Subtropical Storm Alberto Is Here

Subtropical Storm Alberto formed earlier today, which was Invest 90L. It is clearly a subtropical storm based on satellite image.

A subtropical storm has thunderstorms away from the center, mostly to the east in the Northern Hemisphere or west in the Southern Hemisphere. They look more like extratropical cyclones than tropical cyclones. Tropical cyclones have the most intense thunderstorms near the center.

Tropical storm force winds in Subtropical Storm Alberto are are up to 253 miles 407 kilometers 220 nautical miles across from northeast to southeast quadrant. The winds are east of the center. That is typical of a subtropical storm. The biggest question is where will Alberto go?

This is a heat map from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance. The heat map is within 300 miles (480 kilometers) from the center. The forecast models have a consensus that Alberto will go somewhere between Southeast Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida Panhandle. There is a small chance it go could deviate. The next question is how strong will Alberto be?

Most forecast model keeps Alberto as a tropical storm. However, one intensifies Alberto into a Category 1 to near Category 2 hurricane. I think Alberto will be a tropical storm at most. A hurricane is very remote at this time. I do not think Alberto will become a hurricane. It will more then likely become a full fledge tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico. I would be more concerned of heavy rain and flooding from Alberto than wind.


Future Alberto Part 2?

The National Hurricane Center is keeping an eye on Invest 90L. They think in the next 5 days it has a high chance of developing into something tropical.

Interestingly, the intensity forecast keep Invest 90L as a tropical depression. One has it as a tropical storm in 36 hours.

This is not the latest intensity forecast model. It should come out later tonight. The biggest question is where does Invest 90L go?

This is a heat map from data from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance. The general consensus is it will linger over the Caribbean and possibly move into Mexico or Belize. From there, it goes north. The forecast models tend to congregate around Southeast Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. There is a small risk that Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas could get hit by Invest 90L. This is still a rather low confidence forecast of where future Alberto will probably go in the next 5 days.

I would not be surprised we see Tropical Storm Alberto this weekend. The question is where does it go. Everyone in the Gulf of Mexico should keep an eye on Invest 90L. It can go anywhere it wants.

Future Alberto?

The first Invest for the 2018 hurricane season has been tagged as Invest 90L. It is in the Caribbean off the coast of Belize. It is an area of low pressure that is producing a lot of heavy rain. The question is where does it go in the next 5 days.

This is a heat map from data from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance. It looks like a low confidence forecast as it is all over the place. Some forecast models have it heading towards Alabama. Some have it towards Texas or Florida. It is low confidence because no surface low has formed yet. If a surface low was to form, than we could have a better idea including intensity.

Most forecast models want to keep Invest 90L as a tropical depression. Some want to intensify it to a tropical storm. If 90L is to become a tropical storm, it would be Alberto. I consider the intensity forecast low confidence. Truth is, intensity forecasts are not high confidence for the most part. Forecasting intensity is difficult despite better forecasting technology. I think 90L could become Alberto. Here are my reasons.

Let’s start with the Gulf of Mexico water. The Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential (TCHP) is greatest in the Caribbean, but not so in the Gulf of Mexico. It is May, so the Gulf of Mexico is not going to be this warm.

However, the depth of warm water in the Gulf of Mexico is fairly deep. If the water is very warm at the surface, but not so deep, then that can help weaken tropical cyclone development. If the water is warm, but not super warm, but deep, that is more favorable for tropical development. I would look at depth of warm water more so than surface temperature.

Another factor to look at is wind shear from Tropical Cyclone Formation Probability Guidance Product.

Wind shear over the Gulf of Mexico is below average. More wind shear tends to put a lid on tropical development. Less wind shear is more conducive to tropical development. A tropical wave over very warm and deep warm water with plenty of wind shear is less likely to develop. If it is over not so warm water with low wind shear, it is more conducive to develop into something tropical. Wind shear blows thunderstorm tops off, which inhibits tropical development.

I think Invest 90L could develop this weekend. It bears watching.

April 2018 Hurricane Season Forecast

Many areas are still reeling from Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Many people lost their properties and are rebuilding. Some lost their life. Hurricane Season is coming as it starts on June 1, 2018.

Colorado State University
14/7/3 ACE: 130

Joe Bastardi (Weather Bell)
11 to 15 Storms/5 to 7 Hurricanes/1 to 3 Major Hurricanes ACE: 90 to 110

Tropical Storm Risk
12/6/2 ACE: 84

12 to 15 Storms/6 to 8 Hurricanes/3 to 5 Major Hurricanes

The Weather Channel

The analog years I am using are in which previous winter is a weak to moderate La Nina. The forecast is uncertain with El Nino or Neutral.

Based on this, the analog years are 1891, 1945, 1963, 1989, 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2012. They are coming 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, Atlantic Main Development Region (MDR), and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). The IOD is based on Australian Bureau of Meteorology forecast.

Analog Years For 2018 (TS/H/MH ACE ACE/Storm)
1891 10/7/1 116 11.6
1945 11/5/2 63 5.7
1963 9/7/2 118 13.1
1989 11/7/2 135 12.3
1996 13/9/6 166 12.8
2001 15/9/4 110 7.3
2006 10/5/2 79 7.9
2012 19/10/2 129 6.8

What affect did those analog seasons have? Let’s start with 1891. Hurricane #1 hit Galveston after intensifying into Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds on July 6, 1891. Galveston was flooded from storm surge. It spawned tornadoes in Baton Rouge, which hit a prison, killing 10 people. There is also Hurricane #3 better known as as the Martinique Hurricane was the only major hurricane for the 1891 season. It intensified into a Category 3 hurricane later that day and hit Martinique. There were reports of lightning, which suggests the hurricane was intensifying. Martinique was leveled by strong winds and power waves. Once the hurricane passed, at least 700 people died from the hurricane. Some put the death toll as high as 1,000. The hurricane traverses and makes landfall on Dominican Republic as a Category 2 hurricane. Than it goes northward towards Grand Turk of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The hurricane goes over Bahamas and makes landfall on South Florida as a Category 1 hurricane.

1945 had two major hurricanes hit the US. There is Hurricane #5 or 1945 Texas Hurricane. It made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane over Port Aransas on August 27, 1945. It was a slow moving hurricane as it moved slowly across Texas pelting with strong winds, storm surge, and heavy rain. Some areas saw storm surge as high as 15 feet. The moisture swath could be felt as far as Tampa Bay. The slow movement caused rainfall amounts of 20 inches with amounts likely over 30 inches. The hurricane claimed 3 lives and caused $20 million in damages. Hurricane #9 or 1945 Homestead hurricane is the most intense hurricane to strike Florida since the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane. It was a rather small hurricane. It went over Bahamas and Grand Turk Island as it intensifies. It made landfall on Key Largo as a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds. It emerges out of Florida and makes landfall between Georgia and South Carolina as a tropical storm with 70 mph winds. A total of 26 people died, including 22 in Bahamas and Grand Turk Island. Four died in the US.

1963 was a devastating season. Hurricane Cindy developed in the Gulf of Mexico. It made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on High Island on September 17, 1963. It stalls over Southeast Texas and dumps heavy rain in amounts of of nearly 24 inches measured. It is certainly possible higher rainfall amounts fell in East Texas. Cindy claimed 3 lives. Hurricane Flora is a large Category 4 hurricane. It was a Cape Verde Hurricane. Once it approached Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Cuba, it stalls out. Flora dumps extremely heavy rain, especially in mountainous areas. In a six day period, some areas see over 100 inches of rain in Cuba, with likely higher amounts. Flora is the wettest known Atlantic tropical cyclone. 8,000 people died from massive flooding from Flora. Flora ranks as one of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes besides 1780 Hurricane, 1900 Galveston, Mitch (1998), and Fifi (1974).

1989 was an active season. Tropical Storm Allison, which formed from remnant of East Pacific Hurricane Cosme. Allison paid a visit to the Upper Texas Coast on June 27, 1989 with 50 mph wind. Many areas saw 10 to 20 inches with the highest being 30 inches. Eleven people lost their life in Texas Louisiana, and Mississippi. Hurricane Chantal and made landfall on High Island, Texas on August 1, 1989 as a Category 1 hurricane. 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. 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 first ravages the Caribbean as a monster hurricane. It flattens almost every building in Guadeloupe, Montserrat, St. Croix, and Puerto Rico. Hugo makes landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. Hugo produces monster storm surge in the Charleston area due to its large size. 35 people lost their life in America. Hurricane Jerry is the second hurricane to hit the Upper Texas Coast in 1989. 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. Three people died from Jerry all in Galveston as they were driving on the Galveston Sea Wall.

1996 had many major hurricanes form, more so than 1995. Hurricane Bertha made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane on North Carolina on July 12, 1996. It peaked as a Category 3 hurricane near Puerto Rico. Bertha traversed across the Eastern Seaboard with heavy rain and strong winds. Bertha claimed 12 lives. Hurricane Cesar made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on Bluefields, Nicaragua on July 27, 1996. It dumped heavy rain over Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and El Salvador. A total of 142 people, which includes 29 missing, mostly in Central America. Cesar crosses into the Pacific and becomes Douglas, which a rare crossover. Douglas is a power Category 4 hurricane. Hurricane Fran formed on August 23, 1996 as a Cape Verde Hurricane. It developed with Hurricane Edouard to the east. Fran becomes a Category 3 hurricane off the Bahamas and is a large hurricane. It made landfall on September 5, 1996 near Cape Fear, North Carolina as a Category 3 hurricane. Fran ravaged the Carolinas with strong winds, storm surge, and heavy rain. It moved northward towards Virginia as it is weakening. Fran becomes more of a rain event as winds are diminishing. Once Fran is gone, a total of 27 lives are lost. Hurricane Hortense formed on September 3, 1996. It was slow to develop and first strikes Guadeloupe as a tropical storm on September 8, 1996. It becomes a hurricane on September 9, 1996. Not too long after Hortense made landfall around Guánica, Puerto Rico as a Category 1 hurricane. It emerges and hits the eastern tip of Dominican Republic. As Hortense moves northward it becomes a Category 4 hurricane and makes its final landfall on West Quoddy, Nova Scotia as a Category 1 hurricane. Hortense dumped flooding rains in Puerto Rico. Hortense claimed a total of 39 lives. Hurricane Lili was a long lived hurricane that formed on October 14, 1996. It ravages Central America, Cuba, Bahamas, and United Kingdom. It made landfall on Matanzas Province, Cuba as a Category 2 hurricane on October 18, 1996. Than heads towards Bahamas where it goes over San Salvador Island and Great Exuma on October 19, 1996. Lili becomes a Category 3 hurricane. Than Lili hits United Kingdom as a strong extratropical storm. Once it is all over, 22 lives, mostly in Central America.

2001 started with Tropical Storm Allison. It made landfall on June 5, 2001 near Freeport, Texas. It lingered over Texas dumped heavy rain. On the early morning of June 7, 2001, heavy rain fell in Beaumon and Sugar Land, Texas. Up to 15 inches of rain fell along feeder band. Louisiana got heavy rain from the large circulation of Allison. Than on the evening of June 8, 2001, thunderstorms form near the center of Allison. Than they all converge over Houston dumping heavy rain for nearly 12 hours. Once it is all over, up to 28 inches fell! A total of 40 inches fell from June 5 to 10 near Beaumont, Texas. Thibodaux, Louisiana got nearly 30 inches of rain. The heavy rain led to severe flooding in Houston area, the worst prior to Harvey. Allison traversed across the Southeastern and Northeastern US dumping heavy rain. Hurricane Gabrielle formed on September 11, 2001, the day America was attacked in New York, Arlington, and Shanksville. It made landfall on September 14, 2001 near Venice, Florida as America was mourning the victims of horrifying terrorist attack. Hurricane Iris was a powerful October hurricane. Iris traveled the Caribbean and rapidly intensified into a Category 4 hurricane with 145 mph winds. On October 8, 2001, Iris makes landfall on Monkey River Town, Toledo, Belize. A 70 mile area is ravaged by strong winds and storm surge. The hurricane claimed 23 lives in Belize and 36 lives including Guatemala, Dominican Republic, and Mexico. Later in the month, Hurricane Michelle forms. Michelle formed near Nicaragua on October 29, 2001 and moved inland near Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. It lingered over Nicaragua and Honduras for more than a day dumping heavy rain. 98 people died in Nicaragua and Honduras from deadly flooding, which happened three years to the day Hurricane Mitch ravaged Central America with epic rainfall and flooding. Michelle exits Central America into the Caribbean. It undergoes rapid intensification into a Category 4 hurricane. Michelle makes landfall first on Cayo Largo del Sur, Cuba on November 4, 2001. It moves into Bay of Pigs. Cuba is ravaged by strong winds, waves, storm surge, and heavy rain. Five people died in Cuba from Michelle. Michelle moves northward towards Bahamas on November 5, 2001 and becomes an extratropical storm due to interaction with a cold front.

2006 was predicted to be just as active as 2005. Turned out to be an average season due to a developing El Nino and dry Saharan Desert air blowing over the Atlantic. Tropical Storm Alberto landfall on Florida on June 13, 2006 with 45 mph winds. Many areas in the Southeastern US, Grand Cayman, and Cuba have heavy rain. 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 makes landfall on Cuba. Ernesto and Florida. 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. Five people died in Haiti, while two died in Virginia when Ernesto is an extratropical storm.

2012 proved to be an active season. Hurricane Isaac was a large Category 1 hurricane that hit New Orleans area and Mississippi. It moved slowly as it dumped heavy rain and produced high storm surge. A large area saw at least 10 inches of rain. The hurricane tested the newly improved levee and flood control system that was ravaged by Katrina in 2005. Hurricane Sandy is the most intense hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season. It is best known as Superstorm Sandy, when it was a very large hurricane/extratropical storm hybrid as it had tropical storm force winds diameter of 1,150 miles! Before it became the superstorm, it hit near Kingston, Jamaica as a Category 2 hurricane on October 24, 2012 and Santiago de Cuba, Cuba as a Category 3 hurricane on October 25, 2012. As it went towards the Atlantic, Sandy got larger as it showed more of an extratropical storm like appearance with a warm core. Than Sandy made landfall as a large extratropical storm with Category 1 winds on Brigantine, New Jersey on October 29, 2012. Sandy set numerous records from lowest air pressure to high storm surge. Battery Park, New York had nearly 14 feet storm surge. Sandy is the most hurricane to make landfall northeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. It also dumped heavy rain mainly over Maryland and Delaware of nearly 13 inches of rain. Sandy claimed a total of 233 lives and did $68.7 billion in damages. Sandy was the second costliest hurricane prior to Harvey and Maria.

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

The heat map has Upper Texas Coast, Southeast Georgia, Carolinas, and Windward Islands. However, when you look at the whole basin, everyone is at risk for landfall. I never make landfall predictions. Everyone is at equal risk for landfall.

12/7/3 (Rounded Up)


Standard Deviation



Standard Deviation



Standard Deviation

How do analog seasons compare as a whole. Statistics from 1870 to 2017.



Standard Deviation



Standard Deviation



Standard Deviation

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?
11 to 16 named storms, likely 13 named storms
4 to 10 hurricanes, likely 7 hurricanes
1 to 4 major hurricanes with 3 major hurricanes
ACE is 80 to 140 with ACE likely of 100 to 125

Let’s see how my April 2017 hurricane forecast compare to the actual 2017 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

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


The Weather Channel

2017 Actual Number
17 Named Storms
10 Hurricanes
6 Major Hurricanes
224 ACE

Many including myself severely underforecasted the 2017 season, which turned out to be active and brutal. The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season was overforecasted as it turned out to be a quiet season. There is always room for improvement.

Regardless of forecast, I think 2018 could be an interesting hurricane season. It is the same Atlantic name list used in the 2012 season, which produced Isaac and Sandy. Sandy is retired due to devastating effects on the Eastern Seaboard and Cuba.

What Will Mid January 2018 Be Like?

It has been cold lately. It is a cold start for 2018. There have been cold start to the new year like in 1928 and 1979.

Will there be more cold weather? The Climate Prediction Center 8 to 14 Day Analog could offer some insight.

Some of the analog dates are interesting.
1/19/2001-Cold blasts come on 1/29 with a low of 26°F. The lows would be freezing every night up to 1/23.
1/21/1978-January 1978 is the coldest month on record for Houston. A brief warming occurred on 1/24. It gets cold again on 1/25.
1/29/1952-Heavy rain falls on 2/1. Rainfall totals are Houston WB: 3.22″; Hobby: 3.88″; Galveston: 6.29″. Hobby and Galveston have their wettest 2/1 as of 2018. It is the wettest February day on record for Hobby and Galveston as of 2018.
1/1/1985-A series of cold waves occur in January 1985. Snow falls on 1/2-1/3 and 1/12. A low of 16°F occurred on 1/21.
1/23/1986-A cold blasts went east of Texas. On 1/28, Space Shuttle Challenger launches despite cold weather. The space shuttle explodes in front of horrified audiences and students at school watching the launch.
1/28/1959-Heavy rain falls between 1/29 to 2/4. Rainfall totals are Houston WB: 6.36″; Hobby: 6.93″; Galveston: 2.60″. 3.69″ fell on 2/1 at Houston WB, which is wettest 2/1 as of 2018. It is the wettest February day on record for Houston as of 2018. 2.14″ fell on 1/29 and 0.94″ on 2/2 at Hobby, which is wettest 1/29 and 2/2 as of 2018.
1/11/1961-Snow fell on 1/25. Houston received a trace of snow.

Looking at those analog dates, they mostly had cold blasts. A couple of them had heavy rain. This would suggest we could see another cold blast in mid January. Perhaps we could also see snow or other wintry precipitation. Anything can change.

2017-2018 Winter Forecast

Winter has started and Christmas has passed. It is very cold throughout America. Last winter we had a borderline Neutral/La Nina. This time around, we have La Nina. Other factors to consider are Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), Northeast Pacific Warm Pool (NEPWP), Equatorial Indian Ocean (EIOI), Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), Tropical South Atlantic (TSAI), Roaring Forties (R40I), Hudson and Baffin Bay (HBB), and Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO). However, since this El Nino is large and strong and has significant impact, it will weigh in more than other factors listed. Here are the analog winters I came up with.


I chose these winters because the previous winter was La Nina or Neutral. Here is a table I created to identify strongest analogs.

1881-1882     1 1 1   1     4
1928-1929 1 1     1     1   4
1933-1934 1 1 1 3
1937-1938 1 1 2
1944-1945 1 1 1 1   1 1 1   7
1949-1950 1 1 1   1 1     1 6
1961-1962 1 1 1     1 1     5
1984-1985       1 1 1 1   1 5
2000-2001 1 1 1 1 1 1 1   1 8

I look at eight ocean and one upper wind patterns based on Fall (September to November) averages. The cutoff for further analysis is four (before 1948 due to QBO data not available). With QBO, the cutoff is five. We can eliminate these winters.

The analogs I will be looking at are:

Let’s start with the ever important temperature. All maps were generated with 20th Century Reanalysis Monthly Composites. They are all Northern Hemisphere.

Alaska, Bering Sea, Southern US, Eastern US, Eastern Canada, Greenland, and Western China are warmer than normal. Arctic, Siberia, Korea, Japan, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, North Africa, Western US, and Western Canada are cooler than normal. Southeast Texas is warmer. Keep in mind, some areas do not have weather records, so this may be spurious as it includes 1881-1882.

Wonder what winter will be like in the rain department?

It is drier in Western US, Western Canada, Southeast US, Cuba, Bahamas, Southern China, Central Asia, Western Europe, and Northern Europe. It is wetter in Central US, Caribbean, Alaska, Northern Japan, Southeast Asia, and North Africa. Southeast Texas sees average amount of rain in the winter. Again, this may be spurious as it includes 1881-1882.

Let’s look at the upper air pattern.

There is upper level ridging south of Alaska, which is negative East Pacific Oscillation (EPO), Eastern US, Siberia, Greenland, and Northeast Canada. Ridging over Greenland and Northeast Canada is negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). There is troughing over Central Canada and one running from Japan, Korea, and to all of Central Asia. Negative NAO and EPO usually means cold air will go down south.

How were winters like in these analog years?

A warm winter dominated the US. Southeast Texas had a warm winter.

A cold blast came on the start of 1929 in Southeast Texas. Another hard freeze came in February 1929. It did not go above freezing on February 9, 1929 with high of 29°F.

A world engulfed in World War II. No freezes occurred in Southeast Texas.

Most of the US had a warm winter, including Southeast Texas.

Snow fell in Houston area in December 1961. January 1962 had a strong cold blast in America. A strong high pressure with pressure of 1062 millibars was recorded. Many areas saw record lows set. Houston saw a record low on January 10, 1962, which has been beaten in 1977.

Cold blasts occurred in January and February 1985. The 1985 Presidential Inauguration was the coldest on record. Many areas saw record lows set. Houston saw record lows on January 20-21, 1985. Near records occurred on February 1-2, 1985. Snow fell in Houston in January and February 1985. San Antonio saw record snowfall on January 11-13, 1985.

Eastern US had a cooler than normal winter. Southeast Texas had a cold winter.

I am not suggesting we will see a cold blast on par with February 1929, January 1962, January 1985, and February 1985. It is possible this winter could see more cold blasts.

I think this winter could be a cooler winter despite what the past analog winters being warm. I would not be surprised to hear of a major cold blast this coming winter or snow falls again.