View Full Version : Looks like we are going to be in for a rough year

04-07-2010, 09:23 AM

Storm warning: Above-average hurricane season predicted

Colorado State University's hurricane forecast team is predicting an above-average season for the Atlantic basin in 2010, which includes all tropical storms and hurricanes in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

The forecast calls for 15 named tropical storms, of which eight will become hurricanes. A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when its sustained wind speeds surpass 74 mph. Of those eight, four are expected to develop into major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5) with maximum wind speeds of 111 mph or greater.

Looking at averages that go back to 1950, a typical Atlantic hurricane season sees 10 named storms six of them hurricanes, with two major.

"We expect current moderate El Nino conditions to transition to neutral conditions by this year's hurricane season," says Phil Klotzbach, lead forecaster on the Colorado State hurricane forecast team. "The dissipating El Nino, along with the expected anomalously warm Atlantic ocean sea-surface temperatures, will lead to favorable dynamic and thermodynamic conditions for hurricane formation and intensification."

Colorado State's Tropical Meteorology Project is the nation's longest-running and most well-known forecast team. Begun by William Gray in 1984, these seasonal forecasts are used by insurance companies, emergency managers and the media to prepare Americans for the season's likely hurricane threat.

"Based on our latest forecast, the probability of a major hurricane making landfall along the U.S. coastline is 69% compared with the last-century average of 52%," Gray says. "While patterns may change before the start of hurricane season, we believe current conditions warrant concern for an above-average season."

Last month, private forecasting firm AccuWeather predicted that 16 to 18 tropical storms and hurricanes would form in the Atlantic hurricane basin, of which seven will make landfall on U.S. shores. The federal National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is scheduled to release its hurricane forecast on May 20.

Contrary to popular belief, hurricane forecasters don't "always" predict an above-average season that then doesn't come to pass. In fact, since 2000, the opposite is true: In the past decade, CSU's April forecasts have been wrong more than they've been right, but primarily because they've underestimated the threat.

In a USA TODAY analysis of the team's forecast data since 2000, CSU has under-forecast the number of named tropical storms and hurricanes four times, over-forecast the number three times, and been almost right (within two storms) on three occasions.

In 2009, the CSU team's April prediction of a near-average season was slightly over-forecast. They predicted that 12 named storms would form, of which five would become hurricanes. In reality, nine named storms formed, of which three were hurricanes.

The hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. The first named storm will be Alex, followed by Bonnie and Colin.

04-07-2010, 09:27 AM

Record-rivaling heat prompts fire fears

By Anthony R. Wood

After one of the warmest Marches on record, April is coming on like June.

Temperatures today are expected to flirt with 90, making this apparently the warmest start to an April in Philadelphia history.

Concerned about "critical fire weather conditions," the National Weather Service has issued a "red flag warning" for eastern Pennsylvania and all of New Jersey, except for a few northeastern counties.

Delaware and Maryland are under a less serious "fire weather watch."

Tuesday's official high, 87 at Philadelphia International Airport, tied a record set in 1929 and matched in 1942. It was also the hottest day since Aug. 26.

Today's record of 90 also was set in 1929.

While it should be be a perfect beach day, ocean temperatures in the 40s will keep most folks out the water.

Assuming the forecast works out, the average temperature for the first seven days of the month will come in around 65 degrees. The current standard for the first week in April is 61.3, set in the aforementioned 1929.

The normal high for April 7 is 59, according to the National Weather Service.

All the warmth is the result of bone-dry high pressure to the south that is promoting warm winds from the southwest, said Lee Robertson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly.

The winds are especially dry and warm because they are descending mountain slopes, as opposed to coming off the cool Atlantic Ocean, he added.

Despite all those record rains - not to mention the 6-1/2 feet of snow that fell during the winter - it has been so dry that the weather service has issued fire warnings and watches for this afternoon.

Temperatures will make a run at the mid-80s Thursday, but then the summer party will be over for a while as a front comes through.

"Strong to possibly severe thunderstorms might occur late in the day Thursday or Thursday night," according to the weather service.

Friday will be about 30 degrees cooler than today.

04-07-2010, 10:06 AM
bs, they get lucky and get it right every once in a while but they miss by a long shot most of the time