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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Noting the 'full Map,' on the home page:-

I'm a bit out of my tree on this one being new to all this mass of information about everything from doldrums to impending doom. BUT it seems to my innocent and naive eye that there is quite a nasty imbalance in the SSTs of the worlds oceans at the moment and in my way of thinking which was alerted way back about March by learned posters, that if you have a bad imbalance then interesting things might also happen.
We have had 2 notable invests, tornadoes, a few major floods and a lot of bad weather over the US, plus some odd things over Europe as well, fires hail sandstorms etc.
I would be inclined to advance that there will be quite a lot of nasty things coming over the Atlantic this year and maybe 11 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes resulting from this current atmospheric set up.
Just a thought.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
401: "Atmosphere Above Japan Heated Rapidly Before M9 Earthquake"

That's called the "Mr. Miyagi" effect... so named from the Karate Kid movies. Earth's plates rub together briskly, thus building up heat and energy in the surrounding atmosphere. Amazingly, everyone's legs suddenly feel better such that they can resume fighting.
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Quoting Levi32:


Notice the low pressures in the western and southern Caribbean as well. That tropical wave currently over Guyana is probably going to get drawn north, possibly giving some of the season's first rainfall to the islands in the western Caribbean.
I sure hope you are right because we are desperate for rain. I cannot remember it ever being this dry.
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I have 1-3 and 3 for tonight's Lotto pick 3.

Never interested in those numbers folks dandy about and obsess over,,if you cant tell me when,where and what,well,I have no use for them.

The only hedge bet on the Season is Preparation.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668

Worldwide Tropical Cyclone Names
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
Quoting Patrap:
2011 E Pac Names N Hemisphere

Adrian
Beatriz
Calvin
Dora
Eugene
Fernanda
Greg
Hilary
Irwin
Jova
Kenneth
Lidia
Max
Norma
Otis
Pilar
Ramon
Selma
Todd
Veronica
Wiley
Xina
York
Zelda


I have 17/9/4 for EPAC.
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700mb moisture fetch at 72 hours:

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Quoting xcool:
14-6-8 2011 hurricane season
8 majors?

I must be reading this wrong.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
2011 E Pac Names N Hemisphere

Adrian
Beatriz
Calvin
Dora
Eugene
Fernanda
Greg
Hilary
Irwin
Jova
Kenneth
Lidia
Max
Norma
Otis
Pilar
Ramon
Selma
Todd
Veronica
Wiley
Xina
York
Zelda
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
Quoting sunlinepr:
Some development expected S of Mexico



Notice the low pressures in the western and southern Caribbean as well. That tropical wave currently over Guyana is probably going to get drawn north, possibly giving some of the season's first rainfall to the islands in the western Caribbean.
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Some development expected S of Mexico

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
This is the first place I saw the "Atmosphere heating up before M9 earthquake" story (slashdot.org) - has several links including the one that I posted.

Link
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Quoting HurricaneDevo:


I think I would tend to lean towards the higher side with 16-9-5 because of the uptick in activity over the last 10 years or so.
true, however based on the analog years the range is 12-16 ts's, and 8-9 hurricanes.

So I'm a little inclined to be more conservative
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
447. xcool
14-6-8 2011 hurricane season
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And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold.
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all

To be a rock and not to roll.

And she's buying the stairway to heaven.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9821
441. aquak9


,,datz why I always do a Platform alignment on the IMU with PB instead of Lox,




A set of three gimbals mounted together to allow three degrees of freedom. When all three gimbals are lined up (in the same plane), the system can only move in two dimensions from this configuration, not three, and is in gimbal lock. In this case it can pitch or yaw, but not roll (rotate in the plane that the axes all lie in).
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
off of africa

Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
Quoting TomTaylor:
gonna have to agree.

Also saw the analog years Levi posted and I'm starting to doubt my numbers. Gonna try again

13-17
7-10
2-4


I think I would tend to lean towards the higher side with 16-9-5 because of the uptick in activity over the last 10 years or so.
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I almost chocked on some Gimbal lox on a bagel once...
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Pretty active Africa at this time.

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Quoting Grothar:


Good school. Hope you do well.


Jeff Masters will be pleased...
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Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32278
Quoting hurristat:
The 16 figure seems a bit high to me -- I think we'll be in El Nino conditions by the end of the year, probably starting around mid-September, which will of course affect the number of storms.
gonna have to agree.

Also saw the analog years Levi posted and I'm starting to doubt my numbers. Gonna try again

13-17
7-10
2-4
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
Quoting hurristat:


Was that one of those "hint hint, wink wink, go to work so you can pay for my medicare" things? XD

Yeah, I'm going to the good ol' University of Michigan.


Good school. Hope you do well.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26515
16 doesnt seem too high to me. Even if we hit El Nino by September as you suggest, the atmosphere likely wouldnt feel the affects too much until a couple months later.

Id guess between 15-20 this year. Wide range I know ^_^
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You've gonna have to ask dem NASA Boyz,as I find it interesting,,but,never said I understood it.

Now if you want to yakk about Translunar Nav and other Apollo stuff,Im yer dude.

During translunar coast,,one must avoid Gimbal Lock
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
Noting 423:-

Thanks for that one Pat,

The only thing is how do they see the radon as getting through the water of the ocean?
I think some form of energy that can be in the same place as something else like light can in glass is much more suspect as radon would be blocked or absorbed by water.
No 2 similar forms of matter can be in the same place at the same time but solids and energy can.
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The 16 figure seems a bit high to me -- I think we'll be in El Nino conditions by the end of the year, probably starting around mid-September, which will of course affect the number of storms.
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Quoting RevElvis:
Hi all - been a member for over five years, have lurked, but never posted. Thought this was an interesting enough story to break the pattern.

"Atmosphere Above Japan Heated Rapidly Before M9 Earthquake"

Link


That's from the original posters Link,,as I only read it and highlighted from it.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
So it looks as if the "Carolinas" got hit in every one of the analog years. Actually, North Carolina.
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Quoting Grothar:


What a coincidence. I just renewed my Medicare card. Congratulations. Going to college?


Was that one of those "hint hint, wink wink, go to work so you can pay for my medicare" things? XD

Yeah, I'm going to the good ol' University of Michigan.
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Quoting HurricaneDevo:


1996 also looked bad for the northeast.


That seems to be a recurring theme in most of this year's analogs, with the exception of 2008, which was gulf-weighted.
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Quoting HurricaneDevo:


1996 also looked bad for the northeast.


Looks like it was bad for the Carolinas, too!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26515


1996 also looked bad for the northeast.
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:
maybe electromagnetic waves are produced that would be powerful enough to cause heating in the ionosphere.


EDIT: looking at Patrap's article, looks like I'm quite wrong.
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I like the articles premise,,intriguing stuff.

Today, Dimitar Ouzounov at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland and a few buddies present the data from the Great Tohoku earthquake which devastated Japan on 11 March. Their results, although preliminary, are eye-opening.

They say that before the M9 earthquake, the total electron content of the ionosphere increased dramatically over the epicentre, reaching a maximum three days before the quake struck.

At the same time, satellite observations showed a big increase in infrared emissions from above the epicentre, which peaked in the hours before the quake. In other words, the atmosphere was heating up.

These kinds of observations are consistent with an idea called the Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling mechanism. The thinking is that in the days before an earthquake, the great stresses in a fault as it is about to give cause the releases large amounts of radon.

The radioactivity from this gas ionises the air on a large scale and this has a number of knock on effects. Since water molecules are attracted to ions in the air, ionisation triggers the large scale condensation of water.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
416. PrivateIdaho

What I am thinking about here is strain and its by products, the energy to maintain a bow bent or any distortion of something that is not normally at rest uses a lot of effort, this energy if its arms bending a bow causes the arms to heat up even though the bow is unaffected by the energy until it snaps like an earthquake, then the strain on the arms is released and they return to normal and the bow or whatever transfers the energy sort of indirectly to the surrounds or environment.
Needs a bit of thinking about but should be easy to monitor on the atmosphere above earthquakes after they have happened with all those sensory satellites about up there out of Armageddons way?
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1955 is an interesting year for the Northeast.
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Quoting hurristat:
Evening all.

Had my last day of high school today.


What a coincidence. I just renewed my Medicare card. Congratulations. Going to college?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26515
Evening all.

Had my last day of high school today.
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Quoting PlazaRed:

Thanks for that one, Rev.

I have heard this from a few sources before but sort of only half listened, now I'm thinking on it.
If you bend a piece of glass or some types of plastic to its breaking limit and hold it there for a while it needs a lot of energy to maintain the strain, there is a possibility that this energy might give of heat in the infrared and that would maybe cause heating of the water vapour in the clouds as they absorb the heat radiation.
Just a thought at the moment.
maybe electromagnetic waves are produced that would be powerful enough to cause heating in the ionosphere.
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
Quoting Levi32:


No. They are using 1955, 1996, 1999, 2006, and 2008. Those are all good analogs except for 2006, in my opinion.

CSU April Hurricane Season 2011 Forecast


My bad, I was looking at the December 2010 forecast by mistake. Thanks for the catch.
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Quoting RevElvis:
Hi all - been a member for over five years, have lurked, but never posted. Thought this was an interesting enough story to break the pattern.

"Atmosphere Above Japan Heated Rapidly Before M9 Earthquake"

Link

Thanks for that one, Rev.

I have heard this from a few sources before but sort of only half listened, now I'm thinking on it.
If you bend a piece of glass or some types of plastic to its breaking limit and hold it there for a while it needs a lot of energy to maintain the strain, there is a possibility that this energy might give of heat in the infrared and that would maybe cause heating of the water vapour in the clouds as they absorb the heat radiation.
Just a thought at the moment.
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Tromso a beautiful city.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
Quoting HurricaneDevo:
The Colorado forecast is using 1956, 1961, 1989, 2009, and 2008 as analog years for 2011.


No. They are using 1955, 1996, 1999, 2006, and 2008. Those are all good analogs except for 2006, in my opinion.

CSU April Hurricane Season 2011 Forecast
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Quoting TomTaylor:

I'd agree with those numbers

my range is

14-18
7-10
3-5

so those numbers fall right in the middle
Quoting USAprimeCreditPeggy:
I prefer 36-24-36
BINGO!!!
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
Quoting Patrap:
tyvm..


Look familiar


Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26515

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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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