April 2014 Hurricane Season Forecast

2014AnalogHurricaneMap

Can you believe it? It is almost the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Last season was a quiet one due to dry air in the upper level. That suppressed any tropical development. It is the most quiet season outside of any El Nino season. Tropical Storm Risk, ImpactWeather, Palm Harbor Forecast Center, CrownWeather, and Joe Bastardi have issued their April 2014 forecast. Keep in mind this is very preliminary at this time as things change.

Tropical Storm/Hurricane/Major Hurricane ACE=Accumulated Cyclone Energy

Colorado State University
9/3/1 ACE: 55

Tropical Storm Risk
12/5/3 ACE: 75

ImpactWeather
10/4/1 ACE: None

Global Weather Oscillation
17/8/3 ACE: None

Joe Bastardi (Weather Bell)
8 to 10 Storms/3 to 5 Hurricanes/1 to 2 Major Hurricanes ACE: None

Levi Cowan
8 to 10 Storms ACE: None

North Carolina State University
8 to 11 Storms/4 to 6 Hurricanes/1 to 3 Major Hurricanes ACE: None

The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is in a warm phase, while Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is in a cool phase, but has warmd due to developing El Nino. El Nino is developing and forecasted to develop by summer. I think we could see El Nino this year and could be a strong one. Based on a combination of developing El Nino, warm AMO, and cool PDO, the analog years I came up with are 1957, 1965, 1997, and 2002.

Analog Years (TS/H/MH ACE ACE/Storm)
1957 8/3/2 84 10.5
1965 6/4/1 84 14.0
1997 8/3/1 41 5.1
2002 12/4/2 67 5.6

So, what affect did those analog seasons have on America?
1957
Tropical Storm One makes landfall on Florida Panhandle in June. Up to 15 to 20 inches of rain reported.
Hurricane Audrey makes landfall on Southwest Louisiana and East Texas as a Category 2 hurricane in late June. It claimes more than 500 lives.
Tropical Storm Bertha makes landfall in the same area as Hurricane Audrey in early August. Dumps nearly 14 inches of rain near Damascus, Arkansas as a remnant low.
Tropical Storm Debbie makes lanfall of the Florida Panhandle in early September. Up to 11.26 inches of rain fell in Wewahitchka, Florida.
Tropical Storm Esther makes landfall on Southeast Louisiana in mid September. 18.39 inches of rain recorded in Quarantine, Louisiana.

1965
Tropical Storm One makes landfall on Florida Panhandle with minimal effect in early June.
Hurricane Betsy makes landfall southwest of New Orleans as a powerful Category 4 hurricane. The storm surge overwhelm the levees causing parts of New Orleans to be flooded. The hurricane claimed 76 lives and did over a billion dollars in damage, a first for a hurricane.
Tropical Storm Debbie makes landfall as a tropical depression and dumps heavy rain. Molbile, Alabama gets over 17 inches of rain in 24 hours, which is a daily record.

1997
Hurricane Danny forms from thunderstorms that drifted into Gulf of Mexico, which allow it to intensify. Danny is a slow moving hurricane and dumps extremely heavy rain. Nearly 37 inches of rain fell in Dauphin Island, Alabama, while Doppler radar estimate of 43 inches of rain fell offshore. Danny claims 9 lives both direct and indirect.

2002
Tropical Storm Bertha makes landfall in New Orleans area and moves southwest into the Gulf of Mexico. Bertha makes landfall near Kingsville, Texas as a tropical depression.
Tropical Storm Edouard makes landfall near Ormond Beach, Florida with minimal impact.
Tropical Storm Fay makes landfall near Matagorda, Texas. It dumps up to 20 inches of rain. It causes flooding in Texas and Mexico.
Hurricane Gustav impacts the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Southeast Virginia with heavy rain and strong winds. Than Gustav makes landfall on Cape Breton, Nova Scotia as a hurricane.
Tropical Storm Hanna makes landfall on Mississippi Delta and Mississippi/Alabama border at its peak. The highest rainfall is 15.68 inches of rain in Donaldsonville, Georgia.
Hurricane Isidore is forecasted to hit New Orleans as a Category 4 hurricane. However, it lingers over Yucatan Peninsula and dumps over 30 inches of rain. Isidore moves towards Southeast Louisiana as a large tropical storm. The highest total is nearly 16 inches of rain in Metairie, Louisiana. Isidore claimed five lives and shut down oil and natural gas production.
Hurricane Kyle is a long lived hurricane in the Atlantic. Makes landfall on South Carolina and North Carolina as a tropical storm.
Hurricane Lili hits Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane. Prior to landfall, Lili was a Category 4 hurricane that weakened due to wind shear and upwelling of cooler water. Lili did signifant damage and shut down oil production for a week.

Granted, those analog seasons were less active, but many made landfall and had devastating impacts. It shows that it only takes one to be bad, no matter how active or inactive the season is. Does this mean 2014 will be like those seasons? Not necessarily as I do not like making where these storms will make landfall as the whole basin is at risk. However, areas that see more storm forming than other areas are at higher risk of seeing landfall be it Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico. Here is a GIS heat map I created.

2014AnalogHurricaneHeatMap

Looking at it, the Central Gulf Coast from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama have the most landfall in those analog years. Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina also have a chance of seeing landfall. The area of white off the Southeastern US is where many storms travel over in those analog years. As a whole, most areas are at risk for landfall this season. That is why I never issue landfall forecast. Everyone should be prepared no matter what and how inactive or active this season is.

Let’s look at the statistics of the analog seasons.

Mean
8.5/3.5/1.5 69 8.8
9/4/2 69 8.8 (Rounded up)

Median
8/3.5/1.5 75.5 8.0
8/4/2 76 8.0 (Rounded up)

Standard Deviation
2.5/0.57/0.57 20.3 0.23

Let’s look the overall Atlantic Hurricane Season statistics from 1870 to 2013.

Hurricane Season Average (1870-2013)
Mean
9.5/5.5/2.1 92.1 9.7
10/6/2/ 92.1 9.7 (Rounded up)

Median
9/5/2 84.0 9.1

Standard Deviation
4.1/2.6/1.7 54.0 4.2

Based on this, the 2014 season should be an average season despite developing El Nino.

What is my prediction for this season?
8 to 13 named storms, likely 11 named storms
4 to 7 hurricanes, likely 6 hurricanes
1 to 3 major hurricanes with 2 major hurricanes
ACE is 50 to 110 with ACE likely of 60 to 90

Let’s see how my April 2013 hurricane forecast compare to the actual 2013 season.

14 to 20 named storms, likely 16 named storms
7 to 10 hurricanes, likely 9 hurricanes
3 to 6 major hurricanes with 5 major hurricanes
ACE is 170 to 230 with ACE likely of 180 to 220

2013 Actual Number
14 Named Storms (1 Unnamed Storm Added)
2 Hurricanes
0 Major Hurricanes
36 ACE

As you can see, I was way off. I got burned big time like many other forecasters in the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season. It shows we have a long way when it comes to predicting hurricane season. I forecast based on water temperature of Atlantic, Pacific, and El Nino. What I did not take into account is atmospheric patterns, upper level humidity, and temperature. Those change more quickly than water temperature as it is more likely to be constant.

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