I was an AF aviation weather forecaster for 12 years, then 15 years as a dropsonde systems operator with the AF Reserve Hurricane Hunters.
By: LRandyB, 4:16 PM GMT on May 31, 2013
Hi folks! It's that time of year again when we start keeping our eyes on the tropics as we start the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
As you know, the hurricane season starts tomorrow, June 1st and runs through November 30th. This years' storm name list looks like this:
All agencies that take a stab at predicting our hurricane season are predicting a busy season this year. NOAAs official forecast predicts 13 to 20 named storms of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes and 3 to 6 could be category 3 or greater. Those numbers are in line with CSU, UKMET, and pretty much all the other agencies forecasting for the season. Of course, we know that there is very limited capability to accurately predict the long range seasonal forecast for the tropical season. If you look back at the forecasts made in the past, you'll find that most agencies in most years tend to be conservative and under-predict the season. The most notable factors cited for this years' predictions include:
- The tropical Atlantic, even in March, was already much warmer than usual.
- It was expected that el Nino would kick in for the season and help quell the storm development, but now it looks as if that won't happen.
So all in all, I think there is a very good chance we'll have a pretty busy year. Of course, everyone should keep in mind that we have had years when there were many storms that formed yet few or none made landfall. On the other side of the coin, we've had years that broke records for how slow the season was and yet a Cat 5 can make landfall. It only takes one! The bottom line is that if you live near the coast in the Gulf or along the eastern seaboard, you should prepare for the season no matter what the forecast. If we only have one named storm this year, and it becomes a major storm and hits yours area, it will be a significant year for you no matter what the forecasts say, or how the rest of the country views the season.
I'll be blogging when there is something to blog about. Remember, I don't make forecasts. There are some very talented people at NHC (many I know personally) that have a lot more resources at their disposal who are making the official forecasts. No matter what you read here on WU or from any other source, please heed the official advisories, watches, and warnings from NHC. My objective here on my blog is to try to put the meteorology into laymen's terms and help you make sense of the forecast they put out.
Please feel free to ask questions or post comments!
Thanks for reading! Stay safe!