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.

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.

April 2016 Hurricane Season Forecast

20050829_GOES-12_IR_Enhanced_0045Z

Already, Hurricane Alex formed in the Eastern Atlantic in January. It overcame hostile conditions on top of a strong El Nino. What does this mean? It this a harbinger of things to come? Hurricane season is looming as usual as it starts on June 1, 2016.

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

Colorado State University
12/5/2 ACE: 90

Joe Bastardi (Weather Bell)
11 to 14 Storms/6 to 8 Hurricanes/2 to 4 Major Hurricanes ACE:105 to 135

Crown Weather Services
11/7/2 ACE: 90

Tropical Storm Risk
12/6/2 ACE: 80

Accuweather
14/8/4

The Weather Channel
14/8/3

Crown Weather Services
11/7/2 ACE: 90

Analog Years For 2016 (TS/H/MH ACE ACE/Storm)
1878 12/10/2 15.1
1889 9/6/0 104 11.6
1897 6/3/0 55 9.2
1900 7/3/2 83 11.9
1931 13/3/1 48 3.7
1941 6/4/3 52 8.7
1958 10/7/5 121 12.1
1988 12/5/3 103 8.6
1998 14/10/3 182 13.0

I chose those years because they are coming off of a strong El Nino on top of a warm Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Any data before satellite should be taken with a grain of salt. It is likely those seasons are more active than reported.

So, what affect did those analog seasons have?

1878
Hurricane #7 formed south of Haiti as a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds. An American brigantine was wrecked on Tiburon Peninsula with everyone killed. It intensified into a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds as it went over Eastern Bahamas. It intensified into Category 3 on September 30 and Category 4 on October 2, which peaked at 140 mph. The hurricane was a major hurricane at a high latitude up to October 8. It likely became an extratropical storm and affected Europe.

Gale of 1878, which is the eleventh storm of the season. A tropical storm formed west of Jamaica on October 18, 1878. Two days later, it became a hurricane made landfall on Cuba the next day as a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds. It moves northward and makes landfall on Swansboro, North Carolina on the night of October 23, 1878 as a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph. Hurricane force winds can be felt throughout the Eastern Seaboard. It merged with an extratropical low over New England. Once it was all over, 71 people lost their life from the storm.

1889
Hurricane #4 formed on September 1 east of Barbados. It made landfall on Puerto Rico as an intensifying Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds. The hurricane stalls off the Northeast from September 9 to 12 causing flooding from heavy rain and storm surge. The hurricane claims 40 lives.

1897
Hurricane #2 was first spotted in Straits of Florida on September 10. It is probable it formed further east. It makes landfall as a tropical storm around Marquesas Keys, Florida. Once it exits for the Gulf of Mexico, it intensifies into a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds. It makes landfall on Cameron Parish, Louisiana as a hurricane on September 13. It weakens over Texas. The hurricane claims at least 29 lives in Texas.

Hurricane #5 forms south of Windward Islands on October 9. It is probable it formed further east. The hurricane travels over the Caribbean and turns northwest on October 14 towards Cuba. The hurricane makes landfall on Cuba on October 18 as a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph. Most of the deaths are from the sinking of Triton near Pinar del Rio province. The sinking claims 188 lives and 42 people are rescued. The captain committed suicide. The hurricane weakens to a tropical storm and heads to the northwest and makes landfall around Cape Hatteras, North Carolina with 65 mph winds. The storm produce strong winds and heavy rain throughout the Eastern Seaboard. The storm moves eastward into the Atlantic and becomes extratropical.

1900
Great Galveston Hurricane. It made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane with 145 mph winds. It had a central pressure of 936 millibars. The hurricane produced 15 foot storm surge, which proved deadly. Once it past, 12,000 people died, making it one of the deadliest hurricane in the Atlantic Basin. Only Great Hurricane of 1780 and Mitch are deadlier. It remains the deadliest disaster in American history, exceeding 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and 9/11. Even with the death toll combine of 9,000, the Great Galveston Hurricane claimed way more lives.

1941
Tropical Storm #1 made landfall between Galveston and Port Arthur as a tropical depression after it peaked as a 60 mph tropical storm.

The 1941 Texas Hurricane is Hurricane #2, which comes a week after Tropical Storm #1. The storm lingers over the Gulf of Mexico before intensifying into a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds and central pressure of 942 millibars. The hurricane made landfall late on September 23 as a large 115 mph Category 3 hurricane around Bay City. The hurricane went west of Houston, putting the city on the “dirty” side of the hurricane. Houston received considerable damage from the hurricane. The hurricane claimed 7 lives as it weakened and became extratropical. The extratropical storm would be a problem for Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

Hurricane #4 traverses across the Caribbean. It peaked at 130 mph Category 4 hurricane before making landfall on Cape Gracias a Dios, Honduras on September 27. It went over Central America and hits Belize with 85 mph winds. Once the hurricane exits into Bay of Campeche on September 29 and fizzles. The hurricane claims 43 lives.

The 1941 Florida Hurricane is Hurricane #5, which peaked as a compact Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. It formed north of the Virgin Islands. The hurricane rapidly intensifies before it ravages Bahamas. The hurricane makes landfall as a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds. It is a very small hurricane that dumps light rain. The highest rain is 0.35 inches, which is unusual. The hurricane goes over Gulf of Mexico as a small hurricane before making landfall on Carrabelle, Florida as a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph winds. The hurricane went over Georgia causing damage. The hurricane claimed at least 10 lives and was not a rainmaker.

Tropical Storm #6 travereses across the Florida Straits before making landfall at Cedar Key. It stalls over and dumps up to 35 inches of rain in four days between October 17 to 22!

1988
Hurricane Gilbert is the most intense hurricane prior to Wilma. It had a central pressure of 888 millibars and 185 mph winds. It is on top of being one of the largest hurricanes known. It directly hit Jamaica as a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds. Jamaica is ravaged by Gilbert from 19 foot storm surge and heavy rains that claim 49 lives. Once it exits Jamaica. Gilbert undergoes explosive intensification over the Caribbean. Than it hits Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico as a Category 5 hurricane with 165 mph winds. It is the first time since Camille hit the Gulf Coast in 1969 as a Category 5 hurricane. The Yucatan Peninsula is ravaged by strong winds, storm surge, and flooding. Once it exits Yucatan Peninsula, Gilbert goes over Gulf of Mexico. There is concerns that Texas could be hit by Gilbert, prompting evacuations.

1998
Hurricane Bonnie formed east of the Lesser Antilles. As Bonnie moved through the Atlantic, it intensified into a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Bonnie made landfall as a large 110 mph Category 2 hurricane around Wilmington, North Carolina. Many areas saw 6 to 10 inches of rain from Bonnie. Once Bonnie left, it left 5 people dead and $1 billion in damages.

Tropical Storm Charley forms in the Gulf of Mexico and peaked at 70 mph. Not too long after, Charley made landfall around Port Aransas. On August 24, core rains form around the center of Charley, dumping 17 inches of rain on Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña. 26 people lost their life from Charley, mostly from flooding.

Hurricane Earl formed in the Gulf of Mexico from a tropical wave that left Africa on August 17, 1998. Earl intensified into a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds. It had no discernable eye or eyewall, which is unusual. Earl made landfall around Panama City, Florida as a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph. As it traversed the Southeastern US, Earl became extratropical. Once it entered the Atlantic, Earl rapidly intensified as an extratropical storm in the Atlantic with central pressure of 957 millibars. Earl made landfall on eastern Newfoundland.

Tropical Storm Frances formed from a monsoonal low in the Caribbean. It slowly moved into the Gulf of Mexico. The large area of thunderstroms became a tropical depression east of Brownsville, Texas. The lack of sheer and warm water, allowed Frances to strengthen into a large tropical storm as it made landfall around Corpus Christi, Texas as a strong tropical storm. Frances dumped heavy rain over Texas and Louisiana. Many areas saw 10 to 20 inches of rain. 44 inches of rain was reported in Escuintla, Chiapas, Mexico. Frances produced 8 foot storm surge, which is high for a tropical storm. It is due to its very large size.

Hurricane Georges is a long lived and very intense hurricane. A classic Cape Verde storm, which formed from a tropical wave. Georges rapidly intensified into a large Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds as it travesed the Atlantic heading towards Lesser Antilles. It weakened to Category 3 with 115 mph winds as it first made landfall on Antigua. It weakens to a Category 2 before it intensifies to a Category 3 with 115 mph winds before making landfall around Faljardo, Puerto Rico on September 21. It dumps extremely heavy rain over Puerto Rico of up to 30 inches. It exits Puerto Rico and heads for Dominican Republic and Haiti and makes landfall on September 22 as a 120 mph Category 3 hurricane. The mountainous terrain weakens Georges, while dumping extremely heavy rain of 39 inches over Dominican Republic and Haiti. Once Georges left, 589 people die in Hispanola, mostly from flooding. Than Georges heads to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on September 23. Georges traverses over Cuba dumping heavy rain of up to 24 inches. Georges claims 6 lives in Cuba before heading towards Straits of Florida as an intensifying Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds. Georges made landfall on Key West with 105 mph winds on September 25. Georges heads to the Gulf of Mexico and makes final landfall on Biloxi, Mississippi as a 105 mph Category 2 hurricane on September 28. Georges stalls and moves slowly east dumping heavy rain of over 38 inches of rain! The Louisiana Superdome is used as a “shelter of last resort”, a first. The Superdome would be used for Ivan in 2004 and lastly with Katrina in 2005 which proved disasterous. Georges long reign of terror claimed 604 lives.

Hurricane Mitch is the most intense since Gilbert in 1988. Mtich formd from a tropical wave that intensified over the Caribbean. It underwent explosive intenisfication On October 25-26. Mitch had a central pressure of 905 millibars and 180 mph winds over the Western Caribbean. Mitch goes over Swan Island during its peak and a schooner, Fantome, gets destroyed, claiming 31 lives on October 27. Guanaja Island is hammered with 120 mph winds for two days, destroying every vegetation on the island. Mitch was forecasted to go north towards Yucatan Peninsula, but went southwards due to upper level ridging. Mitch makes landfall as a 80 mph Category 1 hurricane east of La Ceiba, Honduras on October 29. It lingers over Central America as it dumps extremely heavy rain as it draws moisture from Pacific and Caribbean due to its large circulation. The heavy rain causes deadly mudslides and massive flooding. Some areas record up to 75 inches of rain in the mountains. Very likely that some areas see over 100 inches of rain during its reign. Some rain gauges recorded 25 inches of rain in 6 hours before it got washed away! Mitch moves slowly over Central America dumping heavy rain nonstop, mainly at night. The heavy rain causes massive and deadly mudslides in the mountainous regions. Many areas are flooded greatly. Mitch than goes over the Gulf of Mexico and intensifies into a 60 mph tropical storm before making landfall near Naples, Florida. Many areas see 6 to 10 inches of rain as it spawns 5 tornadoes. Mitch becomes an extratropical storm as it heads to the Atlantic. What was Mitch ravages Ireland and United Kingdom with heavy rain, strong winds, and high waves. Once Mitch is gone for good, at least 19,325 people have died from deadly floods and mudslides. Hurricane Mitch is the deadliest hurricane since the Great Hurricane of 1780, which claimed 28,000 lives! Mitch is one of the deadliest disaster in the Western Hemisphere besides 2010 Haitian Earthquake and Great Hurricane of 1780.

Interesting those analog seasons have two of the deadliest hurricanes, Great Galveston Hurricane and Mitch. Does this mean that 2016 will be a deadly year? No, but anything is possible. Also, interesting to note, many hurricanes made landfall on the East Coast like in 1878 and 1998.

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

2016AprilAnalogHurricaneMap

Looking at the heat map, the highest risk areas are Central and Eastern Gulf of Mexico, Southwest Caribbean, Hispanola, Lesser Antilles, and Eastern Atlantic. 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!

It only takes one to be a bad year, no matter how inactive the season is. Case in point, 1983, a very quiet season. It is best known as Hurricane Alicia ravaging Southeast Texas on Augus 18, 1983. Let’s go to analog statistics.

Analog
Mean
9.89/5.67/2.11
10/6/2 (Rounded up)

Median
10/5/2

Standard Deviation
3.06/2.83/1.62

ACE
Mean
103.22

Median
103

Standard Deviation
51.21

ACE/Storm
Mean
10.43

Median
11.60

Standard Deviation
3.31

How do analog seasons compare as a whole. Statistics from 1870 to 2015.

Mean
9.82/5.49/2.03
10/6/2

Median
9/5/2

Standard Deviation
4.20/2.62/1.66

ACE
Mean
91.85

Median
83

Standard Deviation
53.76

ACE/Storm
Mean
9.38

Median
8.70

Standard Deviation
4.06

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

What is my prediction for this 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

This includes Hurricane Alex that formed in January. Excluding Alex, it would be 10 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. Some of the analog seasons had high ACE/storm, like 1878, 1958, and 1998. Interesting to note they all have 8 at the end.

Let’s see how my April 2015 hurricane forecast compare to the actual 2015 season.

6 to 10 named storms, likely 8 named storms
4 to 6 hurricanes, likely 4 hurricanes
1 to 3 major hurricanes with 2 major hurricanes
ACE is 40 to 90 with ACE likely of 50 to 80

2015 Actual Number
11 Named Storms
4 Hurricanes
2 Major Hurricanes
63 ACE

I was off with named storms. I got it right with hurricanes and major hurricanes. I was withing range for ACE.

Regardless, I think 2016 will be an interesting season. So fasten your seatbelt and prepare for a bumpy ride.

2016 And 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast

Christmas is sure looming, but the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season is not too far away, six months from now. I am going to also look at 2017 Hurricane Season, which would be second year following the strong El Nino of 2015-2016. That is eighteen months from now at the writing of this article.

Analog Years For 2016 (TS/H/MH ACE ACE/Storm)
1878 12/10/2 181 15.1
1889 9/6/0 104 11.6
1897 6/3/0 55 9.2
1942 11/4/1 63 5.7
1958 10/7/5 121 12.1
1998 14/10/3 182 13.0

Here is the overall Atlantic Hurricane Season Statistics

1870-2015 Atlantic Hurricane
Mean
9.82/5.49/2.03
10/5/2 (Round Up

Median
9/5/2

Standard Deviation
4.20/2.62/1.66

ACE
Mean
91.82

Median
83.00

Standard Deviation
53.77

ACE/Storm
Mean
9.38

Median
8.70

Standard Deviation
4.06

I came up with the analog for 2016, since we are in El Nino and once El Nino fades, La Nina comes and it can get strong. It is based on past El Nino and warm Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Here is the statistics for 2016 Analog Season.

2016
Mean
10.33/6.67/1.83
11/7/2 (Round Up)

Median
10.50/6.50/1.50
11/7/2 (Round Up)

Standard Deviation
2.73/2.94/1.94

ACE
Mean
117.67

Median
112.50

Standard Deviation
55.25

ACE/Storm
Mean
11.12

Median
11.85

Standard Deviation
3.28

Looking at it, it is above average ranging from number of storms and hurricanes. Major hurricanes is about the same. However, keep in mind, anything before satellite should taken with a grain of salt. Seasons prior to satellite would of likely had more storms than recorded, but they could be in the middle of the Atlantic or some short lived tropical storm. Seasons like 1889 and 1897 likely had major hurricanes.

So, what is my prediction for the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season
10 to 16 named storms, likely 14 named storms
6 to 10 hurricanes, likely 8 hurricanes
2 to 5 major hurricanes with 3 major hurricanes
ACE is 110 to 190 with ACE likely of 130 to 160

Looks to be an active 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Here is a GIS heat map I created for 2016 analog seasons. It is within 300 miles.

2016DecemberAnalogHurricaneHeatMap

Looking at the heat map, there are areas most at risk. Off the Eastern Seaboard with North Carolina most at risk. Haiti and Dominican Republic, Caribbean and Cuba, Southwest Florida, and Gulf of Mexico. Anywhere is at risk, but those areas especially are the ones to keep an eye on. Let’s see what 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast.

Analog Years For 2017 (TS/H/MH ACE ACE/Storm)
1879 8/6/2 64 8.0
1890 4/2/1 33 8.3
1898 11/5/1 113 10.3
1943 10/5/2 94 9.4
1959 11/7/2 77 7.0
1999 12/8/5 177 14.8

I came up with the analog for 2017, based on the second year following El Nino. Warm AMO is taken into account. Here is the statistics for 2017 Analog Season.

2017
Mean
9.33/5.50/2.17
10/6/2 (Round Up)

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

Standard Deviation
2.94/2.07/1.47

ACE
Mean
93

Median
85.50

Standard Deviation
49.30

ACE/Storm
Mean
9.63

Median
8.85

Standard Deviation
2.78

Looking at it, 2017 is closer to average than 2016. Interestingly, there are more major hurricanes on average than compared to 2016 analog seasons. Still, looking at the actual analog seasons, it is generally less active. Again, keep in mind, anything before satellite should be taken with a grain of salt. There were likely more storms before satellite era that went undetected.

So, what is my prediction for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season
9 to 14 named storms, likely 12 named storms
4 to 9 hurricanes, likely 7 hurricanes
2 to 4 major hurricanes with 3 major hurricanes
ACE is 100 to 180 with ACE likely of 120 to 150

Here is a GIS heat map I created for 2017 analog seasons. It is within 300 miles.

2017DecemberAnalogHurricaneHeatMap

Looking at the hot spots, West Indies, Lesser Antilles, Caribbean and Cuba, Off the Eastern Seaboard, Bahamas, and Western Gulf of Mexico with Texas and Louisiana at most risk. Again, anywhere is at risk, but those areas especially are the ones to keep an eye on.

The 2016 and 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast is all preliminary at this time. It is subject to change. I should have a better idea about the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season in April 2016 and for 2017, April 2017. That would be sixteen months from now of course. This is just a thought because of the strong El Nino we have and what impact a strong El Nino has on the Atlantic. By Summer 2016, it could be still El Nino. It could also be Neutral or La Nina by than. Until than, please check back in April 2016 for the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast.

2015-2016 Winter Forecast

Snowman01

It is this time of the year. Winter is coming as Christmas is coming. It seems like Christmas comes sooner and sooner each year. One huge factor for this winter is the strong El Nino. It is one of the strongest El Nino since 1997-1998 if we go back to 1950. There were strong El Nino before 1950. 1877-1878, 1888-1889, 1896-1897, 1902-1903, 1904-1905, and 1940-1941 had strong El Nino.

Other factors to consider are Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), and now Northeast Pacific Warm Pool (NEPWP). 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.

1877-1878
1888-1889
1896-1897
1902-1903
1940-1941
1957-1958
1972-1973
1982-1983
1991-1992
1997-1998

I choose these analog years because they are strong El Nino regardless of Eastern Equatorial or Modoki or Central Pacific. I did not include 1904-1905, 1987-1987, and 1992-1993 because the peak happened in Spring, unlike right now. Since, I go by divisional climate data, there is nothing before 1895, but there are local climate data before 1895, but it would be tedious to look at. However, I can look at upper air pattern and temperature anomaly in those analog years thanks to 20th Century Reanalysis Monthly Composites, which has 20CRV2c.

2015-2016Winter500mbGeopotentialAnomalyWorld

It shows troughing south of Alaska, which is a positive East Pacific Oscillation (EPO). A positive EPO is less favorable for freezes. Now, that does not mean the EPO will always be positive because it can go negative. A negative EPO would have ridging over Alaska, which means a better chance for cold blasts in the winter. There is also ridging off the east coast of Japan and surrounding Antartica.

So, how does it affect temperature and rainfall? Let’s start with temperature.

2015-2016_Analog_WinterTemperatureAnomaly_World

The Northern part of America is warm as the jet stream travels further south than normal. It is also warm throughout South America as El Nino is off the coast of South America. It is cold in the Arctic and Antartica region. El Nino also effects rain.

2015-2016_Analog_WinterPrecipitationAnomaly_World

In terms of rainfall, Southern and Western US, West Coast of South America, Central Africa, Northern Pakisan/Afghanistan, and Southeast China is wetter than normal. The wettest is the area over where El Nino is. Meanwhile, most of Eastern South America, Philpppines, Indonesia, Northern Australia, Southeast Africa, Madagascar, and Central America are going to be dry. Droughts are usually a huge problem during El Nino for those areas.

Keep in mind temperature and rainfall records often do not go back to the 19th Century in many parts of the world. Let’s take a look at divisional climate in America. The data goes back to 1895, so there will be no data available prior to 1894, which means no data for 1877-1878 and 1888-1889. Let’s start with rainfall.

2015-2016_Analog_Divisional_Rain_StandardizedAnomaly

Rainfall is heavier to the south as mentioned previously due to jet stream. The jet steam carries more storm systems over the Southern US. Meanwhile, the Northern US is drier as a result. Generally it is wetter, but not always. Here is the wettest and driest analog years.

America
Driest: 1896-1897 6.68
Wettest: 1997-1998 8.99
Analog Mean: 7.61
Analog Standard Deviation: 0.87
Overall Mean (1895-2015): 6.74
Overall Standard Deviation (1895-2015): 0.88

Texas
Driest: 1896-1897 3.49
Wettest: 1991-1992 12.72
Analog Mean: 7.09
Analog Standard Deviation: 2.63
Overall Mean (1895-2015): 4.82
Overall Standard Deviation (1895-2015): 1.83

Upper Texas Coast
Driest: 1896-1897 5.30
Wettest: 1991-1992 23.54
Analog Mean: 13.18
Analog Standard Deviation: 5.24
Overall Mean (1895-2015): 10.24
Overall Standard Deviation (1895-2015): 3.53

1896-1897 was dry overall for America including Texas and Upper Texas Coast. The wettest is 1991-1992 and 1997-1998. Overall, analog years are wetter than normal. How does temperature fare?

2015-2016_Analog_Divisional_Temperature_StandardizedAnomaly

The Southern US is cooler than normal. It is due to the perpetual cloud coverage and rain, which keeps things cooler than normal. There can also be cold blasts during a strong El Nino. Up north is warmer than normal in the winter. Some people would like it as those areas are cold in the winter. Here is the warmest and coolest analog years.

America
Coolest: 1902-1903 30.03°F
Warmest: 1991-1992 36.35°F
Analog Mean: 33.55°F
Analog Standard Deviation: 2.29
Overall Mean (1895-2015): 32.31°F
Overall Standard Deviation (1895-2015): 2.01

Texas
Coolest: 1972-1973 43.83°F
Warmest: 1991-1992 46.90°F
Analog Mean: 46.90°F
Analog Standard Deviation: 1.89
Overall Mean (1895-2015): 47.28°F
Overall Standard Deviation (1895-2015): 2.31

Upper Texas Coast
Coolest: 1972-1973 50.13°F
Warmest: 1997-1998 55.93°F
Analog Mean: 53.47°F
Analog Standard Deviation: 1.09
Overall Mean (1895-2015): 53.97°F
Overall Standard Deviation (1895-2015): 2.63

America is warmer overall in those analog years. That is due to the Northern US being warmer than normal. Texas and Upper Texas Coast is cooler than normal due to all the rain and clouds over the Lone Star State. The combination and cooler and wetter weather increases the chance for winter weather for Southeast Texas. What about snow?

In Southeast Texas, snow has occurred in these analog years.
1896-1897
1957-1958
1972-1973

The data record from Houston Weather Bureau (WB) in January 1897 has handwriting I cannot read too well. It says that snow and a blizzard happened in Houston on January 25, 1897. There was a hard freeze from January 25-29. It did not go above freezing between January 26-29. It is a freeze in par with other huge freezes in January/February 1951 and February 1989 freezes! February 12, 1958 saw a snow flurry. The Winter of 1972-1973 had three snowfall events of over one inches. That is unheard in Houston area! It is also one of the coldest winters on record for Upper Texas Coast on par with 1977-1978 and 2009-2010. There is no weather record from 1877-1878 in Southeast Texas, so I do not know what the weather was like that time. 1888-1889 had no snowfall recorded. There were some freezes in January and February of 1889. It was more of a wet winter that time. This is from Houston WB records.

Another thing to consider is severe weather. I created a GIS heat map of tornado, hail, and strong wind for those analog years. The tornado, hail, and strong wind is from the 1950s and later. They are all within 300 miles. Let’s start with tornadoes.

2015-2016_Winter_Analog_Tornado

Tornadoes are generally rare in the Winter, but they can happen. In analog winters, tornadoes are most common from Southeast Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri. The second hot spot is Central Florida. El Nino causes the jet stream to go further south, allowing storms to track over. These storms dump heavy rain and can produce severe weather. Let’s look at strong winds from storms.

2015-2016_Winter_Analog_Wind

The entire Eastern US is most at risk for strong winds. Also, Central California is at most risk for strong winds. Strong winds can from severe thunderstorms and storm systems, a tight pressure gradient of low and high pressure, or a cold front passes. So, what effect does El Nino have on hail in the winter?

2015-2016_Winter_Analog_Hail

The highest risk for hail is Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Southern Kansas, and Southern Missouri. There is also a higher risk in Alabama and Georgia and Southern Florida. Not a good thing as severe weather is generally more common in an El Nino winter in the Southern US.

The heat map could give us a good idea where severe weather events could happen this winter. Frankly, I would be just as concerned about severe weather, especially in the Southern US. I would not be surprised if this winter will be known as the winter of severe weather besides winter weather.

Past El Nino does not guarantee that this El Nino will be similar. All El Nino’s are different. Regardless, I expect an interesting winter coming. So fasten your seatbelt tightly. It will be a rough ride for sure.

Weather In Review And Forecast For August 2, 2015

This week has been hot for Texas. Nor rain in sight either. Strange we had lots of rain in Spring to June. It is like if someone turned off the faucet. Typical of a developing strong El Nino summer.

20150803_July_ElNino_PrecipitationRate_NorthAmerica

Not surprised by it one bit. Texas is dry, while Florida is wet. In fact, it has been quite wet in Florda.

20150803_7Day_Rainfall_Total

The past 7 days has been wet in Florida, especially in the northwestern part of the state. They have seen over 15 inches of rain! There have been flooding reported in the Tampa area.

So, how will this week to next week be like? In lieu of forecast models, I will use analog forecast models courtesy of the Climate Prediction Center. 6 to 10 days forecast comes first.

20150803_6To10Day_AnalogForecast

8/17/1976-Tropical Storm Dottie makes landfall on South Florida and South Carolina. Many areas recorded 4 to 8 inches of rain with 10.68 inches in Fort Lauderdale. Four people lost their life from the storm. Hurricane Belle made landfall on Long Island, New York as a Category 1 hurricane on August 10. The storm did $100 million and claimed 12 lives.
8/25/1961-Southeast Texas closes August 1961 with rain everyday from summer thunderstorms. Hurricane Carla makes landfall near Port O’Connor on September 11th as a large Category 3/4 hurricane. Gusts as high as 175 mph are recorded with 19 inches of rain. 43 people lose their life from massive storm surge of 22 feet.
8/3/1991 & 8/9/1991-Hurricane Bob forms on August 16th ans skirts Outer Banks of North Carolina and becomes a Category 3 hurricane. Bob brushes Long Island and makes landfall near Newport, Rhode Island as a Category 2 hurricane. Than it makes a second landfall near Rockport, Maine, as a Tropical Storm. Bob does $1.5 billion in damages and claims 17 lives throughout the East Coast.
8/21/1981-Tropical Depression Eight makes landfall and dumps heavy rain on Texas and Oklahoma. Up to 21 inches of rain fell in 24 hours in Pine Springs, Texas. 5 people died from flooding.
8/7/1995 & 8/8/1991-Hurricane Erin first affects the Bahamas as a Tropical Storm and Category 1 hurricane. Than makes landfall on Vero Beach, Florida as a Category 1 hurricane. It enters the Gulf of Mexico as a Tropical Storm and intensifies into a Category 2 hurricane before it hits Fort Walton, Florida. Erin does $700 million in damages and claims 13 lives.

Many of those analog dates I mentioned had a tropical system make landfall on America. Does this mean it will happen in the next 6 to 10 days? No. We are entering the more active phase of the season. If something tropical that develops could make landfall on America. The forecast also suggests rain could return for Texas by next week.

Now, let’s look at the 8 to 14 day analog forecast.

20150803_8To14Day_AnalogForecast

8/23/2005 & 8/28/2005-Hurricane Katrina forms over Bahamas on August 23rd. Than makes landfall on South Florida on August 25th as a Category 1 hurricane. It enters the Gulf of Mexico as a Tropical Storm. From there, it undergoes rapid intensification as it gets stronger. On August 28th, Katrina is a Category 5 hurricane with 175 mph winds and central pressure of 902 millibars and heading towards New Orleans. Katrina makes landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on South Louisiana and Mississippi. The hurricane produces massive storm surge of over 30 feet! The same storm surge floods New Orleans and surrounding area. Many thousands are evacuated before and after the hurricane. The hurricane claims 1,836 lives and does $125 billion in damages, the most costliest natural disaster in America to date.
8/7/1998-Tropical Storm Charley forms on August 21st and makes landfall on near Corpus Christi, Texas on August 23rd as a weak tropical storm after intensifying as a strong tropical storm. Del Rio sees heavy rain from what was Charley on August 24th. Over 17 inches of rain fell in Del Rio, setting an all time record.
7/31/1991 & 8/8/1991-Hurricane Bob forms on August 16th ans skirts Outer Banks of North Carolina and becomes a Category 3 hurricane. Bob brushes Long Island and makes landfall near Newport, Rhode Island as a Category 2 hurricane. Than it makes a second landfall near Rockport, Maine, as a Tropical Storm. Bob does $1.5 billion in damages and claims 17 lives throughout the East Coast.
8/12/1953-Hurricane Barbara makes landfall on Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on August 13th as a Category 2 hurricane. Many areas see 5 to 10 inches of rain from Barbara with winds of 50 to 80 mph. Barbara claims 9 lives.

Like the 6 to 10 day analog forecast, something tropical happens. Two dates are infamous and they are in 2005. It is Hurricane Katrina, which happened ten years ago this month. Wow, I remember that nasty storm like yesterday. It was all over the news. It was the second disaster to claim over thousands of lives in America. The other being 9/11, which claimed 3,000 lives.

Even though we are in El Nino, do not let your guards down. It only takes one, like in the case with Hurricane Bob in 1991. That occurred with a developing El Nino, which became a strong Modoki El Nino.

Weather In Review And Forecast For July 5, 2015

America celebrated its 239th birthday on July 4th, when America declared Independence from Great Britain in 1776. The best way to celebrate it, shooting off fireworks. Last week was rather west for Southeast Texas. This Summer has been wet so far and not really hot. It is yet to reach 95°F in Houston area (as of July 6, 2015). Not bad.

20150706_7Day_Rainfall_Total

The rains that hit Houston area dumped some really heavy rain of up to 4 inches on July 1. Flood was a problem as the ground is very wet from Spring rains, especially from May and Tropical Storm Bill. However, the heaviest rain has fallen in Central Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. They saw 7 day rainfall totals of over 11 inches! They have problems with flooding, like in Texas.

So, why all the wet weather lately? The culprit is El Nino. The water off the coast of South America is very warm as seen in this map.

20150706_Global_SST_Anomaly

The El Nino is forecasted to get stronger. This means that Fall and Winter will likely be wetter for Texas and drought ridden California. Usually when there is El Nino in Fall and Winter, there is an increase chance for flooding. Texas has seen floods in El Nino Fall like in 1940, 1994, 2002, 2004, and 2006. Floods have occurred in El Nino Winter like 1913, 1958, and 1991.

In the immediate forecast, which is up to 14 days, let’s see what it will be like using analog forecasts. Let’s start with 6 to 10 day analog forecast.

20150706_6To10Day_AnalogForecast

7/1/1982-A dry start to July in Southeast Texas. Heavy rain falls on 7/13. Bush Intercontinental: 3.59″; Hobby: 0.02″; Galveston: 0″. Bush Intercontinental records its second wettest 7/13.
7/7/1983-Southeast Texas has strings of wet days from 7/13-16. Rainfall totals between 7/12 to 7/16 are Bush Intercontinental: 4.87″; Hobby: 6.61″; Galveston: 5.94″. Houston records its third wettest 7/13. Galveston records its second wettest 7/13 and wettest 7/14 recorded.
7/5/1998 & 7/23/1998-Texas is in a heat wave for July 1998 to early August 1998.
7/18/2007-Southeast Texas sees a wet July. Upper Texas Coast has second wettest July after 1900 of 12.29″.
7/8/1986-Southeast Texas is in midst of a dry July.
7/6/1990-A unusual cold front sweeps the nation between 7/10 to 7/13. Houston sees coolest 7/13 of 67°F, while coolest 7/14 (62°F) and 7/15 (64°F) on record.
7/2/1970-Houston sees a record low of 63°F on 7/6.

This analog forecast is up to July 14, when New Horizons is closest to Pluto. I look forward for that for sure. Based on the analog forecast, it could either dry and hot or wet. Keep in mind, this up to 10 days. We can go the extra mile and look up to 14 days.

20150706_8To14Day_AnalogForecast

7/6/1986 & 7/11/1986-Southeast Texas is in midst of a dry July.
6/30/1982-A dry start to July in Southeast Texas. Heavy rain falls on 7/13. Bush Intercontinental: 3.59″; Hobby: 0.02″; Galveston: 0″. Bush Intercontinental records its second wettest 7/13.
7/29/1989-Hurricane Chantal makes landfall on Upper Texas Coast as a Category 1 hurricane on 8/1. It claims 13 lives and does $100 million (in 1989 US Dollars) in damages. Many areas see 8 to 12 inches of rain including totals as high as 20 inches.
7/22/2002-Houston sees heavy rain on 7/13 to 7/17. Bush Intercontinental: 6.76″; Hobby: 5.48″. Bush sees its wettest 7/13 of 5.40″.
8/1/2007-Tropical Storm Erin develops on 8/15 from Tropical Depression 5. It makes landfall as a Tropical Depression near Lamar, Texas. Erin dumps heavy rain mostly in Southeast Texas. Many areas see 5 to 8 inches of rain with totals as high as 12 inches over Oklahoma after it redeveloped into a Tropical Storm. Erin claims 21 lives $248.3 million (in 2007 US Dollars) in damages.

Some of the analog dates are interesting as they have tropical cyclone landfall in 1989 and 2007. Chantal and Erin formed close to land in the Gulf of Mexico, which El Nino seasons generally favor. I am not saying that will happen, but a realm of possibility. The analog dates that stand out in the 8 to 14 day forecast have rain returning.

I think this week will be a typical July day with scattered showers and thunderstorms. By next week, we could see widespread rain returning.