Sunday, June 01, 2014

June 1: Start of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Welcome back my friends! The sun is shining, the birds are tweeting, and ‘Tis the start of ye grande Atlantic Hurricane Season of Two-Thousand and Fourteen (I just watched ‘Lincoln’). I hope you all had a very pleasant and relaxing off-season and are back for some science and some fun.

My off-season was SUPER DUPER busy… in case you haven’t heard, I moved to Los Angeles, California, and am now living a glamorous Hollywood life! ;-)

My entries this year will be peppered with phrases like “oopsie, another earthquake”, “hmm, that fire is awfully close”, “I had a very nice chat with Keanu today”, “traffic was a breeze, it only took me 2 hours to drive 15 miles”, and of course, “is that an alien? Oh, no, it’s just someone with botox”.

Before I get into what a super cool science geek like me (!!) is doing out here in the land of movie-making magic, let’s have a quick chit chat about hurricanes (as one does occasionally). This is shaping up to be a quiet season, partly because the temperatures in the Atlantic are cooler and partly because the atmospheric pressure fields have shifted because there is an El Nino in swing (not to be confused with a swinging el nino). The predictions are mostly below-normal to near-normal. Here are some of the official predictions:

Tropical Storm Risk (prediction date: 27 May): 12 (+/-4) named storms, 5 (+/-3) hurricanes, 2 (+/- 2) major hurricanes.
Colorado State University/Gray-Klotzbach (prediction date: 10 April): 9 named storms, 3 hurricanes, 1 major hurricanes.
UK Met Office (prediction date: 16 May): 10 (+/-3) named storms, 6 (+/-3) hurricanes.
NOAA (prediction date: 22 May): 8-13 named storms, 3-6 hurricanes, 1-2 major hurricanes.

The average season (based on all storms from 1950-2013) has 11 named storms, with 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes (category 3 or higher).

If you are reading my amazingly fabulous and award-breaking opening remarks for the first time (and even if you aren’t), here are my top ten background notes about this blog so you know what you are getting into for the season (you can always watch reality TV if you prefer, or, for even more entertainment, I’ve found sitting in LA rush-hour traffic can be a barrel of laughs):

1. These updates are about fun, forecasting, and education... and tropical storms (and whatever else pops into my head that may, with some imagination, fit those three words). It is just what I think.

2. I have a British sense of humoUr... you have been warned.

3. This is my hobby - sometimes you'll get one update a day, sometime four. If you are really lucky, you won't get any. If you wish to pay me to write, let me know and I'll send out updates as frequently as you like.

4. I hope you like Monty Python, Eddie Izzard, and The IT Crowd. And other funny stuff.

5. If you have any questions (preferably about tropical storms), please do not hesitate to ask. I will be happy to make up the answers for you. I can also cut and paste from previous entries (it’s a talent, I know) so if I say something or use some "scientific jargon" (ooh ahh, how thrilling), please ask me about it.

6. I often write tongue-in-cheek, which sometimes hurts my cheek but what can you do? Gentle sarcasm, irony, and puns are all acceptable forms of communication. Unfortunately they don't always translate in writing so please don't be offended - like Planet Earth, I'm "Mostly Harmless" (Douglas Adams). Have a piece of chocolate or a drink instead.

7. I'm sure every cloud in the Atlantic is exciting to some but, unless I'm bored, I'll usually write about those that I think have a chance of developing.

8. Despite what you may have heard, I am not always right. But then neither is anyone else. Forecasting is complicated. Sometimes the crystal ball gets smudges and you are all out of Windex to clean it and the store is closed. So PLEASE pay attention to the National Hurricane Center, National Weather Service and your Emergency Managers - especially when a storm is looming because they have the most up-to-date information!!

9. If you are reading this via email, I highly recommend switching to the website ( It’s much prettier. And I am working towards transitioning to the website only format anyway… as a part of my top-secret grand plan to take over the world (bwa haa haa - evil laughter in case you were wondering).

10. I confess, I am a twit. I am on twitter (@jyovianstorm). Twitter is cool. Just like bow-ties are (still) cool. (Dr. Who).  

Now you know what’s what, the last question for the day is: why on earth would I move from Florida, a land of tropical storms, to California, a land of earthquakes? Two reasons. First (and I have to put this first for the sake of peace and harmony ;-)), so my hubby and I can live in the same place (a novel concept, I know!). Second, I got a groovy new job with an organization that deals with the future!! Perfect for a sci-fi aficionado! :-) I now work at the XPRIZE Foundation ( (woo hoo)! XPRIZE designs and operates Global Prize Competitions that result in new technologies to tackle the Grand Challenges of our time – from space ships to real Tricorders* (Star Trek)! My piece is to help run an international competition to develop accurate and cheap ocean acidification sensing technologies.  
(*If you don’t know what a Tricorder is… sigh. Sigh AND much shaking of my head. It’s a hand-held device (currently seen in Star Trek) that allows someone to make an accurate medical diagnosis of a number of ailments. Look it up! And if you want a chance to win an actual real Star Trek Tricorder signed by the five Star Trek captains, check out the Tricorder Federation:

I’m sure I’ll be talking about future technologies and what nots throughout the season too. But now it’s time to skidaddle… I’ll be back when we have the next storm! (Er… unless I do actually meet Keanu Reeves, in which case there will be a dedicated Keanu update!)
Ciao for now!

p.s. webpage count at start of season (mostly for my own edification): 72, 350-ish

Blogs archived at
Twitter @JyovianStorm

DISCLAIMER: 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 "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

1 comment:

Jen B. said...

I finally took a peek at your blog, and I love it!