Future Harvey And Irma?

This is August and the tropics are heating up. We have Gert in the Atlantic, which does not pose a threat. Let’s cut to the chase and focus on Invest 91L and 92L. Let’s start with 91L. Here is a heat map from various forecast models and GFS ensemble track guidance. The GFS goes up to 10 days.

Looking at the forecast model of where 91L will go, most of have it heading into the Caribbean. There is convergence around Yucatan Peninsula and Belize. From there, it enters into the Gulf of Mexico. Another has it going into Georgia or Carolinas. It is too early to tell where 91L will go. Here is an intensity forecast model for 91L.

Most forecast models have 91L becoming a hurricane in the next 4 days. One model keeps it at barely tropical storm. Last night, one forecast model had Invest 91L as a Category 5 hurricane with 175 mph 280 km/h 150 knots wind!

That is really bullish right there! Forecast models, especially intensity forecasts are unreliable. We have a long way to go. Let’s now turn our attention to Invest 92L. Here is a heat map from various forecast models and GFS ensemble track guidance. The GFS goes up to 10 days.

92L has a more northwestward trend. The 10 day forecast has it affecting the East Coast to Canadian Maritime Provinces. Again, it is too early to tell where 92L will go. Here is an intensity forecast model for 92L.

Most forecast models have 92L as a tropical storm in two days. None have 92L as a hurricane. Since 92L is newly identified, the intensity forecast model is going to be on the low side.

The forecast models came from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance.

The tropics are heating up for sure. I think 91L will be Harvey, while 92L will be Irma.

Atlantic Hurricane Season In August

It is now August and the season is heating up. Where do most August tropical storms and hurricanes form and end up going?

Here is a GIS heat map I created. This is all August tropical storms and hurricanes from 1870 to 2015. The heat map is from within 300 miles (480 kilometers) of a point.

The Main Development Region (MDR) heats up. The Windward Islands see more tropical cyclones making landfall. Interestingly, there is a dead area around Central Caribbean and Cuba. The Gulf of Mexico and Southeast is very active. Many tropical cyclones form near land in August and make landfall. Some of the of most devastating tropical storms and hurricanes made landfall in August:
Sea Islands (1893)
San Ciriaco (1899)
Monterrey (1909)
1945 Texas Hurricane (1945)
Camille (1969)
Amelia (1978)
David (1979)
Alicia (1983)
Bob (1991)
Andrew (1992)
Charley (1998)
Charley (2004)
Katrina (2005)
Dean (2007)
Irene (2011)

Despite Amelia making landfall on July 31, 1978, the worst aspect was heavy rain from August 1-4, 1978 in Central and West Texas, where up to 46 inches (116.84 centimeters) of rain fell. The costliest hurricane occurred in August, Katrina. The previous prior to Katrina was Andrew. August has produced some of the most devastating tropical storms and hurricanes.

Texas does get hurricane landfalls in August, including major hurricanes like Allen and Alicia. Allen was a Category 5 monster and almost made landfall on Port Mansfield as a Category 5 with 180 mph winds. Had that happened, that would of been really devastating. Allen made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Allen was a very large hurricane upon landfall. Alicia made landfall on Galveston as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. It was Texas’s first billion dollar disaster. Alicia was a medium size hurricane, unlike Allen. Had Alicia been Allen, Carla, or Ike size, it would been much worse.

Atlantic Hurricane Season In July

It is now July and it is the halfway mark of the year. Where do most July tropical storms and hurricanes form and end up going?

Here is a GIS heat map I created. This is all July tropical storms and hurricanes from 1870 to 2015. The heat map is from within 300 miles (480 kilometers) of a point.

Most July tropical cyclones form in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are at most risk to see a tropical cyclone making landfall in July. America’s 24 hour rainfall record is from a July tropical cyclone, Tropical Storm Claudette in 1979. Some of the biggest flood events from tropical storms have occurred in July like Alberto in 1994 and Danny in 1997. Alberto did form in late June, but most of its life was in July, so Alberto can be considered a July tropical cyclone.

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. The heat map is from within 300 miles (480 kilometers) of a point.

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.

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.

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.

April Tornadoes

April 2011 is likely going down as one of the most active months for tornadoes. One has to wonder what May will hold. May is the month with the most tornadoes reported on average as this chart shows.

Could May 2011 be another active month for tornadoes? Let’s see.

Two-tailed p value: 0.004
Pearson’s R statistic: 0.363
Degrees of Freedom (df): 58

From the chart and correlation outcome, there is a correlation between April and May tornado activity. The more tornadoes reported in April, the more likely May will be just as active. The p-value is below 0.05, so there is a significant correlation. This is rather concerning that America has been ravaged by tornadoes in this very active April, especially in the Southeast and Midwest.

Now, one has to wonder if an active April means that if a tropical storm, hurricane, or major hurricane will make landfall on America.

April Tornadoes and US Tropical Cyclone Landfall

Two-tailed p value: 0.290
Pearson’s R statistic: 0.139
Degrees of Freedom (df): 58

April Tornadoes and US Major Hurricane Landfall

Two-tailed p value: 0.993
Pearson’s R statistic: -0.001
Degrees of Freedom (df): 58

There is a correlation between April tornadoes and US landfall, but since the p-value is above 0.05, it is not significant. On the other hand, there is no correlation with April tornadoes and US major hurricane landfall.

Now, let’s look at spring, which is from March to May and see if there is a correlation between number of tornadoes in spring and tropical storm, hurricane, or major hurricane will make landfall on America.

Spring Tornadoes and US Tropical Cyclone Landfall

Two-tailed p value: 0.019
Pearson’s R statistic: 0.303
Degrees of Freedom (df): 58

Spring Tornadoes and US Major Hurricane Landfall

Two-tailed p value: 0.972
Pearson’s R statistic: 0.005
Degrees of Freedom (df): 58

There is a significant correlation between Spring tornado activity and tropical cyclones making landfall. The p-value is below 0.05, which there is a significant relationship between Spring tornadoes and tropical cyclones making landfall. On the other hand, there is no correlation between Spring tornado activity and major hurricanes making landfall on America. The correlation is slightly positive, but not significant. What does this mean? America may see tropical cyclones making landfall this upcoming hurricane season.

The last time we had a year this active tornado season was in 2008. The 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season was a devastating year for America. Tropical cyclones made landfall on the US back-to-back starting with Dolly and ending with Ike. Texas got most of the landfall; Dolly, Edouard, and Ike. Ike was the worst of the 2008 hurricane and third most costliest after Katrina and Andrew.

Keep in mind that correlation does not equate with causation. Just because we have an active tornado season does not always mean that May will be active or US is going to see tropical cyclones making landfall. Sometimes, if spring is not active, US could see more tropical cyclones making landfall than in spring that is active.

Source of data is from NOAA-Storm Prediction Center WCM Page