Record Atlantic SSTs continue in the hurricane Main Development Region

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:03 PM GMT on May 15, 2010

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Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) in the Atlantic's Main Development Region for hurricanes had their warmest April 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. The area between 10°N and 20°N, between the coast of Africa and Central America (20°W - 80°W), is called the Main Development Region (MDR) 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.) SSTs in the Main Development Region (10°N to 20°N and 20°W to 85°W) were an eye-opening 1.46°C above average during April. This is the third straight record warm month, and the warmest anomaly measured for any month--by a remarkable 0.2°C. The previous record warmest anomalies for the Atlantic MDR were set in June 2005 and March 2010, at 1.26°C.


Figure 1. The departure of sea surface temperature (SST) from average for May 13, 2010. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

What is responsible for the high SSTs?
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. The AO and NAO are climate patterns in the North Atlantic Ocean related to fluctuations in the difference of sea-level pressure between the Icelandic Low and the Azores-Bermuda High. If the difference in sea-level pressure between Iceland and the Azores is small (negative NAO), this creates a weak Azores-Bermuda High, which reduces the trade winds circulating around the High. During December - February, we had the most negative AO/NAO since records began in 1950, and this caused trade winds between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands in the hurricane Main Development Region to slow to 1 - 2 m/s (2.2 - 4.5 mph) below average. Slower trade winds mean less mixing of the surface waters with cooler waters down deep, plus less evaporational cooling of the surface water. As a result, the ocean heated up significantly, relative to normal, over the winter. Negative AO/NAO conditions have been dominant much of this spring as well, resulting in further anomalous heating of the MDR waters. This heating is superimposed on the very warm global SSTs we've been seeing over the past few decades due to global warming. Global and Northern Hemisphere SSTs were the 2nd warmest on record this past December, January, and February, the warmest on record in March, and will likely be classified as the warmest or second warmest on record for April, since NASA just classified April as the warmest April on record for the globe. We are also in the warm phase of a decades-long natural oscillation in Atlantic ocean temperatures called the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO). This warm phase began in 1995, and has been partially responsible for the high levels of hurricane activity we've seen since 1995.

What does this imply for the coming hurricane season?
The high April SST anomaly does not bode well for the coming hurricane season. The three past seasons with record warm April SST anomalies all had abnormally high numbers of intense hurricanes. Past hurricane seasons that had high March SST anomalies include 1969 (0.90°C anomaly), 2005 (1.19°C anomaly), and 1958 (0.97°C anomaly). These three years had 5, 7, and 5 intense hurricanes, respectively. Just two intense hurricanes occur in an average year. The total averaged activity for the three seasons was 15 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and 6 intense hurricanes (an average hurricane season has 10, 6, and 2.) Both 1958 and 2005 saw neutral El Niño conditions, while 1969 had a weak El Niño.

The SSTs are already as warm as we normally see in July between Africa and the Caribbean, and we have a very July-like tropical wave approaching the Lesser Antilles Islands this weekend. However, wind shear is still seasonably high, and the tropical waves coming off of Africa are still too far south to have much of a chance of developing. The GFS model is indicating that shear will start to drop over the Caribbean the last week of May, so we may have to be on the watch for tropical storms forming in the Caribbean then.

For those of you interested in a more detailed look at the early season tropical weather outlook, consult the excellent wunderblogs of StormW and Weather456. I'll be back with a new post on Monday.

Jeff Masters

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Saw that LIVE last night in Bed..Laugh for 10 minutes after I bet.
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Junk shot... Dolphins with mops... The Schweppes offensive... The oil whisperer... Aquaman... Blame the French.. Duct tape... The Backup plan...

Saturday Night Live
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Quoting AussieStorm:

We need more than just luck now. 8-3
YUP!!
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Quoting pottery:

Barbados looks clear. Forecast is for occasional scattered showers.
Good Luck Aussie!

We need more than just luck now. 8-3
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After reading the blog entries, some info on Seasonal Forecasting. You can track the various season forecasts from the WMO Tropical Cyclone Seasonal Forecasts page. The schedule:



From EXPERT MEETING to EVALUATE SKILL of TROPICAL CYCLONE SEASONAL FORECASTS


Groups that issue seasonal forecasts



From Seasonal tropical cyclone forecasts
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Quoting Patrap:
KOTG,,they have these things called "Periods"..for ending a sentence.


You should google it.

LOL, that was a long sentence but a very informative one.
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One should use the Official Unified Command Center website for the Oil Spill.

ALL the INFO is there en masse.

www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com


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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127877
Quoting Patrap:
Morn' irg..

..Java is brewing..Check out # 10 here..LOL

Letterman's Suggestions For Ways BP Can Improve Image (VIDEO)


number one... get busy!!!
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2536
Quoting Patrap:
KOTG,,they have these things called "Periods"..for ending a sentence.


You should google it.

don't go all teckno on me now pat
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
we can use 05 as a reference but to say 2010 is going to be greater than 05 just can not be stated for 2005 was a hyper season do i think 2010 will be active yes do i think it will out rank 05 maybe but its hard to forecast an all time record so all i can say is wait watch see and the best advice i can give anyone is be prepare have a plan and a backup plan hopefully the most we will see is 20 systems i figure that will be more than enough for everyone
Well said. 2005 can only be used as a reference, not an analog. We might rank in the top 5 most active seasons but the fact of the matter is you can't compare to 2005.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21162
KOTG,,they have these things called "Periods"..for ending a sentence.


You should google it.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127877
Quoting stormhank:
Hey Miami Hurricane,,,do you have the link for that global satelite pic there?? and was wandering urs and potterys thoughts on this years activity
Updates every 15 minutes:

Link
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To KeeperOfTheGate- re: Thanks for the info, BP has been downplaying this from the start and thee only way I get "real news" is from you & others.
I think that you & others with any info should post it on Facebook, Twitter, etc. I receive a newsletter from the Gulf Restoration Network and they said that they denied aid from fishermen in LA to clean up oil and would not let trained people clean oil-covered birds. Instead, allowing only BP personnel to do this.
I don't understead why they could not use the first containment device, so what if it had ice crystals. I think they should have just capped it & worried about siphoning oil sometime later. I'm not an engineer though, so maybe there were some valid reasons.
Just concerned about the affect on the fishermen, the marine life, & the birds.
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I WAS JUST REITERATING THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE HIGHER THAT 2005... IN TERMS OF NUMBER OF STORMS AND POSSIBLE STORMS THAT MAKE LANDFALL.
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NOGAPS 06z 108 Hour shows vigorous convection over Colombia and Panama:

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21162
Quoting stormhank:
Morning all....Just wanted to ask if any of you think this season could get close to what 2005 was? seems all parimeters are good for development? Im going with (16, 8, 5).. thanks for any input
we can use 05 as a reference but to say 2010 is going to be greater than 05 just can not be stated for 2005 was a hyper season do i think 2010 will be active yes do i think it will out rank 05 maybe but its hard to forecast an all time record so all i can say is wait watch see and the best advice i can give anyone is be prepare have a plan and a backup plan hopefully the most we will see is 20 systems i figure that will be more than enough for everyone
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Hey Miami Hurricane,,,do you have the link for that global satelite pic there?? and was wandering urs and potterys thoughts on this years activity
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Don't buy the GFS...This model is notorious for developing ghost tc's every may.
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Game on, Aussie.
oooops--1 down!
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Morn' irg..

..Java is brewing..Check out # 10 here..LOL

Letterman's Suggestions For Ways BP Can Improve Image (VIDEO)
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Quoting Patrap:
Twas a Bumpy Morning here Skyepony..its got some flavor that System..




Hydrocarbons in the morning? Mornin' Ironman!
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Quoting superweatherman:
HEY MiamiHurricanes09 scenario 2 looks just like something that developed by in 2005....

TALK ABOUT DEJA-VU
I think that our first system will closely resemble Arlene, the only difference would be that Alex most likely will be in May and Arlene was in June. IMO.
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Vostok, Antarctica

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Local Time: 9:25 PM VOST (GMT +06) Your time: 10:25 AM CDT (GMT -05) Lat/Lon: 78.4° S 106.9° E (Google Map)
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Vostok, Antarctica (Airport)
Updated: 3 hr 25 min 16 sec ago

Low Drifting Snow

-79 °F

Low Drifting Snow
Humidity: 34%
Dew Point: -86 °F
Wind: 14 mph from the South
Wind Gust: -
Pressure: in (Falling)
Visibility: 12.0 miles
Elevation: 11220 ft
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127877
Morning all....Just wanted to ask if any of you think this season could get close to what 2005 was? seems all parimeters are good for development? Im going with (16, 8, 5).. thanks for any input
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Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21162
Quoting superweatherman:
HEY MiamiHurricanes09 scenario 2 looks just like something that developed by in 2005....

TALK ABOUT DEJA-VU
Wow.
Quoting Weather456:


just back and fourth
Oh cool.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
456 are you still on?


just back and fourth
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Quoting AussieStorm:

I hope no rain for the T20 final.

Barbados looks clear. Forecast is for occasional scattered showers.
Good Luck Aussie!
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HEY MiamiHurricanes09 scenario 2 looks just like something that developed by in 2005....

TALK ABOUT DEJA-VU
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Quoting pottery:
Hi Keeper.
Well, as you can see, convection is waxing and waning in the wave.
The wave is crashing ashore on the cliffs of wind!
Strange stuff.
Have had the occasional drizzle, but mostly sun, humidity and calm wind here.!

I hope no rain for the T20 final.
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latest nw atl basin IR image
as of 1112 am est 4 mins old

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Hi Keeper.
Well, as you can see, convection is waxing and waning in the wave.
The wave is crashing ashore on the cliffs of wind!
Strange stuff.
Have had the occasional drizzle, but mostly sun, humidity and calm wind here.!
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91˚F in Piarco.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21162
MJO back on track:



Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
any rain yet pottery
There are some showers SE of the island.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21162
Twas a Bumpy Morning here Skyepony..its got some flavor that System..


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Quoting pottery:

Well, we have all of those things right here.
Let the Game begin LOLOL
any rain yet pottery
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681. Skyepony (Mod)
Looking at the shear tendency, GoesEast & Patraps's conditions..the 00z cmc looks to be verifying well more than the gfs. Shear is only dropped some slightly along the coast but more than the gfs has accounted for.. the interesting feature is the shear dropping on the Carolina/GA coast. Pat's weak developing low dragging over the N gulf states ...I'm hoping in sags enough to give me rain as it passes over FL, on it's way to join up with the main feature..a soon to be developing low on the east coast. CMC takes it up the coast close enough to affect the NE..A hair west of that call & NE will be in for an event.
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456 are you still on?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21162
College of DuPage Meteorology
Severe Weather and Flash Flood Warnings
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Warnings are listed with the most recent first.
NEW!! Click on the station ID to bring up list of recent severe weather statements.
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tornado warning over my house...nasty storm. Whew
Member Since: May 20, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1640
Ah yes, the signs of the season abound. No, not the wishcasting, discasting, downcasting,,,,,,, the LOVE BUGS have arrived :(



But, there is always a positive somewhere. Many will be getting into good shape scrubbing them off and do better with cutting the grass 2 times a week soon (☼¿☼)

Time to get that good coat of wax on the front of the car :)
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Quoting doabarrelroll:
I thought it was pretty good. It shows the SST's you have to adjust for moisture and shear. Depending on the conditions the hurricane changes in size.
It's ok, it's good for youngsters.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21162
Looks like there are fairly good rain chances for west central Florida today. NWS has the Tampa Bay area under 30 pops, but I imagine that the coverage will end up being greater than that. Precipitable water is high, moisture is streaming in from the SW, and the inversion is breaking faster than expected. Look for storms to start forming over land by 2pm.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
All you need is a hypercane, a wishcaster, and Florida. LMAO.


Well, we have all of those things right here.
Let the Game begin LOLOL
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***Response to post 655

#1


#2
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21162
Giant underwater plumes of oil found in Gulf of Mexico


By The Associated Press
May 16, 2010, 8:19AM

Scientists have found huge plumes of oil lurking under the surface of the water in the Gulf of Mexico, as BP hit a snag in its latest effort to slow down the oil blasting out of a broken undersea pipe.
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SEE PATS POST
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Sry, I'd be in your position if I ever tried...new territory.

back, L8R


oh ok, thanks tho
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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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