Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tropics Train

In a year that has already seen 12 named storms, the Atlantic basin looks to be just now reaching its stride. Yesterday, Hurricane Katia reached Category 4 status with sustained winds of 135 mph. Making it the strongest storm so far in the 2011 year.

[caption id="attachment_2242" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Hurricane Katia forecasted path"][/caption]

In additon to Katia, the National Hurricane Center is investigating at least 3 more areas for possible development in the next 48 hours.

[caption id="attachment_2243" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Red Circle will likely become the next tropical storm by WED"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2244" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Investigation area, near the Cape Verde Islands"][/caption]

As a testiment to just how far long-range tropical forecasts are coming, take a look at the official National Hurricane Center forecasts from earlier this year:

The conditions expected this year have historically produced some active Atlantic hurricane seasons. Therefore, the 2011 season could see activity comparable to a number of active seasons since 1995. We estimate a 70% probability for each of the following ranges of activity during 2011:

  • 12-18 Named Storms,

  • 6-10 Hurricanes

  • 3-6 Major Hurricanes

  • An ACE range of 105%-200% of the 1981-2010 median.