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 Prgal:


Sigh, then do you know how to get the "real" current one? I just learned about this page today.


So did I, it should go "current" when PREDICT officially starts on Aug 15. He does have another page that seems up to date Link
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584. Prgal
Quoting Prgal:


Sigh, then do you know how to get the "real" current one? I just learned about this page today.


Never mind...got it! Sorry for posting an older image. And thank you for pointing that out.
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Flood it didn't work, but Pat your brilliant idea did!!
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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
403 PM EDT THU AUG 12 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
CITY OF FREDERICKSBURG IN CENTRAL VIRGINIA...
EAST CENTRAL SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY IN CENTRAL VIRGINIA...
KING GEORGE COUNTY IN CENTRAL VIRGINIA...
SOUTHEASTERN STAFFORD COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA...

* UNTIL 445 PM EDT

* AT 402 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR AQUIA
CREEK...MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 25 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
POTOMAC CREEK...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING AND AVOID WINDOWS. IF OUTDOORS OR IN A MOBILE HOME OR
VEHICLE...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.
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581. Prgal
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


The top of the page has 2010080300 PREDICT Forecasts, so it is current to Aug 3.


Sigh, then do you know how to get the "real" current one? I just learned about this page today.
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Quoting TOMSEFLA:
again thanks storm for your work. it is appreciated by all
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Quoting Prgal:


I hope so, but its says "current forcast" in the page.


The top of the page has 2010080300 PREDICT Forecasts, so it is current to Aug 3.
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480?

Set yer frigging page to "Display 50 comments" and you'll be a dandier camper
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576. Prgal
Quoting RitaEvac:
We need to roll over to posts 600 to get off this page, Drak's post at 480 has done something


Everything looks fine here.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
everybodys avatar is above the numbers on the left, who jacked up the blog


Close the browser tab and come back...worked for me
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Quoting StormW:
TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS AUGUST 12, 2010 ISSUED 10:25 A.M.

And forecast signals
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We need to roll over to posts 600 to get off this page, Drak's post at 480 has done something
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Just a word or two about our "odd" season thus and its benefit:

While indeed there seems to be different camps of people who frequent these blogs (down Cs, Hype types etc, Pros (many thanks Storm,Levi etc))- and for weather enthusiasts with a predilection for excitement/adrenaline I can really understand how a weak season can be less than interesting-in the long run if we try and understand whats going on even with these "teasers" we (we amateurs especially) can learn more than on a straight-forward year. (wow that's a long sentence).
Anyhow, just my .02. So all us newbies lets hunker down and keep studying/learning.

Bradford in New Orleans.
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571. Prgal
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
562. Prgal

Those images are from last week.


I hope so, but its says "current forcast" in the page.
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562. Prgal

Those images are from last week.
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Quoting Levi32:


It's common knowledge that the majority of Cape Verde storms recurve, but more than plenty hit the US or Caribbean. That's all I'm saying.


Ya I think we are kind of arguing the same thing...let's just wait see where this wave exits Africa...the more south the better!!
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568. Prgal
Is this suggesting that there will be two systems one right after the other?

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Howdy all...
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it starts at post 480
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565. xcool
LOOKING WELL AHEAD...MODELS ARE EXPECTING A LOW PRESSURE TO COME OFF
THE COAST OF AFRICA...AROUND TUESDAY AND MOVE INTO THE ATLANTIC
DURING THE REST OF THE WEEK WITH SOME DEVELOPMENT POSSIBLE.
FORECASTERS WILL BE MONITORING THIS DEVELOPMENT CLOSELY.

San Juan NWS AFD
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
everybodys avatar is above the numbers on the left, who jacked up the blog
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Quoting pottery:

One of the Big problems, is 'our' preoccupation with "Reinstating Democracy" there.
Democracy is a totally alien concept to most Haitians.
You cannot foist Democracy on a population that has no Democratic history.
Far better to have started the election process at Village level, (Village Council etc) and allow the idea to take root and grow from there.
Competent individuals will come out of that system, to Parish or County elections, then area elections, then State elections.
Of course, this is a long-term process. But it works.

Democracy is a Learned culture.


The other thing that people don't seem to understand (and I mean no offense to any Haitians that might be here); there is an ingrained culture of corruption at all levels of power in the country. Most of the viable unused land in the country is owned by 10 or 11 families and while you may make a deal for a parcel to build, say, a school, you might get to the point where you're putting on the roof and someone shows up disputing the ownership of the parcel (from an actual situation in Haiti while we were doing relief work there)...one official gives you documents to release your goods from a port or airport and another disputes it and requires you to pay 20k gourdes for your goods (gourdes are roughly 40 to the dollar, last I looked); the first official is nowhere to be found...

It's not just rooting out a "totalitarian" mindset, it's getting people to play even vaguely by the rules...then there's writing the rules...

Haiti is a long uphill slog through a mudslide...
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562. Prgal
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561. Prgal
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Quoting NASA101:


Ya okay! But how many in similar positions went out to sea?! All i am saying that yes it's possible but from what I have seen in the past a storm strengthening into hurricane around 15N-45W needs a very strong high pressure to keep it going WestNW/W


It's common knowledge that the majority of Cape Verde storms recurve, but more than plenty hit the US or Caribbean. That's all I'm saying.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
Quoting Levi32:


Quoting BahaHurican:
Hmmm... historical record has 7 August storms that passed within 100 miles of 15N 45W then went on to hit the CONUS. They were all hurricanes at landfall. Two hit the Gulf; the others ranged along the East Coast, including 1 New York hit and one that made 2 hurricane and one TS landfall.

Most other storms recurved before hitting the CONUS.


Ya okay! But how many in similar positions went out to sea?! All i am saying that yes it's possible but from what I have seen in the past a storm strengthening into hurricane around 15N-45W needs a very strong high pressure to keep it going WestNW/W
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Hmmm... historical record has 7 August storms that passed within 100 miles of 15N 45W then went on to hit the CONUS. They were all hurricanes at landfall. Two hit the Gulf; the others ranged along the East Coast, including 1 New York hit and one that made 2 hurricane and one TS landfall.

Most other storms recurved before hitting the CONUS.

Hey Baha.
Just had a Compatriot of yours here.
K. Scott? 25-ish.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24025
Quoting btwntx08:
post 497 u have been reported


He's right, don't know why you'd report him.
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Quoting fuzzy3456:
quick question, have there been any significant winds recorded with the "landfall" of former TD5?


Fuzzy,
Im in New Orleans. For the last few hours basically NO wind.
KNEW 121918Z 35007KT 1 3/4SM +RA
KMSY 121853Z 31004KT 7SM -RA FEW025
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Here's what we are looking at on the models.

The GFS develop a very potent Cape Verde system starting by Tuesday almost as soon as it emerges off the coast. It also regenerates TD5 in the GOMEX, but has backed off on what it showed yesterday as a hurricane.

The ECMWF regenerates TD5 in the GOMEX and stalls it just off Louisiana, it also hints at Cape Verde development in the similar time frame of the GFS.

The CMC develops a Cape Verde system in a similar time frame as the ECMWF and GFS.

NOGAPS shows.. nada.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23568
Quoting NEwxguy:
Hey,Flood,enjoy it while it lasts.Tomorrow we will be back to abusing you.


Ahhh...I'll be less uncomfortable for sure...not used to accolades really; abuse is more my neighborhood

LOL
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Hmmm... historical record has 7 August storms that passed within 100 miles of 15N 45W then went on to hit the CONUS. They were all hurricanes at landfall. Two hit the Gulf; the others ranged along the East Coast, including 1 New York hit and one that made 2 hurricane and one TS landfall.

Most other storms recurved before hitting the CONUS.
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Quoting Patrap:

Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop


Nasty......
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Perhaps the slow start to the hurricane season is one of the benefits of climate change, eh? May it go out the same door it came in.

Of course, it is much too early to get giddy about it. The sky could fall on us a week from now and stay that way through October.

Has anyone checked the NH temperature differential between land and SST, historically? If that info is available I'd love to see it.
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Quoting Floodman:


Why thank you Pottery...feel like I should be giving an acceptance speech or something

LOL!!
Feel free to post a bannable image or 2!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24025
Quoting Drakoen:
HPC Discussion

THE GULF COASTAL REGION SHOULD REMAIN WET THIS ENTIRE PERIOD WITH
A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE IN PLACE AND POSSIBLE INTERACTION
FROM THE MID LEVEL REMAINS OF A TROPICAL DEPRESSION. ALL MODEL
GUIDANCE INDICATES THIS WITH THE GFS THE MOST AGGRESSIVE AND
PERSISTENT DEVELOPING STRONGER SFC LOW PRESSURE. WHETHER THIS IS
REAL OR A FEEDBACK PROBLEM REMAINS TO BE SEEN. EXPECT THE LATTER
AS THIS NEW VERSION OF GFS HAS SHOWN POSSIBLE HYPERSENSITIVITY TO
CYCLOGENESIS OVER SUBTROPICAL MARINE REGIONS. THUS HAVE KEPT IN A
BROAD TROF AND AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THIS REGION WITH AMBIENT
HIGH PWS.


...REMNANTS OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION NUMBER FIVE...

PREFERENCE: NAM OR ECMWF

THE NAM...UKMET...AND ECMWF HANDLE THE TRACK OF THE LOW LEVEL
CIRCULATION COMPARABLY THROUGH THE PERIOD...SENDING IT ON A TIGHT
ANTICYCLONIC LOOP INTO THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE BY THE END OF DAY 3.
THE GFS STALLS IT IN THE LOOP OVER NORTHERN ALABAMA DAY 3...SO
WILL CONSIDER IT A LOWER PROBABILITY OUTLIER. THE GEM GLOBAL
PULLS THE CIRCULATION INTO CENTRAL GEORGIA BY THE START OF DAY
3...SO WILL RULE IT AN OUTLIER AS WELL.


Still spinning on top of me.....
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Quoting Enigma713:
By and large, the "civilized world" has been taking either the wrong approach, or not bringing enough resources. They've either been treating the symptoms, and not the disease, or been trying to put out a forest fire with a garden hose.

One of the Big problems, is 'our' preoccupation with "Reinstating Democracy" there.
Democracy is a totally alien concept to most Haitians.
You cannot foist Democracy on a population that has no Democratic history.
Far better to have started the election process at Village level, (Village Council etc) and allow the idea to take root and grow from there.
Competent individuals will come out of that system, to Parish or County elections, then area elections, then State elections.
Of course, this is a long-term process. But it works.

Democracy is a Learned culture.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24025
Hey,Flood,enjoy it while it lasts.Tomorrow we will be back to abusing you.
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Quoting StormW:


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.


Fascinating season regardless!
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Semper Fi..!

Worldwide service in ACTION

Pakistan Floods Draw Marines, UN Warns More Dams Could Burst


SOHBATPUR, Pakistan (AP)-- A shipload of U.S. Marines and helicopters arrived to boost relief efforts in flooded Pakistan on Thursday, but the prime minister told The Associated Press his country needs more international help to cope with one of the worst natural disasters in its history.

The United Nations warned the crisis was far from over, saying dams in Sindh province could still burst in the coming days. More rain fell around the country, and monsoon season is forecast to last several weeks still.

U.N. officials estimate that up to one-fifth of the country is underwater.

The government has been sharply criticized for a slow and patchy response to the floods, which has killed 1,500 people left and left an estimated 7 million people needing emergency assistance, their homes destroyed, damaged or inundated with muddy water and unlivable.

President Asif Ali Zardari -- whose decision to go ahead with a trip to Europe when the disaster began was condemned by many -- made his first visit to victims of the disaster on Thursday, according to state-run Pakistan Television that gave few details of the trip.

The United States has pledged $71 million in emergency assistance to the country, which is key in the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban as well as stabilizing neighboring Afghanistan. It has also deployed the military to help, as it often does after major disasters.

The USS Peleliu arrived off the coast near Karachi on Thursday along with helicopters and about 1,000 Marines.
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Quoting Drakoen:


According to Chris Davis, the leader of the project, The PREDICT aircraft will be sending in microwave temperature profilers that will give the temperature profile kilometers above and below the aircraft. Upper level highs reside around 200mb at a height of 11,800mb or 11.8km.

The NCAR G-V aircraft can fly above 40,00ft and cover 4,000nm.


Also the Global Hawk will be at 60K feet releasing dropsondes.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Must be me.


No, I saw it too...the avatars were above the name and the framing was off a little. Probably a server issue
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Quoting NASA101:


Hmmm, not sure I agree with you Sir... a strengthening cylone at 45W north of 15N will be hard pressed to hit the CONUS - that's at least What I think...!! :)


It's not at 15N on the model.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
Quoting Drakoen:


Did I? The blog looks fine for me.


Must be me.
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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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