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Postcards II: hurricane database issues, and the Bill Gray show

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 5:24 PM GMT on April 29, 2008

I'm in Orlando this week for the 28th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, sponsored by the American Meteorological Society. The conference, held once every two years, brings together the world's experts on hurricane science. A few snapshots from the past 24 hours:

Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclone inactivity in 2007
Ryan Maue of Florida State University showed that tropical cyclone activity in 2007 the Northern Hemisphere (Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, Western Pacific, and North Indian Oceans) was at its lowest level since 1977. The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) is calculated by summing the squares of the estimated maximum sustained velocity of every active tropical storm (wind speed 35 knots or higher), at six-hour intervals. The numbers are usually divided by 10,000 to make them more manageable.

For the Atlantic in 2007, the season's ACE index was 68, 31% below the average of 96. For comparison, the Hurricane Season of 2005 had an ACE of 248. A single storm of the 2004 hurricane season--Hurricane Ivan--had an ACE of 70, more than the ACE index for the entire 2007 hurricane season. For the Northern Hemisphere as a whole, 2007 had the lowest ACE value since 1977. The North Indian Ocean was the only Ocean basin in the Northern Hemisphere that had an above-average ACE in 2007:

Ocean Basin....2007 ACE..Average ACE..%change
Atlantic .............68.........96.........-31%
E. Pacific............52........132.........-60%
W. Pacific...........209........303.........-31%
N. Indian.............44.........16........+275%
N. Hemisphere..376........551.........-31%

Uncertainties in the hurricane data base
HURDAT, the official Atlantic hurricane database, has many significant errors that are slowly being corrected, thanks to a major re-analysis effort being led by Dr. Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center. For example, HURDAT lists the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 as a Category 2 extratropical storm (85 knots) at landfall on Long Island, when it was really a Category 3 hurricane with 105 knot winds. Dr. Landsea presented the results of the re-analysis of 12 major hurricanes that hit the U.S. Nine of these 12 storms, including the 1938 hurricane, were re-analyzed to have higher winds at landfall. Dr. Landsea cautioned that our knowledge of past storms in the 1950s and 1960s is quite poor, compared to current capabilities. This occurs despite the fact the hurricane hunters were flying. For example, Hurricane Wilma of 2005 had 280 measurements of its maximum intensity, while Hurricane Carol of 1954, a Category 3 storm that hit North Carolina, had only seven. There were hurricane hunter flights into Carol, but they usually did not fly into the eyewall. It was common for the hurricane hunters to only get close enough to the center to estimate the position using radar back in those days. Carol stalled off the coast of North Carolina for four days, during which time no hurricane hunter flights penetrated into the eye. Could Carol have intensified into a Category 5 storm during that time? We'll never know. Because of such uncertainties, making estimations of trends in Atlantic hurricanes based on HURDAT is difficult to do, Dr. Landsea cautioned.

The Bill Gray show
Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University, as usual, generated the most laughter. He commented that he had been to all 28 of these AMS hurricane conferences, with the exception of the first (he was in grad school) and the fourth, when he was in Tokyo. Dr. Gray presented an educational talk, emphasizing the role of natural decades-long cycles in the salinity changes in the Atlantic as being the primary driver of observed increases in Atlantic hurricane activity in recent years. He showed that during 1945-1969 (25 years), during a period the globe was cooling slightly, there were three times as many intense hurricanes in the Atlantic compared to the 25 year period 1970-1994--a period the globe warmed significantly. His tongue-in-cheek conclusion: "CO2 gets into these storms and squashes them!" Extending this result to landfalling U.S. hurricanes, one could claim that we should expect zero landfalling U.S. hurricanes by 2050. Dr. Gray cautioned that this ridiculous result showed that one can manipulate statistics to show virtually any result you want.

Figure 1. Tounge-in-cheek misuse of statistics by Bill Gray to show that the historical record of U.S. landfalling hurricanes predicts zero landfalling hurricanes in the U.S. by 2050 as a result of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere.

Contribution of increases in SST to Atlantic hurricane activity
Adam Lea of University College London presented results showing that the 0.27°C increase in Sea Surface Temperature(SST) between 1996 and 2005 in the Main Development Region (MDR) for hurricanes in the tropical Atlantic was responsible for a 40% increase in hurricanes and intense hurricanes in the Atlantic.

The benefits of hurricanes: rainfall in the Southeast U.S.
David Knight of the University of Virginia showed that hurricanes and tropical storms form an important part of the water budget in the Southeastern U.S. For example, up to 15% of the total rainfall in eastern South Carolina and North Carolina during the six months of hurricane season (June-November) was due to tropical storms or hurricanes between 1980-2004. These numbers are 10-14% for Florida, and 8-10% for Atlanta.

More postcards tomorrow!

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

Nice blog.......Doc!
Thanx for the new thread. The Gray matter seems to be ,er...well.

Il'l leave it at that.
Thanks Doctor Masters!
Dr. Gray is a walking controversy these days...LOL
Enjoy your time in our great state of Florida!
Dr. Gray sounds like he went over to the global warming side.Everyone in lock step as we all walk off the cliff.
Thanks for the report, Doctor Masters!

I'm glad to see, at least Dr. Gray, has a sense of humor! lol, that was funny!
Ahh I will miss Dr. Gray, he better not go anywhere!! Love the humor.
NOAA to modernize climate data collection network:


Unfortunately, the modernization effort will do little to address the poor siting issues that have plagued the datasets, necessitating the need for "corrections".
I will be very interested to see if HURDAT gets around to a re-examination of Hurricane Frederic from 1979. National Geographic magazine the following year listed it as having 133 mph sustained winds at landfall, but somehow it got pegged down to 130 in subsequent reports, making the technical difference between a Cat 3 and a Cat 4. The only devastation I've ever seen that looked identical was Hugo's hit on the Carolinas in '89, a solid Cat 4.

The only detailed write-up from the last 10 years that I've seen lists Frederic as having been in a "rapid intensification" mode at landfall, and I suspect the winds were higher than 130 or 133. We lost 300 mature trees on 5 acres in that storm, in the eyewall. I've sat through many storms since, but never one that bad, wind-wise.
What? How does his saying he doesnt think CO2/Global Warming increases hurricanes equate to him going to the global warming side?

Also science shouldn't have 'sides', only data. Humans are biased by nature, but there is evidence for something, or there isnt. Whether we like it or not doesn't really matter.
Orchidgrower, I have seen in the hurricanes I have experienced that strengthening ones are much more violent than stable or weakening ones. I have no doubt you are right about Frederic. I dont know any details on Frederic but if it was intensifying as you say, I bet the there were much higher gusts especially if you were in right front quad.
9. Inyo 6:13 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
What? How does his saying he doesnt think CO2/Global Warming increases hurricanes equate to him going to the global warming side?

Also science shouldn't have 'sides', only data. Humans are biased by nature, but there is evidence for something, or there isnt. Whether we like it or not doesn't really matter.

It's a matter of interpretation, Inyo: the glass is half empty or it's half full; the problem is that there is conflicting data on both sides of the argument, hence the argument...
8. OrchidGrower 2:09 PM EDT
Strange this says Frederick was a Cat 3 at landfall, but the tab data says Cat 4.

Looks like it did intensify rapidly over the loop current.
Good afternoon all! I have been watching satellite loops from the entire Atlantic basin and something caught my eye. It looks like a subtropical system out in the North Atlantic. Is this indeed a subtropical system?

img src="Photobucket" alt="" />
Hello CC, Flood, House etc. I am on fence on GW. The choices Dr. Masters gave do not fit my view. They are too "black and white" while my view on GW is more "grey". I asked Dr. Masters earlier to add a third choice on the poll for those who's viewpoint may be "inbetween" his choices.
12, the track of Frederick would have put it right thru loop current. I have difference of opinion on how hurricanes are rated. A strengthening storm does much more damage than weakening storm. Size and duration make big difference too. Long lasting storm usually does far more damage than quick one. Large size or slow movement makes huge difference. Francis was only cat 1-2 over S.E Florida but did far more damage b/c of slow movement.
Technically, in the judicial system - a person is considered innocent until proven guilty.

For man-made global warming - would it not be crazy to consider the idea as just an idea, until proven true? Circumstantial evidence would not prove guilt in the eyes of the law, why should it in science?
Thanks Dr. Masters. Bill Gray showed that same work during a poster session at the annual meeting in January. We had a crowd of 30 or so around him laughing when he unveiled it. The thing is he does not think it at all funny when the AGW/TC feedback fear-mongers do the same in the opposite direction without real, complete science to support it. I think Dr. Gray wants to laugh to keep from crying.

I could make you a graph correlating human population and CO2 concentration. Then we could claim that CO2 is causing people ;)
17 exactly my point. I see possibilities with GW. I see scientists on both sides of argument. I see valid argument to reduce pollution simply on the threat alone. I see man made pollution problem as being much larger than just global warming. I dont see proof yet that possible global warming is all man made. I dont see my view being represented in the poll.
20. House, we do agree pollution must be reduced right? That is stated goal of those who are behind GW movement but they have put too much politics in front of environment. That has had polarizing effect on USA and now half the country doesn't want to heart anything about environment. That is sad.
Good afternoon all! I have been watching satellite loops from the entire Atlantic basin and something caught my eye. It looks like a subtropical system out in the North Atlantic. Is this indeed a subtropical system?

It looks nice on satellite imagery. It has developed a little puff of moderate strength convection in the past few hours, but I doubt it will manage to develop further than this before the front off to its west comes in and sweeps it off. The GFS forecasts its wind field to expand and will remain extratropical. Still, subtropical systems do tend to be a bit unpredictable and I guess this is the only thing in the Atlantic right now that bears some degree of "watching".

Yay, blob watch! :)

Time left before hurricane season starts... 32 Days, 08 Hours, 26 Minutes

25. I totally agree. I actually think that the future of our faltering economy may be exporting "green" to the rest of the world. That would benefit everyone.
Good afternoon,

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....Global warming......

I am one person that is not worried about man destroying the earth. Man cant destroy the earth because he would destroy himself first......

Action = Re-action

simple law......
I have been monitoring this area for the past few days incase in showed any signs of development. Except for some increase in convection, little is expected from this. This area of low pressure is located near 33.8N-47.9W moving off to the east-southeast. Satellite derived winds from CIMSS showed the disturbance is embedded within a broad upper level low pressure system. Quickscat show the low pressure area is producing gale force winds well away from the center. The system remains baroclinic in nature and conditions do not appear conducive for subtropical development. The forecast calls for the system to be absorbed into a larger low pressure area by Sunday and race off towards the far NE Atlantic by the following Wednesday.

FSU, I have no problem with that comment. It is true. Back in 1970's (before alot of you remember) high gas prices caused Americans to buy efficient cars. 2 family members have traded gas hogs for hybrids in last 2 weeks. We will go "green" if it takes us being dragged kicking and screaming.
So have they told how strong the Virginia tornadoes were?
For those of you who have access to the Accuweather Pro Site, Joe B's discussion Monday on the potential implications of all that warm water off the Mid Atlantic and NE coast is well worth the read. The dominant steering west of 65w is always critical and this goes hand in hand with concerns expressed by StormW, Hur23 and others about the state of the NAO during the Aug-Oct time frame.
31. I don't know how strong, I heard 1 was f-2. they were odd. No lightning at all. Almost like "cold air funnels" but very strong. That was very strange system.
Strmlvr, climatology also agrees with your point. The year after Nina often favors the Carolinas and eastern seaboard.
26. Ivansrvivr 3:47 PM EDT on April 29, 2008
25. I totally agree. I actually think that the future of our faltering economy may be exporting "green" to the rest of the world. That would benefit everyone.

I happen to agree with you 150% (the problem will be the Chinese however who are not going to buy into it in the "mid-life" of a massive industrialization phase while the US/Europe in is a post-industrial phase)..........However, I just lurked today, after checking in this am, as the GW/Gray debate just got too much out of hand for me........However, thanks for the Report Dr. M; also nice to see some humor from Dr. Gray..........We can't take this stuff too seriously (other than observe and perhaps over analize as us humans, and particualrly scientists and scholars, have a tendancy to do) as the fact of the matter is that Mother Nature will ultimately do whatever she wants to in the end; just hope that we humans do not accelerate the process, for the worse, which is what the GW debate, and sound geo-economic practices, are really about in the end.........We are "tennants" on the Earth, Mother Nature is our Landlord, and it does not look to me right now like we are going to get our deposit back at the end of the lease...............
Incredible 80kt windshear in parts of the eastern caribbean...Perfectly normal for this time of the year just something i would like to see during cane season.
23, resulting 80kt shear would probably cause drought here in Florida and SE USA right? We need some tropical moisture to get here unless we want repeat of last year.
Hello All!
Afternoon, Cane Addict!
Hey Terra, Anyway...I see that area that some such as W456 and CCHS are watching. It would'nt need to do much to become Sub-tropical in nature, Convection is building over the circulation.
Thanks for the update Dr. Masters
This video shows the process used to generate electricity through the use of a methane digester on a large dairy in Central Pennsylvania. The video also shows the basics of how your milk is produced.

Amen Weatherwannabe........

This whole global issue is politics......Swaying the thoughts of innocent people and praying on our ignorance about our real home.......EARTH!!!!!!

There is only so much Earth....its mass in whatever form that it takes......will be here....It just rearranges and rearranges and rearranges.....Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen and all the others.....They are here....Sure they are going to change.....We have plants that give off Oxygen and we give off Carbon Dioxide.....

Its all about adapting to the world around you!
From William Gray, by way of CSU's public affairs staff, issued this statement this afternoon:Link

There has been no change in my status at CSU. Were still putting the forecast out. CSU continues to support me. Im in the same office Ive been for 41 years now and I hope to stay here some more years and keep working as I always have. We have no plans to change things. I dont know whether Phil will eventually leave, but as of now, were just keeping everything the same.
I would like to see a re-analysis of Hurricane Charley (2004) at landfall in Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda. I can tell you having lived through it I have seen F2 tornadoes here in town that didn't cause anywhere near the amount of damage we saw from Charley, and the wind....I'm not even gonna venture a guess as to how fast the wind was blowing, but just a couple miles down the road from us a local hospital experienced a 174mph wind gust before it's anemometer was snapped off the building. That combined with 150 mph sustained winds near Cayo Costa, a 90+ degree harbor temp, and falling pressure upon landfall, I believe Charley was quite a bit stronger than estimated at landfall. Just my two cents anyhow.
Possible high-end severe weather event on Thursday. The cap/convective inhibition (CINH) is always an issue, but it looks like it will be easily broken this time. No morning precipitation is expected, meaning that the entire area will be clear of cloud cover...this will force dew points and temperatures up, which will help in busting the cap. What makes this event potentially different then the other severe weather outbreaks so far (which has been busts for the most part) is that there will be little to no preconvection precipitation to drain the energy and prevent surface heating.


Not funny how this year, so far, this issue of "severe weather" is almost turning into a year round event .....The very early spring severe weather outbreaks/flooding and events that are still going on, and, leading us into H-Season in about 30 days.......No rest for the weary here in the US.....Help me out here folks (our more technologically/charts/graphs/climatology advanced bloggers)....Isn't this part of the "enhancement" theory in terms of La Nina effects on weather events in North America?.........
45. The reason Charley seemed worse in your area was because 1. Charley was strengthening at landfall (makes them much worse) 2. You were right front quad of storm. In right front quad you generally add forward motion to max sustained winds, on other side you subtract forward motion from winds. Add Charley's very rapid motion to it's winds and you get what you got. The other thing that made Charley worse is duration. While Charley was small and moved fairly quickly, it lasted far longer than tornado that usually lasts a few seconds. Duration matters too. Be glad Charley wasn't size of Hugo (similar strength at landfall but much larger) or moving slowly like Francis or it would have been far far worse.
Charley Regional Landfall radar loop. Link
Hurricane Charley making landfall with steve lyons.

I have photo of all 4 2004 storms together in same pic and
Charley was tiny in comparison to other 3. Charley was by far the strongest though and did major damage.
Oooooooh..a Movie..
541 PM EDT TUE APR 29 2008





405 PM EDT TUE APR 29 2008






Hurricane Charley was a rather small storm, But packed a HUGE punch!
A National Alert by Text or Cell is needed ..and may be coming .
One cant have the NOAA radio in the Mall Parking lot.

FCC Proposes Nationwide Cell Phone Alert System

By Radhika Raghunath
TMCnet Contributing Editor
As part of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC (News - Alert)) plan to upgrade America’s country wide alert system, federal regulators plan to introduce a system that will alert the nation’s public using text messages conveyed through cell phones. The system is expected to be operational by 2010.

In the wake of some recent disasters like Hurricane Katrina, tornadoes and college shootings, there is an increasingly urgent need for a simple and effective nationwide emergency alert system. Link

One's relative position to Landfall is critical in a Small Compact storm as Charley. Be just outside the Eyewall..and its not the worst day.

Be inside the right front quad in a Surge Zone,..Makes for a very bad day. That storm really showed how one has to watch and be prepared in a Warned area. Tampa was the Ping target for the storm by many. But it Did the Ol right turn Charley and some even refused to Believe it as it occurred.

Always be prepared for Hurricane Conditions in a Warned area. Things can and often do change rapidly.
CFS wind shear prediction anomalies:

235. aspectre 11:54 PM CDT on April 28, 2008
A blurb on the VortexObjective RadarTrackingAndCirculation system for near-shore short-term hurricane prediction.

237. moonlightcowboy 12:14 AM CDT on April 29, 2008
Interesting read! The article mentions that the small window of helpful observation would do little to help with evacuation, but could help forecasters with flooding and wind damage.

But, the case in point mentioned (other than Humberto) of Charley in 2004 as its wind speeds ramped up from 110 miles per hour (Cat 2) to 145 miles per hour (Cat 4) in just six hours, shows that land-falling (obviously, the most critical part) forecasting has certainly had its problems.

Hopefully, Vortrac can close the gap on more accurate forecasting as the storms approach land. And, as storms can shift, even ever so slightly, as it makes landfall, perhaps more injury and death can be prevented.

Nice to hear that the NHC is now going to use it as a "regular part" of its arsenal in forecasting. Good post, aspectre, thanks!

-- I'm not sure if anyone saw these posts in the last blog, but it's good info, and since there was talk of Charley a few posts back, I thought I'd repost them.
Drak, that shear forecast looks like an ENSO shift that I will leave nameless for next fall and winter.
Came across this on VORTRAC .. MLC

New Technique Provides 3-D View of Approaching Hurricanes Link

May 17, 2007

BOULDER— Forecasters will test a new technique this summer that provides a detailed 3-D view of an approaching hurricane every six minutes and allows them to determine whether the storm is gathering strength as it nears land. The technique, developed by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), relies on the existing network of Doppler radars along the Southeast coast to closely monitor hurricane winds.

From that Link you posted MLC..

There was a six-hour blind spot between aircraft measurements of the storm, during which the hurricane quickly intensified. The then experimental VORTRAC spotted the storm revving up every step of the way.

"Last year it worked quite well," said McAdie. And so now it is becoming a regular part of the NHC's arsenal, he said.

That was a Prime example of new useful tool/system.

Man..I remember folks up late here saying, WOW,that sure looks like a Cane to me..LOL
58. It makes a difference in the big ones too. The RFQ makes a bad day period. RFQ in a strengthening storm makes for VERY bad day. When Charley made that right turn, the relative shear dropped to basically none and Charley went from a 2 to a 4 very quickly. Upper winds were out of WSW so it's northerly track was not favorable for strengthening, that right turn changed the whole thing in just a few hours.
Things change fast..and always in a bad way for some. I bet Mo and Ivan remember this Issuance.

Yeah, that's a good read, Pat. And, it sure sounds like some good fundamental thinking has transpired to focus the various technologies to a greater benefit. It makes so much sense. I was very happy to read that.
While Wilma in 2005 was not as strong as Charlie, there was a similar type of intensification issue;...while forecast to weaken rapidly (I think down to tropical force/tropical storm shortly after making landfall on the SW Florida Gulf Coast), the eyewall actually strengthened as bit as it crossed over the warm Everglades marshland and it slammed into Northern Dade County/Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beach with hurricane force winds and caught many by surprise (holding their doors to keep them from blowing in because many did not board up for the forcasted tropical storm force winds.......).......I got tired of putting up boards for all those years in South Florida so we finnally ended up putting on (very costly though)those "Rolladin" type shutters on our townhome in Pompano Beach.......It was awesome; just hit the buttons and you shutter the whole house down........If you "have" to live in South Florida, and you can afford it, these type of electronic shutter systems, or the hurricane proof windows, are a great investment which also add value to your home so you get the money back if you have to sell....
65. Patrap 6:19 PM EDT on April 29, 2008
Things change fast..and always in a bad way for some. I bet Mo and Ivan remember this Issuance.

I hear you; it is always very frustrating, and nervewracking, across Florida and the Gulf Coast when you have one of these storms "going West" so to speak, you are initially in the bullseye so to speak, but, the track keeps shifting west because the weakness in the ridge to the north has not quite materilized yet; that proverbial wait for the "turn" as the bullseye keeps moving west........Gives me the hebegeebies just thinking about it........
Ahhh,..yes..One either winds up rooting for the High, or for it to relax.
Every year..It can be nerve wracking. Specially after the 04-05 years.
68. weathermanwannabe 10:31 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
65. Patrap 6:19 PM EDT on April 29, 2008
Things change fast..and always in a bad way for some. I bet Mo and Ivan remember this Issuance.

I hear you; it is always very frustrating, and nervewracking, across Florida and the Gulf Coast when you have one of these storms "going West" so to speak, you are in the bullseye so to speak, but, the track keeps shifting west because the weakness in the ridge to the north has not quite materilized yet; that proverbial wait for the "turn" as the bullseye keeps moving west........Gives me the hebegeebies just thinking about it........

And also you have storms such as Ernesto, That decide to have the track change from as far west to Texas to As east as the middle of Florida.
04 & 05 were a nightmare for so many people (a few of my friends in the agriculture business down in south florida [avocado groves/flowers/etc], re-built after 04, then, called it quits and moved north after the double whammys in 2005...(to Georgia).....
62. Patrap 5:15 PM CDT on April 29, 2008
Came across this on VORTRAC .. MLC

- I suspect we'll see Dr. Master's blog on this subject before too long. That's one I'll look forward to reading very much!
Enjoyed the conversation but nature calls (dinner and a few beers) so you all have a nice evening..........Have a feeling a lot of us will be waiting "for the turn" this year...BBT
59. Drakoen 5:03 PM CDT on April 29, 2008
CFS wind shear prediction anomalies:

Hmmm... Looks like El Nino, or perhaps not, since the last couple years have had high shear in the areas that shows high shear for this season, thus protecting the U.S. from storms in the Atlantic, although a storm could still develop in the Caribbean or Gulf and hit the U.S. from there, like Humberto last year, although storms that form in the Gulf itself rarely get very strong (Bret in 1999 is one example).

This map shows the locations of NOAA Doppler radars along the East and Gulf coasts. With the new technique known as VORTRAC, forecasters can use these coastal radars to monitor the intensity of landfalling hurricanes. (Illustration by Steve Deyo, ©UCAR. The research was funded primarily by the National Science Foundation and NOAA.

-- Pretty good string of sites shown, except I'm a little surprised there's not one located at Galveston Bay.
There should be a category on WU severe map for lovebugs.
ALERT: I just saw a lovebug. !@#$%&*!

65. Patrap 6:19 PM EDT
Ivan's cone. That map had it dead centering us.
74. MichaelSTL 10:46 PM GMT on April 29, 2008
59. Drakoen 5:03 PM CDT on April 29, 2008
CFS wind shear prediction anomalies:

Hmmm... Looks like El Nino, or perhaps not, since the last couple years have had high shear in the areas that shows high shear for this season, thus protecting the U.S. from storms in the Atlantic, although a storm could still develop in the Caribbean or Gulf and hit the U.S. from there, like Humberto last year, although storms that form in the Gulf itself rarely get very strong (Bret in 1999 is one example).

Those are just averages. Also the CFS is showing lower than average shear in the climatological position of the tropical upper tropospheric trough. Also if that core area of above average wind shear were to move to the north that would be an enhancing factor.
this is from Daniel Swain blog on weather W

Will spring pass without any rain at all?
April 29th, 2008
Our extremely dry Spring 2008 continues. NorCal did see some very light precip last week in areas, but it was significantly less than expected (suprise) and some locations up here (Davis, for example) have yet to see even 0.01 in. since February. This has not happened in decades…and at a few reporting stations this is the only time in history this period has been entirely rain-free. There is currently no rain in the offing for the next two weeks, which brings us to mid-May. I really don’t think there’s much hope for more precip for the rest of the “season,” even in NorCal. We could see an odd cutoff or two bring some scattered convective precip at some point if we’re lucky, but there is currently no indication even of this. SoCal has already seen 100 degree plus readings and wildfires have caused evacuations over the past week, so the summer season has effectively started down there already. I do believe that we will see som significant spring heat waves in May that will expand to include more of NorCal that the 90-95 degree Valley heat on Sunday. With the apparent demise of La Nina (having decreased to marginal La Nina strength) and the possible emergence of an El Nino over the next 6 months, I think this summer has the potential to be quite hot and potentially active (reminiscent of summer 2006). The Sonoran heat ridge will likely feature prominently (especially by the second half of summer), which would bring prolonged southeasterly flow and a cT airmass up from interior Mexico. This translates to very hot temperatures and the potential for periods of enhanced monsoonal convection. Obviously, predictions for summer temperature and monsoonal flow are not very skillful this far out, but given the comparison to analogue years, I do think this is a reasonable possibility. Stay tuned

Daniel Swain Says:

April 29th, 2008 at 3:13 pm
Interesting to note: big dust storms in N. NV visible on visible satellite…

Looks a lil more active, but still running s on the wATL side of pond.


...The ITCZ...

The ITCZ axis is centered along 6n10w 4n16w...crossing the Equator near 26w...1s40w and into NE Brazil near 2s44w. A cluster of moderate to strong convection is from the Equator to 3n between 6w and 10w. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms are within 150 nm S of axis between 18w and 26w. Similar convection is found within 120 nm either side of axis between 36w and 44w.
Looks like the PDO may have flipped to the cool phase:


why it's important:

I've been following that pearl, nice link, thanks.
you're most welcome :)
hey there everyone,whats that slug of rain moving towards c.fl noaa sat. dosent even show any clouds
Mo was not even a gleam in her mother's eye when Ivan hit, as far as me, I was following the trends rather than the cone and the trend kept shifting the forecast track westward with every forecast. By the time this was released I was 95% sure that I was going to see Ivan up close and personal. There was also a very unusual event going on at the time. Thousands of sharks had collected offshore Mobile and Pensacola. It was record number of sharks and was very unusual. Knowing animals understand weather far before we humans do, I was pondering whether or not those sharks had gathered to feed on fish outrunning a hurricane. Ivan was the only one that would likely have stirred up the GOM in such a manner so that was another ominous sign that Ivan would come our way.
WWannabe, I agree Wilma strengthened over the 'glades warm to actually hot waters as did Irene in 99. Irene did most damage in Palm Beach co after going northward over Dade and Broward everglades. It was a strengthening storm and had so much moisture, it dumped if I recall right over 20 inches over eastern PBC. We had most wind damage and most rainfall which made me believe that given right conditions a tropical system could strengthen over 'Glades.
77, what stands out to me is the stronger shear anomalies next winter. That is drastic change from this year. That is "subtropical jet" very far south originating in E-Pac and strengthening next winter. I know what that is, but it doesn't look like it will be strong enough during 'cane season to be major inhibiting factor until late.
80. Pearl if you are right and PDO has flipped to cool phase then I will be wrong about my ENSO predictions for next winter. such a flip would stop an el nino in it's tracks and we'll have a neutral winter next year. I dont believe that has happened but I am not discounting your theory at all.

From pearlandaggie's link in post #80:

The cool water anomaly in the center of the image shows the lingering effect of the year-old La Niña. However, the much broader area of cooler-than-average water off the coast of North America from Alaska (top center) to the equator is a classic feature of the cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The cool waters wrap in a horseshoe shape around a core of warmer-than-average water. (In the warm phase, the pattern is reversed).

- Ok, if this is the case and the "cool phase" of PDO is coming about, what will it do? Wrap around the warm water that is off the nw coast of sAmerica?

I thought STL's post last night was good, too. It seemed to indicate (JMO from how I interpreted that - could very well be wrong) that there could be La Nina or El Nino conditions from within either, cool phases or warm phases. It's definitely going to be interesting and critical, too, to see how it all unfolds as the season approaches, and how it looks well into the season.
hey, it's not my theory...just presenting data!

I know pearl - didn't say so, said from your "link" - sides, I'm just asking questions anyways! :)
will you guys quit calling me pearl!?!?!? :)

i live in Pearland, Texas.

i know, i know....bad, bad choice of a username. the mistake was only evident to me AFTER i saw it in print!

oh well
89 gotcha. It will make a difference either way and was good point. Whether it is your theory or not. My theory is to expect a strong El Nino next winter, but PDO shift would cause that to be weak El Nino maybe. Maybe Neutral. It does seem like more forecasters are coming around to El Nino long term prediction but that won't have an impact until very late season the way I see it.
I'm sorry, how about P.D. or P.A. for short then. I didn't mean to be rude, it just hurts my hand to type so I shorten whenever possible.
Sorry! And, lol, it's a lot to type, too...like MLC is short for moonlightcowboy! ;P Um, what would be good? Aggie? PAA? No offense, and much respect intended! I've very much enjoyed your posts!
94. Same here. You brought up good point with PDO post. I didn't mean to be insulting at all. Everybody calls me Ivans.
i'm not upset with you folks! :)

my mistake, afterall!
Thanks for the plug Jeff for my talk...The powerpoint will be posted on my homepage ... Ryan Maue 2008 Tropical Meeting Powerpoint Presentation
No mistake, admin will let you change your name, or we can go with one of those abbreviations and once a few do, everybody will
Actually it Mokee(the cat) that came up with "pearl". I will have to have a chat with her later about that.
RyanFSU, yes, enjoyed Doc's posting about your topic. Look forward to reading more about it. Thanks. Sounds like you all are really having a nice conference!
Looking at the above average shear values forecast by the CFS, it does fall in line with an El Nino. I will hold onto my prediction of El Nino not developing until October or November, though. And remember folks, as 23 always says: it only takes one. 1992 had above average wind shear because of El Nino, and Andrew developed into a Category 5 (interestingly, it exploded right around the area that the above normal shear is forecast to be during August, September, and October on that graph Drak posted) and became the costliest United States hurricane until Katrina in 2005. It's important we keep prepared regardless of El Nino, La Nina, or neutral.
Poor Moe catches the blame!:(
Mo (dang modify comments just will NOT work!)
the PDO shift makes one wonder whether the phases are bookended by large ENSO events, but we just didn't recognize them as such in the past...
Excellent post, Kori!
Evening, everyone.
Not a lot of change to any of the stats tonight.We are all still waiting to see __
some northward movement of the itcz
what, if anything the SAL will do
what the SST's are going to become
where the high will locate
how strong it will be
what enso phase we will have
Its all a lot of suspense, if you ask me.
the 1998 El Nino event notwithstanding, of course...
LOL, Pottery - yep, such suspense! ;P
Hey, now, I've the nickname of aggie here for a while...JK I have no problem sharing.

Howdy, BTW.

'04 here. You a METR grad or simply an enthusiast(sp)?
MLC, don't kid yourself. Mo is most spoiled cat on earth. Mo is most bossy cat on earth too.

Class of '99 here
104. P.A., I was wondering same thing. Maybe shifts are triggered by or ended by large events. They do seem to occur about every 10-15 yrs or so just like PDO.
is there a reason Nargis fell apart and will it reform entirely?

Also what time do they release the retired hurricanes tomarrow?
Interesting point at 104 and 112. got to check that one........
that's a nice T-top you've got there, atmoaggie!
Ivansrvivr...intuitively, it seems that a large westerly flow of water across the equatorial Pacific could induce a southerly flow from the northern Pacific, but that's just conjecture on my part.
Howdy Ryan. I'll be interested in seeing that, and I know a few others that will as well (but they got to go to the conference Fitzpatrick, Blackwell, Kimball come immediately to mind).

You can all also see work we present a couple of weeks ago at a storm surge workshop detailing Katrina's surge driven by single eyewall (HRD H*Wind) style vs double eyewall (PBL model style) here. Not quite as cool as the tropical met conference, admittedly, but I hope you all find it interesting.
83. severstorm 8:09 PM EDT
hey there everyone,whats that slug of rain moving towards c.fl noaa sat. dosent even show any clouds

116. That is part of why I think El Nino is in the works. the deep water is warm too. That means current La Nina is being eaten away from all sides.
118 LOL!

dayum lovebugs!

LOL. Saw my first Lovebug of the Spring season today, when are we gonna get rid of these annoying things!! They are like the cockroach, they will never go away. Time to start scrubbing the car again!
Did NE1 even notice that Nargis just kind of shedded most of its convection and reformed itself
I was thinking it was an eye wall replacement cycle but theres no eye and it never had one
is there another cycle that effects cyclones that happened to deform this one?
There has been relatively minimal change in the equatorial Pacific SSTs from the loop I looked at...the really above average SSTs in the eastern part of the equatorial pacific aren't as above average as before and a lot of the cool SSTs have changed little as well.
Aggie, Ivan had double eyewall on NE side, none on S.W side. As it made landfall in Gufl Shores Al. On the ground it seemed like eyewall lasted forever on east side in P'Cola.
We don't have NE really annoying bugs here, ants maybe and cicada's are O.K the only annoyance is the croaks of frogs if you don't like the sound. I kind of enjoy their nightly chorus
I have not been monitoring Nargis, but last I read, it was all go for intensification. So, what happened to it then ?
the Atlantic needs more hurricane names like Nargis...or Sturgis! :)

...sounds better than Betsy or Georges!
re: Nargis - from:

288. HadesGodWyvern 11:51 AM CDT on April 29, 2008 dry air entrapment .. and interaction with a 1002 hPa low east of is weakening Nargis.
I dont know about that, Pearland, I knew a wild Besty once. She hung around a long time. Did a lot of damage too.....
Aggie, Ivan had double eyewall on NE side, none on S.W side. As it made landfall in Gufl Shores Al. On the ground it seemed like eyewall lasted forever on east side in P'Cola.

Probably much like Biloxi during Katrina. Soon after getting out of the outer eyewall, hurricane-force winds, they got the edges of the same from the eastern edge of the inner eyewall. Too bad the SFMR wasn't operational for Ivan or we might have enough observations to intelligently drive modeling efforts.
Thanks, MLC. But noboddy predicted that ?? Strange...
We had hurricane force winds in P'cola from Katrina too. It was Huge storm.
129...Besty or Betsy?

(I will refrain from inserting a comment about excessive sucking and blowing!) :)
Betsy is a retired Atlantic Name and was my first Hurricane in Sept 65.

Was a wild night for a 5.5 yr old..

Pottery, the thing that surprised me is that Nargis was in a fairly large area of high Ocean Heat Content, too!
On radar, There are 2 distinct bands visible with the Ivan landfall but on the ground it seemed like one band that lasted forever. There was so much salt water blown in the air it was hard to tell how hard rain was.
Patrap...didn't mean to dredge up old memories. Sorry for that. I just didn't want to use Katrina or Rita since both of those names still scare the heck out of me!
Re: 133. BeTSy. Sorry.
I'm sorry too, that you refrain etc, sounded interesting LOL
Wasn't Betsy first major landfall of "sattelite era"
We had hurricane force winds in P'cola from Katrina too. It was Huge storm.

Yes it was. As to the duration of winds, see that slide in my pdf with the time series of Ocean Springs wind and surge. Hours and hours of winds and a peak surge some 4 hours after cat2 winds (and insurance companies would like to claim that all damage was the surge...bollocks)
Betsy didnt scare me..
cept for all the talk about the Eye coming over. I had this image of a big ol Eye Looking down on us.

Been hooked ever since.

I'm sure you've heard the one about the similarity between marriage and tornadoes...it was along a similar line of thought!

Nargis has only been under about 5-10 kts of shear, but you can see that warmer water on this CIMSS shot. Also, notice the models are still split.
Yeah, I noted that too, MLC. I was surprised to see it had lost some of its punch this evening.
I'm sure the folks in the cone there are happy though. Although rain will still be a big issue for them.
140. So was Ivan for us in P'Cola. It's size, track and shape put us in eyewall for a good 5+hours. All at night too. Duration makes huge difference in damage.
LOL Pearland
145. If you examine a lot of the structural failures, the duration certainly plays a large part with respect to extent of damage....kind of like bending a paperclip back and forth over and over again until it breaks...
T.S Dennis in 1981 did it for me. Just the fact that a storm would have a name was fascinating.
147, I saw alot of telephone poles do that, and oak trees and our carport. I never envisioned anything like Ivan and it was "only" a strong 3. I don't need to see 4 or 5.
Alicia and Brett ('99) did it for me...
149. now THAT'S a sobering thought.
LOL, like Pat, now, I'm showing my age! (we're still young Pat!) But, it was Camille in '69 for me.
152. I've seen the Camille damage photos (seven years before my time). Totally unbelievable and indescribable!
154. The official track for Rita over most of her approach was essentially right over my house...predicted landfall on my birthday!
149. Had I been sober at the time, Id have crawled up the walls. Instead I sat outside and watched as area between my and neighbors house was totally wind protected. Then as Ivan's eye moved by wind came from S.E to S. to S.W and I wasn't protected anymore, had to go in.
Man..the Lunar Landing in Late July,..then that Thing rolled thru in August.
Man..Dad and my Brother and I cut Pine trees for a Whole Month in Bay ST. Louis on my Grandfathers Property. Was awesome destruction.

Unrivaled till Aug 29th 2005.
Katrina Put 6 feet of Water thru that House,3.5miles inland.

157. And to think, neither Katrina nor Rita were Cat5 at landfall!!!
I recall the rest of the state was preoccupied with Francis, then while the forcast was fro it to hit peninsula, Ivan was hugging south side of cone and cone kept shifting west every 12 hrs. When the cone got to where I was on east end, it started shifting back. I knew early on Ivan was ours despite predicted tracks over peninsula.
Shoot, if anything tops Katrina, I don't want to be anywhere close around! Wouldn't wish that on anyone!
did anyone ever see a study/report on why Katrina's surge was so large? did the seafloor have anything to do with it? i can't imagine the kind of surge Cat5 winds would have produced...
Looking at the loops for the trop. atl, and the upper level winds between Africa to S. America. These winds are southerly, for the first time in a couple of months, from the equator to about 10 n.
Will this tend to bring the ITCZ north ?
I was chased out of Tampa by Frances. Wife's family had extensive damage in Pensacola from Ivan.
man, the pictures of the Escambia Bay bridge damage from Ivan...truly makes one hope for another quiet season.
162. The shallow gulf seafloor, flat land inland promote higher surge. Then add a large diameter storm that was a 5 even weakening to a 3 or 2 can maintain a built up surge for 24-48 hours. Ivan did same for Pensacola but P'cola is up on big hill. Areas not protected by hill got more that expected surge for cat 5. our MS/AL neighbors weren't so lucky with Katrina/Rita.
165. I lived short walk away from bridge. Saw it day after storm. There was a DQ that had parking lot with outcropping that looked over bridge. Seeing it folded like paper airplane was shocker.
Anyone have links or discussed if large long-period geothermal undersea discharge of hot water or gas could affect SST patterns? I know the scale would need to be large, but at such pressures, a lot of heat could build up, or gas could move a lot of cold water - maybe enough to nudge temps those fractions of a degree that we watch. How's our coverage of instrumentation deep under the Pacific?
Ivan destroyed 90% of the buildings in Grenada as well. Including some stone ones that had been there for several hundred years, and had seen several strong hurricanes before.
Ivan the terrible...
good evening, folks. I'm going to bed :)
Ivan in much weaker state took out lots of brick buildings in Pensacola too. Almost every roof was torn open or house had a tree in it. It was nuts and that is not incuding areas flattened by surge and or hit buy tornadoes which looked like several dozen went through area judging by damage.
Sleep sound, Pearland.
Ivans, see post 163. Any comment ?

Camille, 1969.

Ivan, 2004.

I know Ivan was a long track storm - followed it all the way. But, I was sure beginning to think as it hit the Caribbean, that it was beginning to mimmick a Camille track! Near the end, Crazy Ivan, made a shift to the right and history was made again.

168 MichaelSTL is the one to best answer that. I know there is alot of heat buildup in deep Pacific waters now. Sitting under La Nina. Heat rises.
Enjoyed it, Pearland, have a good sleep!
At the time we had no power, no radio, no tv stations on air then rumor popped up that Ivan was coming back. There were several suicides (No joke).
163. My guess is yes. Now is actually time that should start to happen too. Climatology would seem to say yes too. The ITCZ follows the sun angle north through june equinox then as sun angle goes south so does ITCZ. when that starts happening the CV season starts (the way I understand it)
Some interesting prog charts of the Gulf - Temp/depth transects
linked from Here
How deep is that loop current?

OK, Thanks.
I have to go run the cat. BBL.
General Facts about the Gulf of Mexico Link

Tiger Pass,..Venice,La. Hercules-21,Chevron

Gulf of Mexico
Depth gradient throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
Image modified from ESRI Data & Maps (2000). The Gulf of Mexico basin resembles a large pit with a broad shallow rim. Approximately 38% of the Gulf is comprised by shallow and intertidal areas (< 20 m deep). The area of the continental shelf (< 180 m) and continental slope (180 - 3,000 m) represent 22% and 20% respectively, and abyssal areas deeper than 3,000 m comprise the final 20% (Gore, 1992). The Sigsbee Deep, located in the southwestern quadrant, is the deepest region of the Gulf of Mexico. Its exact maximum depth is controversial, and reports by different authors state maximum depths ranging from 3,750 m to 4,384 m. Mean (average) water depth of the Gulf is ~1,615 m (Turner, 1999) and the basin contains a volume of 2,434,000 cubic kilometers of water (6.43 * 1017 or 643 quadrillion gallons).

Pottery, the Itcz seems to be creeping northwards. It's somewhat higher e than w. 456 made some good comments on the itcz here, too.

From my blog here on the itcz.

What Keeps the ITCZ North of the Equator?

It is a long-standing mystery that the ITCZ stays north of the equator over the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans despite that the annual-mean solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere is symmetric with respect to the equator. This article reviews recent progress that has shed new light on this old puzzle.

(excerpt in part)...The ITCZ problem thus involves a circular chicken-and-egg argument. The ITCZ stays north of the equator because SST is higher; and the SST is higher north because the ITCZ stays there. The positive WES feedback is at the center of this circular argument. In a coupled ocean-atmosphere model, the WES feedback destabilizes the symmetric climate, leading to an asymmetric steady state with a single ITCZ on only one side of the equator (Xie and Philander 1994). A condition for this spontaneous development of latitudinal asymmetry is the equatorial upwelling that prevents the ITCZ from forming at the equator. This necessary condition thus explain why climatic asymmetry only develops over the eastern Pacific and Atlantic where the equatorial upwelling is observed.
(Complete article here.)

- IMHO, the itcz goes hand-in-hand with the warmer SST's. We've noticed that while they've been warmer eastwards, so has been the itcz. SST's have been cooler westwards, so has been the itcz. At the SST's warm westwards, the itcz will likely move more northwards, too. It's that catch 22 deal - "The ITCZ stays north of the equator because SST is higher; and the SST is higher north because the ITCZ stays there." At least that's what I get out of it, Pottery.
Do lovebugs appear more in dry or wet weather? Or does that matter?
Thank you very much, MLC. Dont know how I missed your blog on that.....
Good one , Pat. Thanks.
Thats enough info. for me to take in in one night.
See what we see in the morning.
Good night all......
Have a good sleep, Pottery!

- Pat, thanks for that post. I really hadn't looked to see the topography of the GOM. Interesting. Sure didn't know the sw corner was the deepest. And, looking at that shallowness nearer the Yucatan, it's no wonder that Caribbean current comes in with a rage.
185. sporteguy03 10:15 PM EDT
Do lovebugs appear more in dry or wet weather? Or does that matter?

About this time of year, it takes some rain to bring them out.


I have successfully used an application of RainX (test on an inconspicuous area first!) on paint & chrome to ease removal. Or use good wax.
JFV, the concensus I see thus far, is that an above normal - active season, is still anticipated. Lots of variables still that everyone is kind of waiting on to see how they shape up! General thought is maybe a slow start, active mid-to-later in the season, but tapering off sharply maybe. Who knows? We wait, we see!
Shoot, JFV! I'm not qualified to give you these kind of answers; but, I can tell you what I think I'm picking up from most of the bloggers, and maybe just a general opinion.

Yeah, a possible coming El Nino, that's what some say would make it taper off more quickly. But, there's still some doubts to that depending maybe on a "cool phase" of the PDO. As far as tracks, from what I've picked up here is that conditions appear to be setting up for some seCONUS landfalls, possibly with a slightly higher interest in eastcoast landfalls. Depends on where and how strong the B/A high sets up.

Of course, this is not necessarily my opinion, just my interpretation of the concensus on the blog. And, like you know, it's still early. Many things left to be seen as far as set-up conditions. Plus, it's weather! I guess there are always odd possibilities.

....wheeeew! That tuckered me out! LOL
It seems to me that if this is correct, then threats to the U.S. will be less likely again; it has higher than average shear mainly in the Gulf and off the Southeast during the peak of the season (August-October), which also expands with time; based on this, we may see more storms (low shear in the deep tropics) but they may have trouble (Karen, Ingrid, Melissa, etc) as they move north, unless they avoid high shear areas or move through the Caribbean (not likely if the Bermuda High is also weaker). It also depends on the nature of the higher shear; whether it is more continuous (would mainly hinder the maximum intensity and intensification rates) or in the form of ULLs (much stronger and more destructive to storms but more localized at any time, but storms avoiding them could rapidly intensify still):

Possibly also an earlier season/activity mainly early on; see the June-August map. Perhaps even a "normal" ending as well (the southern Caribbean still has lower shear even into the winter, steering currents still matter though). The PDO may also have some effect, although I am not sure what effects (would have to look at negative PDO and positive PDO seasons, and from neutral to weak El Nino; a strong El Nino is unlikely)
195. it looks like possible 04 repeat with brief window (month and a half) where tropics could get very active (July/Aug/Sept) seems to leave a window open for east coast landfalls but that is only conjecture at this point. With nina fading, what else would cause shear to be so high late in the season. I know shear is usually high but that is far beyond normal by the end of season. That would look like 06 El Nino but there may be other factor.

JFV you ask the questions that if we had answers to we'd be rich people. You ask good questions though and I encourage you to continue. That is how you will learn.
Welcome, JFV, and have a good sleep!
yawn yawn yawn talk talk talk yawn yawn yawn

i wish june 1st will get here

so that way we can stop talking about what where going to see this hurricane season seen like evere day now on this blog

evere day i come on i see evere one talking about past hurricane season

what this hurricane season will be like

past tracks of hurricane

so on so on so on

like come on now whats talk about some in new huh???

whats this wait and see what this hurricane season will be like ok we olny have like 30 days to go now so whats this wait and see

dont you think talking about the same thing evere day is geting a little old???

i hop i am not being rude if am sorry

good night all and all
LOL, Taz, no, not rude. You're just anticipating the season like all the rest of us. It's almost here, and, hopefully, it won't be a bad one! But, there will blobs to watch soon enough!

Have a good sleep!
Hey guys, new guy here, wil never claim to be an expert buti do believe in your expertise since i have seen your blogs last year. I am a supervisor at a coast hospital preparing for the season and i am looking for expert opinons for the season throughout. Thanks...
is anyone out there?
can anyone tell me your feelings on another katrina cane any time in hte future?
Do your part to stop the Global Warming menace.

Each day, the 6.5 Billion people on earth collectively exhale 6,734,000 Metric Tons of C02 into the environment. As Brother Al clearly showed in his award winning film, CO2 is the gas responsible for human induced global warming. As the human population increases, science has shown that CO2 emmissions due to exhalation are also likely to increase.

Please observe June 1st as the first annual "Take a Breather from CO2 Emmissions" day. We are calling all dedicated Global Warming activists to participate. At precisely 12:00 noon EST on June 1, 2008, we are asking all participants around the world to inhale and hold that breath for 1-hour.

Projections show that, if we can get 100,000 GW activists to participate this year, we can effectively end the Global Warming debate for good. During this hour, our calculations show that by refraining from exhaling, we will save over 100 Metric Tons of CO2 that would otherwise have been exhaled into our atmosphere. Calculations of the effect on global temperatures have been inconclusive, but we are sure that it will have some minor impact.

Participants are encouraged to apply any method they feel is necessary to refrain from exhaling during this hour. After the initial 5-minutes, lab studies show that cessation of exhalation becomes increasingly easy to achieve.

The goal is to prevent 100 Metric Tons of CO2 emmissions to our environment, but also to call attention to our serious committment to preventing this dangerous greenhouse gas.

Please organize in your area today. Remember June 1, 2008 "Take a Breather from CO2 Emmissions".
I work at a hospital, if everyone holds there breath for an hour, we will be very busy in the ER.
OK, well , gnite, hope to talk to yall soon.
No names were retired by the WMO this year for 2007 in the Atlantic. NONE.

Kinda disappointed in them. At LEAST Dean and Felix merited retirement......
Wait nothing retired in 2007 are you sure?
your comment is confusing do you mean only Dean and Felix retired?
Is NE1 there Nargis isn't reforming and i can't get to the satellite loop
Guess what. 100 deaths in Central America isn't enough to have a name retired. Even if the storm was a Cat 5 at the time.

I remember how surprised some people were when Stan was retired . . .
What storms Retired?! can Somebody give me a short simple answer?!
Baha where did you get that info?
Is NE1 there? you all disapeared
I didn't hear of any of them getting retired last year (but I believe Baha). They are going to retire fewer names because of so many in 04/05.
That shouldn't be a reason for not retiring storm names they must be a bunch of sissies no offense
No names were retired from the 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season during the WMO hurricane conference that ended April 28 2008.

The WMO issued thier 2013 Hurricane Season List (The list previously only went to the year 2012).


I posted that comment before I saw the previous comments.

Personally, Felix was the storm that should be retired. It is a storm that is especially on the minds of the fishermens on the Mosquito Coast.
La Nina is over:

Summary: La Nina pattern fades; Pacific now generally neutral
Pacific climate patterns are now generally neutral. The 2007/08 La Nina event continued to fade during the past two weeks, with the majority of indicators returning to near-normal levels. Only the western to central Pacific displays any features typical of a La Nina event, with cooler than normal ocean temperatures, enhanced Trade Winds and reduced cloud amounts.

Elsewhere, ocean surface and sub-surface temperatures continued to warm, and as a result, are no longer at levels typical of a La Nina event. Furthermore, the Trade Winds across the eastern half of the Pacific are close-to or weaker than average, and the SOI has continued to retreat from the strong positive values seen earlier in the year and is now in the neutral range. The decline in La Nina has seen below average rainfall return to large parts of eastern and northern Australia during March and April.

Computer model predictions show Pacific temperatures gradually increasing over the next two seasons, but remaining near-average. The models indicate a low chance of either a stronger warming to El Nino levels or a re-intensification of La Nina conditions during 2008.

In Brief
The La Nina has weakened to neutral conditions.
Weak negative SST anomalies remain in the central to west Pacific. There are weak positive anomalies in the eastern Pacific.
Warm sub-surface anomalies lie along much of the thermocline on the equator.
The SOI is on a downward trend but remains positive at +5.
Trade Winds remain stronger than average across the central to western equatorial Pacific, but are weaker in the east.
Cloudiness near the date-line has been very much below average in recent months.
All the dynamic computer models predict neutral conditions to remain in the eastern to central Pacific in the coming months.

Check out how warm the eastern Pacific is now - just a few days ago there was a lot less yellow:

217. There is looming name shortage if a bunch more 04 or 05s happen.
I commented yesterday that there would be no names retired, Deaths are the ultimate decider in retired storm names..impacts werent the devastating loss of human life . So no names retired is the logical choice.Dont know why all the hype comes with that.
2007 at a glance.Link
STL, wont the lack of trades in the eastern half of pacific cause more warming as we go into summer?
StormW, that sound just a bit like 04. The Bermuda high was not super strong in 04, it was just oriented to drive the storms into FL.
Also, this...

206. TexasGulf 12:03 AM CDT on April 30, 2008
Do your part to stop the Global Warming menace.

...is the craziest thing that I have ever heard... the person who wrote this obviously has no clue as the what is meant by "man-made CO2" - nor do they consider where the CO2 people exhale comes from; food burned in their bodies? Food that comes from plants (and animals that eat plants)? Plants that take CO2 from the air? Since the population is also growing, this means that people are actually removing CO2 from the environment on a net basis - not counting fossil fuel use, including that to grow/transport food.
Everybody, since methane contributes to GW, lets boycott beans for a week:0)
Good Morning Folks.....Guess that much of the conversation over the next few weeks leading up to H-Season will be on the impact of Enso Neutral conditions on potential shear values in the tropical atlantic over the next several months.........In looking at the primary "favorable/unfavorable" factors (and these will be further discussed once the June updates are posted and the "set-up" is in place) I think (IMHO) that shear and the position of the Bermuda High will be the two most important factors that we will be looking at this season in terms of formation and threats to the Caribbean and US (assuming that there is plenty of moisture around and not too much SAL over the MDR during the peak months)..........The shear "charts" are going to be flying around the blog this summer, and, given the fact that shear values are very fluid from week to week, it will be another interesting season (will shear rule again?). That is one of most interesting things about this field; we can try to make analog comparisons to past years when looking at the initial set-ups, but, the fact of the matter is that every single season is different and unique.................BTW, temps are pretty cool this morning in North Florida (mid-40's) which I think will break a few single-day records for late April.......(but once the high behind the front settles in for a few days, coastal waters are going to warm right back up pretty quickly)....
227. Ivansrvivr 12:27 PM GMT on April 30, 2008
Everybody, since methane contributes to GW, lets boycott beans for a week:0

Most sensible suggestion I have heard all week!!
GOM 120 Hour Water Surface Temperature Forecast Model Link

GOM 60 Hour Wave Forecast Model Link
LOL... The methane also originally came from the air as well (the bean plants take in CO2, which is then stored in the beans and after being eaten part of the undigested part is fermented into methane inside your body). Really, eating food is carbon neutral, as they say (similarly, burning wood is also carbon-neutral as long as trees are planted to replace the wood burned at the same rate).

I have a GRAPH Chart/visual aid too.

I just wanted to lighten things up a bit so I let Mokee use the computer for a min. and she starts talking about beans and CO2. potty mouth kitty!!!!
So, if we all ate a bunch of beans in July would it have affect of reducing shear and increasing tropical activity?
234. Ivansrvivr 8:56 AM EDT on April 30, 2008
So, if we all ate a bunch of beans in July would it have affect of reducing shear and increasing tropical activity?

You all got Big time issues........LMAO good morning.....
Buenos dias!

Hemos alcanzado rapidamente condiciones neutrales en el Pacífico del este! A menos que, venga el El Nino, la ocasion es por una estacion activa del huracan con condiciones neutrales.
Senor..Mucho Gracias.
LOL, Pat. Good morning, all. Looks like we're gonna be in neutral conditions! The lil girl has waned. Could mean activity!
Moonlikght was 2004 nuetral also and i wonder what the SST was like in 2004 during the same time now.
So La Nina is officially over?
If so, Is it likely that we will now stall into neutral conditions?
TS, Ivan, can tell you, but I think I remember it being neutral to warming.
A fine cool April morn it is.

How bout dem N.O.Hornets eh?

Mavs fall 4-1.
More info on the PDO phase shift that is arriving right on time to be consistent with past climatology:

The Hornets and Magic may surprise some teams. Hornets should not be a surprise, they have played well all season.
UNYSIS 10-day GFSx. Link May need the Poncho for Jazz Fest here Friday MLC.
interesting visual depiction:

Thanx Tampa..they have been a thrill to watch,we are real Proud of them.
243. pearlandaggie 9:18 AM EDT on April 30, 2008
More info on the PDO phase shift that is arriving right on time to be consistent with past climatology:


I would say that article contradicts GW lol
According to that released report that STL posted, Neutral conditions are likely to maintain through the season, or at least ,most of the season, Looks like as expected were in for a busy hurricane season, Remember on average the busiest hurricae seasons are during Neutral conditions, Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. That's all there is to it!
Moonlight interesting comparison in SST between the years......it actually looks like the Atlantic basin as a whole is warmer now than 2004 especially the NW Carribean...not a good sign IMO.
AGW and related taxation aside, I'm more concerned with agriculture. Think of the agricultural explosion witnessed in California during the last 30 years (and subsequent warm phase of the PDO). I hope cooler weather doesn't significantly impact the agricultural productivity in California, but somehow that seems logically inconsistent...
Looks like based on those SST maps moonlight posted that the Atlantic over all is really heating up ESPECIALLY in the Caribbean! Akso as a whole it looks about the same as 2004 in terms of SST's.
I would say that article contradicts GW lol


Here is an interesting factoid:

Updated standardized values for the PDO index, derived as the
leading PC of monthly SST anomalies in the North Pacific Ocean,
poleward of 20N. The monthly mean global average SST anomalies
are removed to separate this pattern of variability from any
"global warming" signal that may be present in the data.

So that proves global warming - if it was caused by some natural cycle, then that would cancel out the natural variations and leave nothing... LOL
Based on the many things currently i would say we will have an early storm and a very busy season. Seems way too many indicators pointing the same direction......JUst my opinion.
247. moonlightcowboy 9:21 AM EDT on April 30, 2008

That's a pretty warm pool of water in the Yucatan Channel (the GS loop current) right now.....Could mean some real trouble later on if it is still there come July.......
Actually, I was just wanting to plant the suggestion so we can watch 100,000 Global Warming activists trying to not exhale for an hour. Should make for some interesting video.

That "Take a Breather from CO2 Emmissions" day was purely a joke. If you are a gullible GW activist, please don't try to hold your breath for an hour.
WWB, I don't think they're going to get substantially cooler.
Based on the many things currently i would say we will have an early storm and a very busy season. Seems way too many indicators pointing the same direction......JUst my opinion.

Things such as:
Increasing SST's
Decreasing Shear
Increasing TCHP
Setting up of the A/B High
Steering currents
Most of all the fact that this season for the most part at least will be under NEUTRAL conditions, That marks for a very active season. Take a look at past neutral seasons, They are always the most busy, Such as 2005 ( I KNOW WERE NOT GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER 2005)

So yes we are in for a busy year, Most likely more busy then 2006-2007 for sure!
258. moonlightcowboy 9:32 AM EDT on April 30, 2008
WWB, I don't think they're going to get substantially cooler.

Yo se....I would not make any plans to go to Cancun & Cozumel this Summer durng the peak of the season........
258. moonlightcowboy 1:32 PM GMT on April 30, 2008
WWB, I don't think they're going to get substantially cooler.

2 Words, BAD NEWS!
Good morning all....and happy last day of April!

Good morning all....and happy last day of April!

We still have a month before that product resumes....why did you post it?
Good morning, Vort. Season looks vewy quiet right now.

- WWB, CA, of course it takes much more than warm SST's for activity. Each season, SST's are going to be warm. I suppose we follow that to how early they do warm, or wane. Several other things must also fall into place for tropical development. I certainly hope the season is relatively quiet and "fish" is the word for the season. Another month to go as Vort points out - so, we wait, we see!

300900z position near 14.8n 87.3e.
Tropical cyclone (tc) 01b (nargis), located approximately 480 nm
south of Calcutta, India, has tracked northeastward at 04 knots
over the past 06 hours. Recent animated multispectral satellite
imagery shows deep convection persisting over the low level circ-
ulation center. Satellite intensity estimates from pgtw, knes, and
dems indicate that the storm has nearly maintained intensity over
the past six hours. The system lies to the west of an upper level
anticyclone center in a region of moderate easterly vertical wind
shear, which appears to be the main factor preventing the system
from intensifying. Tc 01b continues to track generally northeast-
Ward along the periphery of low to mid-level steering ridge to
the southeast. This motion is expected to continue through the
forecast period. The available numerical model trackers have come
into better agreement, and the forecast track remains close to
the consensus of these models. The storm should slowly intensify
through the mid-portion of the forecast period as it progresses
closer to the center of the upper-level anticyclone and vertical
wind shear consequently relaxes. The storm is then expected to
make landfall between tau 48 and tau 72 and begin dissipating.
Maximum significant wave height at 300600z is 27 feet. Next
warnings at 301500z, 302100z, 010300z and 010900z.//

Also, a La Nina-like pattern is apparantly what actually happens in a warming world - frequent El Ninos are associated with ice ages (cycles like the PDO aside), in contrast to what some models said and what was once thought to be the case (that is, La Nina = ice age, El Nino = warming):

The paper represents a sharp departure from a long-standing paradigm in paleoclimatology, which holds that the tropical Pacific ocean-atmosphere circulation during the peak of the last ice age was comparable to a persistent or prevailing La Niña, a circulation mode marked by enhanced equatorial upwelling, east-west temperature contrast, and zonal trade winds. We proposed on the basis of new paleoceanographic data that the more proper analogy is instead with El Niño, i.e. marked by weaker upwelling, weaker temperature gradients, and weaker winds near the equator. This new hypothesis challenges the old premises in the field of tropical paleoclimatology, and provides a novel framework for reinterpreting parallel lines of evidence, data, and mechanisms relating to Earth's climate history of the last 30,000 years and beyond. Many authors are finding this a compelling and intriguing new concept and are eager to examine their own work in its light.

That suggest that La Ninas are associated with warming, which makes sense - the oceans absorb heat during La Ninas - meaning the total energy in the oceans and atmosphere increases since water has a much higher heat capacity, despite the surface cooling associated with La Nina; El Ninos on the other hand release heat from the oceans, for an overall cooling; they only appear to cause warming because global surface temperatures are just that - surface temperatures.
Good morning Cowboy!
You're sounding more "Fudd" like every day...LOL

I posted it Cane as a slight reminder that there ain't nothing happening in the Atlantic Basin right now.
264. moonlightcowboy 1:44 PM GMT on April 30, 2008
Good morning, Vort. Season looks vewy quiet right now.

- WWB, CA, of course it takes much more than warm SST's for activity. Each season, SST's are going to be warm. I suppose we follow that to how early they do warm, or wane. Several other things must also fall into place for tropical development. I certainly hope the season is relatively quiet and "fish" is the word for the season. Another month to

Refer back to my last post....where i mentioned all the things that are setting up...How does this season look like it will be very quiet?
LOL, Vort. Feel more "Fuddy," too! Should've thrown another w in vewy qwiet! lol

- STL, #220, #266 are nice posts.
269. HouseofGryffindor 1:49 PM GMT on April 30, 2008
It seems to me like this will be a very dangerous year for hurricanes, and from what I can tell, many of those may make landfall in the U.S., or come pretty close.

Yes it does....
Be Prepared aint just a Boy Scout Motto...

History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster. Hurricane Preparedness Week during 2008 will be held May 25th through May 31st.

The goal of this Hurricane Preparedness Web site is to inform the public about the hurricane hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to take ACTION. This information can be used to save lives at work, home, while on the road, or on the water.
CA, just making a reference to Vort's "current" map - doesn't mean the "season" itself will be quiet. Relax, time will tell for sure. And, I sure hope it is quiet, but with neutral conditions, that's probably not the likelihood - so, maybe we can just hope for "fish" storms!!!

if the oceans are actually absorbing heat, then the temperature should be going up


(unless, of course, the oceans disobey the laws of thermochemistry)

Good morning Cowboy!
You're sounding more "Fudd" like every day...LOL

I posted it Cane as a slight reminder that there ain't nothing happening in the Atlantic Basin right now.

Oh, Alright i gotcha. But that is rather normal right now...

Amen, Pat!

Gotta love, Patrap! Every year this guy stresses "preparedness" and I appreciate it. It's the thing to do. And, it bothers me that apathy comes into play - inactive seasons contribute to people letting their guard down, etc. And, then, wham - they get slammed - not prepared.

Pat's got a great blog on "preparation!" If you haven't checked it out, you should, and start getting a plan together.
apeaking of preparedness, what's in your hurricane preparedness kit?
It's good and quiet out in the Atlantic. Great!
But it's the time of year when the fronts don't push too far south and start hanging out over the Gulf.
I'll be watching these and the home-grown storm areas now.
As is also normal.....this will be the greatest threat area for a while.
Yes.....Pat has a sweet blog!
Thanks Pat.
Yeah, but note this; how many El Ninos have there been over the last few years? 2002, 2004, 2006?

In recent years, heat has actually been flowing out of the ocean and into the air. This is a feature of the weather phenomenon known as El Nino. So it is indeed possible the air has warmed but the ocean has not. But it's also possible that something more mysterious is going on.

That becomes clear when you consider what's happening to global sea level. Sea level rises when the oceans get warm because warmer water expands. This accounts for about half of global sea level rise. So with the oceans not warming, you would expect to see less sea level rise. Instead, sea level has risen about half an inch in the past four years. That's a lot.

The second part is also curious - and disturbing.

Oh, wasn't a study like that discounted before (see the update at the top)?

Also, here is a current SHA map (reds are up to a foot higher than normal):

Thanx guys...,
I never want to see the bad days that befell so many in 04-05 again.
Preparation is the Key to weathering the events to come.
And they will come,unfortunately.
My preparedness kit includes a "for sale" sign in front of my house so that I can move OUT of the flood zone (hopefully before Aug/Sept) :)
279. pearlandaggie 9:01 AM CDT on April 30, 2008
apeaking of preparedness, what's in your hurricane preparedness kit?

Pearland, Hurricanecrab has also got a good preparedness blog, too.

This year, he's also got a sort of "point-system" blog to tell how prepared you are. I fell short myself, scored above 200, so I have some additional things to do, too. But, check it out, too. It's a good blog.
Latest Weekly Color Coded Hurricane Areas,LSU EarthScan Lab Link
to my knowledge, that study has not been discounted yet. additionally, the discounted study dealt with satellite or some other method of temperature recording and there was a calibration error...this study includes direct temperature measurements from robots in the ocean (granted, a calibration issue could still be a problem, but that has not been mentioned yet).
Here's the SST's around the South Florida area....from the local Miami meso model.

Pat, just FYI, I dropped Dr. Masters some mail on the Vortrac Dopplar radar that we chin-wagged about yesterday. Hopefully, we'll see him say something about it soon.
288. that's a really cool graphic. is there one for the Texas coast? it might come in handy for finding thermoclines while offshore fishing...
pearlandaggie .....Just check your local NWS website and see what they have available.
Every office has different products.
thanks, vortfix!
I Bet Dr. Masters is enjoying the Presentations at the Conference.They have quite a lot of them and workshops too.

Strange this says Frederick was a Cat 3 at landfall, but the tab data says Cat 4.

Looks like it did intensify rapidly over the loop current.

from Pg. 1 of the current blog. Thanks for your followup to my comment about Hurricane Frederic. I noticed that the graphic also lists no U.S. deaths with that storm either, but in fact two people died (a child crushed inside an overturning mobile home, and a woman who drowned in a harbor).

And for IVANSURVIVOR, I agree with your comment about heightened violence in rapidly intensifying hurricanes. A neighbor of ours who stayed watched 2 tornadoes roll through our property that night before she fainted with fear. The complete deforestation of our community seemed to change the weather pattern thereafter, too, as we started seeing tornadoes in our community (small, F0, F1 and F2 types) with thunderstorms in the years that followed.

Discover magazine just put out a special "Better Planet" issue, that includes a brief article on particulate pollution being shown to increase t-storm violence but decrease rainfall. Study authors say the next step is to examine whether particulate pollution may have a link to increased tornado frequency. I have a theory why that indeed may be the case.
Joe Bastardi's Early 2008 Hurricane Forecast
Posted 2008-04-25
Slightly More Storms than Average with Increased Chances for Landfalls in North America

AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center meteorologists, led by Chief Long-Range and Hurricane Forecaster Joe Bastardi, have released a preliminary hurricane season forecast for 2008. They believe the waning La Niña conditions and a continued warm water cycle in the Atlantic Basin will be the two defining factors influencing the 2008 hurricane season, causing the number of storms to be slightly above average but, more importantly, increasing the chance for U.S. landfalling storms.

"The warming is not uniform across the entire Atlantic. In some areas where hurricanes normally form - the central and eastern tropical Atlantic - ocean water temperatures are near or below normal. This should limit the number of storms, so we do not expect a near record high number like in the 2005 season. However, considering other factors, the number of storms should be slightly higher than historical averages", said Bastardi. "The warmest waters relative to normal will be in the northern areas of the Atlantic, especially toward the North American continent. This could potentially increase the threat of major landfalls to the U.S. coast."

"In determining areas of elevated potential for landfall, we try to understand where the spread of storm tracks will center - but even within this spread, storms can 'bunch', creating discrete areas of increased risk," Bastardi said. Last season, the spread of the storms shifted southwest with one such bunch in the northern Caribbean. "This year, early indications show that the spread will move north and east with a target closer to the Southeast U.S."

Bastardi and the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center are looking at 1955, 1996, and 1999 as a few of the years showing similar weather characteristics to our current large-scale patterns. In 1955, Hurricanes Connie and Diane hit the Outer Banks and Carolina Beach in North Carolina. In 1996, Hurricane Bertha made landfall near Wilmington and Hurricane Fran made landfall near Cape Fear in North Carolina. During the 1999 hurricane season, Floyd and Dennis made landfall in September on the North Carolina coast.

Bastardi will provide more details and insight at the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Summit on May 12, 2008 in Houston, TX. Attendees at the summit will include leaders in industries heavily impacted by tropical weather, Bastardi's AccuWeather.com EnergyPro® clients, and leading members of the press.

GOM looks so quiet, peaceful.


Click on picture for larger view.

My goodness, been awhile since I popped in here but figured I would stick a toe in the water early this Atlantic cyclone season and sau hello to all. Hope all are well and those in areas with potential cyclone activity are prepared and safe this season!
Hello, lilfish! I was asking about you the other day! I was wondering when our expert lil bugger spotter was gonna show up! Good to see you back. How are you?
"The warmest waters relative to normal will be in the northern areas of the Atlantic, especially toward the North American continent. This could potentially increase the threat of major landfalls to the U.S. coast."

"In determining areas of elevated potential for landfall, we try to understand where the spread of storm tracks will center - but even within this spread, storms can 'bunch', creating discrete areas of increased risk," Bastardi said. Last season, the spread of the storms shifted southwest with one such bunch in the northern Caribbean. "This year, early indications show that the spread will move north and east with a target closer to the Southeast U.S."

Not criticizing Bastardi; Just making the observation as to how inaccurate, and potentially useless, these early season long term predictions can be...........Interesting to me how he predicted, at this same time last year, a high risk for the Northern Gulf, and now after the fact, he is acknowledging somehow (without acknowledging to any fault per se) that his prediction just "shifted" southwest (a la Felix and Dean)........Guess they have to do some kind of "pre-season" outlook, but, I agree with Dr. M that most of us shuold not pay too much attention to these early outlooks because of the April Predictability Barrier...............

here's an interesting coincidence:
(from above)
"Ryan Maue of Florida State University showed that tropical cyclone activity in 2007 the Northern Hemisphere (Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, Western Pacific, and North Indian Oceans) was at its lowest level since 1977."

from Link
"Here is a short history of PDO phase shifts:

In 1905, PDO switched to a warm phase.
In 1946, PDO switched to a cool phase.
In 1977, PDO switched to a warm phase."