The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season begins: what is in store?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:56 PM GMT on June 01, 2012

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The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway. With two early season storms, Alberto and Beryl, having already come and gone, this year's season has gotten off to a near-record early start. Since reliable record keeping began in 1851, only the hurricane seasons of 1908 and 1887 had two named storms form so early in the year. So, will this early pace continue? What will this year's hurricane season bring? Here are my top five questions for the coming season:

1) All of the major seasonal hurricane forecasts are calling for a near-average season, with 10 - 13 named storms. Will these pre-season predictions pan out?

2) How will the steering current pattern evolve? Will the U.S. break its six-year run without a major hurricane landfall, the longest such streak since 1861 - 1868?

3) Will the 420,000 people still homeless in Haiti in the wake of the January 2010 earthquake dodge a major tropical cyclone flooding disaster for the third consecutive hurricane season?

4) How will new National Hurricane Center director Rick Knabb fare in his inaugural season?

5) Will the Republican National Convention, scheduled to occur in Tampa during the last week of August, get interrupted by a tropical storm or hurricane?


Figure 1. True-color MODIS satellite image of Beryl taken at 2:35 pm EDT May 27, 2012 by NASA's Aqua satellite. At the time, Beryl was a tropical storm with winds of 65 mph.

Quick summary of the early-season atmosphere/ocean conditions in the Atlantic
Strong upper-level winds tend to create a shearing force on tropical storms (wind shear), which tears them apart before they can get going. In June, two branches of the jet stream, the polar jet to the north, and a subtropical jet to the south, typically bring high levels of wind shear to the Atlantic. The southern subtropical jet currently lies over the Caribbean, and is expected to remain there the next two weeks, making development unlikely in the Caribbean. Between the subtropical jet to the south and the polar jet to the north, a "hole" in the wind shear pattern formed during May off the Southeast U.S. coast, and this is where both Alberto and Beryl were able to form. Their formation was aided by the fact ocean temperatures off the U.S. East coast are quite warm--about 1 - 2°C above average. A wind shear "hole" is predicted to periodically open up during the next two weeks off the Southeast U.S. coast, making that region the most likely area of formation for any first-half-of-June tropical storms. However, none of the reliable computer models are predicting tropical storm formation in the Atlantic between now and June 8.

May ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic are approximately the third coolest we've seen since the current active hurricane period began in 1995. SSTs in the Main Development Region (MDR), between 10 - 20°N latitude, from the coast of Africa to the Central America, were about 0.35°C above average in May, according to NOAA's Coral Reef Watch. Tropical storm activity in the Atlantic is strongly dependent on ocean temperatures in this region, and the relatively cool temperatures imply that we should see a delayed start to development of tropical waves coming off the coast of Africa and moving into the Caribbean, compared to the period 1995 - 2011. An interesting feature of this month's SST departure from average image (Figure 2) is the large area of record-warm ocean temperatures off the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts, from North Carolina to Massachusetts. Ocean temperatures are 3 - 5°C (5 - 9°F) above average in this region. This makes waters of much above-average warmth likely to be present during the peak part of hurricane season, increasing the chances for a strong hurricane to affect the mid-Atlantic and New England coast.

The upper-level jet stream pattern is critical for determining where any tropical storms and hurricanes that form might go. Presently, these "steering currents" are in a typical configuration for June, favoring a northward or northeastward motion for any storms that might form. However, steering current patterns are fickle and difficult to predict more that seven days in advance, and there is no telling how the steering current pattern might evolve this hurricane season. We might see a pattern like evolved during 2004 - 2005, with a westward-extending Bermuda High, forcing storms into Florida and the Gulf Coast. Or, we might see a pattern like occurred during 2010 - 2011, with the large majority of the storms recurving harmlessly out to sea. That's about as helpful as a weather forecast of "Sho' enough looks like rain, lessen' of course it clears up," I realize.


Figure 2. Departure of sea surface temperature from average for May 31, 2012. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

Colorado State predicts a slightly above-average hurricane season
A slightly above-average Atlantic hurricane season is on tap for 2012, according to the seasonal hurricane forecast issued June 1 by Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University (CSU). The CSU team is calling for 13 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes, and an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) of 80, which is 87% of average. 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. The forecast calls for an average chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S., both along the East Coast (28% chance, 31% chance is average) and the Gulf Coast (28% chance, 30% chance is average). The risk of a major hurricane in the Caribbean is also average, at 39% (42% is average.) The CSU teams expects we will have a weak El Niño develop by the peak of this year's hurricane season in September, which will cut down on this year's activity by increasing wind shear over the Tropical Atlantic. However, there is considerable uncertainty in this outlook.

Analogue years
The CSU team picked four previous years when atmospheric and oceanic conditions were similar to what we are seeing this year: neutral El Niño conditions in April - May and average tropical Atlantic and far North Atlantic SSTs during
April - May, followed by August - October periods that were generally characterized by weak El Niño conditions and average tropical Atlantic SSTs . Those four years were 2009, a quiet El Niño year with only 3 hurricanes; 2001, which featured two major Caribbean hurricanes, Iris and Michelle; 1968, a very quiet year with no hurricanes stronger than a Category 1; and 1953, a moderately busy year with 14 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes. The mean activity for these four years was 11.5 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2.5 intense hurricanes.

How accurate are the June forecasts?
The June forecasts by the CSU team between 1998 and 2009 had a skill 19% - 30% higher than a "no-skill" climatology forecast for number of named storms, number of hurricanes, and the ACE index (Figure 3). This is a decent amount of skill for a seasonal forecast, and these June forecasts can be useful to businesses such as the insurance industry and oil and gas industry that need to make bets on how active the coming hurricane season will be. Unfortunately, the CSU June 1 forecasts do poorly at forecasting the number of major hurricanes (only 3% skill), and major hurricanes cause 80% - 85% of all hurricane damage (normalized to current population and wealth levels.) This year's June forecast uses a brand new formula tried in 2011 for the first time, so there is no way to evaluate its performance. An Excel spreadsheet of their forecast skill (expressed as a mathematical correlation coefficient) show values from 0.41 to 0.62 for their June forecasts made between 1984 and 2010, which is respectable.


Figure 3. Comparison of the percent improvement over climatology for May and August seasonal hurricane forecasts for the Atlantic from NOAA, CSU and TSR from 1999-2009 (May) and 1998-2009 (August), using the Mean Squared Error. Image credit: Verification of 12 years of NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts, National Hurricane Center.


Figure 4. Comparison of the percent improvement in mean square error over climatology for seasonal hurricane forecasts for the Atlantic from NOAA, CSU and TSR from 2002-2011, using the Mean Square Skill Score (MSSS). The figure shows the results using two different climatologies: a fixed 50-year (1950 - 1999) climatology, and a 2002 - 2011 climatology. Skill is poor for forecasts issued in December and April, moderate for June forecasts, and good for August forecasts. Image credit: Tropical Storm Risk, Inc.

TSR predicts a near-average hurricane season
The British private forecasting firm Tropical Storm Risk, Inc. (TSR) calls for 12.7 named storms, 5.7 hurricanes, 2.7 intense hurricanes, and an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) of 98, which is near average. TSR rates their skill level as 23 - 27% higher than a "no-skill" forecast made using climatology, though an independent assessment by the National Hurricane Center (Figure 3) gives them somewhat lower skill numbers, using a different metric than TSR uses. TSR predicts a 48% chance that U.S. landfalling activity will be above average, a 26% chance it will be near average, and a 26% chance it will be below average. TSR’s two predictors for their statistical model are the forecast July-September trade wind speed over the Caribbean and tropical North Atlantic, and the forecast August-September 2012 sea surface temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic.

TSR projects that 3.6 named storms will hit the U.S., with 1.6 of these being hurricanes. The averages from the 1950-2011 climatology are 3.1 named storms and 1.5 hurricanes. They rate their skill at making these June forecasts for U.S. landfalls at 7 - 11% higher than a "no-skill" forecast made using climatology. In the Lesser Antilles Islands of the Caribbean, TSR projects 1.2 named storms, 0.5 of these being hurricanes. Climatology is 1.1 named storms and 0.5 hurricanes.

FSU predicts a slightly above-average hurricane season: 13 named storms
The Florida State University (FSU) Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) issued their fourth annual Atlantic hurricane season forecast, calling for a 70% probability of 10 - 16 named storms and 5 - 9 hurricanes. The mid-point forecast is for 13 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and an accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) of 122. The scientists use a numerical atmospheric model developed at COAPS to understand seasonal predictability of hurricane activity. The model is one of only a handful of numerical models in the world being used to study seasonal hurricane activity and is different from the statistical methods used by other seasonal hurricane forecasters such as Colorado State, TSR, and PSU (NOAA uses a hybrid statistical-dynamical model technique.) The FSU forecast has been the best one over the past three years, for predicting numbers of Atlantic named storms and hurricanes:

2009 prediction: 8 named storms, 4 hurricanes. Actual: 9 named storms, 3 hurricanes
2010 prediction: 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes. Actual: 19 named storms, 12 hurricanes
2011 prediction: 17 named storms, 9 hurricanes. Actual: 19 named storms, 7 hurricanes

Penn State predicts a near-average hurricane season: 11 named storms
A statistical model by Penn State's Michael Mann and alumnus Michael Kozar is calling for an average Atlantic hurricane season with 11.2 named storms, plus or minus 3.3 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. The statistic model assumes that in 2012 the current 0.35°C above average temperatures in the MDR will persist throughout hurricane season, the El Niño phase will be neutral to slightly warm, and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) will be near average.

The PSU team has been making Atlantic hurricane season forecasts since 2007, and these predictions have done pretty well:

2007 prediction: 15 named storms, Actual: 15
2009 prediction: 12.5, named storms, Actual: 9
2010 prediction: 23 named storms, Actual: 19
2011 prediction: 16 named storms, Actual: 19

UK Met Office predicts a slightly below-average hurricane season: 10 named storms
The UK Met Office uses a combination of their Glosea4 model and the ECMWF system 4 model to predict seasonal hurricane activity. These dynamical numerical models are predicting a slightly below-average season, with 10 named storms and an ACE index of 90.

NOAA predicts an average hurricane season: 12 named storms
As I discussed in detail in a May 24 blog post, NOAA is calling for 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, 2 major hurricanes, and an ACE index 102% of normal.



NOAA predicts an average Eastern Pacific hurricane season
NOAA's pre-season prediction for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, issued on May 24, calls for a near-average season, with 12 -18 named storms, 5 - 9 hurricanes, 2 - 5 major hurricanes, and an ACE index 70% - 130% of the median. The mid-point of these ranges gives us a forecast for 15 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3.5 major hurricanes, with an ACE index exactly average. The 1981 - 2010 averages for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season are 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. So far in 2012, there have been two named storms. On average, the 2nd storm of the year doesn't form until June 25. We had a record early appearance of the season's second named storm (Bud on May 21.) Bud was also the strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane on record for so early in the year. Records in the Eastern Pacific extend back to 1949.

Western Pacific typhoon season forecast not available yet
Dr. Johnny Chan of the City University of Hong Kong issues a seasonal forecast of typhoon season in the Western Pacific, but this forecast is not yet available (as of June 1.) An average typhoon season has 27 named storms and 17 typhoons. Typhoon seasons immediately following a La Niña year typically see higher levels of activity in the South China Sea, especially between months of May and July. Also, the jet stream tends to dip farther south than usual to the south of Japan, helping steer more tropical cyclones towards Japan and Korea. With the formation of Tropical Storm Mawar today east of the Philippines, the Western Pacific is exactly on the usual climatological pace for formation of the season's third storm.


Figure 5. Time series of the annual number of tropical storms and typhoons in the Northwest Pacific from 1960 - 2011. Red circles and blue squares indicate El Niño and La Niña years, respectively. Note that La Niña years tend to have lower activity, with 2010 having the lowest activity on record (15 named storms.) In 2011, there were 20 named storms. The thick horizontal line indicates the normal number of named storms (27.) Image credit: City University of Hong Kong.

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................lots of flooded streets in Tampa, more rain is coming
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Quoting StormPro:



OK...I'm lost...I thought over the past couple of years I learned alot of the terms used on this site but I don't recall this one..could you send me a link to an explaination?

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is a standardized index based on the observed sea level pressure differences between Tahiti and Darwin, Australia. The SOI is one measure of the large-scale fluctuations in air pressure occurring between the western and eastern tropical Pacific (i.e., the state of the Southern Oscillation) during El Niño and La Niña episodes. In general, smoothed time series of the SOI correspond very well with changes in ocean temperatures across the eastern tropical Pacific. The negative phase of the SOI represents below-normal air pressure at Tahiti and above-normal air pressure at Darwin. Prolonged periods of negative (positive) SOI values coincide with abnormally warm (cold) ocean waters across the eastern tropical Pacific typical of El Niño (La Niña) episodes.
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7832
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
Good call earlier. Here's the new graphic:



Look out DC!
I suspected a couple days ago that they would have a moderate risk area up for some of the folks there. This is just too weird..GFS 144 hours out..
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im gonna go out on a limb and say AC NJ doesnt get any rain or T'storms today
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Quoting floridastorm:


We must be the future generation of meteorologists lol
Believe it or not a good portion of the bloggers are 18 and under.
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Quoting nigel20:
The daily SOI (Southern Oscillation Index) is back in positive territory

Daily SOI: 9.77
30 Day SOI: -1.18



OK...I'm lost...I thought over the past couple of years I learned alot of the terms used on this site but I don't recall this one..could you send me a link to an explaination?
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Quoting kflhuds05:
Picked up over 3 inches here in Hudson, FL in Pasco county this morning. Looks like more is out there on the way. Think we might all need a canoe at this rate but sure glad we got a good soaking.

Hudson, FL weather
lol your right, but we need the rain huh..just looked at the radar, yep more on the way for us
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There it is..

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting LargoFl:
it came down real hard there for most of the morning, by me they said almost an inch, it was more than that with the street ponding etc, in the street the water was flowing like a stream..its coming your way now ST..
Picked up over 3 inches here in Hudson, FL in Pasco county this morning. Looks like more is out there on the way. Think we might all need a canoe at this rate but sure glad we got a good soaking.

Hudson, FL weather
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BLOG UPDATE!
The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season begins - 6/1/12
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The daily SOI (Southern Oscillation Index) is back in positive territory

Daily SOI: 9.77
30 Day SOI: -1.18
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7832
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Not a stupid question at all but there is no chance of development.


Yeah didn't seem liked it. Too much shear. But it will be an interesting season! Thanks
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Check out the EHI forecast by the RUC for later today:

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nws for wash d.c and maryland..you folks be careful up there............................THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING.
SOME OF THE STORMS MAY BE SEVERE...PRODUCING DAMAGING
WINDS...LARGE HAIL AND ISOLATED TORNADOES. HEAVY RAINFALL COULD
ALSO LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING.
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Quoting Hurricane1216:


Probably not... the shear is increasing there where the hole was. And don't worry I'm only 12 I've also got a lot to learn.


We must be the future generation of meteorologists lol
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I like how the NHC GTWO gave pronunciation instructions for the ATL names:

THE LIST OF NAMES FOR 2012 IS AS FOLLOWS:

NAME PRONUNCIATION NAME PRONUNCIATION
------------------------------------------------- ------------
ALBERTO AL BAIR- TOE LESLIE LEHZ- LEE
BERYL BER- RIL MICHAEL MY- KUHL
CHRIS KRIS NADINE NAY DEEN-
DEBBY DEH- BEE OSCAR AHS- KUR
ERNESTO ER NES- TOH PATTY PAT- EE
FLORENCE FLOOR- ENCE RAFAEL RAH FAH ELL-
GORDON GOR- DUHN SANDY SAN- DEE
HELENE HEH LEEN- TONY TOH- NEE
ISAAC EYE- ZIK VALERIE VAH- LUR EE
JOYCE JOYSS WILLIAM WILL- YUM
KIRK KURK
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Thanks Dr. Masters...very in-depth and informative post.
Good morning all!
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9694
Here's a scary excerpt from the latest discussion by the SPC:

FORECAST SOUNDINGS ACROSS THE WARM SECTOR LATE THIS AFTERNOON SHOW
0-6 KM SHEAR VALUES IN THE 35 TO 40 KT RANGE WITH 0-3 KM STORM
RELATIVE HELICITIES AROUND 250 M2/S2 SUGGESTING THE ENVIRONMENT WILL
SUPPORT ROTATING STORMS AND TORNADOES. A TORNADO THREAT WILL LIKELY
DEVELOP AS THE STORMS INTERACT WITH A WARM FRONT WHICH IS FORECAST
TO BE FROM SCNTRL PA EXTENDING SSEWD ACROSS NRN VA AND MD AS THE
LINE APPROACHES FROM THE WEST. THE TORNADO THREAT SHOULD INCREASE
ACROSS PA AND MD AS THE STRONGEST BAND OF LARGE-SCALE ASCENT
APPROACHES LATER THIS AFTERNOON. A COUPLING OF THE LOW AND MID-LEVEL
JETS IS ALSO FORECAST TO OCCUR ACROSS NRN VA...MD AND PA WHICH MAY
ALSO HELP TO ENHANCE THE QLCS TORNADO THREAT. HAVE ADDED A MODERATE
RISK IN THE WASHINGTON DC METRO...BALTIMORE AREAS WHERE THE TORNADO
THREAT IS EXPECTED TO BE THE GREATEST AND WHERE AN ISOLATED STRONG
TORNADO CAN NOT BE RULED OUT
.
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Quoting floridastorm:


This may sound stupid but is there any chance of development, maybe after it crosses Florida? I'm only 17 so I have a lot to learn lol
Not a stupid question at all but there is no chance of development.
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FURTHER TO THE EAST ACROSS ERN NC...ERN VA AND MD...MESOANALYSIS
CURRENTLY SHOWS A CORRIDOR OF MODERATE INSTABILITY WHERE MLCAPE IS
ESTIMATED IN THE 1500 TO 2500 J/KG RANGE AND SFC DEWPOINTS ARE
APPROACHING 70 F. THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TO INITIATE ALONG THE
INSTABILITY AXIS THIS AFTERNOON WITH STORMS SPREADING NEWD ACROSS
THE MID-ATLANTIC LATE THIS AFTERNOON INTO EARLY THIS EVENING.
FORECAST SOUNDINGS ACROSS THE WARM SECTOR LATE THIS AFTERNOON SHOW
0-6 KM SHEAR VALUES IN THE 35 TO 40 KT RANGE WITH 0-3 KM STORM
RELATIVE HELICITIES AROUND 250 M2/S2 SUGGESTING THE ENVIRONMENT WILL
SUPPORT ROTATING STORMS AND TORNADOES. A TORNADO THREAT WILL LIKELY
DEVELOP AS THE STORMS INTERACT WITH A WARM FRONT WHICH IS FORECAST
TO BE FROM SCNTRL PA EXTENDING SSEWD ACROSS NRN VA AND MD AS THE
LINE APPROACHES FROM THE WEST. THE TORNADO THREAT SHOULD INCREASE
ACROSS PA AND MD AS THE STRONGEST BAND OF LARGE-SCALE ASCENT
APPROACHES LATER THIS AFTERNOON. A COUPLING OF THE LOW AND MID-LEVEL
JETS IS ALSO FORECAST TO OCCUR ACROSS NRN VA...MD AND PA WHICH MAY
ALSO HELP TO ENHANCE THE QLCS TORNADO THREAT. HAVE ADDED A MODERATE
RISK IN THE WASHINGTON DC METRO...BALTIMORE AREAS WHERE THE TORNADO
THREAT IS EXPECTED TO BE THE GREATEST AND WHERE AN ISOLATED STRONG
TORNADO CAN NOT BE RULED OUT. ANY ROTATING STORMS SHOULD ALSO BE
CAPABLE OF PRODUCING WIND DAMAGE. AS THE STRONGER LARGE-SCALE ASCENT
MOVES ACROSS THE MID-ATLANTIC EARLY THIS EVENING...A WELL-ORGANIZED
LINEAR MCS IS EXPECTED TO BECOME THE DOMINANT CONVECTIVE FEATURE
WITH AN ENHANCED WIND DAMAGE THREAT PRESENT ACROSS A LARGE AREA OF
THE MID-ATLANTIC.
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Quoting floridastorm:


This may sound stupid but is there any chance of development, maybe after it crosses Florida? I'm only 17 so I have a lot to learn lol


Probably not... the shear is increasing there where the hole was. And don't worry I'm only 12 I've also got a lot to learn.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1003
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1129 AM CDT FRI JUN 01 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...NERN VA...A LARGE PART OF MD...THE DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA...A SMALL PART OF THE ERN PANHANDLE OF WV...S-CNTRL PA

CONCERNING...OUTLOOK UPGRADE

VALID 011629Z - 011730Z

SUMMARY...A CATEGORICAL UPGRADE TO MODERATE RISK WILL BE INCLUDED
WITH THE 1630 UTC DAY ONE CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK ACROSS NERN VA...A
LARGE PART OF MD...THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA...A SMALL PART OF THE
ERN PANHANDLE OF WV...AND S-CNTRL PA.


DISCUSSION...LATEST OBSERVATIONAL AND MODEL OUTPUT WARRANT AN
UPGRADE TO MODERATE RISK FOR THE UPCOMING 1630 UTC OUTLOOK. PLEASE
SEE FORTHCOMING DAY ONE OUTLOOK FOR ADDITIONAL METEOROLOGICAL
ANALYSIS.

..COHEN/BROYLES/CARBIN.. 06/01/2012
Good call earlier. Here's the new graphic:



Look out DC!
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Quoting Melagoo:
... and we're off! ... any predictions of landfall Storms?
14/8/3.
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Where is Geek I figured hed be on here jumping for joy.
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In case some of you didn't know, NOAA is coming out with a new statistical model to help forecast ERCs: Link
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SPC upgraded to MDT severe risk for the east coast today...keep your eyes out this afternoon!

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Quoting Hurricane1216:


It's an upper level disturbance that originated from the Nicaragua region.


This may sound stupid but is there any chance of development, maybe after it crosses Florida? I'm only 17 so I have a lot to learn lol
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
39. However, the main problem is not so much major hurricanes developing out in the Eastern Atlantic with that setup reaching America, it's those strong tropical waves that develop in the Eastern Atlantic and head into the Caribbean that pose a major concern. For example, last year and the year before the 'Texas Death Ridge', that forced a lot of systems into Mexico. This year, it's a different story.
Speaking of major hurricanes, Large and intense hurricanes can manipulate even the most prominent weather features(such as the Bermuda High) to some extent, especially if you have one in front of the other.
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Well D.C. is right in the middle of a 15% chance of tornadoes.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


IMO the Gulf and Caribbean are going to be on fire this year. When I say on fire I mean lots of named systems. Infact we may have one next week in the Gulf or off the SE US.

water temps in the gulf will be good ammo for them this year
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51: That's the first time I've seen a pink MD :D
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... and we're off! ... any predictions of landfall Storms?
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


How much did you guys get in Tampa this morning as radar estimates are near 3" in some areas.

it came down real hard there for most of the morning, by me they said almost an inch, it was more than that with the street ponding etc, in the street the water was flowing like a stream..its coming your way now ST..
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9694
Quoting floridastorm:
Does anyone know what the area of convection the Gulf of Mexico is about? Is it just tropical moisture? I think I see a low spinning but I'm guessing its in the upper levels

Link


It's an upper level disturbance that originated from the Nicaragua region.
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Nuclear Tuna and NPR's Trivialization

Link

May 31, 2012 · By Robert Alvarez
NPR shouldn't trivialize the risk of radioactive tuna from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Yesterday, National Public Radio (NPR) ran a story asserting that cesium-137 from the Fukushima nuclear accident found in Bluefish tuna on the west coast of the U.S. is harmless .

It is not advisable to eat Bluefin Tuna. Photo by tokyofoodcast.
It is not advisable to eat Bluefin Tuna. Photo by tokyofoodcast.
It's not harmless. The Fukushima nuclear accident released about as much cesium-137 as a thermonuclear weapon with the explosive force of 11 million tons of TNT. In the spring of 1954, after the United States exploded nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands, the Japanese government had to confiscate about 4 million pounds of contaminated fish.

Radiation from Fukushima spread far and wide. Like American hydrogen bomb testing, the Fukushima nuclear accident deposited cesium-137 over 600,000 square-miles of the Pacific, as well as the Northern Hemisphere and Europe. With a half-life of 30 years, cesium-137 is taken up in the meat of the tuna as if it were potassium, indicating that the metabolism holds on to it.

According to a previously secret 1955 memo from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission regarding concerns of the British government over contaminated tuna, "dissipation of radioactive fall-out in ocean waters is not a gradual spreading out of the activity from the region with the highest concentration to uncontaminated regions, but that in all probability the process results in scattered pockets and streams of higher radioactive materials in the Pacific. We can speculate that tuna which now show radioactivity from ingested materials have been living, in or have passed through, such pockets; or have been feeding on plant and animal life which has been exposed in those areas."

In 2001, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry noted that "...concentrations of cesium within muscle tissue are somewhat higher than the whole-body average. Cesium has been shown to cross the placental barrier of animals..."

There are several reasons why it's not advisable to eat Bluefin tuna:

Cesium-137 adds to the contaminant risk of harm to humans eating the Bluefin tuna, especially pregnant women and infants, who are the most vulnerable, and will for some time to come.
Bluefin tuna is an endangered species because of over-fishing and contamination.
Bluefin tuna accumulate other contaminants such as mercury from sources such as coal-fired power plants.


If NPR had been around in the 1950's, would it also have trivialized the impacts of open-air hydrogen bomb testing?
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9694
Hows the severe weather chances setting up today for South New Jersey?
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Does anyone know what the area of convection the Gulf of Mexico is about? Is it just tropical moisture? I think I see a low spinning but I'm guessing its in the upper levels

Link
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MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1003
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1129 AM CDT FRI JUN 01 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...NERN VA...A LARGE PART OF MD...THE DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA...A SMALL PART OF THE ERN PANHANDLE OF WV...S-CNTRL PA

CONCERNING...OUTLOOK UPGRADE

VALID 011629Z - 011730Z

SUMMARY...A CATEGORICAL UPGRADE TO MODERATE RISK WILL BE INCLUDED
WITH THE 1630 UTC DAY ONE CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK ACROSS NERN VA...A
LARGE PART OF MD...THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA...A SMALL PART OF THE
ERN PANHANDLE OF WV...AND S-CNTRL PA.


DISCUSSION...LATEST OBSERVATIONAL AND MODEL OUTPUT WARRANT AN
UPGRADE TO MODERATE RISK FOR THE UPCOMING 1630 UTC OUTLOOK. PLEASE
SEE FORTHCOMING DAY ONE OUTLOOK FOR ADDITIONAL METEOROLOGICAL
ANALYSIS.

..COHEN/BROYLES/CARBIN.. 06/01/2012
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Dangerous position for the A/B High. First off waves that come off Africa will struggle to form until they reach to about 60W and if they have not formed by then, they will have to wait to clear the "dead zone" in the eastern caribbean and wait to form near 70W. Also where there is Higher Pressures there must be a Lower Pressures next to it. The caribbean, GOM, and Southeast US all have lower pressures which mean we will have to look out for more homegrown development this year.

The track indeed looks like a dangerous one, but that all depends on the amount of Hurricanes and Major Hurricanes that developed, since as the Doc. mentioned 1968 is an analog year and only saw 2 Cat. 1 Hurricanes that year or even 1953 which had 4 Major Hurricanes and 3 of them only made landfall as a Cat. 1 Hurricane. Now I don't need to explain what happened in 2004 and 2009.
nws said i think last april, most of the storms will form closer to the usa, especially the gulf region due to cooler waters in the atlantic
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45. Those are the systems I am talking about, they waited until they reached the Caribbean (rather, the Western Caribbean.. I should have been more specific), 2010 for example had several storms forced into Mexico because of the ridge on top of them that sent them, there would have been more storms in the Caribbean in 2010 though if it was not for those monster Cape Verde systems that where present - they hogged all the energy in the Atlantic.
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Quoting hydrus:
I like to say statistics are just numbers that have no control over actual events, and the way things have been going, statistics and analog year data that we base our forecasts and predictions for future storms on are practically worthless. Mother nature is putting new food in the pot so to speak.
I sure think, with all this moisture around here, 2012 will be an interesting storm year for florida,i can just feel it
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Quoting weatherh98:


Analogue years dont mean didley squat. No year will be in every way like 2012

however the fact that they would even consider 2009? kinda mind boggling
I like to say statistics are just numbers that have no control over actual events, and the way things have been going, statistics and analog year data that we base our forecasts and predictions for future storms on are practically worthless. Mother nature is putting new food in the pot so to speak.
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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.