PSU Atlantic hurricane season forecast: 16 named storms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:25 PM GMT on May 18, 2011

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Expect a busy Atlantic hurricane season this year, with sixteen named storms, say Pennsylvania State University (PSU) hurricane scientists Michael Mann and Michael Kozar. Their annual Atlantic hurricane season forecast issued on May 16 calls for 12 - 20 named storms this season, which starts June 1 and runs until November 30. An average season has 10 - 11 named storms. Their prediction was made using statistics of how past hurricane seasons have behaved in response to sea surface temperatures (SSTs), the El Niño/La Niña oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and other factors. This year's forecast is primarily based on three factors:

1) The current above-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Main Development Region (MDR) for hurricanes, from Central America to the coast of Africa between 10°C and 20°C North latitude, will continue into the main part of hurricane season;
2) The fading La Niña event in the Eastern Pacific Ocean will be replaced by neutral El Niño/La Niña conditions;
3) The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) will be near average during hurricane season.


Figure 1. Hurricane Igor of 2010 as seen from the International Space Station.

The PSU team will also be making a new experimental forecast based not on the absolute MDR sea surface temperatures, but on difference between the MDR SST and ocean temperatures over the rest of the globe's tropical oceans. Some research has suggested that Atlantic hurricane activity is greater when this relative difference in SSTs is high, not necessarily when the absolute MDR SST is high (in other words, if all the world's tropical oceans have record high SSTs, we wouldn't get an unusually active Atlantic hurricane season, even with record warm SSTs in the Atlantic.) This new experimental forecast is predicting higher activity: 19 named storms in the Atlantic this year.

The PSU team has been making Atlantic hurricane season forecasts since 2007, and these predictions have done pretty well:

2007 prediction: 15 Actual: 15
2009 prediction: 12.5 Actual: 9
2010 prediction: 23 Actual: 19

NOAA will be issuing their annual pre-season Atlantic hurricane season forecast at 11:30am on Thursday, and I'll make a post on that Thursday afternoon. Tropical Storm Risk, Inc. (TSR) issues their pre-season forecast on May 24, and Colorado State University issues theirs on June 1.

My next post on the Mississippi flood will be on Friday.

Links:

PSU 2011 Atlantic hurricane season forecast issued on May 16.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting RitaEvac:


Completely insane having over 80% of the state in D3, and almost half in D4.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5881
Complete Update





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608. Jax82
Quoting clwstmchasr:


We all get hyped up for the June 1st day and the start of the season. Yet many years nothing happens in June and depression sets in on the blog.


"seasons a bust" if no named storm after June 2nd. This year i've heard "good chance at pre-season mischief!!!". "Have you seen the caribbean on the GFS at day 9, wow!!!!". "Dang look at those SST's in the Gulf, they are boiling hot already!!!". Me personally, cannot wait for "look its pumping the ridge!" LOL.
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Quoting clwstmchasr:


We all get hyped up for the June 1st day and the start of the season. Yet many years nothing happens in June and depression sets in on the blog.


That's another kind of tropical depression.
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Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630


Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
604. Jax82
Quoting IKE:
5 day QPF....yawn~




Oh wow, 0.01 forecasted the next 5 days for me!! Wait, i'm right on the border of light green and white, so I wont hold my breathe ;-)
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Enforcement agents from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries responding to flooding in Louisiana captured images of wildlife fleeing water that has displaced them from their habitats

Link
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Quoting Cotillion:


As a hurricane, then Alma of 1966 in early June is a good bet. There was a hurricane in 1908 which brushed North Carolina in late May.

Probably been earlier storms which were a hurricane at some point, but only hit as a tropical storm.


Please take note: this post specifies North Carolina...Well done!!!
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10490
Quoting Cotillion:


As a hurricane, then Alma of 1966 in early June is a good bet. There was a hurricane in 1908 which brushed North Carolina in late May.

Probably been earlier storms which were a hurricane at some point, but only hit as a tropical storm.


Looks like you are right about Alma. Took at quick look at the NOAA site, gives "early hurricane" a definition of one occurring in the three months around the start of season so Alma June 9 would probably fit. Good call. Thanks.
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Quoting HarryMc:
Atlantic Hurricane Season (wow... another anachronism AHS!) starts in a couple weeks. Just curious- what was the earliest storm to develop into a hurricane and make landfall in the US?


As a hurricane, then Alma of 1966 in early June is a good bet. There was a hurricane in 1908 which brushed North Carolina in late May.

Probably been earlier storms which were a hurricane at some point, but only hit as a tropical storm.
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Regarding post 401, does anyone recall this?

30 mins before the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKMTSDzU1Z4
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Quoting DestinJeff:
ok i will stop now. i told myself i wouldn't, so I am going to hold my feet to the fire.


please leave your feet out of this...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10490
Poof!
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595. IKE
Hurry up ATL hurricane season and start. You are missed on here.
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Atlantic Hurricane Season (wow... another anachronism AHS!) starts in a couple weeks. Just curious- what was the earliest storm to develop into a hurricane and make landfall in the US?
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593. IKE

Quoting DestinJeff:


"??????????????????"
LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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590. IKE

Quoting DestinJeff:


"look at the RGB Infrared Loop. what do you see?"
LOL!
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587. IKE

Quoting DestinJeff:


or just "yeah, NHC track is good. PEACE!"
LOL...true.

Or....

"""the NHC is going to have to come further west on their 5 day track"""
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Quoting presslord:
...and let's not forget 'humping the ridge'...


LMAO You slay me, Press.

Good morning, folks.
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Water: dems dat got don't want en does dat don't, do.
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583. IKE
another one...

"""I'm looking at it going on a track further NW or west of what the NHC is showing."""

Did he ever think it would go further east than the NHC?
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Quoting presslord:
...and let's not forget 'humping the ridge'...


Uhhh...?
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...and let's not forget 'humping the ridge'...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10490
Quoting TexasGulf:
Some people have no faith in the Tropical Storm / Name theory, but it IS in fact a theory. There is some historical basis; (ie: the Great Galveston Hurricane did in fact hit Galveston in 1900. Coincidence? The Labor Day Hurricane actually hit the Florida Keys on Labor Day in 1935. Coincidence?) Those are two examples of storms whose names determined either where or when they would make landfall.

Rather than throwing out some bogus statement like "We predict between 12-20 named storms"... which is like throwing darts at the broad side of a barn... the NAME theory dares to utilize a storm's given "psychic" ID to determine it's path and eventual destiny. Generally, the Named Storm theory is vaguely correct while also remaining relatively inaccurate. There is a non-scientific method to this madness.

Maybe in the past, storms and hurricanes could get by with innocuous names, but in this day and age of mass merchandizing, made-for-television documentaries and 24/7 tropical storm reporting... the storm NAME influences more than just it's strength and landfall potential. The Storm NAME helps the TV Network ratings and therefor sells commercial time. Storms these days DO live up to their names.

The theory works. Watch and learn.


rotflmao
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Dear all,

Last night I watched the Day After Tomorrow, I enjoyed Jake punching a wolf but am wondering if the climate change on that level is realistic?

Kind Regards,

Jerry Fartwell
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571. IKE
Latest GFS and possibly ECMWF, is showing a cold front(with a chance of rain), that looks like it makes it through the SE USA next Friday and Saturday and then the current pattern looks like it changes...hopefully.

What's that in the western Caribbean at 216 hours on the 00Z ECMWF?

http://raleighwx.americanwx.com/models/euro/00zeu rotropical850mbVortSLP216.gif

EDITS>>>>Looks like the file won't come up, but the ECMWF shows a 1008mb low in the western Caribbean on day 9.
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570. IKE

Quoting aquak9:
sigh...thanks I guess, Ike.
I'll take a peak at the GFS and ECMWF and see if there's any hope.
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sigh...thanks I guess, Ike.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 165 Comments: 25910
568. IKE

Quoting nocaneindy:


5 day QPF, Sigh, perhaps a slight swear even!

I guess it's the difference in location that separates our views on this map? :) Good morning IKE (from grass growing like it's on Miracle Grow) Central Indiana. I'd give you my rain, in return for perhaps a nice warm May afternoon, with no dreary mist or showers. Sound like a deal?
I don't blame you.

Stuck in a serious rut...one way or the other.
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Quoting IKE:
5 day QPF....yawn~




5 day QPF, Sigh, perhaps a slight swear even!

I guess it's the difference in location that separates our views on this map? :) Good morning IKE (from grass growing like it's on Miracle Grow) Central Indiana. I'd give you my rain, in return for perhaps a nice warm May afternoon, with no dreary mist or showers. Sound like a deal?
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566. IKE
5 day QPF....yawn~


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I'm sure you guys have already beat the subject to death, but I'm just home from a 16 hour shift, logged on and seen it had been hours since the last post on here. (Third Shift, take the night off?:)) So I'll make one..

That PSU experimental forecast seems to make quite a bit of sense to me. Look at last year. The Atlantic Basin was the king of SST's, outside of coastal Asian areas. Being close to land, those high SST's over there didn't really enhance any tropical activity. The E-Pac, as we all know, was a wash due to La-Nina. So the Atlantic was the SST hotspot. And what correlates with warm SST's? Yep, MJO. And it was more or less stuck in our Basin, seemingly for the duration of the summer and fall. And we all know the numbers 2010 pulled in. Globally low amounts of tropical activity, with the Atlantic being the exception. We carried the ACE for the most part, that I think is without dispute.

So to assume that lower SST's elsewhere in the world, when in correlation with higher SST's in the Atlantic, would give the Atlantic have higher numbers of storms seems almost a given to me. I sadly don't have the time to put together a in depth analysis to prove or disprove it, but I'm sure there's a good blogger or 2 who could.

ncforecaster, How about you? You rock with stats (as your blogs so succinctly show). Hope you see this comment, heck if not, WU-Mail!

Good Morning WU! I'll be your wake up call for now on, just don't expect much in reply, as I'll be soon fast asleep. (Graveyard shifter here)
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
oh looky what I found
I guess I am right about maybe seeing development on that TWave lokk here it even in the forecast
The southern portion has the best chance at ultimately developing. In fact, extrapolation of the very map you posted actually lends credence to the global models' unanimous solution: that the northern branch of the wave will likely be inconsequential due to strong upper-level shear, ultimately dying across the western Caribbean and/or Central America, while the southern portion of the wave develops a low pressure area, crosses Central America, emerges into the Pacific, and ultimately develops into Tropical Storm Adrian.
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TexasGulf - I get it, so there is at least 1 who does :)

Still think you're wrong about Rina though. No pussycat that one.

WTO
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Seismic Shift? As Bahamas Sink, One Island Mysteriously Rises.
All the islands in the Bahamas were thought to be slowly sinking, but now scientists find one quirky isle going against the crowd.

This anomaly suggests the area may be less seismically stable than previously thought.

Scientists focused on the small island of Mayaguana in the southeast Bahamas, which measures about 33 by 7 miles (53 by 12 kilometers). They noticed shallow banks of rocks called marine carbonates above ground that are usually present dozens of feet below the surface on the other Bahamian islands. These deposits are about 39 feet (12 meters) thick, span more than 17 million years of geologic history, and are only found on the isle's northern coast.

The unusual placement on these rocks gave researchers insights into the tectonic processes going on below the Caribbean.

"It took us about three years to process all the data and come up with a coherent story," said researcher Pascal Kindler, a geologist at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.
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Thanks.


Quoting EYEStoSEA:


You may find some here Link
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Quoting charlottefl:
Anyone know where I can get NOAA warning data for a past storm?


You may find some here Link
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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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