The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
-Psalm 19:1

Do you know that God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?
-Job 37:15

Monday, May 18, 2009

2009 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season

With Atlantic Basin Hurricane season still 14 days away, it is exciting to have a couple of low pressure systems arriving on the scene. One our in the central Atlantic which has no aspirations of becoming a tropical system, is having a large impact on the current weather pattern. We are seeing rain and cold here... cold, in MAY! Much of the area to our north and west are experiencing dry spring conditions. There is also an area down in the Caribbean which is being watched closely, as it interacts with the low pressure disturbance well off shore. No, it is not the expectation that this thing will become Hurricane Ana, but it could become subtropical if things align. Some of the models show significant flair up of this middle and upper low pressure disturbance.

As I mentioned, the start of the Atlantic Basin Hurricane season is June 1st, just 14 days away. The list of names for this years named storms are:

2009 Atlantic Basin Tropical Cyclone Names
I plan to chase Bill... ;O) The storm names are decided by the World Meteorological Organization, and they are rotated out every 6 years, unless the storm name is retired, which is usually done when a great deal of life of property is taken at the hands of the storm. Three of last year's storm have been retired... Gustav, Ike, Paloma. Personally, I think they should have retired Fay, but what do I know??? See the article about the retired storm names. In the event, such as in 2005, when there are more than 21 storms (number of storm names), they will name the storms according to the Greek alphabet.

Due to variance in intensity, size, wind and surge and their varying impacts on the consequence of a hurricane, they have this year changed the rating system...
The new Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 categorization based on the hurricane's intensity at the indicated time. The scale provides examples of the type of damages and impacts in the United States associated with winds of the indicated intensity. The very large Hurricane Ike (with hurricane force winds extending as much as 125 mi from the center) in 2008 made landfall in Texas as a Category 2 hurricane and had peak storm surge values of 15-20 ft. In contrast, tiny Hurricane Charley (with hurricane force winds extending at most 25 mi from the center) struck Florida in 2004 as a Category 4 hurricane and produced a peak storm surge of only 6-7 ft. These storm surge values were substantially outside of the ranges suggested in the original Saffir-Simpson scale... Thus to help reduce public confusion about the impacts associated with the various hurricane categories as well as to provide a more scientifically defensible scale, the storm surge ranges, flooding impact and central pressure statements are being removed from the scale and only peak winds are employed in this revised version - the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
As for this season... Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray, of the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University say, "We foresee average activity for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. We have decreased our seasonal forecast from our initial early December prediction. We anticipate an average probability of United States major hurricane landfall." That's as of 7 April 2009. Here is the forecast: ... and a link to the full report.

Have a great day!


  1. Good luck with Bill!

    Those are some traditional names. That's one way to keep them alive.

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  3. HA! Hurricane Bill.....awesomeness

    Larry isn't a bad name either...

  4. Sandy, I love the list this year, very traditional names. I am excited to have a chance to chase Hurricane Bill.

    Chris, you had yours in 2006.


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