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 333. wunderweatherman123:
the models this year will be little help in the long range. once we actual get a system, the models seem to do alright. most of the season will have to come late august to late september with some dessert in october and possibly november
Sometimes those desserts are the actual real deal you know, just ask Mitch and Wilma.
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Quoting BDAwx:
If 1981-2010 climatology says 80% of a season's activity is after August 15th - just a ballpark percentage please correct if that's too inaccurate. And based on that same period, climatology says 12 named storms form in a season. Then by now, roughly two named storms would have formed.
We currently have double that.

If we follow climatology through the rest of the season, we end up with 14 named storms and are above average.
If we continue with doubling climatology, we have a near record 24 named storm and need painkillers for all the headaches they've brought.
The prediction mean of 16 named storms nicely falls between those two figures and is on the low end.

Sounds reasonable to me.


I don't wish to be too contentious here, but over the past couple seasons we have had some 'named storms' that were, frankly borderline.
10 years ago (or so) they would never have made the cut.
Our improvements in monitoring and assessing real-time situations within the weather systems have certainly come a long way, and have certainly helped to get us to some of the numbers we have today.

I'm not saying that this is a bad thing, but it certainly is helping to raise the numbers.
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Over the last 10 Atlantic hurricane seasons,

2003 had 12 named storms form after today's date.
2004 also had 12, or 11 if you don't count Charlie since it became a depression on the 9th but a storm later.
2005 had 18.
2006 had 6.
2007 had 12.
2008 had 11.
2009 had 9 (its entire seasonal total)
2010 had 16.
2011 had 13.
2012 had 13, or 12 if you don't count Helene for the same reason as Charlie in 2004.

The average of those is slightly over 12. The lesson from this, of course, is that we have a long way to go this season. Plenty of action to come.
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I was just taking our dog outside and a bolt of lightning came down no more than 50 ft. away. The instantaneous explosion about gave me and my dog a heart attack.
He and I both went running for the back door.
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Quoting 325. congaline:
The blob has arrived in S central fl., rain, wind, lots of lightning... Wish I were home napping and not at work!
Or you could be doing the congaline :D
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Quoting 332. pottery:


What were we talking about again ???

:):))


the stuff Right Under Moss
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334. TXCWC
FIM models showing a large gulf storm...would bring much needed rains to widespread area if came to Texas...hopefully not that strong

FIM 7 shown at 10 days


FIM 9 shown at 7 days
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the models this year will be little help in the long range. once we actual get a system, the models seem to do alright. most of the season will have to come late august to late september with some dessert in october and possibly november
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
250. Levi32 2:48 PM EDT on August 09, 2013
Quoting 237. pottery
:

So, lets take the average as posted above by Dr. Masters.
16 named, 8 hurricanes, 4 majors.

Lets assume that we get the first named on Aug 15.
That leave 11 weeks to the end of October.

For those averages to come to pass, we will need to see 16 named storms in 11 weeks, or one every 5 days or so.
Of which 8 (one every 9 days or so, on average) will be a hurricane, and a major every 3 weeks.

I'm a little dubious.....
----------

You skipped the part where we already have four storms.
===========================

Grrrrr.....
You young whippersnappers still have that thing called....

um um....

short term memory.

: )



What were we talking about again ???

:):))
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Quoting 300. Tropicsweatherpr:
The big one over Ethiopia. Let's see how it does when it hits the water and a new environment 6 days from now.

HELLO ERIN!!!!
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Quoting 318. hurricanes2018:
here the low I am watching!
you do know that low is always there right and move back anf forth from land to water to land kinda like a semi stationary area
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img src="">
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328. BDAwx
If 1981-2010 climatology says 80% of a season's activity is after August 15th - just a ballpark percentage please correct if that's too inaccurate. And based on that same period, climatology says 12 named storms form in a season. Then by now, roughly two named storms would have formed.
We currently have double that.
If we follow climatology through the rest of the season, we end up with 14 named storms and are above average.
If we continue with doubling climatology, we have a near record 24 named storm and need painkillers for all the headaches they've brought.
The prediction mean of 16 named storms nicely falls between those two figures and is on the low end.

Sounds reasonable to me.
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Quoting hydrus:
greetings Pott. Remember that there will most likely be two or more storms at once to help speed us through the list, but since June, I have scaled back my prediction for the number of storms from 17 to 15. I believe the troughs come October will be frequent, and further south than usual, keeping the northern half of the gulf closed because of shear. I do feel that October will have three named storms, and a couple in November. My crow fork is still in the drawer if I need it..:)

LOL, fortunately, we dont get crows down here.
Vultures, yes.
Do I get to eat one?

We wait, we watch, we consider recipes....
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watch that low move north here!
Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 101 Comments: 100357
The blob has arrived in S central fl., rain, wind, lots of lightning... Wish I were home napping and not at work!
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Quoting 310. MAweatherboy1:
I think JTWC backed off too much from their initial intensity forecast on 11W yesterday. It's in a very low shear environment, with no dry air to speak of and over the extremely warm (29-30C) waters of the West Pacific. The only limiting factor may be land interaction.



Models still don't like it that much but I don't know why. I guess the GFS has the ECMWF disease now since the 12z run barely initialized it as a closed low:



I think they are being conservative as well. Based on an earlier OSCAT, it was already starting to show TS force winds.



It's organised much better since then.
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Quoting Levi32:


You skipped the part where we already have four storms.
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Based on what? Danielle, the fourth named storm of 2010, developed in late August. The season ended with 19 named storms. If there was a reason to substantially lower predictions, the forecasting agency would.


Points taken.

Still, it would be a remarkable season if 12 more named storms were to be generated, etc.
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It seems as if we'll having some very wet weather next week.

MetServiceJA ‏@MetserviceJA 5h

By Wednesday and Thursday of next week, the rainfall forecast projects amounts as high as 45mm over the east, and above 50mm over the west.
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CYCLONE 11W

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Quoting 294. Ameister12:
Developing eyewall:



TPPN12 PGTW 091812

A. TROPICAL DEPRESSION 11W (N OF PALAU)

B. 09/1732Z

C. 13.6N

D. 131.8E

E. FIVE/MTSAT

F. T3.0/3.0/D1.5/24HRS STT: D0.5/03HRS

G. IR/EIR

H. REMARKS: 38A/PBO SBC/ANMTN. .90 WRAP YIELDS A DT OF 3.5. PT
AGREES; MET WAS 3.0. DBO MET, BREAKING CONSTRAINTS (CHANGE OF
0.5 OVER 6HRS) WITH RAPID CONSOLIDATION OF CONVECTION OVER THE
LLCC IN THE LAST 3-6HRS. MICROWAVE AND METSAT INDICATES WELL-
DEVELOPED, TIGHTLY WRAPPED LL TURNING THAT HAS NOT ALLOWED FOR
HIGHER DVORAK ESTIMATES UNTIL NOW DUE TO BROKEN CONVECTION.
TREND INDICATED BY MET (RAPID DEVELOPMENT OVER THE LAST 24HRS)
IS CURRENTLY THE BEST REPRESENTATION OF THIS SYSTEM'S STRENGTH.

I. ADDITIONAL POSITIONS:
09/1225Z 13.7N 132.2E MMHS


LONG
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here the low I am watching!
Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 101 Comments: 100357
last frame for Africa 12z GFS

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Quoting 287. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Looks like we are under 5 days now in terms of Caribbean development.



Farther out in time Texas:



Starting to see a trend towards the Western Gulf though as the system may tuck under the ridge and trough bypasses it to the north.

YES WE NEED IT!!!!!!!! BRING IT!
Member Since: September 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1149
Tokyo named 11W UTOR

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Low of Florida's SE coast might be getting a yellow circle sooner than later, shear to the West is forecast to slide to the SW and weaken considerably. Should only be in the low to weak moderate range.
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2437
Geaux Saints :)

Looks like we could have some actual tracking to do next week...the GOM is soooo hot right now... don't like that one little bit.
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1010 low..watch out!
Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 101 Comments: 100357
Average number of Tropical Systems (T.S or Hurricanes)per month from 1851 - 2011. This is going back to 1851 so the averages seem a little low.

January - April .05
May - 0.1
June - 0.5
July - 0.7
August - 2.3
September - 3.5
October -2.0
November - .5
December - 0.1
Source: NOAA FAQ[10]

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I think JTWC backed off too much from their initial intensity forecast on 11W yesterday. It's in a very low shear environment, with no dry air to speak of and over the extremely warm (29-30C) waters of the West Pacific. The only limiting factor may be land interaction.



Models still don't like it that much but I don't know why. I guess the GFS has the ECMWF disease now since the 12z run barely initialized it as a closed low:

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Quoting 303. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Glad football is back, even if it is preseason, Bucs fan here! We go up to New York to play the Jets opening day. The return of Revis Island. Aargh mateys :D


I knew you were a smart one, Caleb.
FIRE THE CANNONS!
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@304:
Nobody knows for sure how things will pan out..It's impossible.
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Quoting 297. Socalmargie:
Hello how is everyone doing today?
Not bad, how are you?
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Glad football is back, even if it is preseason, Bucs fan here! We go up to New York to play the Jets opening day. The return of Revis Island. Aargh mateys :D
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Quoting 300. Tropicsweatherpr:
The big one over Ethiopia. Let's see how it does when it hits the water and a new environment 6 days from now.



Yep well e got 6 day till that happen in the mean time we got other to watch
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12710
Quoting 294. Ameister12:
Developing eyewall:

Lol from TD straight to Hurricane that would be something

Quoting 298. Patrap:
Its is "Gameday" Dude, so................



LOL
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12710
The big one over Ethiopia. Let's see how it does when it hits the water and a new environment 6 days from now.

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Quoting 286. nrtiwlnvragn:


That Euro system looks like a cut-off low and not something that comes off of Africa:


120 hrs





144 hrs




168 hrs


Yeah true it does

Quoting 287. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Looks like we are under 5 days now in terms of Caribbean development.



Farther out in time Texas:



Starting to see a trend towards the Western Gulf though as the system may tuck under the ridge and trough bypasses it to the north.

We need to keep an eye out fo it

Quoting 291. hurricanes2018:
watch this low people!!!!


Yes ok you don't need to go on and on about it like your currently doing now wait and watch
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Quoting Ameister12:
This is not a tropical depression! 11W is more than likely a strong tropical storm right now.

Yeah, 11W is looking pretty good ATM.
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Have a blast pat see you for the filthy Falcons season opener.
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Developing eyewall:
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250. Levi32 2:48 PM EDT on August 09, 2013
Quoting 237. pottery
:

So, lets take the average as posted above by Dr. Masters.
16 named, 8 hurricanes, 4 majors.

Lets assume that we get the first named on Aug 15.
That leave 11 weeks to the end of October.

For those averages to come to pass, we will need to see 16 named storms in 11 weeks, or one every 5 days or so.
Of which 8 (one every 9 days or so, on average) will be a hurricane, and a major every 3 weeks.

I'm a little dubious.....
----------

You skipped the part where we already have four storms.
===========================

Grrrrr.....
You young whippersnappers still have that thing called....

um um....

short term memory.

: )

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Quoting 288. Ameister12:
This is not a tropical depression anymore! 11W is likely a strong tropical storm right now.


Would think they would name it with 45kt winds


11W ELEVEN 130809 1800 13.5N 131.7E WPAC 45 989
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watch this low people!!!!
Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 101 Comments: 100357
CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.4 / 994.5mb/ 53.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
3.4 3.5 3.4

Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167

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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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