Tag Archives: Tropical Storms

2017 Hurricane Season Review

2017 Named storm tracks

2017 Named storm tracks

Summary:

  • Above average storm activity
  • Anna Maria Island evacuation for Irma, but no flooding, contrary to forecast 5′ – 15′ surge
  • 2 landfalls on Florida Gulf Coast (Irma and Philippe)
  • Broad swath of property damage, trees downed, and power outages across Florida from Irma
  • Minor damage to Anna Maria Island properties and trees. Maximum wind reported was 92mph as the eye of Irma traveled inland of the island
  • Anna Maria City Pier and restaurant damaged beyond repair
Anna Maria City Pier hurricane damage

Anna Maria City Pier hurricane damage Photo: Jack Elka, The Islander

Some Ficus, Banyan, Norfolk Pines blew over

The 2017 hurricane season was more active than predicted by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project forecast team. Three major hurricanes struck the United States: Harvey, Irma and Maria, causing devastating destruction to islands in the Caribbean and other portions of the tropical Atlantic:

“The 2017 hurricane season was extremely active. Overall, our predicted numbers from our early July and August issue dates for named storm and hurricane formations were relatively close to what was observed, but our early season predictions and our predictions for integrated metrics such as Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) were far too low,” said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the forecast at CSU.

Atlantic Hurricane Season April June 2017 forecast 2017 Actual
Named storms (>35mph) 11      13  16
Hurricanes (>72mph)  4       6  10
Major hurricanes (>111mph)  2       2  6
US landfall likelihood 42%   55%  31%
Gulf Coast landfall 24%   32%  13%

The Named Storms:

Arlene – Tropical Storm Apr 19-21 pre-season in Eastern Atlantic

Bret – Tropical Storm Jun 19 – 20 landfall Venezuela

Cindy – Tropical Storm Jun 20 – 23 landfall central Gulf Coast

Don – Tropical Storm Jul 17 – 18 no effects on land

Franklin – Hurricane Cat 1 Aug 7- 10 affecting Yucatan Peninsula and eastern Mexico

Gert – Hurricane Cat 2 Aug 13 – 17 no effects on land

Harvey – Hurricane Cat 4 Aug 17 – Sep 1 Landfall Yucatan and massive flooding in Houston,Texas

Irma – Hurricane Cat 5 Aug 30 – Sep 12 Devastated Leeward Islands, northern Cuba, landfall SE Florida with coast to coast hurricane force wind

Jose – Hurricane Cat 4 Sep 5 – 21 no effects on land

Katia – Hurricane Cat 2 Sep 5 – 9 Landfall eastern Mexico

Lee – Hurricane Cat 3 Sep 15 – 29 no effects on land

Maria – Hurricane Cat 5 Sep 16 – Sep 30 Landfall in Caribbean islands, badly affecting Puerto Rico

Nate – Hurricane Cat 1 Oct 4 – 9 crossed central America and Yucatan

Ophelia – Hurricane Cat 3 Oct 9 – 15 no effects on land

Philippe – Tropical Storm Oct 28 – 29 crossed Cuba and Florida Keys

Rina – Tropical Storm Nov 6 – 9 no effects on land

Continue reading “2017 Hurricane Season Review” »

2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast


The season’s first updated June forecast for Atlantic hurricanes in 2017 has been released by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project.

(April 6 ) This year, 2017, the expectation is for a “below average” year, based on 29 years of observations from 1981 to 2010. There is the potential for shear-enhancing El Niño conditions to develop over the next several months. The tropical Atlantic has cooled over the past month, and the far North Atlantic is currently colder than normal. These cold anomalies tend to force atmospheric conditions that are less conducive for Atlantic hurricane formation and intensification.

(June 1) We have increased our forecast and now believe that 2017 will have approximately average activity. The odds of a significant El Niño in 2017 have diminished somewhat, and portions of the tropical Atlantic have anomalously warmed over the past two months. While the tropical Atlantic is warmer than normal, the far North Atlantic remains colder than normal, potentially indicative of a negative phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation. We anticipate a near-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean.

August 2004, Hurricane Charley washed out part of Captiva Island.

August 2004, Hurricane Charley washed out part of Captiva Island.

From http://tropical.colostate.edu :-

We anticipate that the 2017 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have slightly below- average activity. The current neutral ENSO is likely to transition to either weak or moderate El Niño conditions by the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. The tropical Atlantic has anomalously cooled over the past month and the far North Atlantic is relatively cold, potentially indicative of a negative phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation. We anticipate a below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.
by Philip J. Klotzbach and Michael M. Bell (as of 6 April 2017)

An analysis of a variety of different atmosphere and ocean measurements (through March) which are known to have long-period statistical relationships with the upcoming season’s Atlantic tropical cyclone activity indicate that 2017 should have slightly below-average activity. The big question marks with this season’s predictions are whether an El Niño develops, as well as what the configuration of Sea Surface Temperatures will look like in the tropical and far North Atlantic Ocean during the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.

June 1 – Our confidence that a weak to moderate El Niño will develop has diminished since early April. While upper ocean content heat anomalies have slowly increased over the past several months, the transition towards warm ENSO conditions appears to have been delayed compared with earlier expectations. At this point, we believe that the most realistic scenario for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is borderline warm neutral ENSO to weak El Niño conditions. There remains a need to closely monitor ENSO conditions over the next few months. Additional discussion of ENSO will be included with the July 1 and August 4 updates.

2017 Forecast numbers:

Atlantic Hurricane SeasonApril    June 2017 forecast29-year Median
Named storms (>35mph winds) 11         13
12
Hurricanes (>72mph winds) 4             6
6.5
Major hurricanes (>111mph winds) 2             22
US landfall likelihood42%        55%52%
Gulf Coast landfall probability24%        32%30%
Major Hurricane in Caribbean
probability
34%        44%42%
Manatee County hurricane landfall
probability*
0.6%        0.7%0.7%
Manatee County tropical storm
probability*
14.7%      18.3%17.1%
Manatee County >75mph wind gusts
probability*
4.2%        5.4%5.0%

* http://landfalldisplay.geolabvirtualmaps.com

Tracks of major hurricanes making Florida peninsula and East Coast landfall during 1916-1965 and 1966-2015.

Tracks of major hurricanes making Florida peninsula and East Coast landfall during 1916-1965 and
1966-2015.

Continue reading “2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast” »

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

Continue reading “2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Review” »

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.

Continue reading “Hurricane Hermine Hits Holmes Beach Hard” »

2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast

The season’s first forecast for Atlantic hurricanes in 2016 has been released by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project. After 10 years of below average activity, this year the expectation is for an “average” year. That is, a return to mean as recorded over the past 29 years of their data.

The strong El Nino effect in the Pacific during the past year has deflected storms and reduced winds aloft over the US mainland but is expected to weaken during this coming summer due to colder temperatures in the North Atlantic. By September the El Nino influence is expected to be gone, just in time for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, however, subsequently moderate La Nina conditions in late summer and fall could bring significant cooling.

We anticipate that the 2016 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have approximately average activity. The current weakening El Niño is likely to transition to either neutral or La Niña conditions by the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. While the tropical Atlantic is relatively warm, the far North Atlantic is quite cold, potentially indicative of a negative phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation. We anticipate a near-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.

–  Dr. Philip J. Klotzbach, Colorado State University 14 April, 2016

 

Atlantic Hurricane Season April 2016 forecastAverage
Named storms (>35mph winds)  12
 12
Hurricanes (>72mph winds)  5  6.5
Major hurricanes (>111mph winds)  1  2
US landfall likelihood 50% 52%
Gulf Coast landfall probability 30% 30%
Major Hurricane in Caribbean probability 29% 42%
Manatee County hurricane landfall probability* 0.6% 0.7%
Manatee County tropical storm probability* 16.3% 17.1%
Manatee County >75mph wind gusts probability* 4.7% 5.0%

http://landfalldisplay.geolabvirtualmaps.com

Tracks of major hurricanes making Florida peninsula and East Coast landfall during 1916-1965 and 1966-2015.

Tracks of major hurricanes making Florida peninsula and East Coast landfall during 1916-1965 and 1966-2015.

The last hurricane effect in the Tampa Bay area was the Tarpon Springs hurricane of October, 1921. Anna Maria Island’s first bridge from Cortez, being constructed at the time, was damaged in the storm.

Anna Maria Island's last close-by hurricane made landfall at Tarpon Springs.

Anna Maria Island’s last close-by hurricane made landfall at Tarpon Springs.