Hurricane Forecasters, Blow It, Again

October 7, 2010

Despite dire predictions, naming every cloud puff, the public still sees the hurricane for what it is, a bust. Now how would they have known that? Simple just look at the strengthening El Nino and the world ocean sea surface temperatures. It’s getting cold out there. Satellites make truth easy — Tropical cyclones draw energy from warm sea water, and when it gets cold, hurricanes shiver and die off.

The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season has been very active in the number of storms but is likely to go down as a non-event for most people in the United States, which has so far dodged a major landfall, the top official U.S. hurricane forecaster said on Tuesday.

Before the June 1-Nov. 30 season got under way, residents of hurricane danger zones were warned by many forecasters they faced a very high probability of a major hurricane making landfall along the U.S. coastline.

That has not happened and with the most active part of the season winding down in the next two weeks or so, the chances of a major impact on the U.S. mainland or on energy interests in the Gulf of Mexico are ebbing.

QuikSCAT Antenna Fails: Likely Dead For Good

April 11, 2010

QuikSCAT is no longer in operation, according to NASA.  The satellite’s scatterometer antenna stopped spinning.  If the antenna cannot be restarted it will no longer be capable of taking sea surface measurements as it had been in the past.

The weather community is still debating the significance of QuikSCAT and a replacement satellite.

It’s unclear the true effects the loss of QuikSCAT will have on tropical cyclone forecasting.  But, one thing is sure: you can never have too many weapons in your forecasting arsenal.

NASA will continue to try and restart the antenna using various techniques. Considering the satellite was only supposed to last a few years but has been operational for 10, I suppose we should be thankful we got out of it what we could.

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