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August 30, 2010

Hurricane Fiona  

Tropical Storm or Hurricane Fiona hasn't formed yet. It's still a tropical wave off the coast of Africa. Please check this page again once this hurricane or tropical storm is active. Until then, please see the links below for prep tips, need-to-know information about hurricanes, and the latest on other tropical storms and hurricanes.

July 31, 2009

Storm Tracking for Amateurs and Professionals  

“Katrina is comparable in intensity to Hurrica...Image via Wikipedia
Storm Tracking for Amateurs and Professionals
If you love the weather as much as I do,  you are going to love Stormpulse. I used it last year to track hurricane Ike. It was amazing to watch.
If you are media professional or work for a radio or television station, you're going to love the professional graphics and storm tracking that comes with Stormpulse Advanced. 
Stormpulse is used by many media outlets. Here is a list of media outlets that use Stormpulse. This this will probably increase as the 2009 hurricane season rolls in.

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Live Hurricane Tracking -  

June 02, 2009

Video Hurricane Forecast for 2009  

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Hurricane Forecast for 2009  

Hurricane Season Begins: Increased Storms Off U.S. Coastline Have Forecasters Concerned

These Popup Storms Could Mean More Severe Weather for U.S. During Hurricane Season


June 1, 2009 —

Already this decade ranks as the worst ever in the nation's history in both dollars and casualties from hurricanes, and with the 2009 hurricane season beginning today, some forecasters worry the dangers may be on the rise.
Though this year is expected to be an average season with between nine and 14 named storms, the year already has seen its first tropical depression, which hit last week.
The storm formed dangerously close to America's mid-Atlantic shore.
"People may be confused that all storms form off Africa and give you a long signal as they cross the way," said Bill Read who heads up the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
But a new pattern defies the one common to most tropical systems. Instead of starting off Africa's coast; it starts off the U.S. coast in either the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.
Some forecasters fear the pattern may be a sign of things to come.
"The big worry this year is not the overall tropical storms that are coming all of the way over from Africa.
They are sudden developments in or own backyard within two to three days of hitting the coastline," said Joe Bastardi, of AccuWeather.
Hurricane Humberto in 2007 is a classic example of this sudden storm. It formed and intensified off Texas faster than any tropical storm on record. In just one day it grew from a disturbance to a full blown category one hurricane. It ended up causing $50 million in damage.
Warm water temperatures could be a key reason why these pop-up storms are occurring.
The Gulf and Atlantic Ocean warm up faster than the waters off Africa.
"The caveat is in the Gulf of Mexico in August and October you can have very strong storms form and become severe simply because warm water is there," said University of Miami Rosensteil School Of Marine and Atmospheric Science professor Nick Shay. "The atmosphere is favorable, and these storms can spin up to category 4 or 5 status."

Preparing for Hurricane Season

While not all forecasters agree we'll be seeing more of these storms, many believe there's reason to worry.
"You're going to get the very excessive rain and flash flooding, which over the long haul in recent time, has been the No. 1 killer in people in tropical systems," Read said.
And because they develop so fast, getting the word of warning out to those in its path is another concern.
If you wait until a system develops off your coastline, you are not going to have time to sit and think about it," said National Hurricane Center storm surge specialist Jamie Rhome. "You need a plan before that develops. "

Hurricane Storm Names for 2009

Here is a list of this year's names for Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes:
Teresa VictorWanda

May 23, 2009

Hurricane Video  

Short video on the destruction a hurricane can do.


Many of you are familiar with the Atlantic seasonal forecasts of named storms and hurricanes. At The Weather Channel we do NOT make seasonal forecast, instead we have tried to provide the message that it only takes one to hit your area so be well-prepared every hurricane season regardless of these forecasts. But each late winter/spring leading up to the June 1st start of hurricane season it happens, first whispers of the season outlook that turn into talking about them and finally preoccupation with them. Often there is a slant toward how terrible hurricane season is going to be; more rarely how mild it will be. Just remember it will be a very bad and memorable hurricane season, even if there is a total of only one Atlantic hurricane, if that one strikes your area! Below I attempt to give a perspective on the early forecasts for 2009 and how one might interpret them. Keep in mind that there is some sound (although highly volatile) science involved in making some of these forecasts, in others I am uncertain how the numbers are arrived at. In any event, this is not an attempt to demean these forecasts or the people or companies that make them. Instead it is written for you and how you might react/respond to them.
OK, we first have to examine some of the 2009 forecasts that have been put out there thus far; so I list some of them you may find in the news or on the web. I am sure you can find additional forecasts, but I will focus on these for simplicity.
# Named# Hurricanes# Major Hurricanes
Colorado State/Bill Gray1473
NOAA/National Weather Service******
Weather Services Inc.1373
Wx Research Center74-
** Not yet released.
As a reference frame for you to relate to these forecasts, I show below a long-term approximately 50 year, the average since the Atlantic "active era" began in 1995, and the active era minus 2005. Keep in mind that the huge 2005 hurricane season was extremely anomalous with 27 named storms, so I also show the active era average excluding this very anomalous year.
# Named# Hurricanes# Major Hurricanes
Long term average1162/3
Average 1995-20081584
Average 1995-2008 (minus 2005)1373/4
Now it becomes clear that three of four 2009 hurricane season forecasts currently available are close to a climatological forecast of "average" relative to the past 14 years minus 2005. The Weather Research Center forecast is only about 60% of that average. Their forecasts have seemed to consistently be lower than most other forecasts, but because of that they did better than others in 2006! One interesting thing is that within the 14-year period since 1995, the actual number of named storms has routinely departed from average with a low of 9 named storms in 2006 to a high of 27 name storms in 2005 (19 in 1995); so there are very large year-to-year variations in the number of Atlantic Basin named storms.
Note that all of these forecasts are for the entire Atlantic Basin and do not necessarily have anything directly to do with how many might strike the U.S. coastline. It turns out that within the recent active era (1995-2008), the relationship between the number of Atlantic storms that formed and the number that struck the U.S. was poor; for example, only about 15% of U.S. storm and hurricane landfall variations are explained by knowing "exactly" how many storms and hurricanes formed in the Atlantic Basin after the season ended (this assumes a perfect seasonal forecast)! More importantly, Atlantic Basin forecasts say nothing about how strong or where a storm or hurricane might strike. Wording within some of these seasonal forecasts provides general information about U.S. strikes and/or strike probabilities, but verification of them in a scientific manner would take years of forecasts and verifications to identify any meaningful skill of being correct compared to chance/guessing. Of course someone "could" take an approach of forecasting landfall in a specific area over and over again year after year, and just by basic climatological probabilities of where storms/hurricanes hit the U.S. coast, eventually they will be successful in one year, but they will have provided many forecasts of false alarm to the public, there is "no skill" in this approach.
So where does this leave us? IF I could tell you with 100% certainty a hurricane will strike your coast on September 10, 2009, would you do anything between now and then? Obviously no one can make such a forecast with any skill. So you should be ready, ready just as well every year for a potential hurricane strike. Eventually one will come to your coast, it could be in 2009 or it may be 100 years from now, but the potential for great disaster requires you to be ready just like when you put on your car seatbelt each time you start your car, never expecting to get in a crash. Be readyto put on those house shutters and get out your pre-prepared hurricane plan of action. Then you can sit back like I do and muse at how each seasonal forecaster and each media outlet feeds you these curious, but relatively inapplicable long-range forecasts.