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Special Tropical Weather Outlook Issued for disturbance near the NE Bahamas. 30% development chance through 5 days.
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2016 Hurricane Season Starts Soon

Posted: 05:56 PM 15 May 2016 | | Add Comment

May 24th Update
If you are looking for information on the model indicated potential development check the Thread about model watching. We are monitoring it and will have more info when it comes available.



Original May 15th Update
May 15th is the start of the eastern Pacific hurricane season, but June 1st marks the start of the Atlantic season. This will be the 21st year flhurricane covers the Atlantic, and it’s been over 10 years since the last hurricane made landfall in Florida (Wilma), which happened to be the last strictly major (Cat3+) hurricane to make landfall anywhere in the US.

The eastern pacific has a small low chance area well southwest of Mexico, but otherwise not much. The el nino that dominated last year with warming in the Pacific has winded down, to more of a neutral to cooler area. This increases the chances for Atlantic activity to be closer to the long run average. In other words, chances are better for an active hurricane season this year than they have been in the past few, but it’s currently not an extreme la nina setup like 2004 was either. In short, it’s possible for Florida to go yet another year without a hurricane, but chances are less than the past 5-6 years bore out.

Cooler water in the Pacific (but still abnormally high just east of Hawaii), makes the pattern more likely for activity in the West Atlantic/Gulf and Caribbean much more likely this year than the central and Eastern Atlantic. Sot West Caribbean/Gulf extreme west Atlantic will be the likely areas to watch. Wind shear will be down from last year, also increasing development chances. But this rounds out to a more average year in the Atlantic, rather than above average.

Hurricane preparedness week also starts today, see more about that at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/hurricane_preparedness.html

In any case, it is prudent to get early preparations done for hurricane season, since it only takes one storm. Since this year is a bit different from last, I do believe that Florida will see something this year. If that comes as a Tropical Storm or Hurricane is yet to be seen. Wind damage tends to occur more with smaller, fast moving systems, which can go well inland. Storm surge flooding can happen along the coast, those at and just to the right of where the eye makes landfall will get the worst of the storm surge. Worst case areas for Florida and surge include Tampa Bay (in particular a ne moving storm going through or over St. Pete) and Jacksonville (just south of it). The Gulf side is more vulnerable to extreme surge than the Atlantic, but it can happen on either coast. Larger, slow moving systems tend to build up storm surge more. Rainfall and flooding can be an issue anywhere in the state of Florida with slow moving storms of any size. Some tropical systems tend to be wetter than others..

Since we had a freak out of season storm that occurred in January, Hurricane Alex, the first one to form in the Atlantic during the actual Season would be named Bonnie.

Last year two names were retired from the Atlantic, Hurricane Joaquin, which caused damage to part of the Bahamas, influenced record flooding in South Carolina and sank the cargo ship El Faro. As well as Tropical Storm Erika, this was tracked as a potential threat for a long time for Florida, but actually wound up doing unexpectedly large amounts of damage to the island of Dominica in the eastern Caribbean. 13 inches of rain were recorded in Dominica, which caused crippling flooding and overtopped some rivers. 30 people lost their lives in that disaster.

Hurricane Forecasting lost a pioneer this year also, as Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University passed away, he pioneered the seasonal forecasts and propelled a lot of research into the climate affecting hurricanes. The forecast still is now released by Dr. Phil Klotzbach who took over for Dr. Gray a few years ago. Dr. Gray, even while retired, continued his research until death. Their 2016 forecast cane be found http://tropical.atmos.colostate.edu/forecasts/ and is 13/6/2 (including Alex) for 2016.

One of the core forecast models we look at for hints on development and direction of storms, the GFS was upgraded last week for 2016. The update included updating grid resolution from 27 km to 13 km as well as shifting to a “4-dimensional” tracking system which gives a better account of how weather systems evolve over a 3-d special grid including elements of time that were not a factor in earlier iterations of the model.

This year is minor tweaks and updates to flhurricane, including a new page coming soon listing the various recordings we have done. Support for video streaming when needed, and updating various behind the scenes parts of the site. No major updates are planned this year.

The Atlantic Hurricane season Starts June 1st, and runs until November 30th.
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Alex becomes Hurricane, Warnings up for the Azores

Posted: 09:40 AM 14 January 2016 | | Add Comment

Alex has been upgraded to a hurricane, with baroclinic forces being perfect, and a very clear eye visible.

Because of this, Hurricane Warnings are now up for parts of the Azores.



For the Hurricane Warning: the islands of Faial, Pico, Sao Jorge, Graciosa, and Terceira in the central Azores.

Tropical Storm Warning for the islands of Sao Miguel and Santa Maria in the eastern Azores.

This is an extremely rare event to have a January hurricane, and even rarer for it to directly affect land areas.

Alex is the first January hurricane to form since 1938. The last one to occur (But not form) in January was 1955's Alice.

Additionally It is only the second hurricane on record to form north of 30.0N east of 30W (during any time).

Original Update
Welcome to 2016, a possible developing subtropical system is found off the east coast of the US, it has a 30% chance for development over the next 5 days.

The last time something developed in January that was subtropical was in 1978. It also happened in 1951 and 1938. If it were to be named, the first name for the year is Alex. The system is not currently being tracked as an invest. The National Hurricane Center has issued a special tropical weather outlook for the system.

The actual North Atlantic Hurricane season starts on June 1st.

From Ed Dunham re 2016:


NCEP has revised their forecast and now expects that it will be mid Summer of 2016, rather than Spring, before the current strong El Nino moderates to ENSO neutral conditions in the Pacific 3.4 Region. If the forecast pans out, it would be normal to anticipate that early season (or pre-season) activity would be unlikely, however, their forecast also suggests above average SSTs in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea from January through June - so I wouldn't close the books on any early season activity just yet. At the moment the best analog years seem to be:

1998 - 14/10/3
1988 - 11/5/3
1966 - 11/7/3
2003 - 16/7/3

Six month SST forecasts are not exactly precision forecasts, but I would still anticipate ENSO Neutral by late July into August. With SSTs generally warmer in the basin, I'm going to start with an outlook for an above average level of activity with 14 named storms and 8 hurricanes with 3 of those hurricanes reaching 'major' status. We'll leave this thread open until the start of the Atlantic season on June 1st. You can post your own seasonal forecast numbers
here and change them until the season starts. At the end of the 2016 season we'll take a look back and see how well we've done.

Alex Event Related Links


Animated Skeetobite Model Plot of Alex


stormplotthumb_01.gif

SFWMD Model Plot (Animated Model Plot) SFWMD Hurricane Page
Clark Evans Track Model Plot of Alex (Animated!) Model Plots in Google Earth - In Google Maps
Clark Evans Intensity Model Plot of Alex (Animated!)

Clark Evans Track Plot of Alex

Other Model Charts from Clark

Clark Evans Top 10 Analog Storms for Alex
More model runs on from RAL/Jonathan Vigh's page
NRL Info on Alex -- RAMMB Info

Floater Satellite Images: Visible (Loop), IR (Loop), WV (Loop), Dvorak (Loop), AVN (Loop), RGB (Loop), Rainbow (Loop), Funktop (Loop), RB Top Loop)

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Rare January Subtropical Storm Forms in Atlantic Alex

Posted: 04:49 PM 13 January 2016 | | Add Comment

Alex is the first tropical or subtropical storm to form in January
since an unnamed system did so in 1978, and is only the fourth known
to form in this month in the historical record that begins in 1851.

This system is moving northeast rapidly and it may come close to the Azores, no watches are warnings are up.

Also another rare event, Hurricane Pali in the Central Pacific, also is running. Never has an active tropical cyclone in January in both the Central Pacific and North Atlantic basins at the same time

The official start of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season is June 1st, it is extremely rare for systems to form outside of the typical hurricane season, but it does happen.

Alex Event Related Links


Animated Skeetobite Model Plot of Alex


stormplotthumb_1.gif

SFWMD Model Plot (Animated Model Plot) SFWMD Hurricane Page
Clark Evans Track Model Plot of Alex (Animated!) Model Plots in Google Earth - In Google Maps
Clark Evans Intensity Model Plot of Alex (Animated!)

Clark Evans Track Plot of Alex

Other Model Charts from Clark

Clark Evans Top 10 Analog Storms for Alex
More model runs on from RAL/Jonathan Vigh's page
NRL Info on Alex -- RAMMB Info

Floater Satellite Images: Visible (Loop), IR (Loop), WV (Loop), Dvorak (Loop), AVN (Loop), RGB (Loop), Rainbow (Loop), Funktop (Loop), RB Top Loop)



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Alex becomes Hurricane, Warnings up for the Azores

Posted: 07:00 PM 07 January 2016 | | Add Comment

14 January 2016 9:30AM EST Update
Alex has been upgraded to a hurricane, with baroclinic forces being perfect, and a very clear eye visible.

Because of this, Hurricane Warnings are now up for parts of the Azores.

For the Hurricane Warning: the islands of Faial, Pico, Sao Jorge, Graciosa, and Terceira in the central Azores.

Tropical Storm Warning for the islands of Sao Miguel and Santa Maria in the eastern Azores.

This is an extremely rare event to have a January hurricane, and even rarer for it to directly affect land areas.

Original Update
Welcome to 2016, a possible developing subtropical system is found off the east coast of the US, it has a 30% chance for development over the next 5 days.

The last time something developed in January that was subtropical was in 1978. It also happened in 1951 and 1938. If it were to be named, the first name for the year is Alex. The system is not currently being tracked as an invest. The National Hurricane Center has issued a special tropical weather outlook for the system.

The actual North Atlantic Hurricane season starts on June 1st.

From Ed Dunham re 2016:


NCEP has revised their forecast and now expects that it will be mid Summer of 2016, rather than Spring, before the current strong El Nino moderates to ENSO neutral conditions in the Pacific 3.4 Region. If the forecast pans out, it would be normal to anticipate that early season (or pre-season) activity would be unlikely, however, their forecast also suggests above average SSTs in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea from January through June - so I wouldn't close the books on any early season activity just yet. At the moment the best analog years seem to be:

1998 - 14/10/3
1988 - 11/5/3
1966 - 11/7/3
2003 - 16/7/3

Six month SST forecasts are not exactly precision forecasts, but I would still anticipate ENSO Neutral by late July into August. With SSTs generally warmer in the basin, I'm going to start with an outlook for an above average level of activity with 14 named storms and 8 hurricanes with 3 of those hurricanes reaching 'major' status. We'll leave this thread open until the start of the Atlantic season on June 1st. You can post your own seasonal forecast numbers here and change them until the season starts. At the end of the 2016 season we'll take a look back and see how well we've done.

Alex Event Related Links


Animated Skeetobite Model Plot of Alex


stormplotthumb_01.gif

SFWMD Model Plot (Animated Model Plot) SFWMD Hurricane Page
Clark Evans Track Model Plot of Alex (Animated!) Model Plots in Google Earth - In Google Maps
Clark Evans Intensity Model Plot of Alex (Animated!)

Clark Evans Track Plot of Alex

Other Model Charts from Clark

Clark Evans Top 10 Analog Storms for Alex
More model runs on from RAL/Jonathan Vigh's page
NRL Info on Alex -- RAMMB Info

Floater Satellite Images: Visible (Loop), IR (Loop), WV (Loop), Dvorak (Loop), AVN (Loop), RGB (Loop), Rainbow (Loop), Funktop (Loop), RB Top Loop)



Latest Meteorologist Blog - See More Blogs...
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Ed Dunham

The Erika Enigma

Posted: 05:57 PM 27 August 2015
At 27/17Z, TS Erika was located at 16.5N 63.5W and at 27/19Z Erika was located at 16.6N 63.6W - pretty much a dead stop, i.e., slow drift to the northwest, however at 27/21Z the center was located at 16.8N 63.8W - still moving to the northwest but the forward speed is increasing. With convection displaced to the southeast, positions were easy to determine based on the exposed, but still well formed, LLCC. As noted elsewhere, convection was firing on the eastern edge of the center but it is now firing over most of the center and the displacement continues to the east and southeast.

Over the past couple of days the forecast models have been of very little help in determining both the future intensity and the forecast track of this sheared tropical cyclone - both the early and the long range models have been all over the place with this system. Some of this erratic model output has surfaced in the NHC forecast which at times has seemed to be just as erratic, but if you live by the model.... To be fair, they have to come up with something every six hours whereas we have no such requirement.

When dealing with the tropics there are times (frequent times actually) when persistence is not only the best solution but often the only realistic solution so before I chastise the NHC too harshly I'll wait awhile and see how this all plays out. When forecasting hurricanes, the hardest thing to do is to have patience - when something is expected to happen but it doesn't, if you force yourself to wait a little longer the event that you expected, i.e., a turn to the northwest or something like that, eventually will. In other words the forecast idea was generally pretty good, but the timing was off.

Where is Erika likely to go - and will Erika survive to do it? Right now there are many options and all of them are realistic based on where the tropical cyclone is and what the environment looks like and how that environment is expected to evolve. Erika could get sheared apart and become an open wave. Erika could hit Puerto Rico and fall apart or survive and just miss Hispaniola. Erika could hit Hispaniola and end the storm track. Which one is the likely solution? Right now I have no firm idea - so I'll be patient for a little while longer. At Erika's current speed I certainly have enough time to do that. Erika still has to deal with a significant amount of windshear but, since the shear is primarily in the upper levels of the atmosphere, the system has been dealing with the shear rather well so far and it will probably continue to do so as long as the LLCC remains intact.
ED
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