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 charlottefl:
Anyone know where I can get NOAA warning data for a past storm?


You may find some here Link
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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.


You're so totally trolling XD :P
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Anyone know where I can get NOAA warning data for a past storm?
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tornadodude you have WU Mail :)
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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.


ummm, I pray you are kidding...

Lol
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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.
Loool
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oh looky what I found
I guess I am right about maybe seeing development on that TWave lokk here it even in the forecast

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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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting caneswatch:
Hey y'all.

I'm up in MA. Everyone's holdin' up well including me. Just checkin' in and makin' sure everyone's ok. I'll be on again soon.


Glad you made it ok and everyone is holding up well. Take good care..
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Quoting Levi32:
The wave is now entering Guyana. It will be interesting to track as it is drawn northwestward in the coming days. Hunting down the location of a tropical wave over South America is always a joy, too.

lol
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:


Some awesome videos !! Large hail and everything...Gheez, I was frigthened just watching..
I watch TornadoVideos.Net on line, so now that I know your with MIDSCAR, I will follow and spread the word. GREAT WORK, Tornadodude


Awesome! glad you enjoyed it!

This year has definitely been one heck of a year to chase haha

But yeah, I'll make sure to pop on here and post when we go live next time!
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Quoting Levi32:


Fortunately, it looks like the wave will be turning north pretty far west, re-directing the tropical moisture stream mostly to the west of PR.
Great news!I will see the sunshine again hopefully.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1805
Quoting Gearsts:
More Rain for PR?? We got hail again today, so some really crazy thunderstorms :( and flooding landslides...


Fortunately, it looks like the wave will be turning north pretty far west, re-directing the tropical moisture stream mostly to the west of PR.
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Quoting tornadodude:


hey, yeah I'll post a couple. I have been working with a chase team based out of Champaign, Illinois
called MIDSCAR (Midwest Storm Chase and Research)

These are our videos from April 9th, 2011 near Mapleton, Iowa



Mapleton (daytime ef3)

NW Iowa Tornadoes (10 nighttime tornadoes)


Some awesome videos !! Large hail and everything...Gheez, I was frigthened just watching..
I watch TornadoVideos.Net on line, so now that I know your with MIDSCAR, I will follow and spread the word. GREAT WORK, Tornadodude
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Quoting caneswatch:
Hey y'all.

I'm up in MA. Everyone's holdin' up well including me. Just checkin' in and makin' sure everyone's ok. I'll be on again soon.


Good evening, Canes. Talk to you soon. Our condolences, for your family.
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I'm off to bed. Thanks for the fun! May the coming non-event leave us all well.

Sorry, I couldn't help myself... Dang it, Press!!
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Hey y'all.

I'm up in MA. Everyone's holdin' up well including me. Just checkin' in and makin' sure everyone's ok. I'll be on again soon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:
The wave is now entering Guyana. It will be interesting to track as it is drawn northwestward in the coming days. Hunting down the location of a tropical wave over South America is always a joy, too.

More Rain for PR?? We got hail again today, so some really crazy thunderstorms :( and flooding landslides...
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1805
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Big grin. You're a fine soul, Friend. Viva, Toronto.
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The wave is now entering Guyana. It will be interesting to track as it is drawn northwestward in the coming days. Hunting down the location of a tropical wave over South America is always a joy, too.

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Quoting tornadodude:



haha you too man!



Thanks!
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Quoting kmanislander:
The NAM likes that first Twave

Here is Sunday



Wouldn't be surprised if you got a shower or two from it. The trough-split diving into the NW Caribbean will likely draw the wave and its moisture northward.
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537. JRRP
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Quoting sunlinepr:


Hi; Do you have any new videos?


hey, yeah I'll post a couple. I have been working with a chase team based out of Champaign, Illinois
called MIDSCAR (Midwest Storm Chase and Research)

These are our videos from April 9th, 2011 near Mapleton, Iowa



Mapleton (daytime ef3)

NW Iowa Tornadoes (10 nighttime tornadoes)
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Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


I'll skip the bit about the rapture, this time. I wish you the best, TD. :)



haha you too man!

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Quoting tornadodude:


LOL


Hi; Do you have any new videos?
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9824
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
really naw iam just a little guy but then again they do say large bombs come in small packages


When I think of you Keep, the Pale Rider always comes to mind. :)
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Just want some rain here in The Caymans, its been so dry, an early season weak tropical system with lots of rain would be a welcome relief here


hey stormpetrol long time no hear. How are you how is thing up your end? and I agree 100% with you a TS with alot of rain I need
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Quoting hurricaneben:


I wish I can hunt tornadoes like you. I'm only 13 and sometimes I drag my dad to take me to chase whenever a severe storm is in the area. I never have seen a tornado fully touch the ground although I did see plenty of funnel clouds.


Keep at it Ben. I'm glad to see that our successor's are taking an interest in the weather that shapes our lives. Kudos!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
really naw iam just a little guy but then again they do say large bombs come in small packages


you could never be a "little guy"....you are bigger than life....in a very good way :)
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Quoting tornadodude:



yeah been a bad year, but regardless of if people chase them or not, they will happen, but yeah, been great being able to go out and do what I have dreamed of :)

working on moving to either Oklahoma City or Kansas City by year's end


I'll skip the bit about the rapture, this time. I wish you the best, TD. :)
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Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


Good evening, Keeper. I had you pegged for a
Kevlar vest and body armor...:)
really naw iam just a little guy but then again they do say large bombs come in small packages
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Quoting hurricaneben:


I wish I can hunt tornadoes like you. I'm only 13 and sometimes I drag my dad to take me to chase whenever a severe storm is in the area. I never have seen a tornado fully touch the ground although I did see plenty of funnel clouds.


persistence is the key. just keep reading and studying whatever you can online or wherever. This site has taught me so much in the 5 years I've been here. met many great people and learned more than I did in my science classes at college haha
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Quoting tornadodude:



yeah been a bad year, but regardless of if people chase them or not, they will happen, but yeah, been great being able to go out and do what I have dreamed of :)

working on moving to either Oklahoma City or Kansas City by year's end


I wish I can hunt tornadoes like you. I'm only 13 and sometimes I drag my dad to take me to chase whenever a severe storm is in the area. I never have seen a tornado fully touch the ground although I did see plenty of funnel clouds.
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;)
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:


Been a really good year for tornado chasers, for sure.......too good.....glad you're realizing your dream....but stay safe...:)



yeah been a bad year, but regardless of if people chase them or not, they will happen, but yeah, been great being able to go out and do what I have dreamed of :)

working on moving to either Oklahoma City or Kansas City by year's end
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Quoting kimoskee:


Don't worry I have to do that also! :-D



:D

LOL! Thanks.
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Quoting bappit:

Bittersweet news.


Ultimately, meh. My high school is a great high school academically, but in terms of the administration, it sucks. Great classmates, great teachers, great curricula. Otherwise, pbfft.

Quoting tornadodude:


Lol it's missed, but certainly gets better


Let's hope so.

Quoting Jax82:


I have a $5 quick pick for powerball, probably going to be a $5 quick loser. If I win, i'll buy everyone a beer, or a rain shower, whichever is preferred.


Or you could just average the two and get everyone of drinking age a beer shower.

Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i would like one of those fish shower curtains


lol


Lol a fish storm curtain -- hurricanes over water.
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Quoting PSLFLCaneVet:


I'm so Internet slang deprived, I had to look that up. LMAO :)


Don't worry I have to do that also! :-D
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Quoting tornadodude:


Ive been out chasing a ton this year! have seen 12 tornadoes this year, been a heck of a year for them.

Im actually headed out to the plains (from Indiana) on the 29th, hoping for another great trip


Been a really good year for tornado chasers, for sure.......too good.....glad you're realizing your dream....but stay safe...:)
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Quoting tornadodude:


what's on saturday? lol

*returns to lurking


(snickers) I'm not telling!!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i would like one of those fish shower curtains


lol


Good evening, Keeper. I had you pegged for a
Kevlar vest and body armor...:)
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i would like one of those fish shower curtains


lol


LOL
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Quoting kimoskee:


DWL!!!!


I'm so Internet slang deprived, I had to look that up. LMAO :)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
JUNE 2011: temperature 76 ° (1 ° above avg. north, 3 ° below south); precipitation 7" (avg. north, 5" above south); Jun 1-7: T-storms, then sunny, cool; Jun 8-12: Hurricane threat; Jun 13-19: Sunny; cool, then warm; Jun 20-30: Scattered t-storms, seasonable.

From the Farmer's Almanac
They aren't a very reputable source, in my experience.
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:


I know, have missed ya ! Think about ya when the chases are going on. Reed Timmer was In my neck of the woods (in Ms) 2 times in March....


Ive been out chasing a ton this year! have seen 12 tornadoes this year, been a heck of a year for them.

Im actually headed out to the plains (from Indiana) on the 29th, hoping for another great trip
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Quoting Jax82:


I have a $5 quick pick for powerball, probably going to be a $5 quick loser. If I win, i'll buy everyone a beer, or a rain shower, whichever is preferred.
i would like one of those fish shower curtains


lol
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Quoting tornadodude:


hey

how have you been?

I havent been on here in forever haha


I know, have missed ya ! Think about ya when the chases are going on. Reed Timmer was In my neck of the woods (in Ms) 2 times in March....
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About

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