Hurricane Season is Here
This seems like a tougher year to forecast the number of storms ahead. Don't really see ENSO being a limiting factor. We are going into this with the switch not thrown. Globally storms have been scarce and weaker recently or more on land. The other basins have had fewer than their share overall so far too which tends to lend to a busier Atlantic Season or WPAC. There has also been alot of mid-'70s references in the records broken the last few months. Of my analog years 4 have a high number of depressions with about half as many named storms. Two had high number of storms and high number of named storms (both were more recent analog years). The other two years had low storms and named storms. Looking at that, the trend so far and with lesser confidence I'll go 19 (depressions) -16 (named storms) -10 (hurricanes) -4 (major storms). Considering SSTs and such, I'm trending toward it being a year more likely to have land-falling storms. Main Development Region (well out in the Atlantic) may never really heat up but closer to land maybe plenty warm for homegrown storms. This SST forecast also lends to maybe relatively more for the Atlantic than WPAC.
Volcan de Fuego Erupts
The most active volcano in Central America, Volcan de Fuego has erupted for the second time this year. This one was a bit larger and has killed atleast seven people. Twenty were injured, many more are missing and assumed buried in ash or lava. El Rodeo Village had lava come into it and is one of the harder affected areas. 3,100 people have had to evacuate from nearby communities. Shelters are open. Over all this is affecting around 1.7million people. Ash is falling on Guatemala City, Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango, Escuintla and the tourist town of Antigua. More here.
Webcam Antigua Guatemala, Refresh page for most recent image. Link to live cam
A Song to the Lava
An eighteen-year-old girl singing her song in front of lava Published on Jun 3, 2018Eighteen-year-old Hawaiian resident Kumsa Maphalala sings the song "Burn It Down" in a few meters from vocalno Kilauea lava.
Kumsa composed this song in May, when Kilauea's fissures eruption has been started
Figure1: Oceanic Niño Index: 3 month running mean of ERSST.v4 SST anomalies in the Niño 3.4 region (5°N-5°S, 120°-170°W) Calculated from the ERSST V5 (at NOAA/CPC). Credit: ERSL/NOAA
The graph above compares this past La Nina that has just ended to other recent La Nina events. 2017-18 is pictured in black. It was a weak La Nina but clusters well with other events ending in the spring. Below is a look at these similar years tropical storms histories (depressions - tropical storms - hurricanes - major hurricanes).
The average storm numbers for the Atlantic are 10.1 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.5 major hurricanes. So these years listed shows well above average tropical cyclones, slightly elevated number of hurricanes and average number of Major hurricanes.
Also throwing out there a year seen mentioned a lot in the broken records and similarities, especially for the Northeast. It was a neutral year coming off an El Nino.
Looking at Tornado numbers through March.. There is some research showing low spring tornadoes can end in more hurricanes hitting land. This spring there has certainly been less tornadoes than usual with only 62 preliminary reports through March. Other years with similar numbers include:
Though the numbers here were average to above average, the big take away seems to be the track maps showing the much higher likely hood of landfalls on the Gulf of Mexico/Florida regions with the East Coast also showing a somewhat raised risk.
Before coming up with seasonal forecast numbers we'll need an in depth look at the global tropics scene. That will be another blog..
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Tornadoes for March 2018, published online April 2018, retrieved on May 12, 2018 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/tornadoes/201803.