Posts Tagged ‘atlantic storms’

It looks like we can expect an above average Atlantic hurricane season according to the most recent forecasts by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project (CSUTMP).

Last year we dodged the bullet and no major hurricane made a U.S. landfall (as was the case in the previous four years) even though last year’s hurricane season was one of the busiest on record with 19 named storms, with 12 strengthening into hurricanes.

This year NOAA predicts between 12 to 18 named storms of which six to 10 are likely to be hurricanes, and three to six of those could become major hurricanes, ranging from Category 3-5.

The factors indicating an above average season (11 named storms and six hurricanes, of which 2 are major):

  • In the regions of the Atlantic where storms often develop, sea surface temperatures are up to two degrees Fahrenheit warmer than average.
  • La Nina, is likely to still have an impact.
  • The last sixteen years, ocean and atmospheric conditions have been conducive to more active Atlantic hurricane seasons.

Last month CSUTMP forecast an above average season of 16 named storms of which 9 are expected to turn into hurricanes, with five developing into major hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater.

Their probabilities for a major hurricane making landfall in the U.S. are:

  • A 72 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall on the U.S. coastline (the long-term average probability is 52 percent).
  • A 47 percent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle west to Brownsville, Texas (the long-term average is 30 percent).
  • A 48 percent chance that a major hurricane will make landfall on the East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula (the long-term average is 31 percent).

Forecast updates are expected June 1 and Aug. 3 after which they should know better if La Nina affects are still likely to have an impact and if an El Nino is developing.

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There’s new information out as to how Texans will be affected by future climate change impacts, and its not looking good.  According to new studies and modeling, the number of powerful Catergory 4 and 5 hurricanes will likely increase along with global temperatures, as will the overall frequency and severity of storm activity such as tornadoes and hail storms.

A new study published in the prestigious journal Science based on “the most extensive computer modeling of storm activity to date” indicates that though the overall number of Atlantic storms will likely fall 30% by the end of the century, the number of powerful Cat. 4 and 5 storms could increase by 81%.  As someone who has lived on the Gulf Coast, this information is a pretty huge cause for concern.  Usually when you hear that a big storm is coming, you can at least rest easy until you know its going to be a bad one — no need to batten down the hatches for a tropical storm.  Looks as though that luxury will soon be lost.

Then at a conference at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business, weather researchers announced that

climate change will likely increase the frequency and severity of storm activity in Texas, an area of the country that is especially vulnerable to the “triple threat” of hurricanes, hail storms and tornadoes

Dr. Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storms Laboratory said that straight-line winds, which are created when areas of high and low pressure collide, will increasingly become a greater threat to structures such as homes and businesses.

As evidence mounts about the negative impacts of climate change, we can only hope that Texas lawmakers and decision-makers will come to see the desperate need for comprehensive legislation to mitigate these effects.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

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