CSU predicts highly active hurricane season; Cyclone Phet approaching Oman

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 14:00 GMT le 03 juin 2010

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A very active Atlantic hurricane season is on tap for 2010, according to the seasonal hurricane forecast issued June 2 by Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University (CSU). The CSU team is calling for 18 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes, and an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) 185% of average. Between 1950 - 2000, the average season had 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. But since 1995, the beginning of an active hurricane period in the Atlantic, we've averaged 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes per year. The new forecast is a step up from their April forecast, which called for 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes. The new forecast calls for a much above-average chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S., both along the East Coast (51% chance, 31% chance is average) and the Gulf Coast (50% chance, 30% chance is average). The risk of a major hurricane in the Caribbean is also high, at 65% (42% is average.) This is the most aggressive early June forecast ever issued by the CSU group; the previous most aggressive such forecasts were for the 2006 and 2007 seasons, when the CSU team predicted 17 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes. Both of these forecasts did poorly, particularly the 2006 forecast, as only 10 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes were observed.

The forecasters cited four main reasons for an active season:

1) Weak La Niña conditions should develop by the most active portion of this year's hurricane season (August-October). The expected trend towards weak La Niña conditions should lead to reduced levels of vertical wind shear compared with what was witnessed in 2009.

2) Current SST anomalies are running at near-record warm levels. These very warm waters are associated with dynamic and thermodynamic factors that are very conducive for an active Atlantic hurricane season.

3) A weaker-than-normal Azores High prevailed during April-May. Weaker high pressure typically results in weaker trade winds that are commonly associated with more active hurricane seasons.

4) We are in the midst of a multi-decadal era of major hurricane activity, which began in 1995. Major hurricanes cause 80-85 percent of normalized hurricane damage.

Analogue years
The CSU team picked four previous years when atmospheric and oceanic conditions were similar to what we are seeing this year: weak El Niño to neutral conditions, well above-average tropical Atlantic SSTs, and above-average far North Atlantic SSTs during April - May. Those four years were 2005, the worst hurricane season of all time; 1969, the 3rd worst hurricane season of all time, featuring Category 5 Hurricane Camille which hit Mississippi; 1966, a relatively average year that featured Category 4 Inez that killed 1,000 people in Haiti; and 1958, a severe season with 5 major hurricanes. The mean activity for these five years was 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes, almost the same as the 2009 CSU forecast.

How accurate are the June forecasts?
The June forecasts by the CSU team over the past 12 years have had a skill 19% - 30% higher than a "no-skill" climatology forecast for number of named storms, number of hurricanes, and the ACE index (Figure 1). This is a decent amount of skill for a seasonal forecast, and these June forecasts can be useful to businesses such as the insurance industry and oil and gas industry that need to make bets on how active the coming hurricane season will be. Unfortunately, the CSU June 1 forecasts do poorly at forecasting the number of major hurricanes (only 3% skill), and major hurricanes are what do 80 - 85% of all hurricane damage (normalized to current population and wealth levels.) This year's June forecast uses the same formula as the past two years, which did quite well predicting the 2008 hurricane season (prediction: 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 4 intense hurricanes; observed: 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 5 intense hurricanes) and 2009 hurricane season (prediction: 11 named storms, 5 hurricanes, 2 intense hurricanes; observed: 9 named storms, 3 hurricanes, 2 intense hurricanes.) An Excel spreadsheet of their forecast skill (expressed as a mathematical correlation coefficient) show values from 0.44 to 0.58 for their June forecasts, which is respectable.


Figure 1. Comparison of the percent improvement over climatology for May and August seasonal hurricane forecasts for the Atlantic from NOAA, CSU and TSR from 1999-2009 (May) and 1998-2009 (August), using the Mean Squared Error. The British firm Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) will issue their outlook for the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season on June 4. Image credit: Verification of 12 years of NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts, National Hurricane Center.

NOAA's 2010 hurricane season forecast
NOAA issued their forecast for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season last week. As I discussed in my post on their forecast, NOAA is calling for very active and possibly hyperactive season. They give an 85% chance of an above-normal season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season, and just a 5% chance of a below-normal season. NOAA predicts a 70% chance that there will be 14 - 23 named storms, 8 - 14 hurricanes, and 3 - 7 major hurricanes, with an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) in the 155% - 270% of normal range. If we take the midpoint of these numbers, NOAA is calling for 18.5 named storms, 11 hurricanes, 5 major hurricanes, and an ACE index 210% of normal. A season with an ACE index over 175% is considered "hyperactive."


Figure 2. Visible satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Phet on Thursday, June 3, 2010.

Tropical Cyclone Phet the 2nd strongest Arabian Sea storm on record
Record heat over southern Asia in May has helped heat up the Arabian Sea to 2°C above normal, and the exceptionally warm SSTs helped fuel Tropical Cyclone Phet into the second strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Arabian Sea. Phet peaked at Category 4 strength with 145 mph winds yesterday, and has weakened slightly to 135 mph winds this morning. Only Category 5 Cyclone Gonu of 2007, which devastated Oman, was a stronger Arabian Sea cyclone.

Phet is over very warm waters of 30 - 31°C, and is under moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots. However, the storm is wrapping in dry air from the Arabian Peninsula, which has caused weakening. Visible satellite imagery from this morning (Figure 2) shows that the heavy thunderstorms on the north side of Phet have been eroded away by dry air. Phet is a small storm, and could fall apart fairly quickly if dry air can penetrate into its core. This should happen later today, since wind shear is on the increase, and the shearing winds should be able to disrupt the circulation enough that dry air can force its way into Phet's eyewall. Phet is fairly small, will miss the most heavily populated areas of Oman, and will likely undergo significant weakening before landfall, so the storm is unlikely to cause the kind of catastrophic flooding that Category 5 Cyclone Gonu of 2007 brought to Oman. Gonu killed 50 people and did $4.2 billion in damage. Phet's heaviest rains will be confined to a relatively sparsely populated region of Oman's coast. Rainfall amounts in excess of 6 inches in 18 hours (Figure 3) can be expected along Oman's coast today, which will likely cause extreme flooding.

After Phet's encounter with Oman, the storm will probably be at tropical storm strength when it makes its second landfall in Pakistan. Heavy rains from Phet will be the major danger for Pakistan, and serious flooding can be expected over southern Pakistan.


Figure 3. Forecast rain amounts for the 18-hour period ending at 2am EDT June 3, 2010. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

Oil spill update
Onshore winds out of the south, southwest, or west are expected to blow over the northern Gulf of Mexico over most of the next week, resulting increased threats of oil to Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from the State of Louisiana. The latest ocean current forecasts from the NOAA HYCOM model show that these winds will generate a 0.5 - 1 mph current flowing from west to east along the Florida Panhandle coast Sunday and Monday. If this current develops as predicted, it will be capable of bringing light amounts of oil as far east as Fort Walton Beach, Florida, by Monday. If you spot oil, send in your report to http://www.gulfcoastspill.com/, whose mission is to help the Gulf Coast recovery by creating a daily record of the oil spill.

Oil spill resources
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post Wednesday with answers to some of the common questions I get about the spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

I'll be back Friday with an analysis of the new TSR hurricane forecast and a new forecast by a promising Florida State University model.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting CycloneOz:
Looking at the flow rate from the well head, I'm not altogether sure if the flow hasn't slowed down now.

Look carefully at some of the "pieces" coming out of the pipe. If that flow were really moving, they'd be shooting out of there. Instead, it's slow.


Well, the kinks in the pipe likely caused increase pressure, kinda like a pressure washer. The flow from a free flowing water hose while slower, yes, much greater in volume.
Member Since: 30 janvier 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting germemiguel:
hello

I just joined the blog of Jeff Master, I'm french from Martinique (French WI)....

I hope there will not too much damage this year


Welcome to the blog. You folks have a volcano to worry about, too from time to time right?
Member Since: 26 août 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3622
Quoting CycloneOz:


I know, I saw that, too.

They should have had Norm Abrams of the "Yankee Workshop" running the saw, huh? :D


"I always remember to caaaahfully plunge the saw into the cut..."

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looking at the flow rate from the well head, I'm not altogether sure if the flow hasn't slowed down now.

Look carefully at some of the "pieces" coming out of the pipe. If that flow were really moving, they'd be shooting out of there. Instead, it's slow.
Member Since: 26 août 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3622
Quoting pottery:

Are you suggesting Censorship for alternative points of view??


No, not at all. Quite the opposite. I have seen some say things and get banned at the drop of the hat, while others can say the same thing over and over and get away with it. That's all.
Member Since: 26 avril 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
hello

I just joined the blog of Jeff Master, I'm french from Martinique (French WI)....

I hope there will not too much damage this year
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:
They're showing the cut pipe now on the live feed.

Now that the leak has been isolated into one, flowing stream, I think they have a real shot at capping it.

It also appears that there is no more oil coming out of it than before.


Dunno...looksl ike a lot more to me. Remember that's not smoke shotting out of there; it's a 21" wide column of crude blasting outward and upward against tremendous water pressure. (Some of the other cameras afford a wider top-down view that really better capture just how much oil there is; the Skandi ROV1 usually has a good picture going...)
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Quoting pottery:

Are you suggesting Censorship for alternative points of view??


:)

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Quoting Patrap:


Cuz a retort to a post isnt a bannable offense sport..

And the first Amendment carries in here to a point.

Knowing where that Line exists is to ones advantage.

Can ya grasp the gravity of that?



I can grasp the gravity of that, but sometimes you can be quite rude. I would think that as a representative of Portlight you'd want to cast yourself in a better light, but I suppose I am wrong about that. I don't put you on ignore because I do enjoy some of your posts, but lately your sarcasm really stinks.
Member Since: 26 avril 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Surely not a straight cut, large fragment out of the left side, but, at that depth any cut would be a challenge.


I know, I saw that, too.

They should have had Norm Abrams of the "Yankee Workshop" running the saw, huh? :D
Member Since: 26 août 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3622
Quoting Patrap:



Im a indy as well..so relax and enjoy a Fresca on me.


Well make it a beer and I am good!! lol
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Surely not a straight cut, large fragment out of the RIGHT side, but, at that depth any cut would be a challenge.
Member Since: 30 janvier 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting HouGalv08:
Those jokes are getting old and stale. uncalled for!

chill out
Member Since: 24 août 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3674
Quoting CaneWarning:
I don't see how some of the um...regulars don't get banned for some of the stuff they say on here. Nobody can ever convince me that the admins don't have their favorites.

Just sayin'.

Are you suggesting Censorship for alternative points of view??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting centralflaman:


What you call lunacy I call reality. Now I by no means am a republican I am an independant and voted for Clinton the second term because I liked how he worked with the repub congress unlike how Obama ignores them. Lets not forget though that the Clinton economy had a lot to do with the tech boom and that bubble burst. Enough politics! Sorry everyone!



Im a indy as well..so relax and enjoy a Fresca on me.
Member Since: 3 juillet 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127814
Quoting CaneWarning:
I don't see how some of the um...regulars don't get banned for some of the stuff they say on here. Nobody can ever convince me that the admins don't have their favorites.

Just sayin'.



You think. I don't know where they learned to talk either......geesh! DAT.....LMOA
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Quoting Patrap:


Cuz a retort to a post isnt a bannable offense sport..

And the first Amendment carries in here to a point.

Knowing where that Line exists is to ones advantage.

Can ya grasp the gravity of that?



It also probably helps if you are an admin, too.
Member Since: 26 août 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3622
if we did not have enough problems already to deal with. My o my.
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Quoting Patrap:



Jeesum..what lunacy exist in here at times.

Always in Florida too..

From Chads to Bush,..

How dat Contract with Fla, I mean America work for yas?

LOL



What you call lunacy I call reality. Now I by no means am a republican I am an independant and voted for Clinton the second term because I liked how he worked with the repub congress unlike how Obama ignores them. Lets not forget though that the Clinton economy had a lot to do with the tech boom and that bubble burst. Enough politics! Sorry everyone!
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Just got a view on CNN of the cut riser pipe, woahhhh, that's a lot of oil.
Member Since: 30 janvier 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
They're showing the cut pipe now on the live feed.

Now that the leak has been isolated into one, flowing stream, I think they have a real shot at capping it.

It also appears that there is no more oil coming out of it than before.
Member Since: 26 août 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3622
Member Since: 3 juillet 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127814
Quoting CaneWarning:
I don't see how some of the um...regulars don't get banned for some of the stuff they say on here. Nobody can ever convince me that the admins don't have their favorites.

Just sayin'.


Cuz a retort to a post isnt a bannable offense sport..

And the first Amendment carries in here to a point.

Knowing where that Line exists is to ones advantage.

Can ya grasp the gravity of that?

Member Since: 3 juillet 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127814
Quoting pottery:
WOW AUSSIE!!!!!!

I can guarantee the people that were there weren't saying wow, more like oh my gosh or ****
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Rotating Globe Movie
Updated every three hours.



These MPEG movies show weather systems over a rotating globe. They are created by combining data from 5 geostationary orbiting satellites (GOES-East, GOES-West, Meteosat at 0, Meteosat at 63E, and MTSAT), polar orbiting satellites and a topographic map of the Earth. Get more information about playing MPEG movies.

Member Since: 3 juillet 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127814
The media will cause the stock market to crash when a Cane enters the Gulf with the oil spill, I guarantee it. Gas prices I believe are going to skyrocket at some point,
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Quoting Patrap:



Jeesum..what lunacy exist in here at times.

Always in Florida too..

LOL



Yeah...posts like these, I mean.

Do you believe that all the Florida residents here are more likely to support Portlight?
Member Since: 26 août 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3622
I don't see how some of the um...regulars don't get banned for some of the stuff they say on here. Nobody can ever convince me that the admins don't have their favorites.

Just sayin'.
Member Since: 26 avril 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
I wouldn't believe a notarized memo from BP. I do know so far that a father and brother of one of the people who really no longer has a life said that a least RIG had a memorial service for the dead. They have not even received a phone call from BP.It's been back and forth so much but, I could swear that the pre-attempted actions taken so far by Bp have gone down each time according to there own odds. So when all the oil washes up on shore just remember it is probably natural leakage, besides its a bad economy that's why there are no tourist. If anyone gets sick please learn how to cook your food properly. I could go on and on put please government take the heel of your boot of that poor CEO neck he wants to have a life. So be like good little Chinese workers under the communist government shut up and be happy to have a job.After all if you watch CNBC and read the wall street journal that is are competition. The least common denominator.
Member Since: 18 août 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
Quoting pottery:
WOW AUSSIE!!!!!!


I know! I love the "action shots" of stuff falling from the sky.

Mrs. CycloneOz and I saw the same thing during the Yazoo Mississippi tornado.
Member Since: 26 août 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3622
Can everyone imagine all the media hype if a tropical system were to get in the gulf of mexico. This is going to be a bad, bad situation for all the gulf population. I hate to even think about a hurricane in the gulf. It gives me the chills thinkining about it and what it will do to all the wildlife.
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WOW AUSSIE!!!!!!
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Quoting Patrap:



Sure was,,specially Plugging that deficit the Guy before him ran up..

Just saying..


No Way! The best thing that happenned to him was the repubs taking control of congress in 94 and he was smart enough to move to the middle and sign the balanced budget they passed. He also left us in a recession and started the housing crisis. Just saying!
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Quoting pottery:

If it was me, I would install the cap using a "slide-on" method. Use the bottom of the flange as the guide (as they did with the diamond saw) and
slide the cap over the leak leaving clearance over the riser.
Then hydraulically lower the cap over the leak. And clamp it to the flange.


I cannot wait to see "the end game" on this one.
Member Since: 26 août 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3622
Quoting Dakster:
Clinton was really good at plugging holes - maybe they should contract him to help out.
Those jokes are getting old and stale. uncalled for!
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Quoting mcluvincane:
Well, all i can say is wow what a web site this is. I just signed up after reading the blog on here for a couple of days. Packed with great info. Just in time for the busy season. ahead


Welcome. It gets even better when there is a storm out there and we are all focused on it.
Member Since: 26 avril 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting Nolehead:
there having the press conference as we write...but i still don't see how they are going to be able to cap that with the amount of pressure that is coming out..i'm sure that there are some experts on here that can answer that....anyone have any idea??

If it was me, I would install the cap using a "slide-on" method. Use the bottom of the flange as the guide (as they did with the diamond saw) and
slide the cap over the leak leaving clearance over the riser.
Then hydraulically lower the cap over the leak. And clamp it to the flange.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
We at Portlight are gonna feed folks helping out.


Just a question for you.

Is it your opinion that posting controversial material on this blog facilitates "an outpouring" of support for Portlight?
Member Since: 26 août 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3622
32. Damn!
Member Since: 17 août 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 672
Quoting CaneWarning:


It is already heavily impacting the Tampa Bay area and we aren't anywhere near the oil. I can't imagine what it must be like on the coast in areas that actually have oil.


Here is something tangible to check out from Louisiana waters
Member Since: 3 juillet 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127814
Well, all i can say is wow what a web site this is. I just signed up after reading the blog on here for a couple of days. Packed with great info. Just in time for the busy season. ahead
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Quoting Dakster:
Hmnmm. People are critical of Obama for not taking action, now that they are taking action they are critical of that...


...oh, but they were taking action. They told BP not to cut the pipe. They were involved, but they were involved with the kill processes.

Where they should have been focused more was on what steps could be taken to get the oil out of the water and to be kept off the beaches and wetlands.

The pipe is cut today. And in my opinion, it had to be cut.

The government put their fingers in the wrong pie.
Member Since: 26 août 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3622
Quoting Nolehead:
there having the press conference as we write...but i still don't see how they are going to be able to cap that with the amount of pressure that is coming out..i'm sure that there are some experts on here that can answer that....anyone have any idea??
The flow after the cut does not look as bad as some of us had feared. Lets wish them success.
Member Since: 17 août 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 579
Lennox Head, NSW, Australia Tornado

















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.."Calamity..either Natural or Man made knows no borders, only men's minds and Maps do"..

This Oil-Zilla is a National Emergency of the Highest Priority.

The well will leak and flow until the relief well,or wells can bottom Kill the darn thing.

But Drilling a relief well is not a easy thing.
Folks inadvertently say Itox was only in 200 ft of Water,yes,,it was..but the well was way down in the earth. It took 4 attempts to hit the Leaking well then,31 years ago.

IN drilling a relief well,,one has to hit a foot wide shaft 12,000 ft down from the Sea Floor..with another 1 ft wide drill bit.
Not a easy task in itself.

Were in this for the long haul, together as Americans.


And expect 2-3 weather delays which each will cause a one week delay.,between now and Mid-August.

Dem Canes wont care whats going on in the GOM.

Oil Zilla is Lurking,..

Time to jump in a do something collectively where one can.

We at Portlight are gonna feed folks helping out.

Thats the best way we can help for now.

We may need volunteers to Help in that task.

Even if were just passing out Water and such,..we aim to make a differnce.






Member Since: 3 juillet 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127814

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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