Two years after El Nino's end...

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Two years after El Nino's end...

#1 Postby Andrew92 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:08 pm

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I posted this on another thread that was meant to be light-hearted, even fun, but thought this warranted some kind of discussion on its own too. I recently have done some research into El Nino years and what happens in the immediate years after them. With the exception of Modoki years, I have found no consistent trends with the first year after. But the second year after is another story - again, excepting Modoki's, which I'll discuss a little later.

The trend in the second year after a full El Nino ends? Since 1960, when the satellite era began, every single year that is two years after a full El Nino has ended, has featured at least one hurricane with a pressure of 960 MB or lower strike the United States. There is no exception. Here is a list of the full El Nino events, and then the major hurricane(s) that hit two years after it was over.

Two years after
1957-1958: Donna rakes the entire East Coast.
1965: Beulah slams into the Brownsville area after having previously been a category 5 storm.
1968: Celia runs right into Corpus Christi.
1972: Carmen becomes one of central Louisiana's most intense hurricanes.
1976-1977: Frederic becomes one of the classic Gulf Coast hurricanes.
1982-1983: Elena hits the Gulf, Gloria hits the East Coast - interestingly though, 1983 by East Pacific SST's was La Nina but was El Nino by MEI. Even so, Diana was right off North Carolina in 1984 also with 949 MB of pressure, about as close to landfall as one can get without it actually happening.
1986-1987: Hugo becomes one of South Carolina's worst hurricanes in history.
1991-1994: Fran joins the ranks of destructive North Carolina storms, even compared to Hazel at first.
1997: Bret fortuitously hits the most unpopulated county in south Texas, but Floyd deluges the East Coast, primarily North Carolina and New Jersey.
2002: Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. No further comment.
2006: Category 2's in wind, Gustav threatens a repeat of Katrina, while Ike makes a name for himself in Galveston and Houston.
2009: Even a category 1 in wind can have a pressure that low, just ask those hit by Irene all throughout the East Coast.

This kind of analysis just has to make me think for a second. Why has this happened every second year after an El Nino has passed? And also, will it happen again? This current hurricane season is either in the midst of, or about to go into, full El Nino mode by the looks of it. Of course, this event could last another year as some have in the past. Regardless, this just seems to happen too often to be a mere coincidence; something must be at work. It really makes me wonder just what 2014 might be like.

However, I'm still not quite finished. Some years are Modoki El Nino years, where conditions still remain favorable to a degree in the Atlantic. There are three known Modoki years in my mind: 1963, 1969, and 2004. And here is what happened one year after those El Nino's passed:

1964: Hilda slams into Louisiana as a major hurricane, while Cleo and Dora hit Florida as lesser in intensity but larger in size storms.
1970: Already mentioned Celia above. Freaky this year is both two years after a full and one year after a Modoki!
2005: Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. No more comments.

This is an admittedly very small sample size. However, I may have found a fourth one, albeit weaker. I took a look at this link from the ENSO Updates thread:
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/table.html

What I found is another year I hadn't noticed as a potential El Nino year, 1979. I don't know much about MEI, but .769 was the highest value during that hurricane season itself and seems suggestive of some type of El Nino. That value is comparable with the other Modoki years, though not so much with the full ones. I also took a look at this link provided by Ptarmigan in one of my weekly predictions:
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/da ... intpage.pl

Now try these parameters:
Which Variable? NOAA Extended SST
Level: Surface
Beginning month of season: June
Ending month of season: Dec
Enter only 1979 in years for composites
Skip to Type of comparison: Anomaly, Greater or equal to value

When inputting these parameters on that page, I find a small tongue of slightly above-average waters in the Equatorial Pacific, a bit offshore of South America. Putting all this together, I am wondering if 1979 was a very weak Modoki year as well. If such is the case, the pattern I noted above would indeed be suggestive of a major hurricane hitting in 1980. And what happened that year? Hurricane Allen ran right into Brownsville.

Long discussion, so let's recap in a nutshell. Two years after every full El Nino, a major hurricane has hit the United States. If the year is a Modoki El Nino, it's only one year until that storm hits the United States. Even more amazing is the one-year-after for Modoki's holds true even if that Modoki is also two years after a full El Nino year, though my sample size is still very small. This has happened in every such instance since 1960. If you ask me, this is too frequent to be mere coincidence.

As a last aside, we are still fresh from a period of two straight years without a US hurricane landfall. Every time this has happened, within a few years have come a barrage of hurricanes in one year. 1933, 1985, 2004 (and 2005 too). Another small sample size, but hope all this isn't a harbinger for what 2014 may have in store... I'm definitely enjoying this year while we got it and hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

Thoughts on this trend?

-Andrew92
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#2 Postby Ntxw » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:46 pm

Very good writeup. There does seem to be a correlation. About 1979, it was not El Nino but rather warm-neutral. However, following 1976-1977, 1977-1978 was also an El Nino year which still supports your idea of 1980 (Allen) two years after. Very freaky if you ask me.

ONI is the best source if you want official classification by the CPC of El Nino and La Nina years. MEI is a great indicator but has more variables so not always the same result.

ONI

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov...ensoyears.shtml
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#3 Postby somethingfunny » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:23 am

I think landfalls are completely random events. You can't possibly claim that Irene's landfall was a result of any sort of ENSO-related climatological pattern, yet Earl's recurve wasn't. They were the same storm, separated by about 100 miles... the only difference was the timing of a trough. Can certain ENSO conditions favor more troughs that recurve storms away from the United States? Certainly - but those are the same troughs that bring storms up to the United States from the tropics in the first place. The timing of contact between trough and storm are all that matters. Random events, IMO, that cannot be predicted more than a week or two in advance at best.
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#4 Postby Andrew92 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:23 am

Great link Ntxw, and I had in fact seen that before! Wasn't sure about 1979 but I saw that link about the MEI and when I saw the data for that year it did make me wonder, so thanks for clearing that up there. Of course, I also don't know much about the MEI, at least right now.

Maybe I should have worded this a little better, but I intended to say two years after the most recent El Nino-affected season is when the major hurricane hits the US. It certainly has happened in other years (Carla, Betsy, Camille, Alicia, Andrew, Opal, and Isabel for starters). However, the samples I came up with had a total of 23 hurricanes with this kind of pressure upon striking the United States (after taking out Diana and probably Allen - though warm-neutral years would be good to research too. Also Cleo and Dora didn't technically fit my definition). The total number of major hurricanes to hit the United States in all years since 1960 is 35 (including Diana). 23/35 = 65% of hurricane with pressures like that hitting the States during the second year after an El Nino season, basically doubling the odds.

This could be random, that is true. Like I said, the first year after (unless the El Nino year in question is Modoki) has no noticeable consistent trends. However, just the sheer fact that this has happened every single time since 1960 in the second year after (and first for Modoki, but after only three samples) raises my eyebrows a bit. It just makes me think then once an El Nino passes, there are forces at work to make conditions more favorable and even likely that a big hurricane will hit somewhere in the United States in a couple years. At minimum, this could make a very interesting case study to try out.

-Andrew92
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Re: Two years after El Nino's end...

#5 Postby Houstonia » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:27 am

Andrew92 wrote:[b]2006: Category 2's in wind, Gustav threatens a repeat of Katrina, while Ike makes a name for himself in Galveston and Houston.


Hurricane Ike actually hit Hou/Galv in 2008. Hurricane Isaac was in 2006, and he was a fish, I believe.
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Re: Two years after El Nino's end...

#6 Postby Extratropical94 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:29 am

Houstonia wrote:
Andrew92 wrote:[b]2006: Category 2's in wind, Gustav threatens a repeat of Katrina, while Ike makes a name for himself in Galveston and Houston.


Hurricane Ike actually hit Hou/Galv in 2008. Hurricane Isaac was in 2006, and he was a fish, I believe.


Yeah, that's right, but 2006 was the El Nino year and the powerful hurricanes followed two years later, in 2008.
The first number is to show the year with El Nino conditions, not the year where the hurricanes hit.
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Re: Two years after El Nino's end...

#7 Postby Houstonia » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:30 am

Ah.. okay - I misunderstood. No problem.. Carry on! :oops: :roll: :D
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Re:

#8 Postby Ptarmigan » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:02 am

Ntxw wrote:Very good writeup. There does seem to be a correlation. About 1979, it was not El Nino but rather warm-neutral. However, following 1976-1977, 1977-1978 was also an El Nino year which still supports your idea of 1980 (Allen) two years after. Very freaky if you ask me.

ONI is the best source if you want official classification by the CPC of El Nino and La Nina years. MEI is a great indicator but has more variables so not always the same result.

ONI

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov...ensoyears.shtml


1979 was neutral, including winter of 1978-1979 and 1979-1980. 1979 had Frederic making landfall on the Gulf Coast.

1983 is rather interesting as it went into weak La Nina, yet the season was inactive for the Atlantic. 1983 was inactive in Atlantic due to higher than normal pressure and wind shear. West Pacific and especially East Pacific were very active in 1983.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Atlan ... ane_season
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Pacif ... ane_season
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Pacif ... oon_season

Ntxw wrote:Very good writeup. There does seem to be a correlation. About 1979, it was not El Nino but rather warm-neutral. However, following 1976-1977, 1977-1978 was also an El Nino year which still supports your idea of 1980 (Allen) two years after. Very freaky if you ask me.

ONI is the best source if you want official classification by the CPC of El Nino and La Nina years. MEI is a great indicator but has more variables so not always the same result.

ONI

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov...ensoyears.shtml


1977 was very inactive for Atlantic, East Pacific, and West Pacific.
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#9 Postby Andrew92 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:09 pm

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I made another discovery today on this topic. As you will see, not only is the season two years after an El Nino one, along with one year after a Modoki, more likely to have a major hurricane, but more hurricanes, regardless of category, also hit the United States in these years than any others! And the margins of hurricanes and one's low pressure in these years compared to all the others are staggering.

First, consider that there have been 52 full hurricane seasons in the satellite era, discounting 2012. 73 hurricanes have hit the United States since 1960. I also have a correction from a past post, the number of major hurricanes to hit since then is 34, not the 35 I had mentioned earlier. Again, this includes Diana from 1984 and also Emily from 1993, even though they were technically offshore during their times of minimum pressure and maximum winds, but barely so from North Carolina.

In the 11 years that are two seasons after an El Nino season, combined with the three seasons that follow a Modoki season - 14 seasons total - 37 hurricanes have hit the United States! And 22 of these storms were major hurricanes, or at least had a pressure normally representative of a category 3 or higher storm. That is about half of all the hurricanes, and two thirds of all the majors, that have hit the United States in the satellite era. In just these 14 seasons!

You can do the math from here. Taking out 14 seasons from 52 total leaves 38 seasons. We also accounted for 37 hurricanes out of 73, leaving 36 to go. And 22 out of 34 hit in the aforementioned years, leaving just 12 in these 38.

In one of the usual 38 years, you will usually on average get one hurricane landfall in the US per year, but not always. But in the other 14, you should get an average of two or three hurricanes in the US! But what's more, is that major hurricanes only strike about one every three of the regular to El Nino seasons. In the other 14, one or two strike the US on average. The odds of any hurricane hitting the US two years after an El Nino year, combined with one year after a Modoki, are roughly three times higher than in other years. And with major hurricanes, I thought the odds were double at first, but I was even underestimating that. The odds of a major hurricane for the US in these years are as much as FIVE times higher!

One other interesting note is that in the 38 seasons that don't meet this rule, only seven have had at least two hurricanes hit the US, about 20% of them all. In the other 14, nine seasons have had at least two hurricanes, good for almost 65% of them - tripling the historical odds of two or more hurricanes reaching the US in those years. Also, six of these 14 have three or more make it that far, versus just two in the other 38.

I again have to ask... just what is it about the second year after an El Nino season? Or the first year after a Modoki year?

I'm going to try to research just what happens not only with the El Nino years, but the immediate two years that follow - except just one year after for Modoki's. This process may take a while, but I am very intrigued to see what I come up with. Or maybe, as suggested above, this is just purely random. But until I see proof of it, I'm actually not convinced it's random.

-Andrew92
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#10 Postby Nightwatch » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:44 am

Sorry for asking but what is an Modoki El Nino? :oops: and why is it different from a "normal" El Nino?
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Re:

#11 Postby Ptarmigan » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:51 am

Nightwatch wrote:Sorry for asking but what is an Modoki El Nino? :oops: and why is it different from a "normal" El Nino?


Modoki El Nino happens more in the Central Pacific than East Pacific off the coast of South America.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Niño–Southern_Oscillation
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#12 Postby Andrew92 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:32 am

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I'm working on the research I said I would for the El Nino seasons and the two years that follow. I started in 1960 (which was a second year after an El Nino) and have worked in chronological order. I am currently on 1984 and I am noticing some trends.

Full-on El Nino years, in general, are marked by westerly winds (which are unfavorable for development) in the tropics that overlie easterly trade winds (which are more favorable). Therefore, disturbances trying to become tropical storms or hurricanes in those years usually formed in the subtropical latitudes or in the Gulf of Mexico. Another typical feature I am noticing is weaker than normal high pressure near the Azores. This may help to explain why so few storms that to manage to develop and strengthen in those years, make it further west and instead re-curve to the north.

In the first year after an El Nino, that high pressure ridge usually gets a little stronger. Even so, the westerly winds, at least in 1966, 1969, 1973, and 1978 (all of which came one year after a full El Nino) were still somewhat present. There were more storms developing in the tropics those years as conditions became more favorable, but few were intensifying into anything significant. That's at least in the Main Development Region, excepting Inez in 1966. The caveat to this is the western Caribbean is often a bit more favorable in those year. Inez also re-intensified there, Camille and Francelia (both major hurricanes) formed there in 1969, Brenda formed there in 1973 and was the only hurricane south of 20 degrees latitude that year, and Greta became a powerful hurricane there too in 1978. Stronger ridging, plus these storms forming further west, seems to allow these storms to follow those tracks and reach that favorable area. But the majority of the strong storms in those years still tend to be in the subtropics, and also re-curve quickly to the northeast. Very few storms that form in the Main Development Region the year immediately following an El Nino eventually reach the United States, either by the strong ridging when forming to the west, or a weakness between ridges if they form further east.

Now we get to the main event: the second year after a full El Nino. As mentioned before, ridging is usually weaker in El Nino years. The ridging gets a little stronger once the El Nino subsides a little, but doesn't reach its full strength until the next year. On top of it, troughs to steer hurricanes north have been present in the Midwestern regions, keeping many storms from colliding with Central America or Mexico. Beulah still did hit the Yucatan in 1967 (two years after an El Nino) and then made landfall pretty close to the Texas/Mexico border. I couldn't find anything stated about what caused that northwestward motion. However, I have so far found that a trough over the central United States has steered Donna, Carmen, David, and Frederic - all of which occurred in the second year after an El Nino - northward before they could get too far west in the Gulf of Mexico. I am thinking a similar scenario is likely with Beulah. Carmen actually hit the Yucatan too, but I did read it was a trough that sent that storm north into Louisiana.

And now I get to a bit of a conundrum. It is quite clear than 1982 was a strong El Nino year. What isn't so clear is what we call 1983. According to East Pacific sea surface temperatures, that year turned La Nina during the hurricane season; however, the MEI was still at El Nino thresholds. In addition, that year was continually marked by the same strong shear that ripped apart many disturbances in 1982. But at least Beryl formed from a tropical wave in the Main Development Region that year; no storms formed in 1983 in that area, a very odd occurrence for the year following a full El Nino.

From here, I will use what I am finding in 1984, and what I already know without the full research of 1985 to make some likely conclusions. Only one storm in 1984 became a hurricane south of 20 degrees latitude: Klaus, as it was leaving the eastern Caribbean. Three other weak storms did form in the Main Development Region, but never could get off the ground. The other hurricanes that year all formed slightly further north from frontal or subtropical systems. What's more, the typical strong ridge of high pressure in the second year after an El Nino didn't seem to be present in 1984, and many storms following a westerly flow pattern the subtropical latitudes (that is, quickly turned eastward out to sea). That said, Diana was within 25 miles of Cape Fear as a very powerful storm, and if we are indeed to call 1984 as two years after an El Nino, Diana would probably be the major. I have also read that maximum 1-minute winds reported on land were 52 meters/second, which if I have calculated correctly is about 115 mph, category 3 intensity. Diana is currently listed as striking North Carolina as a category 2, but I would probably raise that to category 3 after seeing this. Then again, I am looking at a document written in 1985 here; not sure if that means anything on an accuracy standpoint but wanted to say it. But it formed from a frontal system; the other storms in the second year after were from classical, Cape Verde type waves. What's more, only one other tropical storm reached the United States that year, Isidore. But that also happened in 1967 (with just Doria) and 1974 (with just an additional subtropical storm) so I digress - but I recall reading that pressures over the southern United States were quite high in those two years, unlike 1960 and 1979.

Ánd then there's 1985. Again, I haven't gotten into that year yet, but here is just what I know. Gloria was the only Cape Verde storm, but it was also the strongest hurricane that year and made it all the way to the East Coast with a pressure normally suggestive of category 3 intensity. Several other tropical storms and hurricanes - most of them weak, except for Elena of course - reached the Gulf Coast or Carolinas that year. Without delving into what the flow patterns were with the storms that year, I am guessing that the strong ridge of high pressure normally seen in the second year after, took place in 1985, not 1984.

In short, I still believe 1983 was an El Nino year for the most part, with 1984 playing the part of the first year after and 1985 the second year. But even if not, 1984 would still fit the bill if Diana counts as a category 3 strike for North Carolina, which I think should after reading about it. I know, she looped offshore and weakened substantially before landfall, but that wind report I discovered makes me think that, plus with 25 miles of Cape Fear is just too close not to count it at that, in my opinion. Helene in 1958 was raised to that intensity for North Carolina even though it was, like Diana, just offshore but producing likely similar weather in that area. And don't forget Emily in 1993, which is counted as a category 3 strike for the Outer Banks, but didn't actually make landfall either and wasn't as strong as Helene or Diana.

But.... I'm also only to 1984. Long ways to go!

-Andrew92
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#13 Postby Andrew92 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:34 pm

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I also just took a look at what the sea surface temperatures were truly like in 1983 in the Eastern Pacific to try to either support or refute the claim some have of La Nina forming. I used the second link in my post above, with the same parameters used for 1979, except of course changing the year to 1983.

What I found is that indeed La Nina appeared to be forming, but the cooler waters in the equatorial Pacific were further away from South America. What's more, warmer anomalies were still very much strong during the hurricane season immediately off the coast.

Take a look at that data for yourself. I am highly convinced that in 1983, we were still very much in El Nino, making 1984 the first year after and 1985 the dreaded second year after. While I had to make some inferences in what happened in 1984, the trend that year tended to follow the trends of 1966, 1969, 1973, and 1978 - all years immediately after an El Nino year. The 1985 flow seems too much more consistent with 1960, 1967, 1970, 1974, and 1979, which were all two years after a full El Nino, than 1984 was. I'm just starting to get to that year, and it indeed does appear a ridge of high pressure in the subtropical Atlantic was weak in 1982 and 1983, strengthened a little more in 1984, and reached full strength in 1985, consistent with all the other patterns up to that point following El Nino years. Of course, I still have to get into years since then, but I am becoming more confident that this is a trend with El Nino's and the immediate years.

My statistical numbers of 37-36 for hurricanes in second year after will have to change even more in favor of those years, to 42-31. Also 23-11 for major hurricanes when comparing second years after El Ninos, to all other seasons. The first number is the second year after value, with the second one all other 38 seasons. When my research is complete, I'll give the even more staggering numbers than I had previously thought (which were scary enough to begin with).

-Andrew92
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Re: Two years after El Nino's end...

#14 Postby euro6208 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:43 pm

the 1983 and 1977 typhoon season although *slow* were very devastating....in 1983, we saw the fastest intensifying tropical cyclone in the world...Super Typhoon Forrest deepened by 100 mb from 976 to 876 in just under 24 hr... WOW! one of the strongest in the wpac.

1977:

Tropical depressions 26
Total storms 20
Typhoons 11
Super typhoons 1

1983:

Tropical depressions 26
Total storms 23
Typhoons 10
Super typhoons 4


slow but still very active....many landfalls over populated areas...there seems to be a connection.....

both seasons are truly remarkable with many landfalls and strong typhoon......what does the 2012 typhoon season bring?
Last edited by euro6208 on Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#15 Postby Andrew92 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:51 am

I don't have any kind of a background on what goes on in the Western Pacific during each type of season. I would probably tend to think there would be more typhoons in El Nino years, for the simple fact that warm waters propogate in that ocean. But then again they are usually further east, off South America instead so a quieter season during a regular El Nino might therefore make sense. Maybe a Modoki year or neutral would be more favorable, with warmer waters further west.... but that's just speculation on my part there. I would need to do plenty more research to figure this one out for sure!

-Andrew92
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Re: Two years after El Nino's end...

#16 Postby SapphireSea » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:51 pm

It's a good analysis. Although, I don't really believe that outside of storm intensity effects though, that ENSO affects the track of storms. I don't see concrete evidence of NAO changing predictably every ENSO cycle and or +2 years. Some years it seems like a strong negative NAO is present in some cycles and yet like in 1990-92 we had a powerful positive NAO which in combination with ENSO allowed Andrew to steer west.

I do wonder though about how shear looked like these years and the next two to see if a reliable cycle can be established to be used as evidence.
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#17 Postby Andrew92 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:44 am

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Well it's been a while in the wake of an active Atlantic and all, but I have come up with some further analysis on this topic... this is long, bear with me.

As said in a previous post, the number of hurricanes to strike the United States since 1960 (excluding Isaac) is 73. 42 of these hurricanes have hit in the second year after an El Nino or first year after a Modoki - which includes 14 seasons. That's an average of 3 hurricanes a year hitting the United States in these years. Contrast that with 31 hurricans in the remaining 38 seasons, which comes to an average of 81.58 percent of all of these seasons having just one landfall. In other words, if it's not the second year after an El Nino or first year after a Modoki, every fifth such year on average does not see a hurricane strike the United States. This makes the odds of the United States getting hit by a hurricane of any category 3.68 times higher in one of these 14 years.

The numbers are even scarier for major hurricanes. I decided to define these not just by category 3 or higher in terms of maximum sustained winds, but also if the pressure was 960 millibars or lower because those storms are typically at least as potentially destructive as a category 3 as defined on that scale. The number of these kinds of storms hitting the United States since 1960 is 34. Of these, 23 have hit in the 14 seasons that are either two years after El Nino or one year after a Modoki. That leaves 11 majors to strike in all the other 38 years. On average, one or two hurricanes strikes the United States in these 14 seasons, and about one major hurricane every three to four seasons of all the other 38 makes it there. The odds of a major hurricane striking the United States in a second year after El Nino or first year after Modoki... an astonishing 5.68 times higher!

These are scary numbers. However, I had to ask myself again, what makes these seasons stick out? It turns out, in all of these years, there has been a negative 500-mb geopotential height anomaly over usually the Midwestern states, coupled with a fairly decent positive anomaly over the western Atlantic. In essence, this leaves a steering flow to allow hurricanes that reach this far west (and many do in these seasons) to then turn to the north once they reach longitudes near the United States. Usually, the negative anomaly is over about the center of the Great Plains. Sometimes it's stronger like in years like 1996 and 2011, and sometimes it's weaker like in years like 1979 and 1985.

I also looked at the number of tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes to take place in the Gulf of Mexico in the second year after El Nino and first year after Modoki, versus the remaining 38 seasons. The numbers go like this:

Second year after El Nino/first year after Modoki: 59/33/21 in 14 seasons
The remaining years: 97/48/17 in 38 seasons

That may sound like more tropical storms and hurricanes do their share of damage in the 38 seasons. But two more majors have happened in the 14 seasons than in all the other 38 in the Gulf. Yikes! What's more, when running the numbers, about two to three tropical storms on average reach the Gulf in the 38 latter seasons, but that's compared to roughly four storms in the 14 seasons either two years after an El Nino or one year after a Modoki. What's more is that not only is a there a higher number of storms in these 14 years, but they are more intense in the Gulf in these years too! Only a slightly higher percentage become hurricanes in these years (55.9 percent versus 49.5 percent), but many more become majors here per capita in these 14 than in all the other 38 - nearly twice as many in fact (33.9 percent in the 14 years versus 18.6 percent in the other 38). As for major hurricanes per hurricane, how about 60.6 percent in the second year after El Nino or first year after Modoki, compared to 37.5 percent in the other 38.

Here's another eyepopping stat. 13 years of the aforementioned 38 have had at least one major hurricane in the Gulf, or about one third of these years. What's more is that only four of these years (1966, 1975, 2002, and 2010) had two majors in the Gulf (remember I am also counting storms of 960 millibars or lower regardless of Saffir/Simpson category, which would include Alex). Also, three of these seasons did not see one tropical storm take place in the Gulf - 1962, 1981, and 1991. But in the 14 years coming either two years after an El Nino or one year after a Modoki, each year has seen at least one hurricane in the Gulf, and only three years have not had a single major in the Gulf - 1989, 1996, and 2011. I will admit that Dolly in 1996 and Nate in 2011 barely qualify as hurricanes, but at least were for a brief period in the Gulf nonetheless. But in any event, your chances of one major hurricane in the Gulf are a little over twice as high in a second year after El Nino or first year after Modoki, than in any other season.

But what happened in 1989, 1996, and 2011? I was intrigued to find out these results compared to the other eleven years. It turns out that 1989 was a fairly typical year, and three storms hit the Gulf, with two as hurricanes. But what's more is that the Gulf very easily might have been hit by another overlooked storm that year... if not for Iris developing right behind Hugo and tracking right into its shear. That storm's remnant low actually reached the south Florida Coast, and with the steering currents in the Gulf that year, I have to think that area got really lucky in spite of Hugo that Iris didn't survive its outflow. In 1996 and 2011, the negative anomalies reached further east going slightly off the East Coast. This made it easier for long-tracking storms to re-curve a bit further east, with still one or two fairly significant storms reaching the coast, like Bertha and Fran in 1996, and Irene last year.

In short, in any year, but usually if it's the year after a Modoki or the second year after an El Nino, watch out for a fairly strong negative height anomaly over probably the Great Plains but could also go further east, and at least a decent if not fairly strong positive anomaly over the western Atlantic. This allows tropical storms and hurricanes to travel further west and if little wind shear is present and the air is unstable, big problems will usually ensue in these types of years. I have only seen 1961 (with Carla), 1975 (with Eloise), and 1992 (with Andrew) come close to this same type of pattern of the other 38 seasons that do not fit this category.

-Andrew92
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Re: Two years after El Nino's end...

#18 Postby brunota2003 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:00 am

Kind of going along with this (not the 2 year thing, but ENSO wise), here is a study I did while in Iraq:

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=107692
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Re: Two years after El Nino's end...

#19 Postby decordova33 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:30 am

brunota2003 wrote:Kind of going along with this (not the 2 year thing, but ENSO wise), here is a study I did while in Iraq:

http://storm2k.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=107692price cohiba 1966


This is very interesting study, I have few question but I think it would be better if I asked them their..
Last edited by decordova33 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Two years after El Nino's end...

#20 Postby HurricaneFan » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:12 pm

Quite interesting study.So does this year count as a Modoki El Nino?If so,would that mean that Cape Verde Storms have a better chance of moving more to the west in Hurricane Season 2013?
I would think there is a greater chance of a La Nina or Neutral conditions then El Nino for Hurricane Season 2013,don't you think so?
I noticed in your first post you said you hope it wasn't a harbinger for 2014,but doesn't the theory apply more to 2013?
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