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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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)... ;-)
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Afternoon all....

Whoo hoo!!!! I hear THUNDER!!!!



lol I sure hope the rain makes it all the way to the ground....

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Quoting StAugustineFL:


Don't forget about the Dakota's.



yea...but that's in Canada...Right??
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10458
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
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...and the Lords Proprietor have not ruled here since well before the American Revolution...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10458
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...


Don't forget about the Dakota's.
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...and I don't give a damn that the National Weather Service doesn't understand this...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10458
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...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10458
Thanks Doc. With 19 storms last season but no major US impacts and, a large number of fish storms during a few clusters phases, I would not hazard a guess as to where they might actually make landfall this year if these pre-season numbers come to pass. Logic, per some of the ENSO phase impact journal articles out there, would suggest that Florida would be at a higher risk during a ENSO neutral year, but then again, they also suggest that the East Coast would have been at a higher risk during last seasons La Nina phase and only one storm brushed the NE. Point is you never know but just have to prepare every season for the relatively short notice we all get once a good short-term track is established a few days out from landfall at any given point.
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Well what are their names?????
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LOL This doomsday theory is BS. How 'bout Y2K, anyone? People were whining about the same Apocalyptic crap and nothing happened. 1976 too and years before that. If the world ends within' thie century, im sure its just gonna be that Earth is getting useless and we will migrate to another planet--that's the only 'Apocalypse' scenario that's possible in the short term.
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Picture of the smoke we are currently experincing
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Quoting USAprimeCreditPeggy:
Doomsday is Saturday, Grothar. Looks like you got back just in time.


So what you are saying is, I don't have to mow my lawn this week? What a relief.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23682
Quoting presslord:
Grothar...we had an alert here the other day about an older gentleman who had apparently wandered off...I'm gonna assume that was you...and that you're back now...and everything's OK...


Yes, I almost even made it to the Carolinas. :P
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23682
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Good grief, Grothar! You took forever finding your car keys. Was your computer locked up in the trunk as well? Good to see you back!

I guess you know that Texas, at least in my area, has been very, very, very dry. Give Thor a ring and see if he can bring us some showers along with that thunder. Just enough so that my grass doesn't crunch when I walk on it. Even the weeds in my yard look dry.


I heard Thor was in Hollywood making a movie. He always was a little vain. He always liked a thunderous applause. Been out of the country for a while myself.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23682
Grothar...we had an alert here the other day about an older gentleman who had apparently wandered off...I'm gonna assume that was you...and that you're back now...and everything's OK...
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Quoting kmanislander:
You never know when a lawyer may be watching :-)


We are always watching. Watching, and waiting.
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Quoting RastaSteve:


Thanks Gro! 31 myself. I'm sure you are young as well or young at heart I should say.


Just messing with you Rasta. Sorry I have been away so long. I was incommunicado. Besides that, I was not allowed to contact anybody. I wanted to be home by Doomsday. Sorry, I mean Tueday. LOL
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Quoting Grothar:


Tropical! How you been?


Good grief, Grothar! You took forever finding your car keys. Was your computer locked up in the trunk as well? Good to see you back!

I guess you know that Texas, at least in my area, has been very, very, very dry. Give Thor a ring and see if he can bring us some showers along with that thunder. Just enough so that my grass doesn't crunch when I walk on it. Even the weeds in my yard look dry.
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Quoting USAprimeCreditPeggy:
Grothar, the mythical beast I keep hearing about. Seems quite a few people on here have been missing you.


I missed me, too! Hope everyone has been well. I see the tropics are still quiet.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
well well well lookya what the cat dragged in

how was the time off or do you even remember


I had a very good time. (At least that is what I have been told) Keeping everyone in line?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23682
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Grothar!!!


Tropical! How you been?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23682
Is that a hook echo just north of Denver?



EDIT: Hmm... the thing I was asking about only lasted two radar frames and seems to be absorbing back into the main body of the storm now. Still... that storm is heading towards Weld County, which has more tornadoes than any other county in the US. So, if it ain't a twister yet it may turn into one...
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Looks like this is a dooms caster blog and not a wether blog . Can anyone give me a guess when my rain season will start i am getting tired of the drought and smoke .
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Quoting Grothar:


You don't seem that old


Yes, I'm pretty sure the available evidence suggests the contrary...


Oh, and right when the "action" on the blog really picked up the power in our building got knocked out by what I assume was a nearby lightning strike (as evidenced by the thunderclap that followed the chorus of people saying things like "Holy #&$@!", "Oh, you have GOT to be kidding me", "What the...?", "But I was right in the middle of...")

An aerial flood advisory is in effect for our area. It is NOT just another sunny day in Colorado today.

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Quoting USAprimeCreditPeggy:
Mother of God, NOT Enya!!!!!!!!
wrong vid check again
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Just gonna say numbers now, will have a blog update hopefully later tonight...

Named storms: 16-20

Hurricanes: 8-12

Major hurricanes: 4-7

Cat 5's: 1-3

Landfalls: 2-5
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30238
Quoting JNCali:
So Cal is certainly overdue for at least a TS, anyone out there think the E Pac will be warm enough later this summer to get some wind and rain to go along with the imminent shake??
Not really. The only ts known to actually hit California was in 1939. In 1858, apparently a hurricane affected s cal, and hurricane force winds were recorded, but I do not believe it actually made landfall as a hurricane. So a ts landfall in California is probably nearly a 1 in 100 yr event. By that measure, California is not necessarily overdue for a ts landing.

Remnants hitting California, however, are not uncommon at all, and we usually get several remnant storms a year.

As for remnants hitting this year, I'd say there's obviously a better chance than last year. Probably 50/50 chance of ts remnants making there way to California.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


This will help with Ghost Adventurers, Zak will have a field day chasing spirits and taunting them like hell.


Checking Retro Chanel.... The invisible man...
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9648

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About JeffMasters

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