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!
Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy