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Todd B. Kimberlain
and
James B. Elsner

Abstract

Hurricane activity over the North Atlantic basin during 1995 and 1996 is compared to the combined hurricane activity over the previous four years (1991–94). The earlier period produced a total of 15 hurricanes compared to a total of 20 hurricanes over the latter period. Despite this similarity in numbers, the hurricanes of 1995 and 1996 were generally of the tropical-only variety, which marks a substantial departure from activity during the early 1990s. The return of tropical-only hurricanes to the Atlantic basin is likely the result of several global and local factors, including cool SST conditions in the equatorial central and eastern Pacific and warm SSTs in the tropical Atlantic. The hurricane activity of 1995 and 1996 is more reminiscent of activity of some seasons during the early and mid-1950s.

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Eric S. Blake
and
Todd B. Kimberlain

Abstract

Overall activity during the 2011 eastern North Pacific hurricane season was near average. Of the 11 tropical storms that formed, 10 became hurricanes and 6 reached major hurricane strength (category 3 or stronger on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale). For comparison, the 1981–2010 averages are about 15 tropical storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. Interestingly, although the number of named storms was below average, the numbers of hurricanes and major hurricanes were above average. The 2011 season had the most hurricanes since 2006 and the most major hurricanes since 1998. Two hurricanes affected the southwestern coast of Mexico (Beatriz as a category 1 hurricane and Jova as a category 2 hurricane), and the season’s tropical cyclones caused about 49 deaths. On average, the National Hurricane Center track forecasts in the eastern North Pacific for 2011 were very skillful.

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Todd B. Kimberlain
and
Michael J. Brennan

Abstract

The 2009 eastern North Pacific hurricane season had near normal activity, with a total of 17 named storms, of which seven became hurricanes and four became major hurricanes. One hurricane and one tropical storm made landfall in Mexico, directly causing four deaths in that country along with moderate to severe property damage. Another cyclone that remained offshore caused an additional direct death in Mexico. On average, the National Hurricane Center track forecasts in the eastern North Pacific for 2009 were quite skillful.

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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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Michael J. Brennan
,
Richard D. Knabb
,
Michelle Mainelli
, and
Todd B. Kimberlain

Abstract

The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season had 15 named storms, including 14 tropical storms and 1 subtropical storm. Of these, six became hurricanes, including two major hurricanes, Dean and Felix, which reached category 5 intensity (on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale). In addition, there were two unnamed tropical depressions. While the number of hurricanes in the basin was near the long-term mean, 2007 became the first year on record with two category 5 landfalls, with Hurricanes Dean and Felix inflicting severe damage on Mexico and Nicaragua, respectively. Dean was the first category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic basin to make landfall in 15 yr, since Hurricane Andrew (1992). In total, eight systems made landfall in the basin during 2007, and the season’s tropical cyclones caused approximately 380 deaths. In the United States, one hurricane, one tropical storm, and three tropical depressions made landfall, resulting in 10 fatalities and about $50 million in damage.

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Robert F. Rogers
,
Sim Aberson
,
Michael M. Bell
,
Daniel J. Cecil
,
James D. Doyle
,
Todd B. Kimberlain
,
Josh Morgerman
,
Lynn K. Shay
, and
Christopher Velden

Abstract

Hurricane Patricia was a historic tropical cyclone that broke many records, such as intensification rate, peak intensity, and overwater weakening rate, during its brief 4-day lifetime in late October 2015 in the eastern Pacific basin. Patricia confounded all of the intensity forecast guidance owing to its rapid intensity changes. Fortunately, the hurricane-penetrating National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration WP-3D and U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration WB-57 high-altitude jet, under support of the Office of Naval Research, conducted missions through and over Patricia prior to and during its extreme intensity changes on all 4 days, while an extensive array of pressure sensors sampled Patricia after landfall. The observations collected from these missions include traditional data sources such as airborne Doppler radar and flight-level instruments as well as new data sources like a high-density array of dropsondes released from high-altitude and wide-swath radiometer. The combination of data from these sources and from satellites provides an excellent opportunity to investigate the physical processes responsible for Patricia’s structure and evolution and offers the potential to improve forecasts of tropical cyclone rapid intensity changes. This paper provides an overview of Patricia as well as the data collected during the aircraft missions.

Open access