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Archives 2000s >> 2002 Storm Forum

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Ed DunhamAdministrator
Former Meteorologist & CFHC Forum Moderator (Ed Passed Away on May 14, 2017)


Reged: Sun
Posts: 2565
Loc: Melbourne, FL
Updated 2002 Tropical Cyclone Forecast
      #688 - Sun Jun 09 2002 12:33 PM

It is time to re-examine the earlier forecast and to lower the numbers considerably. Four realities influence this update; 1) The Atlantic basin between the African west coast and 75W and between 10N and 30N now has much cooler sea surface temperatures than at this time a year ago. 2) A weak El Nino is now firmly in place in the equatorial Pacific and has small areas of moderate strength - particularly near 150W. Although this El Nino event may fluctuate over the next few months, the trend in the past few months has been toward a general warming and the NCEP forecasts reflect this trend. The following years had a similar El Nino trend: 1957, 1972, 1982, 1991 and 1993. 3) The Azores-Bermuda High shows no signs of becoming a major player and the Atlantic exhibits anything but a classic pattern so far this season. 4) Above 10N the African continent has been quite dry with almost all of the wave activity located about 200-250 miles south of where it would need to be in order to generate cyclonic systems. These long period patterns take time to change and no change seems imminent. With the reality of fewer waves and a cooler and chaotic Atlantic, the forecast numbers for tropical cyclone activity need to be lowered. Here is my updated forecast for this season:

9 Named Storms
4 Hurricanes
1 Major Hurricane
1 U.S. hurricane landfall
2 U.S. tropical storm landfalls

The problem with early season forecasts is that they ultimately hinge on ENSO forecast activity and that Pacific basin SST trends are often hard to determine, let alone forecast. There is often a lag of about 3 or 4 months between the onset of an established El Nino (or La Nina) event and its ultimate impact on the Atlantic hurricane season, so my expectation is that the latter part of the Atlantic hurricane season will be curtailed by the El Nino event. Systems forming to the southwest of the Cape Verde Islands will probably be an uncommon event this year. I expect the southern Caribbean and the Gulf to be the active areas this season. Please chime in with your own two-cents worth on the upcoming season!
Cheers,
ED


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Kevin
Weather Master


Reged: Fri
Posts: 524
Loc: EC Florida
Re: Updated 2002 Tropical Cyclone Forecast
      #696 - Mon Jun 10 2002 12:12 PM

I agree, Ed. I agree. What you said about the long-range hurricane forecasts, they hinge a lot on ENSO and it's very unpredictable that far out. Back in December, when Gray was prediciting a 13/8/4 season, there was some rather clear signals. They were:
1. Very warm Atlantic SSTA's
2. Clear lack of an ENSO event
But around April, we began to see these strong signals become more anonymous, more neutral. And by this month, ENSO is looking like it is going to be an increasingly negative factor on this year's activity, and Atlantic SST's are going to be anything but favorable, via SSTA's.
Even though a couple weaks ago I lowered my forecast to 12/6/2-3, that is going to be high. I expect around 8 storms, 4 hurricanes, and 1 or maybe 2 majors.
In summary:
1. If the December 2001 parameters would have held (very warm SSTA's, clear lack of any ENSO event), we would have been in for a VERY violent hurricane season, folks. We should be glad that these parameters did not stick.
2. 2002 will be below average, but we all remember Andrew. Be vigilant.
3. We are in some type of masking of the strong effects of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation. This has been mentioned by Dr. Gray in his May forecast. I think that this is only a one year, temporary event.
4. Based on #3, 2003 should have significantly above average hurricane activity with the major strikes we've anticipated on the U.S. possibly beginning to occur.
Thoughts and comments welcome.
Kevin


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Anonymous
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Re: Updated 2002 Tropical Cyclone Forecast
      #702 - Mon Jun 10 2002 04:01 PM

I think Ed Dunham & Kevin both make very educated analasys of whats been taking place in the Tropics over the past few weeks,now I'm no professional,I go 50% gut feeling & 50% scientific research & my feeling is we are going to have a pretty normal season or ever so slightly above normal,(12/6/3) are my #'s for this season,
whatever El Nino is out there will be a factor at times but not enough to significantly reduce activity,allthough water temps are slightly below normal in the East Atlantic it is only June 10,by Aug. & Sept. that will be back to normal,there are good looking waves coming off Africa allready, I did'nt see that last year until late July, we should get 3-4 Cape Verde storms by the time this season is over with,shear is always happening somewhere in the tropics at one time or the other more so at this time of the year when the seasons are in transition,remember June is a fairly quiet month with 64 storms in a period of 110 years give or take,also remember on average the 1st named storm usually does'nt occur until or after July 11,so I know the Hurricane guru's out there are getting impacient waiting for the 1st storm of the year & the atmosphere looks turbulent, but dont forget the season started last week, & in the Tropics things change on a day to day basis & like Kevin said "Remember Andrew" & Be Vigillant" even if #'s keep going down.


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Anonymous
Unregistered




Re: Updated 2002 Tropical Cyclone Forecast
      #703 - Mon Jun 10 2002 04:03 PM

I think Ed Dunham & Kevin both make very educated analasys of whats been taking place in the Tropics over the past few weeks,now I'm no professional,I go 50% gut feeling & 50% scientific research & my feeling is we are going to have a pretty normal season or ever so slightly above normal,(12/6/3) are my #'s for this season,
whatever El Nino is out there will be a factor at times but not enough to significantly reduce activity,allthough water temps are slightly below normal in the East Atlantic it is only June 10,by Aug. & Sept. that will be back to normal,there are good looking waves coming off Africa allready, I did'nt see that last year until late July, we should get 3-4 Cape Verde storms by the time this season is over with,shear is always happening somewhere in the tropics at one time or the other more so at this time of the year when the seasons are in transition,remember June is a fairly quiet month with 64 storms in a period of 110 years give or take,also remember on average the 1st named storm usually does'nt occur until or after July 11,so I know the Hurricane guru's out there are getting impacient waiting for the 1st storm of the year & the atmosphere looks turbulent, but dont forget the season started last week, & in the Tropics things change on a day to day basis & like Kevin said "Remember Andrew" & Be Vigillant" even if #'s keep going down.

Greyman (aka) Landfaller


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Anonymous (HF)
Unregistered




Re: Updated 2002 Tropical Cyclone Forecast
      #711 - Tue Jun 11 2002 01:37 AM

got to disagree with you ed. your forecast is very well thought out, but the way you read into climate signals is pretty focused on strong el nino events that seem unlikely or easily mitigated circumstances. for one i think the SST statistic is overrated, since we have often seen early and late season storms form over marginal SSTs recently. second there has been a trend to more intense systems in recent years and i reckon it to be part of a long cycle that require massive counter-influences (eg. 1997 ENSO event) to override. third i figure that we are partially evolved into a 1993 like summer pattern that will continue evolving, and with relatively normal basin shear (a halfway developed central and western pacific el nino) and large ridges close to the continent we will get more high latitude cut away trough induced systems that meander close to north america. this opposed to the recent tendency for fast westward moving low latitude systems that struggle as they speed, then nicely recurve and intensify as they do well out to sea. in recent years a combination of a more prominent atlantic ridge and teleconnecting east coast trough have given us lots of nasty strong systems that all ran out into the northern ocean like lemmings. i'm betting against a fourth consecutive installment of danger mostly to hatteras and the caribbean.
this year i think--more shallow low to mid-latitude development spread out in a more erratic pattern, and no more harmlessly trained storms. also less tendency for storms to form close to the cape verdes, but closer to the caribbean. basically i think this year has different facets applied to the same configuration that has given us higher activity recently, but are arranged to give us more bang for our buck.
and besides, dont want to change my old guess: 12-8-4
there, out on my limb, where i like to be.


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Kevin
Weather Master


Reged: Fri
Posts: 524
Loc: EC Florida
Re: Updated 2002 Tropical Cyclone Forecast
      #715 - Tue Jun 11 2002 11:29 AM

I must agree with you in some condtions, HF. I do believe that we will not see storms that go harmlessly out to see this year. I'm betting (as far as East Coast systems go this year) that we will see many threats on the coast. And given the current pattern of cut-off systems hovering around the East Coast and developing convection in the Caribbean, I believe our first East Coast threat could be a Dennis (1999) type event. This would take place in August, most likely because sheer values will be more favorable by then. I really due think that we could see shades of the 1999 hurricane season this year, just with fewer intense storms and the Atlantic storms developing farther west (near E. Caribbean) than 1999. As for named storms, we could see as few as 8 and no more than 11 or 12.

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