2007 typhoon season forecast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:51 PM GMT on May 21, 2007

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It's going to be a below-average typhoon season in the Western Pacific, according to the April 23, 2007 forecast issued by Dr. Johnny Chan of the City University of Hong Hong. Dr. Chan is calling for 25 named storms and 14 typhoons in 2007, slightly below the average of 27 named storms and 17 typhoons. The forecast for a below-average typhoon season was based on three main factors:

1) The Western Pacific has been in an inactive period since 1998, and this inactivity is expected to persist.

2) This year should have neutral El Niño conditions, or a La Niña event. These conditions have led to below-average typhoon activity since the current inactive typhoon period began in 1998 (Figure 1).

3) A stronger-than-normal high pressure system has been in place over the subtropics in the Western Pacific in February and March of 2007. Such higher pressures are associated with reduced typhoon activity later in the year.


Figure 1. Time series of the annual number of named tropical storms in the Western Pacific. Red circles and blue squares indicate El Niño and La Niña years, respectively. The green triangle is this year's forecast. An average year has 27 named storms. Image credit: City University of Hong Kong.

How good are these forecasts?
Dr. Chan has been making seasonal typhoon forecasts since 2000, and his forecasts have been skillful. The 2000-2006 forecasts issued in April for number of named storms and typhoons have a Mean Square Skill Score of about 30 and 50, respectively, according to some quick calculations I did. This is considerably higher than the late May seasonal forecasts for Atlantic hurricane activity issued by both Dr. Bill Gray/Phil Klotzbach's team at Colorado State University and Tropical Storm Risk, Inc. However, hurricane activity in the Atlantic has varied much more from year-to-year in the past decade than typhoon activity in the Western Pacific. This makes the Atlantic forecast problem more challenging.

Typhoon Yutu
Typhoon Yutu, the season's first major typhoon, intensified to a Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds yesterday. The typhoon is over open water and weakening, but could pass through the islands near Iwo Jima as a Category 2 typhoon on Tuesday. Yutu is the second named storm of the year in the Western Pacific, which usually sees three named storms by the end of May.

Figure 2. Typhoon Yutu at 00 GMT May 20, 2007. Image credit: Navy/NRL.

Tuesday (tomorrow), I'll report on NOAA's 2007 Atlantic hurricane season forecast, which will be released at 11am EDT.

Jeff Masters

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586. watchinwxnwpb
4:58 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
JusDan~ You are absolutely right. However, most of my family has diesel trucks & it diesel fuel was equally as hard to find. Lots of people have diesel trucks now. Also, I have something for my car. I'm not sure what it is called, but it is a battery charger, has a light on it & it pumps air into your tires. Also it has 2 or 3 outlets to plug things into it. It needs to be charged, but during Wilma we at least had a lamp for light & could charge our cell phones. It helps during the storm until you can use a generator& it's safer than candles or oil lamps. I think it costs like $60.00, but it's a multipurpose worthwhile investment.
Member Since: September 15, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 421
585. seminolesfan
4:48 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
new blog!!!
Member Since: June 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2108
584. franck
4:41 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
watchinwxnwpb...yes, I call that the American 'let them eat cake' syndrome. A lot of people think when the storm comes everyone should just cash out $2,000, fill up the SUV and drive up the coast, when half the people in south Florida don't own a car or a bank account!!
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583. seminolesfan
4:36 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
SW-I mean in terms of forcasting not verification.
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582. JusDan
4:35 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
For RMMM34667 and EVERYONE in coastal hurricane areas....GET PREPARED!!!

Generators ARE NOT unafforadable preparations! Considering the need to preserve food, medical needs, cool water, power tool usage, communications, etc., a generator can be a lifesaver for you AND your neighbors (especially the elderly)! My preference is for diesel powered generators as diesel is much safer to store seems to be more available during those critical times.
581. seminolesfan
4:32 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
StormW-What's your opinion on the use of GLAAM information to lend further insight into the zonal patterns of upper air movement?
Member Since: June 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2108
580. watchinwxnwpb
4:30 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
23 - Evacuating South Florida: Is it even possible ? It seems to me even if all roads were open Northbound, I-95 & the Turnpike, and Millions of people hit the road, it would be a parking lot & now your out there in the open, possibly breaking down or runnning out of gas.At what point would you up and go ? Cat 3 ? Cat 4 ? Or go to the safe room and hope for the best ?
Hi everyone! I can tell u from my experience w/trying to evacuate before Frances. If you are going to leave, do it as soon as we are in definately in the "cone of doom". Drove from Wellington, crept (5hrs.) to Orlando just to be stuck. Couldn't go west or north. ended up turning around to go back home! luckily there was 1 gas station in orlando that had gas (w/ no lines either.) I still find myself asking your question every year though. We are in an impossible area to get out of! I say stock up on gas, food, water, propane, ect. NOW! Beacause as soon as a threat is near, it is pandamonium!
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579. seminolesfan
4:18 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
Posted By: Hellsniper223 at 3:58 PM GMT on May 22, 2007.
Shear tendency in most of the atlantic and GOM is in the negatives. Maybe another week or two before it becomes generally favorable (Shear-wise) for development.


I think the neg 24 tendendcies are more a result of how high the shear levels have been basin-wide for the last week. It will be quite a while before the upper level westerlies move far enough north to reduce shear over the majority of the atlantic basin.
Member Since: June 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2108
577. hurricane2007
4:09 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
lol

severe weather in alaska lol
576. RMM34667
4:08 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
Our Evacuation Zone is D, so we'd be the last told to leave. So far we've never been told to evacuate, but we are always prepared to do so. What they told us in 2005 was if you evacuate to go 10s of miles, not 100s miles. Just get inland basically. They are afraid of masses of people hitting the roads. But after Katrina, I think people will leave more quickly than in the past.
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 912
575. BoyntonBeach
4:05 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
23 - Evacuating South Florida: Is it even possible ? It seems to me even if all roads were open Northbound, I-95 & the Turnpike, and Millions of people hit the road, it would be a parking lot & now your out there in the open, possibly breaking down or runnning out of gas.At what point would you up and go ? Cat 3 ? Cat 4 ? Or go to the safe room and hope for the best ?
Member Since: July 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1
574. StormJunkie
4:04 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
RMM, hold out as long as you can and buy that generator if you plan on staying. That said, I would also not plan on staying 3 miles from the coast for any storm over a Cat 1, and even then you have to be prepared for a rapidly intensifying storm just in case.

Back to work. Catch y'all later :~)
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
573. StormJunkie
4:01 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
I agree that a one storm season that is a landfalling 4 or 5 is bad H23, but I don't think that anyone is looking at overall numbers for the season and saying, "well I don't need to keep my guard up." Not to mention most folks stay fairly well informed once a storm is present and moving in the genral direction of land. That is why I say the "only takes one" is not worth a whole lot. Not that it is an false statement, but just that the positive and negative benifits of it right now are minimal.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
572. RMM34667
4:00 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
I got a question for you all on planning and preparing.. I live about three miles from the coast in Pasco Co. FL. We always get the water, and stock up on canned goods. We fill our tanks (cars and grill) and get cash. What do you think is a must have item? I'm thinking this year I might buy a weather radio. Don't think I can afford a generator, but my parents are elderly and not in great health. So, where should I invest my limited funds this year?? thanks.
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571. StormJunkie
3:58 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
SW, you can find a lot of good El Niño/La Niña information here.

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570. Levi32
3:58 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
It's kind of a complicated thing predicting La Nina/El Nino lol. Nobody knows how to accurately predict them yet. We just go by trends and educated guesses mostly. Personally I look at upper-level patters, telleconnections, SST anomalies, and so forth, and then extrapolate what I think the most likely outcome is. For this summer a weak/moderate La Nina is likely.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
569. Hellsniper223
3:58 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
Shear tendency in most of the atlantic and GOM is in the negatives. Maybe another week or two before it becomes generally favorable (Shear-wise) for development.
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 16
568. hurricane23
3:57 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
Actually in my opinion it only takes one is not nonsence at all as alot of folks tend to focus on the numbers predicted.Even a quite season can turn out deadly as 1992 is a prime example of that.

I do agree on preparation as its very important to have and if not create a hurricane plan for you and your family in case your asked to evacuate by your emergency management officals.Take advantage of taz free week on hurricane supplies coming up.

It not the number of storms that form that matters its the ones that actually make landfall that have the greatest impact.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13807
567. TheCaneWhisperer
3:56 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
FROM THE NOAA REPORT SeminoleFan!

"There is some uncertainty this year as to whether or not La Niña will form, and if it does how strong it will be," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. "The Climate Prediction Center is indicating that La Niña could form in the next one to three months. If La Niña develops, storm activity will likely be in the upper end of the predicted range, or perhaps even higher depending on how strong La Niña becomes. Even if La Niña does not develop, the conditions associated with the ongoing active hurricane era still favor an above-normal season."

Seems pretty darn close to me!
565. emagirl
3:56 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
just my opinion but i think anyone in areas where a hurricane may affect them should stay alert, be prepared for the worst, pray for the best, and just don't be caught off guard
564. StormJunkie
3:51 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
Afternoon all

Just my take here, but all of this is nonsense. Even the "it only takes one" talk is nonsense. There is no forecasting a season. Look at the last three years. Show me where those forecasts ended up? Tropical season is just a long game of wait and see. Now we are waiting and seeing if the shear dies. Next we will be waiting and seeing where the high sets up. Next we will be waiting to see if the blob forsm, then some waiting and seeing if the high will split or if the trough will get there in time to wisk it out to sea. Wait and see!!!

Again, not trying to offend anyone here, just my take on forecasting of seasons.

That said, we should all take this time to learn and prepare as much as possible.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
563. seminolesfan
3:49 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
TCW-I think that's an oversimplification to say the least. I'm sure that's not how they came up w/ their forcast.
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562. hurricane23
3:44 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
My best advise is take this time and create that hurricane plan and think about were would you go if your emergency managment officials asked you to leave.

For folks that need help on preparation feel free to visit my hurricane prepardness page on my website.

Page Here
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13807
561. TheCaneWhisperer
3:42 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
13 if neutral! up to 17 if La Nina! Possibly more based on the strength of La Nina! Sounds like a good forcast to me!
560. hurricane23
3:41 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
Looks like capeverde systems will be back in the mix occording to NOAA.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13807
559. Hellsniper223
3:40 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
Yeah, I agree Seminolesfan.
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558. seminolesfan
3:38 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
Your right PBG and H23...Esp. if the first few months are inactive or we have several recurving storms, too many ppl will not take the more serious months of Aug-Oct serious enough.
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557. PBG00
3:37 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
I was talking about us weather bloggers
Member Since: October 20, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 6650
556. Hellsniper223
3:37 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
PBG00 Not everyone waches every little wave. I think us weather bloggers and maybe a few others are the only ones who freak out over little waves unless the NHC mutters something about them to the weather channel.
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555. nash28
3:36 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
No big shocker from NOAA there. Pretty much what I expected.
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554. PBG00
3:35 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
the troubling thing is that they forcast an active season..then people assume every little wave will become a storm and so much is made out of nothing at all..it is maddening sometimes.
Member Since: October 20, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 6650
553. emagirl
3:34 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
i completely agree with Hurricane23
552. seminolesfan
3:34 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
never mind..it's just FEMA blowing smoke now
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551. PBG00
3:33 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
Maybe thats why is wasn't very impressive..I was watching msnbc
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550. hurricane23
3:32 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
The main thing to remember is that numbers forcasted are not important its the ones that actually make landfall that matter.It only takes one.
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549. seminolesfan
3:31 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
if you were watching on MSNBC they only broadcast the 1st part of the conference.
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548. PBG00
3:30 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
less than impressive
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547. hurricane2007
3:29 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
There just repeating.
546. hurricane23
3:17 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
Try again sheri the conference just started.Its also playing on MCNBC.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13807
545. catastropheadjuster
3:16 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
H23 I click on that site but don't know where to go can you help me all i get is music
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544. hurricane23
3:14 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
Just started!
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543. IKE
3:14 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
It's on MSNBC now.

That music is awful. I closed the window...ugh!
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542. seminolesfan
3:13 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
...2nd floor men's wear.
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541. seminolesfan
3:11 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
Yeah, the music is pretty weak. :(
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540. hurricane23
3:08 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
ggg

ggg


NOAA home page here.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13807
539. hurricane23
3:04 PM GMT on May 22, 2007

13 to 17 Named Storms Predicted
Experts at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center are projecting a 75 percent chance that the Atlantic Hurricane Season will be above normal this year—showing the ongoing active hurricane era remains strong. With the start of the hurricane season upon us, NOAA recommends those in hurricane-prone regions to begin their preparation plans. "For the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, NOAA scientists predict 13 to 17 named storms, with seven to 10 becoming hurricanes, of which three to five could become major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. An average Atlantic hurricane season brings 11 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes, including two major hurricanes.

This is the press release-More shortly.
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538. hurricane23
3:02 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
Standing by.
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537. Drakoen
3:00 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
Posted By: hurricane23 at 2:56 PM GMT on May 22, 2007.
It about to start....

I am doing work while i am listening.
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536. IKE
2:58 PM GMT on May 22, 2007
MSNBC is suppose to carry it.
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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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