I'm just a 21 year old weather graphic geek. Most of you know Max.
By: trHUrrIXC5MMX , 3:40 PM GMT on March 12, 2013
Although there are still 80 days to the official start of the aforementioned busy season, we are already giving out forecasts as to how many storm, the weather setup in upper levels, possible negative effects...etc.
"It only takes ONE STORM to make the season be memorable..."
e.g. Hurricane Andrew 1992.
In an earlier blog I gave out the range of my forecast numbers, this time I have a more narrowed-down forecast
Figure 1: My forecast compared to TSR and the average for the past three years.
18-20 named storms, this season is expected to follow suit as the last three, it's not out of the question 2013 could stand with those of 2012, 2011, 2010, 1995 and 1887.
I include 20 as the potential high end, based on history of these 3.
These continuous-record seasons began in 2010 after the tropics 'cooled down' activity in 2009. These last three seasons, 1995 and 1887 are the second most active ones only behind the destructive and all-time record breaking 2005.
The reasons as to why 2009 did not continue this trend after the active 2008 were the following;
-El Nino came around in the Pacific, warming up temperatures and creating above normal wind shear in the Atlantic, all the shear created form thunderstorms there moved into the Atlantic as paper shredders.
-High Wind Shear, as described above, in order for any tropical cyclone to develop and strengthen it needs to rise further into the atmosphere, if there is wind shear (some very thing/cold clouds that look like knives) they would cut through the storm therefore limiting it's intensity until the area becomes clear for re-intensification.
Shear is a killer, they can completely annihilate any potential developing storm, look at the example below...
Figure 2: Deadly strong wind shear was 2006 Chris fate. Before this happened overnight, hurricane watches were up for the Bahamas already. It was becoming a major concern for Florida, this storm could also have ended in the Gulf of Mexico, can't think how it would have been if the conditions are favorable.
Just like in the 2009 season, 2006 faced similar conditions.
- Dry air was another factor in 2009, much more than average dry air aloft was coming of the Saharan Desert in Africa and at higher rates/frequency. The MDR is the breeding place for the 60% of all tropical cyclones and 85% of all hurricanes. Not the case that year, for the early season.
Dry air acts as a 'relaxants', not letting instability take place in the atmosphere needed for tropical cyclone genesis and intensification.
-Timing, timing is also a critical component, it was for many storms in 2009. Some of the potential storms developing formed close to land, weakening after landfall, others formed and did not last long until wind shear took it's toll on them. Eg. Ana, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred and Henri.
The first named storm, Ana, ended up forming in August! By that time "normally" hurricanes are spinning up and we should be somewhat far into the list.
Figure 3: Hurricane Season 2009 storm tracks.
Nonetheless, Hurricane Bill was a dangerous one that year, so was Ida in Central America.
Out of those four factors above, (potentially some others not discussed) many are not expected to be in place this season, or have minimal impacts.
Since we remain in a 'neutral time' as for the Pacific water temperatures, meaning no in depth into La Nina or El Nino to have any major impacts. With this said Neutral and La Nina conditions are optimal for an above average forecast. No much of wind shear is expected, if any, to be short lived.
Dry air could be a problem, however, it was strongly present las year. Most of the storms formed away or slid away spinning into cyclones from the Main Development Region (MDR). That does not mean much, above average season it could still be as proved last year.
Im still learning from this big topic, I might fall short in some fields within the topic, there is still lots of information I ignore. Ameliorating in a daily basis is vital and it's what makes us expand out knowledge.
From another point of view...
As we near the next hurricane season, which is being aforementioned as another active.busy one, we have to start thinking about where we left that "hurricane emergency kit" or the "evacuation plan" if needed. From Brownsville,TX to Key West, FL to Eastport, ME and all interior states within range all live in a hurricane risk area. We can;t just forget really about hurricanes even if we are in the winter, we don't know if a hurricane could come during a season and change someone's life forever.
We are soon entering spring (March 20), later this month through May is the time for tornado outbreaks which are another more immediate concern.
We all can help reduce the weather related deaths when it comes to both of this killers by just being aware and handing over information.
For example, if tornado watches are issued in a certain region, we know for sure that a tornado could strike anywhere within it, that's why watches are issued in a larger area in the first place. Common sense.
For hurricane alerts, we must be monitoring the situation, for a reason those alerts are up as well as warnings. Please stay informed and aware, if you don't trust what anyone else say to you, find out yourself and dray wise conclusions especially if there is a potential for evacuation.
Let all of us enjoy a great hurricane season, after the nail-biting tornadoes of course!
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.