Hurricane Season begins in less than two weeks. Last year, there were 16 named storms in the North Atlantic with half of those becoming hurricanes at some time during their lives. 7 struck the United States and an eight skirted the east coast briefly. Here is the archive of the 2008 Hurricane Season. The most ferocious for the US was Hurricane Ike and if you like, here is a link to a gallery of Hurricane Ike video and Hurricane Ike photos. The average for tropical activity has been some 10 named storms with 6 becoming hurricanes. The general thought in research circles is that there is about a 30 year cycle of hurricane activity and that it was long forecast that activity would turn to the more active 30 year cycle starting in the mid 1990’s and that seems to have come about. People forget that Hurricane Andrew, while a strong hurricane, was just the first of the season and that was not until late August 1992. Just a few years later, we had a record number of named storms in the North Atlantic and its been active ever since.
Dr. William Gray at Colorado State University has long been considered an expert at hurricane forecasting with his Tropical Meteorology Project. This year, the 2009 Hurricane Forecast predicts 14 named storms with 6 hurricanes, two of which will become major hurricanes. There is no predictability on landfalling hurricanes. This forecast holds with the theory of the North Atlantic being in the active hurricane cycle but the number is supressed as a weak El Nino is being anticipated as the season unfolds. It has been determined that an El Nino event in the Pacific tends to curtail tropical activity in the North Atlantic.
None of this has any relation to Global Warming. However, Mr. Gore and others have speculated that Global Warming would result in more hurricanes and also more intense hurricanes. In recent years, there has been an increase in North Atlantic tropical activity in recent years. Many with a US based world view point to this as evidence of Global Warming. However, the number of tropical systems in the Eastern Pacific has been supressed during that time as has been the case in other parts of the world. So, it is held by many that the increase in the North Atlantic has its roots in the natural cycle rather than other factors.
Last year, A meteorologist with NOAA who had apparently been an advocate of a link between Global Warming and an increase in Hurricane Intensity and the numbers of hurricanes now has a new report that says the opposite. Tom Knutson even says that warmer temperatures could decrease hurricane activity and their landfall. That last part is something that I cannot fathom how anyone could make the statement..but he did. Anyway, here is the article with some other links to the study. This guy’s new report may be more of an indication that the wheels may be falling off the Al Gore Juggernaut.
Hey, it’s going to do what its going to do, whatever the cause. We currently have a system that has been traversing the Florida Peninsula bringing welcome rain. For several days, the National Hurricane Center has been threatening to send out a Hurricane Hunter to investigate even though they admitted the chances of it turning tropical was minimal. They keep cancelling the flights and have now said that they will stop making special reports. However, it will be interesting to see what they will do in the coming days as the models suggest the low will move into the middle of the Gulf and not along the Gulf Coast, as previously indicated. It remains progged to be around a 1008 mb low, which is below standard sea level pressure but not all that low. It will give the boys at the NHC something to talk about and use as a PR tool as we head into the hurricane season, which starts June 1.
SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
830 AM EDT TUE MAY 19 2009
FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC…CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO…
SATELLITE IMAGES AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT THE WEAK
AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED NEAR THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS IS BECOMING
ABSORBED BY A LARGER NON-TROPICAL LOW CENTERED OVER FLORIDA.
DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM NOW APPEARS UNLIKELY…AND THE AIR FORCE
RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT MISSION SCHEDULED FOR TODAY HAS
BEEN CANCELED. IN ADDITION…LITTLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NON-TROPICAL
LOW OVER FLORIDA IS EXPECTED AS IT MOVES WESTWARD INTO THE GULF OF
MEXICO AT 10 MPH OVER THE NEXT DAY OR TWO. THERE IS A LOW
CHANCE…LESS THAN 30 PERCENT…OF TROPICAL CYCLONE DEVELOPMENT IN
THIS AREA DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. THIS WILL BE THE LAST SPECIAL
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK ISSUED FOR THIS SYSTEM.
Weather Bottom Line:
The ridge continues to hang out and will do so through the weekend. Shower activity will be supressed and the temperatures will elevate into the mid 80’s as we move through the end of the week into the weekend. Enjoy it. Snow White and I are going on a bike ride this afternoon. Yesterday we saw Star Trek and she liked it so much, she wanted to see it again….like right then. Never knew she was a trekkie. It was good though. I love McCoy and Scotty. They have some great lines.