A record quiet start to the 2010 Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclone season

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:42 PM GMT on August 12, 2010

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The remnants of Tropical Depression Five have re-organized this morning, and the storm is pounding Southeast Louisiana with heavy rains. Radar imagery out of New Orleans shows that the remains of TD 5 have have formed some respectable low-level spiral bands that have brought heavy rains in excess of five inches in some areas. However, with the circulation center now moving over land, not much further development can occur.


Figure 1. Morning radar image of TD Five's remains.

Why so quiet in the Atlantic?
The Tropical Atlantic is quiet, and there are no threat areas to discuss today. The Invest 93 system we were tracking has been destroyed by dry air and wind shear. There are a couple of long-range threats suggested by some of the models--the GFS model predicts a tropical depression could form off the coast of Mississippi six days from now, and the NOGAPS model thinks something could get going in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche seven days from now. Neither of these possibilities are worthy of concern at present. Overall, it's been a surprisingly quiet August, considering the pre-season predictions of a hyperactive season. According the National Hurricane Center, this hurricane season has been exactly average so far. There have been three named storms and one hurricane as of August 12. The average date of formation of the third named storm is August 13. One hurricane typically forms by August 10. One reason for this year's inactivity may be an unusual number of upper-level low pressure systems that have paraded across the tropical Atlantic. These lows, also called Tropical Upper Tropospheric Trough (TUTT) lows, tend to bring high wind shear that inhibits tropical cyclone formation. The other major factor appears to be that vertical instability has been unusually low in the Atlantic over the past month. Instability is measured as the difference in temperature between the surface and the top of the troposphere (the highest altitude that thunderstorm tops can penetrate to.) If the surface is very warm and the top of the troposphere is cold, an unstable atmosphere results, which helps to enhance thunderstorm updrafts and promote hurricane development. Since SSTs in the Atlantic are at record highs, enhancing instability, something else must be going on. Dry air can act to reduce instability, and it appears that an unusually dry atmosphere over the Atlantic this month is responsible for the lack of instability.


Figure 2. Vertical instability (in °C) over the Caribbean (left) and tropical Atlantic between the Lesser Antilles Islands and coast of Africa (right) in 2010. Normal instability is the black line, and this year's instability levels are in blue. The atmosphere became much more stable than normal in both regions at the end of July. This lack of instability also extends to the Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic Ocean between Europe and North America, as well as the Western Pacific east of the Philippines, and the South Indian Ocean. Image credit: NOAA/CIRA.

A record quiet start to the 2010 tropical cyclone season in the Northern Hemisphere
What is really odd about this year, though, is the lack of tropical cyclone activity across the entire Northern Hemisphere. Usually, if one ocean basin is experiencing a quiet season, one of the other ocean basins is going bonkers. That is not the case this year. Over in the Eastern Pacific, there have been five named storms and two hurricanes. The average is seven named storms and four hurricanes for this point in the season. This year's quiet season is not too surprising, since there is a moderate La Niña event underway, and La Niña conditions usually supresses Eastern Pacific hurricane activity. But over in the Western Pacific, which usually generates more tropical cyclones than any ocean basin on Earth, it has been a near-record quiet season. Just four named storms have occurred in the West Pacific this year, and the average for this date is eleven. Only one typhoon season has had fewer named storms this late in the season--1998, with just three. The total number of named storms in the Northern Hemisphere thus far this year is fifteen, which is the fewest since reliable records began in 1948. Second place belongs to 1983 and 1957, with eighteen named storms. According to an email I received from NOAA hurricane researcher Gabe Vecchi, the lack of tropical cyclones so far this year in the Northern Hemisphere is between a 1-in-80 and 1-in-100 year event.

So, what is causing this quiet tropical cyclone season? One possibility is that since Northern Hemisphere land areas have heated up to record temperatures this summer, this has created strong rising motion over the continents. This rising motion must be compensated by strong sinking motion over the adjacent oceans in order to conserve mass. Sinking air causes drying and an increase in stability. Another possibility is that the unusual jet stream configuration that is responsible for the Russia heat wave and record flooding in Pakistan is also bringing dry, stable air to the Northern Hemisphere's tropical cyclone breeding grounds. It is also possible that climate change is causing the reduction in tropical cyclone activity, for a variety of complex reasons. Computer simulations of a future warmer climate generally show a reduction in global number of tropical cyclones (though the strongest storms get stronger), and it is possible we are seeing a preview of that future climate. Or, this year's quietness may simply be natural variability. It will be interesting to see when the Russian heat wave breaks if vertical instability over the Atlantic increases back to normal levels. Current forecasts from the GFS and ECMWF models project the Russian heat wave to break late next week.

Moscow's air remains clear; coolest temperatures in two weeks
Moscow's winds remained favorable for keeping smoke away from the city today, and temperatures "cooled" to at Moscow's Domodedovo airport to 33°C (91°F)--the lowest maximum temperature since a high of 32°C (90°F) was recorded on July 30. Moscow's airport has reached a maximum temperature of 30°C (86°F) or higher for 35 consecutive days now (at Moscow's official observing site, the Moscow Observatory, this string is 30 days.) Moscow's average high temperature for August 12 is 20°C (68°F). Moscow's high temperatures have averaged 15°C (27°F) above average so far this August--a truly extraordinary anomaly for a country so famous for its notorious cold weather. The latest forecast for Moscow calls for high temperatures of 30 - 33°C (86 - 91°F) Thursday through Monday. This is still 23°F above normal, but will be a welcome change from the extreme heat of the past two weeks. Long range forecasts from the ECMWF and GFS models continue to suggest that a series of troughs of low pressure will begin to attack the ridge of high pressure anchored over Russia beginning on Wednesday, bringing cooler temperatures just 5°C (8°F) above average to Russia late next week. By ten days from now, the ECMWF model shows a strong trough of low pressure over Moscow, and a end to the Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010.

Next update
I'll have an update Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

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RGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREAT FALLS MT
229 PM MDT THU AUG 12 2010

...WINTER-LIKE CONDITIONS EXPECTED FOR HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF GLACIER
NATIONAL PARK LATE TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING...

.A STRONG CANADIAN COLD FRONT WILL PUSH SOUTHWARD THROUGH
NORTHERN AND CENTRAL MONTANA THIS EVENING...WITH WIDESPREAD
PRECIPITATION...FALLING TEMPERATURES AND LOWERING SNOW LEVELS TO
AROUND 7000 FEET ALONG THE NORTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAIN FRONT.

MTZ009-130600-
/O.NEW.KTFX.WW.Y.0029.100813T0600Z-100813T1800Z/
NORTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAIN FRONT-
229 PM MDT THU AUG 12 2010

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO
NOON MDT FRIDAY FOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 7000 FEET...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GREAT FALLS HAS ISSUED A WINTER
WEATHER ADVISORY FOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 7000 FEET FOR SNOW...WHICH
IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO NOON MDT FRIDAY.

* TIMING AND MAIN IMPACT: LATE TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: UP TO THREE INCHES ABOVE 7000 FEET. RAIN AND
SNOW MIX BETWEEN 6500 AND 7000 FEET.

* WINDS AND VISIBILITY: NORTH-NORTHWEST WINDS 10 TO 20 MPH.

* ELEVATIONS: FOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 7000 FEET.

* LOCATIONS AFFECTED INCLUDE: LOGAN PASS AND HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW
WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW
COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE
DRIVING.

FOR SPECIFIC ROAD AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS IN MONTANA...DIAL 5 1 1.

Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114760
Looks like more rain for the northern gulf coast.. Depends if 05L wants to play more mind games or finally go inland..
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Quoting coffeecrusader:
You know things are slow in the tropics when we have resorted to looking at thunderstorms over Nigeria and wondering if they will develop. Everything that looks promising coming off Africa seems to go poof once it hits the Atlantic. Too much SAL, ULLs and TUTTs. We are halfway through AugBUST and nothing. The experts keep talking about this so called switch that it going to turn on in the next 2 weeks. I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.
For you:

"To Say This Season Is A Bust Is........

Foolish, dangerous, and irresponsible. A season is only declared a bust when it is over. We are still in the middle of the season. This type of thinking leads to complacency and people let their guard down. They think this season is not going to be active, which means we should be okay. Active or not or early or late starting, we can have really devastating seasons. Case in point, 1961, 1998, and 2004. All were late starters that were devastating and deadly. A less active season like 1900 and 1992, which produced the Great Galveston Hurricane and Andrew. Both were El Nino years. People would of written those seasons off. Guess what, if a massive hurricane comes barreling towards to your area, people are not prepared, they are going to be in a pain of their life."
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Quoting pottery:

Yeh, I have been noticing that.
Really a strange season so far.
Your breadfruit tree is going to need watering...


35 feet tall and tapping into the underground moisture reservoir. No problem.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PensacolaDoug:


I asked if it was going stationary about 11 am this morn and was told a resounding "no". Well it sure hasn't moved much since then!


05L is going to be a fly on the wall for a quite some time seems like.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:


I asked if it was going stationary about 11 am this morn and was told a resounding "no". Well it sure hasn't moved much since then!

Oh.. I never came on here until 2hours ago.. But yea it hasnt really moved that much but T'storms has increased mostly around the center with some small bands..
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Here is an interesting article about the blocked jet stream and the Russian heat wave.

Could this be related to the " quiet start " to the 2010 hurricane season ??

Link
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Hey people, quick question...StormW mentioned it earlier but I forgot.....What is it exactly you can see tonight in the western sky? Isn't the moon and 2 other planets or something???

Thanks,
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:
believe its still stationary below gulfport/biloxi.. anyone believe it would move inland or stay out in the water?


I asked if it was going stationary about 11 am this morn and was told a resounding "no". Well it sure hasn't moved much since then!
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Evening All.

Darn, 3 more days.

Ciao.
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We should see things get active in two weeks. Just like Storm W. posted on his page. He posted some good info for the upcoming weeks. Enjoy the quiteness for now but things will change.
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1226. pottery
Quoting kmanislander:


I will trade you. Very, very dry here. Only .47 of an inch at my home for August so far. One of the dryest summers I have seen in the NW Caribbean far as far back as I can remember.

Yeh, I have been noticing that.
Really a strange season so far.
Your breadfruit tree is going to need watering...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
You know things are slow in the tropics when we have resorted to looking at thunderstorms over Nigeria and wondering if they will develop. Everything that looks promising coming off Africa seems to go poof once it hits the Atlantic. Too much SAL, ULLs and TUTTs. We are halfway through AugBUST and nothing. The experts keep talking about this so called switch that it going to turn on in the next 2 weeks. I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Link

Houma must have one of dem forcful shealds around us not got even a 1/2 inch of water in bucket out in the backyard yet
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1223. Patrap
Look out on a Summers day..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127633
1222. Levi32
Quoting kmanislander:


Hi Levi

Remember the guber beefcake shot with the helmet and the fish in the background. Priceless LMAO

Mastercard should give him a call LOL



LOL yup....hilarious. You know, they really need to make a new brand of shower curtains....
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26556
1221. pottery
Hey, Pat. The rest of us are under Starry Starry Skies, man.
Enjoy the rains.
Hope they dont cause any troubles...
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whats new with the mode runs tonight
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114760
Quoting pottery:
EXCELLENT!!
But can we have a little less rain here please?


I will trade you. Very, very dry here. Only .47 of an inch at my home for August so far. One of the dryest summers I have seen in the NW Caribbean for as far back as I can remember.
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Quoting Drakoen:


Supporting graphic:



Drakoen, what does that graphic represent?
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1217. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127633


Convective system drifting ESE into the Gulf Stream off Cape Hatteras.
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Quoting Levi32:


Oh my bad....lol. I had no idea it was a joke.


Though I must say...the humor is better and a lot less trolls at night...like old times on the blog
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Quoting Levi32:


LOL I remember that.


Hi Levi

Remember the guber beefcake shot with the helmet and the fish in the background. Priceless LMAO

Mastercard should give him a call LOL
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Fay made landfall in FL about 7 times...
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1212. pottery
Quoting kmanislander:
Pottery

I went outside and stood up under my breadfruit tree yesterday and the forecast is that things will change at the end of next week.
EXCELLENT!!
But can we have a little less rain here please?
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I was thinking that maybe the Miami Dolphins packed up the LLC to their east last weekend and sent it on a slow UPS wave to Orleans. When the Saints received it, they were not so excited because what they thought was TD#5 (5 touchdowns they assumed) actually was a LLC that seems to not want to leave...
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Quoting kmanislander:


It was LOL

Right after that we got the shower curtain treatment LMAO
LMAO!
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1209. Levi32
Quoting dsenecal2009:


Levi I mean no disrespect, I was making a dumb joke about the chronic identity theft scams that plague Nigeria. Like many on this blog, I read and watch your daily tropical tidbits and appreciate and use your prodigal knowledge.





Oh my bad....lol. I had no idea it was a joke.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26556
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:

maybe it has potential down the road..


It has a potential track? =) I think it's 100% going to have a track, but at least for now what are the models saying?
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1207. pottery
Quoting kmanislander:


Yeah. It looks like he has been reading my posts for the last week

True.
And he answered some questions that I had asked as well.
The idea that there could possibly be an "optimum" set of conditions, after which 'increases' in those conditions begin to negate things, intrigues me.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1206. Levi32
Quoting kmanislander:


It was LOL

Right after that we got the shower curtain treatment LMAO


LOL I remember that.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26556
Quoting Levi32:


Not necessarily true, we've had many keep their well-defined structure all the way out into the Atlantic but weren't able to do anything until later, or never. This one has strong model support with it and looks to be aiming for a favorable latitude to exit the continent.


Levi I mean no disrespect, I was making a dumb joke about the chronic identity theft scams that plague Nigeria. Like many on this blog, I read and watch your daily tropical tidbits and appreciate and use your prodigal knowledge.



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Pottery

I went outside and stood up under my breadfruit tree yesterday and the forecast is that things will change at the end of next week.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Lol, it was Fay wasn't it?


It was LOL

Right after that we got the shower curtain treatment LMAO
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Quoting HurricaneGeek:
I know it's really really early and all, but as far as track for that African Wave everyone's been talking about, what's the idea? At least the idea right now.
Thanks.

maybe it has potential down the road..
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Quoting kmanislander:


At least you didn't bet your life like another blogger from last year who shall remain nameless !
Lol, it was Fay wasn't it?
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1200. pottery
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I can guarantee that it will not last.

"Guarantee" is a strong word in the circs.
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Quoting pottery:

Indeed.
Some very interesting ideas by Masters, above.


Yeah. It looks like he has been reading my posts for the last week
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I can guarantee that it will not last.


At least you didn't bet your life like another blogger from last year who shall remain nameless !
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1197. pottery
Quoting kmanislander:
Good evening folks.

Quiet conditions prevail over the entire basin.

Looks like April, not mid August


Indeed.
Some very interesting ideas by Masters, above.
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1196. Levi32
Quoting dsenecal2009:



Wouldn't worry about it. Most waves that pass over Nigeria have their identity stolen almost immediately.


Not necessarily true, we've had many this year keep their well-defined structure all the way out into the Atlantic but weren't able to do anything until later, or never. This one has strong model support with it and looks to be aiming for a favorable latitude to exit the continent.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26556
Quoting kmanislander:
Good evening folks.

Quiet conditions prevail over the entire basin.

Looks like April, not mid August

I can guarantee that it will not last.
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I know it's really really early and all, but as far as track for that African Wave everyone's been talking about, what's the idea? At least the idea right now.
Thanks.
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Hmmm.... I see we're all watching the Saints game, whether we had planned to or not.... lol

Quoting pottery:

Never could understand Baseball..........

heheheh
LOL Don't bother to understand, just cheer when the home team cheers.... lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21538
Good evening folks.

Quiet conditions prevail over the entire basin.

Looks like April, not mid August

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Tornado emergency!!!

... A Tornado Warning remains in effect for east central Sargent and
southern Richland counties in southeast North Dakota until 915 PM
CDT...

... Tornado emergency for Lidgerwood...

A tornado was spotted by the public 1 mile south of Geneseo at 835
PM CDT. The tornado is expected to move near Lidgerwood... take
shelter now.

At 837 PM CDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a
severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado 2 miles southwest
of Lidgerwood... or 31 miles southwest of Wahpeton... moving to the
east at 30 mph.

The tornadic storm will be near...
Wyndmere and Stiles around 850 PM CDT.
Mantador and Barney around 900 PM CDT.
Hankinson around 905 PM CDT.
Mooreton around 910 PM CDT.

Thereafter some other locations impacted by the tornadic storm
include Great Bend.

For motorists on Interstate 29... the tornadic storm will be
between... mile marker 9 around 905 PM CDT... and mile marker 22 around
915 PM CDT...

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

If you are in the path of this tornado abandon cars and Mobile homes
for a sturdy building.


Lat... Lon 4617 9734 4643 9687 4609 9668 4597 9725
time... Mot... loc 0139z 253deg 27kt 4606 9716

Dk
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Pat...what did you say "paraphrase" to get the old community standards blockage...
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I had read on an earlier post that the COC had passed over Lake Pontchartrain this afternoon. But, it sure does look like the COC is still south of Gulfport/Biloxi (refer to post # 1152. Any thoughts?
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Quoting DestinJeff:
One last thing before I go ....



Peace out, folks.

You might want to patten that its become your signature post now
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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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