An Active Atlantic Hurricane Season Still Predicted by NOAA, CSU, and TSR

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:07 PM GMT on August 09, 2013

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As we stand on the cusp of the peak part of hurricane season, all of the major groups that perform long-range seasonal hurricane forecasts are still calling for an active 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. NOAA forecasts an above-normal and possibly very active Atlantic hurricane season in 2013, in their August 8 outlook. They give a 70% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of an near-normal season, and 5% chance of a below-normal season. They predict a 70% chance that there will be 13 - 19 named storms, 6 - 9 hurricanes, and 3 - 5 major hurricanes, with an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) 120% - 190% of the median. If we take the midpoint of these numbers, NOAA is calling for 16 named storms, 7.5 hurricanes, 4 major hurricanes, and an ACE index 155% of normal. This is well above the 1981 - 2010 average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. Hurricane seasons during the active hurricane period 1995 - 2012 have averaged 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes, with an ACE index 151% of the median.


Figure 1. Tropical Storm Dorian on July 25, 2013, when the storm reached peak intensity--sustained winds of 60 mph. Formation of early-season tropical storms like Chantal and Dorian in June and July in the deep tropics is usually a harbinger of an active Atlantic hurricane season. Image credit: NASA.

NOAA cites five main reasons to expect an active remainder of hurricane season:

1) Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) are above average in the Main Development Region (MDR) for hurricanes, from the coast of Africa to the Caribbean. As of August 9, SST were 0.4°C (0.8°F) above average.
2) Trade winds are weaker than average across the MDR, which has caused the African Monsoon to grow wetter and stronger, the amount of spin over the MDR to increase, and the amount of vertical wind shear to decrease.
3) No El Niño event is present or expected this fall.
4) There have been two early-season tropical storms in the deep tropics (Tropical Storms Chantal and Dorian), which is generally a harbinger of an above-normal season.
5) We are in an active hurricane period that began in 1995.

Colorado State predicts a much above-average hurricane season
A much above-average Atlantic hurricane season is on tap for 2013, according to the seasonal hurricane forecast issued August 2 by Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University (CSU). The CSU team is calling for 18 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes, and an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) of 142. The forecast calls for an above-average chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S., both along the East Coast (40% chance, 31% chance is average) and the Gulf Coast (40% chance, 30% chance is average). The risk of a major hurricane in the Caribbean is also above average, at 53% (42% is average.)

Analogue years
The CSU team picked five previous years when atmospheric and oceanic conditions were similar to what we are seeing this year: cool neutral ENSO conditions and slightly above-average tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures. Those five years were 2008, a very active year with 16 named storms and 4 major hurricanes--Gustav, Ike, Paloma, and Omar; 2007, an active year with 15 named storms and two Category 5 storms--Dean and Felix; 1996, an above average year with 13 named storms and 6 major hurricanes--Edouard, Hortense, Fran, Bertha, Isidore, and Lili; 1966, an average year with 11 named storms and 3 major hurricanes--Inez, Alma, and Faith; and 1952, a below average year with 7 named storms and 3 major hurricanes. The average activity during these five analogue years was 12.4 named storms, 7.2 hurricanes, and 3.8 major hurricanes.

TSR predicts an above-average hurricane season: 14.8 named storms
The August 6 forecast for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season made by British private forecasting firm Tropical Storm Risk, Inc. (TSR) calls for an active season with 14.8 named storms, 6.9 hurricanes, 3 intense hurricanes, and an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) of 121. The long-term averages for the past 63 years are 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, 3 intense hurricanes, and an ACE of 103. TSR rates their skill level as good for these August forecasts--47% - 59% higher than a "no-skill" forecast made using climatology. TSR predicts a 58% chance that U.S. land falling activity will be above average, a 26% chance it will be near average, and a 16% chance it will be below average. They project that 4 named storms will hit the U.S., with 1.8 of these being hurricanes. The averages from the 1950-2012 climatology are 3.1 named storms and 1.4 hurricanes. They rate their skill at making these August forecasts for U.S. landfalls just 9% - 18% higher than a "no-skill" forecast made using climatology. In the Lesser Antilles Islands of the Caribbean, TSR projects 1.4 named storms, 0.6 of these being hurricanes. Climatology is 1.1 named storms and 0.5 hurricanes.

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 2013 sea surface temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic. Their model is calling for warmer than average SSTs and near average trade winds during these periods, and both of these factors should act to increase hurricane and tropical storm activity.


Figure 2. 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 3. Comparison of the percent improvement in mean square error over climatology for seasonal hurricane forecasts for the Atlantic from NOAA, CSU and TSR from 2003-2012, 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 2003 - 2012 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.

FSU predicts an above-average hurricane season: 15 named storms
The Florida State University (FSU) Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) issued their fifth annual Atlantic hurricane season forecast on May 30, calling for a 70% probability of 12 - 17 named storms and 5 - 10 hurricanes. The mid-point forecast is for 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and an accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) of 135. 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 one of the best ones over the past four years:

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
2012 prediction: 13 named storms, 7 hurricanes. Actual: 19 named storms, 10 hurricanes

Penn State predicts an above-average hurricane season: 16 named storms
A statistical model by Penn State's Michael Mann and alumnus Michael Kozar is calling for an active Atlantic hurricane season with 16 named storms, plus or minus 4 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 2013 the May 0.87°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, except for in 2012, when an expected El Niño did not materialize:

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
2012 prediction: 10.5 named storms, Actual: 19

UK Met Office predicts a slightly above-average hurricane season: 14 named storms
The UKMET office forecast for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, issued May 13, calls for slightly above normal activity, with 14 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and an ACE index of 130. In contrast to the statistical models relied upon by CSU, TSR, and NOAA, the UKMET model is done strictly using two dynamical global seasonal prediction systems: the Met Office GloSea5 system and ECMWF system 4. In 2012, the Met Office forecast was for 10 tropical storms and an ACE index of 90. The actual numbers were 19 named storms and an ACE index of 123.


Figure 4. Total 2013 Atlantic hurricane season activity as predicted by twelve different groups.

NOAA predicts a below-average Eastern Pacific hurricane season
NOAA's pre-season prediction for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, issued on May 23, calls for a below-average season, with 11 - 16 named storms, 5 - 8 hurricanes, 1 - 4 major hurricanes, and an ACE index 60% - 105% of the median. The mid-point of these ranges gives us a forecast for 13.5 named storms, 6.5 hurricanes, and 2.5 major hurricanes, with an ACE index 82% of average. The 1981 - 2010 averages for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season are 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes.

NOAA predicts a below-average Central Pacific hurricane season
NOAA's pre-season prediction for the Central Pacific hurricane season, issued on May 22, calls for a below-average season, with 1 - 3 tropical cyclones. An average season has 4 - 5 tropical cyclones, which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes. Hawaii is the primary land area affected by Central Pacific tropical cyclones.

West Pacific typhoon season forecast not available this year
Dr. Johnny Chan of the City University of Hong Kong usually issues a seasonal forecast of typhoon season in the Western Pacific, but did not do so in 2012 or 2013. 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.

Quiet in the Atlantic this weekend
There are no Atlantic threat areas to discuss today, and none of the reliable models for tropical cyclone formation is predicting development during the coming seven days. However, there are some indications that the atmosphere over the tropical Atlantic will become more conducive for tropical storm formation beginning around August 15. The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), a pattern of increased thunderstorm activity near the Equator that moves around the globe in 30 - 60 days, may move into the Atlantic then, increasing tropical storm formation odds. At the same time, the computer models are indicating an increase in moisture over the tropical Atlantic, due to a series of tropical waves expected to push off of the coast of Africa. There will also be several eastward-moving Convectively-Coupled Kelvin Waves (CCKWs) traversing the Atlantic during that period. These atmospheric disturbances have a great deal of upward-moving air, which helps strengthen the updrafts of tropical disturbances. Formation of the Eastern Pacific's Hurricane Gil and Henriette were aided by CCKWs. These same CCKWs will cross into the Atlantic and increase the odds of tropical storm formation during the period August 15 - 20.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Jeff Masters

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Tropical Storm Utor is well on its way to becoming a typhoon.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32814

look off cozumal here
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Its only a matter of time folks...trust me.
2009 had no named storms until around August 15th and if I recall correctly the first 3 storms of that season came within 24 to 36 hours of each other, one of them (Bill) becoming a powerful category 4 hurricane.
Conditions will only become more favorable as we go through this month into September.
Patience..... it will happen.
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Quoting 579. Camille33:

he may be right!! In a neutral year it is not guarantee to be very active all it mean is pacific is not a big influence!!


Yes and no. Yes that a neutral year doesn't guarantee an active year, but it doesn't at all inhibit cyclone activity. 2005 was a neutral year, same with 2011 and 2012 (though 2012 briefly went El Nino, IIRC).
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24574
Quoting 584. SunriseSteeda:


You need a Snicker's bar.
He needs head medicine .Maybe he's having PSTD of Andrew and past hurricanes.He also flipped out on bluestorm like that.Your weather is not relevant to mine.I'll write your medication out.
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Well, the SAL is not going to help storms to form in the Atlantic. We would most likely need to seem home-grown storms this season, which could be difficult as there is always an ULL messing with the circulation, many of the storms lack convection because of this. Listen, at the end of the season, one of us will be wrong, one will be right. So until then, please don't call me a troll cause I am not.
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Quoting 571. LargoFl:
Folks..when there is dangerous weather around YOUR area...do NOT come to this blog wanting to talk about it...all you will get is STUPID PICS OF COWS...UNBELIEVABLE..WE GOT TORNADO'S HOMES MISSING ROOF'S..3000IGHTNING STRIKES AN HOUR..STREET FLOODING RAINS...AND THAT DUFUS IN dc POSTS COW PICS...IM DONE HERE....................POOF.


You need a Snicker's bar.
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Oh yeah let me tell you this season is a bust. I'll remember that at the end of the season when we have 20 named storms, more than the NHC prediction. That would be a bust in the other direction. See how easy it is to post outlandish statements without even backing them up?
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Quoting 571. LargoFl:
Folks..when there is dangerous weather around YOUR area...do NOT come to this blog wanting to talk about it...all you will get is STUPID PICS OF COWS...UNBELIEVABLE..WE GOT TORNADO'S HOMES MISSING ROOF'S..3000IGHTNING STRIKES AN HOUR..STREET FLOODING RAINS...AND THAT DUFUS IN dc POSTS COW PICS...IM DONE HERE....................POOF.
Dufus?.Your one to talk.I don't live in Florida so what's happening really doesn't have a affect on me.You act like it's Andrew part two tearing through your neighborhood.It's a thunderstorm.THEY ALWAYS HAPPEN IN FLORIDA genius.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Could you back your predictions up with evidence? Some may categorize you as a troll if not.


Member Since: July 27, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 501
Quoting 565. CybrTeddy:


Runs it into land it seems before it gets going, if it was farther north then odds are it would show a moderate tropical storm again.


What this flip-flopping by GFS gives is more ammunition to those downcasters that see a very slow season. But I say Teddy that they will get hammered on the third week of this month as Blake said in his tweet.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14892
Quoting 576. CybrTeddy:


Could you back your predictions up with evidence? Some may categorize you as a troll if not.

he may be right!! In a neutral year it is not guarantee to be very active all it mean is pacific is not a big influence!!
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I wouldn't be surprised to see an urban flood advisory issued for the thunderstorms over Pinellas County.
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Quoting 568. VAbeachhurricanes:
Anyone with any past military experience on here?


No, but...




(I did take take and pass the ASVAB a long long time ago :)
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Quoting 573. SuperStorm093:
I am just saying a B-U-S-T will happen this year. Def not have more than 1 major storm.


Could you back your predictions up with evidence? Some may categorize you as a troll if not.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24574
Quoting 493. Grothar:
That sort of brings up another question. What is the true definition of deep tropical moisture?


If I interpreted the technical abstract correctly it has to do with the atmosphere being saturated with tropical moisture up to 800 hP
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574. beell
well, it must be "feed the trolls" time for the noobs...
back to lurk mode.
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16920
I am just saying a B-U-S-T will happen this year. Def not have more than 1 major storm.
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Folks..when there is dangerous weather around YOUR area...do NOT come to this blog wanting to talk about it...all you will get is STUPID PICS OF COWS...UNBELIEVABLE..WE GOT TORNADO'S HOMES MISSING ROOF'S..3000IGHTNING STRIKES AN HOUR..STREET FLOODING RAINS...AND THAT DUFUS IN dc POSTS COW PICS...IM DONE HERE....................POOF.
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Quoting 568. VAbeachhurricanes:
Anyone with any past military experience on here?

off topic stay on topic!!
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Quoting 557. Tropicsweatherpr:
18Z GFS dropped the GOM system so back to square one it seems.


Placement in relation to the land mass destroyed it on this run, but with no trackable low pressure area yet, models are going to flip around. Nothing's guaranteed either way. I think this blog could use a dose of conservatism. Following individual model runs leads to ruin.
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Anyone with any past military experience on here?
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Quoting 558. SuperStorm093:


FIM hasnt done good really this season if I re-call, every is putting there trust in that only cause it has a storm.
Oh really, considering it saw Dorian and as the Doc. mentioned in his last 2 blogs about the FIM-9 being competitive with the GFS and ECMWF, I think your statement about the FIM is false sir.
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Quoting 562. GTstormChaserCaleb:
GFS is out to lunch, pay attention to the FIM.


The question is if NHC will look more closely to FIM from now going forward.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14892
Quoting 557. Tropicsweatherpr:
18Z GFS dropped the GOM system so back to square one it seems.


Runs it into land it seems before it gets going, if it was farther north then odds are it would show a moderate tropical storm again.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24574
Highlands County, Florida-- Strong storms caused damage in Highlands County Friday evening.

According to preliminary information from the National Weather Service, there have been reports of roof damages to six or seven homes near Lake Josephine, with one home on Leona Drive missing the majority of its roof.

The strong winds also affected carports in the area, and knocked down multiple trees and power lines.

Duke Energy's power outage map shows at least 30 Highlands County customers have lost power. Click here to see the map.

A Highlands County Sheriff's Office representative said so far, damages are specific to property alone and that they have not received any reports of injuries.

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Quoting 557. Tropicsweatherpr:
18Z GFS dropped the GOM system so back to square one it seems.

I don't think so, it looked to me like the 18z GFS kept the energy too far south for it to develop much in the NW Caribbean or BOC. It's likely something will at least have a chance to develop, though whether it does or not is far from certain.
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Quoting 557. Tropicsweatherpr:
18Z GFS dropped the GOM system so back to square one it seems.
GFS is out to lunch, pay attention to the FIM.
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navgem big storm here!!
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Quoting 554. CybrTeddy:


If it was buzzard we wouldn't be able to read his posts.
I.P ban?.
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Quoting 550. washingtonian115:
I think it's buzzard and crew but with another account.Anywho since its quite right now in the Atlantic I thought this would be funny..


Reminds me of the difference between dedicated and committed:

The chicken is dedicated (to laying eggs).

The pig is committed.
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Quoting 555. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Let me guess the GFS dropped development? LOL how rich and typical of that model. Remember it does that a lot only to pick it up back again closer to the event, those of you who have been here long enough should know that by now. Right now I'd rather pay attention to the consistent FIM at this point.


FIM hasnt done good really this season if I re-call, every is putting there trust in that only cause it has a storm.
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18Z GFS dropped the GOM system so back to square one it seems.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14892
A lot of people don't know this, but Florida is the leading state for tornados based on number of tornados per square mile. But the majority of the tornados will be of the weaker variety (EF0 - EF1)

Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 9271
Let me guess the GFS dropped development? LOL how rich and typical of that model. Remember it does that a lot only to pick it up back again closer to the event, those of you who have been here long enough should know that by now. Right now I'd rather pay attention to the consistent FIM at this point.
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Quoting 550. washingtonian115:
I think it's buzzard and crew but with another account.Anywho since its quite right now in the Atlantic I thought this would be funny..


If it was buzzard we wouldn't be able to read his posts.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24574


08/09/2013 0620 PM

Oldsmar, Pinellas County.

Thunderstorm wind gust e70 mph, reported by trained spotter.


Trained spotter estimated 70 mph winds in Oldsmar area.
Time estimated by radar.
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Quoting 537. Patrap:


You'd think from looking at that our rain chances for tomorrow would be higher than 20%...one more reason why I'm not a met.
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Quoting 536. SuperStorm093:
well 12z pretty much dropped the CV systems, I am telling you, LOTS of people are going to bust high this season with numbers, and the ECMWF doesnt show any developments expect a curve RIGHT off the coast.

I agree!!
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Quoting 546. CybrTeddy:


Yes, please tell us how a model run out to 384 hours that hasn't even finished its run yet, is the nail in the coffin for the whole season? I understand you want a tropical cyclone, we all want something to track, but unless you want a healthy serving of crow it's unwise to make a statement that "lot's of people are going to bust high with this season."

If all of the computer models are showing low/normal MSLP, (including the ECMWF) with the MJO returning to our basin and shear beginning to let up while the CSU, TSR, NOAA all continuing to predict an active season, not to mention the fact we're already on four named storms, then the odds favor this season being active
I think it's buzzard and crew but with another account.Anywho since its quite right now in the Atlantic I thought this would be funny..
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... A Severe Thunderstorm Warning remains in effect until 645 PM EDT
for northern Pinellas and northwestern Hillsborough counties...

At 623 PM EDT... Doppler radar continued to indicate a line of severe
thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds in excess of 60
mph. These storms were located along a line extending from Belleair
to Lake Fern... or along a line extending from largo to Lutz... moving
northwest at 20 mph.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

This is a dangerous storm. If you are in its path... prepare
immediately for damaging winds... and deadly cloud to ground
lightning. People outside should move to a shelter... preferably
inside a strong building but away from windows.


Lat... Lon 2787 8262 2789 8271 2792 8283 2808 8282
2806 8279 2816 8281 2816 8256 2809 8249
2801 8255 2796 8261 2797 8262 2799 8260
2800 8264 2799 8267 2796 8267 2794 8271
2790 8263
time... Mot... loc 2230z 127deg 17kt 2795 8282 2815 8255


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Quoting 547. Patrap:
gee Pat this is one dangerous storm alright
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Quoting 536. SuperStorm093:
well 12z pretty much dropped the CV systems, I am telling you, LOTS of people are going to bust high this season with numbers, and the ECMWF doesnt show any developments expect a curve RIGHT off the coast.


Yes, please tell us how a model run out to 384 hours that hasn't even finished its run yet, is the nail in the coffin for the whole season? I understand you want a tropical cyclone, we all want something to track, but unless you want a healthy serving of crow it's unwise to make a statement that "lot's of people are going to bust high with this season." We've already discussed today how most of the recent active seasons in the last 10 years have had 12-15 named storms after this point, including last season.

If all of the computer models are showing low/normal MSLP, (including the ECMWF) with the MJO returning to our basin and shear beginning to let up while the CSU, TSR, NOAA all continuing to predict an active season, not to mention the fact we're already on four named storms, then the odds favor this season being active
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24574
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Quoting 468. weatherlover94:


could have 3 in a row in 5 days
NOOOOOOOOOOO!!
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OMG!!! The lightning strikes is enormous. Dennis Phillips on ABC ACTION NEWS now just said 3000 lightning strikes in just 5 minutes. Almost the whole county is covered by this cell.
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www.solarham.net


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Statement as of 6:12 PM EDT on August 09, 2013



... A Tornado Warning remains in effect until 630 PM EDT for northern
Pinellas and northwestern Hillsborough counties...

At 610 PM EDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar continued to
indicate a tornado. Located near westchase... or 5 miles northwest
of Tampa International Airport... moving northwest at 30 mph.

The tornado will be near...
westchase.
Oldsmar.
Lake Fern.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

If you are in the path of the tornado go to a small interior room in
a strong and well constructed building. Cars and Mobile homes are not
safe. If no shelter is available... lie flat in a ditch or culvert and
cover your head with your hands.


Lat... Lon 2817 8254 2813 8251 2808 8249 2802 8256
2800 8264 2805 8270 2817 8271
time... Mot... loc 2212z 151deg 27kt 2807 8258



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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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