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NOAA forecasts fewer hurricanes in 2006

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 8:26 PM GMT on August 08, 2006

NOAA's August 8 hurricane forecast was issued today, and calls for a less active season than their May 22 outlook did. However, they still predict a 75% chance of a more active than usual hurricane season, with 12-15 named storms, 7-9 hurricanes, and 3-4 intense hurricanes. An average season has 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. NOAA's May 22 forecast called for 13-16 named storms, 8-10 hurricanes, and 4-6 major hurricanes. The key statistic that should cheer us up is the forecast reduction in the number of intense hurricanes, by 1-2.

NOAA follows the lead of the other major forecasting groups, which have all reduced their forecast number of named storms and hurricanes by 1 or 2 since May. Here's a comparison of what the four groups currently are forecasting:

NOAA Aug 8 forecast: 12-15 named storms, 7-9 hurricanes, 3-4 intense hurricanes.
Dr. Bill Gray Aug 3 forecast: 15 named storms, 7 hurricanes, 3 intense hurricanes.
Cuba Institute of Meteorology Aug 1 forecast: 15 named storms, 9 hurricanes. Last named storm ends in mid-November.
Tropical Storm Risk, Inc. Aug 4 forecast: 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 3-4 intense hurricanes.

Why the reduction in storms?
NOAA cites three main reasons for reducing their forecast numbers:

1) Sea surface temperatures anomalies (departures from normal) cooled during June and July. This happened due to stronger trade winds over the Atlantic. In addition, surface pressures have been higher than average. Hurricane formation is enhanced when lower surface pressures are present.

2) La Nina died quicker than expected. This has resulted in higher wind shear over the Atlantic.

3) The persistent upper-level ridge (and associated westward extension of the Bermuda High) over the eastern U.S., which contributed to the extremely active 2003-2005 hurricane seasons, is not present this year.

NOAA does not make seasonal forecasts of where hurricanes might make landfall, but notes that similar above-normal seasons have historically averaged 2-3 landfalling hurricanes in the continental United States and 2-3 hurricanes in the region around the Caribbean Sea.

Tropical wave approaching the Lesser Antilles
A tropical wave moving westward at 15-20 mph near 13N 49W, about 700 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, is looking more impressive this afternoon. A blow-up of intense thunderstorms has developed over the circulation center, which is a key sign that a tropical depression may be trying to form. It remains to be seen if the storm can hang onto this thunderstorm activity; 10-20 knots of wind shear are still interfering. This shear has been oscillating in strength during the last two days, periodically blowing away all the heavy thunderstorms the storm has managed to build. I wouldn't be surprised to see a sudden increase in shear rip away most of this current burst of deep convection. However, I think it more likely that the storm will hang onto this burst and become a tropical depression by Wednesday night.

The wind shear is greatest to the system's north, so the further south it can stay, the more likely it is to develop. If the storm does make it into the Caribbean, its chances are much better than if it turns more west-northwest and takes aim at Puerto Rico. The wind shear to the north is expected to retreat a bit to the north over the next two days, and should stay in the 10-20 knot range over the wave, which is low enough to allow a tropical depression to form. Dry air will continue to be a problem for the wave, and will likely keep development slow.

Last night's GFDL model predicted that the wave would develop by Thursday into a weak tropical storm, and move through the central Lesser Antilles Islands and into the Caribbean Sea. This morning's run of the GFDL model is no longer showing any development, and none of the other computer models develop the wave.

The wave should move through the Lesser Antilles Islands on Thursday morning. At this point, if I had travel plans in the Caribbean, I wouldn't change them, since any development of this system is likely to be slow. However, I would check the situation frequently, as surprises are common. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate the wave on Wednesday at 2pm EDT.

Figure 1. Preliminary model tracks for the mid-Atlantic tropical wave.

Elsewhere in the tropics
A tropical wave moving through the Bahamas and South Florida is under 20 knots of wind shear and is not expected to develop.

I'll be back Wednesday morning with an update.

Jeff Masters

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

1001. IKE
91L seems to be expanding slightly in it's size.
so has 91L made a come back?
ok leftover, GIVE!!! you posted "Posted By: leftovers at 12:48 PM GMT on August 09, 2006.
Formation alert http://tcweb.fnmoc.navy.mil/tc-bin/tc_home.cgi"

we can't get on and i can't stand it when someone knows something i don't (phat chance, i am a real newbie), jo
1004. IKE
Probably within 40-60 miles.
They recenter right over 91L, usually when they recenter floaters, they recenter them over the center of the storm.
so weather456 has 91L made a come back today????
This storm continues to get larger but is the fact it is losing some og its red convection going to prevent any TD to form
Posted By: Tazmanian at 9:15 AM AST on August 09, 2006.
so weather456 has 91L made a come back today????

Well, to me more than a comeback.....It looks its best since I first started watching it.
CatChaser, what site is that?
: Weather456 wow what are the winds like in 91L
Taz, I dont really know what the winds are in 91L. Based on what the navy site has, its 25knots.

One thing, also, the wind field associated with 91L is large. That was the porblem with Chris.
1016. IKE
Posted By: Thundercloud01221991 at 8:15 AM CDT on August 09, 2006.
This storm continues to get larger but is the fact it is losing some og its red convection going to prevent any TD to form

Seems to be expanding in size, by each updated frame.

Im no expert, but...this looks headed toward a developing system...a TD.
See This

Looking better every 30 minute picture
1018. IKE
I agree barbados...you've got rain and wind approaching your doorsteps.
could that storm to the south be the start of a better outflow from the south
weather456 is 91L pulling a Chris? will we have a TD 4 today
The Navy backup site, recenter 91L. The center is now in the deep convection.

Winds have increase to 35mph......

1022. IKE
And look at that small red flareup to the west of the blob...seems to be expanding.
First storm approaching Barbados it is approx 25-30 miles Just North of due West
East not West
Weather456 all her this all her this the new are up from 25kt and they are now up to 30kts we now have a TD 4
Winds in 91L have increase to 30knots (35mph)...A TD might be very close, close as 11am....

1027. IKE
It's getting CLOSE!

1028. ricderr
The NHC in my opinion really don't take things serious unless a TS or hurricane is threatening the US.

Hmmm......would that be why they're called the "National" Hurricane Center
look at the outflow coming out from the South that means it has a closed Circulation
weather456 we now have a TD 4 and a TS by tonight
ok at my desk now i trust you guys to keep me well informed throughout the day :)
Now, I believe the Navy site has a problem, their backup site however still updates.
91L looks as good as it has looked. However I still see little chance for this thing. It is entering hostile wind shear and still has some dust to the north. Now if it holds together and gets in the Caribbean I think the chances improve.
1034. ricderr
GS.....caught any crows lately?...thinking the 11:30 forecast should be fun to watch
The carribian is only 100-150 miles away it should be in the carribian by tonight
1037. will40
if it has a closed circulation it can handle the dust and shear much better
Good morning everyone. I see things are looking good for 91L.
Their is a very high chance that a TD will be at 11am. Remember the navy site updates faster than the NHC, we saw that during TD 03.....
All i gotta say is WOW!! I go to bed looking at a dead storm and wake up looking at the life of the party!!! OK so when will they deem this storm its true status!?!?!?
dos any one no how stong this will be when it get to the gulf?
1044. IKE
Looks to me like it has a spin in those clouds and is cruising toward barbados and will be entering the Caribbean within 8-12 hours.
it looks like it did pull a chris after all
It will be in Caribbean by tonight. But it should be sheard to death by then. That is why I think chances are better by Friday when it will still be in the Caribbean.
Posted By: GulfScotsman at 9:33 AM EDT on August 09, 2006.
It is just a MCS (mesoscale convective system)along the open wave.

Very good Gulf!!
1049. IKE
Posted By: Weather456 at 8:32 AM CDT on August 09, 2006.
Their is a very high chance that a TD will be at 11am. Remember the navy site updates faster than the NHC, we saw that during TD 03.....

If it's 30 knots, does the NHC usually classify...as a TD???

Anyone know???
Hopefully after it forms it stops acting like Chris and does not die a slow painfull death but a Quick one after landfall
9:15amEDT - The reds that indicate high cloudtops, have increase in area. There are no signs of clouds being blown off near the center.


nop we got TD 4 winds are up to 30kt or about 35mph
1054. ricderr
"watching everyone gear up"..."hearing the chant, go baby go"...see beads of sweat breaking out on foreheads"...racing for cover
1055. IKE
That looks like more then a MCS and it doesn't look like it's going to get sheared to death.
1056. Jeptic
Well... Grenada here and looking a bit worried... cause you never know how things may go...Emily went from TS to strong Cat 1 from one advisory to the next...

When will Dr. M do his update? I'm curious about his opinion on 91L. The watervapor is still showing a lot of dry/dusty air out ahead of it. Wouldn't this effect it just like it did Chris?
for me the navy site got rid of 91L
Weather456 is this thing going to the gulf and how storng will it be when it gets there
IKE, When an Invest is born, they carry 20 or 25knots, until they form or die.

Just before they become a TD they are upgraded to 30knots (35mph).

I'm not saying that 91L is a depression. But history says that almost every storm, in all the basins, went through that process before upgrade.
91L is looking good.

Ok the newbie has a question....hehe.

Ok so if this storm does endure shear and dry air (which it will) can it survive and how? Because Chris didnt. Thanks SOOO MUCH.
starting to see some nice outflow.... it'll be a pitty to see it die. :(
1065. fredwx
Although there has been an increase in shower activity, 91L has lost it's low center and is now just an open wave. The upper level environment is not favorable at the moment for redevelopment.
Anyone esle see the outflow at the southern semicricle of 91L......
"Watch the Carolina Coast for a Beyrl repeat potential...."

I am!!!

according to the last several runs on several models, if they are to be believed, we should perhaps get a named storm, or at least a TD......

bermuda should definately keep their eyes peeled! ;)

woah. i go to sleep to a storm that is practically thrown away, and i wake up to a look like tropical storm. what is going on????????
How do you know it has not regained its low center
Taz- Easy on the gulf stuff buddy....we don't even know what it's gonna be like when it gets to the West Indies...
Wow, 91L kinda grew after last night Dr Lyons said the closed circulation died and it was just a wave with little chance of forming.

Cat 4 Typhoon and no one has mentioned on here!!!!
1074. nash28
Good question Gulf. I do not know the answer to that in terms of tides. I'll have to try and research that.
Weatherbrat.....The watervapor is still showing a lot of dry/dusty air out ahead of it. Wouldn't this effect it just like it did Chris?

Yes it will. I don't see a very long run for 91 if it does become classified. Hard times ahead in the Carib. I'm thinking it will stay on the southern end and head due west after maybe a jog more WSW.
: Weather456 ye i see it by the way tropical floater 2 is back up now ask my ? how storng will be this by time it get to the gulf?
Posted by: JeffMasters, 4:22 PM EDT on August 08, 2006

The wave should move through the Lesser Antilles Islands on Thursday morning. At this point, if I had travel plans in the Caribbean, I wouldn't change them, since any development of this system is likely to be slow. However, I would check the situation frequently, as surprises are common. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate the wave on Wednesday at 2pm EDT.

So surprizes do occur
is there a new closed circulation?
Not to much wind shear in the area either.

Wind Shear
CaribbeanDude ooops sorry
Posted By: TexasGurl at 9:43 AM AST on August 09, 2006.

Cat 4 Typhoon and no one has mentioned on here!!!!

I already mentioned it....look back on about page 2 or 3....
Wind sheer is droping fast according to that map
Who is in barbados and if you are tell me if you can see the tops of the clouds from the island
Sorry 456...was just checking it out...
1086. rwwhot
Saomai is looking pretty intense on the Western Pacific visible loop. Cat 4 storm... Would seem that that would be a lot more interesting than a bunch of little tropical waves getting ripped up by wind shear.

This map says there is a lot of sheer.
oh yea, almost forgot.....

the last time we had severe weather come through myrtle beach....Beryl was born. (frack......frack ate frick, and frock headed NE! LOL)

well, if that is any measuring stick, last nites storms were "WORSE" than frack!! we got about an inch of rain in 10 minutes! LOL and the lightening rivaled the worst i have been through!!!
Posted By: Tazmanian at 9:44 AM AST on August 09, 2006.
: Weather456 ye i see it by the way tropical floater 2 is back up now ask my ? how storng will be this by time it get to the gulf?

I dont know yet, as it is too early.
Posted By: SevereWeatherFreak at 9:43 AM EDT on August 09, 2006.
Not to much wind shear in the area either.

Don't use that map! That is a 72 hour forecast - look at the date (it is not August 12th). Here is the real shear:

Martha Focker, this thing is looking nastier by the moment. I'd be shocked if this isn't upgraded at the next advisory.
Heavy dense high top clouds out to the North East.
Not only that map, but wind shear decrease by 10knots on other maps......

Well in the EXACT area where this flare up is, the shear is low, but ahead of the islands and north of them the shear is pretty intense.
Well done GulfScotsman!
1097. nash28
Iam really friggin' sick of the damn wind shear. Someone email the shear and tell it to take a fraggin' vacation!
That is not the main storm just a storm out ahead of the Main storm If you could see the storm it would take up the entire horison to you NE E and SE
seems to me, and i have stated this before, shear values seem to be some of the hardest data to get.... not too mention the different levels of wind, and the fact that conditions, i.e. shear, change so rapidly, in a dynamic fashion.....

if we can get this portion of the forecast improved, i think forecasting would be much better!
Wow, GulfS. I am impressed today. Where did this GulfS come from?..LOL
Yeah....Gulf is on fire today!
so wait. if its moving further west, that gives it a better chance for development. right? thats what Dr. Jeff Masters said. If it keeps going west, then eventually WNW, where will this possibly be affecting?

1104. nash28
Well, if there's no closed circulation, there's no TD.
91L has been firing up convection continuously throughout its existance. Every time it fires up we think that it might become a depression but the convection doesn't last. It dies right back down. What are the odds that it will do that again? This time the area covered by high cloud tops is much greater....but even so...
this expected td#4 will not or should not hold together with the shear it will encounter!
Well, All indicators point a forming a depression.
if this is not update by 11am to a TD 4 i kill the nhc lol this kinding
1109. nash28
You watch. This big bad shear will change within 2hrs. Yesterday, shear values were all over the map and constantly dynamic.
What's going on in the Gulf? Is that just an ULL swirling around?
Its not a super typhoon yet, and its not the end of the world there like it would be here. We were spoiled, and very lucky. They get skull @#$%^& every year. Anyone remember what classifies a super typhoon? I think its close or a little stronger than our cat5.
Yes that is the ULL
doesnt look good. its heading into 20kt shear. dont know how long that shear will last, but near the carrib its very low shear.
Good Morning:

New here. In Miami. What is an 'Invest'?


Even if this storm gets sheered it can still make it to the carribian because it has a lot of convection
The reason, I'm thinking a depression could form soon, is that wind shear is not fixed, it changes every hour, and since last night it has been on a decreasing trend.
A super typhoon is 150 mph or more.


Compare it to this storm. Now that is a powerful storm.
1121. 21N71W
"or to take arms against a sea of troubles..."
I think this storm will be like Chris, but remember, Chris didn't go into the Caribbean Sea, 91L will. Conditions are different now and I don't exactly know where the ULL is right now, but if it is a developing storm and stronger then anticipated the dry air won't be much of a factor as it isn't right now as their is no open circulation but covered by thunderstorms.
It's gonna be interesting to see what reports come out of Barbados. From the satellite it looks like the 91L will start impacting them later today
when i got in this am, was no listing on nhc now is back up on Tropical Cyclone Danger Areas same 91L jo
Invest is an area of investigation.
Posted By: franzenz at 9:59 AM EDT on August 09, 2006.
Good Morning:

New here. In Miami. What is an 'Invest'?




Invest stands for investigational area - used when there is the possibility of a tropical cyclone forming. They are numbered from 90 to 99 (normal storms are numbered starting at 1), and the letter defines the ocean basin:

A = Arabian Sea
B = Bay of Bengal
C = Central Pacific
E = East Pacific
L = Atlantic
P = South Pacific
S = South Indian Ocean
W = West Pacific
simply fake it really well so it looks like you know what you're talking about...

Gulfscotsman.....I love the way you put things...lol
1129. nash28
I see you're back to your witty ways Gulf:-)
two quick questions,

are the hurricane hunters going to go in at 2 as stated in dr jeff's blog "The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate the wave on Wednesday at 2pm EDT."?

and is his blog updated at regular intervals and times ot is it when he feels it's needed?
OMG I guess I never realized how big Rita was and I was right their in southeast LA. But Katrina affected us more then Rita did.

Katrina sent me flying down the road cause im an idiot.
1132. dnalia
Nothing like a little Shakespeare in the morning to brighten my day.

okay.. Typhoon Saomai (Juan) FNMOC site was suggesting that it's current status is 140 knots (160 mph) is this confirmed by anyone?
9:45amEDT - Another 30 minutes of pass has with 91L holding to its convection.

Notice the thunderstorms ahead of 91L, they are not being blown off, which suggest 91L is moving into a fvourable area.
Hades, here is what SSD has:

09/0833 UTC 25.1N 126.1E T7.0/7.0 SAOMAI -- West Pacific Ocean

T7.0 = 140 kt, 160 mph, 898 mb.
well, to me, seems 91L would fit the definition of TD.....

certainly looks impressive on the visible loop!
1138. nash28
This is the healthiest 91L has ever been sice sliding off Africa. How in the hell it doesn't have a closed center is beyond me at this point.
1139. ricderr
"hearing the drum roll in the distance.....Beginning it's crescendo until it peaks at the 11 o-clock forecast
1140. will40
heatmiser from what i can find the recon guys are at St Croix and are waiting for the NHC to make the call
What was the lowest pressure of Katrina and Rita?? Anyone know off the top of their head?


hope i never meet up with something like that!!!!
No one knows if it has a closed circulation or not....I still believe the navy backup site did not increase it to 30knots (35mph) for nothing.
Remember.....91L's recent conective burst has not been going on for more than a few hours. It would need time for a low pressure center to form under the convection....much less a closed circulation!!!!!!!!
* convective
thanks will.
Getting heavy in the distance NE-SE in Barbados now.Pic
1151. will40
welcome heatmieser
Thanks Michael, so China could have a Super Typhoon currently at the 10 am update.
If thunderstorms can maitain themselves for a while then low pressure may develop. Right now....from the most recent water vapor imagery.....it appears that there is little dry air directly to the systems west...and shear doesn't see to be a big factor right now....so I don't see why convection could not be maintained.
Katrina's lowest pressure was 902 mb (150 kts); Rita was 895 (155 kts) and Wilma was 882 (160 kts). However, you cannot really compare West Pacific storms to Atlantic storms because the pressure in West Pacific storms has to get a lot lower for the same winds and no recon is done in West Pacific storms. In fact, a 890 mb storm in the Atlantic is equivalnt in wind speed (all other factors being equal) to a 858 mb storm in the West Pacific. Link This means that Wilma was equivalent to a 840 mb or so storm in the West Pacific (the most intense was Tip in 1979 at 870 mb)!
GulfScotsman - after reading your post, I think I need a shot of whiskey then some more...

Im afraid Gulf might be right, there is no 91, just intense thunderstorms...
Lets wait and see what the reports are out of barbados!
Thanks MichealSTL. I never knew there was a difference b/t Pacific and Atlantic pressure! Pretty cool.
1160. calder
im sure some hurricane hunters used to do west pacific recon? Think its on their website...
1161. ricderr
GS...What..you think it will be named?
Okay . . . I'll resign myself . . . I guess we can use the rain.
20mph here in Barbados and squally weather.

okay bbl everyone.
Ok Barbados.....keep us posted. You seem to have MUCH more in store for you! lol
New blog is up
I look forward to it.
10:15amEDT - Another hour has pass, with 91L still sustaining.

1170. GoofOff
Your question about tides quite some time ago -- they are tied to the gravitational pull of the moon. They are not related to the heating and cooling cycles other than wind can change their overall height.
What time is the recon flying out?