Atlantic Hurricane Season In June

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

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

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

The Tropical Atlantic Is Heating Up For 9/13/2015

We are in mid September and the tropics are heating up. There are three areas of interest in the tropics; Invest 93L, 94L, and 95L.

20150915_GOES-EAST_TATL_AVN_0145Z

Invest 94L is the closest to Texas. 94L has a low chance of development. It is close to land and has to contend with wind shear. Here is the 5 day forecast of where 94L will go.

20150915_Invest94L_0000Z

Most have it going to Mexico. One has it going into Texas, which is an outlier. Another has it going south into the Yucatan Peninsula. I do not think 94L will become tropical. Even the intensity forecast models do not support it.

20150915_94L_Intensity_0000Z

Most forecast models have 94L below tropical depression. A couple of models have it as a tropical storm in the next two days. Two models have 94L as a tropical storm in five days. Forecasting intensity has a long way to go.

Verdict: Invest 94L will not develop into something tropical.

Now, let’s go to Invest 93L. I think this one could develop in the next couple of days if conditions are right. It has to deal with wind shear and dry Saharan air, which has been persistent due to El Nino. The forecast models are hinting it could become a named storm within 24 hours. It would be Ida.

20150915_93L_Intensity_0000Z

I am not too sure if 93L will develop. If so, it will probably develop into a tropical storm at most.

20150915_Invest93L_0000Z

Most forecast models keep 93L out to sea. When a storm intensifies into in the middle of the Atlantic, they tend to be more influenced by upper air patterns. This holds true with hurricanes.

Verdict: Invest 93L could develop, but will not hold my breath for it.

Finally, let’s look at Invest 95L. It just came off of West Africa. 95L has a better chance of developing in the next five days. One thing about Invest 93L, it has to also deal with dry air. That could favor 95L as it can intensify. I think 95L could become Ida or Joaquin, which ever develops first.

20150915_95L_Intensity_0000Z

Some of the forecast models have 95L as a hurricane in the next two to three days. It peaks as a Category 2 hurricane. If Ida was to develop, I would not be surprised if 95L became a Category 3 hurricane. Now, where does it go?

20150915_Invest95L_0000Z

Invest 95L has a more west northwest direction. Even five days later, it is still in the middle of the Atlantic. Could it pose a threat to land? Depending how fast it develops. The slower it develops, the better chance that it could pose a threat to land.

Verdict: Invest 95L is the one to watch this week.

We are in the peak month of hurricane season. So, the tropics are heating up.

Oh No! (Tropical Storm Bill)

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued their first advisory for Tropical Storm Bill. It is a tropical storm with 50 mph winds. It has tropical storm force winds extending up to 160 miles, especially east of the center.

20150615_02L_2300EDT

The cone has Bill going northwest towards Texas at 12 mph. This means it could make landfall by tomorrow morning on the Texas Coast as a tropical storm. Bill forecasted to be stronger to 60 mph. Here is a wind probability, by 34 knots, 50 knots, and 64 knots.

34 Knots
20150615_02L_34KnotProbability_2300EDT

50 Knots
20150615_02L_50KnotProbability_2300EDT

64 Knots
20150615_02L_64KnotProbability_2300EDT

Coast areas have the highest chance to see tropical storm force winds. As you are further inland, the tropical storm force winds diminish due to land interaction. That means the highest wind on land assuming it is at 60 mph using the 15 percent reduction rule is 51 mph. That means the highest gust could be 77 mph is we multiply by factor of 1.5. Most areas should see 30 to 45 mph winds with gusts of 45 to 68 mph. Hurricane force winds are less likely with Bill. Of course, storms like Bill can rapidly intensify in the Gulf of Mexico if conditions are right.

The waters in the Gulf of Mexico are quite warm. Here is the 26°C or 78.8°F depth map.

20150615_26C_Depth_GOM

Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential
20150615_TCHP_GOM

The warm water is quite deep. An area of very warm on the surface and deep layer of warm water is very favorable for tropical development if there are not a lot of wind shear. The conditions can allow Bill to intensify further. I would not be surprised if Bill did become a hurricane. I suspect more likely a tropical storm.

Rainfall is another issue. It is moving 12 mph, which means if we use the rule of thumb, 100 divided by the motion speed, which is 12, we get about 8 inches of rain. That means Bill could easily dump 8 inches of rain. I suspect Bill will be more of a rain event than a wind event. Many areas could see 5 to 10 inches of rain with isolated areas seeing up to 15 inches of rain. The grounds in Southeast Texas is very saturated from the May and Spring rains. That can allow more flooding to happen from heavy rain if it is prolonged. The ground cannot handle anymore water, which means, flooding risk goes up from Bill.

Tragic September Week

TragicSeptemberHeader2014

This week in American history is marred by tragic anniversaries, 1900 Galveston Hurricane, Carla, 9/11, and Ike. Some of the deadliest disasters in American history occurred in the month of September as I will show.

The Galveston Hurricane made landfall south of Galveston on September 8, 1900. The hurricane is a Category 4 with 140 mph winds and gusts as high as 180 mph. The hurricane produced 15 foot storm surge and claimed 12,000 lives. The deadly storm surge prompted the building of the Galveston Seawall. Carla is a massive Category 4 hurricane that made landfall on Port O’Connor, Texas on September 11, 1961. It had winds of 145 mph gusts of 190 mph. Hurricane force winds would be felt in Houston despite being over 100 miles from the eye. Carla produced storm surge as high as 22 feet near Port O’Connor. Carla claimed 43 lives in Texas. Than exactly 40 years later on September 11, 2001, four hijacked airplanes crash into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. A failed one occurred with United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville. 3,000 people died and many more have been sickened from toxic dust and smoke exposure from the crashing World Trade Center. Ike paid a visit on Texas on September 13, 2008 as a large Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph with gusts as high as 140 mph. Ike produced 25 foot storm surge on Port Bolivar, the third highest after Katrina and Camille. Once Ike passed, 112 people died in Texas along with 83 throughout America and the Atlantic basin in its reign of terror.

Here are the top 10 deadliest American disasters by death toll in a single day. They exclude pandemics and wars.
1.) 1900 Galveston Hurricane September 8, 1900 12,000
2.) 1906 San Francisco Earthquake April 18, 1906 6,000
3.) 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane September 13 and 16, 1928 +4,078
4.) 9/11 Terrorist Attacks September 11, 2001 3,000
5.) Pearl Harbor Attack December 7, 1941 2,466
6.) Johnstown Flood May 31, 1889 2,209
7.) 1893 Cheniere Caminada Hurricane October 2, 1893 2,000
8.) Hurricane Katrina August 29, 2005 1,836
9.) SS Sultana April 27, 1865 1,700
10.) Peshtigo Fire October 8, 1871 +1,200

Three of the top five deadliest disasters occurred in September; Galveston Hurricane, Okeechobee Hurricane, and 9/11. Some decades had two disasters that claimed over 1,000 lives, 1890s had Sea Islands Hurricane and Cheniere Caminada Hurricane in the same year of 1893. Or the 1900s had Galveston and San Francisco, two of America’s deadliest disasters. Recently in the 2000s with 9/11 and Katrina.

Think about the news coverage back than in the 1890s and 1900s. The news coverage with 9/11 and Katrina were heavily covered from what I remember. 9/11 was non-stop coverage for a few days, even longer than the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. On top of it, there were no commercials and almost every network had 9/11 news coverage on.

Spring 2014 Report

Spring2014Ranks

Spring has passed as we approach summer as the days get longer. So, did winter choose to remain despite the fact the calendar says spring? Some areas were still cold and ice still prevailed in the Great Lakes. It was warm in the Western US as they are still languishing in a drought.

America
Temperature: 51.13°F
Rainfall: 8.01

1895-2014 Spring Statistics
Spring Temperature Mean: 51.06°F
Spring Temperature Median: 50.82°F
Standard Deviation: 1.36

Spring Rainfall Mean: 7.93
Spring Rainfall Median: 7.91
Standard Deviation: 0.97

America as a whole had a largely normal spring because of the stark contrast in temperature and rainfall. Some regions were cooler, while others were warmer. In terms of rain, some regions got more, while others got less. So that cancels each other out. This surface temperature anomaly map shows the eastern half of the US was cooler, while western half of the US was warmer. Most of the cold air was over Canada and Upper Midwest. Most of Arctic, Asia, and Europe had warmer than normal spring.

2014SpringSurfaceTemperatureAnomaly

One wonders why was the Eastern US cooler than the Western US this past spring. Look at a 500 millibar level geopotential height to look for anomalies. A positive anomaly is persistent ridging, while negative anomaly is persistent troughing. Here is a map of the 500 millibar level geopotential height anomaly map.

2014Spring500mbGeopotentialAnomaly

The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is in a positive phase, as there is persistent troughing over Greenland and Northeastern Canada. A positive NAO usually means warmer than normal winter when NAO is positive. However, there is persistent ridging over Alaska. That area is called Nort Pacific Oscillation (NPO) or East Pacific Oscillation (EPO). When there is ridging over Alaska, the NPO/EPO is negative, while troughing over Alaska means positive NPO/EPO. The NPO/EPO is similar to NAO, but over the North Pacific Ocean. A negative NPO/EPO gives America a cooler than normal winter. It can have much influence than NAO, like this past winter, which was a cold one. Another cold winter where the NAO was positive, but NPO/EPO was negative is the winter of 1983-1984. That winter was really cold, especially December 1983.

Now, let’s look at the great state of Texas’s spring.

Texas
Temperature: 64.13°F
Rainfall: 6.12

1895-2014 Spring Statistics
Spring Temperature Mean: 64.75°F
Spring Temperature Median: 64.73°F
Standard Deviation: 1.77

Spring Rainfall Mean: 7.26
Spring Rainfall Median: 7.05
Standard Deviation: 2.16

Like America, Texas had a normal spring in terms of temperature and rainfall. The temperature is below average, but within average. Texas saw normal March rainfall as it got beneficial rains to put a dent on the drought. However, Texas needs more rain to end this drought, which will hopefully be case with El Nino. So, how did Houston area fared in Spring.

Upper Texas Coast
Temperature: 66.93°F
Rainfall: 11.12

1895-2014 Spring Statistics
Spring Temperature Mean: 68.50°F
Spring Temperature Median: 68.39°F
Standard Deviation: 1.68

Spring Rainfall Mean: 10.38
Spring Rainfall Median: 9.91
Standard Deviation: 4.28

It is not your imagination that Spring 2014 was cool in Southeast Texas. It was cooler than normal despite the fact that Texas and America had normal spring. The Upper Texas Coast cracked the top 20 coolest spring on record. It is even cooler than Spring 2013. Winter prevailed in Spring 2014 for Upper Texas Coast. This is despite the fact it is within the mean, but close enough to be outside the mean to be considered abnormal. Here is the top 20 coolest spring in the Upper Texas Coast.

Top 20 Coldest Spring
1.) 1931 63.37°F
2.) 1915 64.87°F
3.) 1926 65.53°F
4.) 1913 65.63°F
5.) 1983 65.67°F
6.) 1914/1969 65.87°F
7.) 1952 65.90°F
8.) 1924/1960 66.07°F
9.) 1941 66.40°F
10.) 1947 66.53°F
11.) 1970/1993 66.57°F
12.) 1912 66.60°F
13.) 1919 66.63°F
14.) 1917 66.67°F
15.) 1932 66.77°F
16.) 1942 66.83°F
17.) 1937 66.90°F
18.) 2014 66.93°F
19.) 1928/1962 67.03°F
20.) 1930 67.07°F

Spring 2014 is the 18th coolest spring on record since 1895! Spring 2013 is 22 coolest spring on record and ties with Spring 1901 as the average was 67.13°F. Interesting to note following a cool spring, a major hurricane has made landfall on the Upper Texas Coast in these years. Here are the correlation values between Spring Temperatures (March to May) and tropical landfall on the Upper Texas Coast.

Tropical Storm
r = 0.03
p = 0.71

Hurricane
r = 0.11
p = 0.22

Major Hurricane
r = -0.21
p = 0.02

All Landfall
r = 0.00
p = 0.99

There is a significant negative correlation between cool springs and major hurricanes making landfall on the Upper Texas Coast. Cooler the spring, the more likely a major hurricane is likely to make landfall. It is significant because the p-value below 0.05. Anything above 0.05 is not significant. Four of the top 20 coolest spring had a major hurricane make landfall during the hurricane season from June to November.

Major Hurricane
1915-Galveston Hurricane of 1915 (Category 3)
1932-Freeport Hurricane (Category 4)
1941-Hurricane #2 (Category 3, Based on Reanalysis)
1983-Alicia (Category 3)

Hurricanes
1947-Hurricane 3 (Category 1)

Interesting to note that San Antonio Spurs won the NBA Championship, a hurricane made landfall. Here are the championship years for Spurs and hurricanes that made landfall.

1999-Bret
2003-Claudette
2005-Rita
2007-Humberto
2014-?

Two are Category 3 or above, while the other two are Category 1. In Humberto’s case, had it stayed over the Gulf of Mexico longer, it easily would have been a Category 3 or above hurricane. Thankfully that never happened as it made landfall east of Galveston on September 13, 2007 at 2:00 AM. Eerily, exactly one year later on that day and time, a much larger hurricane, Hurricane Ike, made landfall on the eastern part of Galveston Island.

However, none of them had an El Nino developing that year. Most were either Neutral (2003) or going into La Nina (1999, 2005, and 2007). El Nino is forecasted to develop for this year and that reduces storm formation from westerly wind shear. However, during El Nino years, storms form closer to land and increase their chance for landfall. My spring forecast for the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season used years that saw El Nino developing early. Looking at it this 2014 analog GIS heat map, many of them end up in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico.

2014AnalogHurricaneHeatMap

Notice the highest risk for storms to hit are the Central Gulf Coast region, which is Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Southeast Texas is also in a high risk area for landfall during an analog season where El Nino is developing. It proves that even a less active season is just as dangerous as an active season.

Start Of 2014 Hurricane Season

2014AnalogHurricaneHeatMap

Time flies fast and June 1st is here. You know what that means? The Atlantic Hurricane season starts. Yes, it is this time of the year from now to November 30th. Here are the names for 2014.
Arthur
Bertha
Cristobal
Dolly
Edouard
Fay
Gonzalo
Hanna
Isaias
Josephine
Kyle
Laura
Marco
Nana
Omar
Paulette
Rene
Sally
Teddy
Vicky
Wilfred

The name list was last used in 2008, which was an active and memorable season. Gustav, Ike, and Paloma. They have been replaced by Gonzalo, Isaias, and Paulette. Gustav crashed into Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, and Louisiana. Ike ravaged Haiti, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cuba, and Texas. Paloma hit Nicaragua and Cuba. Interesting to note, the Atlantic Hurricane name cycle for 2014 was also used in 2002.

I still think this season could be less active one, but not on the level of 2013. My prediction for 2014 has not changed since April. It is 11 storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes with an accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) between 60 to 90. The forecast is subject to change due to various factors. The analog years for 2014 remain the same. They are 1957, 1965, 1997, and 2002

1997ElNinoThe reason I think those years are analog for 2014 are that we are seeing El Nino developing early. Also, they are in a warmer phase of the Atlantic. Many forecast models are predicting that we could see El Nino by summer. Frankly, I think we will see a strong El Nino on the level of 1972-1973, 1982-1983, or 1997-1998. Even if El Nino develops, there can be active seasons, like in 1969 and 2004. They started active and went into overdrive. Both were devastating years in the form of Camille in 1969 and Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne in 2004. However, they were weak El Ninos, unlike the current one, which could be a strong one.

I am thinking this season could see more home grown storms, which puts America at higher risk for landfall. Many of the analog years had devastating hurricanes that form closer to land like Audrey (1957), Betsy (1965), Danny (1997), and Isidore (2002). One interesting fact, America has not seen a Category 3+ hurricane make landfall since Wilma on October 24, 2005. Perhaps our luck could run out soon. Only time will tell between June 1 to November 30, 2014.

Regardless of how active or inactive this season is, we should always be prepared. It only takes one to be a devastating season.

April 2014 Hurricane Season Forecast

2014AnalogHurricaneMap

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

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

Colorado State University
9/3/1 ACE: 55

Tropical Storm Risk
12/5/3 ACE: 75

ImpactWeather
10/4/1 ACE: None

Global Weather Oscillation
17/8/3 ACE: None

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

Levi Cowan
8 to 10 Storms ACE: None

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2014AnalogHurricaneHeatMap

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

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

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

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

Standard Deviation
2.5/0.57/0.57 20.3 0.23

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

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

Median
9/5/2 84.0 9.1

Standard Deviation
4.1/2.6/1.7 54.0 4.2

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

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

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

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

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

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