2011 Florida Weather Highlights

2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Statistics, split by category
2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Statistics, split by category

Weather forecasters are saying that we can expect more active hurricane seasons for at least the next ten years so there is no reason to suggest that the next few years will be significantly quieter than the last couple of years.

Hurricane predictions for 2011

The team led by Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray from the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University have made their first predictions for the 2011 hurricane season. In December 2010, they forecast an above average 2010 season with up to 17 named storms, 9 of them hurricanes of which 5 will become major hurricanes (Category 3 or greater with sustained winds of 111 mph or more).

They are predicted that there is a 73 percent chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall on the United States coastline during 2011 (average is 52%) with a 49 percent chance (average is 31%) for the eastern Florida peninsula and a 48 percent chance (average is 30%) for the Gulf Coast.

In April 2011 they revised their forecast by reducing the number of named storms from 17 to 16. They also reduced the percentage prediction on landfall by a single percentage point.

They usually issue further revised forecasts in June and August.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) usually put out their first predictions in May of each year with a revised forecast in August. This May they predicted an above average Atlantic hurricane season with 12 to 18 named storms, of which six to ten are predicted become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes. These numbers are similar to those of Colorado State University.

Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University team have over estimated named storms and hurricanes in recent years.

Storm names for 2011

The names for tropical storms and hurricanes in 2011 are as follows: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irene, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney.

Tropical Storm Sean

Tuesday, November 8: Tropical Storm Sean has formed 700 miles east of Miami and is currently stationary with wind speeds of 45 mph. It is expected to head North West before turning eastwards towards Bermuda.

Hurricane Rina

Wednesday, October 26: Rina has weakened back to a tropical storm as it approaches Cancun. It is currently around 85 miles south of Cozumel and is tracking NNW at 6 mph with wind speeds of 70 mph. It briefly strengthened to hurricane category 2 as it veered more northerly towards Cancun.

After a quiet couple of weeks, Tropical Storm Rina formed off the Yucatan Peninsula on October 24 and quickly strengthened to hurricane status.

Hurricane Philippe

Friday, October 7: Hurricane Philippe is currently around 500 miles east of Bermuda and is tracking ENE at 17 mph with wind speeds of 80 mph. Philippe formed south of the Cape Verde Islands on September 25 and started heading westwards before veering towards the North east.

Hurricane Ophelia

Monday, October 3: Ophelia has weakened back to tropical storm status and is currently around 500 miles east of Halifax tracking ENE at 43 mph with wind speeds of 70 mph. Ophelia became the third major hurricane of the season when it strengthened to hurricane category 3 status as it passed Bermuda. Ophelia formed west of the Cape Verde Islands on September 9.

Hurricane Nate

Friday, September 9: Tropical Storm Nate is tracking NW at 3 mph with wind speeds of 65 mph. It is expected to reach hurricane status in the next 24 hours and will likely make landfall on the Mexican coastline between Tampico and Veracruz. Nate formed in the Gulf of Mexico off the Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday, September 7.

Hurricane Maria

Friday, September 16: Maria has eventually become a hurricane and is tracking NE at 45 mph with wind speeds of 80 mph. It is currently over 600 miles east of New York and is expected to make landfall near Cape Race. Maria formed west of the Cape Verde Islands on Wednesday, September 7 and passed near the northern Caribbean islands before turning northwards.

Tropical Storm Lee

Monday, September 5: Tropical Storm Lee has weakened to a tropical depression as it tracks ENE at 7 mph with wind speeds of 35 mph. It is currently 40 miles from Baton Rouge. Tropical Storm Lee formed in the Gulf of Mexico around 240 miles south east of Galveston.

Hurricane Katia

Wednesday, September 7: Katia has become the second hurricane of the season and also the second major hurricane after briefly reaching category 4 status. Hurricane Katia is currently around 700 miles east of Daytona Beach and is tracking NW at 10 mph with wind speeds of 85 mph making it a category 1 hurricane. It will most likely veer away from the Atlantic coast and will not make landfall but will still bring dangerous rip currents to the Atlantic coastline. Katia formed south west of the Cape Verde Islands on Tuesday, August 30.

Tropical Storm Jose

Sunday, August 28: Tropical Storm Jose has formed 120 miles south west of Bermuda and is tracking NNW at 16 mph with wind speeds of 40 mph. Jose is expected to pass about 75 miles to the west of Bermuda and is not expected to develop.

Hurricane Irene

Sunday, August 28: Hurricane Irene is the first hurricane of the 2011 season. It is currently approaching New York and though it has weakened, it is still a category 1 hurricane with wind speeds of 75 mph. It tracked about 250 miles off the east coast of Florida with wind speeds of over 100 mph before making landfall in North Carolina. Hurricane Irene did reach category 3 status as it passed up Florida's Atlantic coastline.

Tropical Storm Irene formed on Sunday in the eastern Caribbean and started tracking WNW at 17 mph with wind speeds of 50 mph.

Tropical Storm Harvey

Sunday, August 21: After crossing the Yucatan Peninsula, Harvey has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression as it tracks across the southern Gulf of Mexico. Tropical Storm Harvey formed on Friday off the coast of Honduras and started tracking W at 10 mph with wind speeds of 40 mph. It strengthened slightly before making landfall on the coast of Belize.

Tropical Storm Gert

Monday, August 15: Tropical Storm Bert has strengthened with wind speeds of 60 mph as it draws closer to Bermuda. It is expected to strengthen further as it passes to the East of Bermuda before turning towards the North East.

Hot on the heels of Tropical Storm Franklin, Tropical Storm Bert formed on Sunday about 300 miles SSE of Bermuda. It started moving NNW at 7 mph with wind speeds of 40 mph.

Tropical Storm Franklin

Saturday, August 13: Tropical Storm Franklin formed some 400 miles NNE of Bermuda. It started tracking ENE at over 20 mph with wind speeds of 40 mph . It is not expected to strengthen and is no threat to land.

Tropical Storm Emily

Friday, August 5: Emily has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression as it passed over Hispanola. Heavy rains still pose problems and there is a chance it could re-develop as it approaches Cuba. On Wednesday it approached the Dominican Republic and Haiti with wind speeds of 50 mph as it tracked W at 14 mph. It formed on Monday in the Eastern Caribbean and was forecast to cross the Dominican Republic. It was also forecast to track up the North Eastern coast of Cuba before passing up the Eastern Seaboard by the weekend.

Tropical Storm Don

Saturday, July 30: Tropical Storm Don weakened to a Tropical Depression as it came ashore near Baffin Bay. Tropical Storm Don formed off the Yucatan Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday and started moving NW at 14 mph with wind speeds of 45 mph. It strengthen slightly before hitting the Texas coastline.

Tropical Storm Cindy

Wednesday, July 20: Tropical Storm Cindy has formed over 900 miles North East of Bermuda and is tracking NE at 28 mph with wind speeds of 60 mph. Like Bret before it, it is not expected to make landfall.

Tropical Storm Bret

Wednesday, July 20: Tropical Storm Bret continues to track NNE at 8 mph with wind speeds of 50 mph. It is not expected to make landfall and will pass well clear of Bermuda. Tropical Storm Bret formed on Monday off Grand Bahama Island and started tracking E at 3 mph with wind speeds of 50 mph.

Tropical Storm Arlene

Thursday, June 30: Tropical Storm Arlene is expected to hit the Mexican coast today south of Tampico with wind speeds of around 70 mph. Hurricane warnings have been issued.

Tropical Storm Arlene formed on Wednesday in the Bay of Campeche, west of the Yucatan Peninsula. It started moving WSW at 7 mph with wind speeds of 40 mph.

Previous Predictions

Last year in 2010 NOAA originally predicted anything between 14 and 23 named storms with 8 to 14 hurricanes or which 3 to 7 could be major hurricanes. In the end there were 19 named storms of which 11 became hurricanes and 5 became major hurricanes.

In 2009 NOAA originally predicted that there would be between 9 and 14 named storms, with six to nine becoming hurricanes, of which two to five could become major hurricanes.

In August they upgraded their forecast to the number of tropical storms being between 14 to 18 named storms and four to seven hurricanes and up to three major hurricanes. They subsequently downgraded this to 7 to 11 named storms, three to six hurricanes and one to two major hurricanes.

In the end, there were nine named storms of which three became hurricanes and one became major hurricanes.

In 2008, they had predicted up to between 12 and 16 named storms and in the end there were 16 named storms of which eight became hurricanes.

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