Categories
Environment

2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Review

2016-hurricane-tracks
2016 Atlantic storm tracks

Summary:

  • Slightly above average storm activity
  • Flooding impacts on Anna Maria Island (Colin and Hermine)
  • 2 landfalls on Florida Gulf Coast (Colin and Hermine)
  • 11-year record lull of no major hurricane landfalls on Florida
  • 1 major hurricane came within 50 miles of Florida East Coast (Cat 5 Mathew)
Atlantic Hurricane Season April 2016 forecast 2016 Actual
Named storms (>35mph) 12 15
Hurricanes (>72mph) 5 7
Major hurricanes (>111mph) 1 3
US landfall likelihood 50% 33%
Gulf Coast landfall 30% 13%

The Named Storms:

Alex – Hurricane Cat 1 Jan 13-15 pre-season in Eastern Atlantic

Bonnie – Tropical Storm May 27 – Jun 4 weak South Carolina landfall

Colin – Tropical Storm Jun 5 – 7 High tide flooding on Anna Maria Island

Danielle – Tropical Storm Jun 19 – 21 affecting Yucatan Peninsula and eastern Mexico

Earl – Hurricane Cat 1 Aug 2 – 6 affecting Antilles, Dominican Republic, Belize and Mexico

Fiona – Tropical Storm Aug 17 – 23 no effects on land

Gaston – Hurricane Cat 3 Aug 22 – Sep 3 no effects on land

Hermine – Hurricane Cat 1 Aug 28 – Sep 3 Rain and high tide flooding on Anna Maria Island landfall in Big Bend of Florida

Ian – Tropical Storm Sep 12 – 16 no effects on land

Julia – Tropical Storm Sep 14 – 18 Formed over Florida but main impact was on North Carolina and Virginia

Karl – Tropical Storm Sep 14 – 25 affecting Bermuda

Lisa – Tropical Storm Sep 19 – 24 no effects on land

Mathew – Hurricane Cat 5 Sep 28 – Oct 9 Landfall in Haiti, Cuba, Bahamas. Close to but not making landfall on Florida East Coast

Nicole – Hurricane Cat 4 Oct 4 – 18 Affecting Bermuda, US East Coast and Canada

Otto – Hurricane Cat 2 Nov 21 – 25 late season landfall in Nicaragua re-emerging in Eastern Pacific

Categories
Environment

Hurricane Hermine Hits Holmes Beach Hard

Ficus blown over by wind gust. Culverts did not drain.
A Ficus tree blown over by a wind gust. Culverts did not drain.

On August 18th, a weather disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean formed into an area of tropical interest and labelled “Invest 99L” by meteorologists. For ten days it crept across the ocean and meandered in the eastern Caribbean. By Monday August 29th, Tropical Depression 9 hatched, and unconstrained by prior nearby steering winds headed into the Gulf of Mexico to become Tropical Storm Hermine on Wednesday.

Hurricane Hermine path
2016 TD9 in Florida Straights becomes Tropical Storm Hermine, then Hurricane Hermine at landfall.

West Florida went on high alert. Storms this close sometimes run up the coast like Tropical Storm Debby (2012), sometimes change direction suddenly or quickly intensify like Hurricane Charley (2004). In any case Hermine looked like it would be a rain-maker like Tropical Storm Colin earlier this year.

Blocked drain and overwhelmed percolation pits.
Blocked drain and overwhelmed percolation pits.

Anna Maria Island residents experience nature’s best and worst conditions. Summer storms can be brief and invigorating or inconvenient and terrifying. Hermine kept offshore but the effects stayed around for 3 days, tossing 9″ of rain, 45mph wind bursts, frequent lightning and massive thunder booms from waves of storm-bred feeder bands.

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Combined with 2½ feet of surge on top of 2½ foot high tides, torrential and long-lasting rainfall overwhelmed the newly installed “percolation” pit drainage, causing what many people described as the worst flooding they have ever seen on the island. Schools closed Thursday, roads became impassable, and sewers backed up. Power stayed on apart from a short outage when a falling tree brought down some lines.

Categories
Environment

2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Review

2015 Atlantic Storm tracks
2015 Atlantic Storm tracks

Summary:

  • Below average storm activity with fewest named storms since 1993
  • No impacts on Anna Maria Island
  • No landfalls on Florida
  • A record 65-straight hurricanes in the Atlantic have missed Florida
  • Last storm (Wilma) to hit Florida was 10 year ago, an all time record lull.
  • 1 Gulf of Mexico storm (TS Bill)
  • 1 US mainland landfall (TS Ana, pre hurricane season)
  • 2 major hurricanes (Cat 3 Danny and Cat 4 Joaquin)
Atlantic Hurricane Season April 2015 forecast 2015 Actual
Named storms (>35mph) 7 11
Hurricanes (>72mph) 3 4
Major hurricanes (>111mph) 1 2
US landfall likelihood 28% 9%
Gulf Coast landfall 15% 9%

The Named Storms:

Ana – Tropical Storm, May 8-11. Earliest on record. Landfall North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Bill – Tropical Storm, June 16-18. Landfall Matagorda Island, Texas.

Claudette – Tropical Storm, July 13-14

Danny – Hurricane Cat 3, August 18-24

Erika – Tropical Storm, August 25-29, impacting Dominica, Guadalupe, Puerto Rico, and Haiti.

Fred – Hurricane Cat 1, August 30 to September 6, first ever impact on Cape Verde Islands.

Grace – Tropical Storm, September 5-9

Henri – Tropical Storm, September 8-11

Ida – Tropical Storm, September 18-27

Joaquin – Hurricane Cat 4, September 28 to October 8, impacting Bahamas, and sinking cargo ship El Faro.

Kate – Tropical Storm, November 9-12

Categories
Environment

2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast

The first early forecast for the 2015 hurricane season has been released by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project, predicting another quiet year:

We anticipate that the 2015 Atlantic basin hurricane season will be one of the least active seasons since the middle of the 20th century.
It appears quite likely that an El Niño of at least moderate strength will develop this summer and fall.
The tropical and subtropical Atlantic are also quite cool at present.
We anticipate a below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean.

– Drs Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray, Colorado State University, April 9, 2015

Atlantic Hurricane Season April 2015 forecastAverage
Named storms (>35mph winds)  7
12
Hurricanes (>72mph winds)  3  6.5
Major hurricanes (>111mph winds)  1   2
US landfall likelihood28%52%
Gulf Coast landfall probability15%30%
Major Hurricane in Caribbean probability22%42%
Manatee County hurricane landfall probability *0.3%0.7%
Manatee County tropical storm probability*8.1%17.1%
Manatee County >75mph wind gusts probability*2.3%5.0%

Early season forecasts are based on historical statistics and computer models that predict outcomes using climatological conditions present in January to March. The CSU model has been accurate in predicting above or below average seasons 23 out of 33 times, or 70%.

Measurements used include sea surface temperature, sea level pressure, and zonal wind strengths. Eastern tropical Pacific conditions in August to October, such as weak trades, low SST and SLP, are associated with La Nina formation, which is conducive to high activity in the tropical Atlantic. High SST, SLP and strong trades prevent warm air propagating from Western Pacific to the tropical Atlantic area and is referred to as El Nino, which correlates to a quieter Caribbean summer.

2015 Western Pacific Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly - El Nino
2015 Western Pacific Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly – El Nino
Categories
Environment

2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season Review

2014 Atlantic Storm tracks
2014 Atlantic Storm tracks

Summary:

  • Below average activity with fewest named storms since 1997
  • No effects on Anna Maria Island
  • No landfalls on Florida
  • 1 Gulf of Mexico storm (TS Dolly)
  • 1 US mainland landfall (Arthur)
  • 2 major hurricanes (Cat 3 Edouard and Cat 4 Gonzalo)
  • The US broke a record of 9 years without a major hurricane landfall. The last major hurricane to make US landfall was Wilma (2005). The previous record of eight years was from 1861-1868.
  • Florida broke a record of 9 years without a hurricane impact (since 1851). The previous record of five years was from 1980-1984.
Atlantic Hurricane Season June 2014 forecast 2014 Actual
Named storms (>35mph) 10 8
Hurricanes (>72mph) 4 6
Major hurricanes (>111mph) 1 2
US landfall likelihood 40% 12%
Gulf Coast landfall 23% 12%