Saturday, October 30, 2010


Verification of 2010 Hurricane Forecast
Forecast issued May 28, 2010 - Baltimore, Maryland | TROPICAL ZONE | FACEBOOK
Tropical Team Contributors: Ryan Krimm, Aaron Salter, Daniel Ross, Rich Foot

5:45 pm 11.30.2010 Prior to start of the 2010 Hurricane Season, our Tropical Team predicted for the Atlantic Basin a total of 19 named tropical systems (NTS), 10 of which would become hurricanes, and 5 would be major hurricanes. As of November 30, 2010, observed results show exactly 19 named tropical systems, twelve of which have become hurricanes, and five systems reached to Category 3 major hurricane status with winds at or above 111 mph.


Our team also delineated the hurricane forecast month-by-month, with the original graphic in the section below. Note that the official Atlantic basin tropical cyclone season continues to November 30 each year. If additional systems develop, will revise our grading scheme with final results. Preliminary verification for the baseline predicted tropical cyclone events shows these results, in a % deviation/academic grading format as follows. The screen shown here was part of a TV news spot featuring the Maryland Forecast Team by CBS Channel 13 WJZ in Baltimore, MD on July 1, 2010.


Named Tropical Systems: Predicted/Observed- 19/19; 100% of predicted
Hurricanes: Predicted/Observed: 10/12; 120% of predicted
Major Hurricanes: Predicted/Observed: 5/5, 100% of predicted

1. Report published: May 28, 2010
Our original projections as shown below was developed by Lead Forecaster Ryan Krimm, Ryan is a Junior at Sparrows Point High School in Edgemere, Maryland. Contributing forecasters included Aaron Salter, a junior in Environmental Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Daniel Ross, a senior in Meteorology at Georgia Polytechnic Institute in Atlanta, GA; and Mr. Foot - Lead Advisor, Baltimore, MD

2. Public presentation of forecast: June 4, 2010
Four members of our team presented this forecast to the June 2010 Conference of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency in Ocean City, Maryland. The presenters included Ryan Krimm, Aaron Salter, Evan Uebel and Mr. Foot. (see June 4 in registration packet). The invitation was extended by Ms. Teresa Chapman of the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management.

3. Public release of forecast via news media: July 1, 2010
The Baltimore County Office of Homeland Security invited our student "Tropical Team" to develop a realistic scenario of a slow-moving Category 1/2 hurricane making landfall in the southern Mid-Atlantic, similar to the path of Hurricane Isabel in September 2003. This presentation on "Hurricane Omega" was the centerpiece of a tabletop exercise conducted by the county's Emergency Operations Center in Towson, MD on July 1, 2010 and led by Lt. Mark Demski, Deputy Director and Emergency Specialist Jay Ringgold.


Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith held a press conference following the exercise, publicly praising the student team members for their valuable participation in the safety exercise in support of improved preparation for a hurricane emergency. CBS Channel 13 WJZ in Baltimore featured the students' accomplishments in a short segment, shown on the 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm local news. The article was developed by Reporter Mike Schuh and titled: "Amateur Forecasters Create Hurricane Exercise."

On July 6, 2010, The Carroll Community Times also featured the tabletop exercise and the students in an article by Reporter Susan Ingram, titled: "Be prepared for hurricane season...simulation designed by students."  It is interesting to note that on September 2, 2010 - Hurricane Earl followed an eerily similar intensity and track as simulated in the July "Omega" exercise. For that storm, County Executive Jim Smith (featured below) returned to the Emergency Operations Center for a briefing on the event. In comparing
the simulation to actual events, a second aspect of the July 1 tabletop exercise (a slow-moving tropical system delivering up to 12 inches of rain) also met with reality on September 30. In effect, the "simulations" of both a slow-moving and a heavy rain-producing tropical system ended up impacting Baltimore County in just 3 months following the exercise.

SYNOPSIS of 2010 HURRICANE FORECAST and OBSERVATIONS

1. Occurence Much above normal tropical cyclone formation in the Atlantic basin.
Observations:
The Atlantic basin seasonal average is 10-15 tropical cyclones*, thus the 2010 observed cyclone data is between 113 %- 170% of normal as of October 31, 2010.
Sources:
NOAA/NHC Tropical Cyclone Climatology
Pew Center on Global Climate Change
*The climatological average from 1850-1990 is 10 named tropical cyclones, the 1998-2007 average was 15 named tropical cyclones. Thus we presented a range of 10-15.


2. Intensity Five major hurricanes, two or more make a U.S. landfall.
Observations:
Five major hurricanes developed in 2010*, none made U.S. landfall.
*As of 10-31-2010

3. Risk regions Notable landfalls are projected for:
 Northern and eastern Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana to western Florida coast;
 Carolinas and southern Mid-Atlantic at risk for a direct landfall or secondary effects.
Observations:
While Florida to Louisiana did not experience significant landfalling systems, the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic did observe considerable secondary effects from Hurricanes Danielle, Earl, Igor and historical rainfall from the remnants of Extra-Tropical Storm Nicole.

4. Frequency Periods of high activity in July, from mid-August through September
Observations: 
 June 2010: 1 named system which became a hurricane;
  July 2010: 1 named system which became a tropical storm; 0 hurricanes;
  August 2010: 4 named systems = 2 tropical storms, 2 major hurricanes;
  September 2010: 8 named systems = 3 tropical storms, 2 hurricanes, 3 major;
  October 2010: 4 named systems, all of which became hurricanes.