Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 30: Final Day of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Aaah. <sip of wine>. Aaah. The end of November and the official end of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane season. Aaah. <sip of wine> Aaah. ;-)

Another boring year with nothing much to report. Ha ha ha. Yeah. Sure. Somehow I suspect 2010 will be considered an interesting year for major natural and environmental disasters (can you name 5?), and the hurricane season certainly played its part. To sum up the 2010 season, we had 19 named storms, of which 12 were Hurricanes, 5 were Major (cat 3 or higher; Danielle, Earl, Igor, Julia, and Karl) and 7 Tropical Storms. A map of all storm tracks is attached (courtesy of NOAA). As you might have gathered from my 'subtle hints' here and there, I didn't agree with all of these but even if you removed the named storms I thought were a bit too big for their boots, it was still an above-average year (average is 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, 3 major). I've read that 2010 tied with 1887 and 1995 for the third highest number of named storms and this is the first year that we know of in which there were 12 Hurricanes, but none made US landfall.

In my opinion (yes, it is still as reticent and humble as it was a year ago ;-)), I think this year the NHC/models didn't do as well in intensity forecasting as they could have. They were slow on predicting an increase in intensity for some storms. This was especially obvious in the regions where the deep ocean waters were warm and would have a larger impact. So the models (or the forecasters) are still not considering the ocean fully. Maybe by 2050 they'll have figured it out, but until then it's great for me because I come across as a relative genius (hey, every bit helps! ;-)). However, I have to say that the long-range (10-15 day) forecasts were amazing! I have been so impressed with that part of hurricane forecast modelling. I know it's still in the kinda-psuedo-experimental stages, but I don't think there were any storms that weren't predicted to form at those lead times by one model or another. I raise my glass to those models and the scientific research that went into them.

At the beginning of June most seasonal forecasters were predicting a busy year. What about 2011? Well, as they have now started to issue the seasonal forecasts in May, there isn't too much out there at the moment. After some searching, I found a blog posted by TropicalAnalystwx13 on Wunderground who says: "20-22 Tropical Depressions, 16-18 Tropical Storms, 6-11 Hurricanes, and 3-4 Major hurricanes" for 2011. And I think from Accuweather we have: " Total storms: 13-15; hurricanes: 8-10; major hurricanes: 4-5 Impact on U.S. coast: 6 storms dealing at least tropical storm conditions, three or four of these hurricanes, one, perhaps two major hurricanes." Everyone else is being prudent, and rightly so. :-)

I recieved a lot of good questions this year, which alas I didn't have time to answer because there were so many storms and then I was busy doing silly little things like moving country. Not to worry. I haven't lost them. I will get to them and bore you silly with the answers one day. ;-) Maybe if I wake up from hibernation early (or maybe before I go into hibernation).

And now we come to my final words of incredible wit and wisdom for the season: Thanks for reading! Just think of all the free time you'll have between now and June 1. You can do something productive like er... mowing the grass and eating cheese (which is better than mowing the cheese and eating grass). ;-) Of course, this could not have been made possible without my fabulous technical support team - the computing guys (esp. D.M.) at CMS/USF in Florida for the listserve, and C.H. in Texas for maintaining the blog site! You guys are, as always, awesome. This year I added pictures to the blog (yay! finally), and thanks to my friends at the Met Office in the UK (esp. S.L.), I joined Twitter. At this rate next year I'll have my own tv show! Thank you also to everyone for sending me your comments, emails, banter, bon mots, and questions and to those who told so many many of their friends, colleagues, and families about this during this year! Readership is up to about 2500 I reckon. Eeek. I better write something useful and serious next year. Hmm. I'll practice during the off-season. I'd also like to thank my family, friends and colleagues on all sides of the Atlantic for their now failed attempts at keeping me sane. (Bwaa haa haa. ;-))

Until the 1st June, 2011 (unless I get around to answering those questions or something interesting happens), have a safe and happy holiday and a wonderful New Year. Laugh and be merry! Now... back to my glass of wine, as I sit on my screened in patio overlooking a lake in t-shirt and shorts. Winter? Where? ;-)


Blog archives at http://jyotikastorms.blogspot.com/
Twitter @JyovianStorm

These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I was there and was going to "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

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