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John L. Beven II and James L. Franklin

Abstract

The 1999 hurricane season in the eastern North Pacific is summarized, and individual tropical storms and hurricanes are described. Producing only nine named storms, the season tied 1996 as the second least active on record. Hurricane Dora was the strongest and longest-lived cyclone of the season. Hurricane Greg, the only cyclone to make landfall during the season, weakened to a tropical storm just before moving ashore in Baja California, Mexico. Fifteen deaths resulted from the tropical cyclones.

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John L. Beven II and Eric S. Blake

Abstract

The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season was marked by above-average tropical cyclone activity with the formation of 19 tropical storms. A total of 12 of the storms became hurricanes and 5 became major hurricanes (category 3 or higher on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale). In addition, there were two tropical depressions that did not reach storm strength. These totals were well above the long-term averages of 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. The areas most affected by the 2010 storms were eastern Mexico, Central America, and the island nations of the western Caribbean Sea, where multiple strikes occurred. In addition, two hurricanes struck eastern Canada. Despite the high level of activity, no hurricanes made landfall in the United States in 2010. The death toll from the 2010 Atlantic tropical cyclones was 189.

A verification of National Hurricane Center official forecasts during 2010 is also presented. The 2010 mean track errors were slightly larger than the previous 5-yr average at 12 and 24 h and much smaller at the other forecast times, even though the 2010 track forecasts were more difficult than normal. The 2010 mean intensity forecast errors were larger than the previous 5-yr average at 12–48 h, smaller at the longer forecast times, and had a high bias at all forecast times. As with the track forecasts, the 2010 intensity forecasts were more difficult than normal at all forecast times.

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Margaret E. Kieper, Christopher W. Landsea, and John L. Beven II

Abstract

A reanalysis of 1969’s Hurricane Camille has been completed as part of the Atlantic Hurricane Database Reanalysis Project. The reanalysis of Hurricane Camille has been expedited to allow for a homogeneous comparison of all four of the U.S.-landfalling Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale category 5 hurricanes since 1900. A review of the available ship, station, radar, aircraft, and satellite observations is presented, along with the reanalysis methodology. Highlights of the Best-Track Change Committee approved changes to Camille’s genesis, track, intensity, and dissipation are discussed. As part of the preparation for the reanalysis, research on Hurricane Camille uncovered new data useful to the reanalysis. Focus was placed on understanding the internal structure in a modern context, especially whether eyewall replacement cycles occurred, including comparisons with a similar hurricane used as a proxy. A more detailed understanding was gained of the tropical wave and genesis phases. In addition, a 901-mb dropsonde that was later rejected was reanalyzed to find out why and to see if an accurate central pressure could be determined. New landfall surface pressures along the Mississippi coast were discovered and a significant revision is made to the U.S.-landfall central pressure and intensity (maximum sustained surface winds). Additionally, a radar “loop” was constructed from archived Weather Surveillance Radar-1957 (WSR-57) film, including landfall, marking the very first time that this historic hurricane can be viewed in a time-lapse movie format.

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John P. Cangialosi, Todd B. Kimberlain, John L. Beven II, and Mark Demaria

Abstract

The Dvorak technique is used operationally worldwide for tropical cyclone intensity analysis. This study tests Dvorak intensity change constraints, using a database of simultaneous aircraft and satellite fixes for tropical cyclones (TCs) in the 1998–2012 period. Results indicate that, in the vast majority of cases, Dvorak intensity constraints are valid with only a small percentage of strengthening TCs violating the constraints. Of the small sample that broke the constraints, most had initial intensities ranging from moderately strong tropical storms to minimal hurricanes.

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John A. Knaff, Daniel P. Brown, Joe Courtney, Gregory M. Gallina, and John L. Beven II

Abstract

The satellite-based Dvorak technique (DVKT) is the most widely available and readily used tool for operationally estimating the maximum wind speeds associated with tropical cyclones. The DVKT itself produces internally consistent results, is reproducible, and has shown practical accuracy given the high cost of in situ or airborne observations. For these reasons, the DVKT has been used in a reasonably uniform manner globally for approximately 20 years. Despite the nearly universal use of this technique, relatively few systematic verifications of the DVKT have been conducted. This study, which makes use of 20 yr of subjectively determined DVKT-based intensity estimates and best-track intensity estimates influenced by aircraft observations (i.e., ±2 h) in the Atlantic basin, seeks to 1) identify the factors (intensity, intensity trends, radius of outer closed isobar, storm speed, and latitude) that bias the DVKT-based intensity estimates, 2) quantify those biases as well as the general error characteristics associated with this technique, and 3) provide guidance for better use of the operational DVKT intensity estimates. Results show that the biases associated with the DVKT-based intensity estimates are a function of intensity (i.e., maximum sustained wind speed), 12-h intensity trend, latitude, and translation speed and size measured by the radius of the outer closed isobar. Root-mean-square errors (RMSE), however, are shown to be primarily a function of intensity, with the best signal-to-noise (intensity to RMSE) ratio occurring in an intensity range of 90–125 kt (46–64 m s−1). The knowledge of how these factors affect intensity estimates, which is quantified in this paper, can be used to better calibrate Dvorak intensity estimates for tropical cyclone forecast operations, postseason best-track analysis, and climatological reanalysis efforts. As a demonstration of this capability, the bias corrections developed in the Atlantic basin are also tested using a limited east Pacific basin sample, showing that biases and errors can be significantly reduced.

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John L. Beven II, Lixion A. Avila, Eric S. Blake, Hugh D. Cobb, and Richard J. Pasch

Abstract

The Best Track Change Committee of the National Hurricane Center evaluates proposed changes to the Hurricane Database (HURDAT) in the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific basins. In the companion paper, Gruskin documents a possible tropical cyclone that affected portions of the eastern United States on 27–28 June 2006 and proposes that it be added to HURDAT. The committee reviewed the aircraft, radar, rawinsonde, satellite, and surface data available on this system and found it to be a challenging and complex system. A reconnaissance aircraft flying in the system in real time failed to find a closed circulation before landfall, and kinematic parameters suggest the system was more likely to have the structure of an open wave, with any surface circulation at best being poorly defined. Because of the lack of conclusive evidence regarding the existence of a closed surface circulation before landfall, the committee has decided not to add this system to HURDAT as a tropical cyclone.

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John L. Beven II, Stacy R. Stewart, Miles B. Lawrence, Lixion A. Avila, James L. Franklin, and Richard J. Pasch

Abstract

Activity during the 2001 hurricane season was similar to that of the 2000 season. Fifteen tropical storms developed, with nine becoming hurricanes and four major hurricanes. Two tropical depressions failed to become tropical storms. Similarities to the 2000 season include overall activity much above climatological levels and most of the cyclones occurring over the open Atlantic north of 25°N. The overall “lateness” of the season was notable, with 11 named storms, including all the hurricanes, forming after 1 September. There were no hurricane landfalls in the United States for the second year in a row. However, the season's tropical cyclones were responsible for 93 deaths, including 41 from Tropical Storm Allison in the United States, and 48 from Hurricanes Iris and Michelle in the Caribbean.

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James L. Franklin, Lixion A. Avila, John L. Beven II, Miles B. Lawrence, Richard J. Pasch, and Stacy R. Stewart

Abstract

The 2002 eastern North Pacific hurricane season is summarized and the year's tropical cyclones are described. The season featured 12 named tropical storms, of which 6 became hurricanes. Five of the six hurricanes reached an intensity of 100 kt or higher. There were two landfalling cyclones, Tropical Storm Julio and Hurricane Kenna. Kenna, which made landfall near San Blas, Mexico, with winds of near 120 kt, was responsible for four deaths.

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John L. Beven II, Lixion A. Avila, James L. Franklin, Miles B. Lawrence, Richard J. Pasch, and Stacy R. Stewart

Abstract

The tropical cyclone activity for 2003 in the eastern North Pacific hurricane basin is summarized. Activity during 2003 was slightly below normal. Sixteen tropical storms developed, seven of which became hurricanes. However, there were no major hurricanes in the basin for the first time since 1977. The first hurricane did not form until 24 August, the latest observed first hurricane at least since reliable satellite observations began in 1966. Five tropical cyclones made landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico, resulting in 14 deaths.

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Lixion A. Avila, Richard J. Pasch, John L. Beven II, James L. Franklin, Miles B. Lawrence, and Stacy R. Stewart

Abstract

The 2004 eastern North Pacific hurricane season is reviewed. It was a below-average season in terms of number of systems and landfalls. There were 12 named tropical cyclones, of which 8 became hurricanes. None of the tropical storms or hurricanes made landfall, and there were no reports of deaths or damage. A description of each cyclone is provided, and track and intensity forecasts for the season are evaluated.

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