Wednesday, September 14, 2011

East Coast Hurricane Season Over

With the arrival of the first major frontal boundary into the eastern portions of the United States. The Eastern Seaboard can wave so long to the threat for any tropical cyclones. Frontal boundaries are simply blocking mechanisms that act as brick walls for the East Coast. Usually, once the first major one of the fall season completely sweeps through the East, conditions in the western Atlantic become too hostile for hurricanes to successfully threaten the East Coast, most of the time. There are exceptions but typically the direct threat season shuts down, in the latter half of September.   

This does not mean that the tropical season is over by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the next threat area's season maybe on the verge of ramping up. Places in the western Caribbean and eastern Gulf of Mexico should see their fare share of activity. There are already indications in place that this is the case.

Indication #1) This is a La Nina year. La Nina years are notorious for late season Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean threats. You only have to go as far back as last year too see to see any resemblance. The majority of tropical systems that formed during the second half of last season were in the NW Caribbean Sea.

Hurricane Season 2010- Shows clustering of storms in NW Caribbean
In addition to last year, some of the most notable storms in history have formed during the months of September and October. Two examples include Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and Opal in 1995. Both, at one point during their lives, were major hurricanes and each caused billions of dollars worth of damage.

Hurricane Mitch 1998- October Hurricane

Hurricane Opal- Late September/Early October Hurricane
Indication #2) Forecast models are indicating an uptick in tropical activity towards the last week in September and the first week of October. This is being shown on numerous model runs and by numerous forecast models. Florida is the target on many of the runs, which should not be a surprise.

GFS Model for October 3rd

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