Saturday, May 15, 2010

Warm Water Worries

Dr. Jeff Masters, at the Weather Underground's Wunderblog, points out that the primary area for Atlantic hurricane development is experiencing record sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies.Why is that of importance?
The high April SST anomaly does not bode well for the coming hurricane season. The three past seasons with record warm April SST anomalies all had abnormally high numbers of intense hurricanes. Past hurricane seasons that had high March SST anomalies include 1969 (0.90°C anomaly), 2005 (1.19°C anomaly), and 1958 (0.97°C anomaly). These three years had 5, 7, and 5 intense hurricanes, respectively. Just two intense hurricanes occur in an average year.
And if I'm reading that map right, currently the SST's are 0.5 to 1°C higher than 2005... the year of Katrina. Hurricane season officially starts in a bit more than two weeks, then ramps up over the summer.

I really, really hope they get that damned well capped quickly.

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