Sunday, September 02, 2007

Listen to the bunny

A few weeks ago Eli pointed out that the Gulf of Mexico was cocked and ready to amplify any hurricane that showed up. And there were doubters

Anonymous said...

So you are forecasting a busy season? Let's revisit this in November. 11:31 AM

EliRabett said...

I think I'm forecasting an intense season. If a storm gets going everything I see out there says it will intensify strongly.

Dean showed up and went to Category 5 before slamming into the Yucatan and now we have Felix

REPORTS FROM A NOAA HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT FELIX
CONTINUES TO RAPIDLY STRENGTHEN.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR JAMAICA AND FOR GRAND
CAYMAN. A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM
CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36
HOURS.

INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN THE CENTRAL AND WESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA SHOULD
CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED
BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

AT 800 PM EDT...0000Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE FELIX WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 13.8 NORTH...LONGITUDE 72.9 WEST OR ABOUT 390 MILES...
625 KM...SOUTHEAST OF KINGSTON JAMAICA.

FELIX IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 18 MPH...30 KM/HR...
AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24
HOURS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 165 MPH...270 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. FELIX IS A CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON
SCALE. SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE TO BE EXPECTED OVER THE
NEXT 24 HOURS.

24 comments:

llewelly said...

Now that the 2nd major hurricane of the season has occurred 23 days ahead of the climatological average, and there have been 2 category 5s (compared to the 1951-2000 average of 0.34 per year), making a total of 9 in the last 10 years, I wonder if all those who kept referring to this season as 'inactive' will apologize.

Marion Delgado said...

Just to save us all some time and grief:

We ALL know about weather cycles, and that most especially includes Eli Rabbett. We also know how complex the issue of the NUMBER of hurricanes and a season and their INTENSITY is, and that they're two somewhat separate issues. We know about possible increased shearing off of cyclones, etc. No one, including this blog writer, is as far as I know definitively claiming that a bad hurricane season or even 2 are some sort of sole, definitive evidence for the bad effects of global warming caused by AGHGs, etc. And 1 season that could be construed as a lull would not DISprove anything, either.

We're still at the phase where we're concerned that the Earth is, basically, retaining more energy, and that energy is available/distributed to the oceans. That's my guess as to why hurricane season is relevant, in addition to the fact that it affects so many people.

This concludes my test of the waste of time notification system.

and llewelly: no.

Marion Delgado said...

Oh, also, virtually every commenter here knows the diff between climate and weather.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a licensed climatologist, but Felix isn't in the Gulf of Mexico.

Maybe this is a Dan Rather style prediction: the facts are wrong, but the story is essentially accurate.

Anonymous said...

You're not a licensed climatologist _yet_, but if Cheney wins next time you may need a license to speak on these subjects. Enjoy your freedom.

Oh, and Felix isn't in the Gulf of Mexico _yet_.

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/sep2007/20070903_felix2.gif

Could it be the amplifiers on this year's storm season go up to "6"?

"Within hours of forming a tropical depression in the Atlantic early Saturday, Felix became a tropical storm, and within the span of a day it blew through categories 1, 2, 3, and 4. By Sunday night it had hit the maximum Category 5 and was howling across the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea.
"Reports from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane hunter aircraft 'indicate that Felix continues to rapidly strengthen,' the National Hurricane Center said in its latest public advisory."
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/sep2007/2007-09-03-01.asp

and

"In just 15 hours on Sunday, Felix jumped from a Category Two storm with winds at 160 kilometers (100 miles) per hour to a rare Category Five hurricane, the most powerful on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

The speed at which Felix reached maximum strength was one of the fastest ever recorded, Hurricane Center specialists said.

"... one of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 'hurricane hunter' airplanes was caught in a rapid updraft-downdraft cycle .....

"The violent cycle placed four times the weight of gravity on those aboard the plane."

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jqK-v2ow8GjpYjB3tHUvxe5-pNbw


Where's that increased wind shear that's supposed to be taking the top off these things?

Perhaps it's taking a vacation and is over in Baja with the other hurricane moving up the coast there?

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/143027.shtml?tswind120?large#contents

EliRabett said...

Not being a Petroleum Geographer, Eli got that wrong. What we showed was the area between SA and FL, which was pretty hot and warming up.

Thanks to Marion for her preclarification also.

llewelly said...


No one, including this blog writer, is as far as I know definitively claiming that a bad hurricane season or even 2 ...

You appear to suffer under the illusion that there have only been '2' bad hurricane seasons. However, the 1950 - 2000 Atlantic activity averages are:
Tropical storms: 9.6
Hurricanes: 5.9
Major Hurricanes: 2.3

In the last 10 seasons we have:
2006: 10 / 05 / 2 (a little below average)
2005: 28 / 15 / 7 (about 3x average)
2004: 15 / 09 / 6 (1.5x - 2x average)
2003: 16 / 07 / 3 (about 1.5x average)
2002: 12 / 04 / 2 (a little below average)
2001: 15 / 09 / 4 (about 1.5x average)
2000: 15 / 08 / 3 (above average)
1999: 12 / 08 / 5 (about 1.5x average)
1998: 14 / 10 / 3 (above average)
1997: 08 / 3 / 1 (about 1/2 average)

1997 - 2006 averages:
14.5 / 7.8 / 3.6
or 151%, 132%, and 157% of historical averages. There is no prior 10 year period on record that even comes close. At the end of November we'll look at this again, and we'll find the relatively anemic 1997 season replaced by 2007, having 12 or more tropical storms, 6 or more hurricanes, and 3 or more major hurricanes.

Given that regular aerial recon covered the Atlantic since the late 1940s, and satellites covered the Atlantic since the early 1960s, there is no good reason to suppose 30-40% of storms were missed or drastically underestimated in the earlier decades. Since Mann & Emanuel 2006, The 'natural cycles' explanation has had essentially no evidence to support it. AGW is not a particularly strong explanation (in part because it predicts only 2% - 5% increases), but everyone else is empty-handed.

Anonymous said...

In a given year, do storms usually follow basically the same track as these 2 (and possibly Invest 98) are this year, and what the 3 in 2005, Katrina, Rita and????


-wildlifer

Marion Delgado said...

llewelly:

Not really disagreeing with you, although I would go further and say not even a whole bunch of bad seasons is anything I'd hang the fact of AGW on. By cycles we know I mostly mean La Nina, El Nino, etc.

And it's not for bad reasons that most people involved with AGW are tentative about how much weight to put into hurricanes. Chris Mooney's book is typical, reflecting typical caution. The link between warming and intensity is becoming convincing - SLOWLY. And with many twists and turns along the way. The case for frequency is not really there at all yet.

Also, generally, a long run of world hottest ever temps is more important than a long run of mostly more storms and stronger storms. Or at least that's how it's taken in climate circles.

I will search up some stuff here, RC and a couple other places on this, but do you disagree with my now-clarified clarification? Obviously I wrote that to cut off in advance the usual denialist opening gambits - the ones they trot out whenever bad hurricane seasons are mentioned. They will DEFINITELY pick the next slack season and say it proves either there is no global warming or temperature doesn't affect hurricanes.

wildlifer: there is a "hurricane alley" and often predictable tracks. Not much the people in the usual paths can do about things. In Cuba, I have to point out, they've developed VERY good civil defense.

elirabbett: as the blogspot tiny picture of me (ID in my Soviet Army coat) shows, I am a guy Marion. Like the former mayor of DC, Georgia congressman, evangelist "Pat" Robertson and cowboy star Marion "John Wayne" Morrison.

llewelly said...


Not really disagreeing with you, although I would go further and say not even a whole bunch of bad seasons is anything I'd hang the fact of AGW on.

Of course not - that would be rather backward. Among other issues, it is still not really clear how global warming could cause a lot of bad seasons; when the dynamical models are provided with the warmer ocean resulting from global warming, they produce only marginally stronger storms. My point was only that it is a serious and common mistake to think there have only been a few bad seasons in recent years (whatever the cause). We have a great many people eager to live on tropical coastlines, or already living on tropical coastlines, and yet hurricane seasons are suddenly much more severe than they were in the past (in the Atlantic - the historical trends of other basins remain unclear), and it's unclear why. That is a dangerous combination.

Chris said...

Wildlifer:

There is an analysis performed called storm track climatology. Basically, you find the most common paths storms will take by looking at the paths that a whole bunch of past storms have taken. Most storms follow one or another of the common paths.

However, nature often likes to throw up surprises. Have a look at hurricane Flossie in the eastern Pacific ocean earlier this year. It wandered all over the place, defying prediction and sticking a big fat finger up at our climatologies.

The Atlantic basin is one of the more unpredictable storm regions, despite it being the most heavily studied.

So in general, storms do follow one of a few paths in the Atlantic. But there are always exceptions.

Have a look at this wiki page for some of the more common paths world wide:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_cyclogenesis

Hope that helps!

EliRabett said...

Apologies to Marion. Eli should have known.

Anonymous said...

Well, I know year-to-year, hurricanes tend to follow the same paths, but I don't recall multiple hurricanes following the same (approximate) path in the same year.

-wildlifer

EliRabett said...

One of the things that hurricanes do real well is cool the surface water. Thus as a general rule there is not enough heat around to feed two storms along the same track immediately after each other.

Replicant said...

And what's the most active Atlantic hurricane year on record?

Anonymous said...

1931 seems similar to this year, thus far:
http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/1931/index.html

Replicant said...

1933 according to this site: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2005/s2518.htm
And 1887 before that. So we're hardly seeing anything different, except our ability to analyze and classify.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I see that, except they weren't back-to-back Cat 5s.

-wildlifer

Replicant said...

Since the categorization didn't exist then, you can't really say that. And chances are some hurricanes came and went without detection, or without continuous monitoring to know how intense they were at any given moment.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me? The strongest storm was 120 mph in 1933 and 110 mph in 1887.

-wildlifer

Anonymous said...

Methinks Eli has been hitting the carrot juice a little too hard if he thought Marion was a gal.

Either that or its been a long cold (and lonely) summer down in the burrow.

luminous beauty said...

I note on replicant's blog the motto, "If you can't prove it, it's not true."

I presume from this logical premise that until Magellan circum-navigated the globe, the earth may indeed have been flat.

Anonymous said...

Then obviously his mother doesn't love him.

-wild

Anonymous said...

Wow - check out TD9 that just formed 65 miles off the shore of Galveston.

This visual loop looks awesome.

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/gmex/loop-vis.html

h/t: weatherstreet.com