Hurricane Season comes to an end
Today officially marks the end of an active Atlantic Basin Hurricane season and while there were a few scares, in the end the Jewel was spared. The Western Caribbean was the area buzzing with storm activities; two systems, Tropical Storm Harvey and Hurricane Rina, sent NEMO into emergency. At the start of the season eighteen named storms were predicted, nineteen developed so the National Meteorological Service says that the forecast was pretty much on target. Storm activity was heightened this year by the presence of the La Nino, turned La Nina cycle at the earlier part of the season. News Five spoke with Forecaster Frank Tench via phone, who shared the highlights of the 2011 Hurricane Season forecast.
Via Phone: Frank Tench, Forecaster, National Meteorological Service
“Okay, as you rightly said the forecast issued at the start of the hurricane season was suggesting an active season. In terms of numbers we had a total of nineteen named storms, about six which became hurricanes and we had three intense hurricanes. Now comparing those figures to the fifty-year mean of storms which is about ten named storms in any one year, six hurricanes and two intense hurricanes, the actual figures worked out to be much above those averages. So in terms of whether or not the forecast came true or not, in large measure that forecast was fulfilled in terms of the number of named storms which actually nineteen is well above the average of ten named storms and the average of hurricanes, six or more or less sort of played out well. We fell a little short in terms of the number of intense hurricanes, well actually we exceeded the number of intense hurricanes, we had three intense hurricanes this year and we averaged about two, so there in large measure the seasonal forecast for this year’s hurricane season played out very well.”
“Okay, forecaster, would you say that there is any specific factor that contributed to the season being very active?”
Via Phone: Frank Tench
“Well, we were in a neutral phase of the El Nino cycle at the start of the hurricane season and by August the El Nino cycle reverted to La Nina, weak one at that in August but still well enough to be classified to weak to moderate La Nina scenario. El Nino situation in the cycle or a neutral phase, both stages tend to contribute to an active hurricane season or promote a higher frequency of tropical storms or hurricane. And as I said this season reverted to a weak to moderate La Nina in August and that was a condition favorable for the frequency of tropical storms this season. Another factor that contributed significantly were the warm sea surface temperatures persisting over the Caribbean Sea and the Tropical Atlantic even before the beginning of this year’s Hurricane Season. If you’ll remember quite a few of the intense hurricane had their best lives over the Tropical Atlantic for this year’s hurricane season.”
Now that the 2011 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season is behind us, the Meteorological Service advises the public to closely look at the strengths and weaknesses of this year’s hurricane plan and to adequately modify those measures as they see fit for next year’s hurricane season.