Hurricane season ends with no Atlantic basin storms

Nov 26, 2013
GOES East satellite tracks Subtropical Storm Melissa, the last storm of the season. Credit: NOAA

(Phys.org) —The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends on Saturday, Nov. 30, had the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982, thanks in large part to persistent, unfavorable atmospheric conditions over the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and tropical Atlantic Ocean. This year is expected to rank as the sixth-least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950, in terms of the collective strength and duration of named storms and hurricanes.

"A combination of conditions acted to offset several that historically have produced active hurricane seasons," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. "As a result, we did not see the large numbers of hurricanes that typically accompany these climate patterns."

Thirteen named storms formed in the Atlantic basin this year. Two, Ingrid and Humberto, became hurricanes, but neither became major hurricanes. Although the number of named storms was above the average of 12, the numbers of hurricanes and major hurricanes were well below their averages of six and three, respectively. Major hurricanes are categories 3 and above.

Tropical storm Andrea, the first of the season, was the only named storm to make landfall in the United States this year. Andrea brought tornadoes, heavy rain, and minor flooding to portions of Florida, eastern Georgia and eastern South Carolina, causing one fatality.

The 2013 hurricane season was only the third below-normal season in the last 19 years, since 1995, when the current high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes began.

Suomi NPP satellite peers into Tropical Storm Andrea, the first storm of the season. Credit: NOAA/NASA

"This unexpectedly low activity is linked to an unpredictable atmospheric pattern that prevented the growth of storms by producing exceptionally dry, sinking air and strong vertical wind shear in much of the main hurricane formation region, which spans the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea," said Bell. "Also detrimental to some tropical cyclones this year were several strong outbreaks of dry and stable air that originated over Africa."

Unlike the U.S., which was largely spared this year, Mexico was battered by eight storms, including three from the Atlantic basin and five from the eastern North Pacific. Of these eight landfalling systems, five struck as tropical storms and three as hurricanes.

Explore further: UN: Besides Haiyan, 2013 storm season near average

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The Alchemist
1.7 / 5 (13) Nov 26, 2013
Weird, huh?
Anybody know what to make of it?
Hurricanes being the transfer of heat to the poles, regardless of conditions, hurricanes should form, and this is also a year for increased solar activity.

The accounting sheet is not balanced.
ViperSRT3g
3 / 5 (2) Nov 26, 2013
I think the lack of hurricanes might mean that this winter will be especially bad compared to recent times. Nothing scientific, just going along with intuition. Though I've never looked at Hurricanes as a mechanism of transferring heat to the poles. That is an interesting view of them.
runrig
2.6 / 5 (5) Nov 26, 2013
Anybody know what to make of it?


Yes, and the above says it ...

"... unpredictable atmospheric pattern that prevented the growth of storms by producing exceptionally dry, sinking air and strong vertical wind shear in much of the main hurricane formation region, which spans the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea," said Bell. "Also detrimental to some tropical cyclones this year were several strong outbreaks of dry and stable air that originated over Africa."

All storms require the upper troposphere to be conducive. Merely having a moist/unstable boundary layer is not enough.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (16) Nov 26, 2013
"linked to an unpredictable atmospheric pattern"
Why wasn't it predictable? Are the models flawed?
goracle
1.6 / 5 (13) Nov 26, 2013
"linked to an unpredictable atmospheric pattern"
Why wasn't it predictable? Are the models flawed?

As you have been told before, if the models were perfect duplicates of reality all the time, they would not be called models, but reality. Not that it really matters to your agenda of casting doubt far and wide in service of your interest though.
runrig
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 26, 2013
"linked to an unpredictable atmospheric pattern"
Why wasn't it predictable? Are the models flawed?


Because it's "weather" and yes they are flawed because of that. Though apparently they've had a lot of success.
http://coaps.fsu....-archive

They are seasonal forecasts of a complex interaction of many things within the extra-tropical atmosphere. They model the atmosphere as do NWP models (daily weather forecasts). Climate models do not as it is merely internal chaos in that regard.

" The basic premise of seasonal forecasting of tropical cyclones is related to the idea that tropical cyclones activity is closely tied to characteristics of the large-scale atmospheric circulation, sea surface temperatures (SSTs), vertical wind shear, and low-level vorticity."
www.coaps.fsu.edu/hurricanes
djr
3.3 / 5 (3) Nov 27, 2013
Nice scientific responses goracle and runrig - thanks. Of course you know Ryggy is not reading them - he is off to say some stupid shit on another thread somewhere. It is good to expose the troll process to the sunlight - but don't expect anything to change.
Shootist
1.3 / 5 (13) Nov 27, 2013
algore and the Watermelons.

Someone should start a band.
ryggesogn2
1.3 / 5 (13) Nov 27, 2013
They are seasonal forecasts of a complex interaction of many things within the extra-tropical atmosphere.


So the claims AGW will cause more hurricanes and typhoons is BS?
agenda of casting doubt far and wide

That is the point of real science. Pointing out the flaws in the theories.
But this does fit the AGW political agenda so the models can't be publicly critiqued else govt funding and public confidence in climate scientists will wane.
Too bad 'progressives' don't want to teach k-12 how science really works or teach them how to think instead of what to think.
goracle
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 27, 2013
Shootist:
algore and the Watermelons.

Someone should start a band.

Demonstrating your ability to contribute to science again, eh?
The Alchemist
1.4 / 5 (11) Nov 27, 2013
Weather is chaotic, not necessarily unpredictable.
runrig
2.8 / 5 (4) Nov 27, 2013
Weather is chaotic, not necessarily unpredictable.


Correct
runrig
3 / 5 (4) Nov 27, 2013
So the claims AGW will cause more hurricanes and typhoons is BS?

No it's just basic physics - at least at the core.
A warmer world with warmer SST's will put more energy into the atmosphere. Full Stop. Via latent heat release.
See this Tephi diagram.
http://homepages....gram.pdf

Place a surface temp of 25C at 1000mb then one at 30C - follow up the dashed lines. The 25C plot will arrive at 200mb ( 39000ft ) at a temperature of ~ -45C. The 30C plot will arrive at 200mb at a temp of ~ -33C. That is energy released from LH and allows rising thermals/thunderstorms within the Hurricane to overcome the lapse rate. Coriolis force provides the spin - this all initiated from a sub-tropic westward travelling wave ( divergence aloft - convergence below ) out of N Africa.

http://www.indian...s_nf.pdf
http://hurricanes...fecycle/
runrig
3 / 5 (4) Nov 27, 2013
Shootist:
algore and the Watermelons.

Someone should start a band.

Demonstrating your ability to contribute to science again, eh?


At least it wasn't his usual copy/paste post.
Modernmystic
1.4 / 5 (11) Nov 27, 2013
Weather is chaotic, not necessarily unpredictable.


Agreed. Now exactly when does weather turn into climate? 5 years? 10 years? 100 years? 10,000 years?

We're in an ice age currently. We know this because we currently have ice caps where 90% of the Earth's geologic history we haven't. We're in one of the "warm spots" of this ice age. I'd call that a climate change. I'd call just about everything we've been talking about with respect to AGW weather. The only reason I know there is AGW is because you simply CAN'T put twice as much CO2 in the air and not expect a change. I'm not impressed by any temperature trends over a few decades however.
runrig
3 / 5 (4) Nov 28, 2013
Agreed. Now exactly when does weather turn into climate? 5 years? 10 years? 100 years? 10,000 years?


I believe that's the wrong way of looking at it.

Imagine something chaotic (weather) – say the teeth on a wood-saw. Now they are on a straight blade (climate). When the saw is held horizontally then the teeth's chaotic nature is in check. Now tilt the saw upward and the teeth (weather) take on an underlying trend.
Now in reality there is a 3rd overlying harmonic made of various climate cycles and these make the tilting of the saw analogy more complex – the blade is in reality wavy.
In effect weather rides on the back of climate.
To be sure you're looking at climate and not weather you need to isolate the waviness. It is generally agreed that 30 years is needed. Hence the current slowing in (atmospheric) warming that an ensemble of GCM's necessarily CANNOT model ( averaged out).
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) Nov 28, 2013
The only reason I know there is AGW is because you simply CAN'T put twice as much CO2 in the air and not expect a change.


2 times almost nothing is still almost nothing.
300 parts per million is .03%, twice this is .06%.
runrig
3 / 5 (4) Nov 28, 2013
The only reason I know there is AGW is because you simply CAN'T put twice as much CO2 in the air and not expect a change.


2 times almost nothing is still almost nothing.
300 parts per million is .03%, twice this is .06%.


Try putting 0.06% of cyanide into a drink and then drink it.

The absolute quantity of a substance in the whole has nothing to do with it's effect on that whole.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) Nov 28, 2013
The absolute quantity of a substance in the whole has nothing to do with it's effect on that whole.

Yes it does.
Maggnus
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2013
Try putting 0.06% of cyanide into a drink and then drink it.


Actually, don't do this, your relatives would not like the result. Well, probably, if you're as dunderheaded around them as you are on this site, it might come as a relief.

OMG duck Ryyg I think there is a socialist close!
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (5) Nov 28, 2013
Try putting 0.06% of cyanide into a drink and then drink it.


Actually, don't do this, your relatives would not like the result. Well, probably, if you're as dunderheaded around them as you are on this site, it might come as a relief.

OMG duck Ryyg I think there is a socialist close!

The assertion is that this is a science site yet there is no data, no science to show how doubling a minute quantity of CO2 has any impact.
runrig
2.5 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2013
… no science to show how doubling a minute quantity of CO2 has any impact


http://agwobserve...elation/

"Just because CO2 is only 0.04% doesn't mean it only contributes 0.04% absorption/re-emission of LW radiation. Why?"

"O2 = 21%, N2, = 78%. Why aren't they important GHG's? Why are WV, CO2 and CH4 the most important when they are present in such small amounts?"

"triatomic molecules like CO2, H2O and CH4 can bend as they vibrate. They can move into different energy states by changing their shape. Consequently they can absorb the energy from an incoming photon if its energy matches the new state."

So that leaves 1% left - making CO2 4% of GHG's.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (5) Nov 28, 2013
The most significant gas that affects climate is H2O. But the challenge is that the quantity of H2O in the atmosphere is never constant in quantity or in location. It also has annoying properties called heat of vaporization and heat of fusion, and can reflect photons as well as absorb them.
It is much easier to measure CO2 as it seems to be well mixed and consistent and, coincidentally the quantity has been increasing and some is produced by humans burning coal.
For the Ehrlich disciples, AGWites, 'progressive' CO2 is the perfect candidate to blame for all the changes in climate.
Entire industries and new govt agencies were created around CO2.