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May 2016

2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

   Posted by Levi at 11:53pm on May 15, 2016




  • Dom Scerbo says:


    Hands down, the BEST presentation and explanation I’ve seen on the upcoming hurricane season potentials. Great job….and agree with the “near normal” idea. I especially like your highlighting of the possible effects from the +PDO wrinkle!

  • Rick Dobrydney says:

    Fantastic presentation , Levi. You are the go to guy for explanation of Atlantic hurricane activity . Keep up the GREAT work ….

  • Dr. Bernard Loewenthal says:

    Fine job, thanks!!!

    Bernie Loewenthal

  • ossqss says:

    Thanks Levi, nothing like a analogue free season. It will be interesting to see how the monsoon season and SAL play out as we move forward. I don’t have high confidence in the ENSO models as many have been problematic due to bias errors and subsequent corrections. They were only off by a year with the Godzilla Nino. I wonder what role the disappeared Pacific Blob is playing in our current PDO situation :-)

    • ossqss says:

      FYI also, I am subscribed for notifications of new posts, but did not get one yesterday or yet today for this post. Be well. e

    • Levi says:

      The “blob” was an anomalous event that wasn’t a typical +PDO configuration. We are now back to what you would expect a +PDO to look like, thankfully :)

      I’ll try to see what’s up with the email notifications.

  • Mike says:

    Hi Levi,

    One of the best discussions I ever heard. Great meteorology used here! And great model suite for sure!

  • Iceman says:

    As always, thanks for another excellent hurricane season analysis
    Levi. Looking forward to a sizable hurricane surfing season.

  • Mike says:

    Thanks again for the effort you put into these reports. I hit the tip jar and I hope others do as well.

  • Steve Dearborn says:

    Your voice has changed into a more authoritative and with more conviction tone. I don’t know anyone who does it any better. Looking forward to your comments this season.

  • Bill E says:

    Outstanding job Levi! I always look forward to your preseason forecast. As someone who lives in SE Florida it’s very important to me to get ahead of the curve to be prepared.

    Thanks again!

  • mark duplantis says:

    Thanx Levi always learn from your blogs…

  • Fred says:

    Well done Levi! Your explanation of the upcoming season was very thorough and I think right on target. I’ll be curious to see how the TNA plays out this season. If the trades do turn out to be stronger over the Atlantic then we’ll likely see that index trend near to slightly below normal.

  • David McWherter says:

    Thank you, Levi! Great analysis! Have you ever coordinated with Mark Sudduth at

  • partybasher says:

    One of your analog years is 1988. Remember Gilbert formed in that year, and became one of the strongest storms in history.

  • […] An excellent discussion regarding the upcoming tropical storm and hurricane season. Many thanks to Levi Cowan at  Tropical Tidbits! […]

  • Brandon says:


  • Sunlinepr says:

    Thanks Levi always looking for your analysis… They are part of my seasonal desicion making considerations

  • FishOutofWater aka George says:

    Excellent presentation but I disagree with the model predictions of SST progression in the Atlantic. The cool pool associated with the subpolar gyre south of Greenland is weakening as the wave 1 driving a stronger than normal the polarnstream from the Gulf of Mexico towards Norwayup the by El Nino fades. The cool pool was maintained by persistent low pressure south of Greenland. Warmer than normal water is already spinning around the gyre and the center of the gyre is warming.

    The models don’t seem to be handling the cross equatorial transport of water and the developing Atlantic Niño very well. Cooling along the equator and subsidence in the south Atlantic is pushing more water across the equator along the coast of Brazil than normal.

    According to AOML the heat content east of Florida and north of the Bahamas is the highest it has been for this date since measurements began in 2005. The waters east of Florida are stunningly warm and may support the development of a tropical storm this weekend according to both the ECMWF and GFS models.

    With the weakening of the trade winds that we’re going to see over the next 2 weeks according to the GFS the tropical north Atlantic will heat up even more. The warm north Indian ocean supports strong subsidence in the south Atlantic according to a recent paper on that teleconnection. I think the global models are wrongly predicting subsidence in the tropical north Atlantic that will actually occur in the south Atlantic. I don’t think the models are handling the way the atmosphere transfers heat to the tropical north Atlantic after a strong El Niño.

    I wrote about the effect of El Niño on the following year’s Atlantic hurricane season here:

    You’re right that there is no good analog to this year. You have missed the effect of the El Niño teleconnection in your analysis. I know damn well that I could be wrong and I haven’t figured out an algorithm for determining the number of hurricanes nor a measure of the “ACE” or other measure of energy release. What I have seen is the complete failure of the CFS model and the crappy fix for its inability to handle the effects of Amazon river water on the vertical stability of the Brazil current system that transfers heat across the equator.

    I think this season will be an intense one because the tripole you discuss is breaking down and heat is building up in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic.

  • miamivu says:

    Thanks for this thoughtful analysis, Levi; one might argue that your outlook is already panning out with Bonnie and 93L both being “homegrown,” as it were (though I guess climatological norms are also in play here, at least with 93L).
    A question I’ve been curious about: last year’s Joaquin sat on the Bahamas for days…and yet, the surf at Fort Lauderdale was never so placid…never mind a swell, it was like a glassy lake with a 932 storm just a couple of hundred miles off the coast. Mystified me, especially given I’m from the NE and recall swells generated by storms more than 500 miles away. I guess it has to do with the continental shelf?

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