other component in the way of it as it makes it towards the eastern seaboard (trough, area of low pressure, etc...)

With the predominant -NAO I expect further west. If it begins to stay neutral or positive I feel the east coast faces more threats. Also, the atlantic tripole should help steer most things west as well as it reinforces the high.
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What to expect for the month of June
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Tropical Cyclone Phet before it mage landfall in Oman.

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Quoting SouthALWX:

see thats why I ignored you in the first place. arrogant. you seem like you are somewhat knowledgeable but your attitude leaves something to be desired
It may sound ridiculous to you, (I won't give an opinion on it) but why don't you wait to see if he's right before you put him on your ignore list? Because it seems to me that by putting someone that you said yourself sounds knowledgeable on your ignore list is arrogant.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


Nope I am willing to bet you anything that nothing will form in the SW Caribbean. Models Mid to late June shows these waves coming across the Greater Antilles and then across FL which is typical for late June. If nothing has formed in the SW Caribbean by now then odds are storms won't form there until October climatogy my friend you can't dispute that. Infact no model shows nothing in the SW Caribbean in the foreseeable future.

see thats why I ignored you in the first place. arrogant. you seem like you are somewhat knowledgeable but your attitude leaves something to be desired
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1442. SQUAWK
AMY!!!!
Member Since: Diciembre 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2498
Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Center fix is roughly at 65W, 38N, located south of Nova Scotia and well ESE of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Infrared image of swirl center not that great at this time with lack of convection, nice comma shaped convection to its east, but visible satellite image looks nice now.
It looks nice, but should not be recognized as anything that could possibly develop.
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NAO could briefly turn positive around June 15th and then go negative once more.

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Please notify me of the coordinates of that system. I can't seem to find it on satellite imagery.


Center fix is roughly at 65W, 38N, located south of Nova Scotia and well ESE of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Infrared image of swirl center not that great at this time with lack of convection, nice comma shaped convection to its east, but visible satellite image looks nice now.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


around 39N 63W
Got it. It's fully extra-tropical, and is showing no signs of making a transition to a warm core.
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Quoting jasoniscoolman09:
maybe a extratropical storm..wow.
It is fully extra-tropical and has no conditions available for a sub-tropical or tropical transition. No development of that is anticipated.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Please notify me of the coordinates of that system. I can't seem to find it on satellite imagery.


around 39N 63W
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:
Just checked SSTs. The surface low in post 1415 is heading SE on the back side of its parent upper trough, and has just begun to cross the cold/warm gradient of the Gulf stream in the NW Atlantic. What will be crucial over the next several hours is to see if its convection increases (warmer SSTs combined with cold core upper low increases chances for more atmospheric instability, we'll see when we cross stability threshold).
Please notify me of the coordinates of that system. I can't seem to find it on satellite imagery.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Just curious, I wonder how forecasters predict the mean position the B/A high in advance? Which climate oscillations affect it?
The NAO. If it is negative the A/B high is weak and the Icelandic low is stronger, resulting in the A/B high being further southwest than normal. And a positive phase of the NAO it's the other way around, with the A/B high being further northeast than normal.

Positive NAO = More fish systems (systems that curve out to sea)

Negative NAO = More land-falling systems.
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Just checked SSTs. The surface low in post 1415 is heading SE on the back side of its parent upper trough, and has just begun to cross the cold/warm gradient of the Gulf stream in the NW Atlantic. What will be crucial over the next several hours is to see if its convection increases (warmer SSTs combined with cold core upper low increases chances for more atmospheric instability, we'll see when we cross stability threshold).
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
That's horrible IKE! CNN said 6 when I looked earlier.


CNN.com has it up as "breaking news" now with 12 people.
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Quoting IKE:
12 dead in Arkansas flash floods


Wow, that's awful. People need weather radios.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I've always thought that trying to pin down the most likely places to be hit during a season is ridiculous, aside from using climatology. I pay attention to individual storms and their circumstances.

And I am glad the solo circumnavigating 16 year old sailor is apparently ok.
The only way that I could say that the eastern seaboard is at a higher risk of a land-falling hurricane, is the location of the A/B high. Simple as that. But It very much varies if there is some other component in the way of it as it makes it towards the eastern seaboard (trough, area of low pressure, etc...)
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yes. the location of the B/A high. It's forecasted to be at a location that not many Floridians may like.


Just curious, I wonder how forecasters predict the mean position the B/A high in advance? Which climate oscillations affect it?
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1426. NRAamy
SQUAWK!!!!
Member Since: Enero 24, 2007 Posts: 316 Comments: 31944
Quoting TampaSpin:


That wave will be stronger and will move north out of the ITCZ IMO.....have a good day.
The only way that it could separate itself from the ITCZ is if it develops an area of low pressure to the north and or separated from the ITCZ, I myself don't see that taking place.
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Quoting jasoniscoolman09:
wow...


I also noticed that low pressure spin too this morning! Idk yet, lets watch for persistence, maybe the NHC will start to notice this extratropical to posibly tropical transition. We can remember Vince 2005 and Grace 2009 that SSTs don't have to be 26 C+ for that process.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Is there reason to believe this year storm tracks will be up and down the east coast? (now that you mention it, the 1980s and 1990s also had other big east coast hurricanes, like Bob 1991, or Gloria 1985)
Yes. the location of the B/A high. It's forecasted to be at a location that not many Floridians may like.
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1421. IKE
12 dead in Arkansas flash floods
Member Since: Junio 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I doesn't seem like that wave will move NW as you are depicting on that graph. general westward motion is what is most likely to occur, as it is associated with the ITCZ.


That wave will be stronger and will move north out of the ITCZ IMO.....have a good day.
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
1387 Jeff9641 "I am glad to say that I am about to embark on my Turks & Caicos trip later today and won't be back until June 19th."

Enjoy the Cat.5... oh wait, that was CycloneOz.
Sorry for the mistake. We've canceled the storm and taken the charge off of your vacation billing.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


That wave at 35W is forecasted by the GFS to bring some muched needed soaking rain to Florida later this month.
Are you kidding me? How is a wave associated with the ITCZ going to make it all the way to Florida? Horrible job by the GFS there.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


Trend has been since 2004 for storms to move further west. 80's & 90's in Florida were very quite except ANDREW.


Is there reason to believe this year storm tracks will be up and down the east coast? (now that you mention it, the 1980s and 1990s also had other big east coast hurricanes, like Bob 1991, or Gloria 1985)
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Everyone have a good day.....BBL late tonite. No Fighting KIDS! I MEAN IT!...LOL
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
Quoting TampaSpin:
LOoks like we might have Alex coming from the wave at 35W

I doesn't seem like that wave will move NW as you are depicting on that graph. general westward motion is what is most likely to occur, as it is associated with the ITCZ.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
I also think that when people see how high the numbers are being predicted for this season, they assume the season should have already had a storm and that just isn't always the case.

We could have our 1st named storm in May and only end up with 9 storms

We may not have our 1st named until late July and end up with 18 storms.

There are examples of both, June has very little to do with the overall activity in a season.

that is so true. i find myself asking that question all the time. i know i am meteorologically wrong about this, but i do feel more at ease when the season doesn't start early. but there is one thing that makes me feel uneasy, and that's the amount of waves that have been coming off Africa. it has been a steady stream of them, and i personally feel its too early for that to be happening. i know they haven't been doing much of nothing, but they seem to be getting stronger and stronger. as the last aoi was a wave that traveled a long way, and i still feel may emerge again. but you are very right that a late starting season does cause people to be more at ease about the rest of the season.
Member Since: Septiembre 10, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1291
Quoting Jeff9641:


Nope I am willing to bet you anything that nothing will form in the SW Caribbean. Models Mid to late June shows these waves coming across the Greater Antilles and then across FL which is typical for late June. If nothing has formed in the SW Caribbean by now then odds are storms won't form there until October climatogy my friend you can't dispute that. Infact no model shows nothing in the SW Caribbean in the foreseeable future.
Climatology means nothing to me. There are very favorable conditions in the SW Caribbean and that's the only place that you have continuous showers and thunderstorms due to the passing tropical waves. And I will be willing to bet that waves will not begin to become dependent from the ITCZ. The Gulf of Honduras also seems like a place for tropical cyclogenesis to occur.
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LOoks like we might have Alex coming from the wave at 35W

Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
Off to work, Hope to good Dr is going to post an update :)



AOI

AOI

AOI

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TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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Responsible Companies Try Wriggling Out of Paying Oil Spill Costs
By: Scott Nance
June 7th, 2010 @ 9:35 pm

Its already starting... wait for it

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Quoting Jeff9641:


I think Florida and NC landfalls are likely July thru Sept. (Cape Verde storms). Then FL again come October from storms like Wilma and Opal.


It intersting, NC in the latter 1990s got pounded a lot (Bertha and Fran 1996, Bonnie 1998, Dennis and Floyd 1999). Then it has been really calm (at least inland in NC) concerning hurricanes ever since, except Isabel 2003.

FLWeatherFreak91 a couple of nights ago noted a pattern with the average of Atlantic storm tracks oscillating from west to east over 5 yrs, then restting to the west again. I wonder if there is a pattern that can explain the frequency of hurricanes in NC, and how can we really know this early in the season who will get what?
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Quoting Jeff9641:


I think Florida and NC landfalls are likely July thru Sept. (Cape Verde storms). Then FL again come October from storms like Wilma and Opal.
I think I could agree. Depending on the location of the A/B high and other components, if a system were to border the periphery of the A/B high it would affect somewhere along the eastern seaboard. I couldn't narrow it down to a state but the further south the more likely it is for a land-falling hurricane.
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El Nino isn't here.. its been long gone sleetman. Its been gone since early May as a matter of fact. We're borderline La Nina right now.
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NOTHING THRU THE WEEKEND OF CONCERN! ALEX COMING!
Dated 6-10-10 10:20am
Member Since: Septiembre 2, 2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
Quoting calder:


Yup, the downcasters/wishcasters just need to be ignored! All they want is the attention.. Im gonna end up having 100 ignorees (if that's the right terminology!)
That isn't smart because when the active season comes all you will see is a blog with your own posts. And I don't see the "wishcaster" you are referring to.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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