30 May 2012

Two Storms Already (and it’s not even open season on hurricanes yet!)

Posted by Dan Satterfield

This is the temperature ANOMALIES for May. Red is above normal temps. Images here ctsy. Climate Central.

Climate Central produced some nice graphics showing just how warm the Atlantic and Gulf is right now. The intensity and number of hurricanes does not solely depend on ocean temperatures but it is a major factor. We’ve already had two tropical systems and the official season in the Atlantic does not start until Midnight Friday.

Look at the ocean back in 1991 which produced a rather quiet tropical storm season and then compare it with 2005 the year we saw the most on record. The NOAA forecast is for a season near normal or slightly above, but these forecasts have rather poor skill. If an El Nino begins developing in the Pacific this summer, the number of Cape Verde type major hurricanes could be reduced.

2005 had record warm oceans temps in the tropical Atlantic, and we had a record number of storms.

Oh, and May will make the 428th month in a row with global ocean temps. warmer than the 20th century average. When storms develop this year some new technology will be in use to gather data on them like never before. I’ll have that later this week.