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2007 Atlantic Hurricane News, Satellite Photos and Resources

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2007 Hurricane News

Note: The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1 and ended November 30.

Hurricane & storm tracking for the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

2007 Names: Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dean, Erin, Felix, Gabrielle, Humberto, Ingrid, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Noel, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van, Wendy



2008 seen as a rough Atlantic hurricane season

The 2008 hurricane season is likely to be less kind to the United States than the one that ended officially last week, according to forecasters at Colorado State University. For next season, which begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30, they foresee 13 named storms - those with winds of 39 m.p.h. or better - one fewer than this year. But the forecasters, Philip Klotzbach and William M. Gray, warn of a high likelihood that at least one major hurricane, with winds of 111 m.p.h. or more, will make U.S. landfall, which did not happen this year. The 2007 season left an early holiday present for U.S. taxpayers. Not a single major disaster was declared for a hurricane this year, according to Ashley Small, spokeswoman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. By contrast, FEMA has committed $37.8 billion to cleaning up hurricane damage from the 2005 season - about $350 for every U.S. household. The total for 2006 was $2.6 billion. Not that the 2007 season was without drama. For the first time on record, two deadly Category 5 hurricanes, with winds over 160 m.p.h. - Dean and Felix - made landfall in the same season. Yet only one full-fledged hurricane, Humberto, reached the U.S. mainland, and it was a Category 1, with a peak wind of 90 m.p.h. Philadelphia Inquirer_ 12/8/07

National Hurricane Center's 2007 tropical weather summary

The numbers of hurricanes and major hurricanes were near the long-term averages for a season but the number of named storms was slightly above average. Includes a summary of each storm. News Release_ 11/30/07

2007 hurricane season ending raises forecast concerns

The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends today, has—like last year—failed to live up to the predictions of forecasters. Now some experts fear the second year of inaccurate preseason predictions will shake the public's faith in all hurricane forecasts—even when a storm is bearing down upon them. Meteorologists at Colorado State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted as many as 17 named storms in the Atlantic Basin this summer. But only 14 storms formed between June 1—the official start of the season—and today. The total does not include Tropical Storm Andrea, which formed off the coast of Georgia three weeks before the season's start. The summer did produce two extremely intense hurricanes—Dean in August and Felix in September—that caused catastrophic damage in Mexico. National Geographic_ 11/30/07

Hurricane Noel loses steam, tropical storm status, bears down on Cape Cod

Hurricane Noel, the deadliest storm of the year, weakened to an extra-tropical storm as it steamed up the U.S. East Coast toward Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Noel will make landfall late today or tomorrow morning just east of Maine. By late afternoon, Noel will come close to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The National Hurricane Center stopped issuing advisories on Noel when it lost hurricane status late yesterday. Noel hit the Bahamas, Cuba and the Dominican Republic earlier this week, and the Associated Press put the death toll in the region at 118. Hurricane Felix, a Category 5 storm, the highest rating, killed 101 people in September, AP said. Bloomberg_ 11/3/07

Tropical Storm Noel weakens, not expected to become a hurricane

Tropical Storm Noel weakened over most of Cuba on Tuesday after lashing its northern coast, but heavy rains were dousing the Dominican Republic and portions of the Bahamas, forecasters said. At 2 p.m. Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center maintained its prediction that there would be little change in strength for the storm in the next 24 hours. Gen. Luis Luna Paulino, director of civil defense for the Dominican Republic, said at least 16 people have died and 16 are missing in his country from the storm. The rain has caused severe flooding and mud slides. Outlying bands of the storm were expected to reach the southeast edge of Florida Wednesday night or Thursday morning, before veering away from the U.S. coast. CNN_ 10/30/07

Hurricane expert downgrades forecast; Calls for two more in October and November

Hurricane expert William Gray slightly downgraded his forecast today, calling for four named storms in October and November, including two hurricanes, one of them major. Gray's team at Colorado State University had predicted five named storms in their earlier forecast for the two months. In April, Gray had predicted a "very active" 2007 season, with 17 named storms, including nine hurricanes, with five of them major hurricanes. As of Oct. 1, a total of 13 named storms had developed, including four hurricanes. Two of the hurricanes were major. Eight named storms formed in September in the Atlantic basin, tying a record set in 2002 for the most in that month. But measured by the combined strength and duration of those storms, this September was actually the least active in the Atlantic since 1997, the National Hurricane Center said. That is because most of the September storms were weak and short lived. AP/Baltimore Sun_ 10/2/07

September, 2007

Tropical Storm Ingrid strengthens in open Atlantic but not expected to become a hurricane

Tropical Storm Ingrid, the ninth named storm of the 2007 hurricane season, strengthened marginally on Friday as it churned far out in the Atlantic but was not expected to become a hurricane, U.S. forecasters said. By 11 a.m. EDT/1500 GMT, Ingrid was around 755 miles (1,210 km) east of the Lesser Antilles islands of the Caribbean and moving toward the west-northwest near 7 mph (11 km per hour), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. The storm's top sustained winds had increased to 45 mph (75 kph), but the hurricane center said it expected the strengthening to be temporary because of wind shear -- the difference in direction and speed of winds at different altitudes. Ingrid was expected to stay well short of hurricane strength. Tropical storms become hurricanes when their winds reach 74 mph (119 kph). Reuters_ 9/14/07

Tropical Storm Ingrid forms

Tropical Storm Ingrid became the ninth storm of the Atlantic hurricane season Thursday when it formed in the open ocean, The National Hurricane Center said. At 11 p.m., Ingrid's center was located about 840 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. Ingrid was moving toward the west-northwest near 6 mph and was expected to continue at that pace for the next 24 hours.

AP/Charlotte Observer_ 9/13/07

A surprising Hurricane Humberto slams Texas

Hurricane Humberto, which sprang up overnight, crashed ashore early Thursday near the Louisiana line, bringing sustained winds of up to 80 mph and heavy rain that raised flooding fears, the National Weather Service said. Humberto was the first named storm to make landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast since the twin onslaughts of Katrina and Rita in 2005. The greatest concern for Texas residents was the heavy rain falling in areas already inundated by a wet summer. The Category 1 storm made landfall about 5 miles east of High Island, near the eastern tip of the Texas coast, then weakened and bore into central Louisiana, forecasters said. The storm had been expected to come ashore as a tropical storm until it energized into a Category 1 hurricane after midnight. Humberto is the eighth named storm this year and formed from a depression that developed Wednesday morning. Time_ 9/13/07

Category 5 Hurricane Felix slams ashore; First time in recorded history that two top-scale storms make landfall in the same season

The storm hit near the swampy Nicaragua-Honduras border, home to thousands of stranded Miskito Indians dependent on canoes to make their way to safety. Off Mexico's Pacific coast, Hurricane Henriette churned toward the upscale resort of Cabo San Lucas, popular with Hollywood stars and sea fishing enthusiasts. Hurricane Dean came ashore just last month as a Category 5 storm, and Felix's landfall marked the first time that two Category 5 hurricanes have hit land in a season since 1886, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Only 31 such storms have been recorded in the Atlantic, including eight in the last five seasons. AP/Yahoo!_ 9/4/07

Hurricane Felix drops from Category 5 to Category 4 as it heads toward Central America

The U.S. National Hurricane Center warned it's still dangerous and could restrengthen. Felix is expected to hit the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras early Tuesday morning, according to the hurricane center. The hurricane developed unusually quickly, CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras said, taking just 27 hours to go from tropical storm status to a Category 5 hurricane -- the most extreme level on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity and one capable of producing "potentially catastrophic" damage. The storm is the second hurricane of the 2007 Atlantic season, which began June 1. Jeras said it's unlikely Felix will hit the United States. Hurricane Dean was the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, hitting Mexico twice in August. Dean slammed into the Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 5 storm; it hit the Mexican shore again near the key port city of Veracruz as a Category 2 with top sustained winds of 100 mph (160 kph). AP/CNN_ 9/3/07

Felix becomes Category 4 hurricane

With maximum sustained winds near 140 mph, Felix is churning through the Caribbean Sea, the Miami, Florida-based National Hurricane Center said. A Category 4 hurricane has winds between 131-155 mph, according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. A tropical storm watch remained in effect for Jamaica and Grand Cayman Island. Felix's pace is expected to continue for the next 24 hours as it heads Sunday night away from the Netherlands Antilles and into the open waters of the central Caribbean. AP/CNN_ 9/2/07

Water pumps turned off in parts of Jamaica battered by Hurricane Dean; Storm heads for Mexico's Yucatan Penninsula

After battering the southern coast of Jamaica, Hurricane Dean picked up strength early Monday and headed toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Forecasters said Dean -- a Category 4 with maximum sustained winds near 150 mph (240 kph) -- could be a Category 5 hurricane by the time it makes landfall. Dean is projected to crash into the Yucatan overnight Monday. A Category 5 hurricane packs sustained winds of 155 mph or more and can inflict catastrophic damage, according to the Saffir-Simpson scale, the standard measurement for hurricanes. Category 5 is the most powerful hurricane on the scale. the National Water Commission said it had turned off some pumps, especially in places prone to flooding. CNN_ 8/20/07

Jamaicans stare down eye of Hurricane Dean

Fiercely powerful Hurricane Dean strafed Jamaica's southern coast yesterday, littering the capital with fallen trees and windblown roofs after killing six people on its run through the Caribbean. Dean was an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane, the second-highest on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, and could become a potentially catastrophic Category 5 near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Earlier in the day, tempers flared in shops where Jamaicans scrambled to stock up on batteries, flashlights, canned tuna, rice and water. Storm warnings were also in effect for the vulnerable Cayman Islands and parts of Mexico, Cuba, Haiti and Belize. The latest computer tracking models forecast Dean would spare the U.S. Gulf Coast, but slam into Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, cross the Bay of Campeche and then hit central Mexico. Reuters/McClatchy Newspapers/Agence-France Presse/Ottawa Citizen_ 8/20/07

Erin drenches Texas; Category 4 Hurricane Dean could be next and could become Category 5

Texans battled rain and flooding from the remnants of Tropical Storm Erin as Gulf Coast residents cast a wary eye toward powerful Hurricane Dean, which strengthened as it made its way through the Caribbean. At least six people died this week because of Erin’s thunderstorms. One person remained missing. Dean, which forecasters said could threaten the United States by Wednesday, blew through the Caribbean on Friday with 100 mph wind, tearing away roofs and flooding streets as it became a powerful Category 4 storm. Dean’s wind strengthened to 150 mph early Saturday and it was expected to steer next week into the Gulf of Mexico. A tropical storm watch was issued for Cuba. AP/MSNBC_ 8/18/07

Erin hits Texas coast as Dean strengthens, heads toward Mexico
Tropical Storm Erin hit the waterlogged Texas coast Thursday as Hurricane Dean reached Category 2 intensity and headed for the Lesser Antilles.  Tropical Storm Erin brought 35-mph wind and local heavy rain to the Texas coast Thursday morning.  Dean will traverse the Caribbean then head for Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, making it possibly the first major hurricane of the 2007 Atlantic season, according to the National Hurricane Center.  It should cross the Lesser Antilles -- the islands dividing the Caribbean from the Atlantic -- by Friday morning.  At 5 p.m. ET, Dean had winds of 100 mph. Its center was about 210 miles east-northeast of Barbados and about 305 miles east of Martinique on Thursday evening, forecasters said. It's moving about 23 mph. CNN_8/16/07

Rolling west, Dean keeps intensifying

Erin off the coast of Brownsville
The season's first would-be Atlantic hurricane is barreling west. But still thousands of miles away and not yet on track to slam Florida, Tropical Storm Dean is hardly causing a stir.  Forecasters expect Dean to become a hurricane today. It is on track to hit the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean on Friday as a Category 1 or 2 storm. From there, it is expected to intensify.  Projections for Monday show it threatening Jamaica and surrounding islands, including Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba, as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of up to 120 mph.  Forecasters believe the storm will continue heading west, and well south of Florida, for the next three days because of a high-pressure system above the storm. The five-day forecast is less certain. It shows Florida just outside the "cone of uncertainty," the area where a storm will potentially make landfall. The season's fifth named storm, Tropical Storm Erin, formed Wednesday off the coast of Brownsville Texas. It was not expected to become a hurricane before making landfall today. Forecasters expected mostly rain but issued storm watches for the central and southern coast. Herald Tribune_8/16/07

Hurricane forecaster William Gray lowers '07 hurricane estimate

The Colorado State University researcher now is calling for 15 named storms, with eight becoming hurricanes and four becoming intense. On May 31, at the outset of hurricane season, Gray had called for 17 named storms and nine hurricanes, five of them intense. The new forecast calls for three named storms, two hurricanes and one intense hurricane in August; five named storms, four hurricanes and two intense hurricanes in September; and five named storms, two hurricanes and one intense hurricane in October and November combined. The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, averages 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 intense hurricanes per year. There were 10 named Atlantic storms last year and five hurricanes, two of them major. None of the hurricanes hit the U.S. Atlantic coast. The devastating 2005 season set a record with 28 named storms, 15 of them hurricanes. Four hurricanes hit the U.S., including Katrina, which devastated parts of the Gulf Coast. AP/USAToday_ 8/3/07

Report to House cites problems at Miami's National Hurricane Center and its parent, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

In an independent assessment presented at a contentious congressional hearing Thursday, forecasters from Miami's National Hurricane Center called for sweeping changes to boost morale and improve supervision as well as new tools to predict the path and speed of storms. The hurricane center has problems that go deeper than the divisive flap over Bill Proenza, its ousted director, the report indicated. Staffers also raised concerns about what they characterized as inadequate oversight from Washington and long-standing organizational problems at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the center's parent agency. The report recommends that Proenza, who is on administrative leave, not be allowed to return to the hurricane center. The review was led by James Turner, deputy director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The hearing before two House Science and Technology subcommittees was called to determine what prompted Proenza's ouster, which has thrown the center into turmoil in the midst of hurricane season. South Florida Sun-Sentinel/Los Angeles Times_ 7/20/07

New U.K. forecasting system predicts quiet U.S. hurricane season

British weather forecasters, making their first public prediction of an Atlantic hurricane season, say this year's may be quieter than their American counterparts expect. It is most likely that 10 tropical storms will form from July to November, the British government forecasters said this week. An expected cooling trend in Atlantic Ocean surface waters favors fewer tropical storms than in recent years, they said. The U.K.'s Met Office, a weather tracking agency within the British Ministry of Defense, has been using computer models for years to make forecasts for individual hurricanes, and the U.S. National Hurricane Center uses the office's data. This is the first time the office has publicly released predictions for a whole season. Matt Huddleston at the Met Office said its numbers are based on a "brand new forecasting system" using a global climate model. The Met Office ran but did not make public its model in the 2005 and 2006 seasons. It correctly predicted the change from the active 2005 season to the below-normal 2006 season, the office said. In May, U.S. government forecasters predicted 13 to 17 tropical storms in the season that runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Colorado State University researcher William Gray predicted 17 named storms. AP/USAToday_ 6/20/07

Tropical depression Barry brings rain to Florida

The remains of Tropical Storm Barry brought high winds and heavy rains to Florida on Saturday, but the downpour was welcomed in a parched state that has been battling stubborn wildfires. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Barry's track was expected to take it, as a heavy rainstorm, up the U.S. East Coast over the next two days. It was not expected to strengthen into a hurricane and the hurricane center said it planned no more public advisories on Barry. Reuters_ 6/2/07

Tropical Storm Barry forms in the Gulf of Mexico and heads for drought-stricken Florida

Barry, the second named storm of the year after Subtropical Storm Andrea made its debut May 9, formed Friday, June 1, the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season. CNN meteorologist Bonnie Schneider said the storm would dump much-needed rain on Florida and southeastern Georgia as it crossed the peninsula and headed toward the Atlantic Ocean. David Paulison, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, expressed concern that many people in the areas most likely to be hit by hurricanes are not stocking up on water, food and other essentials. While FEMA has supplies in certain regions for use in disasters, he said, Americans need to realize it could take a few days for responders to reach them in a serious storm. CNN_ 6/1/07

Study: Killer hurricanes thrived in cooler seas

Hurricanes over the past 5,000 years appear to have been controlled more by El Nino and an African monsoon than warm sea surface temperatures, such as those caused by global warming, researchers said Wednesday.  The study, published in the journal Nature, adds to the debate on whether seas warmed by greenhouse gas emissions lead to more hurricanes, such as those that bashed the Gulf of Mexico in 2005.  Some researchers say warmer seas appear to have contributed to more intense hurricanes, while others disagree. The U.N. International Panel on Climate Change said this year it was more likely than not that humans contribute to a trend of increasingly intense hurricanes.  Frequent strong hurricanes thrived in the Western Atlantic during times of weak El Ninos, or warming of surface waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, and strong West African monsoons even when local seas were cooler than now, the study said. "Tropical sea surface temperatures as warm as at present are apparently not a requisite condition for increased intense hurricane activity," Jeffrey Donnelly, the lead author and researcher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said in the study.  CNN_5/24/07

Subtropical Storm Andrea downgraded; Coast still takes a beating

The National Hurricane Center downgraded Subtropical Storm Andrea to a depression Thursday morning; one day after the low pressure system became the first named storm of the 2007 hurricane season. The tropical storm watch that was issued for the northeast Florida and southeast Georgia coast was discontinued, but forecasters said heavy surf and beach erosion will continue for at least one more day. Subtropical systems are hybrid weather formations that are usually weaker than hurricanes and tropical storms. They share characteristics of tropical systems, which get their power from warm ocean waters at their centers, and more typical bad weather that forms when warm and cold fronts collide. WJXT/Yahoo! News_ 5/10/07

Andrea becomes Atlantic hurricane season's first named storm

Hurricane season doesn't start for another three weeks, but that didn't stop the year's first named storm from making an early debut off the southeast coast Wednesday. Subtropical Storm Andrea gathered about 140 miles southeast of Savannah and packed winds of about 45 mph as it crawled slowly west toward land. A tropical storm watch was issued for parts of Georgia and Florida. Andrea is the first Atlantic storm to be named in May since Tropical Storm Arlene in 1981 and the third-earliest named squall since 1950. Tropical Storm Ana appeared in late April 2003 but raged far out to sea. The earliest hurricane to hit the USA was Alma in northwest Florida on June 9, 1966. This year's official hurricane season, which starts June 1 and ends November 30, is expected to be "very active," according to forecasters at Colorado State University. As many as 17 tropical storms and hurricanes are predicted. USA Today_ 5/9/07

Climate model suggests weaker hurricanes
A U.S. climate model simulation suggests anticipated increased wind shear over the tropical Atlantic Ocean might inhibit hurricane development.  The study by scientists at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami suggests a robust increase in wind shear will develop over that area due to global warming. The researchers say that might reduce hurricane development and intensification.  While other research has linked global warming to an increase in hurricane intensity, the study is believed the first to identify changes in wind shear that could counteract such effects.  However, the study did identify other regions, such as the western tropical Pacific, where global warming might cause the environment to become more favorable for hurricanes.  The study -- conducted in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric  Administration`s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J. -- is reported in the current issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.  Monsters and Critics_4/18/07

Florida's U.S. Rep. Ron Klein seeks federal funds to replace hurricane satellite

Saying it's "unacceptable" to lose a satellite critical to developing hurricane forecasts, Klein plans to make finding federal funding for a replacement top priority. "It's totally unacceptable, with what this country's been through, that we won't have all the necessary forecasting equipment available to us," the Boca Raton Democrat said Monday. Officials of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say it would cost $375 million to $400 million to replace the QuikSCAT, which already has outlived its life expectancy and could die at any time. They further note that kind of money isn't available. The QuikSCAT, which stands for Quick Scatterometer, is equipped with a sensor that provides tropical meteorologists with a storm's wind patterns. The problem: When the satellite was launched in 1999, it was designed to last only five years. Sun-Sentinel_ 4/10/07

Failing satellite could hinder ability to predict the paths of Atlantic hurricanes

A satellite critical to producing accurate hurricane forecasts is on its last legs and could fail "at any moment," Bill Proenza, director of the National Hurricane Center, said Wednesday. Without the QuikSCAT satellite, the accuracy of track forecasts could worsen by 16 percent (228 miles) when storms are three days out, and 10 percent (150 miles) when they are two days out, he said. It would cost $375 million to $400 million to replace the weather satellite. Currently there are no plans to do so, even though it would take at least four years to launch a new one, he said.

Sun-Sentinel_ 4/5/07

'07 Atlantic hurricane season could have 17 named storms

The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season should be "very active," with nine hurricanes and a good chance that at least one major one will hit the U.S., a researcher said yesterday. Forecaster William Gray said he expects 17 named storms this year, five of them major hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater. The probability of a major hurricane making landfall on the U.S. this year: 74 percent, compared with the average of 52 percent during the past century, he said. Last year, Gray's forecast and government forecasts were higher than what the Atlantic hurricane season produced. There were 10 named Atlantic storms in 2006 and five hurricanes, two of them major. None of them hit the Atlantic coast. The National Hurricane Center in Miami originally reported nine storms, but upgraded one after a review. Gray's research team at Colorado State University said an unexpected late El Nino contributed to the calmer season last year. El Nino, a warming in the Pacific Ocean, has far-reaching effects that include changing wind patterns in the eastern Atlantic, which can disrupt the formation of hurricanes. A weak to moderate El Nino occurred in December and January but dissipated rapidly, said Phil Klotzbach, a member of Gray's team. AP/Columbus Dispatch_ 4/4/07




2007 Hurricane News
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