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

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Posts: 2565
Loc: Melbourne, FL
2002 and 2003
      #2161 - Sun Aug 25 2002 12:24 PM

Didn't quite know where to put this since its an updated forecast for the rest of this season, a statistical outlook for next season and an analysis of past seasons which were rather quiet. Normally I don't bother with an updated forecast this late into the season, but I guess that this year is the exception because I no longer believe that my last update which called for 9 named storms is a good forecast..

Current conditions: Subsidence continues to rule the eastern and central tropical Atlantic - it doesn't matter much if its a 1036mb Azores High or a 1016mb high which is causing this - the point is that its still there. Tropical Atlantic SSTs are still below normal and expected to stay that way - from a tropical cyclone point of view, it doesn't matter much if it should finally warm up a little in December Strong westerly shear still exists in the Caribbean Sea and portions of the tropical Atlantic. The much heralded MJO wet phase has thus far turned out to be just that - 'all wet'! SSTs in the western India Ocean are still well below normal and projected to get even colder. Because of the subsidence, the ITCZ remains below 10N. African waves centered above 10N are still uncommon - 10 days ago there were 3 of them across the continent and none of them survived the cold east Atlantic. Today the African continent is almost empty of activity above 10N.

Updated 2002 Forecast:
7 Named Storms
2 Hurricanes
0 Majors

Some will claim that the 2001 season started late, but I don't think that it really did - at this time last year we had already experienced 4 Tropical Storms. Although 2001 really kicked in after September 1st, the tropical Atlantic was quite different (and quite warm) a year ago.

2003 Statistical Outlook:
This section starts out with the premise that there will only be 7 named storms (or less) in 2002. If you cannot accept the possibility that this season is going to remain on the quiet side, then what follows will not have much value to you. I started by taking a look at all of the seasons from 1965 through 2001. I picked 1965 because that was the first full year with satellite imagery - which cuts down on the claim of 'undetected' storms. In those 37 seasons, 10 of them had 7 storms or less - that's 27 percent or about one quiet year in every four seasons. Here are the totals for those years and the year which followed:

1965 6/4/1 1966 11/7/3
1972 7/3/0 1973 8/4/1
1977 6/5/1 1978 12/5/2
1982 6/2/1 1983 4/3/1
1983 4/3/1 1984 12/5/1
1986 6/4/0 1987 7/3/1
1987 7/3/1 1988 12/5/3
1992 7/4/1 1993 8/4/1
1994 7/3/0 1995 19/11/5
1997 7/3/1 1998 14/10/3

Note that these were all quiet seasons without consideration for what the ENSO conditions might have been. Its difficult to find a good analog year in any of these seasons, but 1972, 1986 and 1994 seem to fit close to this season with 1972 probably being the best fit. The much touted era of increased basin activity may have run its course. Periods of high activity have occured in the past, but they don't last forever. If you examine the years which followed each of these quiet seasons and toss out the extremes (1983 and 1995) as anomalous seasons which are not likely to be representative of anticipated conditions for next year, you get the following results as a statistical outlook for 2003:

10 Named Storms
5 Hurricanes
2 Major Hurricanes

In other words, on average, quiet seasons are usually followed by normal seasons (actually, slightly above normal 60% of the time). Perhaps these are good numbers to start with for next year. If El Nino returns, the numbers will probably be lower (remember, a below normal season follows a quiet season 40% of the time). If conditions stay neutral the numbers will probably be about right, and if La Nina kicks in, the numbers should increase. If the Atlantic stays cool, so will the numbers - if it warms up, the numbers will go up. If the subsidence relaxes the activity should increase - and vice versa. An outlook depends on what you think will happen and the rationale behind your forecast. Well, I've rambled on enough with this - now its your turn

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Anonymous (HF)

Re: 2002 and 2003
      #2182 - Tue Aug 27 2002 09:07 AM

ed.. dont ya think maybe youve gone off the deep end with the low number forecasting? when was the last year with no majors? youre calling for four more systems, two of them hurricanes.. something we could get in a week were shear to let up during and MJO wet cycle. the pacific has responded, only makes sense to assume the atlantic will respond and soon. i wont be buying any slow season forecasts until maybe mid or late september.. if things come together right for two or three weeks you can get half a dozen or more storms no problem.. and recent years have shown a tendency to go in bursts. if the basin is about to go hot after a slow, erratic early season.. then we've been here before.
well, one big difference.. nobody was quoting and requoting slow analog years, comparing their persistent features to those this year. to complicate, ive heard quite a spread of analog years since last fall... maybe the basin conditions are in constant transition. my 12-8-4 confidence has pretty much waned, but not ready to believe that this year will be unusually slow.
HF 1308z27august

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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
Re: 2002 and 2003
      #2203 - Tue Aug 27 2002 10:47 PM

The last year without a Major was 1994. I'll admit that I was a bit undecided as to the Majors - waivered between None and One. Usually, in order to develop a Major Hurricane you need ideal conditions over a fairly long stretch, OR you need a very slow moving system that avoids its own upwelling while moving through a very favorable area of the basin. The latter case is a remote possibility, but the former has not yet existed in the basin this year and I don't see much chance for long-stretch ideal conditions - they take time to develop. Remember, 4 more storms in the next 8 weeks is not exactly washing out the rest of the season

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Weather Master

Reged: Fri
Posts: 524
Loc: EC Florida
Re: 2002 and 2003
      #2227 - Wed Aug 28 2002 06:14 PM

Ed: I'd have to say that no major this year seems to be quite an underprediction. HF mentioned that the recent years have usually gone in bursts...this one will be no different. As I speak, there are three areas of disturbed weather in the Atl that are being looks like a long tracker. Still looks like a 10/6/2 season to me.

2003: I've had thoughts about what next year's hurricane season may be like...but they've been erased by wishy-washy ENSO models and a poor reading of the possible global climate factors next year. I'm not trying a forecast for now.

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Anonymous (HF)

crow, ed?
      #2265 - Thu Aug 29 2002 04:05 PM

hey, maybe i'm too high on my numbers. 12-8-4 seems out there (just as it might have say.. oh, on august 29, 2001). but i'm almost certain youre too low. have the feeling youre going down within two weeks. of course, if this was The Price is Right, your bid might still win you a chance to play plinko. just look back at the CFHC archives and see what everybody was guessing for this year, from nov and dec. i could be called conservative among the bunch.
anyhow, one thing i'm almost certain of: we will get more than 2 hurricane strength systems. going under 1994 is pretty fearless... akin to staying in a poker game with one pair of fours.
oh yeah, the stuff about our 'new age of hurricane activity' since '95 or so. supposedly the atlantic thermohaline cycle, and/or the EPO, or whatever drives long term ENSO tendencies, have collaborated to put us in overdrive for a while. so yes, 1997s might peek in every now and then and give us an off year.. but if what the climo guys are hypothesizing is correct, the switch is flipped to ON and stuck for a while. 30 years i think the stuff i read said.
anyhow, how about this MJO business. middle of the season, sad MJO.. nothing happens. middle of the season, happy MJO.. lots of things seem to be happening.
well.. i guess its possible youll still hit your numbers. but just in case, remember, the crow goes well with a vintage vermouth. and a side of stuffed olives. take it from a carolina boy who knows his way around culinary roadkill. heh.
HF 2000z29august

Four more to go
Before any Crow*
But if only a third
Then WHO gets the bird ?


(* forecast margin of error +/- 1)

Edited by Ed Dunham (Thu Aug 29 2002 09:28 PM)

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