NOAA is predicting a very high likelihood (85% chance) of an above-normal 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 5% chance of a below-normal season, according to a consensus of scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Research Division, and Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. At the same time, the upper bound for ACE has dropped slightly to 200% (from 210% in May), and the maximum expected number of hurricanes has dropped slightly to 9 (from 10 in May).
There is a strong inverse relationship between eastern Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, primarily because similar circulation anomalies impact the basins oppositely through differing climatological flow patterns. 1) It is currently not possible to confidently predict at these extended ranges the number or intensity of landfalling hurricanes, or whether a particular locality will be impacted by a hurricane this season.
Tropical cyclones, which are simply low-pressure systems that have developed over tropical or sub-tropical waters, are the starting point for a hurricane. As a general rule of thumb, the hurricane’s right side (relative to the direction it is traveling) is the most dangerous part of the storm because of the additive effect of the hurricane wind speed and the speed of the larger atmospheric flow (steering winds). Even though hurricane winds are deadly enough on their own, hurricanes also bring with them storm surges, floods and tornadoes that have their own devastating effects. The National Weather Service along with other agencies has several tools to monitor hurricanes. In 1938, taking 600 lives, a huge hurricane pounded New England causing $4.1 billion dollars in damage.
Hurricane Andrew gave no mercy when in 1992 it claimed 26 lives and added up to a whopping $26.5 billion in damage. The intensity of the hurricane is an indicator of damage potential, however, impacts are a function of where and when the storm strikes. The year 1972 brought Hurricane Agnus, also a category 1 hurricane, ranking 5th deadliest with damages estimated at $6.9 billion. The air in which the hurricane is embedded is constantly moving and changing, containing high and low pressure systems that can greatly alter the speed and path of the hurricane.
Along the coast, storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane. NOAA classifies nine of the last twelve hurricane seasons as above normal, with seven being hyperactive.
The Climate Prediction Center is currently indicating a slightly greater than 50% chance that La Niña will develop during the peak of the hurricane season. Many combinations of named storms and hurricanes can occur for the same general set of climate conditions. When winds of a tropical storm (39-73 mph) reach a constant speed of 74 mph or greater the storm can then be classified as a hurricane.
The increased winds on the right side increase the storm surge; wreaking havoc on cities located to the top right of a hurricane when it makes landfall. If the right conditions persist long enough, they can combine to produce the violent conditions of a hurricane. With more than half the damage occurring in North Carolina, it was the most expensive hurricane in US history at that time. Wind shear alone can tear the hurricane apart, but other factors such as moving over cooler water or drier areas can lead to the weakening as well. The one piece to the puzzle that we are missing is what causes hurricanes to move the way they do, switch directions and why they suddenly intensify.
This combination of conditions is known to produce high levels of Atlantic hurricane activity.
Time series of key atmospheric wind parameters highlight the dramatic differences between these above-normal and below-normal hurricane eras. Tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes are all examples of tropical cyclones. Dependence on hurricane factors energy imports from Arizona, an ongoing they are confronted by two diverse terms - Enterprise Continuity Program.
The 2007 outlook calls for a likely range of 13-16 named storms, 7-9 hurricanes, and 3-5 major hurricanes. An important measure of the total seasonal activity is NOAA’s Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index, which accounts for the collective intensity and duration of Atlantic named storms and hurricanes during the hurricane season. The majority of tropical storms and hurricanes during 2007 are expected to form over the tropical Atlantic Ocean, which is typical for above-normal seasons.
Atlantic hurricane seasons exhibit prolonged periods, lasting decades, of generally above-normal or below-normal activity. The regional atmospheric circulation contributing to these long-period fluctuations in hurricane activity is strongly linked to the tropics-wide multi-decadal signal (Bell and Chelliah, 2006).

Other ongoing regional aspects of the multi-decadal signal again expected during the 2007 hurricane season include 1) lower surface air pressure, and increased moisture across the tropical Atlantic, 2) an amplified ridge at upper levels across the central and eastern subtropical North Atlantic, 3) reduced vertical wind shear in the MDR, which results from an expanded area of easterly winds in the upper atmosphere (green arrows) and weaker easterly trade winds in the lower atmosphere (dark blue arrows), and 4) weaker easterly winds in the middle and lower atmosphere, which produce a configuration of the African easterly jet (wavy blue arrow) that favors hurricane development from tropical waves moving westward from the African coast.
The second key predictor for the 2007 hurricane season is the possibility of a La Niña episode in the tropical Pacific during ASO.
The second source of uncertainty is whether conditions over the eastern tropical Atlantic will continue to become increasingly conducive for hurricane formation. 2) Far more damage can be done by one major hurricane hitting a heavily populated area than by several hurricanes hitting sparsely populated areas. Whether you live on the coast, have a condo in the Florida panhandle or are vacationing in the warm tropics of the Caribbean, hurricanes pose an enormous threat to humans and their habitat.
Typically, the season for the Atlantic Basin (Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico) runs from June 1 to November 30, with hurricanes ranging up to 400 miles in diameter.
Hurricanes gain their strength from low surface pressure, evaporation off warm seas; any condensation in the air and clouds that may already be present in the area.
The risk of flooding depends on a number of factors: the speed of the storm, its interactions with other weather systems, the terrain it encounters, and ground saturation. The life of a hurricane can last more than two weeks over open waters and can run a path across the entire length of the eastern seaboard.
Although tropical storms can rapidly intensify, very few of them ever become hurricanes at all. The components needed for a hurricane include a pre-existing weather disturbance, warm tropical oceans (at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit to a depth of about 150 feet), moisture, and relatively light winds. Although the US National Weather Service started using lists of names to identify hurricanes in 1953, giving names to hurricanes actually began hundreds of years ago.
Hurricane names are chosen from a list selected by the World Meteorological Organization, which uses six lists in rotation and these same lists are reused every six years. That flow can easily bring hurricanes toward the East Coast, but it generally carries them away from the West Coast. Over the past 20 years, improvements in hurricane computer modeling, observational instrumentation and better training for forecasters have greatly increased forecast accuracy. Organizations, like the National Hurricane Centre near Miami, constantly watch the North Atlantic, Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico waters for tropical disturbances. Once these disturbances reach a certain wind speed and are moving in a circular pattern they are immediately reported as tropical storms, which can then grow into hurricanes. Hurricane – a warm core tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph (64 kt). Eye Wall – location within a hurricane where the most damaging winds and intense rainfall are found.
In 1900, a hurricane demolished Galveston, Texas, racking up to over $809 million dollars in damage and over 8000 lives lost. Through research and technology we have been able to determine the time of year hurricanes take place, how they are formed and how to evacuate towns and cities when the threat to the coastlines becomes too great.
Its purpose is to provide a preview and solicit comments of an ongoing redesign of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) website.
The 2007 season is expected to become the tenth above-normal season since the current active hurricane era began twelve years ago (in 1995). The significantly below-average eastern Pacific activity to date increases our confidence for an active Atlantic hurricane season. Consequently, La Nina is typically more conducive to increased Atlantic hurricane activity (Gray 1984).
The term hurricane is adapted to any such storm occurring in the North Atlantic, but be aware that in other parts of the world they are referred to as typhoons and severe tropical cyclones. The danger with tornadoes spawned by hurricanes is the lack of warning signs that people associate with them. While they are still far out in the ocean, indirect measurements of tropical storm and hurricane dimensions as well as their wind speeds using satellites are the main tool, although ships and buoys also provide observations.
Once a hurricane moves inland its main moisture source is cut off, and its movement can be reduced by friction with terrain. They have not yet found any relation between storm activity early in the hurricane season and activity in the rest of the period.
Historically, similar conditions have typically produced 2-4 hurricane strikes in the continental United States and 2-3 hurricanes in the region around the Caribbean Sea.
This La Niña-like pattern of tropical convection has already acted to suppress the East Pacific hurricane season.

If, however, the weakening hurricane moves into a more favourable region or interacts with mid-latitude frontal systems, the hurricane or tropical cyclone can re-intensify.
The ACE index is also used to define above-, near-, and below-normal hurricane seasons (see Background Information). Therefore, hurricane-spawned disasters can occur even in years with near-normal or below-normal levels of activity. Many of these remain over the ocean, with approximately six of these storms becoming hurricanes each year. They can be 50-300 miles long and can extend hundreds of miles from the centre, usually having hurricane or tropical storm-force winds. Flooding is not only caused by storm surges, but also by torrential rains that hurricanes bring, which can reach hundreds of miles inland.
A storm surge is a large dome of water, 50-100 miles wide, which sweeps across the coastline near where a hurricane makes landfall.
There are certain factors and stages that a storm must go through in order to develop into a threatening tropical cyclone. Thanks to recent technology, predicting a hurricane's intensity may be getting a little easier.
Current research is showing promise for forecasting annual tropical storm and hurricane activity a year or more in advance but there are no techniques that can make long-range predictions of the specific locations where hurricanes will strike. This outlook is general guide to the expected overall activity during the hurricane season. Even with ENSO-neutral conditions, the combination of an active hurricane era with the ongoing La Niña-like pattern of tropical convection and winds produces a very high probability of an above-normal season. Some hurricanes follow a fairly straight course, while others loop and zigzag along the path. These ranges are slightly tighter than those predicted in May (13-17 named storms, 7-10 hurricanes, 3-5 major hurricanes, and an ACE range of 125%-210%).
However, the latest Climate Forecast System (CFS) forecast from the NOAA Environmental Monitoring Center indicates a continuation during ASO of near-average temperatures in the eastern tropical Atlantic, suggesting atmospheric conditions might be slightly less conducive to hurricane formation than current trends indicate. Chelliah, 2006: Leading tropical modes associated with interannual and multi-decadal fluctuations in North Atlantic hurricane activity.
In an average 3-year period, roughly five hurricanes strike the United States coastline, anywhere from Texas to Maine, also affecting the lower eastern coastline of Canada. Driven by high winds, any hurricane that makes a perpendicular landfall or hits at high tide creates tremendous damage. The only time a new name is added is when a hurricane has been so deadly or costly that its name is retired. Using a satellite equipped with radar, meteorologists have been producing stunning pictures of the internal structures within a hurricane.
American Red Cross all provide important hurricane preparedness information on their web sites. The tighter ranges reflect not only an increased confidence for an above normal season, but also a reduced likelihood of seeing as many as 10 hurricanes and 17 named storms.
Based on this predicted ACE range, and on the 85% probability of an above-normal season, we expect a likely range of 13-16 named storms, 7-9 hurricanes, and 3-5 major hurricanes [categories 3-4-5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale]. This predicted ACE range can be satisfied even if the numbers of named storms, hurricanes, or major hurricanes fall outside their expected ranges. However, it is currently not possible to confidently predict at these extended ranges the number or intensity of landfalling hurricanes, or whether a given locality will be impacted by a hurricane this season.
Moreover, the nation's second most damaging hurricane, Andrew in 1992, occurred during a season with otherwise below normal activity.
In extremely strong hurricanes, such as Hurricane Andrew, the winds can be strong enough to collapse any weak parts of a house. If this turns out to be true, meteorologists will be able to predict whether a hurricane will weaken or intensify just before landfall.
Emergency officials will be able to evacuate cities when needed and prevent innocent people from being trapped in an unexpected category 4 or 5 hurricane.

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