Baltimore, MD - Latest thoughts on Facebook & Twitter:
We are a little over one month before the official start to the 2013 Hurricane season. All year long I have been watching evolving conditions in both the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean to see the type of environment the atmosphere will be influenced by
In the early spring months of 2012 I witnessed similar conditions seen today over the Pacific Ocean which matched the likes of a neutral phase of the ENSO pattern KNOWN as "LA NADA." This means water temperatures and oscillation patterns over the central pacific did not favor LA NINA (cool phase) or EL Nino (warm phase) conditions. During an El Niño event in the pacific, air is generally rising over the tropical Pacific and generally sinking over the tropical Atlantic. Sinking air is not conducive for tropical development in the Atlantic.
The second factor is the warm waters over the Atlantic. We currently sit in a WARM AMO or warm Atlantic Decadal Oscillation phase which promotes more fuel for storms and less wind shear to tear storms apart over the Atlantic. This also means more long track tropical system known as "Cape Verde Events. "
Here was my 2012 prediction I made in early May. I went well above the initial forecast storm numbers from NOAA and other agencies however, was burned by the total number of storms in the end due to several late season events that did not impact land. In 2012 I put out this statement MONTHS before Sandy:
"I feel this is the year of Tropical Storms that will dump copious amounts of rain over the east coast with several storms developing off deep troughs setup on the east coast. I also believe there is a good shot of at least one tropical storm affecting the Mid Atlantic from Delaware to Virginia. "
STORMS HURRICANES MAJOR
AVERAGE 12.1 6.4 2.7
MASCO 2012 PREDICTION 14 5 0
ACTUAL: 19 10 2
So what about this year?
My 2013 hurricane forecast is still being worked out. I believe we have a similar situation to 2012 developing this year. I also feel the eastern USA is NOT out of the woods for another tropical storm and the factors that came together for Sandy are not out of the realm of possibility.
So far there is one organization predicting an above average season.
A team of Colorado State University meteorologists predicts above-average hurricane activity in 2013.
The annual forecast issued Wednesday by Philip Klotzbach and William Gray calls for 18 named storms and nine hurricanes in the Atlantic and Caribbean basin this year. That compares to averages of 12 named storms and 6.5 hurricanes.
Look for my Hurricane forecast to come out in a few weeks.