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

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:51 PM GMT on June 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 keiser:
I Heard about the 2010 Hurricane season and yourr predicitions and the same as the rest. I hope to god it is not going to beavtive like 1996 Cause if it does people on the coastlines and in the carribean are going to be in trouble where I live we have a 50% of getting hit by a major hurricane, where my uncle lives he has a 51% chance of a major hurricane, Entire US coastline: 76%. I am really keeping my eye on the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The most active months are: July through September.
I would say that August, September, and October are the most active (based on climatology). The GOM, Caribbean, and U.S eastern coast are at the highest risk this year.
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1349. hydrus
Quoting StormW:


IF?

This is the fastest ENSO switch I can remember. I know that it is not uncommon for a La nina to form right after an El Nino winter.
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Where is Weather456?
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Quoting RobbieLSU:
Good morning everyone! I am an LSU student studying meteorology and oceanography. I doubt any of yall remember me from last year. I had a different screen name (robbieNDBC) because at the time I was interning at the National Data Buoy Center. However, that screen name was tied to my @noaa.gov e-mail account so I can no longer log in here.

So I created a new name and just thought I'd say hey! Also, special thanks to Dr. Masters, Levi32, weather456, and stormW. I learn a lot from yall and enjoy reading your take on everything.

Hey there!
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1346. scott39
Could somebody please tell me what is causing the current strong wind shear? When is it expected to decrease?
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Quoting scott39:
Im not taking any sides here because i dont understand most of this yet. If there isnt any ElNino hardly left, why is there so much wind shear?
Because the TUTT is digging into the Caribbean and there is also an ULL over Cuba/Haiti/Jamaica causing hostile conditions. Once the TUTT lifts (could take up to 10 days) and the ULL moves to the north (should take less than 3 days), the Caribbean should be a hot spot for development.
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1343. Skyepony (Mod)
They found Sutherland alive out in the Indian Ocean, smacked around by 30'waves. Mast broke, dream of the record over but atleast the 16 year old girl is okay:)

Hey Robbie, good to see you back..
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1342. keiser
I Heard about the 2010 Hurricane season and your predicitions and the same as the rest. I hope to god it is not going to be avtive like 1996 Cause if it does people on the coastlines and in the carribean are going to be in trouble where I live we have a 50% of getting hit by a major hurricane, where my uncle lives he has a 51% chance of a major hurricane, Entire US coastline: 76%. I am really keeping my eye on the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The most active months are: July through September.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneWarning:


I hope this works so that the CEO can "get his life back". It pains me that his life has been disrupted by a little oil spill.

(This is sarcasm, just in case some don't get it.)


I think if people keep trashing BP, and making demands on it... like paying the wages of laid off rig workers (due to Government new rules)... then BP is going to do the logical legal thing.

Pay their 75 Million penalty as laid out in your laws... and say.. sue us for the rest..it would take years to get any money.

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Hey everyone!
Please WUmail or post on my WU blog your detailed personal accounts of weather events (hurricanes, tornadoes, winter weather, etc.) along with any images you might like to include. I will be putting these stories on my weather site under the "Your Stories" section. I'm sure there are many here who have some intense weather stories to relate. Thanks!
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I have a suggestion to the Developers of this blog. PLEASE where the Avatar Pic is, if you could put the date as too the membership time just below the Pic Avatar, that would be an awsome thing to have to stop a lot of fighting and confussion. JUST MY OPINION!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
El Nino is officially dead

StormW just showed you a pic that basically says La Nina is here

and yet you still keep saying El Nino will cause an increase in EPAC storms and a delay in the Atlantic season?
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7368
Good morning everyone! I am an LSU student studying meteorology and oceanography. I doubt any of yall remember me from last year. I had a different screen name (robbieNDBC) because at the time I was interning at the National Data Buoy Center. However, that screen name was tied to my @noaa.gov e-mail account so I can no longer log in here.

So I created a new name and just thought I'd say hey! Also, special thanks to Dr. Masters, Levi32, weather456, and stormW. I learn a lot from yall and enjoy reading your take on everything.
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1334. Skyepony (Mod)
Kermit is flying over the current eddy today..map here.
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1333. hydrus
Quoting SSideBrac:
To many who use this blog, it is largely academic whether a Hurricane Season is forecast to be Low, Average or Active.
It only takes one "hard hit" to make even a Season forecast as "Low" into a very intense Season.
Regardless of the Season's Forecast, everyone in the potential "target area" should adopt the adage - "Plan for the Worst - Hope for the Best".

Yep. If there were only 5 hurricanes this year and three hit land, that makes a really bad year. The victims will not care if it was a below average year statistically.
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But there could be development between 48-120H

I am expecting something to come out of the SW Caribbean and E Atlantic between the time that I stated above
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1331. scott39
Im not taking any sides here because i dont understand most of this yet. If there isnt any ElNino hardly left, why is there so much wind shear?
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Quoting Orcasystems:


They are going to fit a new cap on. This one will allow them to disconnect from the pipe in the event of a hurricane. The connection point is 300 ft below the surface.


I hope this works so that the CEO can "get his life back". It pains me that his life has been disrupted by a little oil spill.

(This is sarcasm, just in case some don't get it.)
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1329. hydrus
Quoting scott39:
We all better hope for a miracle of a slow season.
Amen to that.
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To many who use this blog, it is largely academic whether a Hurricane Season is forecast to be Low, Average or Active.
It only takes one "hard hit" to make even a Season forecast as "Low" into a very intense Season.
Regardless of the Season's Forecast, everyone in the potential "target area" should adopt the adage - "Plan for the Worst - Hope for the Best".

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Quoting DestinJeff:
First I have heard a new cap being put on the oilgasm. From CNN


They are going to fit a new cap on. This one will allow them to disconnect from the pipe in the event of a hurricane. The connection point is 300 ft below the surface.
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1326. scott39
Quoting IKE:
I think with a downward MJO...climatology....taking the atmosphere a while to adjust to the changes, that June could wind up 0-0-0.

I predicted a named storm in the GOM by July 1st. Maybe a weak to moderate TS. I could eat crow on that prediction.

Things will start to get going early to mid-July as the MJO comes back(assuming it does), then become active for Aug...through early October. But you could say that about any season.

I'm sticking with 13-7-4 as my totals. I made them 3-4 months ago. Everything needs to stay out of the GOM, or the story of the year(oil), may get much worse.

We all better hope for a miracle of a slow season.
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1323. IKE
I think with a downward MJO...climatology....taking the atmosphere a while to adjust to the changes, that June could wind up 0-0-0.

I predicted a named storm in the GOM by July 1st. Maybe a weak to moderate TS. I could eat crow on that prediction.

Things will start to get going early to mid-July as the MJO comes back(assuming it does), then become active for Aug...through early October. But you could say that about any season.

I'm sticking with 13-7-4 as my totals. I made them 3-4 months ago. Everything needs to stay out of the GOM, or the story of the year(oil), may get much worse.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1322. scott39
Is the shear normal for this time of year?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
He's not going to change his mind, just don't argue with him.

Wise words.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Not much happpening as the Panama blob faded will come back and fade again as i have been saying! We do have a strong Sub-Tropical Blob that is trying to form in the NW Atlantic moving out to sea. It is getting stronger. I see nothing else of concern thru the weekend.
Just a few waves to monitor none of which that should develop in the short-term, other than that I don't expect development in the next 48 hours.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


based on what exactly? There is no evidence of an average season. Sorry it just isn't there

Way to downcast without having any sort of facts to back up your claim
He's not going to change his mind, just don't argue with him.
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Not much happpening as the Panama blob faded will come back and fade again as i have been saying! We do have a strong Sub-Tropical Blob that is trying to form in the NW Atlantic moving out to sea. It is getting stronger. I see nothing else of concern thru the weekend.

One thing to watch! Let's see if the Wave that came through the Islands gets some extra energy from the Columbian Low which could spark something very quickly although Shear is very high caused by a TUTT, which sometimes helps developing systems but, won't help systems that are not developing.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting stillwaiting:
TUTT is semi-perminent and is actually a bit further west than usual,its axis is usually runs SW to NE thru the north and central carib basin it oscillates usually from the SE to the North or NW it also can weaken and or spawn a TC as well...check out med.edu,google they have a good explantion of it and its a awsome website for learning about WX; ......
That's what I thought.
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TUTT is semi-perminent and is actually a bit further west than usual,its axis is usually runs SW to NE thru the north and central carib basin it oscillates usually from the SE to the North or NW it also can weaken and or spawn a TC as well...check out med.edu,google they have a good explantion of it and its a awsome website for learning about WX; ......
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Quoting sleetman1:
wunderkid like i said its my opinion we will just have to see how it plays out..if la nina does develop it will not do damage this hurricane season it will be near the end...im still looking at and average season at best..but it only takes one to hit your area to miss your vacation..so just stay on your toes..


based on what exactly? There is no evidence of an average season. Sorry it just isn't there

Way to downcast without having any sort of facts to back up your claim
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7368
Quoting MissNadia:



American Depositary Receipt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An American Depositary Receipt (abbreviated ADR) represents ownership in the shares of a non-U.S. company that trades in U.S. financial markets. ...


You got it!
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting extreme236:


Whatever...not going to get anywhere arguing with you. Your not going to change your mind. But I guess we'll just have to see what happens.
Agreed.
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Quoting sleetman1:
i agree miami hurricane el nino is still there and thats why the strong shear is continuing over the caribbean..until that changes the waves will develop so far south and keep going into s america..GOM is clear for quite a while..i just refer you back to 2006 very close to the same conditions..we will just have to wait and see...
That's not what I meant. I'm sure that there are some lingering effects of the El Nino but they are not causing the westerly shear in the Caribbean. I already said before, what is causing the shear is the ULL over Jamaica and the TUTT, not the lingering effects of the El Nino.
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Quoting sleetman1:
like i said extreme im not disagreeing with you this will happen later in the season but from now until the middle to late part of july we are going to have these conditions..IMO..


Whatever...not going to get anywhere arguing with you. Your not going to change your mind. But I guess we'll just have to see what happens.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Foreign companies trade on the NYSE. The BP ADR trades on the NYSE. BP trades on the London Stock Exchange separately. In fact, in London the price of BP is almost 400.



American Depositary Receipt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An American Depositary Receipt (abbreviated ADR) represents ownership in the shares of a non-U.S. company that trades in U.S. financial markets. ...
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Quoting sleetman1:
i agree miami hurricane el nino is still there and thats why the strong shear is continuing over the caribbean..until that changes the waves will develop so far south and keep going into s america..GOM is clear for quite a while..i just refer you back to 2006 very close to the same conditions..we will just have to wait and see...


conditions in 2006 were nowhere near what they are this season. In 2006 we had an pretty strong El Nino shut down most of the season. Right now we are in Neutral conditions; heading into La Nina

El Nino is dead and gone and has been for a few weeks. The turnaround from El Nino to La Nina has been so quick that the atmosphere hasn't caught up just yet, but it will soon.
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7368
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Actually what is causing the strong westerly shear in the Caribbean is the presence of a ULL aloft between the Cuba and Jamiaca region. It can be viewed by 200 MB vorticity:






TUTT low!!!!
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Quoting clwstmchasr:


Miami,

Isn't the TUTT a permanent feature but is simple shifts its position back and forth in the Western Atlantic?
I believe so. What I meant is that it should shift towards the north and possibly allow for development. I'm not sure if it's a permanent feature, may be semi-permanent.
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sleetman1 what in the world is wrong with you can't you see that we all have you out numbered in the idea that we are in a LOW NEUTRAL JUST A TAD TO GO BEFORE BEING WEAK LA NINA AND DEVELOPING BECOMING WEAK TO MODERATE LA NINA AND THE SHEAR IS VERY MUCH NORMAL AND IN SOME PARTS BELOW THAT AND IT IT MORE THAT LIKELY TO LEAVE US MAYBE BEFORE SUNDAY AND AT THE MOST BY WEDNESDAY
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Exactly. I don't know what "sleetman1" is talking about.


Does any of us?

Really does he realize that Neutral conditions don't exactly mean we will see less storms than if we go into La Nina? In fact you saw the table Dr M had in his last blog; Neutral seasons on average are more active than La Nina seasons
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7368

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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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