Storm Chasin’: Bounce Energy Analyzes the Forecast for the 2013 Hurricane Season

By Vernon Trollinger, May 14, 2013, Hurricane Prep, News

Storm Chasin': Bounce Energy Anaylzes the Forecast for the 2013 Hurricane SeasonDespite predictions of a weak El Niño last year, the 2012 hurricane season was one of the most costly and active on record. The season culminated in October with a sprawling Category 2 hurricane named Sandy. Hurricane Sandy collided with a stalled arctic front in the north Atlantic Ocean and then plowed straight into New York City. Storm-related damage in the US was estimated at $71 billion.

Eerily enough, predictions this year’s storms are for a far more active season.

Colorado State University (CSU) expects enhanced hurricane activity due to a lack of El Niño activity this summer. For the uninitiated, “El Niño” refers to is a warming of sea surface water in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean that begins around Christmas time. CSU’s prediction states there is an “above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the US and Carribean.” They expect storm activity in the Atlantic Ocean basin to be 175% above the long term average (1981-2010) with 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 major (category 3-5) hurricanes.

WSI also predicts an active season, predicting 16 named storms, nine hurricanes, and five intense (major) hurricanes expected.

Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) of University College London forecasts “an active hurricane season to moderate probability“, stressing that enough uncertainties remain for a 30% chance of being a near-normal season. They also argue that the accuracy of forecasting in April tends to be low. All the same, they expect to see 15 tropical storms, 7-8 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes (all numbers rounded).

Common to all three prognostications are the current neutral El Niño conditions combined with the early presence of warm surface water in the north Atlantic Ocean. US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) notes that El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are neutral, stating “Most of the SST are within one-half degree celsius of the climatological normals.”

Meteorologist Hurricane Forecast Bounce Energy Anaylzes the Forecast for the 2013 Hurricane SeasonNeutral El Niño conditions mean less chance for vertical wind shear off west Africa. Wind shear here tends to disrupt the formation of storms that ultimately become hurricanes. In addition, CSU points out, “Anomalously weak westerly winds in the mid-latitudes also promote anomalous ocean currents out of the south, which contributes to general warming sea surface temperatures (SSTs) throughout the north Atlantic basin.”

So, calmer winds coupled with an early supply of warmer-than-average surface ocean water (which fuels hurricanes) are seen as making a busy hurricane season. WSI points out, too, that historically low amounts of Arctic summer sea ice in the north Atlantic Ocean are indicators of enough warm water present to heighten the threat of a hurricane.

NOAA always issues its prediction in late May. Not surprisingly, CSU, WSI, and TSR all state they will be providing updated information between May 23 and June 1. Stay tuned!

Remember, you and your family can stay informed through the Bounce Energy Hurricane Prep Center for the latest information this hurricane season. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for Smartphone alerts and get all the other important news about what’s happening if a hurricane strikes.

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About 

A native of Wyomissing Hills, PA, Vernon Trollinger studied writing and film at the University of Iowa, later earning his MA in writing there as well. Following a decade of digging in CRM archaeology, he now writes about green energy technology, home energy efficiency, DIY projects, the natural gas industry, and the electrical grid.

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