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Marty Offline OP
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Outlook For The 2010 Hurricane Season

Issued: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 440 am EDT/340 am CDT


This is an updated seasonal forecast and is being updated to increase the number of expected storms and to also try to pin down the areas that are of greatest risk this hurricane season.

Bottom line, it looks like we are in for one hell of a bad hurricane season. I cannot stress this enough!!

ENSO Conditions: The strong El Ni�o that was observed this past winter has all but disappeared and has been replaced by neutral conditions. It appears that La Nina conditions will develop during the summer and in fact, La Nina conditions may already be developing across the Atlantic Basin.

The current sunspot cycle is something that needs to be looked at as well. Low levels of sunspot activity (like what is occurring right now) is accompanied by a decrease in solar wind activity. There is theory out there that says low sunspot activity is correlated with cloud growth and thus help lower the sea level pressures and favor a cooler ENSO (ie. La Nina).

So, based on this it appears that we are well into neutral ENSO conditions and a La Nina appears to be developing. This La Nina is forecast to become moderate as the hurricane season progresses. La Nina conditions support low sea level pressures and low wind shear values over the Atlantic Basin. This will likely enhance tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic Basin.

Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO): The AMO is basically a long term pattern of variability in sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Basin. This strongly influences tropical cyclone activity by modifiying sea surface temperatures over the Atlantic.

The AMO is currently warmer than it has been in recent history. The latest monthly AMO value was 0.478°C, which is the fourth warmest value in any month on record. More important to tropical cyclone activity, however, are sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic. Readings in this area are measured by the Tropical North Atlantic (TNA) index. The TNA dataset only goes back to 1950. With that said, both March and April's values are new records and sea surface temperatures have only increased further during May.

The reason why sea surface temperatures are so warm is because an unusually weak subtropical ridge of high pressure was in place over the tropical Atlantic. This, in turn, reduced trade winds in the tropics and helped to warm the sea surface temperatures.

As we head into the hurricane season, I expect that the easterly ocean currents over the tropical Atlantic will carry the very warm sea surface temperatures westward and cause the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to warm further than what has already occurred. Based on this, I expect above to well above average sea surface temperatures in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico by the heart of the hurricane season. These very warm sea surface temperatures across the entire tropical Atlantic will be very favorable for tropical cyclone formation since they cause lower sea level pressures and thus causes more convection and fuel for developing tropical cyclones.

Analog Years: I have tried to focus in on just a few years that are a close match to what this hurricane season may be like. They are 1964, 1969, 1995 and 2005. As for potential risk areas, I have attached links that outline each hurricane season of those 4 analog years. A few areas stand out for higher concentration of landfalls during those 4 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.

This idea for potential threat areas is supported by the forecast summer pattern of a ridge of high pressure over the southeastern United States. This ridge of high pressure will prevent any tropical cyclones from turning out into the open Atlantic once they reach 65 West Longitude and potentially steer these storms right into the Gulf of Mexico.





Highest Threat Areas For 2010 Hurricane Season:

Based on the very favorable conditions out there this season, I am increasing my projected number of storms/hurricanes/major hurricanes for this year:

18 Named Storms
10 Hurricanes
6 Major Hurricanes

One caveat to my forecast number of storms and hurricanes is that if the wind shear values end up being more favorable for tropical cyclone development and the dry Saharan dust layer is less pronounced than what is being forecast (which both are already forecast to be fairly low during the hurricane season), we may end up with storm numbers in the twenties and may in fact approach the levels seen in 2005.

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 extremely active. I expect La Nina conditions throughout the hurricane season. In addition, above average to much above average ocean temperatures and below average sea level pressures point to a potentially extremely active hurricane season with at least two landfalling tropical storms and at least three landfalling hurricanes on the US coastline.

This outlook should be the catalyst to really buckle down and purchase supplies for the hurricane season. A really good website to help you create a plan for the hurricane season is .

If you haven't done so already, put together your hurricane survival kit as soon as possible. In addition, please take a close look at your homeowners or renters insurance and ensure that you are properly covered for damages or 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 and it takes 30 days for the flood insurance to take effect.

2010 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Names:

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Hurricane Season 2010

The first Tropical storm of the 2010 season, Agatha, unleashed relentless rains on the neighboring republics of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras over the weekend. The reported death toll stands at 179 persons across the Central American isthmus. The rains triggered deadly landslides and when coupled with substandard drainage system caused this impressive sinkhole downtown Guatemala city which swallowed a three story building which was a clothing factory. It is 66 feet wide and 100 feet deep. The first named storm of the 2010 Pacific season dumped record amounts of rain in parts of Guatemala and flooded low lying areas in El Salvador and Honduras. 152 people were reported killed, with around 100 reported missing in Guatemala alone. That number is expected to rise as rescuers continue their search of remote villages. Almost One Hundred thousand people have been evacuated from their homes. Nine people were confirmed killed in El Salvador, and twelve reported killed in Honduras. While Belize was spared Agatha's intense thrashing, the storm did produce heavy rains at times over mostly southern Belize.

Meanwhile, today June 1st, starts the Atlantic Hurricane season 2010. And, if the growing number of forecasts are correct, this Hurricane season 2010 could turn out to be a Monster!! Only recently, storm experts were predicting an average Hurricane season this year, but just last week the forecasts have changed drastically with the experts and private forecasting companies talking about up to eight hurricanes likely for the season. Some are going so far as to say that this year could be a lot like 2005, the worst hurricane season on record, making the point that overall conditions are very similar with one important difference: "they are actually a bit worse"!!

Channel 7

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Marty Offline OP
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At the start of this year's hurricane season tropical storm Agatha has already caused flooding in the southern Belize and several parts of Central America. The hardest hit was Guatemala. Flooding and landslides have claimed the lives of more than 150 people. According to experts Agatha is a sign of things to come as this hurricane season is projected to be a very active one. This is as the result of the dissipation of the El Ni�o phenomenon from the eastern Pacific Ocean. The abnormal warming in the Pacific cause by El Ni�o was responsible for the downturn in tropical cyclone formation last year. Chief Meteorologist at the National Meteorological Service Dennis Gonguez explains more.

Dennis Gonguez; Chief Meteorologist, National Meteorological Service

"The El Ni�o is the abnormal warming of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. What that does is it causes thunder storms in the Pacific Ocean and those build up and affect the circulation of the atmosphere at the upper levels and in turn the circulation at the upper levels over the Pacific affects the circulation over the Atlantic and as such we ended up with a rather quiet season. This year we won't have all the activity over in the Pacific in terms of the El Ni�o event influencing weather conditions over there but we are looking at increase activity over this side."

Melinna Martinez, Reporter

Talk about how much warmer the oceans are this year. What is the difference compared to years past?

Dennis Gonguez

"Hurricanes, tropical cyclones and tropical storms all use warm sea surface temperatures as their source of energy. This year we have noticed that the sea surface temperatures from West Africa to even across the Caribbean they are running one to two degrees above normal. There is a lot of energy out there for systems to develop."

Gonguez says that while they advise the public to prepare personal, family and business plans they also have a process they go through each year in preparation for the hurricane season.

Dennis Gonguez

"We have an office operational plan for the hurricane season and each year that document is revised, updated and shared with the staff members. They contribute to the document and we note our failures from previous years and we try to correct those failures in the updates to that document."

Melinna Martinez, Reporter

Tell me about the process of naming the storms and what happened thereafter.

Dennis Gonguez

"Each year there is a meeting of the heads of Meteorological services in the Caribbean, North America, Mexico and Central America and we discuss which names will be removed from the list. For example, if a storm did significant damage and caused a significant amount of death then countries would request that that name be removed. For example the United States asked we no longer hear of any more Katrina. Well last year we did not have any more names retired so we did not have to run through that list again."

Melinna Martinez, Reporter

Back to tracking storms, now what happens in here when a storm forms?

Dennis Gonguez

"The information comes to us from the National Hurricane Centre in Miami; they are responsible for making the forecast for the entire region; the Atlantic Basin, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. They make the hurricane forecast and that information is sent to us via our telecommunication system and as a backup we have the internet services. We get information on where the storms are located, where they are moving and we analyze our own weather charts that help us to make our local forecast as to whether the storm will be approaching Belize or not."

The list of 21 names for potential storms has been released. These storms will be tracked more efficiently as satellite pictures have been replaced by the Doppler radar.

Dennis Gonguez

"We get satellite images at about 15 minute intervals and with the radar we get an update just about every five minutes. That helps us to track the systems as they enter the range of the radar. For example, we have here our radar image that shows up to four hundred kilometers away and for instance we can see the romance of Agatha. We can track systems up to four hundred kilometers away that is about two hundred and forty miles away as it enters our radar."

Melinna Martinez, Reporter

How do you recommend people keep tracking storms?

Dennis Gonguez 

"Not everyone has access to internet; most of us have access to a radio so access to information would more than likely come from a radio. I would just like to add that they don't listen to roomers in times of emergencies, listen to your radio. The National Met Service will be on the air informing people of developing systems and how they are moving. It is advisable to listen to us because we have the years of experience; we have the wealth of knowledge available here so it is advisable to listen to listen to the ulletins as broadcasted by the National Met Service."


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