Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The 2014 Atlantic Basin season...........

This is my first Tropical blog post of the 2014 season.


We've already have had Hurricane Amanda in the Eastern Pacific. A few days ago she rapidly intensified into a 155mph  storm. However, now Amanda is a tropical storm and is weakening rapidly.


The eastern Pacific tropical season started on May 11. During an El Nino, the eastern tropical Pacific normally sees an active season, Amanda has started the Pacific season with a bang.....forming just a little over a week after the season started....One more thing, Amanda is now the strongest May hurricane on record in the eastern Pacific basin during the satellite era.



What's going on in the tropical Atlantic Basin?

We have a few tropical waves over the Atlantic and Caribbean, but these are of no real consequence.  The upper level low in the southern Plains is causing showers and thunderstorms along the Gulf Coast, due to the southeast flow. The eastern GOM is under a ridge caused by the Azores high.  We also have a shortwave moving over the central Caribbean bring unsettled weather to Hispaniola. All of this is nothing to write home about.

The tropical Atlantic Basin has been quiet....but could this be ready to change?    

Some of the models are showing something developing in the Gulf Of Mexico (GOM).  We will see the remnants of Amanda  moving off the Yucatan, end of next week?  The question is what will it do as it moves out across the GOM.  Some of the models do show some organization. But others show this area of low pressure weakening. 

Shear over the GOM is looking to be unfavorable for much in the way of development. So I'm agreeing with the idea of not much happening with Amanda's remnants.
But nothing is set in I will keep an eye on the GOM.

What will 2014 look like in the Atlantic Basin?

ENSO-neutral conditions continue.  But sea surface temperatures (SST) are above-average across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. and the odds are we will see El Nino later in the year, most likely in the Fall.   

About eight weeks ago, I mentioned  My early thoughts on the tropical 2014 Atlantic Basin outlook. I said, based on the likelihood  of El Nino later this year..... It looked like there would be....

8 to 11 Atlantic Basin Tropical Cyclones,  with  5 to 6 of them becoming hurricanes,  I or 2 becoming major, with the likelihood of 1-2 tropical cyclones making landfall on the US.  But this would depend on if the El Nino was east based or central based......

I haven't changed my mind on the above numbers I posted in the Beginning of April..... As of now,  It is looking increasingly likely that this year's El Nino will start out as eastern based, then shift to the central Pacific, due to the fact that SST are well above normal in the eastern Pacific and near the Date Line.

Well the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its seasonal hurricane forecast Thursday calling for eight to 13 named storms, of which three to six could become hurricanes, including one to two major hurricanes. ....This is in line with what I said back in April.

Back in April, Colorado State University seasonal forecasters Phil Klotzbach and Bill Gray called for below average activity with nine named storms, three hurricanes and one major hurricane.

Average tropical season in the Atlantic Basin is 12 named storms, 6 of these becoming hurricanes, with one to two becoming major.

The season will bear out who is right............

But do the numbers really matter?

While there is some skill at predicting a tropical season.... It is still basically reading tea leaves.  If you recall the tropical outlook from last year; you will remember just about everyone was calling for an active season, even the updated outlook NOAA put out in August, still called for an active season.  The tropical season of 2013 taught everyone that hurricane forecasting and reading tarot cards  have a lot in common.

If this is true, then why even issue an outlook? The idea of a tropical outlook is to give an idea of how active a season will be...... What it can't tell you is where they will strike..

The point I'm making is don't just pay attention to the numbers.  All it takes is one landfalling tropical system to have a major impact on people's lives.  We've seen what landfalling systems can do in the Northeast with Irene, Lee, and Sandy.

So no matter how many tropical cyclone develop in the Atlantic Basin this season don't let your guard down.... prepare and have an hurricane plan.

I do want to remind everyone that you can stay up to date on what's going in in the tropics, by using my Tropical Weather page on this site.     


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