The global tropical cyclone season of 2010: record inactivity

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 01:14 AM GMT am 03. April 2011

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The year 2010 was one of the strangest on record globally for tropical cyclones. Each year, the globe has about 92 tropical cyclones--called hurricanes in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific, typhoons in the Western Pacific, and tropical cyclones in the Southern Hemisphere. But in 2010, we had just 68 of these storms--the fewest since the dawn of the satellite era in 1970. The previous record slowest year was 1977, when 69 tropical cyclones occurred world-wide. Both the Western Pacific and Eastern Pacific had their quietest seasons on record in 2010, the Atlantic had its 3rd busiest season since record keeping began in 1851, and the Southern Hemisphere had a below average season. As a result, the Atlantic, which ordinarily accounts for just 13% of global cyclone activity, accounted for 28% in 2010--the greatest proportion since accurate tropical cyclone records began in the 1970s. Global Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) for 2010 was the lowest since the late 1970s (ACE is a measure of the total destructive power of a hurricane season, based on the number of days strong winds are observed.)


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of 2010's strongest tropical cyclone: Super Typhoon Megi at 2:25 UTC October 18, 2010. A reconnaissance aircraft measured a central pressure of 885 mb and surface winds of 190 mph in the storm, making Megi the 8th strongest tropical cyclone in world history. Image credit: NASA.

A record quiet 2010 Northwest Pacific Typhoon Season
The Western Pacific set records for fewest number of named storms (fifteen, previous record seventeen in 1998) and typhoons (nine, tied with the previous record of nine in 1998. Note that Tropical Storm Mindulle was upgraded to a typhoon in post-analysis after the season was over.) Reliable records began in the mid-1960s. For just the second year in history, the Atlantic had more named storms and hurricane-strength storms than the Western Pacific. The only other year this occurred was in 2005. Ordinarily, the Western Pacific has double to triple the amount of tropical cyclones of the Atlantic. One other notable feature of the 2010 season was the lack of a land-falling typhoon on the Japanese mainland. This is only the second such occurrence since 1988.

In 2010, there was only one super typhoon--a storm with at least 150 mph winds--in the Western Pacific. However, this storm, Super Typhoon Megi, was a doozy. Megi's sustained winds cranked up to a fearsome 190 mph and its central pressure bottomed out at 885 mb on October 16, making it the 8th most intense tropical cyclone in world history. Fortunately, Megi weakened significantly before hitting the Philippines as a Category 3 typhoon. Megi killed 69 people on Taiwan and in the Philippines and did $700 million in damage, and was the second deadliest and damaging typhoon of 2010. Category 3 Typhoon Fanapi was the deadliest and most damaging typhoon of 2010, doing over $1 billion in damage to Taiwan and China and killing 105.

The record quiet typhoon season in 2010 was due, in part, to the La Niña phenomena. During such events, the formation region for Western Pacific typhoons moves northwestward, closer to China. Thus, storms that form in the Western Pacific spend less time over water before they encounter land, resulting in a lesser chance to become a named storm, and less time to intensify. They also accumulate a lower ACE due to their shorter duration. Since the Western Pacific is responsible for 35% of the world's major tropical cyclones, the global ACE value is strongly tied to year-to-year variations in the El Niño/La Niña cycle.


Figure 2.
Statistics for the global tropical cyclone season of 2010. The two numbers in each box represent the actual number observed in 2010, followed by the averages from the period 1983-2007 (in parentheses). Averages and records were computed using the December 23, 2008 release of NOAA's International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship.

A record quiet 2010 Eastern Pacific Typhoon Season
In the Eastern Pacific, it was also a record-quiet season. On average, the Eastern Pacific has 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes in a season. In 2010, there were 8 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. The previous record quietest season since 1966 was the year 1977, when the Eastern Pacific had 8 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and zero intense hurricanes. La Niña was largely responsible for the quiet Eastern Pacific hurricane season, due in part to the cool sea surface temperatures it brought. It is quite remarkable that both the Eastern and Western Pacific ocean basins had record quiet seasons in the same year--there is no historical precedent for such an occurrence.

Climate change and the 2008 global tropical cyclone season
We only have about 30 years of reliable global tropical cyclone data, and tropical cyclones are subject to large natural variations in numbers and intensities. Thus, it will be very difficult at present to prove that climate change is affecting global tropical cyclone activity. (This is less so in the Atlantic, where we have a longer reliable data record to work with.) A common theme of many recent publications on the future of tropical cyclones globally in a warming climate is that the total number of these storms will decrease, but the strongest storms will get stronger. For example, a 2010 review paper published in Nature Geosciences concluded: "greenhouse warming will cause the globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2 - 11% by 2100. Existing modeling studies also consistently project decreases in the globally averaged frequency of tropical cyclones, by 6 - 34%. Balanced against this, higher resolution modeling studies typically project substantial increases in the frequency of the most intense cyclones, and increases of the order of 20% in the precipitation rate within 100 km of the storm centre." Last year, I discussed a paper by Bender et al that concluded that the total number of Atlantic hurricanes is expected to decrease by the end of the century, but there could be an increase of 81% in the number of Category 4 and 5 storms. The net effect of a decrease in total number of hurricanes but an increase in the strongest hurricanes should cause an increase in U.S. hurricane damages of about 30% by the end of the century, the authors computed, assuming that hurricane damages behave as they did during the past century. A new paper just published by Murakami et. al predicts that Western Pacific tropical cyclones may decrease in number by 23% by the end of the century, primarily due to a shift in the formation location and tracks of these storms.

In light of these theoretical results, it is interesting that 2010 saw the lowest number of global tropical cyclones on record, but an average number of very strong Category 4 and 5 storms. Fully 21% of last year's tropical cyclones reached Category 4 or 5 strength, versus just 14% during the period 1983 - 2007. Most notably, in 2010 we had the second strongest tropical cyclone on record in the Arabian Sea (Category 4 Cyclone Phet in June) and the strongest tropical cyclone ever to hit Myanmar/Burma (October's Tropical Cyclone Giri, an upper end Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds.) It is too early to read anything into this year's global tropical cyclone numbers, though--we need many more years of data before making any judgments on how global tropical cyclones might be responding to climate change.


Figure 3. Visible satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Phet on Thursday, June 3, 2010. Record heat over southern Asia in May helped heat up the Arabian Sea to 2°C above normal, and the exceptionally warm SSTs helped fuel Tropical Cyclone Phet into the second strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Arabian Sea. Phet peaked at Category 4 strength with 145 mph winds. Only Category 5 Cyclone Gonu of 2007, which devastated Oman, was a stronger Arabian Sea cyclone. Phet killed 44 people and did $700 million in damage to Oman.


Figure 4. Visible MODIS satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Giri taken at 2:55am EDT October 22, 2010, just prior to landfall in Myanmar/Burma. At the time, Giri was a Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds. Giri killed 157 people and did $359 million in damage. Image credit: NASA.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting jeffs713:

But its not near the radar site. more like 40 miles away. Looks like an outflow boundary, except its not, since there wasn't a storm to produce it.
The distance algorithms don't work well with dew that close...but if what you guys saw was moving substantially, then it prolly wasn't dew.

(I didn't see it and time is short today.)

But, on a good, humid day, watch a long loop in the evening and in the morning. You'll see the clutter appear and dissipate, respectively.

L8R.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
1218. Grothar
Quoting hydrus:
.If I only had a video camera in the 70,s and 80,s...I do have some stills that I would like to share with folks on here...I have some good ones of the no name storm in June of 1982. I have some pictures of our house and property devastated after Charley and Jeanne..And I have a few tornado photos from the 80,s..I would have had alot more, but I was working all the time back then..I am going to try and pull the hurricane pics now.


I've got some good ones, too. I have been trying to upload them on the PC but I don't think my camera is compatible.

Member Since: Juli 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting Skyepony:
Squall came through Melbourne~ about a 1/3 inch rain, one really close lightning strike & a 23 mph gust. Gave me a really big hair day.

Plume~ today & tomorrow. The day after that drifts NE dragging that back over Japan.


Gee Skye, was hoping you would get more, but any will help.....as for hair....there are no "good hair days" in Ms from Mar-Sept....lol...I live in visors and caps...
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Quoting Neapolitan:

And what do you suppose are the chances that the Big Nuclear boys are behind this one all the way, knowing full well it will accomplish their primary goal of limiting their liability af and when they unleash their own accidental that torrents of radiation some time in the future? Put me down for, oh, 100% or so...

Money talks, bull---- walks.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5792
Quoting atmoaggie:
Guys, the radar clutter that disappears that time of day is most likely dew droplets on the radome (and their disappearance). The radar is built to be sensitive to water droplets, thus...


But its not near the radar site. more like 40 miles away. Looks like an outflow boundary, except its not, since there wasn't a storm to produce it.
Quoting Skyepony:
Squall came through Melbourne~ about a 1/3 inch rain, one really close lightning strike & a 23 mph gust. Gave me a really big hair day.

Plume~ today & tomorrow. The day after that drifts NE dragging that back over Japan.

So was the really big hair day from the wind, or the lightning strike?
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5792
Quoting RTLSNK:


That is what we've been discussing. If you pull up the Wunderground nexrad radar image for Tampa. Click on Local Radar. Then go to the bottom below the image and click on "Oldest". That takes you to the image at 0707 am this morning. If you then click on "Next" each time, it will take you forward in time, in 5 min increments, to 0803 am.

During that time period from 0707 until it seems to disappear after 0800 is what we are trying to figure out. :)
Guys, the radar clutter that disappears that time of day is most likely dew droplets on the radome (and their disappearance). The radar is built to be sensitive to water droplets, thus...

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting alfabob:
RADIATION EXPOSURE DEBATE RAGES INSIDE EPA — Plan to Radically Hike Post-Accident Radiation in Food & Water Sparks Hot Dissent

Washington, DC — A plan awaiting approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that would dramatically increase permissible radioactive releases in drinking water, food and soil after “radiological incidents” is drawing vigorous objections from agency experts, according to agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). At issue is the acceptable level of public health risk following a radiation release, whether an accidental spill or a “dirty bomb” attack.

The radiation arm of EPA, called the Office of Radiation and Indoor Air (ORIA), has prepared an update of the 1992 “Protective Action Guides” (PAG) governing radiation protection decisions for both short-term and long-term cleanup standards. Other divisions within EPA contend the ORIA plan geometrically raises allowable exposure to the public. For example, as Charles Openchowski of EPA’s Office of General Counsel wrote in a January 23, 2009 e-mail to ORIA:

“[T]his guidance would allow cleanup levels that exceed MCLs [Maximum Contamination Limits under the Safe Drinking Water Act] by a factor of 100, 1000, and in two instances 7 million and there is nothing to prevent those levels from being the final cleanup achieved (i.e., it’s not confined to immediate response of emergency phase).”

Link
Link

And what do you suppose are the chances that the Big Nuclear boys are behind this one all the way, knowing full well it will accomplish their primary goal of limiting their liability af and when they unleash their own accidental that torrents of radiation some time in the future? Put me down for, oh, 100% or so...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13266
1212. Grothar
Quoting EYEStoSEA:
Now Grothar.....line-up your ears, eyes, and mouth , and hold your breath for rain......LOL...:)


I only do that when Mrs Grothar has reminded me I forgot to take out the garbage.
Member Since: Juli 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
1211. hcubed
Quoting washingtonian115:
Ossqss sorry about my rage.But I don't want that to happen during hurricane season.I understand maybe one or two times.But a couple???!.Enough,is a damn nuff!!.I have to find a way around this problem.....


Simple one - if he's on the ignore list, it doesn't get posted, doesn't mess up the blog.

Try it...
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1210. Jax82
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1209. Skyepony (Mod)
Squall came through Melbourne~ about a 1/3 inch rain, one really close lightning strike & a 23 mph gust. Gave me a really big hair day.

Plume~ today & tomorrow. The day after that drifts NE dragging that back over Japan.
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Quoting Grothar:



I would never pick on you. You always write properly. How is the weather up there right now? Still very sunny and hot here.


We just had a nice storm pass through. I might have seen a funnel cloud, I got the worst part of the storm shot on video.
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1207. hydrus
Quoting Grothar:


Hello, hyd! Guess this is all new to the youngins'. Remember the good old storms we used to have in Florida all the time?

P.S. I just had a thought, if we started a comedy act together, they could call us Hyd and Gro!
.If I only had a video camera in the 70,s and 80,s...I do have some stills that I would like to share with folks on here...I have some good ones of the no name storm in June of 1982. I have some pictures of our house and property devastated after Charley and Jeanne..And I have a few tornado photos from the 80,s..I would have had alot more, but I was working all the time back then..I am going to try and pull the hurricane pics now.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19517
1206. Grothar
Quoting caneswatch:


Here we go again, picking on the 18 year old LOL



I would never pick on you. You always write properly. How is the weather up there right now? Still very sunny and hot here.
Member Since: Juli 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Now Grothar.....line-up your ears, eyes, and mouth , and hold your breath for rain......LOL...:)
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Quoting RastaSteve:
Get a load of this I am now at 15.41" for the year and that's more than we had last year at this time during an El-nino year. Truely amazing of how much rain has fallen recently. We picked up 9.50" last week alone.


Here in Pinellas we're at 17" (on the money, apparently). Four more inches and we're at the annual average at the end of JUNE.
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1203. Grothar
Member Since: Juli 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Current severe weather warnings Link
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Quoting Grothar:


You are supposed to say.....that being said! The new annoying catch-phrase that everyone is wearing out fast. Rude expression.


Here we go again, picking on the 18 year old LOL
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1200. Grothar
Quoting caneswatch:


What i'm sayin'...........


You are supposed to say.....that being said! The new annoying catch-phrase that everyone is wearing out fast. Rude expression.
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1199. aquak9
AAAAAUUHH!

AAUUUHHH!!

(aftershocks)
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1197. Grothar
Quoting Jax82:
OMG, i wasnt able to access the blog for 15 minutes because of maintenance?! I didnt know what to do with myself. I'm surprised i'm still alive! ;)


Calm down, it's all over now. We are all safely back together.
Member Since: Juli 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
1196. Grothar
Quoting hydrus:
Classic spring storm coming..Hello Gro...


Hello, hyd! Guess this is all new to the youngins'. Remember the good old storms we used to have in Florida all the time?

P.S. I just had a thought, if we started a comedy act together, they could call us Hyd and Gro!
Member Since: Juli 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting Grothar:
Good time to do maintenance, when a line of thunderstorms is approaching 5 million people. Where is the 6 Million Dollar Man when you need him?


Leave it someone clueless who did that LOL
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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
140 PM EDT TUE APR 5 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHEASTERN BROWARD COUNTY IN SOUTH FLORIDA.
EASTERN PALM BEACH COUNTY IN SOUTH FLORIDA.

* UNTIL 215 PM EDT

* AT 138 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS HAVE
DETECTED A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING PENNY
SIZE HAIL...AND DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THESE STORMS
WERE LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM 5 MILES EAST OF NORTH PALM
BEACH TO 20 MILES WEST OF CORAL SPRINGS...AND MOVING EAST AT 35
MPH.

* THE LINE OF STORMS WILL AFFECT...
HAVERHILL...
GREENACRES CITY...
LAKE WORTH...
BOYNTON BEACH...
DELRAY BEACH...
CORAL SPRINGS...
AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES.

SURFACE OBSERVATIONS AT WEST PALM BEACH AIRPORT REPORTED 60 MPH WIND
GUSTS WITH THESE STORMS.R

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN PRODUCE VERY STRONG WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60
MPH...LARGE HAIL...DEADLY LIGHTNING...AND VERY HEAVY RAINFALL. STAY
INSIDE AWAY FROM WINDOWS UNTIL THE STORM HAS PASSED.
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1193. Grothar
Good time to do maintenance, when a line of thunderstorms is approaching 5 million people. Where is the 6 Million Dollar Man when you need him?
Member Since: Juli 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
1192. hydrus
Quoting Grothar:


We see it. They usually break up when the hit the coast. We need the rain. If you don't hear from me, you know I lied. LOL
Classic spring storm coming..Hello Gro...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19517
1191. Jax82
OMG, i wasnt able to access the blog for 15 minutes because of maintenance?! I didnt know what to do with myself. I'm surprised i'm still alive! ;)
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And were back
Member Since: Juli 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9625
Quoting aquak9:
AAAUUURRGGHHH DON'T EVER DO THAT TO ME AGAIN!!@!!


What i'm sayin'...........
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1187. aquak9
AAAUUURRGGHHH DON'T EVER DO THAT TO ME AGAIN!!@!!
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Quoting Grothar:


We see it. They usually break up when the hit the coast. We need the rain. If you don't hear from me, you know I lied. LOL


It's starting to get nasty here in central PBC.
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1184. Grothar
Quoting EYEStoSEA:
Cell near F Lauderdale....Grothar..:)



We see it. They usually break up when the hit the coast. We need the rain. If you don't hear from me, you know I lied. LOL
Member Since: Juli 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
Quoting RastaSteve:
Get a load of this I am now at 15.41" for the year and that's more than we had last year at this time during an El-nino year. Truely amazing of how much rain has fallen recently. We picked up 9.50" last week alone.
Quoting RastaSteve:
Get a load of this I am now at 15.41" for the year and that's more than we had last year at this time during an El-nino year. Truely amazing of how much rain has fallen recently. We picked up 9.50" last week alone.
Not trying to be mean, but its always helpful if you can state where you are.
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Quoting CalebDancemastah:


That squall line is holding together real good, considering the fact that it has lost most of the Upper Level support. I guess the sun must've came out before the clouds rolled in & allowed temperatures to get around 80.


Yep, I'm pushing as hard as I can for rain all the way, for all....lol.....
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SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
1247 PM EDT TUE APR 5 2011

FLZ066-067-070-071-051730-
HENDRY FL-INLAND PALM BEACH COUNTY FL-INLAND COLLIER COUNTY FL-
INLAND BROWARD COUNTY FL-
1247 PM EDT TUE APR 5 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A

* SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY FOR...
NORTHWESTERN BROWARD COUNTY
INLAND PALM BEACH COUNTY
EASTERN HENDRY COUNTY
COLLIER COUNTY

* FOR FREQUENT TO EXCESSIVE LIGHTNING...GUSTY WINDS FROM 45 TO 55 MPH
POSSIBLE...UP TO NICKEL-SIZED HAIL POSSIBLE...AND FUNNEL CLOUDS.

* UNTIL 130 PM EDT

AT 1240 PM EDT...WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A LINE OF
STRONG THUNDERSTORMS ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM PORT MAYACA TO 6
MILES SOUTHWEST OF AVE MARIA...MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 40 MPH.

* THE LINE OF STORMS WILL AFFECT...
CANAL POINT...
HENDRY CORRECTIONAL I/A/P...
BELLE GLADE...
OKEELANTA...
BIG CYPRESS SEMINOLE INDIAN RESERVATION...
HOLEY LAND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA...
AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES.

FREQUENT TO EXCESSIVE LIGHTNING...GUSTY WINDS FROM 45 T0 55 MPH...UP
TO NICKEL-SIZED HAIL...TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS...OR A COMBINATION OF
THESE ARE POSSIBLE. LIGHTNING IS THE NUMBER ONE WEATHER RELATED
KILLER IN FLORIDA. TREES AND OPEN SHELTERS OFFER NO PROTECTION. THESE
WINDS CAN DOWN SMALL TREE LIMBS AND BRANCHES...AND BLOW AROUND
UNSECURED SMALL OBJECTS. SEEK SHELTER IN A SAFE BUILDING UNTIL THE
STORM PASSES.
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Cell near F Lauderdale....Grothar..:)

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1178. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:


That squall line is holding together real good, considering the fact that it has lost most of the Upper Level support. I guess the sun must've came out before the clouds rolled in & allowed temperatures to get around 80.
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1176. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting Jedkins01:


The class is going great so far, and so is my professor, he is very good! Hes me 2nd Egyptian teacher Ive had, and both Egyptian professors Ive had are officially my top 2 best professors Ive had in college yet.
Take a hint folks, most Middle Eastern people are not terrorists, they have great people there too!


What's his name? I'm really considering taking Calculus w/Analytic Geometry I in the Summer... I also had an middle eastern teacher for statistics when I took classes down at Miami-Dade albeit he had a real strong accent, but as the semester went on I grew accustom to it, & ended up passing the class with a B. His test were easy to understand.
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anyone have a link to TSR's april forecast?? I went to the site and cliked on it but page wouldnt open?? Thanks
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Quoting Levi32:


It's currently working towards the other way around from that. Notice the warmest belt of water is between 20N and 30N, not in the MDR, which has actually cooled relative to normal. This is to be expected with a positive AO/NAO and represents a more typical SST profile during a La Nina spring. That said, the cool MDR almost always warms up during the hurricane season and reverses the signal. 2008 was far colder than this at this time of the year.


Well, that kinda made me feel better (except for the part about the MDR reversing the signal... booo...)

Thanks for the quick answer, though!
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5792
1171. Levi32
The tropical north Atlantic west of Africa is now slightly cooler than the tropical south Atlantic (armpit of Africa). This, if sustained, implies a less favorable setup for Cape Verde-type storms this year with the ITCZ staying farther south.

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Quoting Neapolitan:

20.27"? really? Here in Naples, we're at 2.73" for the year and only 4.84" since October 1. Normal numbers are, respectively, 6.5" and 13.62", so we're hurting... On the plus side, we set a record for the date of 90 yesterday, so the Gulf is going to continue to warm up nicely...


Dang that's rough, horribly dry. But here? Absolutely! In fact our yearly total would probably be higher if it weren't for pollen clogging the rain gauge. I didn't know about it for a while and didn't get it cleaned till before the rain last week. We had 13 inches of rain just last week, just under an inch today at 0.88, and 6 inches spread between January and February.
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1169. Levi32
Quoting jeffs713:

looking at the anomaly map, it almost seems like a tripole is trying to set up, with a band of warm water across the MDR and another one near the polar regions, with a cooler-than-average band between the two. Wouldn't that tend to focus convection in the MDR? That being said, the band across the MDR is rather broad, which may help keep the focus more diffuse. (correct me if I'm wrong on any of this)


It's currently working towards the other way around from that. Notice the warmest belt of water is between 20N and 30N, not in the MDR, which has actually cooled relative to normal. This is to be expected with a positive AO/NAO and represents a more typical SST profile during a La Nina spring. That said, the cool MDR almost always warms up during the hurricane season and reverses the signal. 2008 was far colder than this at this time of the year.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.