Monday, June 01, 2015

June 1: Start of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Here we are again! Welcome to the official start of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season and my witty background commentary (it’s like Mystery Science Theater 3000, only worse). ;-) I hope your off-season was filled with merriment, cups of tea, an ice-cream a day (to keep the Doctor away), and some exceedingly healthy wine and cheese… speaking of which, have you got your supplies ready?

As this is the official ‘Start of the season’, here are my top ten notes about this blog so you know what you are getting into for the season (remember, you can always watch reality TV if you are bored, 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 and possibly after a glass or two of wine, 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 (I’m very talented) 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. I have stopped adding people to the listserve, so if you are still on that I highly recommend subscribing to the website posts ( It’s much prettier. 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). I will post these updates on Twitter, but I’ll also tweet about storms in other basins so if you want to catch up between updates, that’s the place to lurk.

Still here? Great! Now, what about this season?

Mother Nature woke up a little earlier than usual this year with Tropical Storm Ana (because she was bored). I heard about some of the damage and chaos that TS Ana caused when she made landfall in the Carolinas… there was a broken blade of grass, I think an iris stalk got twisted, and someone had to use an umbrella as they sat outside reading their Sunday morning paper. J

The next named storm will be Bill (the name of my former boss. Hmm. That could be fun. ;-)).

So, what else do we have in store this year? The Grand Oracles of the Seasonal Forecast have given us their predictions:

Tropical Storm Risk (prediction date: 27 May): 10 named storms, 4 hurricanes, 1 major hurricanes.

Colorado State University/Gray-Klotzbach (prediction date: 9 April): 7 named storms, 3 hurricanes, 1 major hurricanes.

UK Met Office (prediction date: 21 May): 9 (+/-2) named storms, 5 (+/-2) hurricanes.

NOAA (prediction date: 27 May): 6-11 named storms, 3-6 hurricanes, 0-2 major hurricanes.

Everyone is opting for a below-average season, which seems reasonable given that the temperatures in the Atlantic are cooler than normal for this time of year. The average season (based on all storms from 1950-2014) has 11 named storms, with 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). If you want to look at the average over the last 10 years (2005 -2014), which were (officially) slightly busier, the numbers are 15 named storms, with 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. It’s interesting to note that even though the number of storms increased over the past few years, the average number of major hurricanes has not changed.

Of course, it only takes one storm to make the season a toughie. The most famous case was Hurricane Andrew in August 1992. The first storm of the season, and one of only 7 named storms, was a cat 5 hit on Miami!

For now though, all is quiet on the Atlantic front. Meanwhile, in the eastern Pacific we are on the 2nd named storm of the season already. I’ll be back when there is something to chit chat about … maybe in November? ;-)

Ciao for now!

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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.