Tropical cyclone formation is not expected in the North Atlantic, Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico within the next 48 hours.
Tropical Atlantic Wide Infrared Satellite Image:
USA National Weather Service Forecast
6:00 am EST on March 7, 2014
For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico...
Tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 5 days.
The next regular tropical weather
outlook will be issued on June 1 2014. Special tropical weather
outlooks will be issued as needed if a significant weather system
forms during the off-season.
48 Hour Forecast – Favorable Environmental Conditions For Tropical Development
Infrared Satellite in Belize City
Basin Remains Free of Tropical Systems
12/9/2013 12:05:47 PM
The Atlantic Basin is currently free of tropical systems and is expected to remain quiet over the next several days.
120 Hour Forecast – Favorable Environmental Conditions For Tropical Development
91 Days Until The Start Of The 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Rob Lightbown of Crown Weather Services
Saturday, March 1, 2014 7:31 am
With about three months left until the beginning of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, I wanted to post some observations and thoughts on some of the indices that could influence activity.
It appears that we will be heading into a weak to moderate El Nino over the next several months. This has the potential to produce above average wind shear across much of the Atlantic during the 2014 Hurricane season, especially during the second half of the season. So, with this I expect a “slow season” in terms of the number of storms. We have to be careful with this declaration because the United States and the Caribbean have been impacted significantly by tropical storms and hurricanes even during a slow season.
An El Nino influences the prevailing weather pattern across much the World. The observable effects of El Nino on North America can sometimes include:
- An active Pacific jet stream that brings wet to very wet conditions in California and the southern United States.
- Cool conditions with below average temperatures across the Gulf of Mexico and along the Gulf Coast.
- Warm conditions with above average temperatures for the northern United States and western Canada.
- Dry conditions across the Ohio Valley.
The current sea surface temperature profile over the Northern Hemisphere matches 1962, 1990, 2009, 1991, 1957 and 2012. What should be mentioned is that four of those years had hurricanes which significantly impacted either the United States or the Caribbean. These impact years include 1957, 1990, 1991 and 2012.
One year I wanted to pick out is 1957 (which was an El Nino year), which had 8 named storms. One of those storms, Audrey, made the season memorable. Hurricane Audrey made landfall right in the Beaumont, Texas and Cameron, Louisiana area on June 27th as a Category 4 hurricane. As the saying goes, it only takes one storm to make a season memorable.
The overall cold winter across the United States is very comparable to the winters of 1976-77 and 1993-94. Additionally, the northwestern and northern Gulf Coast has experienced a top 10 cold winter. It is interesting to note that there are strong correlations between cold winters and landfalling tropical cyclones. Let’s take a look.
The top 9 cold winters across the northern and northwestern Gulf coast are: 1976-77, 1898-99, 1972-73, 2000-01, 1983-84, 1904-05, 1911-12, 1929-30, 1978-79. All of these top 9 winters had at least one tropical storm or hurricane landfall in the United States or the Caribbean. Three of these seasons had a major hurricane landfall (1899, 1984 and 1979). The winter of 2013-2014 will go down as a top 10 cold winter, so we will have to see if this strong correlation will continue.
I mentioned that the 1993-94 winter is also comparable to what this winter has been like. What is noteworthy is that an El Nino developed by the summer of 1994 which led to a quiet hurricane season in terms of the number of storms (7 named storms). 4 of those storms impacted either the United States or the Caribbean. Alberto made landfall as a tropical storm in early July on the Florida Panhandle; Beryl also made landfall on the Florida Panhandle as a tropical storm in mid-July; Debby made landfall in St. Lucia and Martinique as a tropical storm in early September; Gordon in November impacted Jamaica as a tropical storm, south Florida as a tropical storm and Gordon became a hurricane near the outer banks of North Carolina.
Another index to monitor will be the amount of instability or how much unstable air there is across the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. The trend over the last several weeks has been for more unstable air to exist from about 60 West Longitude and points west with more stable air existing over the central and eastern Atlantic. Should this continue right into this upcoming hurricane season, then we could see any systems struggling to develop until they reach about 60 to 70 West Longitude; therefore, it may be a season of late bloomers and development close to the coast of the United States or right in the vicinity of the Caribbean Islands.
It is of my professional opinion that it looks likely that we will be trending into El Nino conditions by the beginning of the 2014 Hurricane season and it seems possible we will be in moderate El Nino conditions by the September, October and November part of the Hurricane season. This will probably limit the number of named storms, but as I mentioned earlier in this post we have to be careful to not concentrate on the number of named storms as there are correlations to this winter that we may see at least one tropical storm or hurricane landfall somewhere along the United States coastline or in the Caribbean.
My advice is to prepare for this Hurricane season the same way as you do for any other season. Put together or restock that Hurricane supply kit and check to see if you live in a Hurricane evacuation zone. Finally, always check with us for the latest information on any tropical weather threats.
The Unusually Quiet Atlantic Hurricane Season of 2013 Ends
3:53 PM GMT on November 29, 2013
The end of the unusually quiet Atlantic hurricane season of 2013 is at hand. The final tally of thirteen named storms was above the average of eleven for a season, but the two hurricanes (Ingrid and Humberto) and zero major hurricanes were well below the average from 1950 - 2012 of six and three, respectively. The 2013 season ranked as the sixth-least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950, in terms of the collective strength and duration of named storms and hurricanes (ACE index), which was just 33% of the 1981 - 2012 average. The 2013 hurricane season was the first time since 1994 no major hurricanes formed, and was only the third below-normal season since the high-activity period for Atlantic hurricanes began in 1995. NOAA and the U.S. Air Force Reserve flew 45 hurricane hunter aircraft reconnaissance missions over the Atlantic basin this season, totaling 435 hours--the fewest number of flight hours since at least 1966, said NOAA in a press release summarizing the 2013 hurricane season.
Worst storm of the season: Ingrid Mexico took a severe beating in 2013, with eight landfalling storms: one hurricane (Ingrid) and two tropical storms (Barry and Fernand) from the Atlantic side, and two hurricanes (Manuel and Barbara), and three tropical storms from the Pacific side. The deadliest and most expensive Atlantic storm of 2013 was Hurricane Ingrid, which weakened to a tropical storm with 65 mph winds before hitting Mexico about 200 miles south of the Texas border on September 16, 2013. Ingrid's heavy rains triggered flooding that killed 23 and did $1.5 billion in damage, making the storm the 7th costliest tropical cyclone in Mexican history. Barry and Fernand, which both hit the Mexican coast in the Gulf of Mexico between Tampico and Veracruz, dumped torrential rains and triggered floods that killed five and fourteen people, respectively. The first storm of the season, Tropical Storm Andrea, was the only named storm to make landfall in the United States this year. Andrea brought tornadoes, heavy rain, and minor flooding to portions of Florida, eastern Georgia and eastern South Carolina, causing one fatality and damage less than $25 million. No other deaths were recorded from Atlantic named storms in 2013. Tropical Storm Chantal did minor damage on Dominica and Martinique in the Lesser Antilles, and Tropical Storm Gabrielle did minor damage on Bermuda.
Figure 1. The strongest Atlantic hurricane of 2013, Category 1 Hurricane Ingrid, lays siege to Mexico on September 15, 2013. Ingrid killed 23 and did $1.5 billion in damage to Mexico. On the Pacific side, we see Tropical Storm Manuel, which killed 169 people and did $4.2 billion in damage to Mexico. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.
A preseason forecast bust It was a bad year to be in the seasonal hurricane forecast business. All of the pre-season forecasts called for at least 7 hurricanes, 3 major hurricanes, and an ACE index at least 30% higher than average. With the actual numbers being 2 hurricanes, 0 major hurricanes, and an ACE index of just 33% of average , these forecasts were a major bust. The only pre-season forecast that one could deem successful was issued by a team at Penn State, led by Dr. Michael Mann, who only attempted to predict the number of named storms (they said 12 - 20, with a best estimate of 16.) The preseason forecasts largely failed because many of the factors that usually lead to active seasons that we can look at months beforehand all pointed towards an active season:
1) No El Niño was present. When El Niño conditions are not present in the Eastern Pacific, wind shear tends to be low over the tropical Atlantic, favoring hurricane formation.
2) Ocean temperatures were above average.
3) Sea level pressures were lower than average.
4) Wind shear was near average.
5) The African Monsoon was active, with many strong tropical waves emerging from the coast of Africa. These disturbances form the nucleus for about 85% of all major hurricanes.
However, these factors tell only roughly 50% of the story. The other 50% is not predictable more than a week or two in advance: the large-scale atmospheric circulation. This summer and fall, an unusually strong trough of low pressure over the Central Atlantic brought large amounts of dry, sinking air to the tropical Atlantic. Large amounts of dry air also invaded from the Sahara, and from Northeast Brazil, which had suffered the most expensive drought in Brazil's history ($8 billion) earlier in the year. The combined onslaught of dry air from these multiple sources was enough to overwhelm the otherwise favorable conditions for development, leading to one of the quietest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record. According to Phil Klotzbach of the Colorado State seasonal forecast team, the relative humidity at the 700 mb level (roughly 10,000 feet) in the Main Development Region of the tropical Atlantic (7.5- 22.5°N, 20-75°W) in August was the lowest observed in the past 35 years, and was the 8th lowest during September. The strength of the sinking motion of the air in this region during August and September was the second greatest of the past 35 years. It's tough to sustain a thunderstorm updraft when there is so much dry, sinking air at middle levels of the atmosphere.
Special Characteristics of the 2013 Hurricane Season The 2013 hurricane season had the following special characteristics, as summarized by Phil Klotzbach of the Colorado State seasonal forecast team:
• Thirteen named storms occurred during 2013. This is the most named storms to occur in a year with two or fewer hurricanes in the historical record. The 1931 hurricane season had thirteen named storms but only three hurricanes.
• 35.75 named storm days (NSD) occurred during 2013. This is the fewest NSD since 2009 (30 NSD).
• Two hurricanes formed in 2013. This is the fewest hurricanes since 1982, when two hurricanes also formed.
• No major hurricanes formed in 2013. The last year with no major hurricane formations was 1994.
• ACE in 2013 was only 30 units. This is the lowest ACE for an Atlantic hurricane season since 1983 (17 ACE units.)
• No major hurricanes made U.S. landfall in 2013. The last major hurricane to make U.S. landfall was Wilma (2005), so the U.S. has now gone eight years without a major hurricane landfall. Since 1878 when relatively reliable landfall data became available, the U.S. has never had an eight-year period without a major hurricane landfall.
• The maximum intensity reached by any hurricane this year was 85 mph (Humberto and Ingrid). This is the weakest maximum intensity achieved by the most intense hurricane of a season since 1968 (Gladys, 85 mph.)
• Humberto reached hurricane strength early on September 11. It became the second latest forming first hurricane of the year, developing into a hurricane just hours before the previous record latest forming first hurricane of the year (Gustav, 2002.)
• Two tropical cyclones (TCs) formed in the Main Development Region (south of 23.5°N, east of 75°W) prior to 1 August. The last year with two TCs forming in this region prior to 1 August was all-time busiest hurricane season on record, 2005. The median ACE of the 10 years with two TCs in the MDR prior to 1 August was 174 ACE units. The 2013 season clearly defied many of the typical pre-season climate signals.
Video 1. Wunderground member CycloneOz put together this animation of all the named storms of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season.
CLICK HERE for the website for Belize National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO)