Hurricane season draws to a close

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:01 PM GMT on November 29, 2010

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November 30 marks the final day of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season--a strange and highly active season. While it was an exceptionally active year, with 19 named storms, 12 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes, deaths and damages were far below what one would expect from so much activity. To me, this year is most memorable for what didn't happen--we did not get a full fledged hurricane rip through the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, nor did a devastating hurricane cause massive loss of life in Haiti's vulnerable earthquake zone. However, two hurricanes from this year are virtually certain to get their names retired--Tomas and Igor--and two other storms that did billions of damage to Mexico, Karl and Alex, are likely to have their names retired, as well.

The 19 named storms, 12 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes were 198%, 203%, and 217% of the 1950-2000 average for named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes, respectively. The nineteen named storms ties 2010 with 1995 and 1887 for 3rd place for most number of named storms in an Atlantic hurricane season. Only 2005 (28 named storms) and 1933 (21 named storms) were busier (Atlantic hurricane records go back to 1851, though there were likely many missed named storms prior to the beginning of satellite coverage in the mid-1960s.) This year also featured twelve hurricanes, tying 2010 with 1969 for second place for most hurricanes in a season. The record is held by 2005 with fifteen hurricanes. The five major hurricanes this year puts us in a tie for ninth place for most major hurricanes in a season. This year's Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index was 163, putting it in 13th place for ACE since 1944. A "hyperactive" hurricane season is considered to have an ACE index of >175% of the median. According to Wikipedia, median ACE measured over the period 1951–2000 for the Atlantic basin was 87.5, so 2010 is a hyperactive year by that definition (183% of the median.)



Friendly steering currents for the U.S.
As active as the 2010 season was, only one weak tropical storm made a direct landfall on the U.S. (Tropical Storm Bonnie, which hit South Florida in August as minimal tropical storm with 40 mph winds.) During the 15-year active hurricane period from 1995 - 2009, 33% of all named storms in the Atlantic hit the U.S., and 30% of all Atlantic hurricanes hit the U.S. at hurricane strength. Thus, the U.S. should have expected the landfall of six named storms, four of them being hurricanes, and two being intense hurricanes. So, the U.S. really lucked out this year. For comparison, here's how the U.S. fared in the four other hurricane seasons as busy or more busy:

2005: 28 storms, 7 hit the U.S. (5 were hurricanes, and 4 of those major hurricanes)
1933: 21 storms, 7 hit the U.S. (5 were hurricanes, and 3 of those were major hurricanes)
1995: 19 storms, 5 hit the U.S. (2 were hurricanes, and 1 was major)
1887: 19 storms, 5 hit the U.S. (3 were hurricanes, no majors)

We had twelve hurricanes in the Atlantic in 2010, yet none of them struck the U.S. Since 1900 there is no precedent of an Atlantic hurricane season with ten or more hurricanes where none has struck the U.S. as a hurricane. The eleven previous seasons with ten or more hurricanes--1870, 1878, 1886, 1893, 1916, 1933, 1950, 1969, 1995, 1998, and 2005--each had at least two hurricane strikes on the U.S. Since hurricane Ike (2008), there have been eighteen consecutive non US-landfalling hurricanes. Such a sequence last happened between Irene (1999) and Lili (2002), with 22 consecutive non US-landfalling hurricanes, and between Allen (1980) and Alicia (1983) with seventeen consecutive non US-landfalling hurricanes (thanks go to Adam Lea of tropicalstormrisk.com for these stats.)

No major Category 3 and stronger hurricanes have hit the U.S. since Hurricane Wilma of 2005. This is just the third such major hurricane drought since 1851. The other two such 5-year major hurricane droughts were 1901 - 1905 and 1910 - 1914. Also, 2010 is the only year besides 1951 when there have been five major hurricanes in the Atlantic, and none have hit the U.S. (1958 is also listed as such a year, but preliminary results from a re-analysis effort shows that Hurricane Helene hit North Carolina as a major hurricane that year.) There has never been a six year period without a U.S. major hurricane landfall.

The reason the U.S. got so lucky--and that Canada and Mexico took a much more severe beating than usual--was that the Azores/Bermuda high was farther east than usual, and there were more strong troughs of low pressure over the U.S. East Coast than usual. In addition, there was stronger high pressure than usual over the U.S. Gulf Coast, which deflected Caribbean storms into Mexico.

Intense hurricanes in unprecedented locations
Another remarkable feature of this year was that we saw three major hurricanes in rare or unprecedented locations. Julia was the easternmost major hurricane on record, Karl was the southernmost major hurricane on record in the Gulf of Mexico, and Earl was the 4th strongest hurricane so far north. This unusual major hurricane activity is likely due, in part, to the record tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures this year. Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic from the Caribbean to the coast of Africa were at their warmest levels on record for almost the entire year.

Rare simultaneous hurricane occurrences and activity levels
On September 16, there were three simultaneous hurricanes--Karl, Igor, and Julia--in the Atlantic. According to Phil Klotzbach at Colorado State, three simultaneous Atlantic hurricanes is a rare phenomena, having occurred only eight other times since 1851. The other years were 1893, 1926, 1950, 1961, 1967, 1980, 1995, and 1998. Two of those years--1998 and 1893--had four simultaneous hurricanes.


Figure 2. Triple trouble: From left to right, Hurricanes Karl, Igor, and Julia roil the Atlantic. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

On September 15, Hurricane Julia and Hurricane Igor were both Category 4 storms. This was just the second time in recorded history that two simultaneous Category 4 or stronger storms have occurred in the Atlantic. The only other occurrence was on 06 UTC September 16, 1926, when the Great Miami Hurricane and Hurricane Four were both Category 4 storms for a six-hour period. The were also two years, 1999 and 1958, when we missed having two simultaneous Category 4 hurricanes by six hours. The four Category 4 storms in 2010 makes this year tied for third place for most Category 4+ storms in a year. Only two other seasons have had as many as five Category 4 or stronger storms (2005 and 1999). This year is also holds the record for the earliest a fourth Category 4 or stronger storm has formed (though the fourth Category 4 of 1999, Hurricane Gert, formed just 3 hours later on September 15 in 1999.) We also had four Cat 4+ storms in just twenty days, which beat the previous record for shortest time span for four Cat 4+ storms to appear. The previous record was 1999--24 days. Eleven named storms formed between August 22 and September 29. This is the most named storms to form during this period, breaking the old record of nine named storms set in 1933, 1949, 1984 and 2002 (thanks go to Phil Klotzbach of CSU for the last two stats.)

Rare activity levels
Five hurricanes formed during the month of October. Only 1870 (six hurricanes) and 1950 (five hurricanes) have had five or more October hurricanes. We also had four Cat 4+ storms in just twenty days, which beat the previous record for shortest time span for four Cat 4+ storms to appear. The previous record was 1999--24 days. Eleven named storms formed between August 22 and September 29. This is the most named storms to form during this period, breaking the old record of nine named storms set in 1933, 1949, 1984 and 2002 (thanks go to Phil Klotzbach of CSU for the last two stats.)

Hurricane Alex
Hurricane Alex had the highest sustained winds (100 mph) of any June hurricane since Hurricane Alma of 1966 (125 mph.)

Hurricane Earl
As Hurricane Earl approached North Carolina on September 2, its 140 mph winds made it the fourth strongest Atlantic hurricane on record so far north. Only Hurricane Esther of 1961, Hurricane Connie of 1955, and Hurricane Two of 1922 had stronger winds at a more northerly latitude.


Figure 2. Hurricane Earl as seen from the International Space Station on Thursday, September 2, 2010. Image credit: NASA astronaut Douglas Wheelock.

Hurricane Igor: Newfoundland's worst hurricane in memory
Igor killed one person on Newfoundland, and damage exceeded $100 million, making Igor the most damaging tropical cyclone in Newfoundland history. A summary of the impact of Igor prepared by Environment Canada put it this way:

"Hurricane Igor and its severe impacts certainly represent a rare event in Newfoundland history which has been described as the worst in memory. In statistical terms, this was effectively a 50 - 100 year event depending on how one chooses to define it. There are no hurricanes/post tropical events of this magnitude striking Newfoundland in the modern era. Hurricane Juan in Nova Scotia was the last Atlantic Canadian hurricane to cause extreme damage. Prior to the naming of hurricanes, the 1935 Newfoundland Hurricane 75 years ago was of similar intensity."


Figure 3. A ravine carved by Hurricane Igor's flood waters washed out the Trans-Canada Highway, isolating Southeast Newfoundland from the rest of the province. Image credit: CBC News.

Hurricane Julia: strongest hurricane so far east
Hurricane Julia put on a remarkable and unexpected burst of intensification to become the season's fourth Category 4 storm. Julia's 135 mph winds made it the strongest hurricane on record so far east; the previous record was held by the eighth storm of 1926, which was only a 120 mph Category 3 hurricane at Julia's longitude. Julia's intensification was a surprise, since SSTs in the region were about 27.5°C, which is just 1°C above the threshold needed to sustain a Category 1 hurricane.

Hurricane Karl: strongest hurricane ever in the Bay of Campeche
Hurricane Karl was the first major hurricane on record in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche--the region bounded by the Yucatan Peninsula on the east. There were two other major hurricanes that grazed the northern edge of the Bay of Campeche, Hurricane Hilda of 1955 and Hurricane Charley of 1951, but Karl is by far the farthest south a major hurricane has been in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane records go back to 1851, but Karl was a small storm and could have gotten missed as being a major hurricane before the age of aircraft reconnaissance (1945). Flooding from Karl caused an estimated $5.6 billion in damage to Mexico, making Karl this year's most damaging storm.


Figure 4. Tracks of all major hurricanes since 1851 near Mexico's Bay of Campeche. Karl is most southerly storm on record in the Gulf of Mexico. Image credit: NOAA Coastal Services Center.

Hurricane Paula sets a rapid intensification record
Hurricane Paula, the 16th named storm and 9th hurricane of the season, set a modern record for the fastest intensification from the issuance of the first advisory to hurricane strength. Paula reached hurricane strength just twelve hours after the first advisory was issued. Since reliable record keeping of intensification rates of Atlantic hurricanes began in 1970, when regular satellite coverage became available, no storm has ever intensified into a hurricane that quickly. Hurricane Humberto of 2007 held the previous record for fastest intensification from first advisory issued to hurricane strength--18 hours. However, there is one caveat to keep in mind. It is likely that when the final Atlantic hurricane data base (HURDAT) is constructed, Paula will be recognized as having been a tropical depression 3 - 9 hours before the first advisory was issued. Thus, it may turn out that Paula will be recognized as intensifying from first advisory to a hurricane in eighteen hours, tying Humberto's record. There have been six storms that accomplished the feat in 24 hours.

Hurricane Tomas
The formation of Tomas so far south and east so late in the season (October 29) is unprecedented in the historical record; no named storm has ever been present east of the Lesser Antilles (61.5°W) and south of 12°N latitude so late in the year. Hurricane Six of 1896 came close--it was also a tropical storm south of 12°N and east of 61.5°W on October 29, but nine hours earlier in the day. That storm recurved to the north and missed the Lesser Antilles. Tomas' track through the southern Lesser Antilles so late in the year is unprecedented. Another unusual aspect of Tomas' formation is that we had simultaneous hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean on October 30--Tomas and Shary. There has been only one hurricane season since 1851 that had two simultaneous hurricanes later in the year--1932, when Hurricane Ten and Hurricane Eleven both existed November 7 - 10. Tomas was the 6th deadliest late-season Atlantic hurricane on record, and its preliminary death toll of 31 - 41 makes it the deadliest storm of the 2010 season. Tomas killed at least nine people and did at least $100 million in damage to St. Lucia, making it that island's second most damaging storm on record.


Figure 5. This landslide on St. Lucia after Tomas destroyed an art studio located just below the white car, killing several people. Image credit: Bernd Rac, Anse Chastanet.

Pre-season forecasts do well
Phil Klotzbach and Bill Gray of CSU have a more in-depth summary of this year's hurricane season. Kudos to them and all the other seasonal forecasting groups, whose forecasts of an exceptionally active Atlantic hurricane season were spot-on. CSU will make their first forecast for the 2011 hurricane season on Wednesday, December 12.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting DoverWxwatchter:
Great seasonal summary Dr. Masters!

Also nice to see people talking about weather instead of hundreds of stupid posts about movie quotes.
"your a Daisy if you do!"
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Quoting scott39:
Concerned about possible tornadoes on the N Gulf Coast tonight!
It must be frightening to live in a tornado area. What do you do? Do you sleep in your basement or bathtub?
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Concerned about possible tornadoes on the N Gulf Coast tonight!
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Will the United States be this lucky in 2011 Hurricane season? Me thinks not!
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Quoting kwgirl:
Maybe he didn't know any!


LOL
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:



Killjoy.
Maybe he didn't know any!
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Good Afternoon all.
Occasional showers, some heavy but brief, here last night and today.
ITCZ action over the region, with some heavier stuff lingering to the east but kept there by westerly winds in the mid and upper levels.

Although the humidity is up in the 90's, the temps are in the mid 80's which is very nice.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24307
based on what has been said, I can conclude during the offseason that...
Retiring~
Alex to Alec
Igor to Irvin, or Irwin
Karl to Kaden
Tomas to ?

Upgrading~
Alex to Strong Cat. 2 with 110 MPH

Give me your thoughts on what storms you think will be retired and what names they will replace them with.

Alex x
Bonnie
Colin
Danielle
Earl
Fiona
Gaston
Hermine
Igor x
Julia
Karl x
Lisa
Matthew
Nicole
Otto
Puala
Richard
Shary
Tomas x
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Quoting DoverWxwatchter:
Great seasonal summary Dr. Masters!

Also nice to see people talking about weather instead of hundreds of stupid posts about movie quotes.



Killjoy.
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Quoting beell:


Probably not. They still look pretty straight. The book-ends are most often found when strong mid-level winds push the line into a bow. The northern end of a bow a favored spot as the inflow shears around the cell in a cyclonic direction-causing a short-lived spin. At the other end of the bow the shear is anti-cylonic.



ohhhh, gotcha.

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Quoting tornadodude:


so would the cells across Eastern Texas right now be more likely to have book end vortices?


Probably not. They still look pretty straight. The book-ends are most often found when strong mid-level winds push the line into a bow. The northern end of a bow a favored spot as the inflow shears around the cell in a cyclonic direction-causing a short-lived spin. At the other end of the bow the shear is anti-cylonic.

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Quoting beell:
No problem, td. A quick way to evaluate directional shear and helicity.

Still can get brief rotation in a "straight" hodograph with "book-end vortices" occuring in embedded cells in a linear line of cells with a "unidirectional wind field".

We should see some of both today. The curved hodographs occuring in the discrete cells.





so would the cells across Eastern Texas right now be more likely to have book end vortices?
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No problem, td. A quick way to evaluate directional shear and helicity.

Still can get brief rotation in a "straight" hodograph with "book-end vortices" occuring in embedded cells in a linear line of cells with a "unidirectional wind field".

We should see some of both today. The curved hodographs occuring in the discrete cells.



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Very good explanation, Beel. Thanks to you and Tdude, I've definitely learned something new today.
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Phew. We can finally stick a fork in the 2010 season... Thanks Dr. M for all the updates and listing all of the records we broke this season.

Thankfully it will be a season that most of us will remember for record breaking weather events and not for record breaking casualties.

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I am so glad the predictions were so very close this year. It will be a real test this year to see if the skill can remain high during a La Nina event.
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Quoting beell:


Launch a weather balloon. Compute the distance and direction it has moved at several points along the path as the balloon ascends. Draw a line from the origin to each point. The longer the line, the stronger the winds. A vector. Draw a line connecting the end of each vector.

In the example the vector from the center is towards the NW. That means the winds are from the SE. Second vector is pointing almost north-winds are almost out of the south.

A curved hodograph representing the turn of the winds with height.

If the vectors all pointed to the NE up through the levels this would represent a SW wind all the way up. No curve, the hodograph would be "straight.


oh, ok, gotcha, pretty simple concept.

thanks beell
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Launch a weather balloon. Compute the distance and direction it has moved at several points along the path as the balloon ascends. Draw a line from the origin to each point. The longer the line, the stronger the winds. A vector. Draw a line connecting the end of each vector.

In the example the first vector (Labeled Vo) from the center is towards the NW. That means the winds are from the SE. Second vector is pointing almost north-winds are almost out of the south.

A curved hodograph representing the turn of the winds with height.

If the vectors all pointed to the NE up through the levels this would represent a SW wind all the way up. No curve, the hodograph would be "straight"-representing a "unidirectional" wind field.
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Quoting beell:
Most of the time it is just called a "curved" hodograph. But you got the essentials, t-dude


oh right on, thanks
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Thanks guys. Definitely will be keeping an eye on the sky here today on the La/Tx border.
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Most of the time it is just called a "curved" hodograph. But you got the essentials, t-dude
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Quoting MTWX:

I think all of us did... LOL


haha yeah, I knew what one was, just not what horseshoe meant :P guess thats what teh internets for
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45. MTWX
Quoting tkeith:
Hodograph

I had to look it up :)

I think all of us did... LOL
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Hodograph

I had to look it up :)
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Quoting Seawall:
The Lake Charles, LA technical discussion included this part...
Adequate moisture...advective moistening within the lower levels is
concentrating moisture (about 15 g per kg) within the boundary
layer. In addition...the preciptable water values will be running
about 1.10 inches (about 140 percent of normal).


Finally...the morning sounding across Lake Charles highlights a
Horseshoe hodograph.


The Lake Charles and the New Orleans and the Shreveport offices
will do a special afternoon sounding.


Just curious - what is a horseshoe hodograph?


well hodographs plot the winds in the atmosphere, vertically, and if it is "horseshoe" shaped, then it means the winds are moving in different directions across different levels of the atmosphere. basically, it means the winds turn with height. allowing storms to rotate fairly easily.

I think this is right, but might want to ask someone else to make sure
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41. MTWX
The cell east of Shreveport, LA crossing I-20 shows some potential.
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The Lake Charles, LA technical discussion included this part...
Adequate moisture...advective moistening within the lower levels is
concentrating moisture (about 15 g per kg) within the boundary
layer. In addition...the preciptable water values will be running
about 1.10 inches (about 140 percent of normal).


Finally...the morning sounding across Lake Charles highlights a
Horseshoe hodograph.


The Lake Charles and the New Orleans and the Shreveport offices
will do a special afternoon sounding.


Just curious - what is a horseshoe hodograph?
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Quoting MTWX:

I saw that. We will have to see how well the low along the Texas coast develops. It doesn't even look like we will even push into the lower 60's as far as heating.


oh wow, well who knows.

some decent looking storms over Eastern Texas right now
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38. MTWX
Quoting tornadodude:
well the new outlook is out,

looks pretty much the same,

some supercells, with a heightened chance of tornadoes, with the possibility of some strong tornadoes across Louisiana and Mississippi

I saw that. We will have to see how well the low along the Texas coast develops. It doesn't even look like we will even push into the lower 60's as far as heating.
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SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORT WORTH TX
1026 AM CST MON NOV 29 2010

TXZ148-291700-
ANDERSON TX-
1026 AM CST MON NOV 29 2010

...SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY FOR...
ANDERSON COUNTY

AT 1026 AM CST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
STRONG THUNDERSTORM 5 MILES NORTH OF PALESTINE...MOVING NORTHEAST AT
40 MPH.

CITIES IN THE PATH OF THIS STORM INCLUDE FRANKSTON AND PALESTINE.

FREQUENT CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING...VERY HEAVY RAINFALL...PEA-SIZED
HAIL...AND WIND GUSTS TO 50 MPH CAN BE EXPECTED FROM THIS STORM.

LAT...LON 3162 9571 3166 9574 3161 9577 3165 9579
3169 9578 3170 9586 3203 9585 3208 9543
3201 9542 3199 9544 3195 9544 3191 9542
3185 9544 3182 9540 3175 9537
TIME...MOT...LOC 1626Z 234DEG 34KT 3184 9558
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well the new outlook is out,

looks pretty much the same,

some supercells, with a heightened chance of tornadoes, with the possibility of some strong tornadoes across Louisiana and Mississippi
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so 2010 is a hyperactive season with these new calulations iam sure there will be a few reviews in the weeks to come thanks doc still a good read all the same
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34. JeffMasters (Admin)
Quoting Neapolitan:

I was under the impression that it's not an ACE value of 175 that determines whether a season is "hyperactive", but rather whether ACE is 175% or more of the long-term median. The 1951-2005 median was 89.5 (and it's even slightly less when taken from 1950-2009). Given that 89.5 x 1.75 = 156.625, then, wouldn't this year indeed be considered "hyperactive"?

(See I cross-posted and echoed the comments from SouthDadeFish in #6.)


Thanks for the correction, I've re-worded the post:

"This year's Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index was 163, putting it in 13th place for ACE since 1944. A "hyperactive" hurricane season is considered to have an ACE index of >175% of the median. According to Wikipedia, median ACE measured over the period 1951–2000 for the Atlantic basin was 87.5, so 2010 is a hyperactive year by that definition (183% of the median.)"

CSU lists the mean ACE in the Atlantic to be 96 units, which I sloppily mentally round off to 100. However, the mean is not the same as the median, so one has to be careful about using the correct terminology here.

Jeff Masters
Quoting MTWX:

You and me both. We are not going to get a lot of daytime heating. We will just have to wait and see as the afternoon progresses.


agreed. The dynamics are there for the most part, just worried about the cape. Shear looks impressive tho..
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32. MTWX
Quoting tornadodude:


im not entirely confident with this setup, but if it does come through, there is possibility for some fairly strong tornadoes

You and me both. We are not going to get a lot of daytime heating. We will just have to wait and see as the afternoon progresses.
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Quoting MTWX:

Lets see what happens...


im not entirely confident with this setup, but if it does come through, there is possibility for some fairly strong tornadoes
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30. MTWX
Next SPC update should come out within the next 30 minutes. Today looks to be interesting for my area!
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hey will someone tell me how cold it going 2 get in soth fla i heard the mid 40
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28. MTWX
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

Lets see what happens...
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Always convenient "after the fact" to figure out why the US coastline was not directly impacted but impossible to predict this possibility at the beginning of the season.

But that possibility was predicted. I heard no professionals--NOAA, CSU, UKMET, even JB--say there was a 100% chance of a CONUS hurricane strike. Other odds were usually given: 50%, 60%, 70%, and so on. And, obviously, those calling for a 60% chance of a CONUS strike were similarly calling for a 40% chance of no CONUS strike; and 50% odds for a CONUS strike means 50% odds against it.

Having said that, climatology dictated that a record of 19-12-5 meant that it was practically a certainty that the mainland US would be whacked a time or two--as Dr. Masters very clearly explained in today's post. That a CONUS strike didn't happen is yet another amazing piece of data about the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. (A fact, by the way, I frankly wouldn't mind seeing repeated every year...)
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Quoting SQUAWK:


Eh, not always true. I have seen those that can look at it in the mirror and still get it wrong.


+1
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:


Hindsight is 20/20.


Eh, not always true. I have seen those that can look at it in the mirror and still get it wrong.
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Spokane, Washington now has more snow than it did all last winter

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT


NOUS46 KOTX 281313
PNSOTX

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SPOKANE WA
512 AM PST SUN NOV 28 2010

...SOME NOVEMBER SNOWFALL STATISTICS FOR THE SPOKANE INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT...


AS OF 12 AM...NOVEMBER 28TH...SPOKANE HAD RECEIVED 20.5 INCHES OF
SNOW FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER.

THE NOVEMBER 2010 TOTAL OF 20.5 INCHES RANKS AS THE FIFTH SNOWIEST
NOVEMBER FOR SPOKANE. HERE IS A LIST OF THE TOP FIVE SNOWIEST
NOVEMBERS.

RANK VALUE YEAR
1 24.7" 1955
2 24.2" 1897
3 23.7" 1985
4 23.6" 1973
5 20.5"** 2010

**TOTAL AS OF 12 AM...NOVEMBER 28TH. MORE SNOW IS LIKELY BY THE END
OF THE MONTH.


THE 7.5 INCHES THAT FELL ON NOVEMBER 22ND 2010 WAS THE THIRD HIGHEST
24 HOUR SNOW TOTAL FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER. HERE IS A LIST OF THE
TOP FIVE 24 HOUR SNOW TOTALS FOR THE SPOKANE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.

RANK VALUE ENDING DATE
1 9.0" 11/04/1973
2 8.2" 11/20/2003
3 7.5" 11/22/2010
4 7.2" 11/12/1911
5 7.1" 11/27/1984


TECHNICALLY...IT IS NOT EVEN WINTER YET...BUT THE SPOKANE
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAS ALREADY ECLIPSED THE SEASONAL SNOW TOTAL
FROM LAST WINTER. THE TOTAL FOR THIS YOUNG WINTER SEASON IS 20.5
INCHES. THE TOTAL FOR THE WINTER OF 2009-2010 WAS ONLY 14.4 INCHES.


SNOWFALL RECORDS FOR SPOKANE HAVE BEEN KEPT SINCE 1893.
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:


Hindsight is 20/20.


Yup...........No disrespect to Dr. or any of the major players who accurately predicted a very active season. Just pointing out how an "x" factor, or several as noted by Dr. M, can change the game. I still remember that the real season got off to late start (with the first big cluster of storms in late Aug into September) and Dr. M. posted a real interesting blog about a possible connection between the heat wave in Russia and possible effects on the start of h-season in spite of record SST's going into May-June-July.

Now on to the severe weather season for the US through the Spring.
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Thanks Dr.

The reason the U.S. got so lucky--and that Canada and Mexico took a much more severe beating than usual--was that the Azores/Bermuda high was farther east than usual, and there were more strong troughs of low pressure over the U.S. East Coast than usual. In addition, there was stronger high pressure than usual over the U.S. Gulf Coast, which deflected Caribbean storms into Mexico.

Always convenient "after the fact" to figure out why the US coastline was not directly impacted but impossible to predict this possibility at the beginning of the season.


Hindsight is 20/20.
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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.