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News Talkback >> 2003 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
Outlook for the 2003 Season
      #6280 - Wed Apr 16 2003 06:28 PM

Welcome to the 2003 CFHC Storm Forum! The potential certainly exists for an interesting season and I look forward to all of your inputs. Professional and Novice (and everyone in-between) are welcomed here. We had some great dialogue last year and I'm sure that the new season will bring more of the same. Use this forum to:

Share your thoughts, observations and forecasts for a particular storm or developing system.
Comment on your expectations for the 2003 season.
Share a useful data link with others.

At the start of the year, Mike shared some of my thoughts on the upcoming season (see 2003 News Talkback) and those thoughts have not changed too much. El Nino is still on the decline and ENSO conditions should become Neutral by the start of the season. Other indicators still point to a slightly above average season. In January my thoughts were as follows:

Total Named Storms: 11
Hurricanes: 6
Major Hurricanes: 2

Monthly distribution: June/July: 1, August: 3, September: 5 or 6, October: 2 or 1
Above normal landfall threat for the entire Gulf of Mexico, the western Caribbean islands, and south Florida and the Keys.

My current thoughts haven't changed all that much:

Total Named Storms: 11
Hurricanes: 7
Major Hurricanes: 3

My thinking on good analog years has sure changed though. With a closer check on global SST patterns and on high level wind pattern expectations, I now feel that 1985 is the best analog year (and perhaps the only good analog year). This year may be a bit unique, so finding a good analog was not that easy. 1964 and 1995 were two years with some pattern matches, but they were not strong analog years.

I still anticipate a lot of Gulf activity this year, with the bulk of the landfall threat likely to be east of Louisiana. This doesn't mean that LA and TX are out of the woods - far from it - just means that my expectation is for more activity affecting the eastern Gulf area. I'd anticipate an above average threat from Mobile to Key West - and also a possible threat to southern New England.

Thanks to all of you who contributed in the past and hope to see you, and others, back for another year of great Storm Forum discussion.

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Weather Master

Reged: Fri
Posts: 524
Loc: EC Florida
Re: Outlook for the 2003 Season
      #6284 - Fri Apr 18 2003 08:27 PM

Ed, thanks for updating your 2003 forecast. Your numbers sound good for the season, and I won't be commenting on the pattern likely pattern this year. Why? Jason Moreland, Rob Mann, and I will be releasing our official 2003 forecast on May 25th (maybe a few days later).

As for 1985 being an analog, I could agree with that somewhat. For one thing, 1984 had negative ENSO conditions, but 2002 didn't. There isn't much of a comparison there, IMO. But if you flip the coin over, you can clearly see that the La Nina this year could be very similar to 64, 95, and 85. This would mean a weak to moderate La Nina by the peak of the hurricane season. Although I don't fully agree with the atmo patterns that you are predicting this season, myself (and my forecasting partners) forsee a rough hurricane season. More details to come in our seasonal, obviously.

One last bit: 1985 had a westerly QBO, but this year is expected to have an easterly QBO. 1985 had a westerly QBO and 3 major hurricanes. However, 3-4 major hurricanes (with an east QBO) looks likely for this year. I believe that 85's ATC wasn't so strong, but this year it is. I suppose that's where the trade-off is.

I look forward to another great season of tracking!

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Senior Storm Chaser

Reged: Wed
Posts: 1063
Loc: Metairie, LA
Hopefully my search at Storm 2k will find me another copy of my prediction!
      #6352 - Wed Jun 11 2003 10:12 AM

I'm going with 14/8/4. All data I've perused indicates that this will be a memorable season. I don't have a clue if these numbers will pan out, but I went into last year with a 13/8/3 prediction. I was better on my landfalls.

So far we know that the mean trof position is likely to be even further west than last year's. It is liable to fluctuate between the Western Lakes and the Northern Rockies. Last year's avenue through the US was between 88-92W. This year it's more wide open. Landfalls could occur between 80-97W depending on relative conditions at the time the storms are in the area. I had a guru tell me that he believes the the MJO will be in the area in August. That could mean an earlier start to the meat of the season than we've seen in a couple of years. I'm predicting a minimum of 5 named storms in some part of the Gulf of Mexico.

We could see as many as 6 or 7 landfalls this year. I'll go out on a limb and predict 1 hit between the Upper Mexican Coast and Corpus; 1 landfall between Corpus and New Iberia/Vermillion Bay, 2 landfalls between New Iberia and Panama City Beach, 1 landfall between Key West and PCB, and a landfall in SE Florida which could be a dual landfall (ala Betsy, Andrew, et al). The Outer Banks is always a potential target, so that goes without saying. And there's always the shot that if the Bermuda Ridge is placed just right, there could be a hit between coastal Virginia and Maine.

In the peak part of the season, some indications are that the NAO may be neutral to slightly positive this year. If my failing memory is right, we had a negative NAO for the heart of the season last year. Water profiles in the Gulf and off the east coast are somewhat similar to last year. In some places, the water is already running warmer, the exception being right along the shoreline in the NE. In contrast to last season, there is no serious drought in the mid-Atlantic. One lesson from last year was that whenever the water is warm off the NE Coast and there are drought conditions in the mid-Atlantic, they will be broken by the hurricane season.

What could be interesting this year, and I'll be waiting for Kevin, Rob and TWW's forecast due out Sunday is whether or not the MJO is a factor in September and early October. If my source is right and its peak effect is earlier in the season, we'll have to see when it comes back around again in relation to whatever the Fall brings. It's almost like 2003 could peak differently than what we saw in 2002 and 2001.

As noted in other posts, the NOAA predicts storm tracks to be further south this year, so there is a good chance that we might see more CV storms or those originating in the Atlantic. This could mean landfalls of stronger storms than the close-in stuff we saw last year that consisted in all but 1 case of tropical storms. This is unknown, but my money is with storms being stronger this year than what we saw last year.

I'm not honing in on a specific target zone, because the entire Gulf and SE coast looks to be ripe for mother nature's pickins this year. (I had Bay St. Louis-Pensacola last year). If the Bermuda Ridge is as strong of an influence as what I'm thinking (and I was dead on that last year) there will be an aiming mechanism.

Joe B ranks 1995 as one of the analog years with similar water termperature in the Pacific and precipitation patterns across the states. Some differences include a negative NAO and warmer water further east in the Atlantic. FYI, here are the tracks for the 1995 Hurricane Season. One will note the fair number of gulf hits (Dean, Erin, Opal) but the otherwise incredible amount of fish spinners that year. There were 18 named storms.

Now I'm not thinking we're giong to have 18 named storms in 2003, but if for some insane reason we did, there would be a tremendous landfall potential.


MF'n Super Bowl Champions

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      #6820 - Tue Jul 01 2003 02:17 PM

>>I'm predicting a minimum of 5 named storms in some part of the Gulf of Mexico.

1 down, 4 to go?

>>2 landfalls between New Iberia and Panama City Beach

This was a mistake. With a storm coming in Southern Terrebonne Parish, there will probably be 3. Oh well. You can't win them all.


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Senior Storm Chaser

Reged: Wed
Posts: 1063
Loc: Metairie, LA
Re: Check...
      #7913 - Mon Jul 14 2003 09:49 PM

Seasonal update for me:

Current 3/1/0 (prediction 14/8/4)
2 landfalls of 6 or 7 calls

2 out of 5 named storms in the Gulf - I'm getting more uncertain of how many storms are going to get in here despite the pattern. The Gulf is now much cooler than normal and will need some time to recharge.

TBD of 1 Hit upper Mexicon cost to Corpus
TBD of 1 Hit between Corpus and Vermillion Bay
1 of 2 Landfalls between New Iberia and PCB
0 of 1 landfall between PCB and Key West
0 of 1 landfall in SE FL

Didn't call for anything specific for NC except that it was always a target. Also, noted the potential of a landfall VA to ME if the conditions are right at the appropriate time.

Doing okay so far.


MF'n Super Bowl Champions

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