Report below is from Rob Lightbown of Crown Weather.
To see the illustrations that accompany this report visit: www.crownweather.com
Tropical Weather/Hurricane Forecast
Outlook For The 2010 Hurricane Season
Issued: Saturday, May 1, 2010 120 pm EDT
I decided to write up an update to the seasonal forecast I wrote back in early March. I am very concerned that we’re in for a very, very busy hurricane season.
The main feature that is very worrying to me is the latest European model forecast of Sea Level Pressure Anomalies and Precipitation Anomalies in the Atlantic. The forecast continues to call for well below normal pressures and well above normal precipitation totals during the July to September, 2010 timeframe. What this means in terms of tropical storm and hurricane activity is that lower pressures mean lighter winds and less wind shear. In addition, the lighter winds and less wind shear will also mean more available moisture and in the end warmer sea surface temperatures.
One other thing to note, note the above average sea level pressures in the East Pacific (Dark red). This means that the air will be sinking in the east Pacific and rising in the Atlantic Basin. Rising air promotes more storminess.
Now, one thing to note is that the European model forecasted negative conditions for the 2009 Hurricane Season at this time last year and it did quite well with that forecast. So, there is some merit and credibility that the 2010 Hurricane Season may be quite active.
There are several hurricane seasons that are a close match to what this hurricane season may be like. They are 1958, 1964, 1966, 1969, 1995, 1998 and 2005. As for potential risk areas, I have attached a map outlining all of the tracks during the 7 analog years. A few areas stand out for higher concentration of landfalls during those 7 analog seasons. These areas include eastern North Carolina and the outer banks of North Carolina, south Florida and the northwest Bahamas, the central Gulf coast (from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle), the Leeward Islands and Virgin Islands and finally the northwest Caribbean, including the Yucatan Peninsula, western Cuba and the Cayman Islands. Elsewhere, along the US coastline and in the Caribbean, don’t let your guard down as you are also at risk this season of a tropical storm or hurricane.
Sum of storm tracks of 7 analog seasons (1958, 1964, 1966, 1969, 1995, 1998, 2005):
Highest Threat Areas For 2010 Hurricane Season:
I suspect that we will have our first tropical storm sometime in early June. The reason why is that the first storm of the season formed in early June during 5 out of the 7 analog years. Also, with sea surface temperatures running above normal and forecast lower than normal surface pressures; I strongly believe we will have our first storm in early June, if not before then.
As for my forecast numbers for this year:
16 Named Storms
4 Major Hurricanes
The forecast numbers are based on the idea that the Atlantic will remain warmer than normal and that the current weakening El Nino will be neutral during the heart of the hurricane season. The current Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential map is displayed below and it shows plenty of heat potential already for the formation and intensification of tropical storms and hurricanes.
Sea Surface Temperature Map:
Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential Map:
So, to sum it up, I am looking at a hurricane season coming up that will be very active. I expect neutral ENSO conditions throughout the heart of the hurricane season. In addition, above average to much above average ocean temperatures and below average sea level pressures point to an active to very active hurricane season with the highest risk areas in eastern North Carolina and the outer banks of North Carolina, south Florida and the northwest Bahamas, the central Gulf coast (from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle), the Leeward Islands and Virgin Islands and finally the northwest Caribbean, including the Yucatan Peninsula, western Cuba and the Cayman Islands.
This outlook should be the catalyst to start purchasing supplies and putting your hurricane kit together during May. Also, take a close look at your homeowners or renters insurance and ensure that you are properly covered for damages or god forbid total loss. Also, if you don’t have flood insurance and live in a hurricane zone, I strongly urge you to consider taking on flood insurance. Your homeowners/renters insurance does not cover for floods caused by storm surge or river flooding.