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Vanishing Fred & Atlantic Hurricane Season 2009

Posted by feww on September 11, 2009

Wondering what happened to the Atlantic Hurricane Season?

As [tiny] Fred begins to fizzles out of its hurricane status in the Atlantic ocean about 1,190 km (740 miles) west of Cape Verde Islands, mot everyone must be thinking whatever happened to the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season.

jsl-l - Fred
Hurricane Fred. GOES Floater Imagery – Still Image – See inset for date and time. Click image to enlarge and update.

Summary of Hurricane Fred Status: Fred is weakening further as it slows down more.
AT 11:00 PM AST Thu Sep 10, Fred was located at 17.4°N 35.1°W, at max sustained wind speeds of about  140 km/h (85 mph) moving north at a forward speed of 5 km/h
(3 mph) with a min pressure of 735.1 mmHg (80 mb), NHC/NOAA said, expecting it to downgrade to a tropical storm within the next 24 hrs.

For one thing, it’s not over yet, at least not until the “fat lady” strikes. The peak months are August to October.

For another, the strengthening El Niño episode seems to be disrupting storm formation in the Main Hurricane Development Region, the Atlantic basin, AND forcing the storms away from land.

In fact, NOAA’s updated 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook predicts a 90% chance of a near-normal or below normal hurricane season.

NOAA recounts two competing climate factors.

1. The persisting “multi-decadal signal” that has been “associated with elevated levels of Atlantic hurricane activity since 1995, along with warmer than average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the tropical North Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.”

2. The El Niño episode, which is  “producing increased wind shear in the Main Hurricane Development Region.”

Based on these mix of climatic factors, NOAA updated prediction for the 2009 hurricane season is

  • 50% chance of a near-normal season
  • 40% chance of a below normal season
  • Only an unlikely 10% chance of an above-normal season

The outlook indicates a 70% probability for each of the following seasonal ranges: 7-11 named storms, 3-6 hurricanes, 1-2 major hurricanes, and an ACE range of 60%-110% of the median. Most of this activity is expected during the upcoming peak months (August-October) of the hurricane season.

For an in-depth analysis by NOAA see: 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook Update

Related Links:

Posted in Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, Caribbean Sea, El Niño, ENSO, multi-decadal signal, sea surface temperatures, tropical North Atlantic Ocean | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

CSU Lowers Hurricane Forecast

Posted by feww on June 3, 2009

Colorado State University Lowers 2009 Hurricane Forecast for Atlantic basin to “Slightly Below Average Season”

The forecasters  now anticipates 11 named storms forming during the official Atlantic basin hurricane season between June 1 and November 30.

William Gray and Phil Klotzbach. The Colorado State University Tropical Storm Duo!

CSU forecasts use available data on global oceanic and atmospheric conditions [El Nino, sea surface temperatures, sea level pressures … ] recorded prior to the past seasons and compare the results to forecast future trends.

“The probability of a major hurricane making landfall along the U.S. coastline is 48 percent compared with the last-century average of 52 percent,” said lead forecaster Phil Klotzbach.

“Currently observed climate factors are similar to conditions that occurred during 1959, 1960, 1965, 2001 and 2002 seasons. The average of these five seasons had slightly below-average activity, and Klotzbach and Gray predict the 2009 season will have activity in line with the average of these five years.” CSU forecasters reported.

According to CSU forecast tropical cyclone activity in 2009 will be 90 percent of the average season. In 2008 tropical cyclone activity reached about 160 percent of the average.

CSU Hurricane Forecasters said they will issue a final seasonal update on Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Here’s summary of their revised forecast released June 2, 2009


Tropical Cyclone Parameters Extended Range

  • Named Storms:  (9.6)* 11
  • Named Storm Days: (49.1) 50
  • Hurricanes:  (5.9) 5
  • Hurricane Days (24.5) 20
  • Intense Hurricanes: (2.3) 2
  • Intense Hurricane Days:  (5.0) 4
  • Accumulated Cyclone Energy:  (96) 85
  • Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (100%) 90

{Note: Numbers in ( ) represent average year data based on 1950-2000 records.

On the face of it, their revised forecast appears to be  sensible; however, it excludes the possibility that the traditional hurricane season might be shifting.

Related Links:

CSU forecasters’ Landfall Probability tables are available at

Posted in Accumulated Cyclone Energy, El Niño, Intense Hurricanes, Net Tropical Cyclone activity, sea surface temperatures | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »