The future of intense winter storms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:43 PM GMT on March 03, 2010

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When Winter Storm Xynthia powered ashore over Europe last weekend, it brought hurricane-force wind gusts, flooding rains, and a 1-meter storm surge topped by 8-meter high battering waves that overwhelmed sea walls in France, killing scores of people. Today, AIR Worldwide estimated the insured damage from the storm at $1.5 - $3 billion. Intense extratropical cyclones like Xynthia, with central pressures below 970 mb, make up less than 20% of all wintertime cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere, but cause the vast majority of the devastation and loss of life. The ten deadliest winter storms to hit Europe over the past 60 years all had minimum pressures lower than 970 mb. The situation is similar for North America, though the storms generally do not get as intense as their European counterparts (the four major Nor'easters this winter have had central pressures of 968, 969, 978, and 972 mb). It is important, then, to ask if these strongest of the strong storms are changing in frequency, and whether a future warmer world will have more or less of these storms.


Figure 1. Winter Storm Xynthia, as captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite. Image was acquired in two separate overpasses on February 27, 2010. MODIS captured the eastern half of the image around 10:50 UTC, and the western half about 12:30 UTC. Forming a giant comma shape, clouds stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to northern Italy. Xynthia peaked in intensity at 18 UTC February 27, with a central pressure of 966 mb. Image credit: NASA.

Have intense Northern Hemisphere winter storms increased in number?
Most of the material for this post comes from three sources: the 2007 IPCC report, a 2009 review titled, Extra-tropical cyclones in the present and future climate: a review, and Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate, a 2009 report from the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). An increasing number of intense winter storms in some regions of the Northern Hemisphere over the last few decades of the 20th century was a common theme of many of the studies reviewed. However, the studies used different measures as to what constitutes an "intense" storm, and have some disagreement on which areas of the globe are seeing more intense storms. A 1996 study by Canadian researcher Steven Lambert (Figure 3) found a marked increase in intense wintertime cyclones (central pressure less than 970 mb) in the latter part of the 20th century. Most of this increase occurred in the Pacific Ocean. Other studies (Geng and Sugi, 2001, and Paciorek et al., 2002) found an increase in intense winter storms over both the North Atlantic and North Pacific in the latter part of the 20th century. Benestad and Chen(2006) found an increase in the number of intense storms over the Nordic countries over the period 1955-1994, but no trend in the western parts of the North Atlantic. Gulev et al. (2001) found a small increase in the number of intense North Pacific storms (core pressure below 980 mb), a large increase in the Arctic, but a small decrease in the Atlantic. McCabe et al. 2001 found an increase at both mid-latitudes and high latitudes, particularly in the Arctic. Hirsch et al. (2001) found that the number of intense Nor'easters along the U.S. East Coast (storms with winds > 52 mph) stayed roughly constant at three storms per year over the period 1951 - 1997. Over the period 1900 to 1990, the number of strong cyclones (less than 992 mb) in November and December more than doubled over the Great Lakes of North America (Angel and Isard, 1998). With regards to Europe, Lionello et al. conclude, "the bulk of evidence from recent studies mostly supports, or at least does not contradict, the finding of an attenuation of cyclones over the Mediterranean and an intensification over Northern Europe during the second part of the twentieth century".


Figure 2. Trends in strong extratropical cyclones with central pressures less than 980 mb, for the period 1989 - 2009, as estimated using thirteen different methods, M02 - M22, defined in Neu et al., 2012. The error-bars represent the 95% confidence range of the trend estimate. A trend is significant at 5% level if the error-bar does not include zero. Four of the thirteen methods showed a slightly significant downward trend in both summertime and wintertime Northern Hemisphere strong extratropical cyclones during the period. None of the methods showed a statistically significant trend in Southern Hemisphere strong extratropical cyclones during either summer or winter. Image credit: U. Neu, M.G. Akperov, N. Bellenbaum, R. Benestad, R. Blender, R. Caballero, A. Cocozza, H.F. Dacre, Y. Feng, K. Fraedrich, J. Grieger, S. Gulev, J. Hanley, T. Hewson, M. Inatsu, K. Keay, S.F. Kew, I. Kindem, G.C. Leckebusch, M.L.R. Liberato, P. Lionello, I.I. Mokhov, J.G. Pinto, C.C. Raible, M. Reale, I. Rudeva, M. Schuster, I. Simmonds, M. Sinclair, M. Sprenger, N.D. Tilinina, I.F. Trigo, S. Ulbrich, U. Ulbrich, X.L. Wang, and H. Wernli, "IMILAST – a community effort to intercompare extratropical cyclone detection and tracking algorithms: assessing method-related uncertainties", Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, pp. 120919072158001, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00154.1

In summary, the best science we have shows that there has not been a statistically significant increase in the number of intense wintertime extratropical storms globally in the past two decades, but there has been and increase in the North Pacific and Arctic. Increased wave heights have been observed along the coasts of Oregon and Washington during this period, adding confidence to the finding of increased intense storm activity. The evidence for an observed increase in intense wintertime cyclones in the North Atlantic is uncertain. In particular, intense Nor'easters affecting the Northeast U.S. showed no increase in number over the latter part of the 20th century. This analysis is supported by the fact that wintertime wave heights recorded since the mid-1970s by the three buoys along the central U.S. Atlantic coast have shown little change (Komar and Allan, 2007a,b, 2008). However, even though Nor'easters have not been getting stronger, they have been dropping more precipitation, in the form of both rain and snow. Wintertime top 5% heavy precipitation events (both rain and snow) have increased over the Northeast U.S. in recent decades (Groisman et al., 2004), so Nor'easters have been more of a threat to cause flooding problems and heavy snow events. In all portions of the globe, tracks of extratropical storms have shifted poleward in recent decades, in accordance with global warming theory. Note that the historical data base for strong winter storms is in better shape than the data base we are using to try to detect long-term changes in hurricanes. The Ulbrich et al. (2009) review article states:

The IPCC AR4 (cf. Trenberth et al. 2007, p. 312) states that the detection of long-term changes in cyclone measures is hampered by incomplete and changing observing systems. Recent studies found, however, a general reliability of results for cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere. There are no sudden shifts in intensities that would indicate inhomogeneities, and also a comparison with cyclone activity estimated from regional surface and radiosonde data (Wang et al. 2006b; Harnik and Chang 2003) confirmed the general reliability of the data".

However, the data is not as good in the Southern Hemisphere, so the finding that intense winter storms are also increasing in that hemisphere must be viewed with caution.


Figure 3. Number of intense winter cyclones with central pressure less than 970 mb in the Northern Hemisphere, North Pacific, and North Atlantic between 1899 - 1991. Image credit: Lambert, S.J., 1996: Intense extratropical Northern Hemisphere winter cyclone events: 1899-1991. J. Geophys. Res., 101D, 2131921325.

Intense winter storms may increase in number
General Circulation Models (GCMs) like the ones used in the 2007 IPCC Assessment Report do a very good job simulating how winter storms behave in the current climate, and we can run simulations of the atmosphere with extra greenhouse gases to see how winter storms will behave in the future. The results are very interesting. Global warming is expected to warm the poles more than the equatorial regions. This reduces the difference in temperature between the pole and Equator. Since winter storms form in response to the atmosphere's need to transport heat from the Equator to the poles, this reduced temperature difference reduces the need for winter storms, and thus the models predict fewer storms will form. However, since a warmer world increases the amount of evaporation from the surface and puts more moisture in the air, these future storms drop more precipitation. During the process of creating that precipitation, the water vapor in the storm must condense into liquid or frozen water, liberating "latent heat"--the extra heat that was originally added to the water vapor to evaporate it in the first place. This latent heat intensifies the winter storm, lowering the central pressure and making the winds increase. So, the modeling studies predict a future with fewer total winter storms, but a greater number of intense storms. These intense storms will have more lift, and will thus tend to drop more precipitation--including snow, when we get areas of strong lift in the -15°C preferred snowflake formation region. For completeness' sake, some of the studies that show more intense winter cyclones in a warmer world are Lambert (1995), Boer et al. (1992), Dai et al. (2001), Geng and Sugi (2003), Fyfe (2003), Lambert (2004), Leckebusch and Ulbrich (2004), Lambert and Fyfe (2006), Pinto et al. (2007), and Lionello et al. (2008). A review article be Ulbrich et al. provides a nice summary. However, two studies--Pinto et al. (2007) and Bengtsson et al. 2006--suggest that the more intense winter cyclones will affect only certain preferred regions, namely northwestern Europe and Alaska's Aleutian Islands. At least three other studies also find that northwestern Europe--including the British Isles, the Netherlands, northern France, northern Germany, Denmark and Norway--can expect a significant increase in intense wintertime cyclones in a future warmer world (Lionello et al., 2008; Leckebusch and Ulbrich 2004; and Leckebusch et al., 2006). None of these studies showed a significant increase in the number of intense Nor'easters affecting the Northeast U.S. One interesting new study (O'Gorman, 2010) found that wintertime extratropical cyclones in the northern hemisphere would increase in intensity by 2100 primarily because the surface would heat up more than the upper air, making the atmosphere more unstable. In summer, the models predict a decrease in extratropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, these storms were predicted in increase in intensity year-round. The models studied were the 2007 IPCC suite of climate models.

What the IPCC models say
The Lambert and Fyfe (2006) study, titled, "Changes in winter cyclone frequencies and strengths simulated in enhanced greenhouse warming experiments: results from the models participating in the IPCC diagnostic exercise", looked at thirteen models used to formulate the 2007 IPCC Climate Change report. Of these models, eleven simulated an increase in the number and intensity of the most intense cyclones (<970 mb pressure) in the climate expected by 2100. Two of the models did not, so it is fair to say that there is some uncertainty in these results. Nevertheless, the model results are compelling enough that the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), a scientific advisory board created by the President and Congress, concluded this in their 2009 U.S. Climate Impacts Report: "Cold-season storm tracks are shifting northward and the strongest storms are likely to become stronger and more frequent". The USGRP concluded that an increase of between four and twelve intense wintertime extratropical storms per year could be expected over the Northern Hemisphere by 2100, depending upon the amount of greenhouse gases put into the air (Figure 3). If we assume that the current climate is producing the same number of intense winter storms as it did over the period 1961-2000--about 53--this represents an increase of between 8% and 23% in intense wintertime extratropical storms.


Figure 4. The projected change in intense wintertime extratropical storms with central pressures < 970 mb for the Northern Hemisphere under various emission scenarios. Storms counted occur poleward of 30°N during the 120-day season beginning November 15. A future with relatively low emissions of greenhouse gases (B1 scenario, blue line) is expected to result in an additional four intense extratropical storms per year, while up to twelve additional intense storms per year can be expected in a future with high emissions (red and black lines). Humanity is currently on a high emissions track. Figure was adapted from Lambert and Fyfe (2006), and was taken from Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate, a 2009 report from the the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The USGRP began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990, which called for "a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change".

Conclusion
The best science we have suggests that there has not been an increase in intense wintertime extratropical cyclones globally in recent decades, though there has been an increase in the Pacific and Arctic. Research by Barredo (2010) suggests that Europe has not yet seen a significant increase in damaging winter storms, since normalized damages from severe winter storms did not increase between 1970 - 2008. The 2013 IPCC report sums it up this way:

"Confidence in large scale changes in the intensity of extreme extratropical cyclones since 1900 is low. There is also low confidence for a clear trend in storminess proxies over the last century due to inconsistencies between studies or lack of long-term data in some parts of the world (particularly in the SH). Likewise, confidence in trends in extreme winds is low, due to quality and consistency issues with analyzed data."

The report says that extratropical cyclones are expected to shift poleward in a warming climate, but does not have any conclusions on how the most intense storms may change, other than to dump more precipitation.

References
Auer, A.H. Jr. and J.M. White, 1982: The Combined Role of Kinematics, Thermodynamics, and Cloud Physics Associated with Heavy Snowfall Episodes. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 60, pp 500-507.

Barredo, J.I., 2010, "No upward trend in normalised windstorm losses in Europe: 1970–2008," Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 97-104, 2010, doi:10.5194/nhess-10-97-2010

Bengtsson L, Hodges KI, Roeckner E (2006): Storm tracks and climate change. J Clim 19:35183543

Boer GJ, McFarlane NA, Lazare M (1992) Greenhouse gas-induced climate change simulated with the CCC second generation general circulation model. J Climate 5:10451077

Dai, A., et al., 2001b: Climates of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries simulated by the NCAR Climate System Model. J. Clim., 14, 485519.

Feser et al., 2014, Storminess over the North Atlantic and Northwestern Europe - A Review, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, DOI: 10.1002/qj.2364.

Fyfe, J.C., 2003: Extratropical southern hemisphere cyclones: Harbingers of climate change? J. Clim., 16, 28022805.

Geng, Q.Z., and M. Sugi, 2003: Possible change of extratropical cyclone activity due to enhanced greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosols - Study with a high-resolution AGCM. J. Clim., 16, 22622274.

Groisman, P.Y., R.W. Knight, T.R. Karl, D.R. Easterling, B. Sun, and J.H. Lawrimore, 2004, "Contemporary Changes of the Hydrological Cycle over the Contiguous United States: Trends Derived from In Situ Observations," J. Hydrometeor., 5, 64-85.

Komar, P.D. and J.C. Allan, 2007a: Higher waves along U.S. east coast linked to hurricanes. EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 88, 301.

Komar, P.D. and J.C. Allan, 2007b: A note on the depiction and analysis of wave-height histograms. Shore & Beach, 75(4), 1- 5.

Komar, P.D. and J.C. Allan, 2008: Increasing hurricane-generated wave heights along the U.S. East coast and their climate controls. Journal of Coastal Research, 24(2), 479-488.

Lambert, S.J., 1995: The effect of enhanced greenhouse warming on winter cyclone frequencies and strengths, J Climate 8:1447-1452

Lambert, S.J., 1996: Intense extratropical Northern Hemisphere winter cyclone events: 1899-1991. J. Geophys. Res., 101D, 2131921325.

Lambert S.J., 2004: Changes in winter cyclone frequencies and strengths in transient enhanced greenhouse warming simulations using two coupled climate models. Atmos Ocean 42:173 181

Lambert, S.J., and J.C. Fyfe, 2006: Changes in winter cyclone frequencies and strengths simulated in enhanced greenhouse warming experiments: results from the models participating in the IPCC diagnostic exercise. Clim. Dyn., 26, 713728.

Leckebusch, G.C., and U. Ulbrich, 2004: On the relationship between cyclones and extreme windstorm events over Europe under climate change. Global Planet. Change, 44, 181193.

Lionello P, Boldrin U, Giorgi F (2008) Future changes in cyclone climatology over Europe as inferred from a regional climate simulation. Clim Dyn 30:657671

Neu, U., M.G. Akperov, N. Bellenbaum, R. Benestad, R. Blender, R. Caballero, A. Cocozza, H.F. Dacre, Y. Feng, K. Fraedrich, J. Grieger, S. Gulev, J. Hanley, T. Hewson, M. Inatsu, K. Keay, S.F. Kew, I. Kindem, G.C. Leckebusch, M.L.R. Liberato, P. Lionello, I.I. Mokhov, J.G. Pinto, C.C. Raible, M. Reale, I. Rudeva, M. Schuster, I. Simmonds, M. Sinclair, M. Sprenger, N.D. Tilinina, I.F. Trigo, S. Ulbrich, U. Ulbrich, X.L. Wang, and H. Wernli, "IMILAST – a community effort to intercompare extratropical cyclone detection and tracking algorithms: assessing method-related uncertainties", Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, pp. 120919072158001, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00154.1

O'Gorman, P.A., 2010, Understanding the varied response of the extratropical storm tracks to climate change, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1011547107

Pinto JG, Ulbrich U, Leckebusch GC, Spangehl T, Reyers M, Zacharias S (2007c) Changes in storm track and cyclone activity in three SRES ensemble experiments with the ECHAM5/MPIOM1 GCM. Clim Dyn 29:195210

Ulbrich, U., Leckebusch, G.C. and J.G. Pinto (2009), Extra-tropical cyclones in the present and future climate: a review, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Volume 96, Numbers 1-2 / April, 2009 DOI 10.1007/s00704-008-0083-8

Related posts
Heavy snowfall in a warming world

A rare Deep South snow event breaks Dallas' all-time snowfall record, where I point out that more heavy snowstorms occur in warmer-than-average years.

Jeff Masters

Xynthia - High seas in Carcavelos (Portugal) (rozzopt)
High seas an waves from storm Synthia, with storm-surge taking over the entire beach, and "attacking" bars usually 30meters away from the sea.
Xynthia - High seas in Carcavelos (Portugal)

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Quoting TampaSpin:
Hey Taco.....LOL


While I'm ROFLMAO at you Tampa

Hey

I just could not go with out saying that again.... Yall were so funny last nite....
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TampaSpin -- how's the collection for StormW to go to the Conference going? Please excuse me if this was already asked/answered. Good evening & morning all.

Just a little suggestion, maybe you could put the link and the paragraph explaining about the collection on your WU blog as well as your other blog? (BTW, I re-posted your info and link on my WU blog, ok?)
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Hey Taco.....LOL
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Quoting taco2me61:
BOOM

For this years Hurricane season


Good Evening Everybody and Morning to you Aussie

Taco :0)


BOOM da de BOOM BOOM BOOM!!!
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BOOM

For this years Hurricane season


Good Evening Everybody and Morning to you Aussie

Taco :0)
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Quoting Levi32:


That can be true, but a strong A/B High also greatly inhibits development of tropical waves due to strong trade winds. It's not just the strength of the high that matters, but the position of the high. Remember 2004 had a predominantly negative NAO during the height of the season, when Hurricane Ivan took a long track through the Caribbean, and also when Hurricane Jeanne was blocked off the SE U.S. coast and took a loop into Florida.

A hurricane can't just plough through the Bermuda High even if it's weak. There are pros and cons to both a negative and positive NAO, but overall the negative NAO is statistically shown to be the most dangerous for the United States, and also produces more active hurricane seasons.


Awe you are so correct. The big thing that i always watch for is the Strenght of to Azores High and how it attaches to the Bermuda High. If they combine so strong as a combination together without getting to strong as you said Levi without allowing the troughs to develop in the middle then LOOK OUT! I always look at the 2 combined as making one large high in the Atlantic..
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
what do you guys think about my numbers


Could happen....I'm waiting to see what happens during May before I decide whether to change mine or not.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
what do you guys think about my numbers
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Yes it would with a lot more troughs hopefully keeping things out to sea. More troughs mean more shear also with less development. A strong A/B High would steer storms more toward the ConUS ! We will have to see?


That can be true, but a strong A/B High also greatly inhibits development of tropical waves due to strong trade winds. It's not just the strength of the high that matters, but the position of the high. Remember 2004 had a predominantly negative NAO during the height of the season, when Hurricane Ivan took a long track through the Caribbean, and also when Hurricane Jeanne was blocked off the SE U.S. coast and took a loop into Florida.

A hurricane can't just plough through the Bermuda High even if it's weak. There are pros and cons to both a negative and positive NAO, but overall the negative NAO is statistically shown to be the most dangerous for the United States, and also produces more active hurricane seasons.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
Quoting Skyepony:
Levi may of got the point but pipelines certainly didn't. Not only has the stratosphere been predicted to cool it has. Haven't seen a month where the stratosphere wasn't top ten coolest in a while. Most months in top 4, Jan was 9th & 7th. We just had the warmest at the surface..I'd bet we will see coldest of one or both of the two stratosphere measurement within 3 months.. The greater instability is in place & getting slowly worse. Occasionally large volcano eruptions cause the stratosphere to warm alot but that lasts for two years. Many times it runs colder than surface is warmer, that difference is said to be in large part a lack of ozone. That's not IPCC there that's NOAA.


I never mentioned the stratosphere, I was talking about the troposphere. Since the topic was precipitation, that made the troposphere temperature pertinent, not the stratosphere. Thank you for posting that link though as it supports my point.
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Quoting troy1993:
And I have another interesting about Hurricanes Bonnie and Fran question for Levi323..why even though Bonnie and Fran hit the Wrightsville Beach at identical strengths(110 and 115 mph) Fran caused more damage than Bonnie?


Well there is a key difference there. Fran was holding its strength up until landfall, but Bonnie was in the process of beginning to rapidly weaken. The tracking map shows Bonnie was downgrade to a Cat 2 just before landfall. Now there's a rule of thumb that says when a hurricane is intensifying as it comes ashore, expect conditions typical of one category higher, but if the storm is weakening as it makes landfall, widespread conditions similar to a category lower are expected.

This rule is only a general saying, but it does illustrate the tendencies of landfalling storms. Intensifying storms at landfall are far far worse than weakening ones. This is mostly because strengthening hurricanes are tightening at the core as their central pressures lower and winds wind up at the center. Weakening storms have a rising central pressure and generally start spreading out, greatly loosening the pressure gradient around the storm. This usually results in lower winds than you might expect with a storm of a certain category.

Weakening hurricanes are not to be taken lightly though. They typically effect a much larger area, and can still be very dangerous no matter what their category, so always do what's necessary to avoid disaster.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
Quoting weatherbro:
Wouldn't a weaker A/B High be forced eastward?


Yes it would with a lot more troughs hopefully keeping things out to sea. More troughs mean more shear also with less development. A strong A/B High would steer storms more toward the ConUS ! We will have to see?
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Quoting weatherbro:
Wouldn't a weaker A/B High be forced eastward?


The Azores High is, but the Bermuda High is not. In a negative NAO, the A/B high tends to be more split into their separate entities, Azores high to the east and Bermuda High to the west, generally with a trough in the central Atlantic trying to jam itself in between the two. In this situation the Bermuda High is generally located farther west near the SE U.S. coast, which is why negative NAO years have more hurricane landfalls on the U.S. east coast than during years with a positive NAO.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
Xynthia Scores Goal ! ! !

Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6195
Quoting troy1993:
Levi 32..Yeah I have a bad feeling about this hurricane season too..So does that mean that since the heat will be focused over deep tropics we could see long Cape-Verde systems like Fran or Ivan?


Unfortunately yes. If we continue in this pattern of a weak Azores/Bermuda High, trade winds will remain weak and not disrupt tropical waves trying to develop. Sahel rainfall over western Africa is forecasted to be normal to above normal, which would result in less dry air coming off Africa, which is also good for tropical waves. I do think we will see a healthy Cape Verde season, but the steering pattern will determine if any long-track storms can make it all the way across to the United States.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
And I have another interesting about Hurricanes Bonnie and Fran question for Levi323..why even though Bonnie and Fran hit the Wrightsville Beach at identical strengths(110 and 115 mph) Fran caused more damage than Bonnie?
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Wouldn't a weaker A/B High be forced eastward?
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Levi 32..Yeah I have a bad feeling about this hurricane season too..So does that mean that since the heat will be focused over deep tropics we could see long Cape-Verde systems like Fran or Ivan?
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Look at the wave hight (meter) in the Mediterranean, where the accident has happenend. Higher waves right now only in the Aleutians.
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Hey guys I'm thinking this season maybe 18 named storms 8 hurricanes and 5 majors
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Quoting troy1993:
So Levi 32..do you still think the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season will be more active than 2009 and is it possible that this upcoming hurricane season might be one of the most active hurricane seasons we have seen since 2004/2005 given the early indications?


Yes definitely. There are things I want to watch during May before deciding whether to up my numbers, but so far the trends don't look good. SSTs are shaping up in a way that will allow heat to be focused over the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean, which favors a season high in numbers. The steering pattern also looks bad for the United States and the Caribbean, but we will know more about that in May.

Back in post #112 on page 3 I posted the new CFS forecast and detailed some of these things that are shaping up. This was similar to what I discussed in my hurricane outlook on my blog several days ago.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
S-E braces for cooler autumn temperatures


A cooler than average autumn is coming to the New South Wales South East due to atmospheric changes in the Pacific.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the end of the El Nino cycle will bring below average temperatures, but it's unclear whether this will result in more rain on the far south coast and Monaro.

The Bureau says heavy rain in the region broke monthly rainfall records in February, particularly at Bega and Batemans Bay.

Climatologist Quentin Rakich says a number of factors led to the downpours.

On the back of El Nino events we often get large rainfall events across Eastern Australia as the events decay," he said.

"That's not always the case but we have seen that quite a few times.

"The other important aspect of this particular summer was the passage of two tropical cyclones as they decayed and then moved right through Central Australia."



- ABC
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Quoting msgambler:
Evening Levi, Patrap. Morning Aussie

Good Morning
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So Levi 32..do you still think the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season will be more active than 2009 and is it possible that this upcoming hurricane season might be one of the most active hurricane seasons we have seen since 2004/2005 given the early indications?
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Quoting tornadodude:


Charles Barkley?


Who's that lol?
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
Quoting Levi32:


Good evening Gambler.


Charles Barkley?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8425
NOAA Hurricane Specialist Awarded Bronze Star

Capt. Stacy Stewart, a NOAA hurricane specialist and U.S. Navy reservist, has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

According to Department of Defense, the Bronze Star is awarded to those who, while serving in or with the U.S. military, distinguished themselves “through heroic or meritorious achievement while engaged in action against an enemy of the United States.”
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Quoting msgambler:
Evening Levi, Patrap. Morning Aussie


Good evening Gambler.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
Evening Levi, Patrap. Morning Aussie
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Quoting Levi32:


Lol...I'm not a master of this part of science, I'm only using my brain here. Having 11 different satellites monitoring the same thing should provide a lot more insight than only 2 different surface data sets. I wouldn't necessarily average the 11 up and call it good....but looking at them together (which I'd like to see a graph of) should be quite informative.


It's like the GFS.....by itself the operational model fails a lot, but all the ensembles averaged together perform much better. It wouldn't necessarily be the best approach to satellite temperature data but the principle is the same. Having more information is always better.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
Quoting bappit:
Do some work and look up the Dr.'s blog. It was this year.


Now that I know what month it's in I will look for it. I wasn't about to go sifting through 100s of entries.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
Quoting bappit:
#176

"And yeah....if we have 11 satellites then woohoo!! Averaging them up should be awesome. We don't have 11 different surface sets to compare"

Put that down as an answer on a test paper when you get to school. It will show your mastery of the subject.


Lol...I'm not a master of this part of science, I'm only using my brain here. Having 11 different satellites monitoring the same thing should provide a lot more insight than only 2 different surface data sets. I wouldn't necessarily average the 11 up and call it good....but looking at them together (which I'd like to see a graph of) should be quite informative.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
Do some work and look up the Dr.'s blog. It was this year.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6195
#176

"And yeah....if we have 11 satellites then woohoo!! Averaging them up should be awesome. We don't have 11 different surface sets to compare"

Put that down as an answer on a test paper when you get to school. It will show your mastery of the subject.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6195
Quoting bappit:
#162

"You'll have to get more specific than that I don't readily see anything about satellite measurements being more inaccurate than surface obs."

Read the Dr.'s blog more carefully this time and follow the links to the papers he cites.


I was talking about the Wiki article and he didn't give me the link to the Dr.'s blog, he only quoted it.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
#162

"You'll have to get more specific than that I don't readily see anything about satellite measurements being more inaccurate than surface obs."

Read the Dr.'s blog more carefully this time and follow the links to the papers he cites.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6195
#180

"Monitoring the entire atmosphere is the only way to accurately look at things."

Set up a straw man and knock it down. Well argumented.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6195
Quoting bappit:
#153

"Satellites are clearly better so those are the records that should be looked at and trusted."

That seems a bit glib. The Dr. had a blog not too long ago that noted satellite data must be manipulated to account for inconsistent instruments over time.


As opposed to our very consistent ground thermometers? LOL.

They have to adjust our surface readings too all the time. And in some cases they don't adjust them at all which is worse.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
#155 (corrected)

"Satellites are clearly better so those are the records that should be looked at and trusted."

That seems a bit glib. The Dr. had a blog not too long ago that noted satellite data must be manipulated to account for inconsistent instruments over time.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6195
Quoting Birthmark:


No, not for climatological purposes. They're only trying to measure the difference in temperature, not the temperature itself. Over time, any non-climatological differences will even out. So covering every point of the Earth's surface won't make any real difference.





Well I have to disagree, and any errors in the surface thermometers only get worse over time, they don't necessarily stay constant. You say they make estimates to correct those errors but then we're left with an estimate just like the satellites lol.

Also again our tiny hair-thin sliver of the atmosphere from the ground to 5 meters up is a terrible way to monitor global changes when we have the capability to look at the entire atmosphere as a whole.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
Link

calling all kids and kids at heart

the english version is easier to understand lol

sorry had to post love the messages his movies portray.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting misanthrope:


"Anyway I don't think any of us know enough to debate the fine details of the science involved in measuring temperature by satellite, so it's just opinion right now."



Yeah but I can still bring up the common sense problems with using a highly incomplete data set for one teeny fraction of the earth's atmosphere to model global temperature change.

That's what the world needs a whole lot more of nowadays in almost every area.....common sense.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
Quoting Birthmark:


UHI is not a problem, as reflected in the peer-reviewed data. Scientists are not fools --not even climate scientists. They are well aware of the UHI and can eliminate it.

It's true, that our network of surface obs is also far from complete, but what difference does that make? Complete knowledge is not going to be attainable, nor is there any reason to believe it will be helpful.


You don't think it makes a difference that our surface network only covers a fraction of the world's surface area and satellites cover all of it? Plus the entire atmospheric column? Our ocean system is even worse than the land, and that also warps the data set when you don't have a complete picture of the ocean. Guess what the most widely-used and accepted dataset of ocean temperatures is? Satellites!! Nearly every SST map you see posted in here is from satellite data.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
1) "The satellite temperatures show large global increases when there is an El Nio event. While the surface also experiences an upward spike in temperatures during an El Nio, it is much less pronounced than the atmospheric heating that occurs. Since we live at the surface, those temperatures are more relevant."

I really think that's a bad statement by Dr. Masters. We may only feel the surface temperature but to say that that tiny fraction of the atmosphere is the only thing that matters in measuring global temperature change is wrong. Monitoring the entire atmosphere is the only way to accurately look at things. Satellites are the only tools we have that allow us to do that.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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