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The global hurricane season of 2007: was it unusual?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 10:22 PM GMT on January 31, 2008

The year 2007 was a fairly normal year for world-wide tropical cyclone activity. The total number of storms world-wide was 84, two less than the average of 86 (Figure 1). The total number of hurricanes was 43, which is six less than the average of 49. Major hurricanes (Category 3 and higher) and extreme hurricanes (Category 4 and higher) were both slightly below average. No records were broken in any ocean basin for number of storms of any particular category, although the South Indian Ocean did tie its record for number of major hurricanes (seven) and the North Indian Ocean tied its record for number of Category 4 and higher storms (two). One of the North Indian storms (Category 5 Cyclone Gonu) was tied for the strongest tropical cyclone ever observed in the North Indian Ocean. Reliable tropical cyclone records for the globe extend back to 1970, the beginning of the satellite era.

Figure 1. Statistics for the global tropical cyclone season of 2007. The three numbers in each box represent the actual number observed in 2007, followed by the averages from the period 1970-2005 (in parentheses), followed by the record (in red).

Only four Category 5 hurricanes were reported globally in 2007: Tropical Cyclone Gonu (160 mph winds), which hit Oman on June 6 as a Category 1 storm; Super Typhoon Sepat (160 mph winds), which hit Taiwan as a Category 4 storm on August 18; Hurricane Felix (165 mph winds), which hit Nicaragua as a Category 5 hurricane on September 4; and Hurricane Dean (175 mph winds, pressure 905 mb), which hit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on August 21 at peak intensity. It is remarkable that half of the globe's Category 5 storms in 2007 occurred in the Atlantic basin, which normally has only about 11% of the globe's tropical cyclones. The globe's strongest tropical cyclone was an Atlantic storm (Dean, 175 mph winds), which is also unusual. I'll have a detailed blog summarizing 2007's notable tropical cyclones next week.

Figure 2. Satellite image of 2007's strongest tropical cyclone at maximum intensity: Hurricane Dean. Post analysis of Dean determined that the storm hit the Yucatan with top sustained winds of 150 knots (175 mph), and a central pressure of 905 mb, the third lowest pressure ever recorded in the Atlantic basin for a landfalling storm. Only the 1935 Labor Day Florida Keys storm (892 mb) and Hurricane Gilbert (900 mb) had lower pressures at landfall.

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

Terrific update as usual Dr. Masters. You bring up some excellent points. I will look forward to the update regarding the notable 2007 tropical cyclones.

Has anyone picked up on a closed surface circulation near 21N and 55W? There is some decent convection associated with it. By no means am I predicting development, but just something to watch.
Glad to see a normal year for a change!
thanks doc
i noted that eariler ccsh it movin ssw as well but just something to watch
Here is what I am discussing regarding the interest area.
img src="Photobucket" width="" height="" alt="" />
Thanks for the update. I would imagine your blog next week about the 2007 season will examine the intensification of some of the Atlantic storms?
The year 2007 was a fairly normal year for world-wide tropical cyclone activity

Unless you consider ACE... far, far below average almost everywhere (~30% in Atlantic and West Pacific, ~65% in East Pacific, second lowest on record, ~55% in Australian region, 2006-2007 season).
Thanks for the worldwide summary Dr. Masters!

Also the graphics on the weather forecast pages have been changed, and I think for the better :D
the low in the atlantic mmmmmmmmmmm
i think this sistem will disappear
The global hurricane season of 2007: was it unusual?

Was it unusual when Earth had one gigantic ocean?
in my opinion it was unusual beacuase it is rare for two cat 5's make landfall in one year. usually you only get a cat 5 hit somewhere like what once every 5-10 years. or if that
I think the ACE vs. number of storms was the most unusual thing about 2007, even moreso than the Cat 5s (also, globally Cat 5 landfalls are more common than once every 5-10 years; two made landfall in 2006, in the Philippines and Australia). Even the East Pacific had a lower ACE than the number of storms alone would suggest, the Indian Ocean was probably above average though.
michael i was mainly talking about the atlnatic season
It is remarkable that half of the globe's Category 5 storms in 2007 occurred in the Atlantic basin, which normally has only about 11% of the globe's tropical cyclones. The globe's strongest tropical cyclone was an Atlantic storm (Dean, 175 mph winds), which is also unusual. I'll have a detailed blog summarizing 2007's notable tropical cyclones next week.

What is most unusual is the ACE index!
You have to have the most powerful storm in some basin. I don't think because the Atlantic basin happened to have half of the globe's Cat 5 storms means anything but just that.
And I already hear you starting Dr. Masters with some Climate Change tie-in here.
Please don't bother with that.
Your blog has already suffered enough due to your climate views already.
What is most unusual is the ACE index!

If you are wondering, I asked Dr. Masters about the low ACE worldwide (not just the Atlantic, and in fact, the Atlantic was actually less unusual in that aspect than some of the other basins), and he will be talking about it next week.
cch, u sure 100% closed?

looking at the channel 2 infrared loop, surface obs and low level winds at CIMSS, I'm not seeing any west winds at the surface to the south of the system. I am seeing a well amplified perturbation (wave) within the NE Trades of some sort. Perhaps a surface trof.

atl.basin track mark 19.9n/58.1w ccc detected
maybe its prime geting ready to run up the spine of the eastern bahamas to over take the current prime over the gulf states as it reaches its peak over lakes tomorrow models did show this now that would be interesting
Good evening!

Just read through the Dean TCR and i disagree with the 150kt winds at landfall i think it was more like 140kts atleast thats the way i see it.

Eyewall replacement may have a thing or two to say about that.

The lastest quikscat pass just became available....no llcc as of yet.
5. cchsweatherman 10:39 PM GMT on January 31, 2008 Hide this comment.
Here is what I am discussing regarding the interest area.

Well if it were to form, Hurricane Season would Unofficaly start in February.
Nothing will come about from that area...Maybe in a few months.
Good evening!

It's quite chilly here tonight (In Barbados), that Frontal Boundary to our NE, has been bringing some cold air with it.
That area in the Atlantic (19.9n, 58.1w), probadly has to much dry air to contend with.

storm77, i second that, very chilly.
W456, It's about 23C about now, the people up north would say this is warm weather, LOL

imagine if u had to deal with the cold front that passed across the leewards tuesday night-wednesday morning.
Yes W456, And a nice refreshing breeze, coming out of the East. Nice talking with you W456 (Let's see what that interesting area, does tomorrow).

See y'all later!
By the way, Check out my Hurricane contest that is coming soon, see here.
Good night all!
I really shouldn't be in here right now; I have to be up at 4 a. m. . . .

Anyhoo . . .

7. MichaelSTL 5:54 PM EST on January 31, 2008
The year 2007 was a fairly normal year for world-wide tropical cyclone activity

Unless you consider ACE... far, far below average almost everywhere (~30% in Atlantic and West Pacific, ~65% in East Pacific, second lowest on record, ~55% in Australian region, 2006-2007 season).

STL, do you think there is a correlation between the low ACE and the La Niña? If not, to what would u attribute the low ACE? I'm talking worldwide, not just ATL.
On the Artic ice issue, what I find of much greater interest than the "historically impassable NW Passage" is the really open space on the SIBERIAN side of the Artic. There, unlike on the Canadian side, have been very limited reports of ships passing along the north side of the Eurasian land mass, principally, I am assuming, because it takes so long to get from one end to the next. Is anyone undertaking a "NorthEast" Passage transversing?

When you look at the statistics every which way but straight, you'll find something unusual every year.
630 AM EST FRI FEB 1 2008


Good morning all! Here is just the latest IR satellite image of the interest area I discussed last night.
img src="Photobucket" width="" height="" alt="" />
I just wanted to announce that I now have a blog on my website. My first blog dealt with the rise of my obsession with weather. Anyone can comment on my blogs. Please visit it and let me know what you all think. Thanks.
Snowstorm Blankets Midwest, Heads East

Feb 1, 7:37 AM (ET)

CHICAGO (AP) - A huge storm that stretched from Texas to the Great Lakes blanketed the nation's midsection with snow, tying up air travel and making roads treacherous, and headed for the Northeast on Friday.

Five inches of snow was reported at Chicago's Midway Airport by early Friday and more was expected to begin around rush hour. More than 600 flights were canceled Thursday at O'Hare International Airport, where low visibility continued to be a problem Friday, officials said.

Between eight to 12 inches of snow was forecast for the Chicago area by Friday afternoon.

"It looks like this morning's rush hour is going to be really impacted," National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Merzlock said. "With what's going to be coming down at the rate it'll be coming down, all the roads are going to be snow packed and snow covered."

Elsewhere, Indianapolis received less than 2 inches of snow overnight, despite predictions for much more. But the National Weather Service said northern Indiana could get up to a foot of snow. Fort Wayne had received 4 inches by early Friday.

Hundreds of schools in Michigan canceled class Friday in anticipation of the storm, which was expected to drop as many as 13 inches of snow in the southeastern portion of the state. Up to 4 inches had fallen by early Friday.

Billowing snow in the Texas Panhandle caused a 40-car pileup on Interstate 40 on Thursday that killed at least person. Three other deaths were blamed on the storm, two in Texas and one in Oklahoma.

The storm pounded areas of the Midwest still rebounding from storms earlier in the week that spawned a mix of snow, brutal cold, tornadoes and hail.

The system was expected to move into the Northeast later Friday, bringing with it a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

Severe weather wasn't expected to let up anytime soon in Idaho, which has been besieged by snow in recent days.

National Weather Service meteorologist John Livingston said a snowstorm was expected to blow through on Saturday and Sunday, with cold predicted to stretch at least through the middle of next week.

Officials in Kootenai County in northern Idaho declared a state of emergency Thursday as roofs collapsed, roads became impassable and senior citizens were stranded because of the repeated snowstorms.

"You can only stack the snow so high, and we're running out of places to put it," said Rick Carrie, county commissioner.

Good morning,interesting day along the east and northeast coasts through tonight,we are in a very unwinterlike pattern,looking at the weather headlines around the world,a lot of extreme weather everywhere.
StormW, I know its still very in the game, but do you have any thoughts about the upcoming hurricane season?
Snow, cold, in Saudi Arabia: “worst in 30 years”

According to wire reports, temperatures reached their lowest point in 30 years, reaching to -2°C in the capital, Riyadh, and to -6°C in mountainous regions blanketed by snow. At least 10 people have died in the country as a weather system driven South from Siberia sent temperatures plummeting. Below are some pictures of snow from that region.


had to laugh at the photo above and the caption: “Saudi Arabians are used to getting stuck in the sand, but snow is a new challenge for many.” It almosts seems Pythonesque.

Meanwhile, many roads were flooded by heavy rains in the nearby country of Dubai, which attracts sun-hungry tourists with its year-round blue skies. Roofs in some luxury hotels and office blocks were leaking water and several schools asked parents to keep their children home on Wednesday. It’s hard to imagine getting a “rain day” in the middle east.

While I’m enjoying pointing out these uncommon phenomena, I’d also point out that even though both the northern and southern hemispheres have both seen some record cold events in the past 6 months, that doesn’t necessarily equate to “climate change”. Still, something seems afoot as we are seeing more and more events like this. Maybe the massive La Niña now stretching across the Pacific ocean has something to do with this.

44. JFV 10:06 AM EST on February 01, 2008
Good Friday morning all!!! Hey are you familiar with SGA?
45. JFV 10:11 AM EST on February 01, 2008
My previously asked question was directed towards you weatherman.

Hey JFV! Long time since I've heard from you. To answer your question, I am familiar with the SGA, but I'm not a member of it. I don't have the time for it, but if I did, I would. BTW I still haven't gotten a response regarding my question a few weeks ago. Could you send me a response? Thanks.

Taking a look at visible imagery from the "interest area" I discussed last night, it looks like a surface circulation, albeit rather elongated, may be attempting to form.
img src="Photobucket" width="" height="" alt="" />
I forgot to tell you JFV that I had taken my original website down since I had a few complications, but now I have a new and improved site at the same address. I will need you to re-register as a member, but this time, if you go to my home page, their is a small screen where you just type your name and email address and you will become a member again. I now have a blog on my website and a national weather page. Soon, I will be creating a Weather Glossary and lessons on basic meteorology on my site so that all can understand.

I apologize if I came off as a bit rude with my question and I understand. I'm in the same situation, alhtough I have today off and have caught up on all my assignments and studying.
Haven't heard anything. Are you part of SGA, by any chance? What collge do you attend?
I tried to post this in the Atlantis Space Shuttle Blog, but didn't get a responce so I will try it here.

NASA is looking for a launch of Atlantis on February 7, 2008 at 2:47 PM. Has anyone had time to give forcast for the weather at Kennedy Space Center and the emergency landing strips in Morón, Spain; Zaragoza, Spain and Istres, France for February 7 at 2 PM?
41. NEwxguy 2:05 PM GMT on February 01, 2008
Good morning,interesting day along the east and northeast coasts through tonight,we are in a very unwinterlike pattern

snow, ice, frigid temps = unwinter like? lol seriously.. come on now..
42. Smyrick145 9:33 AM EST on February 01, 2008
StormW, I know its still very in the game, but do you have any thoughts about the upcoming hurricane season?

We'll i can try to give you an idea....

As we now enter the month of feb the overall stituation as far as the tropical atlantic in 2008 still remains unclear with many questions the first thing that comes to mind is how many systems might develope and as of now iam expecting a pretty normal season number wise with numbers at 12 systems with 6-7 becoming hurricanes with 3-4 possible majors.A stronger pre-season nina has often never produced a high activity storm season which brings to mind it ONLY TAKES ONE so dont focus on numbers in any given season.The outlooks from CSU as of now are calling for 13/7/3 and TSR with 15/8/4.

The lastest NCEP 6 month sea surface temp forcast is calling for slighty above normal oceans temps in the gulf and parts of the african coast with cooler then normal waters in the central tropical atlantic.

I think its important to note that these are just predictions and no one can tell you with 100 accuracy whats really going to take place as the environment is constantly changeing and
many features that drive and help a tropical cyclone flurish are hard to predict to weeks out in advance.My best advice is be prepared come june 1 and mother nature will take care of the rest.

PS!My current feel about the overall season is not one of high numbers but one with stronger hurricanes.

I just finished analyzing the visible imagery of the interest area that I discussed last night and have found a broad surface circulation. QuikSCAT indicates some 30kt. plus winds, but had yet to show a closed circulation. I will continue to watch this area. Here is the latest visible image with possible broad surface circulation indicated. I would like to get some thoughts on this. I must reiterate that I am not expecting development, but I will watch it for signs of development.
img src="Photobucket" width="" height="" alt="" />
54. CajunSubbie 4:01 PM GMT on February 01, 2008
41. NEwxguy 2:05 PM GMT on February 01, 2008
Good morning,interesting day along the east and northeast coasts through tonight,we are in a very unwinterlike pattern

snow, ice, frigid temps = unwinter like? lol seriously.. come on now..

I should have been more specific,I was referring to New England,very wintery for December and Janurary has been above normal with little snow and above normal for the first week in February.
Thanks for your input Hurricane 23.
It appears that the broad circulation I had mentioned about half an hour ago has become much better defined in visible imagery with a slight increase in convection.
img src="Photobucket" width="" height="" alt="" />
60. JRRP
un apagon mundial por 5 minutos mmmmmm
cuando seria eso
CC, haven't seen u in a bit how you doin?
With this La Nina, I wouldn't rule anything out. I just jokingly said the other day that if it gets any warmer here, it may trigger a winter hurricane season. Better stop with the jokes.
61. Ivansrvivr 1:28 PM EST on February 01, 2008
CC, haven't seen u in a bit how you doin?

I've been doing great man. Nice to hear from you again. How's everything been with you? Get affected by the storms yesterday or did they miss you? I've created a much improved website at the same address as my old one at Link if you want to check it out and leave a comment.

Well, I'm glad to hear from you man.

Another note, taking a look at the latest visible imagery of the interest area, it seems like the system has begun to fall apart as convection has begun to die and shear has begun to take firm hold. There still is a broad low to mid level circulation in the area.
We got creamed last week in the boynton flood, 3 inches. had storms next afternoon, not much since.
I heard that Boynton Beach received 10 inches within a three hour span one evening last week as an easterly sea breeze and a westerly sea breeze converged right over your area. Hope there wasn't any damage there.
Interesting p3 water restrictions posted.
Thing is the cities aren't going to enforce them. My father is civil engineer, has designed much of the drainage, water plants etc for municipalities from broward to brevard. The mayors, city councils know that our water isn't from L.O., the farmers(lobby money) wanted these restrictions. they are dependent on the lake first. Municipalites are very unhappy about this and are refusing to enforce it. Have you heard about 1 ticket yet???
It was actually Northeasterly/southeasterly at surface with strong low level swjet(5000ft). I was able to see it from the ground up.
Hello again folks! As you probably notice i only come out to chat when there is something tropical going on or an area with potential. I also have noticed that area in the Atlantic with what appears as a broad mid-level circulation. I think it requires some watching and we may possibly get an investigative area out of it. So i will be keeping my eye on it as well and i will post an summary on it on my website tonight. If convection continues to fire with it then we will likely see a invest soon. Something to watch!
CaneAddict, what is your website? I would like to check it out. You can check mine out also. There is a link to it in Comment 63.
FreeWebs.com/JapWeather but it is still being built since about a week ago i had to redo it.
Good afternoon to all
I had no idea it was there, was cruising thru the blogs ahd checked out Dr. Masters and there she is. Looks like it has potential. I'd LOVE to see go south of cuba, then Fl woud get alot of rain.
Looks like we will continue with La Nina conditions for the forseeable future

While I’m enjoying pointing out these uncommon phenomena, I’d also point out that even though both the northern and southern hemispheres have both seen some record cold events in the past 6 months, that doesn’t necessarily equate to “climate change”. Still, something seems afoot as we are seeing more and more events like this. Maybe the massive La Niña now stretching across the Pacific ocean has something to do with this.

I think that is likely; it is even bigger in area than the record 1988 La Nina, and that one also peaked in December, the current one is STILL strengthening - only one other La Nina peaked this late and wasn't anywhere near as strong (-2.2 Nino 3.4 last update):

I also think there is a good chance that it will remain thoughout the year with some weakening and strengthen again next fall, like 1998-2000 (the 1988 La Nina slowly declined to neutral by the end of 1989).
STL, when this La Nina started,no one expected this strength and the long duration.
Good evening 456. Could you comment on the area of interest near the Virgin Islands? I have been watching it all day and I have seen what appears to be a broad circulation in the lower-to-mid levels of the atmosphere with some modest convection encircling it to the east. Seems like it is embedded in an upper-level trough since shear maps indicate that shear has dropped off quite dramatically over the area. I'm not expecting development, but could it entirely be possible that we may see an invest? RAMSDIS has a floater over the disturbance. Thanks.
Hi CC, Michael, everyone! Michael I thought the prediction for the decrease in La Nina was April to May of 2008? CC, I agree that convection looks to be flaring up a little on that area of interest.

I hope everyone is warm and cozy. I'm heading out to shovel a few inches of snow. Normally I love the snow, but we are above average this year with new snowfall every 2 days or so. I get some good exercise thought! :o)
How's our favorite mother of seven doing? Haven't heard from you in a while. Just keeping an eye on the little disturbance out in the CATL. RAMSDIS has a floater up on it.
Are you all ready for ground hog day tomorrow? I am I hope winter is over. It's been very cold this year. I already booked marked the page so I can watch it in the morning by 7:30 am we will know. If he says 6 more weeks I am going up the to shot him. LOL
CCH, I have been wathcing the system throughout the day too. One thing i notice is the circulation is closing off. Some reports out of the islands during the day were from 300 to 360 degrees indicating some northwest/north winds. Also Low level winds at CIMSS showed the circulation becoming define but not totally closed off yet as seen on RGB imagery. This is subtropical in nature with an upper level circulation at 200 hpa and a flat thermal enviroment at 100 hpa. I dont expect much of this in the next 24-48 hrs. Beyond 48 hrs the NAVY NOGAPS showed the system entering the caribbean encountering favorable upper level winds in assciation with an upper ridge but no development...wierd?...not totally...other factors must be considered.
Thanks for confirming what I have been watching all day long 456. We may have something interesting afoot, but it is too soon to tell. Here are the facts that I have been able to derive.
1. Shear has been steadily decreasing throughout the day over the system.
2. A broad -what now appears to be surface- circulation has developed and west winds are easily visible on satellite imgaery.
3. There has been some increasing convection around the SE quadrant of the circulation that had not been present during the morning and early afternoon hours.
4. It is heading into the Caribbean where surface water temps remain favorable for tropical/subtropical development.
5. There is a massive abundance of dry air in the Caribbean, quite possibly the limiting factor for development shown by the NOGAPS model.

All in all, we will need to keep watching this area just in case it tries to pull a surprise out of its hat.

Do you all agree with my assessments?
I haven't been on in a while but in reference to last years activity - about a month ago one of the new organizations did a story on the 2007 saying that 6 of the storms probably should not have been categorized with names. I believe Dr. Sheets commented and agreed.

I'd like to hear the opinion of a few of you.
456, where would you place the center for this system?
saying that 6 of the storms probably should not have been categorized with names

IMO, they should have been named - after all, you could say the same thing about some of the storms in 2005, as well as just about any other year (some of which were even weaker and shorter-lived and less of a threat than the storms in question). The only storms that shouldn't of been classified are the depressions that fail to develop (and are not forecast to do so) and are in the middle of the Atlantic, like TD 15 last year; if they are near land, then that is different for obvious reasons (recall Humberto - although that was forecast to strengthen into a storm). In addition, there are plenty of examples of such storms in other basins (especially last year; for example, the West Pacific had several storms that lasted for only a day, so it isn't surprising that it had a ACE index 30% below normal - despite also having 8 major hurricnae strength typhoons, the first time that ever happened with such a low ACE index; the Australia region was even worse - near average activity but 3 intense storms and an ACE index 55% below average).
Good evening!

84. cchsweatherman 6:22 PM AST on February 01, 2008

456, where would you place the center for this system?

I'm not W456, but I would place the ''center'' roughly around 17N, 57W... JMO...
58W-17.0N....the storm is on the same lat as my Island - St. Kitts
83. clwstmchasr 10:19 PM GMT on February 01, 2008
6 of the storms probably should not have been categorized with names. I believe Dr. Sheets commented and agreed.

It's a gray area.

It's great that technology has advanced to the point that we can pretty much now qualify a systems 5 minutes of glory, or 15 minutes, etc

Where I do not like it is comparing it to historical records, when we did not have that technology, or even historical records where if a ship did not literally run into one, no one would have even know it was there.

Saying we had X amount of systems in 2007, comparing that to historical records, to try and establish a trend to prove an agenda,

is a crock.

Being in Palm Beach county Florida, my concerns are during hurricane season.I guess that is being selfish, as there is bad weather 12 months a year. I thought I would sign in and post so I wouldn't forget my password.LOL
The weather is beautiful here.Low 80's. But I keep asking myself "Is it worth it". I have been through 3 hurricane in the last 4 years. The beautiful weather makes one forget how terrible it is during a hurricane. I know cold weather. I grew up in Ohio, and my ex was stationed at Eielson AFB Alaska many years ago. I spent 1 1/2 years up there. I saw temps as low as minus 60. I guess I am looking for a happy medium. No hurricanes, and no freezing weather
Nov. 29, 2007, 2:28PM

Decisions to name storms draw concern
As season ends, some say center rushes to classify, which costs you

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

With another hurricane season set to end this Friday, a controversy is brewing over decisions of the National Hurricane Center to designate several borderline systems as tropical storms.

Some meteorologists, including former hurricane center director Neil Frank, say as many as six of this year's 14 named tropical systems might have failed in earlier decades to earn "named storm" status.

"They seem to be naming storms a lot more than they used to," said Frank, who directed the hurricane center from 1974 to 1987 and is now chief meteorologist for KHOU-TV. "This year, I would put at least four storms in a very questionable category, and maybe even six."

Most of the storms in question briefly had tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 mph. But their central pressure — another measure of intensity — suggested they actually remained depressions or were non-tropical systems.

Any inconsistencies in the naming of tropical storms and hurricanes have significance far beyond semantics.

The number of a season's named storms forms the foundation of historical records used to determine trends in hurricane activity. Insurance companies use these trends to set homeowners' rates. And such information is vital to scientists trying to determine whether global warming has had a measurable impact on hurricane activity.

Forecasters at the hurricane center deny there's any inconsistency in the practice of naming tropical storms.

"For at least the last two decades, I am certain most, if not all, the storms named this year would have also been named," said Bill Read, deputy director of the Miami-based center.

What everyone agrees has changed is the ability of meteorologists to more accurately analyze tropical systems, thanks to an increased number of reconnaissance flights with sophisticated tools and the presence of more satellites to monitor storms from above.

Scientists generally agree that prior to the late 1970s and widespread satellite coverage, hurricane watchers annually missed one to three tropical storms that developed far from land or were short-lived.

But this season's large number of minimal tropical storms whose winds exceeded 39 mph for only a short period has ignited a separate debate: whether even more modern technology and a change in philosophy has artificially inflated the number of storms in recent years.

Also, as far as naming goes, PAGASA (Philippines) actually gives names to tropical depressions. Imagine if the NHC started doing that...
Here is the latest IR satellite image of the interest area that I've been monitoring all day. I'm waiting for the latest shear and vorticity maps to be publsihed so that I can do further analysis of this area.
Anyone on right now?
92. cchsweatherman 7:05 PM AST on February 01, 2008

u know u can estimate vorticty from satellite imagery and surface obs. and wind shear can be estimated using wv imagery.....lets say the CIMSS site broke down one for month in August 08 (God forbid). Not wishing it....but it would be an advantage if it does occur.
I know that 456, but I just like to have support for my data. Wind shear at this time continues to decrease throughout the Caribbean and over the system, but there is a narrow region of increasing shear between the system and the Caribbean. As 456 had made mention to eariler, there is now an apparent upper-ridge developing in the Caribbean. I must agree with 456 that there is not a closed circulation as of yet, but the circulation developing continues to become better defined and may become closed if it encounters some lower shear overnight. Convection is not all that impressive with only some isolated areas of moderate-to-heavy convection to the south. I do not expect development, if any, until it enters the Caribbean where it will be under the influence of the aforementioned upper level ridge. I state if any since there is some deep, abundant dry air encompassing nearly the entire Caribbean. It will have to contend with this dry air in order to see any development. The bottomline is that it just bares watching, although it remains highly unlikely anything will develop.
cch, cool.....looks like its going to be wet the latter part of this weekend for me.
100. JRRP
what is the route off this sistem
i highly doubt that that thing is going to turn into any in feburary
January highlights at my blog. I gave my opinion on this recent winter and the U.S./China Economy.
Feb 1, 2008 6:29 pm US/Central

Massive Snowstorm Brings Nearly A Foot
This Is The Fourth Snowiest Winter In 25 Years
CHICAGO (CBS) ― The Chicago area is digging out from a snowstorm that has dumped nearly a foot in some areas, and given a lot of people a good excuse for being late for work.

The snow that began on Thursday afternoon had begun to subside by 11 a.m., but not before dumping 7.4 inches of snow at O'Hare International Airport. At CBS 2, 8.5 inches of snow fell. In Berwyn, there were 10.2 inches, in Elburn 11 inches.

As CBS 2's Rafael Romo reports, it took some commuters three times as long as normal to get downtown from the neighborhoods or the suburbs Friday morning. The Kennedy Expressway looked like a frozen parking lot, and patience was running out.

"Terrible – a lot of delays, a lot of accidents; it was very bad," said Jesus Ruiz of Chicago. "It took us a few hours we got stuck in snow like five times. It's not a pretty good sight."

Nearly a foot of snow covered streets, sidewalks and steps.

"When I walked out of the back door of the house, I had to dig my way out. This is the kind of snow that gets kinda heavy. I'm trying to take it easy," said homeowner Michael Washington.

"I think it's part of being in Chicago, being a Chicagoan," said one woman. "We grew up here, and anybody who's grown up in Chicago knows what you have to do."

Larry Alofs is clearing space for his cars, but in his case, he's digging out his driveway.

"It's difficult having a sloping driveway like this," he said. "Four wheel drive can come up, but two wheel drive makes it pretty tough."

Tough can also define clearing a path in the alley to get your car out of your garage or struggling down snow covered sidewalks. Some just gave up and took to the streets.

"There's not too many people shoveling yet, so it's kinda bad getting through," said Bridgeport resident Tom O'Sullivan.

At some points, the snow was falling at a rate of an inch an hour, making it difficult for snow plow drivers to do their job in the middle of heavy traffic.

"It doesn't look too promising," said Mark Hoger of Chicago. "We came from downtown and didn't see a plow at all – the whole time we were downtown. I'm not looking forward to getting on the ramp here. I think it's going to be bad."

The slushy mix of snow and ice was making some cars spin out of control, and there were numerous fender benders.

"It took me an hour and a half to get my daughter to school today," said Ana Ruiz, who said the same trip usually takes only 15 minutes.

The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation has its full fleet of 273 snow fighting trucks on the roads. They have been clearing the snow since Thursday night, when the winter storm started, and continued all night long.

"This is a major snow event," said department Commissioner Michael Picardi. "We will continue to work the main streets of Chicago, so all the main arterials, all the CTA routes; all of those are our priority right now."

The snowstorm made driving difficult for everyone. CBS 2 Northwest Indiana Bureau Chief Pamela Jones experienced its perils personally.

She was headed east on Interstate 80-94 near Burr Street Friday morning when something blew out a tire on her personal car. It's possible something else about 10 miles east also blew out a tire on CBS 2's live truck, leaving Jones and photographer Mark Losiniecki stranded like many other drivers.

Snow continued to pile up in Northwest Indiana as of 11 a.m., with some areas already seeing nearly 8 inches.

The snowstorms also caused mountains of trouble at the airports. Delays averaged 45 to 60 minutes at O'Hare at 1:30 a.m. for both arriving and departing flights, and 500 cancellations had been reported, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.

Delays of 30 to 90 minutes were seen at Midway International Airport, and about 40 flights had been canceled, the department said.

Schedules are expected to return to normal later in the day as the snow subsides.

The snow wasn't a nuisance and burden for everyone. Schools were closed in many places, including Naperville, where many kids took the opportunity for sledding on Rotary Hill

"I think it's going to be a really fun day – one, because my friends are over, and two – because it's a snow day," said elementary schooler Madison Smith.

And some small business owners count on the snow to add a little more cash in their wallets.

Shane McKinney of Northwest Indiana Mowing Service, Inc. has two tons of salt, a blade on the front of his truck and a snowblower with extra fuel. He was gassing up Friday in Portage for a full day of earning pay for plowing.

"Non-stop, as quick as we plow, you can't even tell we plowed a lot 10 minutes later, you know," McKinney said. "So, it's been pretty bad."

Other crews were still hitting the pavement into the evening in Merrillville.

The parking lot at Century Mall takes a colossal crew with mammoth machines. The crew working there says it took them more than 12 hours to create about 10 piles 12 feet high. But the job is lucrative enough to help them winter well, budget-wise.

"This is what gets me through the winter," said Plow driver Mike Grundell. "I run heavy equipment. But the ground's froze. We're not doing any excavating right now, so this is what keeps me alive."

The men say they live for days like this and very happy to be working somewhere at least two days a week over the past month or so. The crews said this snow is the lighter variety, and much easier to move.

And although they do make money, it's expensive to be up and running this long. One driver told us it takes at least $150 to keep the gas tank of his pickup full for 12 hours.

This winter has been especially snowy. This is the 25th snowfall of the season, and it has been the fourth snowiest winter in the past quarter century.
"A decade ago, Chicago winters meant monumental ice hillocks and caves forming along the lakeshore, skirted by interlocking ice sheets like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
Today, it is rare to see more than a thin frozen shelf or a few small ice floes sloshing in Lake Michigan below the city's skyline.
Decreased ice cover on the Great Lakes, probably caused by increasing air and water temperatures and high winds, is a major culprit in lowering water levels,"
by way of evaporation
That evaporation of what was previously frozen-over water plus cold winds leads to lake-effect snowfall on the leeward side of the GreatLakes.
I would like to throw an interesting twist to weather forcasting today. In the west the experts say western states are still suffering from a drought, here is the map http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/drought_monitor.pdf

I have read the weather history for the month of january for Neveda, looked into the models for the next month, the west is getting more moisture now than the've had in the last 10 years. Lake Powell and Mead are at their lowest points in recent history, but the storms are freight training thourgh the west. The State of Washington is under a state of emergency with all the snow the've had. California is getting the storms too, and there not ending soon, El-nina is strong and this pattern is going to continue for the next two to three weeks. I posted in here just to get some comments on this subject.
Good Morning. Nice weather here in Trinidad and Tobago, with a brisk breeze out of the South-West all day long yesterday. Not usual at all. Pulled some moist warm air from the Venezuelan mainland, which made last nights minimum temp go up to 24c instead of the 20c we have been having. Chilly man. Looking at the sat. loops, there is a strong jetstream blowing northeast and creating a large counter clockwise flow over the area, pushing the area of ITCZ convection that is in the central tropical Atlantic back toward north Africa.
It is Carnival here, and the place is buzzing until Ash Wednesday morning. I will try to stay out of trouble till then............
20 C is 68 F if you didnt know.
pottery, enjoy ur carnival. I here T and T has the best carnival in the region.