The Intersection

Colorado State’s Phil Klotzbach and Bill Gray are out with their next Atlantic seasonal hurricane forecast (PDF), and get this: They’re calling for three more Atlantic hurricanes in September, one of them intense (Category 3-5).

They’re also calling for two more hurricanes in October-November, including yet another intense one. The total forecast (including Felix as a September storm) is for 9 more named storms, five more hurricanes, and two more intense hurricanes. In short, we are hardly in the clear yet.

The prediction of a busy October-November, in particular, seems consistent with NOAA’s recent release of the latest El Nino/La Nina forecast, which for the first time plainly states: “La Nina conditions are developing across the tropical Pacific” (PDF). La Nina is generally correlated with longer lasting and very active Atlantic hurricane seasons.

So batten down the hatches–we have a long, long way to go. And as someone who plans to visit New Orleans this month, let me leave you with a picture that really scares me–the tropical cyclone heat potential in the Gulf of Mexico as of yesterday:

i-08a9619e3f54180f6e187bdb13f41096-Gulf TCHP Sept 3.jpg


  1. #1 Ahcuah
    September 4, 2007

    Is that an arrow of heat pointing right at New Orleans?

    “C’mon. Follow me.”


    (Yes, I know a hurricane is directed, not by ocean heat, but upper level steering currents. But still . . .)

  2. #2 donna
    September 4, 2007

    I have a dirty enough mind to know that’s no arrow….

  3. #3 Norman Doering
    September 4, 2007

    donna wrote:

    I have a dirty enough mind to know that’s no arrow….

    Oh goodness me! I just saw what you’re talking about.

    New Orleans is about to get F#@ked.

  4. #4 Hank Roberts
    September 4, 2007

    What did they change exactly?

    My excerpts from a quick read of their PDF below:

    “… our statistical forecasts have not shown skill in real-time forecasting. … Because of this, we are currently in the process of redesigning our monthly statistical forecasts….”

    “… We have kept our September monthly forecast the same as was predicted in early August….”

    “We have kept out October-November monthly forecast the same as was predicted in early August.”

    “It is important that the reader appreciate that these seasonal forecasts are based on statistical schemes which, owing to their intrinsically probabilistic nature, will fail in some years. Moreover, these forecasts do not specifically predict where within the Atlantic basin these storms will strike….”

    “We will be issuing a final update to our 2007 Atlantic basin hurricane forecast on Tuesday 2 October 2007. In this update, we will issue a final prediction for October-November Atlantic basin tropical cyclone activity. A verification and discussion of all 2007 forecasts will be issued in late November 2007.”
    — from the PDF

  5. #5 CV Rick
    September 5, 2007

    That’s incredible. Is that a real image or photo-shopped for effect?

    I’m putting that up on my page soon.

  6. #6 Chris Mooney
    September 5, 2007

    For those *without* dirty minds, it actually looks to me like an eddy that is being spun off from the loop current but hasn’t completely separated yet.

    More reading here.

  7. #7 Emily
    September 5, 2007

    What is your take on Landsea’s comments in response to questions about whether the double trouble hurricane hits are due to global warming?

    From CNN
    “All of the studies suggest that by the end of this century, hurricanes may become stronger by five percent because of global warming. So a 100-miles-per-hour hurricane would be 105 miles per hour,” he said. “Most of what we’re seeing is natural fluctuations.”

    It seems to me that even a 5% increase spells a lot more trouble in terms of damage to both natural and human systems.

  8. #8 wildlifer
    September 5, 2007

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