First Major Hurricane Of 2018?

Hurricane Chris is now a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph 169 km/h 90 knots winds. It looks quite impressive on satellite from the National Hurricane Center. It looks almost like a major hurricane to me. Some of the intensity forecast models have Chris as the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Season.

Quite frankly, I would not be surprised if Chris becomes a Category 3 hurricane. It could very well be Category 3 by tomorrow morning. A major hurricane in July is rare, but not unheard of. The last time there was a major hurricane in July was Bertha in 2008. We also have two hurricanes so far, Beryl and Chris. The last time we had two hurricanes in July was 2005, which were Dennis and Emily. Emily is the earliest know Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic. Both 2005 and 2008 were devastating seasons. Both affected Texas in the form of Rita in 2005 and Dolly and Ike in 2008.

The next question is where does Chris go?

The consensus is that Chris is moving away from the US coast and moving rapidly due to a cool front. Rough seas will be the main problem for the Eastern Seaboard. Some of the forecast models have it making landfall on Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Canada as an extratropical storm. That will be a major problem for them. Some have Chris making landfall on Iceland, United Kingdom, and Norway.

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Beryl, Soon To Be Chris, And Yes Maria

Croatia won in another nail biter against Russia, the host nation of the 2018 World Cup. It is a major upset for sure. Who would of thought Croatia would go this far in the World Cup? Anyways, let’s cut to the chase with the tropics. It is heating up in July. We have Beryl, soon to be Chris (Tropical Depression 3), and Typhoon Maria. Yes, Maria, the same name that ravaged Puerto Rico. I would of thought that name was retired for good. Let’s start with Beryl.

The first hurricane of the 2018 season has weakened back to a tropical storm due to a combination of wind shear and dry air. The wind shear map is from CIMSS Tropical Cyclones Group and GOES-16 satellite image is from GOES-East Imagery-Latest Full Disk Images.

Beryl is forecasted to go west-northwestward as it weakens. Some of the forecast model have Beryl going over hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.

The intensity forecast has Beryl weakening to a tropical depression. It is very likely a tropical depression by now. By the time it is over the Caribbean, it is probably going to be a tropical depression or tropical wave.

There is Tropical Depression 3, which is going to be Chris soon. The forecast models have Chris as a Category 1 hurricane within a couple of days.

Most forecast models keep Chris away from the Eastern US. A couple of them have Chris making landfall. However, the slow movement of Chris makes it difficult to forecast. Also, the forecast heat map is more circular, which suggests this is a rather low confident forecast. I saw this pattern with Harvey, which lingered over Texas. North Carolina and Virginia should keep an eye on Chris.

Lastly, there is yes, Typhoon Maria. It is in the West Pacific. It was once a power Category 5 Super Typhoon. It is currently a Category 4 typhoon with 140 mph 225 km/h 120 knots winds. I am surprised that Maria is used in the West Pacific as it has been retired due to it ravaging Puerto Rico. Anyways, most forecast models have Maria heading west northwest towards Taiwan and than onto China.

Here is the intensity forecast model for Typhoon Maria.

Looks rather spurious as it is all over the place. I think Typhoon Maria will hit Taiwan as a Category 3 or 4 typhoon in about several days from now. The mountains of Taiwan tend to weaken typhoons. Taiwan would have to deal with strong winds and heavy rains, especially in the mountains. Some areas could see up to 50 inches/127 centimeters of rain once it is all over. Maria is likely to make landfall on China as a Category 1 or 2 typhoon in about a few days from now.

Here is my take.
-Beryl is most likely to weaken into a tropical depression
-Chris will form and likely have an impact on North Carolina and Virginia
-Maria could make landfall on Taiwan as a Category 3 or 4 typhoon and then on China as a Category 1 or 2 typhoon.

The forecast models came from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance.

Soon To Be Hurricane Beryl

Tropical Storm Beryl formed just today from Invest 95L. It is a rather small tropical storm with tropical storm force winds extending up to 35 miles from the center. That is a small tropical storm with 65 mph winds as of 9:00 PM CST. A small sized storm can intensify rapidly. Some intensity forecast models have Beryl as a hurricane within 24 hours.

However, I think Beryl will be a hurricane sooner. In fact I would not be surprised if it becomes a Category 2 or even 3 hurricane come morning. Like I have said, intensity forecast models are not that reliable. The next question is where does Beryl go.

Most of the forecast models have Beryl heading into the Caribbean. Some have it heading towards Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Haiti. It would be bad for Puerto Rico as they are still reeling from the ravages from Hurricane Maria. It is too early to tell where Beryl will go at this time.

Interesting to note that forecast models have Beryl weakening five days from now. Why is that?

There is wind shear over the Caribbean. Wind shear blows tops of thunderstorms, which can weaken or inhibit tropical development. Smaller tropical cyclones are more affected by wind shear than larger tropical cyclones.

Tropical Storm Beryl bears watching as it could be a problem for the Caribbean.

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

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

The Weather Channel
13/7/2

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.

Analog
Mean
12.25/7.38/2.63
12/7/3 (Rounded Up)

Median
11/7/2

Standard Deviation
3.33/1.85/1.60

ACE
Mean
114.50

Median
117

Standard Deviation
32.14

ACE/Storm
Mean
9.69

Median
9.75

Standard Deviation
3.03

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

Mean
9.91/5.53/2.07
10/6/2

Median
9.5/5/2
10/5/2

Standard Deviation
4.24/2.63/1.69

ACE
Mean
93.09

Median
83.5

Standard Deviation
54.66

ACE/Storm
Mean
9.41

Median
8.68

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?
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

Accuweather
10/5/3

The Weather Channel
12/6/2

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.