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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Quoting Patrap:
Quoting RitaEvac:
Breaking News:

Government experimental tests spray special substance in atmosphere to dry out and stabilize the upper levels. The increase in ULLs could be the reason behind this as well. Rest of the 2010 hurricane season looks to be much less because of this experiment. Hurricane seasons might be controlled by man afterall and make storms the thing of the past.



Me thinks you have no Link to support this special Sauce theory.

The Onion isnt a source I'd use here.


Couldn't have been The Onion; their writing is far more clever and literate than that lame attempt at humor, whoever wrote it. Major fail...
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Some Canadian ensemble members still hinting.

Day 14:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125572
National Weather Service joke.

The Indians asked their Chief in autumn if the winter was going to be cold or not. Not really knowing an answer, the chief replies that the winter was going to be cold and that the members of the village were to collect wood to be prepared.

Being a good leader, he then went to the next phone booth and called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is this winter to be cold?"

The man on the phone responded, "This winter was going to be quite cold indeed." So the Chief went back to speed up his people to collect even more wood to be prepared.

A week later he called the National Weather Service again, "Is it going to be a VERY cold winter?"

"Yes", the man replied, "it's going to be a very cold winter."

So the Chief goes back to his people and orders them to go and find every scrap of wood they can find. Two weeks later he calls the National Weather Service again: "Are you absolutely sure, that the winter is going to be very cold?"

"Absolutely" the man replies, "the Indians are collecting wood like crazy!
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we are geting too that time of year too where the mts do start seeing there 1st snow
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114051
did td 5 make landfall yet? at lunch here in walton co we had a real intense, relatively brief rain, and its a little blustery out. really nice actually! when I left bay co this morning it was 76 degrees with a dewpoint of 74.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


It's make believe. But don't think some green environmental scientist isn't tryying to probably do this. Or governments actually doing this stuff right now.


try this:

A History of Weather COntrol

The Eisenhower Adminstration ran a few experiments...
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Quoting ElConando:


Since summer began?



yup
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114051
Quoting DestinJeff:
Rita, methinks you have forgotten that one takes much of what one reads here as the truth.

Perhaps a SARCASM FLAG was in order, to redirect ones thought process to that of humor.


I forgot the sacasm flag
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Breaking News:

Government experimental tests spray special substance in atmosphere to dry out and stabilize the upper levels. The increase in ULLs could be the reason behind this as well. Rest of the 2010 hurricane season looks to be much less because of this experiment. Hurricane seasons might be controlled by man afterall and make storms the thing of the past


This is not true...I'm sure it was CycloneBuster's tunnels :)
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Quoting Tazmanian:




the 1st snow fall any where for the USA


Since summer began?
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Quoting Patrap:
Quoting RitaEvac:
Breaking News:

Government experimental tests spray special substance in atmosphere to dry out and stabilize the upper levels. The increase in ULLs could be the reason behind this as well. Rest of the 2010 hurricane season looks to be much less because of this experiment. Hurricane seasons might be controlled by man afterall and make storms the thing of the past.



Me thinks you have no Link to support this special Sauce theory.

The Onion isnt a source I'd use here.


It's make believe. But don't think some green environmental scientist isn't tryying to probably do this. Or governments actually doing this stuff right now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
From Pat: The Onion isnt a source I'd use here.

What about the story about Hurricane Isaac being stopped by a large landmass to the south?
That was a miracle!!!
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Quoting tornadolarkin:
This is hilarious!!!!!!!

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MISSOULA MT
1226 PM MDT THU AUG 12 2010

...WINTERLIKE CONDITIONS ANTICIPATED FOR HIGH ELEVATIONS OF GLACIER
PARK AND BOB MARSHALL WILDERNESS TONIGHT THROUGH EARLY FRIDAY...

.A RELATIVELY COLD STORM SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO MOVE SOUTH FROM
CANADA DURING THIS EVENING...BRINGING PRECIPITATION AND LOWERING
SNOW LEVELS ACROSS THE GLACIER PARK AND BOB MARSHALL REGIONS.

MTZ002-043-130630-
/O.NEW.KMSO.WW.Y.0106.100813T0600Z-100813T1800Z/
WEST GLACIER REGION-POTOMAC/SEELEY LAKE REGION-
1226 PM MDT THU AUG 12 2010

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO
NOON MDT FRIDAY...

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

* IMPACTS/TIMING: SNOW LATE THIS EVENING THROUGH SATURDAY
MORNING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: UP TO 3 INCHES ABOVE 7000 FEET.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW
WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. THOSE PLANNING TO
ADVENTURE INTO THE BACK COUNTRY SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR UNSEASONABLY
COLD WEATHER AND SNOWFALL.




the 1st snow fall any where for the USA
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114051
Quoting Levi32:
12z NAEFS Day 14 has the hurricane coming in towards the U.S. from the southeast up at 32N but this is the kind of situation where you could get a hit right into Virginia, NYC, or somewhere in that area as the net ridging to the north can force some of these rare storms northwest into the eastern seaboard without recurving right away. Something to watch for but again the models and ensemble means will swing back and forth on whether this will recurve out to sea or not.



How dare you hahaha
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
Levi, so the pattern hits towards east coast hits?? awesome...


Yes the pattern favors it but even then it's hard to get a storm that develops fast near the Cape Verde Islands to make it all the way across. But if they do, they're usually a big deal.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
This is hilarious!!!!!!!

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MISSOULA MT
1226 PM MDT THU AUG 12 2010

...WINTERLIKE CONDITIONS ANTICIPATED FOR HIGH ELEVATIONS OF GLACIER
PARK AND BOB MARSHALL WILDERNESS TONIGHT THROUGH EARLY FRIDAY...

.A RELATIVELY COLD STORM SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO MOVE SOUTH FROM
CANADA DURING THIS EVENING...BRINGING PRECIPITATION AND LOWERING
SNOW LEVELS ACROSS THE GLACIER PARK AND BOB MARSHALL REGIONS.

MTZ002-043-130630-
/O.NEW.KMSO.WW.Y.0106.100813T0600Z-100813T1800Z/
WEST GLACIER REGION-POTOMAC/SEELEY LAKE REGION-
1226 PM MDT THU AUG 12 2010

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO
NOON MDT FRIDAY...

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

* IMPACTS/TIMING: SNOW LATE THIS EVENING THROUGH SATURDAY
MORNING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: UP TO 3 INCHES ABOVE 7000 FEET.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW
WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. THOSE PLANNING TO
ADVENTURE INTO THE BACK COUNTRY SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR UNSEASONABLY
COLD WEATHER AND SNOWFALL.
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Levi, so the pattern hits towards east coast hits?? awesome...
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12z NAEFS Day 14 has the hurricane coming in towards the U.S. from the southeast up at 32N but this is the kind of situation where you could get a hit right into Virginia, NYC, or somewhere in that area as the net ridging to the north can force some of these rare storms northwest into the eastern seaboard without recurving right away. Something to watch for but again the models and ensemble means will swing back and forth on whether this will recurve out to sea or not.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Quoting Floodman:
OMG, Pat! Special Sauce atmospheric injection....LMAO


On a sesame seed Invest?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125572
OMG, Pat! Special Sauce atmospheric injection....LMAO
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125572
658. xcool
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Quoting DestinJeff:


is it TD5 or some other feature with ancestral roots in TD5?


TD5
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so when is this wave comeing when?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114051
ECMWFEPS 12z putting TD5 back into the GOM on Monday:

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Quoting RitaEvac:
Breaking News:

Government experimental tests spray special substance in atmosphere to dry out and stabilize the upper levels. The increase in ULLs could be the reason behind this as well. Rest of the 2010 hurricane season looks to be much less because of this experiment. Hurricane seasons might be controlled by man afterall and make storms the thing of the past.



Me thinks you have no Link to support this special Sauce theory.

The Onion isnt a source I'd use here.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125572
Quoting StormsAreCool:


If this is true, it's a sad sad day.


Yes, because we have, indeed, mastered weather control...oh my!
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Another technique is to look at the spaghetti spread of the individual ensemble members and notice that the closed 5760m lines represent the hurricane depicted by the different members. The closed white line is the operational model.

Despite the majority of the members currently showing a recurve, the positive 500mb height anomaly over the northeast US (seen on left side) is a deadly pattern for the eastern seaboard and the model will go through big swings both before and after (if) this storm develops, so we can't trust in a recurve with this pattern.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Quoting Drakoen:
Support from the ECMWF ensemble members for development off the African coast:

wonder what the king tutt's have to say about that?
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Support from the ECMWF ensemble members for development off the African coast:

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Quoting RitaEvac:
Breaking News:

Government experimental tests spray special substance in atmosphere to dry out and stabilize the upper levels. The increase in ULLs could be the reason behind this as well. Rest of the 2010 hurricane season looks to be much less because of this experiment. Hurricane seasons might be controlled by man afterall and make storms the thing of the past.


If this is true, it's a sad sad day.
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Quoting Patrap:
"If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through"...no wait, that's someone else...

The RNC ?


No, but it fits them quite well; you do know that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, hoping for a different result?
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The Panthers @ Ravens game might get a bit blustery, then.
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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAKEFIELD VA
440 PM EDT THU AUG 12 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN WAKEFIELD HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
EASTERN CAROLINE COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL VIRGINIA...

* UNTIL 515 PM EDT

* AT 434 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR FORT A.P. HILL...OR NEAR BOWLING GREEN...AND
MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 25 MPH.

* THIS DANGEROUS STORM WILL AFFECT MAINLY RURAL AREAS OF EASTERN
CAROLINE COUNTY...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS SPARTA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE... OR
OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.
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GFS continues to have support from its ensemble members for development off the African coast.

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Quoting Walshy:
Damage coming in well to the north of Washington D.C.



08/12/2010 0622 am

4 miles SW of Green Valley, Frederick County.

Thunderstorm wind damage, reported by trained spotter.


Numerous trees down and wires down



Looks like it is building a bowing segment and straight line winds may be a real threat.
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By looking at the ensemble variance one can see the different locations where the GEFS wants to put the hurricane in 16 days. The choices picked by the model are either a run at the SE US coast, a slow, late recurve, or a rapid and early recurve.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.