Wednesday, June 01, 2011

June 1: Start of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Dear Ladies, Gentlemen, Children, Cats, Dogs, and the Pony in SE Florida who might be reading this: Welcome to the official start of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season!

The latest forecasts call for an active season (relative to some average – see below):

U. Colorado/Gray/Klotzbach (issued April 6, 2011): 16 named storms, 9 hurricanes, 5 major hurricanes.

NOAA’s latest (issued on May 19, 2011): 12-18 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes.

MetOffice (issued May 26, 2011): 13 named storms, with 70% chance of the range being 10-17.

Accuweather (issued May 30, 2011): 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 4 major hurricanes.

In an average season we would expect 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and about 2 major hurricanes. I do not think this average includes the activity of the last decade, so when I have a few moments I might just check these numbers. I’ll let you know what I find. One reason we need to include the last few years in the ‘average’ value is because they are now including storms that are very short-lived that in the distant past (within the past 5 years) were not named. You may remember me grumbling about this over the last couple of years.

The first three names this year are: Arlene, Bret and Cindy.

To start the season off, there is a small blobette off the northeast coast of Florida. Obviously it didn’t get the memo that we are all just waking up and there’s no need to rush because we haven’t had our morning tea yet. Ho hum. There is some low level circulation and some thundery weather. This blobette is moving WSW at around 20mph, but I don’t think it will develop into anything more than some squally weather over Florida/Georgia because it’s really close to land.

If you have been reading this for more than a year, you can skip to the postscript if you like (although I tweaked it a bit – I was in a boring meeting with nothing else to do ;-)). If this is your first visit to this fabulous, amazing, wonderful blog, here are a few background notes so you know what you are getting into:

1. These updates are about fun, forecasting, and education... and tropical storms (and whatever else pops into my head that may 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 and Eddie Izzard. 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. Over the years, I've talked about a lot of things already, but I can cut and paste from previous entries as well as the next person so if I say something or use some "scientific jargon" (ooh ahh, how thrilling), please please ask me about it.

6. I have a British sense of humoUr... 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. If you are reading this on the web blog and would like to sign up to get email updates instead go here...

9. If you are reading this via email, are sick of me cluttering up your in-boxes and would prefer to get it via the web go here... (and send me an email telling me to remove you).

10. 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!!

11. I have a British sense of humoUr... er... did I mention that one already?

(It's not too late to unsubscribe ;-))

That’s all I have for the opening speech. More later!


p.s. Did I tell you I’m a Twit now too? ;-) (@JyovianStorm) Over the past few months I’ve been tweeting about storms in other basins and other things I think are interesting.

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.


Farky said...

Exactly how big is a blobette???

Good to read your blog but how's the novel coming along???

Col. xxx

Jyo said...

I thought you were writing it? ;-)

David said...

I just wanted to alert everyone that our (Barbados) new Doppler Radar has not been working for the last 3 months or so, last image data posted was on March 1st., and we only managed to get the local met. authorities to get it online very late last year - after Tomas went through us and it wasn't working properly then either.

The system has been producing imagery since late 2008 and its 3 year warranty runs out later this year and we still have not seen 'return on the EU loan' that funded the project. Our Met. Office's attitude as quoted in one local paper on the subject was like we did without for all this time, we can continue to make do (with the radar out of Martinique nearly 150 miles away). So much for serious consideration and disaster preparedness.

Furthermore the Rawinsonde/Radiosonde ground equipment at our local Met. Office, located at the Grantley Adams Int'l. Airport (GAIA), has not been working either for about 6 weeks, so no sonde data had been posted by TBPB/78954 station since the later half of April. Its awaiting some part. This missing data has the NHC/NWS obviously concerned because of the strategic position of Barbados being the most easterly of the Caribbean islands. raobs/raobs_world.html raobs/78954/latest.html

I have written letters to the locals newspapers with some success in getting it published, tried various avenues, some could be promising but bureaucratic inertia could be an issue, so I decided to go full open on this and warn all concerned.