Thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season

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Thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season

#1 Postby CyclonicFury » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:57 pm

It's still very early but based on current model signals, I think the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season could be another active one (though probably less active than this year). Unlike this time last year, models do not seem enthusiastic on El Nino development this summer. Although the models are only showing near-normal SSTs for the Atlantic MDR, I'm taking this with a grain of salt since most models actually showed below-normal SSTs for the MDR this season in the long range and the opposite verified (if I remember correctly, Atlantic MDR SSTs were the third warmest on record behind only 2010 and 2005).

With La Nina conditions expected to persist for the next few months (and neutral conditions likely continuing through at least early-mid summer afterwards), chances of a significant El Nino forming in 2018 appear to be low, though predicting ENSO from this range is a challenge (look at how the El Nino forecasts busted this season)! It seems rare to see La Nina quickly transition to El Nino, usually there is a neutral year or two in between. Also, it appears as if we are still in the active era which began in 1995, and the North Atlantic cold blob appears to have nearly dissipated. Although it is only late November, conditions definitely appear to favor an active season next year unless El Nino forms rapidly or we see another AMOC/THC crash like 2013, which isn't the likeliest scenario. :uarrow:
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#2 Postby CrazyC83 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:15 pm

CyclonicFury wrote:It's still very early but based on current model signals, I think the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season could be another active one (though probably less active than this year). Unlike this time last year, models do not seem enthusiastic on El Nino development this summer. Although the models are only showing near-normal SSTs for the Atlantic MDR, I'm taking this with a grain of salt since most models actually showed below-normal SSTs for the MDR this season in the long range and the opposite verified (if I remember correctly, Atlantic MDR SSTs were the third warmest on record behind only 2010 and 2005).

With La Nina conditions expected to persist for the next few months (and neutral conditions likely continuing through at least early-mid summer afterwards), chances of a significant El Nino forming in 2018 appear to be low, though predicting ENSO from this range is a challenge (look at how the El Nino forecasts busted this season)! It seems rare to see La Nina quickly transition to El Nino, usually there is a neutral year or two in between. Also, it appears as if we are still in the active era which began in 1995, and the North Atlantic cold blob appears to have nearly dissipated. Although it is only late November, conditions definitely appear to favor an active season next year unless El Nino forms rapidly or we see another AMOC/THC crash like 2013, which isn't the likeliest scenario. :uarrow:


I'm in complete agreement as well. I don't see anything at this time to suggest things to quiet, unless a midsummer ENSO change or another THC crash. The only year I can think of recently with a sharp change to El Nino was 2006. That said, a season of similar activity requires the deep tropics east of the islands to be favorable as well, which was the first time since 2010 that they were to any significant degree.

I'd say the likelihood for each type:
* "Dead" season (i.e. 2013) - 5%
* Below average (i.e. 2014, 2015) - 10%
* Near average (i.e. 2007) - 20%
* Above average (i.e. 2011, 2016) - 25%
* Well above average (i.e. 2010, 2017) - 25%
* Near record season (i.e. 2005) - 15%

Admittedly our record the last 12 years have been pathetic this far out:

2017 - Consensus: near average; result: well above average
2016 - Consensus: above average; result: above average (correct!)
2015 - Consensus: dead; result: below average
2014 - Consensus: below average; result: below average (correct!)
2013 - Consensus: above average; result: dead (BUST!!!)
2012 - Consensus: near average; result: above average
2011 - Consensus: well above average; result: above average
2010 - Consensus: above average; result: well above average
2009 - Consensus: below average; result: below average
2008 - Consensus: above average; result: above average (correct!)
2007 - Consensus: above average; result: near average
2006 - Consensus: near record season; result: near average (BUST!!!)
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#3 Postby TheStormExpert » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:52 pm

Way too soon to say but I’m concerned that 2018 could be a high impact season if not worse than this season. Think 2004/2005, 1932/1933, or even 1886/1887. Someone said that 2004 was a good indication or precursor to 2005. Hopefully the same can’t be said about 2017!
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#4 Postby Shell Mound » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:14 pm

Image

The CFSv2 long-range SST forecast correctly anticipated the +IOD (warm Indian Ocean, cool Indonesia) and +AMO (warm eastern and tropical Atlantic) well in advance. Only the ENSO and PDO were off, with both being more negative than originally forecast. If anything, the MDR verified a bit warmer than forecast, though the far North Atlantic was just a tad cooler. Still, the cold pool up there is weaker than in recent winters.
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#5 Postby CrazyC83 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:08 pm

TheStormExpert wrote:Way too soon to say but I’m concerned that 2018 could be a high impact season if not worse than this season. Think 2004/2005, 1932/1933, or even 1886/1887. Someone said that 2004 was a good indication or precursor to 2005. Hopefully the same can’t be said about 2017!


1954/1955 is another one that comes to mind.
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#6 Postby Andrew92 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:28 pm

If the models were that wrong thinking an El Nino would develop and it didn't, how much more trustworthy are they if they call for La Nina next year? I don't recall an El Nino being predicted well in advance of 2006, but it happened. I'm not saying it will happen, just offering food for thought.

Setting that aside, even if there is no El Nino, let's see here. It would be three years after the last traditional El Nino. These years can indeed be quite busy overall. However, the last three to meet this criteria - 1990, 2000, and 2012 - were primarily at their busiest far at sea and away from land. Each year did have a nasty one though that hit land, usually south of the US, though 2012 did bring Isaac and Sandy. However, it was the first time the US took a really bad one three years after an El Nino since 1975 - which was the first time since 1950. Not a particularly common event, to say the least, but it still needs to be considered.

If no El Nino materializes, I definitely wouldn't bet against at least one rough storm somewhere in the Atlantic. But it probably would unleash its fury in the Caribbean, Central America, or Mexico if I had to guess. The US could still get easily take one or two hurricanes easily though, so it would be foolish for anyone living in hurricane territory to let their guard down (even if they're no stronger than a storm like Isaac was). Of course, that should be conventional wisdom every year.

If El Nino surprises us, well I think we know the drill (unless maybe we have a classical Modoki event, featuring a cool EPAC). But never, ever let your guard down even if it does take shape.

-Andrew92
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#7 Postby Hurricaneman » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:46 am

The 2017 hurricane season basically had a near El Niño madoki early in the season that transitioned into a La Niña around the peak so It could be closer to what a year after a madoki type season could bring but am not going gung ho just yet, we have to see how the factors line up in May to see where 2018 might go
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#8 Postby chaser1 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:47 am

With absolutely ZERO science to support this forecast, my gut tells me that next year will be fairly prolific.... however less extreme in terms of Cat. 4 & 5 landfalls. That said, I get the sense that sub tropic and far north Atlantic waters will be anomalously warm which will result in longer tracks and farther north development. In terms of land impact, I'd guess that the year will prove more pesky than outright severe with about four Cat. 1 and 2 landfalls along the N. Gulf Coast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast Conus. I'm guessing that ACE will likely be fairly high given an over active year of slower moving and longer track systems. Overall, I think next year will exhibit tracks that will be a bit more pole-ward in motion and greatest (or more frequent) threat being to E. Cuba, the D.R./Haiti, Bahamas, Carolina's and points northward along the U.S. coastline, and Bermuda. My early-early-early gut prediction for next year is 19/13/4. Quirky side-note to next year; I'm going to guess that overall system size will be larger than over the past couple of years AND that we'll witness one of the largest ever recorded (fully tropical) hurricanes as it potentially trolls Bermuda but harmlessly well east of the U.S. Conus.

(disclaimer: this forecast is likely heavily weighted as a result of eating way too much lasagna, far too late at night. Furthermore, in the event of a massive volcanic eruption during Spring 2018 resulting in Nuclear Winter, all bets are off)
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#9 Postby CyclonicFury » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:25 am

One thing that will be interesting for next season: will we see another year with strong hurricanes in the MDR or will we see a return to 2012-16 ways in that part of the basin? I’m also interested to see if we get that long awaited Northwestern Caribbean major hurricane - we haven’t had one since Rina in 2011. Another thing I’m interested to see is could we see some early hurricanes, as soon as July? Still a large range of possibilities for next season but right now I’d say chances of an above normal season are higher than the opposite.
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#10 Postby xtyphooncyclonex » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:32 am

A little off topic: This guy is no meteorologist, but seeing his track record this might raise some eyebrows. "Record level hurricanes in the Caribbean," he said.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 51016.html

Back again, I think the 2018 season would be a significant season for the entirety of the Northern Hemisphere. As for the Atlantic, I see +AMO and a La Niña as possible factors in making the next hurricane season potentially hyperactive. Never have I predicted an above-average season so far, given that I did not vote in 2017 and for the past few years, I have been near- to below-normal seasons with 2014 and performing best on ACE. We might anticipate a historic season with high ACE (possibly over 200), an influx of hurricanes and major hurricanes striking the Americas & the Caribbean and changes to hurricane tracking amd preparation for good.
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#11 Postby Kazmit » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:38 am

A lot of times in the past, active seasons have clumped together into groups of three (2003, 2004, 2005 or 2010, 2011, 2012 for example). So while this definitely doesn't necessarily mean that 2018 will be active as well after 2016 and 2017, my gut feeling is telling me that this might happen for next year.
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Florence 2006, Bertha 2008, Igor 2010, Gabrielle 2013, Fay 2014, Gonzalo 2014, Joaquin 2015, Karl 2016, Nicole 2016

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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#12 Postby CyclonicFury » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:01 am

Hard to trust CFSv2’s early ENSO forecasts after the last few years, but only one ensemble member out of over 20 is predicting El Niño conditions to develop by JJA 2018 (and it is an outlier, predicting super Niño conditions). The ensemble mean keeps ENSO around Weak La Niña conditions through that time. Image
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#13 Postby Shell Mound » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:52 pm

Regardless of overall activity, there has been a notable trend toward stronger subtropical ridging since 2014, with the ridge axis extending farther south and west. Furthermore, the mean trough to the southeast of Greenland, coupled with ridging to the north of Hudson Bay, is a classic -NAO signature, which tends to support weaker trades over the tropical Atlantic, hence warmer sea-surface temperatures there, and also supports more westerly tracks toward the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, the pattern supports a threat to the (mainland) Southeastern U.S., so long as the NAO is not strongly negative. A strongly -NAO, as in 2010, would allow storms that form in the deep tropics to curve eastward of the U.S. However, a weakly or moderately -NAO would support threats from Florida to the Carolinas. If the trend toward a summertime -NAO and stronger subtropical ridging continues into 2018, I would anticipate additional landfalls from the Caribbean to the Southeastern U.S. If anything, the mean storm tracks have been shifting westward each season since 2015, with this year featuring the most westerly yet. An extrapolation would suggest even more of a zonal, east-to-west tendency in 2018, perhaps similar to 1926, 1933, and/or 2004, in which storms do not curve sharply but gently. That would mean fewer Irma-type, poleward-turning tracks and a greater likelihood that storms would track west-northwestward, passing over South Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico. What counts most are tracks and intensities (ACE), not storm totals. "It only takes one." However, if neutral ENSO, the +AMO, a -PDO, and an active African monsoon were to prevail, then I would expect levels of activity similar to or greater than in 2017. A preliminary guess for this scenario would be eighteen to twenty named storms, ten to twelve hurricanes, and six to eight major hurricanes, with an ACE equal to or greater than that of 2017.
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#14 Postby Alyono » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:17 pm

CyclonicFury wrote:Hard to trust CFSv2’s early ENSO forecasts after the last few years, but only one ensemble member out of over 20 is predicting El Niño conditions to develop by JJA 2018 (and it is an outlier, predicting super Niño conditions). The ensemble mean keeps ENSO around Weak La Niña conditions through that time. Image


given the CFS track record, this probably means a good chance of el niño
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#15 Postby Shell Mound » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:27 pm

Image

Source: https://tropical.colostate.edu/media/sites/111/2017/11/2017-11.pdf (p. 32)

Considering that this year featured only a slightly-above-average (essentially near-normal) AMO and still yielded one of the top-ten most intense seasons on record since 1851, I would be potentially concerned about the 2018 season, especially if neutral ENSO holds. Despite a near-average AMO and rather cool SST anomalies in the far North Atlantic, all other factors were as good as they get: active African monsoon, near-record-high tropical-Atlantic (MDR, Caribbean, Gulf) SST anomalies, very low vertical wind shear during peak season, conducive MJO phase during "prime time," cool neutral ENSO to weak La Niña (reflected in the atmospheric response as well), and (in stark contrast to recent seasons) above-average moisture in the basin. Most important of all: a strong, west-based subtropical ridge to steer the storms that did form toward land. The result: an epic, destructive season. This goes to show that year-to-year variability is extremely important, and that one negative factor does not outweigh all other indicators; indeed, all the features interact somewhat differently each year, and a slightly different combination can bring vastly different results.
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#16 Postby CyclonicFury » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:35 pm

Shell Mound wrote:Image

Source: https://tropical.colostate.edu/media/sites/111/2017/11/2017-11.pdf (p. 32)

Considering that this year featured only a slightly-above-average (essentially near-normal) AMO and still yielded one of the top-ten most intense seasons on record since 1851, I would be potentially concerned about the 2018 season, especially if neutral ENSO holds. Despite a near-average AMO and rather cool SST anomalies in the far North Atlantic, all other factors were as good as they get: active African monsoon, near-record-high tropical-Atlantic (MDR, Caribbean, Gulf) SST anomalies, very low vertical wind shear during peak season, conducive MJO phase during "prime time," cool neutral ENSO to weak La Niña (reflected in the atmospheric response as well), and (in stark contrast to recent seasons) above-average moisture in the basin. Most important of all: a strong, west-based subtropical ridge to steer the storms that did form toward land. The result: an epic, destructive season. This goes to show that year-to-year variability is extremely important, and that one negative factor does not outweigh all other indicators; indeed, all the features interact somewhat differently each year, and a slightly different combination can bring vastly different results.

Something interesting to ponder about this coming season is how the far North Atlantic is warmer than normal instead of colder than normal like most recent winters.
Image
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#17 Postby Shell Mound » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:49 pm

CyclonicFury wrote:
Shell Mound wrote:https://i.imgur.com/AzyMkov.png

Source: https://tropical.colostate.edu/media/sites/111/2017/11/2017-11.pdf (p. 32)

Considering that this year featured only a slightly-above-average (essentially near-normal) AMO and still yielded one of the top-ten most intense seasons on record since 1851, I would be potentially concerned about the 2018 season, especially if neutral ENSO holds. Despite a near-average AMO and rather cool SST anomalies in the far North Atlantic, all other factors were as good as they get: active African monsoon, near-record-high tropical-Atlantic (MDR, Caribbean, Gulf) SST anomalies, very low vertical wind shear during peak season, conducive MJO phase during "prime time," cool neutral ENSO to weak La Niña (reflected in the atmospheric response as well), and (in stark contrast to recent seasons) above-average moisture in the basin. Most important of all: a strong, west-based subtropical ridge to steer the storms that did form toward land. The result: an epic, destructive season. This goes to show that year-to-year variability is extremely important, and that one negative factor does not outweigh all other indicators; indeed, all the features interact somewhat differently each year, and a slightly different combination can bring vastly different results.

Something interesting to ponder about this coming season is how the far North Atlantic is warmer than normal instead of colder than normal like most recent winters.
https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/ocean/natlssta.png

For the sake of the argument, let's assume the following parameters hold through next spring and early summer:

  1. Neutral ENSO or even a double-dip La Niña (important thing is that El Niño doesn't disrupt peak season, Aug—Oct)
  2. The tropical-Atlantic (MDR, Caribbean, Gulf) SSTs remain sharply positive/above average
  3. The wintertime and early-spring SSTs in the far North Atlantic are no cooler than in the past winter/spring
  4. The AMO trend continues and ends up even warmer (vs. 2017) during this coming winter/spring
  5. The active African monsoon of the past few seasons remains in effect through peak season
  6. The PDO continues its more-negative or neutral orientation vs. the (strongly positive) past several seasons
  7. The Bermuda-Azores high (and storm tracks) continues to trend more southwesterly, as it has since 2014
If these conditions were to be met, I would expect 2018 to be at least as and probably even more active than 2017, both ACE- and numbers-wise. With the ridge in place, damages could be potentially as great as those of 2017, if not greater. Add maybe three or four additional storms to this year's totals, including up to three more hurricanes and a few extra majors. You'd end up with nineteen to twenty named storms, up to thirteen hurricanes, and as many as eight majors, which would break the record of seven (2005). Unlike in 2017, the ACE index would likely approach the seasonal record of 259 (1933), if not exceed it. This is only a what-if scenario, hopefully! :eek:
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#18 Postby NotSparta » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:48 am

As most others here are, I'm predicting that the 2018 season will be another active one, since the +AMO has strengthened, and since an El Nino isn't really expected, plus 2017's similarity to 2004 is making me worry about 2018
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#19 Postby Shell Mound » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:24 pm

NotSparta wrote:As most others here are, I'm predicting that the 2018 season will be another active one, since the +AMO has strengthened, and since an El Nino isn't really expected, plus 2017's similarity to 2004 is making me worry about 2018

Plus, we don't need the storms in 2018 to be radioactive with fallout. :eek: I won't discuss further, but with wildfires and other hazards, recovering communities don't need yet another variable in play...it's rather scary that previously unthinkable combinations could be in play next year. So far, with the NAO forecast to be strongly negative over the coming week, those trade winds should remain rather weak over the tropics, thus sustaining the still-very-warm SSTs between Africa and the Caribbean.
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Re: Very early thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

#20 Postby AxaltaRacing24 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:35 pm

NotSparta wrote:As most others here are, I'm predicting that the 2018 season will be another active one, since the +AMO has strengthened, and since an El Nino isn't really expected, plus 2017's similarity to 2004 is making me worry about 2018

Yes. The more distant the 2017 season becomes, the closer it looks to 2004. What could possibly be following after 2017 is the concerning part.
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