Friday, June 02, 2017

The 'Official' Start of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season: June 1

Good morning everyone! I'm awake... are you? :-) And more importantly, are you ready for a hopefully boring Atlantic Hurricane season? I don’t know about you, but something boring and not-dramatic seems quite appealing these days! Much has changed since we last met, but then again, much remains the same… another glass of wine anyone? ;-)

Welcome to the Official Start of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season! It’s the official start, not the actual start because as we all know, Mother Nature thought it would be fun to try and wake us up early with Tropical Storm Arlene in April. She was a short-lived ~24 hour Tropical Storm, with winds that reached a pip-squeak past breezy – it really wasn’t worth coming out of hibernation. J

It’s been relatively quiet in the tropics since then (although I am watching a tinsy winsy low-level blob in the mid-Gulf), which means I can jump right into the interesting stuff... what have the Usual Suspects forecasted for this year? Well (including Arlene)…

Tropical Storm Risk (prediction date: 26 May): 14 (+/-4) named storms, 6 (+/-3) hurricanes, 3 (+/-2) major hurricanes. 

Colorado State University/Klotzbach-Bell (prediction date: 1 June): 14 named storms, 6 hurricanes, 2 major hurricanes.

UK Met Office (prediction date: 1 June): 14 (+2/-3) named storms, 8 (+/-2) hurricanes.

NOAA (prediction date: 25 May): 11-17 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes, 2-4 major hurricanes. 

Interestingly, they are all forecasting a slightly above-average active season (with the usual wiggle room of below average in case it doesn’t pan out of course). The long-term average number of named tropical storms is 12, and the long-term average number of hurricanes per year is 6. But even more interesting to me is that they are all amazingly in agreement on 14 named tropical storms this season, with everyone expecting around 6 hurricanes! I don’t recall seeing such alignment before. I guess we’ll find out later this year if they were all right or all wrong!

I prefer my seasonal prediction (which I forecast back on the 22nd of April) which is that there will be more than 1 named storm. #JustcallmeaGenius.

This wouldn’t be the Official Start of the Season if I didn’t go over my top 10 notes about this blog so you have a reminder of what you are getting into for the next ~6 months! These are well worth reading again, but remember, if you get bored you can always watch the grass grow. :-)

Top 10 things about this blog:

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, 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 going to the website posts ( They are much prettier. I am still 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 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.

I’ll just wrap up with a couple of bits of news from today...

First, something topical... I see both NOAA and FEMA are in the news today (thanks to all who sent me those news items). Yes, this is the start of the hurricane season, and yes, the President has not yet picked a head for NOAA or FEMA, however there are acting Heads for both of these federal agencies in place so hopefully should things go pear-shaped during the hurricane season, there will be some response! I'm not too worried about those appointments. Somewhat more concerning are the budget cuts being proposed by the President for NOAA. Should all of them come through (unlikely, but one never knows), then there may be a dent in the hurricane forecasting capabilities - for example, I use the NESDIS products for this blog and they are facing an ~18% cut. Regardless of where you sit in the political spectrum, I just wanted you to be aware that the proposed cuts to NOAA's budget may be a problem.  

Second, whilst the world is discussing and debating the consequences of the US pulling out of the Paris Accord and other serious matters, feathers are flying in Canada as it struggles with its own scandal over the counterfeit Giant Yellow Rubber Ducky it is renting to celebrate its 150th birthday!
Photo credit: Getty Images (You can find oodles of stories about this on the interwebs)

A number of words spring to mind about this: unusual, fun, cute… but counterfeit!?! Surely if you were going to counterfeit something, wouldn’t you pick something a little less obvious? How many giant yellow floating rubber ducks can there possibly be in the world? How on earth did anyone think it would go unnoticed? 

That’s it for today. Oh, and if you see a spare giant yellow rubber duck lying around, please let me know... I think it’s adorable. J

Toodle pip for now!

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. 

No comments: