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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360. Grothar
10:08 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting Levi32:


Tomorrow, 11:30am EDT I believe.


Are we expecting an unusual amount of mischief? I am going with 18-10-6.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25308
359. EYEStoSEA
10:08 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting Grothar:


Boy, I missed you guys. No one has insulted me in weeks.


OMG !! Hip, Hip, Hooray....THANK GOODNESS you are finally back.....We have been worrying and "fretting" about you. I know peeps are tired of my whining...So dont let this happen again !! BTW, some of the good ole bloggers are returning....and the season is nigh....All's right in wunderworld again...:)
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1492
357. Tropicsweatherpr
10:05 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting Levi32:


Tomorrow, 11:30am EDT I believe.


Yes, it will be tommorow.Here is the announcement.


Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13995
356. aquak9
10:04 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
hi grothar- so very good to see you. We worry about you, y'know? maybe ya oughtta get one of those "I've fallen and can't get up" thingies for around your neck.

DJ- I take it, we are again without a kitteh.

:(
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25729
354. Levi32
10:02 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting Grothar:
Does anyone know when the new NHC forecast is going to be released? I have been MIA for a while and may have missed it.


Tomorrow, 11:30am EDT I believe.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
353. Grothar
9:59 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting DestinJeff:


At least you haven't been in PNS all this time.


Nice beaches though. Don't forget, I know all the airline codes.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25308
351. Grothar
9:56 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting aquak9:
koo-koo-kashew


Aqua, tried to go back on some of the old blogs that I have missed. Are you behaving?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25308
Quoting Grothar:


None of us is perfect.
I no I aint.
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
koo-koo-kashew
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25729
Quoting PrivateIdaho:
Long enough to see the plural of datum used with the wrong verb about 90% of the time.:^)


None of us is perfect.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25308
Quoting DestinJeff:


i thought you lived in Miami.


That's Missing In Action, you twit! But I know you knew that.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25308
Quoting PrivateIdaho:
Long enough to see the plural of datum used with the wrong verb about 90% of the time.:^)
especially people from the Carolinas.
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
Quoting presslord:


the fact that you say someone insults you better than me...is very insulting to me...


I think you, DestinJeff, GeoffWPB, KEEPER and hydrus are way up there. Hard call who is best.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25308
Quoting presslord:


You haven't been around here very long, have you?
Long enough to see the plural of datum used with the wrong verb about 90% of the time.:^)
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
Quoting Grothar:
Has anyone seen GeoffWPB? He insults me better than anyone. Has it down to an art. Haven't seen any posts by him. Has he been on?


the fact that you say someone insults you better than me...is very insulting to me...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Does anyone know when the new NHC forecast is going to be released? I have been MIA for a while and may have missed it.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25308
Quoting PrivateIdaho:
And because Press decided to fight a losing battle on the appropriate use of "Carolinas" I will take this opportunity to point out that the word "Data" is plural. It is not correct to say "the data is wrong"...it's "the data are wrong."


You haven't been around here very long, have you?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Has anyone seen GeoffWPB? He insults me better than anyone. Has it down to an art. Haven't seen any posts by him. Has he been on?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25308
Quoting PrivateIdaho:
And because Press decided to fight a losing battle on the appropriate use of "Carolinas" I will take this opportunity to point out that the word "Data" is plural. It is not correct to say "the data is wrong"...it's "the data are wrong."


From which datum did you find that?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25308
Quoting presslord:


I certainly did not mean to imply that you're old......I actually meant to state it unequivocally...


Boy, I missed you guys. No one has insulted me in weeks.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25308
Quoting PrivateIdaho:
Don't worry, RJ Reynolds says the data are inconclusive.
And because Press decided to fight a losing battle on the appropriate use of "Carolinas" I will take this opportunity to point out that the word "Data" is plural. It is not correct to say "the data is wrong"...it's "the data are wrong."
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
It doesn't in "The Carolinas". It causes wealth.


used to, for sure.....I well remember visiting the tobacco barns with my Grandfather....I can still conjure up that wonderful sweet aroma of tobacco curing....pretty much a thing of the past now...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:


Smoking causes cancer?!?!?!?!? When did this happen?!?!?!
Don't worry, RJ Reynolds says the data are inconclusive.
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
Quoting Grothar:


The song, Nothing Could be finer than to be in Carolina in the Morning; to which Carolina were they referring? (That's what you get for implying I am old, LOL)

This is for you press!



I certainly did not mean to imply that you're old......I actually meant to state it unequivocally...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:


Smoking causes cancer?!?!?!?!? When did this happen?!?!?!
It doesn't in "The Carolinas". It causes wealth.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
327. flsky
Does anyone have any late-breaking news of the flood situ in LA? I can't seem to find anything pertinent that is up-to-date. Thanks!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Been nice since I have been back. No rain yet, I see. Not good. I have been closely monitoring the situation on the Mississippi. Guess we should not complain too much.


Meh! In N-E- Ohio, you can have all the rain you could want, in matter of fact, why don't you take half of our april rain, it was our wettest on record!

Very wet 2011

Another thing I wanted to add.
Make sure to look at the top few.
NEO
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Carolinas: The point where South Carolina and North Carolina meet. Basically the border region. A hurricane is forecast to hit the Carolinas you say? well it's heading for the border of the 2 states...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ScottLincoln:


...also a gravity cultist, relativity cultist, ozone hole cultist, smoking-causes-cancer cultist, etc...


Smoking causes cancer?!?!?!?!? When did this happen?!?!?!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:


Dude ...it ain't a grammatical issue...it's a geographical issue...although you get a few points for originality ;-)


You are most generous, sir.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
Quoting emcf30:
Hey Grothar, long time no hear. Hope all is well. We sure have had a nice stretch of weather last couple of days. To bad its not going to stick around for awhile


Been nice since I have been back. No rain yet, I see. Not good. I have been closely monitoring the situation on the Mississippi. Guess we should not complain too much.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25308
Quoting presslord:


I'll bet you're one o' those 'Climate Change' cultists, too...


...also a gravity cultist, relativity cultist, ozone hole cultist, smoking-causes-cancer cultist, etc...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Does that mean I can't have a red apple and a green apple and call them my apples? It seems like proper grammar to me :/

They used to be one province, you know...


Dude ...it ain't a grammatical issue...it's a geographical issue...although you get a few points for originality ;-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:
OK...here we go.......There is no such place as "Carolinas", "the Carolinas", the "Carolina coast", etc....ya got North Carolina...and ya got South Carolina...and ya gotta pick one or the other...Thank you for your cooperation...


Does that mean I can't have a red apple and a green apple and call them my apples? It seems like proper grammar to me :/

The Carolinas used to be one province, you know...
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
Quoting presslord:


I might....grudgingly...concede this point...if you will concede that it's worthless in terms of meaningful hurricane landfall forecasting...

I yield to the concept and agree to the terms.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:



yea...but that's in Canada...Right??


Yeah, I think they're part of Manitoba province.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SQUAWK:

Yup, there is no such place as "the Carolinas." Got to agree with Press on that. There is a REGION known as the "Carolinas" however.


I might....grudgingly...concede this point...if you will concede that it's worthless in terms of meaningful hurricane landfall forecasting...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
JTWC will change the way it grades tropical disturbances in the WPAC. That will start on June 1. I like the new format.

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13995
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
well well well lookya what the cat dragged in

how was the time off or do you even remember


Now Now, no age discrimination, everybody is getting
older by second.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting shoreacres:
Hmmmm.....

Better send along that "Carolinas" tip to The Bank of the Carolinas, the Cancer Centers of the Carolinas, the Foundation for the Carolinas, Cotton of the Carolinas, Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas, Assault on the Carolinas (bicycle race)... ;-)


agreed ;-)
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Quoting presslord:
OK...here we go.......There is no such place as "Carolinas", "the Carolinas", the "Carolina coast", etc....ya got North Carolina...and ya got South Carolina...and ya gotta pick one or the other...Thank you for your cooperation...

Yup, there is no such place as "the Carolinas." Got to agree with Press on that. There is a REGION known as the "Carolinas" however.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hmmmm.....

Better send along that "Carolinas" tip to The Bank of the Carolinas, the Cancer Centers of the Carolinas, the Foundation for the Carolinas, Cotton of the Carolinas, Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas, Assault on the Carolinas (bicycle race)... ;-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.