Saturday, June 01, 2013

June 1: Start of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season and Gulf of Mexico Blobette

Welcome to the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season my tropical storm peeps! That was a rather nice off-season with no early wake-up alarms for a change. So refreshing. J I think this should be a rather dull and quiet year, with the predictions showing only 403 storms (plus or minus 398), 227 hurricanes (plus or minus 225), of which 3 will be major (plus or minus 5). ;-)

Ok, so you may have heard rumours that this will be an above-active season for the Atlantic (zero storms so far) and below average for the eastern Pacific (two named storms so far). Here are some official predictions:

Tropical Storm Risk (prediction date: April 5): 15 (+/- 4) named storms, 8 (+/- 3) hurricanes, 3 (+/- 2) major hurricanes

Klotzbach-Gray/Colorado State University (prediction date: April 10): 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes, 4 major hurricanes

UK Met Office (prediction date: May 15): 14 (+/- 4) named storms, 9 (+/- 5) hurricanes

NOAA (prediction date: May 23): 13-20 named storms, 7-11 hurricanes, 3-6 major hurricanes

The average season has 12 named storms, with 6 hurricanes, of which 3 are major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). I notice that the US seasonal predictions (NOAA and CSU) lean towards the high side and the European forecasts (TSR and UKMO) allow for fewer storms. Taking all these expert opinions into consideration, we walk away with three amazing possibilities for this year: (1) a below-average season; (2) an average season; and, (3) an above-average season.

Of course we could have an above-average season like 2003 (16 storms, 7 hurricanes, 3 major) where most of the real activity remained in the Atlantic, or we could have a below-average season like 1992 (7 storms, 4 hurricanes, 1 major), where the 1 major storm was a dinky category 5 called Hurricane Andrew that hit Miami! So although playing the numbers game is entertaining, it means diddly-squat in the grand scheme of things… everyone should be prepared. Like me. I have my hurricane supplies complete and ready (well I will, as soon as I’ve bought some bottled water)... batteries and flashlight, two tubs of ice cream (different flavours), twelve bottles of wine (mostly red – no point getting too many white if there is no fridge to cool it in!), first-aid kit, some ice cream cones, canned food, batteries for the camera/video/radio, a non-electronic wine bottle opener, smart phone to tweet from, a non-electronic can opener, sunscreen, good books to read, insect repellant, hand-held fan, cheese, bags of PG Tips in a ziploc bag etc. ;-)

I know there is a little blobette in the Gulf at the moment… this is the remains of the former Tropical Storm Barbara (who is trying to cross Mexico from the eastern Pacific). At the moment she doesn’t have much to her… no circulation and very little convection. I’ve been keeping an eye on her since she was a blobette in the Pacific, and I’ll continue to keep an eye on her of course, just in case she pulls a fast one. If she does, she’ll be the first named storm of the Atlantic season… Andrea (which, coincidentally, is the name of my mother-in-law, who is actually very very nice and not like a storm at all! J). The next two storms after Andrea will be Barry and Chantal.

To conclude my amazingly fabulous and award-breaking opening remarks… here are a few background notes about this blog so you know what you are getting into (you can always watch reality TV if you prefer, or, for even more entertainment, watch the grass grow):

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 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. I can also 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 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 reckon you should check out the website ( It’s much prettier. And I may be working towards transitioning to the website only format anyway … as a part of my top-secret grand plan to take over the world (bwa ha ha ß 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 cool. (Dr. Who).  

I’ll be back if the storm-formerly-known-as-Barbara does anything… otherwise I’ll be back when we have the next blobette!

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.

1 comment:

WITWIM said...

Love the predictions, especially the NOAA! I think its called a Wild Guess! We would have better luck with the lottery! Love the blog and am a long time reader. @witwim