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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Quoting 430. hydrus:
My parents loved Florida very much. I was born and raised there. 2004 and 2005 was the the straw that broke the camels back so to speak, and they moved here to Mid TN 1500 feet in the air hoping never to see one again.

My aunt and grandparents live there although my grandparents were up in their Connecticut house when all the hurricanes hit. My aunt went through all of them including two near direct hits in 2004. She stayed for some reason.
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439. SRQfl
It is really coming down here in Sarasota. I wouldn't be surprised if this cell drops over an inch after its all said and done. I can't keep up with mowing the grass lately...
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Looks like the GFS is saying we will have a invest next week but the doc says models show nothing forming. I see GFS has something trying to spin up as soon as Tuesday so i,m axpecting yellow by Tuesday
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Quoting 397. Patrap:
Burl was a Classic Vocalist,..and a great actor as well.



(Itsa Snowman so itsa weather related)

; )


Best post I've seen all day Patrap.

Well everyone time to shutdown. Have a safe and great weekend ladies and gents.
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Tropical Storm HENRIETTE Advisory Number 26
Issued at 1100 AM HST FRI AUG 09 2013
SUMMARY OF 1100 AM HST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
Location: 15.5N 144.0W
ABOUT 785 MI...1265 KM ESE OF HILO HAWAII
ABOUT 995 MI...1600 KM ESE OF HONOLULU HAWAII
Maximum sustained winds: 65 MPH...100 KM/H
Present movement: WSW or 255 degrees AT 16 MPH...26 KM/H
Minimum central pressure: 996 MB...29.41 INCHES
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Quoting 426. Stormchaser121:

Thats why ive been saying Freeport...thats about mid.


Depends on the angle of attack. If it's coming from the S, you want a TX/MX landfall, if from the E, a mid-coast one.
Member Since: August 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3277
ridging in the northeast to!
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Quoting 430. hydrus:
My parents loved Florida very much. I was born and raised there. 2004 and 2005 was the the straw that broke the camels back so to speak, and they moved here to Mid TN 1500 feet in the air hoping never to see one again.
hydrus....I have been in Florida for 30 years...2004 & 2005 were the worst years for me. Very stressful.
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Finally a August Pattern with Tropical Moisture surging well inland today.

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Quoting 417. all4hurricanes:

the past three years a major hurricane made landfall somewhere and if the low riders keep coming I am going to guess this year could host multiple cat3+ landfalls
the question I am thinking is where
hopefully I am wrong and everyone gets really lucky
My parents loved Florida very much. I was born and raised there. 2004 and 2005 was the the straw that broke the camels back so to speak, and they moved here to Mid TN 1500 feet in the air hoping never to see one again.
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Kingston Jamaica weather station
( updated Fri, 09 Aug 2013 2:59 pm EST )

31°C
High: 32°C | Low: 27°C
Partly Cloudy

Sunrise: 5:46 am
Sunset: 6:36 pm
Visibility: 9.99 km
Feels like: 31°C
Humidity: 66%
Wind: 24.14 km/h
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man..I dont think I have seen that color green before..







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Quoting 420. Grothar:


:)

Put another nickel in
In the nickelodeon
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Quoting 409. Matt74:
Maybe should have said mid Texas coast. Spread the love a little.

Thats why ive been saying Freeport...thats about mid.
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Just using one of today's GFS runs as an example, does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the current ridging pattern is a bee-line towards the Caribbean and Greater Antilles:

Link

A good year to really go over your hurricane plan in the Caribbean and US in case of a threat to your area.
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Quoting Tribucanes:


2013 has gotten off to an above average start. Dorian was historic for when and where He formed. GOM/Caribbean/Tropical Atlantic will all be above average for development soon. All reputable predictors of the season call for an above average to very above average season. These predictors, including the NHC that Jeff mentioned in his blog have been far off before though. Safe to say, more seasons than not, they've been pretty far off from what happens. Off to a slow start, regardless of the four named storms, seems to not mesh. Saharan dust, Caribbean stability, and the quiet GOM currently does back up your statement though. I think 16-20 storms seems likely, but that's the great thing about predictions; anyone can make them and few will be right. We shall see soon enough.

Nice post.

Your'e right of course.
We shall see, soon enough.

Devils Advocate, out till later>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

:):))
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24646
Quoting 397. Patrap:
Burl was a Classic Vocalist,..and a great actor as well.



(Itsa Snowman so itsa weather related)

; )


and a gentleman as well!
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the models have been showing nothing but lows and troughs exiting off the carolina coasts..just great..welcome back rain..

just have to ask..is there a correlation of the wet pattern on the east coast and TC formation in the atlantic?





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Quoting 414. GTstormChaserCaleb:
I see you have met Jasoniscoolman, he likes to type in bold and say WOW!!!
Gotcha. Isn't he also Camille 33 as well as some other names?
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Quoting 405. PalmBeachWeather:
I actually thought that song was written about my Mom and Santa


:)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26814
Quoting 399. hydrus:
The gulf is a big bowl of Wheaties made just for canes...Wilma pigged out before B-slappin Florida..



"The gulf is a big bowl of Wheaties"

I'm going to remember that
Member Since: June 26, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1817
GOM AVN Loop

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Quoting 390. hydrus:
And its worth noting that if this current pattern remains in place, multiple landfalls are possible..I do hope nobody gets whacked with a major.

the past three years a major hurricane made landfall somewhere and if the low riders keep coming I am going to guess this year could host multiple cat3+ landfalls
the question I am thinking is where
hopefully I am wrong and everyone gets really lucky
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Quoting 410. hydrus:
I saw Mommy kissing Santa..
Nice song, naughty song ;)
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Hey Yall. Very busy today at work and checking in after reading Dr. Master's update. With an overall average of about 10-12 storms to go by the end of the season (if these general numbers hold), I am thinking that the late-August to end of September period is going to really take off.

If Dr. Master's is correct, and all of those factors converge between August 15-20 in Africa and the Atlantic basin, we could easily see a cluster of back to back Cape Verde storms through the end of September starting in a few weeks.

Just have to keep a very close eye on the ridging in the Central Atlantic over the next three weeks for clues as to where the bulk of these storms will be headed in the short-term.
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Quoting 403. Matt74:
No way.
I see you have met Jasoniscoolman, he likes to type in bold and say WOW!!!
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I wouldn't say that - 2012 also had even worse conditions for an active season. IMO if the TSR, CSU, and NOAA all combined are still calling for an active season I have difficulty being able to not believe them.


Well, I've always had trouble believing things that did'nt seem right to me.
It's a Forecast. Based on anticipated conditions. And as we know, those conditions need to mesh pretty nicely to produce a storm.

But I never ever had a problem saying ''well, I was wrong and you/they were right''.

Whatever the numbers for 2013 come out at, it's been a really strange year for weather all over the place,.
I expect more strange stuff.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24646
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PADUCAH KY
327 PM CDT FRI AUG 9 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PADUCAH HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHEASTERN POPE COUNTY IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS...
SOUTH CENTRAL CRITTENDEN COUNTY IN WESTERN KENTUCKY...
CENTRAL LIVINGSTON COUNTY IN WESTERN KENTUCKY...

* UNTIL 400 PM CDT

* AT 326 PM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR BURNA...AND MOVING EAST AT 30 MPH.

HAZARD...TORNADO AND QUARTER SIZE HAIL.

SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED ROTATION.

IMPACT...MOBILE HOMES WILL BE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. DAMAGE TO
ROOFS...WINDOWS AND VEHICLES WILL OCCUR. FLYING DEBRIS
WILL BE DEADLY TO PEOPLE AND ANIMALS. TREE DAMAGE IS
LIKELY.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
BURNA...SALEM...SMITHLAND AND DYCUSBURG.
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Quoting 396. Grothar:


My word, How old are you????? Next thing you'll say is you remember the song Jimmy Boyd sang.
I saw Mommy kissing Santa..
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Quoting 385. Stormchaser121:

Im right with you
Maybe should have said mid Texas coast. Spread the love a little.
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Quoting 379. Grothar:


Not showing much spin, but when those things don't move much, anything can happen.
Gro...I bought a 1909 SVDB in Charleston SC maybe 1969....I sold it for $60 way back then when I needed the $$$$. It was fine condition
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GOM Sea Height Anomaly

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Quoting 403. Matt74:
No way.



If there was any yellow circle it would be near Africa
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Quoting 396. Grothar:


My word, How old are you????? Next thing you'll say is you remember the song Jimmy Boyd sang.
I actually thought that song was written about my Mom and Santa
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Quoting 384. iloveweather15:
Maybe yellow circle coming 8pm for sw caribbean and a good spin to!!
No way.
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Quoting 377. Grothar:


Thanks, Caleb, right over my house. :)

You're welcome :P And for the next "H" storm that gets retire they should replace it with Harry from the movie "Dirty Harry."
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Quoting 396. Grothar:


My word, How old are you????? Next thing you'll say is you remember the song Jimmy Boyd sang.
I remember Johnnie Ray crying on Ed Sullivan Show when he sang "CRY"
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Quoting 395. PalmBeachWeather:
Damn we are old Pat


Shsssh, I dont think they have noticed yet.

;]
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Quoting 381. Patrap:
Lotsa Mojo out mid Gulf.

The gulf is a big bowl of Wheaties made just for canes...Wilma pigged out before B-slappin Florida..

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Burl was a Classic Vocalist,..and a great actor as well.



(Itsa Snowman so itsa weather related)

; )
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Quoting 383. PalmBeachWeather:
Pat, wasn't that guy from Frosty The Snowman, narrated by Burl Ives?


My word, How old are you????? Next thing you'll say is you remember the song Jimmy Boyd sang.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26814
Quoting 394. PalmBeachWeather:
Burl had one of the greatest , relaxing voices....
Damn we are old Pat
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Quoting 393. Patrap:


Yukon Cornelius from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Burl Ives.

Circa 64-65 I believe.

I never miss it.

; )

Burl had one of the greatest , relaxing voices....
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Quoting 383. PalmBeachWeather:
Pat, wasn't that guy from Frosty The Snowman, narrated by Burl Ives?


Yukon Cornelius from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,Burl Ives.

Circa 64-65 I believe.

I never miss it.

; )
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A day with my daughter tomorrow...."Please don't make me go to IKEA again...
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Taken from Adriansweather site
"Within 24 hours, Wilma reached Category Five strength, with sustained winds of 185 mph and produced the lowest central pressure ever recorded in the Atlantic basin, 882 mb."

Us in S. Florida can't forget this.
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Quoting 343. CybrTeddy:


Worth noting that 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012 all managed to generate 11+ named storms after this point in hurricane season.
And its worth noting that if this current pattern remains in place, multiple landfalls are possible..I do hope nobody gets whacked with a major.
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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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