Associate Scholar Scientist Tim LaRow and his colleagues at FSU's Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) say there will be an average of 17 named storms with 10 of those storms developing into hurricanes in the Atlantic this season, which begins today, June 1, and runs through Nov. 30. The historical seasonal average is 11 tropical storms with six of them becoming hurricanes.
"It looks like it will be a very busy season, and it only takes one hurricane making landfall to have devastating effects," LaRow said. "The predicted high number of tropical systems means there is an increased chance that the eastern United States or Gulf Coast will see a landfall this year."
The COAPS model, unveiled just last year, is one of only a handful of numerical models in the world being used to study seasonal hurricane activity, and it has already outperformed many other models. The model uses the university's high-performance computer to synthesize massive amounts of information including atmospheric, ocean and land data. A key component of the COAPS model is the use of predicted sea surface temperatures.
The 2009 forecast, the model's first, was on target: It predicted a below-average season, with a mean of eight named storms with four of them developing into hurricanes. There were nine named storms with three that became hurricanes.
The model's 2009 forecast, plus its hindcasts of the previous 14 hurricane seasons — that's when the data that existed prior to each season is plugged into the model to reforecast the season and then compared to what actually occurred — really show the model's precision. From 1995 to 2009, the model predicted a mean of 13.7 named storms of which a mean of 7.8 were hurricanes. In reality, the average during this period was 13.8 named storms with a mean of 7.9 hurricanes.
How the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will affect the development of tropical storms this year is a question that scientists are still trying to figure out, LaRow said. The oil on the ocean surface can diminish the amount of surface evaporation, which would lead to local increased ocean temperatures near the surface, but LaRow said he's made no adjustments to the model to account for the oil that continues to gush from an underwater well.
"The oil spill will probably have little influence on the hurricane season, but we don't know for sure since this spill is unprecedented," he said. "It's uncertain how exactly the atmospheric and oceanic conditions might change if the spill continues to grow."
COAPS researchers spent about five years developing and assessing the numerical model before putting it to the test with its first real-time forecast last year. Numerical models require major computing resources in order to make trillions of calculations using the equations of motion along with the best physical understanding of the atmosphere. By contrast, statistical models, such as the one that produces Colorado State University's annual forecast, use statistical relationships between oceanic and atmospheric variables to make a forecast.
COAPS received a $6.2 million, five-year grant from NOAA in 2006 that has been used, in part, to support the development of the model.
Tim LaRow | EurekAlert!
Snake-inspired robot uses kirigami to move
22.02.2018 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Camera technology in vehicles: Low-latency image data compression
22.02.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy