Atlantic Hurricane Season In June

As we are in June and hurricane season is heating up. Where do most June tropical storms and hurricanes form and end up going?

Here is a GIS heat map I created. This is all June tropical storms and hurricanes from 1870 to 2015.

Most June tropical storms and hurricanes form in the Gulf of Mexico, Southwest Caribbean, and off the Carolinas. No surprise that Texas and Florida are most vulnerable to tropical storms and hurricanes in June.

April 2017 Hurricane Season Forecast

It is almost this time of year. Hurricane Season is coming as it starts on June 1, 2017. Last year was quite an active hurricane season with Matthew, Nicole and Otto. Tropical Storm Arlene formed in the Northeast Atlantic.

Colorado State University
11/4/2 ACE: 75

Joe Bastardi (Weather Bell)
10 to 12 Storms/4 to 6 Hurricanes/1 to 2 Major Hurricanes ACE: 75 to 95

Tropical Storm Risk
11/4/2 ACE: 67

Accuweather
10/5/3

The Weather Channel
12/6/2

The analog years I am using are in which previous winter is La Nina or Neutral and second year after El Nino. The forecast is uncertain is El Nino will develop later in 2017 despite the water showing warming in the Equatorial Pacific, especially off the coast of South America.

2017
2015-2016 El Nino
2016-2017 La Nina
2017/2017-2018 El Nino/Neutral?

Based on this, the analog years are 1901, 1913, 1972, 1989, 2004, 2006, and 2009. They happened two years after El Nino and came off of a La Nina. Of course, there are other factors in play besides El Nino. I look at Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Northeast Pacific Warm Pool (NEPWP), Equatorial Indian Ocean (EIO), Tropical South Atlantic (TSAI), Southern Ocean/Roaring Forties, and Atlantic Main Development Region (MDR).

Analog Years For 2017 (TS/H/MH ACE ACE/Storm)
1901 13/6/0 99 7.6
1972 7/3/0 36 5.1
1989 11/7/2 135 12.3
2004 15/9/6 227 15.1
2006 10/5/2 79 7.9
2009 9/3/2 53 5.9

So, what affect did those analog seasons have?
1901
Tropical Storm #2 made landfall on Matagorda, Texas on July 10, 1901 with 50 mph winds. This comes 10 months after the devastating Galveston Hurricane on September 8-9, 1900, which claimed 12,000 lives.

Hurricane #4 is known as the 1901 Louisiana Hurricane. The hurricane formed southwest of Azores on August 2, 1901. It traversed the Atlantic before making landfall on Florida on August 11, 1901. It emerges into the Gulf of Mexico and intensifies into a Category 1 hurricane due to the Loop Current on August 12, 1901. The hurricane makes landfall on Buras, Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph wind and that makes a second landfall on Ocean Springs, Mississippi on August 15, 1901. Buras reports 4 feet of water, while New Orleans sees the Mississippi River rise by 7 feet. Up to 15 people are known to have died and inflicted $1 million of damages.

1972
1972 was a largely quiet season, but will be most remembered for Hurricane Agnes. It was a hurricane of non-tropical origin that formed over Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico on June 14, 1972. The tropical depression exits Yucatan into the Yucatan Channel. Agnes brushes Western Cuba as it heads towards Gulf of Mexico. Agnes becomes a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds on June 18, 1972 as it is moving northwards towards Florida. Agnes weakens slightly as it makes landfall on Cape San Blas, Florida as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph, but likely a tropical storm as there was no sustained hurricane force winds reported. Agnes produced 7 foot storm surge and heavy rain in Florida. There is also a tornado outbreak in Florida from Agnes, which claimed 7 lives. A total of 9 people died in Florida from Agnes. Agnes is responsible for the deadliest tornado outbreak from a tropical cyclone. Agnes continues to weaken as it moves further inland. Agnes goes over the Atlantic on June 22, 1972 as a tropical storm, which developed over North Carolina. Agnes intensifies into a 70 mph tropical storm and makes landfall in Suffolk County east of New York City on June 22, 1972 with 65 mph winds. Once inland, Agnes becomes an extratropical storm. From there, Agnes starts dumping heavy rain throughout a large area of the Northeast from June 23 to 25, 1972. Many areas see 10 to 15 inches of rain including 19 inches of rain in Pennsylvia. Some areas likely saw higher amounts of rain. Pennsylvania took the brunt of Agnes from the heavy rain and massive flooding. Many other states were hit hard from Virginia, Maryland, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia. At least 119 people died in America from flooding, including 50 in Pennsylvania. On top of it, Agnes did $2.1 billion in damages, the most at the time. Agnes was not a major hurricane and will be remembered as an epic flood event in the Northeast, particularly in Pennsylvania.

1989
Before 2001 Tropical Storm Allison, there was 1989 Tropical Storm Allison, which formed from remnant of East Pacific Hurricane Cosme. Cosme made landfall east of Acapulco as a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds. Allison paid a visit to the Upper Texas Coast on June 27, 1989 with 50 mph wind. Many areas in Texas saw 10 to 20 inches of rain. Like 2001 Allison, 1989 Allison loops over Texas, which dumps heavy rain over Northern and Central Louisiana. Many areas saw 15 to 20 inches including 30 inches at Winnfield, Louisiana. Eleven people lost their life in Texas Louisiana, and Mississippi.

Hurricane Chantal is the first hurricane to strike the Upper Texas Coast in 1989. Chantal is a small hurricane that made landfall on High Island, Texas on August 1, 1989 as a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds and central pressure of 984 millibars. The highest winds is 70 mph with gusts as high as 105 mph. Many areas see 50 to 65 mph winds. Chantal produced three feet storm surge at Galveston. An area from Southern Harris County, Fort Bend, and Galveston County saw 8 to 12 inches of rain with amounts as high as 20 inches in Friendswood. One interesting aspect is that the “dirty” side of Chantal was on the southwest side of the hurricane, which produced most of the heavy rain. Thirteen people die, including 11 offshore.

Hurricane Hugo is the most intense hurricane of 1989, which peaked at 160 mph and central pressure of 918 millibars. Hugo was a Cape Verde storm as it formed from a tropical wave that came off of West Africa on September 9, 1989. Hugo became a tropical depression once the tropical wave left Africa. Hugo undergoes rapid intensification over the Atlantic. Hugo first encounter with land as it crosses between Guadeloupe and Montserrat on September 17, 1989 as a Category 4 hurricane with 140 mph winds. Gusts are as high as 210 mph! Guadeloupe is ravaged by strong winds and 8 feet storm surge as many homes are destroyed on top of 10 lives lost. A gust of 184 mph is recorded from a French research ship. Montserrat is ravaged by 20 feet storm surge as almost every house is damaged! Almost everyone are left homeless as a result. 21 people die in Montserrat. Hugo than makes its first landfall on St. Croix. A slowing Hugo puts St. Croix under prolonged hurricane force winds as high wave pelt the island. 90 percent of buildings are leveled and the infrastructure is destroyed by Hugo. The damage is a staggering $1 billion for St. Croix. Later that day, Hugo makes landfall on Vieques and Fajardo, Puerto Rico as a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. The highest sustained winds are 102 mph with gusts as high as 153 mph. Hugo ravages eastern Puerto Rico and decimates the crops. Hugo goes northward as a Category 2 hurricane. Hugo undergoes intensification to a Category 4 hurricane with 140 mph and central pressure of 944 millibars. Hugo is heading towards America. On the night of September 21, 1989, Hugo makes landfall as a Category 4 hurricane with 140 mph and central pressure of 934 millibars. The highest wind is 119 mph with gusts of 179 mph! Many areas see 80 to 120 mph winds with gusts of 120 to 180 mph. Hugo produces monster storm surge in the Charleston area due to its large size. Twenty feet storm surge are reported as it floods the coastal area. The fast motion of Hugo does not lead to massive flooding. 35 people lost their life in America and costliest hurricane at the time prior to Andrew in 1992.

Hurricane Jerry is the second hurricane to hit the Upper Texas Coast in 1989. It formed in the Bay of Campeche on October 12, 1989. Jerry became a Category 1 hurricane on October 15, 1989. As Jerry approaches the Upper Texas Coast, it continues to intensify. By the time it is getting closer to the Upper Texas Coast on October 16, 1989, it has 85 mph winds. Later that day, Jerry makes landfall on Jamaica Beach. Galveston sees 75 mph winds with gusts as high as 100 mph. The storm surge destroys a section of State Highway 87. Houston does not feel much impact from Jerry due to it small size. Many areas saw 2 to 4 inches with highest amount of over 6 inches in Silsbee. Three people died from Jerry all in Galveston as they were driving on the Galveston Sea Wall.

2004
Hurricane Charley is first of the four hurricanes to ravage Florida in the 2004 season. Charley formed over Barbados on August 9, 2004. Two days later, Charley becomes a hurricane south of Jamaica. As Charley heads towards Cayman, intensifies into a Category 2 hurricane and continues to intensify into Category 3 as it heads closer to Cuba. Charley makes landfall close to Punta Cayamas with 120 mph. The highest winds is 120 mph with gusts of 180 mph over Cuba. Over 13 feet storm is measured in Cuba. Charley continues traverses over Cuba and is west of Havana. Charley emerges from Cuba as a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph and its first landfall on Florida is Dry Tortuga. A cold front is steering Charley towards Southwest Florida. Forecast models have Charley hitting Tampa Bay as a Category 3 hurricane. As it gets closer to the mainland, Charley undergoes rapid intensification into a Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds and 941 millibars. Charley first struck Cayo Costa and than Punta Gorda as a Category 4 hurricane. Charley produce up to 13 feet storm surge in Florida. The highest sustain winds is 128 mph with gusts of 192 mph! The highest measure gust is 172 mph out of Charlotte Regional Medical Center which was before anemometer failed. Charley travels along Interstate 4 and ravages Orlando as a Category 1 hurricane. Many areas see 5 to 8 inches of rain from Charley. Charley emerges into the Atlantic as a Category 1 hurricane. Than it makes landfall Cape Romain and North Myrtle Beach as a Category 1 hurricane. The highest wind is 63 mph with gusts of 96 mph. Charley is the first hurricane to hit South Carolina since Hugo in 1989. Charley dumps 3 to 7 inches of rain and produces 4 to 6 feet storm surge. Once Charley is gone, it claims 15 lives, mostly in Florida. There are 20 indirect deaths, which brings total to 35. Charley also does $16.3 billion in damages.

As Florida is recovering from Hurricane Charley, another storm forms off the Cape Verde Islands, Frances. Frances forms off the Cape Verde on August 24, 2004 and becomes a tropical storm the next day. Frances gains intensity is it traverses over the Atlantic, it undergoes rapid intensification and becomes a hurricane on August 26. Frances intensifies into a Category 4 hurricane with 135 mph winds. Frances undergoes eyewall replacement cycle, causing it to weaken to Category 3 hurricane. AS Frances travels westward and intensifies into a Category 4 with 145 mph winds on September 2, 2004 as it begins to ravage Bahama. Frances weakens into a Category 3 hurricane due to wind shear as it is over Bahamas. Frances maintains Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph as it gets closer to Florida. Frances is a large hurricane with a large eye. To make matters worse, France is moving slowly as it gets closer to Florida. Frances makes landfall on Hutchinson Island, Florida as a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds on September 5, 2004. Frances ravages Florida with strong winds and heavy rain. Many areas in Florida see 10 to 20 inches of rain, which leads to flooding. As Frances is leaving Florida, it emerges into the Gulf of Mexico and make landfall on Aucilla River, Florida as a tropical storm. As Frances weakens, it becomes a huge rainmaker for the Southeast. The Appalachian Mountains draw more moisture out of the storm leading the heavy rain. Many areas in North Carolina see over 20 inches of rain including nearly 24 inches of rain in Mount Mitchell. The flooding causes Asheville to have no water for several days. There are 7 people killed and 43 indirect deaths, which brings the total of 50.

If things got worse, it does, as a tropical wave emerges from Africa on August 31, 2004, which becomes a tropical depression on September 2, 2004. The next day it is Tropical Storm Ivan. Ivan is a tropical storm for two days and on September 5, 2004, it becomes a hurricane and rapidly intensifies into a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds. Ivan first hits Granada as a Category 3 hurricane. Many areas see 80 to 100 mph winds with gusts of 120 to 150 mph. Ivan unleashes devastating winds and destroys numerous buildings including a prison, which allows prisoners to escape causing more trouble. Most of the island is leveled by Ivan as it claims 39 lives. Ivan enters the Caribbean and rapidly intensifies into a Category 5 hurricane with 160 mph. Ivan comes approaches Jamaica on September 11, 2004 and pelts the nation with hurricane force wind and heavy rain. 17,000 people are left homeless from flooding and strong winds of Ivan. Ivan dumped heavy rain on Jamaica as much as 28 inches of rain! It is very likely the amount are higher. 17 people died in Jamaica. As Ivan moves away from Jamaica, it re-intensifies into a Category 5 hurricane. As Ivan comes closer to Grand Cayman, Ivan peaks at 165 mph and central pressure of 910 millibars. Ivan is the tenth most intense hurricane on record in the Atlantic as of 2017. The strong winds of Ivan damage many buildings despite strict building codes. Grand Cayman has winds of 157 mph with gusts as high as 236 mph! Ivan goes between Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba as a Category 5 hurricane. Cuba is being ravaged by full force Category 5 winds and heavy rain. Despite it, there are no reports of casualties in Cuba from Ivan. Ivan enters the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 4 hurricane and maintains it. As Ivan inches closer to the Gulf Coast, people are order to evacuate. The Superdome in New Orleans becomes a “shelter of last resort”, which had been used with Hurricane Georges in 1998. Many evacuate New Orleans as it most of the city is below sea level and would be very vulnerable to storm surge. However, Ivan goes east of New Orleans and makes landfall on Gulf Shore, Alabama as a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds in the small hours of September 16, 2004. Alabama and Florida are hammered by strong winds of 80 to 100 mph with gusts of 120 to 150 mph on top of 15 foot storm surge. Ivan spawned numerous tornadoes, a total of 117, which is the most from a hurricane. On top of it, there is heavy rain of 10 to 15 inches as causes widespread flooding. Ivan moves further inland and weakens into a tropical storm. Appalachian Mountains are getting more heavy rain as it has been flooded by Hurricane Frances several weeks earlier. Part of Ivan break away and moves eastward back into the Atlantic and loops towards Florida. That piece of Ivan enters the Gulf of Mexico and begins to reorganize. By the time it is near Texas/Louisiana, Ivan becomes a tropical depression and tropical storm on September 22, 2004. Ivan makes landfall on Holly Beach, Louisiana as a tropical depression. Some areas in Louisiana and Texas had up to 8 inches of rain. Ivan claimed 92 lives and including 32 indirect deaths, which brings the total to 124 lives.

As Ivan is entering the Gulf of Mexico, a tropical depression develops east of Guadaloupe on September 13, 2004, which made landfall on the island nation. Many areas in Guadaloupe see 8 to 12 inches of rain. The next day it becomes Tropical Storm Jeanne as moves westward towards the Virgin Islands. On September 15, 2004, Jeanne makes landfall on Yabucoa, Puerto Rico as a tropical storm and travels over the island. Many areas see 5 to 10 inches of rain with the highest amount of nearly 24 inches in Vieques. Eight people have died from Jeanne in Puerto Rico. Jeanne exits Puerto Rico and becomes a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds before it makes landfall on the eastern tip of Dominican Republic September 16, 2004. Jeanne traverses on the north side of Hispanola and weakening due to interaction with the mountains. Despite weakening, Jeanne is dumping heavy rain over Haiti and Dominican Republic for 30 hours. The prolonged heavy rain triggers widespread flooding and deadly mudslide in Haiti and Dominican Republic. The highest reported total is 13 inches with totals possibly going as much as 40 inches of rain in the mountains. The coastal city of Gonaives is hardest hit by flooding from Jeanne. At least 2,900 people are known to have died in the city. Throughout Haiti, at least 3,000 people have died from Jeanne. In Dominican Republic, 18 people have died from Jeanne from deadly flooding. Jeanne is now a tropical depression as it exits Hispanola on September 17, 2004. Jeanne lingers east of Bahamas and becomes a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds on September 20, 2004. Jeanne loops around the Atlantic as a hurricane and moves westward towards the Bahamas. Jeanne continues to intensify into a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph as it hits Abaco Island, Bahamas on September 25, 2004. Jeanne continues westward towards hurricane ravaged Florida. On the night of September 25, 2004, Jeanne makes landfall just two miles away from where Frances made landfall on Hutchinson Island as a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds and 950 millibars, which is the peak of Jeanne. Jeanne produces 6 foot storm surge in Florida. Many areas see 60 to 90 mph winds with gusts of 90 to 135 mph. Many areas see 5 to 8 inches of rain with totals as high as nearly 13 inches of rain. Jeanne weakens as it is over Florida and moves northward dumping heavy rain throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic region. It is unclear how much of the damage is from Charley, Frances or Jeanne. Regardless, Jeanne did a total of $7.66 billion in damages. Jeanne claims over 3,000 lives and exceeds Katrina and Stan in 2005. Jeanne is the deadliest hurricane of the 2000s.

2006
Tropical Storm Alberto formed between Cuba and Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The storm peaks at 70 mph west of Tampa Bay on June 12, 2006 over the Loop Current. Alberto makes landfall on Taylor County, Florida on June 13, 2006 with 45 mph winds. Many areas in the Southeastern US see 3 to 7 inches of rain, which leads to flooding. Grand Cayman records up 22.72 inches of rain in 24 hours. Many areas in Cuba see 7 to 12 inches of rain, including 17.52 inches in Pinar del Rio province, Cuba. Two people died in Florida, and one died in North Carolina. Four sailors off the coast of Newfoundland Canada went missing when Alberto is an extratropical storm.

Hurricane Ernesto formed west of Grenada on August 24, 2006. It becomes a hurricane southwest of Haiti on August 27, 2006 with 75 mph winds. Ernesto weakens as it interacts with the mountains of Haiti and Dominican Republic. Ernesto brushes the western tip of Haiti on August 28, 2006 as a weak tropical storm with 45 mph winds. Than Ernesto makes landfall near Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Ernesto continues northwestward towards Cuba, first hitting Plantation Key, Florida, and than Miami-Dade County as a tropical storm. Ernesto traverses over Florida be emerging over the Atlantic, which intensifies to 70 mph and possibly a Category 1 hurricane. Ernesto makes landfall on Oak Island, North Carolina on August 31, 2006. Haiti sees up to 11 inches of rain and strong winds. Cuba sees rain amounts of 2 to 5 inches of rain with highest of 7.46 inches in Nuevitas, Camagüey. Florida sees 3 to 6 inches of rain with highest of 8.72 inches at South Golden Gate, Florida. The Carolina sees 4 to 8 inches of rain with 14.61 inches being the highest at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Five people died in Haiti, while two died in Virginia when Ernesto is extratropical storm.

2009
Hurricane Bill is the most intense hurricane for 2009 as it was a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds and central pressure of 943 millibars. On August 22-23, 2009, the outerbands of Bill affect the Eastern Seaboard, particularly Massachusetts. Bill dumps heavy rain and produces numerous high waves on the East Coast. Hurricane Bill makes landfall on Point Rosie, Newfoundland as a 70 mph tropical storm. Many areas in Newfoundland and Canadian Maritime provinces experience strong winds and heavy rain. The coastal areas are pelted by high waves that a buoy recorded 87 feet waves!

Hurricane Ida was a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds and central pressure of 975 millibars. However, it is better remembered as a powerful Nor’easter dubbed Nor’Ida. The storm would hammer the East Coast from November 11 to 17, 2009 with heavy rain and strong winds. The highest rainfall total is 18 inches of rain in Virginia. The storm also produce over 7 foot storm surge, which is on par with Hurricane Isabel in 2003.

Some of the analog seasons are inactive like 1972, but are very memorable. It shows it only takes just one to make a huge difference. Some are very active and deadly like 1989 and 2004. There were also Category 5 hurricanes in 1989 and 2004.

Here is a heat map of analog seasons. It is based on 300 mile radius from the storms.

The high risk areas are Cuba, Yucatan Peninsula, Florida Panhandle, South Florda, Carolinas, Bahamas, and Upper Texas Coast. However, when you look at the whole basin, everyone is at risk for landfall, which is why I never make landfall predictions. Everyone is at equal risk as I always say!

Analog
Mean
10.83/5.5/2.00
11/6/2 (Rounded Up)

Median
10.50/5.50/2.00
11/6/2 (Rounded Up)

Standard Deviation
2.86/2.35/2.19

ACE
Mean
104.83

Median
89

Standard Deviation
69.23

ACE/Storm
Mean
8.99

Median
7.76

Standard Deviation
3.90

How do analog seasons compare as a whole. Statistics from 1870 to 2016.

Mean
9.86/5.50/2.04
10/6/2

Median
9/5/2

Standard Deviation
4.21/2.61/1.66

ACE
Mean
92.18

Median
83

Standard Deviation
53.73

ACE/Storm
Mean
9.38

Median
8.67

Standard Deviation
4.04

The analog seasons are within standard deviation, which indicates this upcoming hurricane season is going to be within average.

What is my prediction for this season?
6 to 12 named storms, likely 10 named storms
3 to 8 hurricanes, likely 6 hurricanes
1 to 3 major hurricanes with 2 major hurricanes
ACE is 65 to 110 with ACE likely of 70 to 100

This excludes Arlene, which formed earlier in April, which would be 11 named storms. I do not think this season will be as active as last year. Of course, it only takes one to be bad like in 1972 with Agnes.

Let’s see how my April 2016 hurricane forecast compare to the actual 2016 season.

7 to 13 named storms, likely 11 named storms
4 to 8 hurricanes, likely 6 hurricanes
2 to 4 major hurricanes with 3 major hurricanes
ACE is 90 to 150 with ACE likely of 100 to 130

2016 Actual Number
15 Named Storms
7 Hurricanes
4 Major Hurricanes
141 ACE

I was off with named storms. I was close with hurricanes, major hurricanes, and ACE. There is always room for improvement either way.

Regardless of forecast, I think 2017 could be an interesting hurricane season. It is the same Atlantic name list used in the devastating 2005 season, which produced Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. Of course some of the names are not there with the exception of Emily.

It Is February And It Is Hot

February has been hot like summer. Yes, it is winter, but it feels like summer in Texas. Just look at the temperature anomaly map below.

surfaceairtemperatureanomaly_nh_20170206-20170212

Most of the cold air is over Alaska, Kazakhstan, and Central Russia. Now, why is it warm? We can look at the upper level at around 18,000 feet or 5,000 meters.

500mbgeopotentialheightanomaly_nh_20170206-20170212

There is ridging over most of America, Northern Europe, and Eastern Russia. There is troughing over Northwestern Canada, Japan, and Korea. The troughing keeps things cooler in that part of the world. Has it ever been this hot before in February? Yes, it has been and even reached 90°F in Southeast Texas. There were 100°F in South Texas. It occurred in 1986 and 1996.

Temperature Anomaly Map In 1986
surfaceairtemperatureanomaly_nh_19860218-19860220

Temperature Anomaly Map In 1996
surfaceairtemperatureanomaly_nh_19960221-19960223

Let’s look at the upper levels.

500 Millibar Geopotential Height In 1986
500mbgeopotentialheightanomaly_nh_19860218-19860220

500 Millibar Geopotential Height In 1996
500mbgeopotentialheightanomaly_nh_19960221-19960223

The pattern in 1986 and 1996 look similar. There is ridging over Lower 48 America, mostly over the southern half. There is ridging over Northeast Canada in 1986 and 1996, but not in 2017. There is troughing over Northwest Canada, Japan, and Korea. However in 1986 and 2017, there is ridging over Eastern Russia and Alaska, unlike in 1996 and 2017. There is also troughing over Northern Europe and Siberia in 1986. There is ridging over Northern Europe and Siberia in 1996 and 2017. Here is a composite of 1986, 1996, and 2017 upper air pattern at 18,000 feet or 5,000 meters.

500mbgeopotentialheightanomaly_nh_composite_february_heat_1986_1996_2017

There is ridging over most of America and troughing over Northwestern Canada, Japan, and Korea. There is ridging over Northern Europe, Northeast Canada, and Eastern Russia. Ridging over Eastern Russia is a negative West Pacific Oscillation (WPO), while over Alaska is East Pacific Oscillation (EPO). WPO and EPO are similar to North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Negative NAO has ridging over Northeast Canada and Greenland. Troughing over Northwest Canada favors negative Pacific North American Teleconnection (PNA) pattern. A negative PNA produces warmer winters. A negative WPO, EPO, and NAO favors cooler winters.

Another thing is 1986 and 1996 occurred in La Nina. The La Nina were weak that time. La Nina usually favors warmer winters because it is usually drier due to less rain. The most recent heat wave occurred in Neutral, not La Nina. A lot of things come to play from ocean to atmosphere to produce an abnormally warm February.

All the data is from NOAA-Daily Mean Composites.

2016-2017 Winter Forecast

Wow, time flies fast. Every year, time flies faster and it is almost Christmas. Winter is upon us again. Last winter we had a strong El Nino. This time around, we have Neutral conditions, neither La Nina or El Nino. Usually when there is a strong El Nino, La Nina follow. Not this time around. Other factors to consider are Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), Northeast Pacific Warm Pool (NEPWP), Roaring Forties, Equatorial Indian Ocean, and Tropical South Atlantic. However, since this El Nino is large and strong and has significant impact, it will weigh in more than other factors listed. Since, we have a strong El Nino, here are my analog winters. Here are the analog winters I came up with.

1878-1879
1897-1898
1900-1901
1912-1913
1919-1920
1926-1927
1931-1932
1958-1959
1983-1984
2003-2004

I chose these winters because the previous winter was El Nino as they are mostly strong El Nino’s. Those analog had weak La Nina or Neutral. Here is a table I created to identify strongest analogs.

Year ENSO Strong AMO PDO NEPWP EIOI TSAI R40I Total
1878-1879 1 1   1 1   1 5
1897-1898 1 1 1 1       4
1900-1901 1 1 1 3
1912-1913 1 1
1919-1920 1 1
1926-1927 1 1 1 3
1931-1932 1 1 1 1       4
1958-1959 1 1 1 1 1 1   6
1983-1984 1   1 1 1 1 1 6
2003-2004   1 1 1 1 1 1 6

I look at seven ocean patterns based on November averages. The cutoff for further analysis is four. We can eliminate these winters.
1900-1901
1912-1913
1919-1920
1926-1927

The analogs I will be looking at are
1878-1879
1897-1898
1931-1932
1958-1959
1983-1984
2003-2004

Let’s start with the ever important temperature. All divisional temperatures and rainfall were plotted with NOAA/NCDC Climate Division data: Mapping and Analysis Web Tool. All maps were generated with 20th Century Reanalysis Monthly Composites.

2016-2017_analog_divisional_temperature_standardizedanomaly-strongest-analog

This is a climate division map of the Lower 48. It does not have 1878-1879. Most of America saw cooler than normal winter, especially in Utah and Colorado. It is also colder in Texas. This would suggest a cooler than normal winter for most of America. The exception is in the Southeast where it is either normal or slightly warmer. What effects does it have around the world?

2016-2017_analog_wintertemperatureanomaly_world-strongest-analog

This one has 1878-1879. Alaska, Kamchatka Peninsula, Southeast Asia, India, Central Asia, and Arctic look to be cooler than normal. The Eastern Tip of Russia, Southeast US, Northeast Canada, North Central Siberia, Sudan, and Chad are warmer than normal. If one is wondering what the winter of 1878-1879 was like, here it is.

djf-1878-1879_wintertemperatureanomaly

It was cooler winter for North America with the exception of Northeast Canada and Greenland. It was also cooler throughout Siberia and Arctic. The NWS New York City has data from 1869 from Central Park. The first one is Normals and Extremes Central Park, NY (1869 to Present) and Average Monthly & Annual Temperatures at Central Park. The winter of 1878-1879 was a cold one with an average of 29.2°F. The average winter temperature in New York City is 35.1°F, which is 6 degrees below normal. The NWS Chicago shows a cooler than normal winter in 1878-1879, but not super cold. The previous winter of 1877-1878 is the warmest on record. It remains the warmest winter to this day. Chicago’s warmest winters occur in El Nino winters. No surprise there as the jet stream goes further south than usual. All Columbus, Ohio Data has the worst winters and 1878-1879 is considered one of the worst winters for Columbus. This would suggest that 1878-1879 was a cold winter for America including Texas.

The reason for 1878-1879 winter to be cold is due to negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO), which is ridging over Northeast Canada and Greenland. A positive NAO and AO is troughing over Greenland and Northteast Canada.

djf-1878-1879_winter500mbgeopotentialanomalynh

What does the upper level look like in analog winters?

2016-2017winter500mbgeopotentialanomalynh-strongest-analog

There is ridging south of Iceland, South of Bering Sea, and North Central Siberia. There is troughing over Eastern Russia, off the Eastern Seaboard of US, and Western Canada. This would suggest that cold blasts will be from the NAO rather than East Pacific Oscillation (EPO) and West Pacific Oscillation (WPO). It shows that if EPO and WPO are positive, while NAO is negative, there can be cold blasts. Keep in mind, EPO, WPO, and NAO can change quickly.

Wonder what winter will be like in the rain department?

2016-2017_analog_divisional_rain_standardizedanomaly-strongest-analog

From Texas to Maine, it looks to be wetter than normal. Same goes with part of the Midwest and Western US. California looks to be somewhat drier than normal. Again, this does not include 1878-1879, which I have included.

djf-1878-1879_winterprecipitationanomaly_world

Florida, California, Scandinavia, Iceland, Iran, Korea, Japan, and Western Canada were drier than normal in 1878-1879. It was very wet in Texas, Hawaii, Southwestern US, Caribbean, Spain, Portugal, France, Mediterranean region of Europe and Southwest Asia, and India in 1878-1879. Here is a worldwide map with the analogs.

2016-2017_analog_winterprecipitationanomaly_world-strongest-analog

It is the same general areas that are wet and dry. Interestingly, Western Canada is wetter, while Southwest is drier in analog winters. Texas has an average rainfall in analog winters.

How were winters like in these analog years? Were there cold blasts? Cold events are either in America or Texas. Rankings are temperature average since 1895.

1878-1879
Many areas in Northern US experience colder than normal winters.
1878 was a cold year for Europe, especially for United Kingdom.
The previous winter of 1877-1878 was very warm. In fact it is known as the year without winter in 1877.

Ranking
N/A

1897-1898
Reports of sleet fell on December 3-4, 1897 in Houston.
Cold blasts hits Houston in early January 1898. A low of 27°F on January 2, 1898.

Ranking
America’s 58th coldest winter on record.
Texas’s 63rd coldest winter on record.
Upper Texas Coast’s 47th coldest winter on record.

1931-1932
Houston was struck by a cold blast in March. Snow fell on March 10-11, 1932 in Houston. It remains the latest measurable snowfall to fall in Houston. A low of 27°F occurred on March 9, 10, and 13, 1932.

Ranking
America’s 104th coldest winter on record.
Texas’s 87th coldest winter on record.
Upper Texas Coast’s 89th coldest winter on record.

1958-1959
A cold blasts hits Texas in early January 1959. A low of 21°F was recorded on January 4, 1959 in Houston. Another cold blasts hits two weeks later with low of 25°F on January 22, 2016.

Ranking
America’s 38th coldest winter on record.
Texas’s 24th coldest winter on record.
Upper Texas Coast’s 20th coldest winter on record.

1983-1984
December 1983 had a huge cold blasts that set many records throughout America. Many areas experienced their coldest Christmas on record.

Ranking
America’s 19th coldest winter on record.
Texas’s 8th coldest winter on record.
Upper Texas Coast’s 10th coldest winter on record.

2003-2004
Northeast US was hit by cold blasts in January 2004. Boston had their coldest January since 1893. Many areas saw over 100 inches of snow, especially in Northern New York.
Snow fell in San Antonio and Austin on Valentine’s Day 2004.

Ranking
America’s 78th coldest winter on record.
Texas’s 88th coldest winter on record.
Upper Texas Coast’s 51st coldest winter on record.

I am not suggesting we will see a cold blast on par with December 1983 or January 2004. It is possible this winter could see a cold blast. Interesting to note that 1958-1959 and 1983-1984 were cold winters for America and Texas.

I think this winter could be a cooler winter. I would not be surprised to hear of a major cold blast this coming winter. It should be an interesting one for sure.

Latest On Typhoon Haima As Of 10:00 PM CST October 17, 2016

Typhoon Haima is ramping up in the West Pacific. It is a Category 4 typhoon with 140 mph winds and central pressure of 933 millibars. It is based on satellite estimates called Dvorak technique. I would take that with a grain of salt because it not measured directly. I suspect it is stronger, possibly around 150 mph with central pressure of 925 millibars. The ambient pressure in Typhoon Basin is lower, which is one reason why it is a very active basin. Hurricane force winds extend up to 45 miles, while tropical storm force winds extend up to 140 miles. Typhoons are generally larger than other tropical cyclones in the basin, including the Atlantic. The largest tropical cyclone is Super Typhoon Tip of 1979. Tip had tropical storm force winds extend up to 675 miles! Haima is much smaller than Tip thankfully.

20161018_25w_1kmsrvis_0100z

Where it goes has me concerned. This heat map forecast of where Haima will go has it focused on the Northern Philippines. It is moving at 14 mph to the west northwest. It is also getting more stronger as it goes over warmer waters off the Philippine coasts.

20161017_25w_1800z_heatmap

The intensity forecast model mostly keep it as a Category 4. A couple have it as a Category 5 Super Typhoon. I think Haima will rapidly intensify into a Category 5 Super Typhoon. It will probably intensify to 180 mph with central pressure of 895 millibars before it comes close to the Philippines in two days. It is going to be severe typhoon for the Philippines.

20161017_25w_intensity_1800z

They could experience winds of 80 to 140 mph winds with gusts of 120 to 210 mph! They could see rain amounts of 8 to 12 inches of rain with isolated totals of 40 inches, especially in the mountainous areas. Deadly flooding and mudslides would be a major problem on top of the strong winds. The forecast shows Haima getting larger as it approaches the Philippines. It has hurricane force winds extending up to 90 miles and tropical storm force winds extending up to 235 miles. That is a large typhoon right there. That would be considered large in the Atlantic. Philippines better prepare for Haima. It is going to be very nasty for them.

Spring 2016 Report

Flower01

It is deja vu! Spring 2016 was wet like Spring 2015 despite El Nino fading. To make matters worse, there was severe flooding in April and May, which dumped up to 24 inches of rain in both events! That is something you see with tropical cyclones or core rain events with warm core low pressure systems. They are often from tropical cyclones.

For Texas, it has been mostly wet. For others, where’s the rain?

2016_SpringPrecipitationDivisionalRanks

2016_SpringTemperatureDivisionalRanks

America 2016 Spring
Mean Temperature: 53.68°F
Total Rainfall: 9.03

America Spring Temperature (1895-2016)
Mean: 51.10°F
Median: 50.87°F
Standard Deviation: 1.39
Lowest: 56.18°F (2012)
Highest: 47.37°F (1917)

America Spring Rainfall (1895-2016)
Mean: 7.95
Median: 7.95
Standard Deviation: 0.98
Lowest: 5.58 (1925)
Highest: 10.40 (1991)

It was a warm spring, but not a record breaking spring for America. It is nowhere like 2012. The average temperature is 1 standard deviation from the mean in terms of temperature. That is unusual, but not extraordinarily warm. If it was 2 standard deviation or greater that would be abnormal. It was abnormally warm for spring time in America.

It was much wetter as a whole. In fact, the Spring 2016 rainfall total is exceeds by 1 standard deviation. It was a wet spring for most of America.

Texas 2016 Spring
Mean Temperature: 66.27°F
Total Rainfall: 11.90

Texas Spring Temperature (1895-2016)
Mean: 64.76°F
Median: 64.73°F
Standard Deviation: 1.76
Lowest: 69.67°F (2012)
Highest: 59.93°F (1931)

Texas Spring Rainfall (1895-2016)
Mean: 7.37
Median: 7.05
Standard Deviation: 2.34
Lowest: 2.53 (2011)
Highest: 16.48 (2015)

It was warmer than normal for spring in Texas. It is 1 standard deviation from the mean.

It is wet, but not like 2015, which was wetter. Actually, it is the eighth wettest spring on record as it ties with 1914. It was indeed a wet spring for Texas, like last spring. Having two wet springs back to back is a rarity. Here is the top 10 wettest spring in Texas since 1895.

Top 10 Wettest Spring In Texas
1.) 2015 16.48
2.) 1957 14.75
3.) 1905 12.59
4.) 1941 12.43
5.) 1900 12.36
6.) 2007 12.16
7,) 1922 11.97
8.) 1914/2016 11.90
9.) 1997 10.85
10.) 1929 10.79

Many of the wettest springs occurred when El Nino is developing (1914, 1957, 1997, and 2015), persistent (1905 and 1941) or dying (1900 and 2007). 1922 was La Nina, while 1929 was Neutral. It shows that El Nino does have an impact on spring rainfall,whether is strengthening or dying. Interesting to note hurricanes made hurricanes made landfall in 1900, 1929, 1941, 1957, and 2007. Two were major hurricanes, Galveston Hurricane and Audrey in 1957.

Upper Texas Coast 2016 Spring
Mean Temperature: 71.07°F
Total Rainfall: 20.77

Upper Texas Coast Spring Temperature (1895-2016)
Mean: 68.54°F
Median: 68.42°F
Standard Deviation: 1.69
Lowest: 72.83°F (2012)
Highest: 63.37°F (1931)

Upper Texas Coast Spring Rainfall (1895-2016)
Mean: 10.58
Median: 10.02
Standard Deviation: 4.53
Lowest: 2.43 (2011)
Highest: 24.75 (2015)

It has been a warm spring. It is nearly 2 standard deviations from the mean. It was abnormally warm spring. It is the eighth warmest spring for Upper Texas Coast. Here is the top 10 warmest spring in Texas since 1895.

Top 10 Warmest Spring In Upper Texas Coast
1.) 2012 72.83°F
2.) 2011 72.03°F
3.) 2006 72.00°F
4.) 2000 71.57°F
5.) 1967 71.43°F
6.) 1963 71.40°F
7.) 1908 71.37°F
8.) 2016 71.07°F
9.) 1991 71.00°F
10.) 1925 70.97°F

Spring 2012 was warm everywhere, especially up north. 2011 was very warm as well. Who could forget Summer 2011? It was Hell for sure, which was made worse by the drought. The warmth is due to abnormally warm low temperatures. All that heavy rain makes the air more humid. Humidity keepers temperatures from going too cold or hot. It is the seventh warmest low temperature for spring. Here is a divisional ranking map of low and high temperatures.

2016_SpringMinTemperatureDivisionalRanks

2016_SpringMaxTemperatureDivisionalRanks

It was very west for Upper Texas Coast. It exceeds 2 standard deviations, which makes a near outlier. In fact, it is the third wettest spring on record! Yes, third wettest. There have been two back to back wet springs in the Upper Texas Coast. Here is the top 10 wettest spring in Upper Texas Coast since 1895.

Top 10 Wettest Spring In Upper Texas Coast
1.) 2015 24.75
2.) 1997 22.18
3.) 2016 20.77
4.) 1900 19.54
5.) 1957 19.32
6.) 1929 19.06
7.) 1914 18.54
8.) 1944 18.33
9.) 1993 18.32
10.) 1905 17.60

Many of the wettest springs for Upper Texas Coast occurred when El Nino is developing (1914, 1957, 1997, and 2015), persistent (1905) or dying (1900). 1944 had a developing La Nina from Neutral. 1929 was Neutral. April and May 1929 had heavy rain that led to massive flooding in the Houston area. The 1929 flood is considered an epic flood on par with December 1935 and Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. It shows that El Nino does have an impact on spring rainfall,whether is strengthening or dying. Interesting to note hurricanes made hurricanes made landfall on Upper Texas Coast in 1900, 1929, and 1957. Two were major hurricanes, Galveston Hurricane and Audrey in 1957.

Could this be a harbinger of things to come? America has not seen a Category 3 or stronger hurricane since Wilma in 2005. Now, if we lowered Category 3 by 1 mph from 111 mph to 110 mph, than Ike would be a major hurricane. Even than, America has not seen a major hurricane make landfall since 2008, which is a long stretch. Keep in mind, hurricane re-analysis is happening, so this long stretch of no Category 3 or stronger hurricanes we are seeing may not be the longest.

Leap Day 2016

It is Leap Day and it comes every four years. So, what is the weather like on Leap Day in Houston? Here is official weather records on February 29th.

Houston Weather Branch 1921-1968
Year High Low Average Rainfall
1924 67 42 55 0
1928 75 33 64 T
1932 85 64 75 0
1936 71 50 61 0
1940 82 57 70 T
1944 62 45 54 0
1948 72 59 66 0.01
1952 83 58 71 0
1956 68 50 59 0
1960 53 49 51 0
1964 60 45 53 0
1968 49 39 44 0

Bush Intercontinental Airport 1969-2010
Year High Low Average Rainfall
1972 72 61 67 0.33
1976 78 57 68 0
1980 82 63 73 T
1984 55 28 42 0
1988 82 58 70 T
1992 82 48 65 0
1996 47 39 43 0.53
2000 80 57 69 T
2004 72 56 64 0.49
2008 78 57 68 T
2012 84 71 78 0

From 1920 to 2012, only one (4.4%) Leap Day saw below 32°F, which was in 1984. The winter of 1983-1984 was one of the coldest winters on record. Seven out of 23 (31.8%) Leap Day saw at least 80°F days. The warmest Leap Day occurred in 1932. Interestingly, it snowed on March 10, the latest measurable snowfall recorded in Houston. Also, it is not very wet on Leap Day. In fact the record rainfall is 0.53 inches, which fell in 1996. It rained in 10 out of 23 (43.5%) Leap Day from 1924 to 2016. There is more chance to see rain than to see 80°F Leap Days in Houston.

Here are some interesting facts about Leap Day. Leap year occurs in year divisible by 4. However, there are exceptions when years that are divisible by 100, they are not leap unless they are divisible by 400. So the year 1900 is not Leap Year, while 2000 is Leap Year. The purpose of Leap Year is meant to keep calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the Sun, which is every 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds or 365.242199 days. Happy Leap Day!