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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1249. cg2916
Quoting CaneWarning:
I have a friend who has a brother that works for BP. He worked on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico, but due to the ban on drilling, BP is sending him to drill off the coast of Africa. His whole family is moving to Europe next week on BP's dime.


No, Obama just lifted the ban,
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3032
I have a friend who has a brother that works for BP. He worked on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico, but due to the ban on drilling, BP is sending him to drill off the coast of Africa. His whole family is moving to Europe next week on BP's dime.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1247. cg2916
Quoting IKE:


Dang, the wave isn't taking water too well.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3032
Quoting severstorm:
Whoa, 95-100 today in the tampa area. Record is 97.


Tampa has never reached the 100 degree mark.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1245. scott39
Quoting gulfcoastdweller:


right, I agree with you, but if I have to move because oil is on HWY 90, then that means the casinos would be forced to close.....this is worse than waiting for a hurricane to hit

BP lies, no one knows how much oil is gushing out daily. No one knows how much oil is out there in the Gulf. No one knows when the gushing will stop. No one knows how to stop the spreading of the oil. No one knows how to clean the oil up. No one knows when the oil will be cleaned up.

but no oil on the Mississippi beaches or barrier islands yet, lots of dead turtles and fish but no oil.....YET
Why cant congress and the senate vote into law next week this penalty? Ok BP,here is the deal, Everyday from here on out that you dont fix this problem, you will be fined a 100 million dollars a day! They make 67million dollars a day in profit, so they can afford it until they find a solution. This would definetly light a fire up under their ass to use every resourse and smart person out there who DOES KNOW HOW TO FIX THIS! Also the 100 million dollars a day would go to cleaning up this mess after it is stopped and to the residents of the gulf coast who are affected! Once again there are people who know how to fix this! It always goes back to money!!!! Now you know if a little peon like me can think of this, surely BP and our Government have! Its going to take a growing organizing mass of Gulf Coast Residents and the rest of the world to demand results now! No excuses!!
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Good morning everybody.

Here's a sad article that says most of the oil-soaked birds should be euthanized instead of cleaned because they'll die either way. Very sad.

Link
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1243. IKE
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1241. calder
re: abby sutherland's world record attempt - it was made void when she stopped in cape town for repairs on her yacht, she just decided to carry on anyway. Glad she's ok
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P.S. Cartographic bone to pick with the SST graphic shown above. The legend does not include the full spectrum of colors shown on the map. The legend goes from violet to orange, but the map shows red above Iceland and at the great lakes. Source links to NOAA show a legend from black through to red.
What will those SSTs will do to the Arctic Ice Cap low in 2010? The trend is already low for this time of year.
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Morning everyone!
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1238. IKE
Quoting gulfcoastdweller:


right, I agree with you, but if I have to move because oil is on HWY 90, then that means the casinos would be forced to close.....this is worse than waiting for a hurricane to hit

BP lies, no one knows how much oil is gushing out daily. No one knows how much oil is out there in the Gulf. No one knows when the gushing will stop. No one knows how to stop the spreading of the oil. No one knows how to clean the oil up. No one knows when the oil will be cleaned up.

but no oil on the Mississippi beaches or barrier islands yet, lots of dead turtles and fish but no oil.....YET


Most important word....YET.

This is like someone being told they have terminal cancer and watching them die over a period of months/years. Watching them suffer and dry up.

And then throw in an above average chance of a hurricane.

I don't see anyone that has an answer for this. It's going to continue to get worse.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
when the wind shear moves out which I belive is very soon (I feel- maybe about mid-late Saturday) we could be seeing development in the SW Caribbean and/or E Atlantic
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I hope the shrimping stays good, and the scare just boosts your prices nicely. At least that way you get a bonanza now before the actual damage is apparent.
While I'm hoping, I'll add that the fish stocks in the prohibited fishing zone are less damaged by the oil than anticipated and actually benefit from the season off. Animals that cross the surface are getting smacked but if the O2 levels from the Georgia depth records look good I'll keep my fingers crossed for the fish.

Today is going to be a roaster for central Florida.97
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1234. IKE
Quoting DestinJeff:
I think with all the factors that are considered in forecasting seasonal activity, that shear rules the roost.

Boiling SSTs, ENSO consition, MDO cycle, MJO pulse, minimal SAL, etc .. mean nothing with hostile shear.


I agree.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting cg2916:



Looks like MJO won't be upward until Mid-Late July.
That graph is off, imo.

Better use this one:



Be back in a bit.
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1227. scott39
Quoting gulfcoastdweller:



I live 1 block from the beach, we have a feeling by the end of Sept, the EPA will be telling us we have to move..so I'm joining your "I'm pissed off" club
Your probably right, We all are pissed off now ,but just wait until there is oil glisting over our backyards, and personal properties, buisnesses and our way of life on the Gulf Coast is destroyed! Where is BP going to be then? LONG GONE!!
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1226. IKE
Quoting gulfcoastdweller:



I live 1 block from the beach, we have a feeling by the end of Sept, the EPA will be telling us we have to move..so I'm joining your "I'm pissed off" club


I wouldn't be shocked if that doesn't happen to some...not necessarily saying you.

BP...epic failure.
Government...poor job of making sure this couldn't have happened.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1225. cg2916
Quoting IKE:






Looks like MJO won't be upward until Mid-Late July.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3032
1224. IKE
Quoting scott39:
What does that map forecast?


MJO is turning to downward in the Atlantic until end of June/July.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Good morning folks.

Just a quick stop in for the morning. Conditions in the Caribbean remain hostile for any type of development with a potent ULL parked over Eastern Cuba/Jamaica pushing strong Westerly winds to the East

The ULL does not seem to be in any hurry to get out of the way so the next 24 hours will likely be just hit and miss showers in the region.

Back later.
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1220. scott39
Quoting IKE:
What does that map forecast?
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1218. IKE



Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1215. cg2916
Quoting scott39:
Can sea life in the GOM sense that the oil spill is bad for them and swim away from it? Im not talking about all of them, all of the time. Im just hoping they have some kind of instinct.


Well, turtles have yet to find out that plastic bags aren't jellyfish.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3032
1214. cg2916
Quoting DestinJeff:


you just know this is coming ...

"This wave looks very impressive for June. IMO it is the one to watch for possible development."


Holy crap! Will that be a wave or a typhoon?
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3032
1213. scott39
Can sea life in the GOM sense that the oil spill is bad for them and swim away from it? Im not talking about all of them, all of the time. Im just hoping they have some kind of instinct.
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Quoting IKE:


Hope you're not affected.

Not yet!!!!! Fingers are crossed
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Whoa, 95-100 today in the tampa area. Record is 97.
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1209. IKE
Quoting severstorm:
Ike, I feel you on the gulf problem. The gulf is what i do for a living. I run a shrimp plant.So far so good. we shrimp along the west coast of fl and texas.


Hope you're not affected.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1208. cg2916
Hey guys! I'll give a little tropical update:

GOM and Caribbean

Not much going on, and it appears as though our little AOI is starting to disapper. Maybe the TUTT is starting to pull back.



The Caribbean is pretty moist, while the GOM seems a bit dry:



Shear is high throughout the Caribbean and GOM right now, with shear up to 30 and 40 knots:



East Coast

Not much going on in the East Coast. There is a small area of showers north of Puerto Rico, though.



Air is moist in some areas, dry in others.



Shear isn't that high (see above shear map)

CATL and Africa

We have a couple of waves in the CATL, which are currently too south to develop, but they look like they may be going a bit NW. Shear will probably get the first one, though.



Dry air is only in a band from the Lesser Antilles to Africa, and a small tongue is between a wave and the Lesser Antilles.



Shear is very high in the north CATL, but not in the south CATL (see above shear map).

And of course, the wave everyone's talking about. It looks a little ragged, but that is because it has to get used to water.



Dry air and shear may be a problem with this wave (see above maps), but mainly, we'll just have to wait and see.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3032
hey guys surface maps (06Z)



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Ike, I feel you on the gulf problem. The gulf is what i do for a living. I run a shrimp plant.So far so good. we shrimp along the west coast of fl and texas.
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1205. IKE
Few Tropical Waves in Atlantic Basin

Jun 11, 2010 7:30 AM


A tropical wave continues to push west through northwestern areas of Venezuela and northeastern areas of Columbia Friday, spreading heavy rain and gusty winds with it. The weak surface low associated with the system could push back into the open waters of the Caribbean later Friday into Friday night. There will be a small window of opportunity for some organization with light shear and warm sea surface water temperatures. However, this system has only a small amount of real estate to work with. Later Sunday, the low pressure will steer generally west toward Nicaragua and Central America.

Another tropical wave located in the central South Atlantic is showing signs of a low-level circulation. This system continues to lack deep thunderstorms around its core, and though it will be moving across water temperatures warm enough to support development, a hostile shear environment will inhibit organization.

The remainder of the Atlantic basin is mainly quiet with no areas of organization. Development is not expected with any other tropical waves through Tuesday.

By AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Justin Povick
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1204. IKE
As far as I can tell the Gulf is going to be dead waters for many years.

Pisses me off.


TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT FRI JUN 11 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER PASCH/ROBERTS
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1203. IKE
Quoting scott39:
I dont understand why I still see people buying gas from BP!!


Same here. The comeback is...if you're buying it from so and so it's still BP. Yeah...that's probably true, but I'm not pulling into a BP station.


Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Ike, still 0/0/0 but until when will the zeros continue? IMO, by late June or the first week of July,things will start to pop.


Probably.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Good morning. Ike, still 0/0/0 but until when will the zeros continue? IMO, by late June or the first week of July,things will start to pop.
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1200. scott39
I dont understand why I still see people buying gas from BP!!
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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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