Hurricane forecasters call for very active Atlantic season

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:45 PM GMT on April 03, 2007

A very nasty Atlantic hurricane season is on tap in 2007, according to the latest seasonal forecast issued today by Dr. Bill Gray and Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University (CSU). The Gray/Klotzbach team is calling for 17 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes. An average season has 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. The forecast calls for a much above normal chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S., both along the East Coast (50% chance, 31% chance is normal) and the Gulf Coast (49% chance, 30% chance is average). The Caribbean is also forecast to have an above normal risk of a major hurricane.

The forecasters increased their hurricane activity numbers from their December forecast, citing the rapid dissipation of the winter El Niño event, a forecast of neutral or weak-to-moderate La Niña conditions for the coming hurricane season, plus a continuation of above average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic.

How accurate are the April forecasts?
I would have liked to have seen mentioned in today's forecast in big bold letters, "our past April forecasts have shown no skill in predicting Atlantic hurricane activity." Don't get me wrong--the CSU team are very skilled scientists, and I like the fact that they are trying to make useful seasonal hurricane forecasts. However, the skill of these April forecasts when compared to climatology is near zero, and they should be stating that in very clear terms in their April forecasts. In fact, CSU April forecasts from 1995-2006 have shown slightly negative skill. Negative skill means that a forecast of the normal climatology of 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes for the period 1995-2005 performed better than the CSU forecast. CSU Forecasts from the past five years have shown some improvement, and have a slight positive skill. The CSU team has posted an Excel spreadsheet of their forecast errors (expressed as a mathematical correlation coefficient, where positive means a skilled forecast, and negative means they did worse than climatology). You can see from their numbers that the December and April forecasts have near zero skill, but the June 1 forecasts have substantial skill. To rectify their poor April forecast skill, the CSU team is trying a new scheme for this year's April forecast. They found that the February-March SST (30-45°N, 10-30°W), February-March SST (30-45°N, 10-30°W), and February-March sea level pressure (20-45°S, 100-160°W) could be used to explain about 55% of the ups and downs of hurricane activity over the period 1950-2004. Hopefully the new scheme will show positive skill forecasting upcoming hurricanes seasons, and not just "hindcasting" the past ones. For now, you're best off just paying attention to their June 1 forecast, which has been quite skillful over the past ten years.

2007 Atlantic hurricane season forecast from Tropical Storm Risk, Inc.
The British private forecasting firm Tropical Storm Risk, Inc. (TSR), issued a 2007 Atlantic hurricane season forecast today as well. TSR has almost the same forecast as the CSU team--17 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes. I like how they put their skill level right next to their forecast numbers: 9% skill at forecasting the number of named storms, 15% skill for hurricanes, and 14% skill for intense hurricanes. That's not much better than flipping a coin, but it is better than the slightly negative forecast skill of the Gray/Klotzbach April forecasts. However, TSR doesn't mention the fact that part of their skill may be due to the fact that they issue forecasts of fractional storms--i.e., the numbers they will verify for this April's foreacst are 16.7 named storms, 9.2 hurricanes, and 4.2 intense hurricanes. If we round these numbers to whole storms, the TSR skill numbers may decrease.

TSR projects that five named storms will hit the U.S., with two or three of these being hurricanes. In the Lesser Antilles Islands of the Caribbean, TSR projects two named storms, one of them being a hurricane (50/50 chance of being a major hurricane). TSR cites two main factors for their forecast of an active season: above normal Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) are expected in August-September 2007 across the tropical Atlantic, as well as slower than normal trade winds July-September. Trade winds are forecast to be 0.9 meters per second (about 2 mph) slower than average, which would create greater spin for developing storms, and allow the oceans to heat up due to reduced evaporational cooling. SSTs are forecast to be about 0.16 degrees C above normal. TSR gives an 85% chance that the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season will rank in the top third of active seasons observed since 1957.

Figure 1. Accuracy of long-range forecasts of Atlantic hurricane season activity performed by Bill Gray and Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University (colored squares) and TSR (colored lines). The CSU team's April forecast skill is not plotted, but is near zero. The skill is measured by the Mean Square Skill Score (MSSS), which looks at the error and squares it, then compares the percent improvement the forecast has over a climatological forecast of 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. TS=Tropical Storms, H=Hurricanes, IH=Intense Hurricanes, ACE=Accumulated Cyclone Energy, NTC=Net Tropical Cyclone Activity. Image credit: TSR.

Landmark greenhouse gas emissions ruling by the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the EPA has the authority to regulate CO2 as a pollutant. An analysis of this ruling is presented by Dr. Ricky Rood today in our Climate Change blog. This could well prove to be the Supreme Court's most important environmental decision ever.

Jeff Masters

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445. socalx
12:16 AM GMT on April 06, 2007
Hurricane Survivor, don't be so disgusted at people for having a little fun with something as interesting and ecumenical as weather forecasting. I was in the weather business for over 41 years. Four years as a weather observer in the U.S. Air Force and over 37 years with the National Weather Service. I never met a forecaster who didn't bust his predictions even with the best equipment and data available. Often, decisions are based on an individual forecaster's preference for a specific computer model. After it busts there's that Doh! moment, but c'est la vie. That's the weather biz and I can't tell you how many conversations I've had over the years with everyday citizens who are totally bubbling over with enthusiasm about the weather. Today, for a few dollars you can get a pretty darn good mini weather setup including max/min inside and outside temperatures, wind velocity and speed and even running totals of every single day 24/7.

Weather forecasters and the mission of the National Weather Service have but a single goal and that is to warn the public of dire weather occurrences that are a threat to life and property. Any analogy of soldiers killed or wounded in battle with weather forecasting is preposterous.
444. HurricaneSurvivor
5:52 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
I'm pretty disgusted that people here are contemplating playing a game on where hurricanes will hit.

Would you play a game that forcasts how many solders get blown up in Iraq that day with extra points on the location in the city of Baghdad?

If you can't tell the parallels between the two then I feel sorry for you.

You haven't been through a serious storm if you think it's a fun game to play with you and your buddies.
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 16
443. socalx
5:18 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
William Gray's prediction of 17 hurricanes this coming season is a no brainer. His prediction that at least one could hit the U.S. mainland is also an easy call and is nothing more than a wild guess which the Farmer's Almanac could make just as well.

If you go back to 2005 you would have to take into consideration the pockets of extremely warm water in the Gulf of Mexico, near the Gulf Coast states, around 90 degrees, to predict if any hurricane could be as stong and devastating as Katrina. But that phenomenon is not predictable because it's an isolated condition which shifts locations througout the Gulf.

Like the book "Isacc's Storm," based on a U.S. forecaster Issac Cline, too many forecasters presume they have computer models that can take in all the variations in the atmosphere and predict either dire or benign weather events. In Isaac's Storm it was accepted orthodoxy based on the "Law of Storms" that any tropical storm or hurricane that moved into the Gulf of Mexico would certainly veer off to the northeast, away from the U.S. mainland. Of course, he was wrong about the Galveston storm in 1900 which killed about 6,000 people.

Today, computer models, for all their ability to crunch numbers at lightning speed, still are not programmed to account for the myriad and infinite variations in the Earth's atmosphere. Some biases, however, can be computed accurately and factored into equations.

For example, older temperature sensors used in the U.S. before technological advances eliminated most of the need for manual readings, had an accuracy range of plus or minus 2 degrees (F). Today's automated stations all have been commissioned with a temperature fluctuation of plus or minus 5 degrees (F). In other words, it's entirely possible to be off as much as 10 degrees before temperature equipment might become suspect. As a result of thousands of readings, in the above cases the known bias can be factored into forecasts.

Another known bias involves tipping bucket rain gauges. Most climatologists have accepted the fact that the mechanical tipping bucket will lose up to 20% of the total measured rainfall amount, mostly during heavy downpours that occur during hurricanes and severe thunderstorms. Again, that 20% can still be factored in an equation to achieve better climatological accuracy.

William Gray can no more predict the infinite biases and variables than the computers he's working with, especially given the fact that normal cyclical changes are difficult to factor into the raw mathematical equations from the outset.

But, climatalogically, he can make all the predictions he wants and make the claim that he has at least a 50% chance of being right. Even most amateur weather hobbyists can achieve 50% accuracy.

What was missing last year to throw off the predictions?

In hindcasting, we know that massive sandstorms were blown off the western coast of Africa by strong easterly winds in 2006, essentially blocking the sun and preventing the warming of the sea surface temperatures. Heat, as we all know, is the main engine that feeds and drives the potential for hurricanes. That was absent in 2006. But nobody predicted it. How could they?
442. catastropheadjuster
4:37 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
H23: I'll never forget when Hurricane Fredric came through I was living in Saraland,Al outside of Mobile, Al was just a kid and it took the roof off of our house. That why I'm scared to death of them and I have always vowed that I would have a plan and make sure my children and all is safe. Sheri
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3684
441. hurricane23
3:26 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
If indeed we get a weak to moderate Nina it will open the doors for a eastcoast hits as it supports a displaced bermuda high and a path towards the eastcoast.

Here is a quick sample of surface pressures from a few la nina's.Note the higher than normal pressures in the north central atlantic and the lower pressures into the central atlantic to the southeast coastline.

(Dangerous setup for the eastcoast)

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13868
440. hurricane23
3:03 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
I doupt it as shear is quite high in the gulf at the present time.

Here is a better view of good rains chances for florida?

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13868
439. cajunkid
2:51 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
Will this generate our first invest?

Much of the medium to extended guidance is now indicating
some energy embedded within a northwest flow regime aloft developing a
surface low/wave in the western Gulf and subsequently moving this
feature eastward through sun. If the guidance is correct...this would
result in cloudy...cooler...rainy and even breezy weather for most
of the central Gulf Coast region this weekend before conditions
begin to improve Monday and beyond as high pressure returns to the
lower Mississippi Valley.
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 1390
437. hurricane23
2:37 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
Sheri the best we can do is be prepared and the rest is up to mother nature.Honestly i consider myself a very lucky person having gone threw the full extent of andrews power which i might point out completely destroyed my house there was nothing left standing but the room i was in with my family.Material things can always be replaced but your life can't and its very important to keep that in mind.Overall just make sure your prepared and follow the advise of your emergency management officials.If you have any questions on how to prepare feel to read up on my hurricane preparedness page on my website.

My Hurricanes preparedness page
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13868
436. BahaHurican
2:31 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
I see things have picked up in here since this time last week! 400+ posts already! LOL

I'm watching with interest the forecasts as they come out. What I'm more interested in right now, though, is what is being forecast about steering patterns and the location of that AB high.

I guess that's one reason why landfall forecasts in particular are so hard to get right.

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 20 Comments: 25742
435. catastropheadjuster
2:23 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
H23 Hey I've already got a plan I'm leaving there's no way I will stay thru another Hurricane.They scare me to bad. But I really hate leaving my house but I'd rather be alive cause u can always rebuild/ but you can get your life back.
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3684
434. hurricane23
1:59 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
Posted By: keywestdingding at 9:39 AM EDT on April 05, 2007.

each year my friend and i pick 2 storms each. from the picked storms, the storm that comes the closest to key west, that person wins a dinner from the loser. we have played this game for about 6 years and neither one of us has won. you would have thought that one of us would have won in 2005, but of the 4 hurricanes that brushed the keys, none where picked :( this might be the year that both of us win! it might the year that both of us lose too ! LOSE OUR HOUSES! LOSE OUR FAMILIES! LOSE OUR LIVES!!!!!

Take the proper action and use this time wisely and create a hurricane plan for you and family members also always listen to your emergency management officials and if your asked to evacuate you should strongerly consider doing so cause if you dont your on your own and you may put you and familys live in danger.My point is every hurricane needs to be taken seriously wheather its a CA1 or CAT4 and if you live in a hurricane prone area you be prepared from june1-nov30.Adrian
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13868
433. keywestdingding
1:39 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
each year my friend and i pick 2 storms each. from the picked storms, the storm that comes the closest to key west, that person wins a dinner from the loser. we have played this game for about 6 years and neither one of us has won. you would have thought that one of us would have won in 2005, but of the 4 hurricanes that brushed the keys, none where picked :( this might be the year that both of us win! it might the year that both of us lose too ! LOSE OUR HOUSES! LOSE OUR FAMILIES! LOSE OUR LIVES!!!!!
Member Since: March 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 92
432. hurricane23
1:05 PM GMT on April 05, 2007

New Climate Perdiction Center update for april...

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13868
431. MisterPerfect
1:00 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
BAH! Miami should have their own darn satellite!
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 72 Comments: 20207
430. hurricane23
12:53 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
NWS in miami puts in place a New Upper Air Oberservation System...

They now have GPS on ballons order get better position on there readings.

More here
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13868
429. lilmax
12:52 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
Good morning every1.
428. MisterPerfect
12:51 PM GMT on April 05, 2007

The hurricane center's new director said budget pressures and the loss of a satellite could damage the accuracy of forecasts.


NEW ORLEANS -- Mounting a challenge to Congress and his superiors in Washington, the new director of the National Hurricane Center warned Wednesday that forecasters and researchers are being bled of funding and other resources at a dangerous time.

Bill Proenza, who took over the post early this year, said inflation has eroded the center's $5.8 million budget, sharp cuts have damaged an important research program and a crucial satellite is running on borrowed time, with no replacement in sight.

Loss of that satellite could reduce the accuracy of some hurricane forecasts by 16 percent, he said.

All of this comes as millions of new residents flock to the coast, including many drawn by South Florida's waterfront construction boom. At the same time, scientists say the nation is stuck in a decades-long period of increased hurricane activity and that the six-month season that begins June 1 could be busier than usual.

''The amount of money being invested in the hurricane warning program isn't up to the level of the threat that hurricanes present to this nation,'' Proenza said. ``This must be considered the largest natural disaster threat to this country.''

His comments came during the National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans, attended by about 2,000 forecasters, emergency managers, vendors and others.


In some ways, the conference served as Proenza's public debut, and it indicated that his tenure at the hurricane center in West Miami-Dade County could be provocative and somewhat confrontational, at least when it comes to fighting for resources.

''I'm not backing down on this,'' he said. ``All of us are charged with the highest calling -- the protection of life.''

Proenza, 62, was raised in South Florida. A government forecaster and manager for more than 40 years, he most recently served as director of the National Weather Service's Southern region, based in Fort Worth, Texas.

According to colleagues, Proenza has earned a reputation as a skilled bureaucratic battler within the weather service and its parent agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, especially in competing for resources.

He rose to his new challenge in a manner far more public and bold than that of his predecessor, Max Mayfield, who retired in January:

• Proenza said the hurricane center's budget for labor, logistical support and similar costs has remained flat during the past few years.

''Actually, a little less, when you factor in inflation,'' he said.

Proenza declined several opportunities to share his preferred budget figure, but he said he was surprised to learn that the hurricane center ``with all its visibility and importance, has to scrape for crumbs.''

NOAA spokesmen said they had no comment on Proenza's remarks, but they have noted in the past that budgets are tight throughout government and many components of the agency must compete for funding.

• Separately, Proenza said that an unusually productive research program, the Joint Hurricane Test Bed, suffered cuts of more than $500,000 in recent years.

Now funded at about $1 million, the program specializes in projects that have a good chance of quickly contributing to the accuracy of hurricane forecasts.

In the past few years, test bed projects have improved computerized forecast models and allowed scientists to create new, user-friendly graphics, according to Rick Knabb, a lead hurricane forecaster who once coordinated the program.

''Our forecasts don't have zero errors yet,'' Knabb said, ``so there always is a need to get better.''

In 2005, The Miami Herald's Blind Eye series reported that defective buoys, weather balloons and other equipment also were inhibiting progress in improving forecasts, and stagnant budgets placed constraints on hurricane scientists.

Late that year, Congress approved more than $25 million in emergency spending for new and improved equipment -- money that is separate from the hurricane center's budget.

• Proenza drew particular attention to the pending demise of an important satellite launched in 1999 and designed to operate for five years.

Called QuikSCAT, the device allows scientists to measure wind speed and direction in storms that are well out to sea.

It contributes year-round to marine forecasts but is especially important during hurricane season, when it helps experts determine when a tropical system has formed and how fierce it might be.

''Obviously, QuikSCAT is well beyond its life span, and we're very concerned,'' Proenza said. ``And there's nothing in the works to replace it.''

Loss of that satellite could damage the accuracy of two-day hurricane forecasts by 10 percent and three-day forecasts by 16 percent, he said.

A new, modernized version would cost about $375 million, he said, and would take at least four years to build and launch.

''But we don't have the money, so we're probably looking at longer than that,'' Proenza said.


In January, a panel of the National Academy of Sciences criticized NOAA and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for allowing QuikSCAT and other weather satellites to deteriorate, and a report in The Miami Herald closely examined the issue.

Proenza and others noted that the risks have never been greater, largely because more people settle in hurricane-vulnerable regions every year. Fifty-three percent of all Americans now live within 50 miles of the coast, Proenza said.

''It's a problem,'' said David Paulison, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. ``We continue to build in harm's way.''

A South Florida native who still has a house in Davie, Paulison said he recently visited downtown Miami and was shocked.

''I couldn't believe the condos going up there,'' he said during a round-table discussion. 'You go, `Dang, how are you going to evacuate all of these people if something happens?' ''
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 72 Comments: 20207
427. Patrap
12:47 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
N.O. takes a beating in census
Population decrease tops all metro areas
Thursday, April 05, 2007
By Coleman Warner

In a finding not likely to surprise Hurricane Katrina victims, a U.S. Census Bureau report made public today shows the New Orleans area suffered the greatest population loss among 361 metropolitan regions between 2000 and 2006 -- while Atlanta, Dallas and Houston, destinations for many displaced New Orleanians, ranked first, second and third in gains.

The seven-parish New Orleans area lost 292,000 people, falling from about 1.3 million to 1 million, according to the new analysis. As a result, the New Orleans area's ranking among the 361 metro areas slid from 38th to 50th. The figures cover the parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany.

The Gulfport-Biloxi area of Mississippi, population 227,904 in 2006, had the next greatest decline, also attributable to Katrina, at 7 percent, a loss of 18,286 people.

The New Orleans area's population losses contrasted with large gains in many metro areas across the region. Among the 50 fastest-growing metro areas, 25 were in the South, followed by 23 in the West.

The Atlanta region gained 890,211 people from 2000 to 2006, an increase of 21 percent, bumping up its national ranking from 11th to ninth. Its total population stood at 5.1 million at the time of the July estimate.

Dallas had the second-largest increase in metro-area population, with 842,449, a gain of 16 percent, raising its national ranking from fifth to fourth and bringing its total count to 6 million. Houston had the third-largest with an increase of 824,547, or nearly 18 percent. The Houston area's population count totaled 5.5 million in July, raising its ranking from eighth to sixth.

Population estimates for periods before and after Hurricane Katrina's August 2005 landfall show big increases in the numbers of people moving into the Houston and Atlanta metro areas, but the agency offered no fresh analysis of Katrina's specific impact.

But the report lends credence to conclusions drawn by demographers and state officials in December, following another Census Bureau report, that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made history in altering where people live. The December report showed that Louisiana's population shrank by 220,000 people, or 5 percent, in the year after Katrina and Rita, reflecting an outmigration not seen since wholesale community disruptions of the World War II era. NOTE..Thats all I'll post Im reaching my post LIMIT.. Dont want to blog over these contests and other important post...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 139984
426. Patrap
12:21 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
More From The Times-Picayune | Subscribe To The Times-Picayune
Storm forecasters lack tools, official says
Key satellite is living on borrowed time

Thursday, April 05, 2007
By Mark Schleifstein

Federal money for hurricane research is at least $700,000 below what it should be, and that could delay improvements in the tools used by hurricane forecasters to warn the public about the size and location of major storms, National Hurricane Center Director Bill Proenza warned Wednesday.

Speaking at the annual National Hurricane Conference, Proenza also warned that if a research satellite that's already two years past its expected life span fails, which he said could happen at any time, 48-hour forecasts of hurricane landfalls could be off by 10 percent and 72-hour forecasts could be off by 16 percent.

That could make it more difficult to evacuate coastal areas because the Hurricane Center would widen the geographic area along coastlines that receive advance warning of hurricanes, he said.

A replacement for the QuikSCAT satellite would take at least four years to shoot into space, if the $375 million to $400 million cost of the orb and its launch vehicle were available. But the money's not there, Proenza said.

The satellite provides surface wind speeds and directions used in computer models that predict hurricane storm paths for the National Hurricane Center. But the information also is used year-round by local National Weather Service meteorologists in writing marine forecasts, he said.

Active season expected

Proenza said a National Weather Service seasonal forecast of hurricane activity, which will be released in May, is likely to indicate a greater-than-normal number of hurricanes, similar to the prediction made Tuesday by Colorado State University climatologists Philip Klotzbach and Bill Gray.

"We know that El Niño (a warm water condition in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the Americas) suppressed activity last year," Proenza said.

The warm water in the Pacific is believed to cause upper level westerly winds that create wind shear that blows the tops off of hurricane-forming clouds.

But this year, El Niño has disappeared and looks like it will be replaced by its opposite, cool-water condition, known as La Niña. The cooler water is believed to cause more easterly winds in upper levels of the atmosphere over areas of the Atlantic, which creates more favorable conditions for the formation of hurricanes. There still are some wild cards that could reduce hurricane activity this year, though, Klotzbach said in an interview Wednesday. The biggest one, he said is the potential that dusty, dry air blowing off the Sahara Desert in Africa will reduce the chance of storm formation in the far Atlantic. Just such a condition helped limit storm formation in 2006.

But information about the potential for the dust to be a factor won't be known for a few more weeks, Klotzbach said. That information will be included in his late May update of hurricane activity.

The estimate released by Klotzbach and Gray on Tuesday called for 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and five major hurricanes. Klotzbach said there's a 49 percent chance of a major hurricane -- a Category 3 or stronger storm -- hitting the Gulf Coast this year, well above the historical average of 30 percent.

Gray retirement

Gray also announced this year that Klotzbach, a graduate student, has replaced him as the lead author on their predictions. Klotzbach said he hopes to continue the forecasts after this year, depending on where he ends up working after completing work on his doctorate degree in meteorology.

Gray said Wednesday that his retirement is allowing him to take the lesser role in the forecasting process, and that he's financing his own work from his retirement benefits. The research is also underwritten by grants from the National Science Foundation and Lexington Insurance Co.

Attending this week's conference is a mixture of government, business and media meteorologists and a wide variety of emergency management officials.

The conference also addressed rebuilding and flood protection efforts after Katrina. Federal Gulf Coast rebuilding czar Donald Powell told the attendees that recovery efforts in Louisiana and Mississippi are a lot more successful than much of the nation understands.

He pointed to the progress the Army Corps of Engineers has made to rebuild breached sections of the levee system to greater strength than before Katrina as an example of how the area's safety has been improved.

"Is there more work to do?" he said. "Absolutely. This is a most complex engineering task, difficult, time consuming, complex. But this president is committed to making sure the levee system is stronger than it has ever been." Powell also hinted at a new program aimed at jump-starting the slow process of rebuilding homes and businesses in the area.

"One of the interesting pieces of data we discovered about New Orleans is that 57 percent of the people in the parish were renters before Katrina," he said. "Now, homeownership is one of the cornerstones of being an American. It's critically important we rebuild the city's rental stock to help the community come back, but in the long term, it's better for people to become homeowners."

So his office is negotiating with capital investment businesses about underwriting the construction of new homes that residents could first rent and then have their rental payments applied to the purchase price.

The initial proposal would represent a $100 million investment, he said.

Powell warned conference- goers, who are from all across the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, that a major lesson to be learned from Katrina is that communities with the best chance of surviving a catastrophic event are those that are healthy before the event.

"I remember coming down here and looking into the eyes of people along the Gulf Coast and thinking about two words: one was hope and the other was trust," he said. "And the hope for a brighter tomorrow was not there.

"I remember taking that message back to Washington that we need to build hope down here," he said.

"You need to put yourself beyond defeat," Powell said. "Be sure that the condition of your community and all the vital quality-of-life issues are strong now.

"For as strong as a community is, if it is hit by a catastrophic event, the quicker it recovers," he said.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 139984
425. cloudlover
12:17 PM GMT on April 05, 2007
I just made my hurricane bracket...with Florida and Texas in the championship round. I have Florida winning, but it was close.

The final score will be Florida 3, Texas 2.
423. StoryOfTheCane
3:23 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
anybody in here affected by the Menu Foods recalls? How tragic to lose a pet over something like this. im off for the night, ill send ya my predictions soon JP, night all
422. Tazmanian
3:20 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
weatherboykris ok come to my blog
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5101 Comments: 118244
421. pottery
3:20 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
nice idea. I'm in too ! Be posting my entry just as soon as I consult the frogs around here.They know these things....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 26671
420. weatherboykris
3:19 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
Taz,look at this product description for the dust maps:

GOES-West Split Window:

Background: This imagery is created by differencing the 12.0 and 10.7µm infrared channels on the GOES-West imager. The algorithm is sensitive to the presence of dry and/or dusty air in the lower atmosphere (~600-850 hPa or ~4,500-1,500 m) and is denoted by the yellow to red shading.

Uses: This imagery is useful for monitoring the position and movement of dry air masses such as the Saharan Air Layer (SAL). Animations of the imagery are useful for tracking these features and can also help identify the source of the dry and/or dusty air that is indicated in the imagery.


Dry air and suspended aerosols (e.g. mineral dust) both contribute to a positive "SAL" signal in this imagery, but the relative contribution of each cannot be determined from this imagery alone.
Polar air originating from the mid-latitudes produces a positive signal in this imagery that is similar to that of the SAL. This is because both air masses contain substantial dry air in the lower to middle troposphere. The JAVA movie is a useful tool for determining which type of air mass is being indicated in the imagery.
Areas of very cold water (e.g. west of South America) can affect the split window algorithm and produce a false positive "SAL" signal. These regions can be easily identified using the JAVA movie because they tend not to move or change form for several consecutive days.

See?It detects both dry air and dust,and those are the yellow areas on the maps.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
418. Tazmanian
3:12 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
JP mail for you i am the 1st
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5101 Comments: 118244
417. weatherboykris
3:12 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
hey guys
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
416. StoryOfTheCane
3:10 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
alright sounds good
415. StoryOfTheCane
3:09 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
yeah JP damn good thinkin
413. StoryOfTheCane
3:06 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
lol pottery
411. pottery
3:04 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
100 pts. if a cane passes over your house.
MINUS 200 pts if your'e at home !
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 26671
410. StoryOfTheCane
3:00 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
Posted By: jphurricane2006 at 2:54 AM GMT on April 05, 2007.

I thought we would have it like this EXAMPLE

one sheet: 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 4 majors, 6 landfalls; you get 10 points for each one correctly, plus you get 5 points for breakdown of hurricanes into CATs

Other sheet: Have individul storm predictions like this:

Andrea June 26, 70mph, yes(landfall), FL PAN
409. Tazmanian
2:59 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
do what StoryOfTheCane?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5101 Comments: 118244
408. Tazmanian
2:59 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
well i was olny helping out i try to help oh well
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5101 Comments: 118244
407. StoryOfTheCane
2:59 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
yea thatll be cool JP, lets do it
404. Tazmanian
2:55 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
or JP why wont we do this

if a hurricane makes land fall in the USA olny you get points for it like

so if a cat 1 make land fall you would get 100 points

if a cat 2 makes land fall you get 250 ponts

if a cat 3 make land fall you get 365 point for it

if a cat 4 make land fall you get 400 ponts

and if a ca 5 with winds of 160 mph you get 700 point if winds at cat 5 make land fall any where from 170 to 190 you get any where from 1000 to 1500 point for it

or some in like that
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5101 Comments: 118244
401. StoryOfTheCane
2:52 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
actually yeah thats a good idea down there below JP
400. hurricane23
2:51 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
My numbers for this year are 16/9/5 with the first storm developing on june 20th.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13868
398. StoryOfTheCane
2:48 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
or do you think we should just try to predict everything before it starts, from landfall to intensity?
396. Tazmanian
2:47 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
hey JP if we did get a cat 5 land fall could i have my 500 points? that is if we do get one
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5101 Comments: 118244
395. StoryOfTheCane
2:45 AM GMT on April 05, 2007
we should have one prediction prior to the season for how many storms, hurricanes, majors and landfalls, and another prediction for individual storms throughout the season, handling the ones during the season though could prove tricky

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Dr. Masters 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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