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Florida is Safe... For Now

Here we are, a week into hurricane season, and there has been nary a mention of tropical development from the National Hurricane Center. Why? To butcher a quote from Billy Madison, "It's too damn cold for a hurricane around here!" Sea-surface temperatures are much cooler than they were at this time last year in the early season development region, the Gulf of Mexico and the Western Carribean Sea (Figure 1). As a matter of fact, some places in the Gulf are cooler than their climatological average.

Figure 1. Sea-surface temperature (SST) anomalies for A) June 3, 2006 and B) June 4, 2005. Warmer colors indicate warmer than climatological average SSTs and cooler colors indicate cooler than climatological average SSTs (Source: NOAA)

While extremely warm SSTs are not necessary for tropical development, the warmer the sea surface is, the more likely inhibiting factors, such as shear, can be overcome. In the mean time, for the last three days, both the WRF and Canadian models have been forecasting tropical development 84 hours from now (Figure 2). I don't see this scenario playing out because there is nothing out there right now for a storm to develop from. So, for the next week or so, it looks like the Atlantic should be quiet and it's not quite time to invest in that Home Depot stock.
Figure 2. Forecast Mean Sea Level Pressure field from the Canadian computer model valid at 8AM EDT on June 10, 2006. Cooler colors indicate lower pressure. Notice the tropical storm forecast between the Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba. (Source: Penn State)

Posted by Adam Moyer | Permalink