Global warming and hurricanes part 2: An increase in late-season activity?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:33 PM GMT on January 09, 2006

Good Tuesday to everyone! This week we need to watch a large extratropical low-pressure system sliding down the coast of Africa towards the Cape Verde Islands. This low is similar to the storms that spawned Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta, and has the potential to slowly gain tropical characteristics and become Tropical Storm Alberto later this week. However, it appears that wind shear levels will probably be too high and the water too cool for a new tropical storm to form. The chances of a tropical storm forming this week are probably around 20%.

Has there been an increase in late-season tropical storm activity?
Hurricane experts agree that global warming has not led to an increase in the number of tropical cyclones occurring world-wide, and are currently debating whether or not global warming has affected tropical cyclone intensity (more on this later in January, I've been pulling together a lot of material). Is global warming possibly affecting the length of hurricane season, as well? It seems that an inordinate number of late-season and off-season tropical storms have been forming in the Atlantic the past few years. For example, two December storms formed in 2003, which also had the first-ever April storm, Tropical Storm Ana. Cuba's worst hurricane ever, Hurricane Michelle, hit in November 2001, and the Atlantic's second deadliest hurricane of all time, Hurricane Mitch, lasted into November 1998. Add to this 2005's Greek cousins, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta, which all occurred in November and December. To see if hurricane season is indeed lasting longer, I plotted up the number of days a named storm existed each year from November through April (Figure 1). The data cut-off is 1944--the beginning of reliable hurricane records in the Atlantic, thanks to regular long-range aircraft reconnaissance missions. According to Dr. Chris Landsea's paper, A Climatology of Intense Atlantic Hurricanes, only a very few short-lived tropical storms that formed far out over the open Atlantic were missed by these aircraft missions or ships plying the shipping lanes between Europe and North America. For example, all of 2005's Greek storms were long-lived enough and sufficiently intense that they would have been detected back in the 1944-1960 time frame. Beginning 1960, weather satellites gave us full coverage of all the ocean areas, and it is unlikely we missed any tropical storms after then. Thus, Figure 1 is likely to be an accurate measure of the late-season tropical storm activity for the Atlantic.

Figure 1.Number of days a named tropical storm was present in the Atlantic for each year during November through April, 1944-2005. The 2.5 named tropical storm days from the March 2004 hurricane in the South Atlantic that hit Brazil--Hurricane Catarina--are not included.

Looking at Figure 1, we see a noticeable increase in the number of late-season named-storm days in the Atlantic in the past decade, roughly coinciding with the upswing in Atlantic intense hurricane activity that began in 1995. This increase in late-season tropical cyclone activity was not observed during the previous warm phase of theAtlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), the natural cycle that greatly influences hurricane activity in the Atlantic. This previous warm phase of the AMO lasted from 1926-1969. Thus, it seems unlikely that the recent upswing in late-season Atlantic tropical storm activity is due to the AMO. Is global warming to blame, then? Global sea surface temperatures in the tropics have increased by .3 degrees C (.5 degrees F) the past century, so it is reasonable to ask if this increase has lengthened hurricane season.

To answer this question, we look at the November though April number of tropical storm days for the Northern Hemisphere's other ocean basins that have tropical cyclones--the Western Pacific (Figure 2) and the Eastern Pacific (Figure 3). Neither ocean basin shows any increase in the length of their hurricane seasons, so global warming has not caused a Northern Hemisphere-wide increase in the length of hurricane seasons. If global warming is to blame for the recent increase in Atlantic late season and off-season tropical storm activity, it is probably through some as yet not understood mechanism, and not directly due to increased the sea surface temperatures over the Atlantic.

Figure 2. Number of days a named tropical storm was present in the Northern Hemisphere's Western Pacific Ocean for each year during November through April, 1945-2005.

Figure 3. Number of days a named tropical storm was present in the Northern Hemisphere's Eastern Pacific Ocean (off the coast of Mexico) for each year during November through April, 1949-2005

Jeff Masters

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57. ProgressivePulse
6:06 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
Not repaired but going the other way I should say.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 6211
56. ProgressivePulse
6:05 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
Michalp, the ozone was repaired by limiting the output of our waste not limiting mother nature.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 6211
55. ProgressivePulse
6:02 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
Missing one thing though, connection to the upper trough. Have to see if that forms tomorrow, I went on a hunch. Pressure dropping steadily, formation growing more symetrical and nearing the percieved center.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 6211
54. michalp
5:56 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
The claim that humans can't change the environment is ludicrous. First of all look at the ozone layer. This huge change in the atmosphere was entirely man made. Man has waged war on environment being the first species that changes the environment to suit us(agriculture). That being said I am skeptical of the myriad of global warming claims, but simply dissmissing them as politicaly motivated is naiive. Most people would have little to gain if we stopped burning stuff(oil etc...). The facts are simple, it is unknown how much humans have contributed to global warming and the planet is getting warmer. CO2 concentrations are increasing quickly.

In fact in a previous entry Dr Masters said that the total temperature of the earth isn't changing. The bottom layer of the atmosphere is getting warmer while the stratosphere is getting cooler. Since the stratosphere is gains most of it's heat from radiation, loosing quite a bit of ozone could be reponsible for it's cooling(and for more sun reaching the surface).

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53. ProgressivePulse
6:00 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
You see it too eyy Trouper?
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52. ProgressivePulse
5:51 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
To be very vague, "The more crap the canes have to clean up, the bigger they get".
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51. Trouper415
5:48 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
Hey 88889 and anyone else who wants to see the possible A storm forming.

Click 'show map in motion' to see it in the works. Looks pretty similar to the greek letter storms, and its a relatively low lattitude as well. It is January lol.
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50. Trouper415
5:36 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
snowboy, that might be true. But for the people such as chaser who have basically dismissed the fact of human induced global warming and say these trends are strictly due to planitary cycles...Graphs that show hurricane activity for instance over the last 100 years...The graphs clearly show active periods and less active periods. However, it seems as if the active periods are getting more active while the less active periods are not changing or getting even more active through each cycle. And its true, as snowboy sayd, as we add c02 into our atmosphere, its not like the earth can absorb 100% of it. Even if concentration of c02 levels is rising very slowly, it STILL adds a little bit, thus the increase in temperatures etc.
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49. snowboy
5:20 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
progressive, the effects of global warming can take existing cycles (that go up and down) such as the AMO and turn them into upward spirals (where you still have ups and downs but the overall trend is ever higher)...
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48. billsfaninsofla
12:31 AM EST on January 10, 2006
Matilda...tried to send a link through.....storm damage west vs east
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47. ProgressivePulse
5:30 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
Night KRWZ!
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 6211
46. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
9:26 PM PST on January 09, 2006
ProgressivePulse i got to get some sleep now so good night and drop me a e mail
45. ProgressivePulse
5:23 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
Good to hear you are doing well, yeah I like to stare at the clouds around a storm. Especially the last few, since we have no concrete background. Cloud patterns tell alot about what is or is not going to happen.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 6211
44. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
9:22 PM PST on January 09, 2006
ProgressivePulse i am doing vary good thanks for asking
43. ProgressivePulse
5:21 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
How are you KRWZ by the way? Long time no see.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 6211
42. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
9:21 PM PST on January 09, 2006
, looking at cloud patterns?
41. ProgressivePulse
5:19 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
Just a hunch KRWZ is all, looking at cloud patterns.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 6211
40. ProgressivePulse
5:13 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
Avlos, I think that this is just a cycle. We just broke a record that was set in the 50's. There were many active seasons to date and there were many non-active seasons. Just a pattern, go get some extra batteries and hurricane supplies and ride it out.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 6211
39. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
9:12 PM PST on January 09, 2006
: ProgressivePulse the A storm on web how do you no that?
38. ProgressivePulse
5:04 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
Alberto on Wedensday.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 6211
37. billsfaninsofla
11:55 PM EST on January 09, 2006
Matilda....thank you for your input...I certainly wouldn't want to have been you on the 7th floor of a hi-rise more than you would've wanted to be here ar my house that day.....ok......a storm from the East ? you will get out?
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36. avlos
10:39 PM CST on January 09, 2006
hey guys, what do you all think about the recent study(cant remember who) about the Gulf Stream slowing down in the last thirty years, do ya'll think its possibly a feature of the AMO, or something else? If it happens not to be just a feature of the AMO I propose the hypothesis that it has been helping along some of the tropical excesses we have seen in the last few years. Possibly with the gulf stream not being as efficient at removing heat, it has helped with keeping SST's at amazingly high levels.
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35. ProgressivePulse
4:31 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
For sure Atmos, I have serious issues with those that try to control the enviornment. I would be on the frontlines in defense if anything of the sort were to spring into action.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 6211
34. atmosweather
11:28 PM EST on January 09, 2006
Yes Progressive, one of them is the natural equillibrium of the planet (homeostasis). Hurricanes are around to keep the balance in the planet's climate. There are many benefits along with the obvious drawbacks.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
33. ProgressivePulse
4:19 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
LoL Cyclone Buster, I agree with Trouper, "the concequences". Just like all the miracle drugs on the market, you solve one problem but there are 10 side effects that are worse than the original problem. Mother nature is nothing to be tampered with, who knows all the benifit's of Hurricanes, I am sure there are many.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 6211
32. Trouper415
3:55 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
Some impressive pictures of the before and after effects that hurricane Katrina caused to the area she struck.
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31. snowboy
3:19 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
thanks Trouper - they'd need to be bloody big tunnels...
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30. Trouper415
2:58 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
First off, very nice post Snowboy.

Boldman, Marin county. across the golden gate bridge from SF. Hows it going Boldman and 88889?

As for the tunnel idea. I like ideas like that which are almost too extreme to comprehend. How big do you think those tunnels would have to be? About the size of california? Another question I have for anyone who knows is: Why wouldnt that upwelling due to the pressure difference occur naturally in the ocean? Does it take a pressure difference that is immediate and not gradual as the ocean is? I didnt see you said you could turn the tunnel on and off, so my point about altering the globes climate may have been a bit rushed. However, not to disagree just for the enjoyment of disagreeing, but altering something like a hurricane which holds enough power to power the U.S. for 6 months, and altering that fuel source...hehehe. Again, fun to think about.
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29. snowboy
3:04 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
As an exercise in theoretical physics, the tunnel is quite elegant. As a real world solution to the problems of hurricanes in the USA, it is just not doable. The tunnel would create huge impacts (on climate, on aquatic and terrestrial ecological systems, and on people) on a global scale. It would not be possible to predict the impacts beforehand.

Why not try to cure the illness rather than the symptoms? Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop alternative (to carbon based) energy sources, and plant LOTS of trees...

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28. theboldman
7:04 PM PST on January 09, 2006
KRWZ mail for you
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27. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
6:59 PM PST on January 09, 2006
theboldman mail for you
26. theboldman
6:57 PM PST on January 09, 2006
hey trouper you said you wre north od san francisco im in sacramento were abouts are you
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25. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
6:56 PM PST on January 09, 2006
theboldman mail for you it will tell you why
24. Trouper415
2:43 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
Good day everyone. Great info there Dr. Jeff masters and a nice post by you chaser. As for the tunnel idea, thats sounds very nice nuetralizing these hurricanes and generating electricity for millions of people. HOWEVER! if this were ever possible, the consequences on the ecological wellbeing of the oceans creatures and the warmth the atlantic ocean brings to north america and europe in the summer would totally be abbliverated. Interesting idea but that would have monster consecuences as well altering the globes climate.

Giants in 06
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23. theboldman
6:53 PM PST on January 09, 2006
why is that david
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22. snowboy
2:09 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
Well Chaser that's a long post. While I greatly respect your abilities and experience in the field of meteorology, your post is more about climatology and I have to say I see things quite a bit differently.

The earth, its atmosphere and oceans together are a closed system which is in a state of dynamic equilibrium. Human activity is adding methane, CO2 and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere in huge amounts and this is causing more of the sun's energy to be retained in the system. If you add energy to a dynamic system, then the equilibrium will shift in response to the added energy.

We WILL see changes in global climate as a result of the greenhouse gases we are putting up there. I do agree though that we will not be able to say definitively that a certain effect (say a particularly severe storm, or an especially long and extreme hurricane season) is due to global climate change, but we should be aware that it is ever more POSSIBLE and we should plan prudently and accordingly (ie. we should conserve energy where it can be achieved with reasonable effort, and we should look for other energy sources).

Note that one factor overlooked by most climatologists is the effect of above ground nuclear testing from the 1940s through 1970s. This threw huge clouds of radioactive ash into the atmosphere, and cooled the earth's climate significantly. If you look at a graph of global temps vs. time then it has been a steady climb since the start of the industrial age (when we started with the big-time emissions of greenhouse gases), except for a 30-year downward trend that coincided with the nuclear testing. If not for the nuclear testing, global warming would have been considerably further advanced today.

As for the future, I am very concerned. If we take the "Don't worry, be happy" approach which you seem to be championing Chaser, then the future will be bleak indeed. The good thing about the debate is that each passing year provides additional data to help people's understanding. As the USA suffers ever more extreme and damaging weather, you'll as a country hopefully wake up and join the rest of the 1st world community in working on trying to counteract what is happening.
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21. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
6:34 PM PST on January 09, 2006
hey theboldman hurricanechaser and ever you no what i want to do right now to this web sit? Link

i want to give them a lol
20. FtWaltonBch2Tucson
1:40 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
I have been reading your posts with some interest for a bit. I have one thing to add to your comment above: Everything I have read suggests we are actually in a very cold point in the earth's climate cycles. The graphs I have seen of what the ice cores say the earth's average temperature was for the last several tens of thousands of years imply that the Earth was /much/ warmer than present day several times, all of which were before our ability to effect such changes.

All in all, while this season was extremely bad, I don't see how we can /possibly/ say global warming caused by humans influenced it.

I wish I had more time right now to expand on this.... I have to go run some errands before work.
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18. theboldman
5:24 PM PST on January 09, 2006
nice post tony you stil hold the record LOL
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17. hurricanechaser
9:29 PM GMT on January 09, 2006
Hey everyone,

In reviewing this data myself prior to writing my own blogs on this subject, I also noticed the same statistical correlations as noted in Dr. Masters blog. the thing that was most apparent to me is that No one can really no for sure exactly how many storms were actually missed at any point prior to satellite detection which didn't begin before 1960. This is important because the natural climate variability known as the AMO which is a multidecadal cyclic mechanism that has been proven to have the greatest affect on both Atlantic hurricane frequency and intensity was in the previous warm phase from 1926 through 1969. Therefore, they leaves the period of 1926 through 1944 without any reconnaissance flights, no land based radar observations, and most important of all, no satellite detection ability. The period from 1944 through 1960 would no doubt been a little better at tropical cyclone detection except that those flights weren't and still aren't flown unless there is a possible area of concern located west of about 55-60 degrees longitude. Therefore, any scientific study making an assumption that only one or two tropical cyclones at most would've been missed is no more than speculation. If there had indeed been a season like 2005 during the period of 1926 through 1960, it is safe to assume that many storms wouldn't have even been detected without satellites such as Delta, Epsilon, Vince, and Zeta to name a few. Moreover, even these more hybrid type cyclones would've most likely been classified as subtropical; rather extratropical cyclones between the 1960 through 1969 period where the study of satellite imagery was rather poor at the time. It is also important to realize that we have had numerous classified storms during the past two decades that were considered subtropical rather than purely tropical and thus never were named and not added to the seasonal storm totals. The NHC didn't begin naming these systems until around 2000. These are just a few of the obvious examples as to why determining a fair and reasonable comparison with the last warm phase of the AMO cycle and the new that began in 1995 and has continued through this past season is not completely reliable and has a fairly large degree of error.

A good example of this disparity is that a careful study of the hyperactive 1933 season which consists of a recorded 21 named storms is truly remarkable at a time there was far less ship traffic, no reconnaissance flights, no satellite imagery, no land based radars, and a less developed population in areas that may have ultimately been impacted. If we look at the 1933 storm tracks, one thing truly stands out, which is the absence of storms developing east of 50 degrees longitude where about 5 storms from this past season actually never crossed. Moreover, these storms were the late season variety that has helped cushion the 2005 totals which if present during the 1933 season would've gone completely undetected. Even if a ship ran into the storm, it is most likely that such a storm so late in the season would've been considered as non tropical in nature. This doesn't even take into account, another couple of storms most likely were missed even in areas west of 60 degrees longitude. Consequently, it is not impossible that the 1933 season could have had storm totals practically reaching those of this remarkable season. However, most people don't take all of the aforementioned into account when making such comparisons nor do they realize that technological advances and the increased understanding of tropical cyclones are identifying systems that otherwise would've been dismissed tropically speaking.

Now, lets consider that the 1950 hurricane season STILL holds the record for most major hurricanes during one season and it is conceivable that some storms were likely missed during this season as well with satellite observations which would've also missed storms in the east central Atlantic like the five during the latter part of the 2005 season. Moreover, it stands to also reason that some of these storms could have been underestimated in intensity as well since any possible storms identified east of 60 degrees longitude wouldn't have been assessed by reconnaissance flights and had to be detected by ships unfortunate enough to cross their path. Therefore, it's a pretty safe bet that the ACE Index was still much higher than the 2005 season which will never be known in reality. Here is something else to consider when anointing Hurricane Wilma has the most impressive storm in Atlantic Basin history, let's consider the great Labor Day hurricane of 1935. This was a very small and compact storm even smaller than Andrew of 1992. This storm passed over and through the Florida Keys at a time with no satellite technology, no land based radars to estimate intensity, no reconnaissance to get the most accurate winds and pressure possible, etc. Therefore, the 892 mb pressure was the lowest barometric pressure recorded on the sparsely populated keys where there were no more than 400 people in its direct path. This was a pressure reading from only one barometer during the storm. This a mention of one of the survivors who watched his barometer fall as he would relay the readings to those huddled with him in a building. Unfortunately, he threw the barometer into the howling wind when it got down to 26.00 inches of mercury and was still falling. Since the barometer was lost, this report couldn't be considered official. Once again, it is quite conceivable that this incredible storm may still have reached an intensity greater than Wilma from this past season. This doesn't even account for the fact that it is probable that many other very intense hurricanes weren't classified to the intensity they truly achieved certainly prior to 1944. Therefore, it is most important to keep all of this in mind when discussing the incredible 2005 season and all of its remarkable records. Moreover, this is important background information to keep in mind when comparing AMO cycles as well.

It is naive to honestly accept the belief that there weren't more storms missed than "only a few" that Dr. Masters notes based upon scientific assumptions. Even more astonishing is this assumption by Dr. Masters in this blog when he states, "For example, all of 2005's Greek storms were long-lived enough and sufficiently intense that they would have been detected back in the 1944-1960 time frame. Beginning 1960, weather satellites gave us full coverage of all the ocean areas, and it is unlikely we missed any tropical storms after then." Naturally, I will have to respectfully disagree with that assessment for obvious reasons noted above. Even if we were to accept Dr. Masters belief that all of the Greek storms were long lasting enough to somehow been detected by shipping, how would they have know these relatively weak storms would've been classified as tropical systems. It seems far more likely that all if not most would've been simply considered strong non tropical cyclones. This doesn't even take into account hurricane Vince that was the first hurricane ever recorded so far north and east in the Atlantic. In addition, Vince was an extremely small storm and didn't maintain impressive strength for too long before it moved into Spain as a tropical depression. Who really thinks that this storm would've been considered as a tropical storm with satellite imagery?

That assumption pales in comparison to his next statement that it is unlikely that ANY storms were missed after 1960 with satellite imagery. First o all, we know that satellite intensity estimates have greatly increased with our advanced understanding and technology of the past decade or so. Furthermore, it is highly likely that MANY storms would NOT have been classified as purely tropical systems from 1960-1969. Keep in mind, it is an indisputable fact that many classified subtropical storms have developed that I personally tracked prior to the 200 season that were never named and thus not added to the seasonal totals. This is just another reason why the advanced technology, increased understanding, and the classification of storms that would otherwise not have been accounted for prior to the past decade when this new warm phase of the AMO cycle is distorting the record books. Unfortunately, most don't have the background or have studied this reality to understand that there isn't as great a disparity in the comparable AMO cycles as one might think based on first impression looking at the numbers.

I want to acknowledge that I believe the current AMO cycle is a little more intense than the previous one so far. Moreover, I also want to express my belief that we are indeed in a warm phase of natural climate variability that is causing increased warming in various regions around the globe known as Global warming. However, it is unfortunate that so many want to ascribe this natural cyclic climate change to human activities. Those with a political agenda and all the money being wasted on the propaganda machines pushing it have cleverly got people into the mindset that Global warming is defined as any increased warming of the globe cause by human activities. If people would step back and think logically for a second that maybe just maybe these minimal increases in Global temperatures could be the natural function of long term climate variability which is provable and has occurred many times throughout the Earth's history. Why can't people realize that the so called human induced effects of Global warming are absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to ever be determined. Simply put, no one will ever know for certain if this increased global warming would have been any different without the releases of greenhouse gases by humans. It is important that people understand that the concept of human induced Global warming doesn't have enough merit to even be considered as a theory by scientific standards. On the hand, this won't stop the majority of those with an obvious political agenda in both the scientific community and in the media from continuing to blame this natural climate variability on human activities and sadly, most are naive enough to accept it. Therefore, it want be until this climate variability reverses itself with noticeable global cooling before the inhabitants living here a couple of centuries from now will realize that there ancestors were incorrect about human induced global warming. Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if this future Global cooling isn't then blamed on some sort of human activity.

At its most basic level, we all can understand how climate variability works through the changes in our seasons in a specific Hemisphere. We are currently in a much cooler phase of natural climate variability know as Winter which will reverse itself in a few months with a much warmer phase of this cycle know as Spring and Summer. The definition of climate in itself is just the average of weather observations over a period of time.

In short, I can confidently say that Global warming is not and cannot ever be attributed to human activities because it is undeniably unprovable at best. This stands in stark contrast to the well observed centuries old natural functions of climate variability. Secondly, the same authors Dr. Masters referred to in his blog have most recently completed a study stating unequivocally that Tropical cyclone frequency and activity in the Atlantic Basin is not attributable to any human induced Global warming.

I will get you all the link to this important study which isn't being reported in the media while the 2004 study that inspired this look into that suggestion is the one that has been consistently decimated and highlighted as factual evidence of human induced causes for Global warming and consequently the more active hurricane seasons since 1995.

I will conclude this objective and logical view of Global warming and its effects on hurricane frequency and intensity because there is so much more evidence that rebuts any reasonable suggestion of this absurd concept and I don't have the time to share all of it at this time.

It's a shame that the facts have to be so distorted when disseminated to a public likely to believe everything they hear from so called experts and what they see reported as fact in the media. My own personal views are a result of my own personal decade long study into this idea of human induced global warming. It is important to note, I began my quest for the truth believing what I heard most reported which was global warming is caused by green house gas emissions. At least, I can go to bed knowing I am not being brain washed anymore and objectively come to my own conclusions based upon both scientific evidence, the lack thereof, and simple logic.

Thanks for reading this very lengthy post and I hope everyone has a great night.:)

Your friend,

16. dcw
12:13 AM GMT on January 10, 2006
The EPAC hasn't been that inactive, it's just that no one cares while the atlantic is doing this insanity.

The primary difference bewteen an extratropical low and a tropical one is the deep, warm core, yes.

Claire made landfall just below our "hurricane" strength - 60kt (70mph)

That low shown by the models has developed in the NE atlantic, perhaps we'll be tracking Alberto soon?
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15. lightning10
2:52 PM PST on January 09, 2006
The East pacific has been lacking lately.
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14. Henchmenlabs
10:37 PM GMT on January 09, 2006
Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand the difference between intense storms and Tropical Cyclones is the warm core versus the cold core of typical lows.
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13. matilda101
9:42 PM GMT on January 09, 2006
The greek storms had most of it's weather near it's center when it was idenified as tropical. In non tropical storms the weather is away from the center. The other thing is the air would have been more warmer and more humid than compared to the atmosphere out side of the storm. Yes I think ships in the past would been able to identify tropical systems in the past if they were around for more than a few days
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12. michalp
9:15 PM GMT on January 09, 2006
I'm still skeptical as to weather all those greek storms would have been detected as tropical storms. They may have been simply seen as intense storms.

After all they do not share alot of the characteristics of tropical storms. That whole warm water thing. Also if the ocean is warmer and we are still getting tropical storms, wouldn't that imply that the air is colder? Wouldn't colder air but warmer oceans lead to more hurricanes? It's all about instability.
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11. ProgressivePulse
8:28 PM GMT on January 09, 2006
Sorry for the double post, I didn't see that it posted in the last blog :-)
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10. ProgressivePulse
8:20 PM GMT on January 09, 2006
I think the 2 main things that the country can learn from this Hurricane season is Expect the Unexpected and Prepare for the Worst. Hopefully next season more will adhere to those standards and take a little of the burden off of FEMA.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 6211
9. CrazyC83
8:12 PM GMT on January 09, 2006
Clare was equivalent to our Category 2 I think.

Is there really an off-season anymore? Remember we are about 2 months away from the low point (early March) when the North Atlantic is at its coldest!
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8. seflagamma
3:03 PM EST on January 09, 2006
Dr Masters,
Great Information, Thank you so much for keeping this up for your devoted Fan Base!!! I really look forward to reading all of your updates and the comments that follow......
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7. seflagamma
3:02 PM EST on January 09, 2006
NO WAY!!! I refused to plot and watch for Hurricanes and Tropical Storms in January...Alberto !!! BOO!!!
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Dr. Masters (r) co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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