PSU Atlantic hurricane season forecast: 16 named storms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:25 PM GMT on May 18, 2011

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Expect a busy Atlantic hurricane season this year, with sixteen named storms, say Pennsylvania State University (PSU) hurricane scientists Michael Mann and Michael Kozar. Their annual Atlantic hurricane season forecast issued on May 16 calls for 12 - 20 named storms this season, which starts June 1 and runs until November 30. An average season has 10 - 11 named storms. Their prediction was made using statistics of how past hurricane seasons have behaved in response to sea surface temperatures (SSTs), the El Niño/La Niña oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and other factors. This year's forecast is primarily based on three factors:

1) The current above-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Main Development Region (MDR) for hurricanes, from Central America to the coast of Africa between 10°C and 20°C North latitude, will continue into the main part of hurricane season;
2) The fading La Niña event in the Eastern Pacific Ocean will be replaced by neutral El Niño/La Niña conditions;
3) The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) will be near average during hurricane season.


Figure 1. Hurricane Igor of 2010 as seen from the International Space Station.

The PSU team will also be making a new experimental forecast based not on the absolute MDR sea surface temperatures, but on difference between the MDR SST and ocean temperatures over the rest of the globe's tropical oceans. Some research has suggested that Atlantic hurricane activity is greater when this relative difference in SSTs is high, not necessarily when the absolute MDR SST is high (in other words, if all the world's tropical oceans have record high SSTs, we wouldn't get an unusually active Atlantic hurricane season, even with record warm SSTs in the Atlantic.) This new experimental forecast is predicting higher activity: 19 named storms in the Atlantic this year.

The PSU team has been making Atlantic hurricane season forecasts since 2007, and these predictions have done pretty well:

2007 prediction: 15 Actual: 15
2009 prediction: 12.5 Actual: 9
2010 prediction: 23 Actual: 19

NOAA will be issuing their annual pre-season Atlantic hurricane season forecast at 11:30am on Thursday, and I'll make a post on that Thursday afternoon. Tropical Storm Risk, Inc. (TSR) issues their pre-season forecast on May 24, and Colorado State University issues theirs on June 1.

My next post on the Mississippi flood will be on Friday.

Links:

PSU 2011 Atlantic hurricane season forecast issued on May 16.

Jeff Masters

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710. Chicklit
10:56 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Evening, folks.


There's always something good about something bad that happens; sometimes it just takes a while to figure that out.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11358
709. HurricaneDevo
6:16 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
This study is a stellar read for those interested. It really opens the eyes and goes into great detail.


There appears to be a significant decrease in hurricane landfalls during the neutral phase along the East Coast whereas compared to Florida. This would suggest that there is a dominant flow pattern during neutral years that tends to steer hurricanes toward Florida.


The only problem with this is that it focuses only on hurricanes, not tropical storms.
Member Since: April 19, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 175
708. MrMixon
5:11 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
I doubt anyone on this blog is genuinely concerned about the predicted doomsday this Saturday. But I'm providing this info anyway for your edu-tainment.

Here are the predicted doomsdays just for 2011:

Date ---------------- Source
April 6, 2011 -------- Marilyn Agee
May 21, 2011 -------- Electronic Bible Fellowship
May 29, 2011 -------- Marilyn Agee
October 21, 2011 ------ Electronic Bible Fellowship(among others)


There have been multiple predicted doomsdays every year since at least the 1990s. From the 1970s through the 90s there was at least one doomsday prediction nearly every year. As you look back in time before the 1970s the predictions are less and less frequent, but there are doomsday predictions dating all the way back to the time when Jesus was alive (and probably many before that).

Here's a great source for info about doomsday predictions:

From the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Member Since: March 26, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 1520
707. VAbeachhurricanes
4:37 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Guys we are only 2 days away now, the suspense is in the air!
Link

I know its foxnews, blah, blah, blah. Its a funny article though.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6624
706. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:27 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
so go ahead pet the polar bear good luck with that
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
705. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:26 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting atmoaggie:
Of course. When they are used to being around people and you have been around that particular animal enough to recognize moods, that is easy.

I don't think either of those apply well to polar bears in the wild. They don't pur, smile, wag tails...
If you see a polar bear smiling at you, go ahead, see if he licks your face or rolls over for a belly rub once you start petting him.
i remember once when i was a boy with my grandfather them greenpeace fellas trying to save the seals did that that little pup grab his arm and was shaken the hell out of him then the momma came up the blow hole and started chasin em then someone yelled quick shoot and i heard someone say who the seal or the greenpeace fella in the end we got the seal and well that greenpeace fella we didn't see him anymore after that either and he did not dispute the fate of the seal either funny how one changes there mind when they become the victim
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
704. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:17 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting P451:


See ya all in a few days LOL
i posted that once only once maybe ya get lucky and it will slide on by
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
703. atmoaggie
4:16 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
golb wen
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
702. atmoaggie
4:15 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting TomTaylor:
Have you ever owned a pet???

It's quite ridiculously easy to tell when an animal is happy or sad or in distress.
Of course. When they are used to being around people and you have been around that particular animal enough to recognize moods, that is easy.

I don't think either of those apply well to polar bears in the wild. They don't pur, smile, wag tails...
If you see a polar bear smiling at you, go ahead, see if he licks your face or rolls over for a belly rub once you start petting him.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
701. kimoskee
4:07 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting aspectre:
666 atmoaggie "Ha! The article says he looked "sad" and "confused" because the snow is gone. How do they know? What differences would indicate a happy polar bear?"



These could actually be Jamaican bears... just change the snow to sand and voila!!!! They're listening to reggae music and behind the bbq pit (you can't see the cooler) are red stripe beer...
Member Since: August 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 672
700. wunderkidcayman
4:07 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12180
699. Patrap
4:03 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
..Only 3 shopping day's left till the Apocalypse!!
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
697. PrivateIdaho
4:00 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Dang! Knew I shouldnt post with my phone.
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
696. Patrap
3:58 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting AussieStorm:
Can someone tell me why the EPAC season starts May 15 yet CPAC and ATL start June 1?


Climatology and SST's and the Colombian Low me tinks,,but the Atlantic has been easing into that same starting Date easily the last 10 years,,as the May Invests are more and more a common occurrence,so say the Big Dogs in the field.

Maybe Dr.Jeff Masters can chime in on that one Aussie
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
694. PrivateIdaho
3:57 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
No
Quoting aspectre:
666 atmoaggie "Ha! The article says he looked "sad" and "confused" because the snow is gone. How do they know? What differences would indicate a happy polar bear?"

Quoting aspectre:
666 atmoaggie "Ha! The article says he looked "sad" and "confused" because the snow is gone. How do they know? What differences would indicate a happy polar bear?"

now that is funny!
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
693. Patrap
3:55 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting TomTaylor:
Have you ever owned a pet???

It's quite ridiculously easy to tell when an animal is happy or sad or in distress.


Nola Roux say's, "+ 100" for TomTaylor



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
692. AussieStorm
3:55 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Can someone tell me why the EPAC season starts May 15 yet CPAC and ATL start June 1?
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15940
689. nrtiwlnvragn
3:52 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


I saw that Grother posted the link to the initial release,but I want to you have the link to the graphics and extended detailed report?


Link
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11223
688. TomTaylor
3:52 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting atmoaggie:
Ha! The article says he looked "sad" and "confused" because the snow is gone. How do they know? What differences would indicate a happy polar bear? Or not confused? If he were showing teeth they would assume he was happy?

If it truly was odd, maybe his behavior had everything to do with a reporter being present...
Have you ever owned a pet???

It's quite ridiculously easy to tell when an animal is happy or sad or in distress.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
687. Patrap
3:51 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Looks like Cajun Polar Bears,definitely.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
686. Tropicsweatherpr
3:51 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


I saw that Grother posted the link to the initial release,but I want to you have the link to the graphics and extended detailed report?
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14414
685. aquak9
3:50 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
3-6 majors??
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 169 Comments: 26126
684. aspectre
3:47 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
666 atmoaggie "Ha! The article says he looked "sad" and "confused" because the snow is gone. How do they know? What differences would indicate a happy polar bear?"

Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
683. Grothar
3:45 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Full NOAA report

Link
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26558
682. Jax82
3:41 PM GMT on May 19, 2011


Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 1261
681. nrtiwlnvragn
3:40 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11223
680. Patrap
3:39 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Politician,,?

Id rather be Dutch,..LoL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
679. NICycloneChaser
3:38 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
12-18 storms, 6-10 hurricanes, 3-6 major.
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1971
678. Grothar
3:36 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting Patrap:


Well im not a Phd nor a Tropical met in any form so the Predictive stuff is cool and all, but its more Chest thumping between agencies and university folks to me.


We can make a real important impact by sharing our collective experiences for the greater good.

That's what makes this site so special,the sharing among the collective members with the greater world.


Sounds like you running for office? LOL You got my vote.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26558
675. bluheelrtx
3:27 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Maybe seals like frolicking in fields of flowers too.
Member Since: November 8, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 228
674. Patrap
3:23 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Patrap,here is my hurricane kit,as where I am,it has been used many times,and I think many more in the future. I agree with you that numbers dont mean anything,only where those storms that form will go.

Link


Well im not a Phd nor a Tropical met in any form so the Predictive stuff is cool and all, but its more Chest thumping between agencies and university folks to me.


We can make a real important impact by sharing our collective experiences for the greater good.

That's what makes this site so special,the sharing among the collective members with the greater world.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
673. muddertracker
3:20 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Did the loop current eddy play a role in 2005 and 2008?
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 2350
672. aquak9
3:19 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting USAprimeCreditPeggy:
Or, maybe HE is really a SHE.


Yeeea-eeehhzzz
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 169 Comments: 26126
670. presslord
3:11 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting Rainman32:
He's from the UK, doesn't know the proper American vernacular.. "The Carolinas" is how it is pronounced Cotillion


AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
669. Tropicsweatherpr
3:11 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Patrap,here is my hurricane kit,as where I am,it has been used many times,and I think many more in the future. I agree with you that numbers dont mean anything,only where those storms that form will go.

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14414
668. aquak9
3:09 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
or maybe he's an all-masculine polar bear and he's like, "geez, I hope the ladies don't see me all frolicing around in the flowers"

peggy- good one :)
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 169 Comments: 26126
666. atmoaggie
3:03 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting aspectre:
Once again proving themselves to be masters of camouflage, the polar bear...
Ha! The article says he looked "sad" and "confused" because the snow is gone. How do they know? What differences would indicate a happy polar bear? Or not confused? If he were showing teeth they would assume he was happy?

If it truly was odd, maybe his behavior had everything to do with a reporter being present...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
664. Rainman32
3:01 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting presslord:


Please take note: this post specifies North Carolina...Well done!!!
He's from the UK, doesn't know the proper American vernacular.. "The Carolinas" is how it is pronounced Cotillion
Member Since: September 19, 2004 Posts: 32 Comments: 6123
663. Patrap
3:00 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
Morganza View,Atchafalaya
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662. Patrap
2:58 PM GMT on May 19, 2011

MODIS True Color images for 05/18/2011


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661. aquak9
2:57 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
what if the polar bear has allergies?
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 169 Comments: 26126
660. Patrap
2:53 PM GMT on May 19, 2011
WAVCIS uses the HYCOM system I believe.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875

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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.