Late-starting hurricane seasons

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:01 PM GMT on July 29, 2009

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Late-starting hurricane seasons--ones where the first named storm of the year doesn't occur until August--have happened in eleven of the fifty years between 1960 - 2009 (a 22% occurrence.) Only two of these eleven seasons ended up with more hurricanes than average (seven or greater). The record for the latest starting hurricane season since 1851 was set in 1914, when the only storm of the season formed on September 15. The year 1941 was also late starting, with the season's first storm arriving on September 11. Of course, we didn't have satellites back then, so it's a good bet there were storms earlier in these seasons that got missed. However, there's a good possibility that 1914 really did have only one storm. A re-analysis of the hurricane activity in the decade 1911-1920 (Landsea et al., 2008) found 1.3 missing tropical cyclones per year, thanks to the inclusion of a new database of ship weather reports called COADS. However, 1914 was not one of those years. Various authors have estimated that we missed an average of between one and three tropical cyclones per year during that time period, so it is quite possible 1914 had only one storm.


Figure 1. The hurricane season of 1914 featured only one tropical storm, and was the latest-starting hurricane season on record (September 15).

The latest dates for the first named storm of the season in the recent past, followed by the number of named storms, hurricanes, and intense hurricanes that year are:

2009 (August 15) 9,3,2
2004 (August 1) 15,9,6
2000 (August 4) 15,8,3
1988 (August 7) 12,6,3
1987 (August 9) 7,3,1
1984 (August 18) 13,5,1
1983 (August 15) 4,2,1
1977 (August 30) 6,5,1
1967 (August 30) 8,6,2
1963 (August 2) 9,6,2
1962 (August 22) 5,3,1

We can also add 1992 to the list if we ignore the unnamed subtropical storm that formed in April of that year. That year had the notorious Hurricane Andrew as its first named storm. Andrew formed on August 17 of that year, and was the only major hurricane in a year that had only seven named storms and four hurricanes. For comparison, an average Atlantic hurricane season has 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. So, it is a good bet that 2009 will be a below-average season.

References
Landsea, C. W. , D. A. Glenn, W. Bredemeyer, M. Chenoweth, R. Ellis J. Gamache, L. Hufstetler, C. Mock, R. Perez, R. Prieto, J. Sanchez-Sesma, D. Thomas, and L. Woolcock, 2008, A Reanalysis of the 1911-20 Atlantic Hurricane Database", Journal of Climate, 21, p.2138-2168.

Jeff Masters

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1860. winter123
11:13 PM GMT on August 02, 2009
wtf? 2000 comments is maximum (regarding latest entry)??

I was gonna say, EATL is really heating up today. I'd watch the waves at 45w, 25w, and the one at 10e has a closed surface low over land.

Link
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1802
1859. hurricanejunky
5:58 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Quoting CycloneOz:
Hey HJ!

Wave to the shuttle for me as it goes over Ft. Myers! :)


We didn't hear the boom today. Usually it sounds like somebody dropping a bowling ball on the roof and it always freaks the dogs and my wife out! Oh well I'm just glad they're home safe. It's always a treat to see it takeoff or land...
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1858. Magicchaos
3:08 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
A little tidbit of hurricane info last year.

The most active day in last year's hurricane season was September 2, when Gustav was a Tropical Depression inland over Louisiana, Hanna was a Hurricane north of Hispaniola, Ike was a strengthening Tropical Storm over the Central Atlantic, and Tropical Depression Ten(Josephine) was just forming.
Member Since: April 3, 2009 Posts: 107 Comments: 382
1857. mikatnight
3:06 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Quoting cg2916:
I'm glad I don't live in Florida. I get really spooked by loud noises.


Then you'd really hate going through a hurricane, since noise is one of their most palpable aspects ("A freight train on the roof" is an oft quoted analogy).
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
1856. RickWPB
3:06 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Quoting mikatnight:
Looks like Endeavor's track goes right over us in Palm Beach County...wonder if we'll be able to see it?


I was outside doing yard work in West Palm Beach. Didn't see it, but sure heard 2 sonic booms!
Member Since: September 26, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 359
1855. IKE
3:04 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
NEW BLOG!!!!!!!!!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1854. IKE
3:03 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Good thing about tomorrow being Aug. 1st...no one can use the excuse...it's early in the season, it's suppose to be quiet, excuse anymore...
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1853. Seflhurricane
2:59 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
very impressive tropical wave heading towards the cape verde looks like we may have something next week
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3029
1852. cg2916
2:59 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
I'm glad I don't live in Florida. I get really spooked by loud noises.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
1851. IKE
2:55 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1850. PcolaDan
2:55 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Lots can happen in 15 minutes.
From the NASA blog as Endeavour landed:

#
Touchdown!
Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:49:00 AM CDT

Endeavour has landed!


#
Flare and Gear Down
Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:47:59 AM CDT

Polansky pitches the nose of Endeavour up to slow Endeavour for touchdown on the runway. Landing gear down and locked.


#
Endeavour Gliding Over Kennedy!
Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:45:01 AM CDT

The shuttle has just flown overhead here at Kennedy and Polansky is making his final line up to the runway.


#
Five Minutes
Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:43:52 AM CDT

Endeavour continues on its prescribed landing path toward Kennedy. Polansky will guide the shuttle along the heading alignment cylinder in about two minutes.


#
Endeavour at Mach 2.5
Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:42:12 AM CDT

The shuttle has slowed to Mach 2.5. Six minutes to landing.


#
10 Minutes to Landing
Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:38:22 AM CDT

Endeavour will glide over Cuba before heading up Florida's Atlantic coast on its way to Kennedy. Landing is still on schedule for 10:48 a.m. Shuttle is 443,000 feet above Earth.


#
Roll Reversal
Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:36:37 AM CDT

Moving at 11,000 mph and slowing, Endeavour is turning to the right now to conclude a sweeping S-turn that helps the shuttle dissipate speed and energy. 450 miles to go.


#
Peak Heating
Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:29:27 AM CDT

Endeavour is now in the area of maximum heating. It will last another six minutes or so as the shuttle slows tremendously from its orbital speed of Mach 25. Polansky and Hurley work carefully to make sure they keep up the shuttle's energy to glide all the way back to Florida and land safely. All systems are working as they should.


#
First Roll
Fri, 31 Jul 2009 09:25:28 AM CDT

Steering through the thickening atmosphere, Polansky and the seven crew members are watching the plasma form around the spacecraft as the heat shield insulates the craft from the effects.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1849. TheCaneWhisperer
2:54 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
1848. mikatnight
2:53 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Quoting Patrap:
Welcome Home Endeavour...



Ditto
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
1847. Patrap
2:53 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Those sounds are the APU's Running,their Exhaust ports are at the Base of the rudder where it meets the Fuselage.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
1845. BobinTampa
2:50 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Welcome Home Endeavor! Watching that NEVER gets old.

thanks for the link Patrap.

Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 553
1844. Elena85Vet
2:50 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Well done NASA and Endeavor crew. Welcome home.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 628
1843. Patrap
2:50 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
"Houston Endeavour,wheels stop",..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
1842. HIEXPRESS
2:49 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
:)
Whoa
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
1841. cg2916
2:48 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
TOUCHDOWN! 6 points for the Shuttle... lol.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
1840. WPBHurricane05
2:48 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
I knew the Shuttle was landing but I didn't think it was going to go right over me. I almost called 911...Good Lord that was scary. LOL
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
1839. Patrap
2:48 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Welcome Home Endeavour...

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
1837. cg2916
2:48 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
I just saw a bird fly in front of it... what about you guys. Oh, and I live in SC, too far away for the booms.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
1835. Patrap
2:47 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
1834. WPBHurricane05
2:46 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Good Lord I thought someone was breaking in!
I heard the booms in West Palm Beach, Florida!
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
1833. Twinkster
2:48 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
I heard to loud booms that shook my house from the shuttle in lake worth, Florida but couldn't see it because of clouds
Member Since: June 7, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 962
1832. cg2916
2:46 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Almost there...
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
1830. 19N81W
2:46 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Wow what a rush....dead stick from orbit to a runway in florida...as a pilot that is pretty cool...to go from mach 25 to 225 knots...guess you gotta get it right
Member Since: August 24, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 439
1828. CaicosRetiredSailor
2:45 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6069
1826. stormwatcherCI
2:45 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Quoting 19N81W:
We heard it hear in Cayman!!!!!!!!!!!
Booom!
So cool....didnt see it too much cloud but went out just in time!
thanks guys!
I work at the Airport PO and I heard it too.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
1825. Patrap
2:45 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Quoting CycloneOz:
"Endeavor, take air data" is code for

"Endeavor, transmit digital images of Cuba"


In no way that's Possible from the Cockpit CT.
Thats BS,..why even say something Like that?

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
1824. Patrap
2:43 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Approaching the HAC..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
1823. 19N81W
2:43 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
We heard it hear in Cayman!!!!!!!!!!!
Booom!
So cool....didnt see it too much cloud but went out just in time!
thanks guys!
Member Since: August 24, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 439
1820. Elena85Vet
2:42 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Endeavor within site of KSC now.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 628
1819. PcolaDan
2:42 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
When should the shuttle pass over Grand Cayman ? Just heard a "boom" and wondered if that was it.


Way past there now, so may well have been the Shuttle.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1818. Patrap
2:41 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Orbital speed,17,500 mph at Main Engine Cutoff,after 8.5 minutes of Powered Flight is 5 miles a second,or 17,500 Mph.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
1817. stormwatcherCI
2:39 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
When should the shuttle pass over Grand Cayman ? Just heard a "boom" and wondered if that was it.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
1816. mikatnight
2:38 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Over Florida now...
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
1815. mikatnight
2:38 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Quoting cg2916:

Yeah, at the launch it gets up to two miles per second. Now that's movin'.


Yeah, Escape Velocity, which is approximately 34 times the speed of sound (mach 34).
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
1814. cg2916
2:34 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
Quoting mikatnight:
18 minutes from s america to fla...that's movin' baby

Yeah, at the launch it gets up to two miles per second. Now that's movin'.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
1811. mikatnight
2:32 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
18 minutes from s america to fla...that's movin' baby
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
1810. 19N81W
2:32 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
I wonder if they will top those thunderstorms over Costa Rica and Panama:)
Member Since: August 24, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 439

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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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