NOAA predicts a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:17 PM GMT on May 24, 2012

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NOAA forecasts a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season in 2012, in their May 24 outlook. They give a 50% chance of a near-normal season, a 25% chance of an above-normal season, and a 25% chance of a below-normal season. They predict a 70% chance that there will be 9 - 15 named storms, 4 - 8 hurricanes, and 1 - 3 major hurricanes, with an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) 65% - 140% of the median. If we take the midpoint of these numbers, NOAA is calling for 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, 2 major hurricanes, and an ACE index 102% of normal. This is very close to the 1981 - 2010 average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. Hurricane seasons during the active hurricane period 1995 - 2011 have averaged 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes, with an ACE index 153% of the median. Only five seasons since 1995 have not been above normal--including four El Niño years (1997, 2002, 2006, and 2009), and the neutral 2007 season.


Figure 1. The strongest Atlantic hurricane of 2011, Ophelia, as seen at 1:40 pm EDT October 1, 2011. At the time, Ophelia was a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. At 11 pm that night, Ophelia peaked at Category 4 strength with 140 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

The forecasters cited the following main factors that will influence the coming season:

1) Near-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are expected in the hurricane Main Development Region (MDR), from the Caribbean to the coast of Africa between between 10°N and 20°N. SSTs in the MDR during April were near-average, and are expected to remain so during hurricane season, based on current observations, climatology, and long-range model forecasts.

2) We are in an active period of hurricane activity that began in 1995, thanks to a natural decades-long cycle in hurricane activity called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO): "During 1995-2010, some key aspects of the tropical multi-decadal signal within the MDR have included reduced vertical wind shear and weaker easterly trade winds, below-average sea-level pressure, a configuration of the African easterly jet that is more conducive to hurricane development from tropical cloud systems (aka Easterly waves) moving off the African coast, and warmer than average SSTs."

3) An El Niño event may occur this year: "Another climate factor known to significantly impact Atlantic hurricane activity is the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO.) The three phases of ENSO are El Niño, La Niña, and ENSO-Neutral. El Niño events tend to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity, while La Niña events tend to enhance it (Gray 1984). If El Niño fails to develop, the probability of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season will be higher and the actual seasonal activity will likely be toward the upper end of our predicted ranges." There is currently of lot of uncertainty whether or not an El Niño event will develop in time for the August - September - October peak of hurricane season--the latest NOAA El Niño discussion is giving a 41% chance of an El Niño event during hurricane season, and a 48% chance of neutral conditions.

4) NOAA is increasingly using output from ultra-long range runs of the computer forecast models we rely on to make day-to-day weather forecasts, for their seasonal hurricane forecasts: "The outlook also takes into account dynamical model predictions from the NOAA Climate Forecast System (CFS), the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), the United Kingdom Meteorology (UKMET) office, and the EUROpean Seasonal to Inter-annual Prediction (EUROSIP) ensemble. These models show large spreads in the ENSO forecasts for ASO, ranging from ENSO-Neutral to a moderate-strength El Niño episode. As a result, their forecasts for the Atlantic hurricane season also show a considerable spread, ranging from slightly above normal to slightly below normal."

How accurate are the NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts?
A talk presented by NHC's Eric Blake at the 2010 29th Annual AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology studied the accuracy of NOAA's late May seasonal Atlantic hurricane forecasts, using the mid-point of the range given for the number of named storms, hurricanes, intense hurricanes, and ACE index. Over the past twelve years, a forecast made using climatology was in error, on average, by 3.6 named storms, 2.5 hurricanes, and 1.7 intense hurricanes. NOAA's May forecast was not significantly better than climatology for these quantities, with average errors of 3.5 named storms, 2.3 hurricanes, and 1.4 intense hurricanes. Only NOAA's May ACE forecast was significantly better than climatology, averaging 58 ACE units off, compared to the 74 for climatology. Using another way to measure skill, the Mean Squared Error, May NOAA forecasts for named storms, hurricanes, and intense hurricanes had a skill of between 5% and 21% over a climatology forecast. Not surprisingly, NOAA's August forecasts were much better than the May forecasts, and did significantly better than a climatology forecast.


Figure 2. Mean absolute error for the May and August NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts (1999 - 2009 for May, 1998 - 2009 for August), and for forecasts made using climatology from the past five years. A forecast made using climatology was in error, on average, by 3.6 named storms, 2.5 hurricanes, and 1.7 intense hurricanes. NOAA's May forecast was not significantly better than climatology for these quantities, with average errors of 3.5 named storms, 2.3 hurricanes, and 1.4 intense hurricanes. Only NOAA's May ACE forecast was significantly better than climatology, averaging 58 ACE units off, compared to the 74 for climatology. Image credit: Verification of 12 years of NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts, National Hurricane Center.

I'll have an update on Hurricane Bud and Invest 94L Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Tazmanian:

my turn


May Alberto,Beryl

june Chris Debby,Erenesto

july Florence,Gordon,Helene,Isaac,Joyce


Aug Kirk,Leslie,Michael,Nadine,Oscar

SEP Patty,Rafael,Sandy,Tony,Valerie

OCT William



out of names
Well then you can always go into the Greek Alphabet :-P
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting allancalderini:
Yep I have always predict form 14 to 16 name storms ;)for this season if 94l develops there will be 14 more to go.

thinking 14-15, 6-7, 2-4
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
One thing that may allow this season to squeeze out a few more storms than predicted is the higher chance of homegrown storms
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Phil Ferro just posted on Facebook that 94L got bumped to 60%, so you know what that means, time to get back to blogging.

The satellite signature and cloud pattern associated with 94L has become increasingly organized throughout the past few hours and as a result it isn't surprising that the NHC has bumped its chances to develop into a cyclone. Surface observations across the Bahamas also indicate that pressure have been on a steady decrement and winds in the 30-35 knot range over the past 3-6 hours or so. The circulation is still a bit elongated from southwest to northeast and it'll take some time to consolidate into a well-defined vertically stacked LLC.

Something to note is that 94L has very good divergence/convergence. A sign that not only is it steadily organizing, but also still lowering atmospheric pressure.

Glad to see you're back for "Beryl" MH09, I agree, It will take some time, but I believe it'll form on Early Saturday(A week After Alberto).
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

ummm you do realize that, that is 16 storms youre predicting?
Yep I have always predict form 14 to 16 name storms ;)for this season if 94l develops there will be 14 more to go.
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Good Night Folks, got enough rain to at least wet the grass a little, alot of flooding in st pete though..well have a good night everyone..
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my turn


May Alberto,Beryl

june Chris Debby,Erenesto

july Florence,Gordon,Helene,Isaac,Joyce


Aug Kirk,Leslie,Michael,Nadine,Oscar

SEP Patty,Rafael,Sandy,Tony,Valerie

OCT William



out of names
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114024
Quoting Gorty:


Is the system trying to become more "circular" in shape?

It's not going to be capable of that for at least another 36 hours, but it has become much better organized.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Phil Ferro just posted on Facebook that 94L got bumped to 60%, so you know what that means, time to get back to blogging.

The satellite signature and cloud pattern associated with 94L has become increasingly organized throughout the past few hours and as a result it isn't surprising that the NHC has bumped its chances to develop into a cyclone. Surface observations across the Bahamas also indicate that pressures have been on a steady decrement and winds in the 30-35 knot range over the past 3-6 hours or so. The circulation is still a bit elongated from southwest to northeast and it'll take some time to consolidate into a well-defined vertically stacked LLC.

Something to note is that 94L has very good divergence/convergence. A sign that not only is it steadily organizing, but also still lowering atmospheric pressure.

Upper-level outflow is impressive in association with 94L towards the northern quadrant.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Quoting Hurricanes101:
May: Alberto, Beryl
June: Chris
July: Debby, Ernesto
August: Florence, Gordon, Helene
September: Isaac, Joyce, Kirk
October: Leslie


I like that.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3026
HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE JACKSONVILLE FL
855 PM EDT THU MAY 24 2012

AMZ450-452-454-470-472-474-FLZ020>025-030>033-035 >038-040-
GAZ132>136-149>154-162>166-251000-
ALTAMAHA SOUND GA TO FERNANDINA BEACH FL OUT 20 NM-
FERNANDINA BEACH TO ST AUGUSTINE FL OUT 20 NM-
ST AUGUSTINE TO FLAGLER BEACH FL OUT 20 NM-
ALTAMAHA SOUND GA TO FERNANDINA BEACH FL 20 NM TO 60 NM OFFSHORE-
FERNANDINA BEACH TO ST AUGUSTINE FL 20 NM TO 60 NM OFFSHORE-
ST AUGUSTINE TO FLAGLER BEACH FL 20 NM TO 60 NM OFFSHORE-HAMILTON-
SUWANNEE-COLUMBIA-BAKER-NASSAU-DUVAL-UNION-BRADFO RD-CLAY-ST JOHNS-
GILCHRIST-ALACHUA-PUTNAM-FLAGLER-MARION-COFFEE-JE FF DAVIS-BACON-
APPLING-WAYNE-ATKINSON-WARE-PIERCE-BRANTLEY-INLAN D GLYNN-
COASTAL GLYNN-ECHOLS-CLINCH-CHARLTON-INLAND CAMDEN-COASTAL CAMDEN-
855 PM EDT THU MAY 24 2012

THIS OUTLOOK IS FOR NORTHEAST FLORIDA...SOUTHEAST GEORGIA AND THE
ADJACENT COASTAL WATERS.

...MODERATE RISK OF RIP CURRENTS TODAY...

...HEAVY RAINFALL POSSIBLE FROM SUNDAY INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK...

.DAY ONE...TONIGHT...

EASTERLY SWELLS WILL PRODUCE A MODERATE RISK OF RIP CURRENTS AT
LOCAL BEACHES. REFER TO THE SURF ZONE FORECAST FOR MORE DETAILS.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY...

LOW PRESSURE WILL DEVELOP NEAR THE BAHAMAS INTO SATURDAY. THE
INCREASING PRESSURE GRADIENT WILL LIKELY REQUIRE SMALL CRAFT
EXERCISE CAUTION HEADLINES OVER THE WEEKEND...AND POSSIBLE SMALL
CRAFT ADVISORY CONDITIONS OFFSHORE BY SUNDAY. ONSHORE FLOW WILL
RESULT IN AN ELEVATED RISK FOR RIP CURRENTS FRIDAY INTO THE WEEKEND.

THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM EAST OF THE AREA ON SATURDAY MAY PUSH TO THE
WEST AND INTO THE FORECAST AREA ON SUNDAY/MONDAY AND THIS WILL BRING
AN INCREASE IN RAIN CHANCES WITH SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS FROM SUNDAY AND CONTINUING INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK.
LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL WITH STORM TOTAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 1 TO 3
INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE. COASTAL IMPACTS FROM A POSSIBLE TROPICAL
SYSTEM ARE STILL TOO EARLY TO DETERMINE AT THIS TIME...BUT WINDY
CONDITIONS AND HIGHER SURF WILL BE POSSIBLE ALONG THE COAST FROM
SUNDAY INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTER ACTIVATION IS NOT REQUESTED AT THIS TIME.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION...VISIT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
IN JACKSONVILLE WEBSITE ON THE INTERNET AT WEATHER.GOV/JAX.

$$
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What does it mean on here when people say they will eat crow.
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Burst of convection near the center. This is DMIN.

One problem with this thing though: it's not consolidating or "wrapping up", it's growing.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3026
Quoting allancalderini:
May: Alberto, Beryl
June: Chris,Debby
July: Ernesto,Florence,
August:Gordon,Helene,Isaac
September: Joyce,Kirk, Leslie
October: Michael,Nadine
November:Oscar,Patty

Btw if 94L develops we will need to give credit to wunderkid for being with this system since the beginning,when everyone thought it will not happen.

ummm you do realize that, that is 16 storms youre predicting?
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Definitely a pinhole:


That ain't a pin hole, that's a butt hole. LOL
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364. Gorty
Quoting Hurricanes101:


its close to the convection, center is just south of Grand Bahama Island


Is the system trying to become more "circular" in shape?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
May: Alberto, Beryl
June: Chris
July: Debby, Ernesto
August: Florence, Gordon, Helene
September: Isaac, Joyce, Kirk
October: Leslie
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting allancalderini:
May: Alberto, Beryl
June: Chris,Debby
July: Ernesto,Florence,
August:Gordon,Helene,Isaac
September: Joyce,Kirk, Leslie
October: Michael,Nadine
November:Oscar,Patty

Btw if 94L develops we will need to give credit to wunderkid for being with this system since the beginning,when everyone thought it will not happen.

I save a cookie for him, We have to Share this whole cookie this season.
Dang Economy.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting louisianaboy444:


The latter "Hurricane 2" was responsible for the greatest flood in South Louisiana history. My town of Crowley, Louisiana received 33" of rain in a 2 day period


Wow! I had read it was pretty bad but I hadn't read that. That's a half year's rain around here (SE TX).
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Quoting Gorty:
The real question is where is the center compared to where the convection currently is?


its close to the convection, center is just south of Grand Bahama Island
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Im sure this is going to be changing real soon for the Atlantic..

000
NOUS42 KNHC 241430
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1030 AM EDT THU 24 MAY 2012
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 25/1100Z TO 26/1100Z MAY 2012
TCPOD NUMBER.....12-006

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.


II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. TROPICAL STORM BUD
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 76
A. 25/1800Z
B. AFXXX 0202E BUD
C. 25/1215Z
D. 18.2N 105.6W
E. 25/1730Z TO 25/2030Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.
JWP

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13415
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Invest 94L has went from ~0% to 20% to 40% to 60% all in ~12 hours.

Wow.

You sure about 12 hours? I think it was more like 24.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
May: Alberto, Beryl
June: Chris,Debby
July: Ernesto,Florence,
August:Gordon,Helene,Isaac
September: Joyce,Kirk, Leslie
October: Michael,Nadine
November:Oscar,Patty

Btw if 94L develops we will need to give credit to wunderkid for being with this system since the beginning,when everyone thought it will not happen.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
356. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #27
SEVERE TROPICAL STORM SANVU (T1202)
9:00 AM JST May 25 2012
=================================

SUBJECT: Category Two Typhoon In Sea South Of Japan

At 0:00 AM UTC, Severe Tropical Storm Sanvu (980 hPa) located at 22.2N 139.2E has 10 minute sustained winds of 55 knots with gusts of 80 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving north northeast at 6 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T3.5

Storm Force Winds
=================
30 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
================
170 NM from the center in northeastern quadrant
130 NM from the center in southwestern quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
=========================

24 HRS: 24.4N 141.4E - 60 knots (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 26.5N 144.7E - 55 knots (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm)
72 HRS: 30.4N 149.6E - 45 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wow, when I checked in I didn't expect to see a red crayon! How's everyone doing?
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354. Gorty
The real question is where is the center compared to where the convection currently is?
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
EP, 02, 2012052500, , BEST, 0, 168N, 1061W, 100, 960, HU,

historic major hurricane

ATCF has said major hurricane all day, but recon said different, so as far as we know Bud is just shy of major hurricane strength.
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Quoting hydrus:
NICE...

Just what i want to see... Gulf low :|
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
351. Skyepony (Mod)
AF300 took an untask trip to the usual spot to dropsonde in the gulf but looks to have landed outside Tampa.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36034
Quoting hydrus:


I like these better.....

Cost of Living 1969
How Much things cost in 1969
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 5.46 %
Yearly Inflation Rate UK 5.6%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 800
Average Cost of new house $15,550.00
Average Income per year $8,550.00
Average Monthly Rent $135.00
Average Cost New Car $3,270.00
Toyota Corona $1,950.00
Gas per Gallon 35 cents
Alarm Clock from Westclox $9.98
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Quoting j2008:
Dont you mean TD 2?

And most likely, with current intensity, it will likely skip Tropical depression status.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
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Invest 94L has went from ~0% to 20% to 40% to 60% all in ~12 hours.

Wow.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30237
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
The NHC used the red crayon. Didn't see that coming. They will have to buy a new box by September at the rate May is going...

I think the NHC should consider using magic marker.
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EP, 02, 2012052500, , BEST, 0, 168N, 1061W, 100, 960, HU,

historic major hurricane
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Cody, why aren't you doing more blogs? Don't let me outpace you.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Good Night all. Hope to be on tomorrow morning for the 80% or the TD1.


the model intensity forecasts:

Its TD2!
First you said Alberto, not Beryl, and now youre saying TD1, were you hibernating when we had Alberto? lol just seems that way, dont mean to rant or anything, just pointing it out. Good night.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
It will not be upgrade straight to ts Beryl because of the winds?Bud will probably a major at the next advisory.
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192 hours..
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


May: Alberto, maybe Beryl.
Late-June: Chris.
July: Debby, Ernesto.
August: Florence, Gordon.
September: Helene, Issac, Joyce.
October: Kirk.

May: Alberto, Beryl
June: Chris
July: Debby, Ernesto
August: Florence, Gordon,
September: Helene, Isaac Joyce, Kirk
October: Joyce
November: N/A
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30237
339. j2008
Quoting Tazmanian:




94L is at 35kt so if they name this it will skip TD
Yea it will go straight to TS Beryl, or however you spell it.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Holy crap @ 94L

HWRF completed its MAJOR upgrade today.

It is now the most advanced hurricane model available to the public.

Should lead the way this season.


What does it think of 94ls future track?
Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


what did you expect when you broke the crayon box.
Now they will use the red crayon the rest of the way :)

I believe the NHC's having to buy some more crayons for the actual season, It has had to write alot more Special Tropical Weather Outlooks this preseason in awhile
92L: made it to 40% and persisted for the NHC for 48 hours
93L: warranted Many repeated special outlooks before becoming Alberto.
94L: Gradually progressing with 4 Special outlooks issued on it already.

I think the NHC has broken a couple of crayons this year already, ITS ONLY MAY!
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
The NHC used the red crayon. Didn't see that coming. They will have to buy a new box by September at the rate May is going...
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Wow, 94L is really amping up its consolidation process.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Thinking we'll see 1.
The way I see it work out:
May: Alberto, Beryl
June: Chris
July: Debby, Ernesto
August: Florence, Gordon, Helene
September: Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie
October: Michael, Nadine
November: Oscar


May: Alberto, maybe Beryl.
Late-June: Chris.
July: Debby, Ernesto.
August: Florence, Gordon.
September: Helene, Issac, Joyce.
October: Kirk.
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Quoting j2008:
Dont you mean TD 2?




94L is at 35kt so if they name this it will skip TD
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114024
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Good Night all. Hope to be on tomorrow morning for the 80% or the TD1.


the model intensity forecasts:

I would seriously pay no attention to the forecast intensities of the storm as presented by the models. They have no clue what's going on here it looks like. :p
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30237

Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
or the TD1.

TD2
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NICE...
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Quoting cg2916:


Is this a bad sign for the blog or just May lag?


May lag, generally activity jumps tons June 1st.
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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.