2011 storm names / Invest 93

June 1, 2011

Today is the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season and as is the norm, today’s Tropical Weather Outlook contains the names that will be used in 2011 along with guidance for the tough to pronounce names.

As this cycle of names was last used in the epic 2005 season, it is the first time (since the name lists started to cycle in 1986) that a list of names consists entirely of names that have been used before and names that are new because they replace retired ones.  The names are:

Arlene – Used in every season (1981, 1987, 1993, 1999, and 2005), but only once for a hurricane (in 1987 ) and only for a category one far at sea, at that.

Bret – Also used in every season and only once as a hurricane. The 1999 edition of Bret was a category four and made landfall in Texas at category three strength. Damage and fatalities were low, however.

Cindy – Used in every season, twice for a hurricane. Category four at sea in 1999 and a land-falling category one in 2005, though it wasn’t rated as such until after the fact.

Don – The first new for 2011 name, replacing Dennis.

Emily – Far and away the most notorious “old” name on the list. Every time but once (1999) it has been tied to a hurricane. The 1993 edition scored a damaging strike against the Outer Banks. 2005 Emily was the earliest category five on record (again, an after the fact rating) before making landfall in the Yucatan and northern Mexico.

Franklin – Replaced Floyd after 1999. Tropical Storm in 2005. Memorable for the fun that then senior forecaster James Franklin had fun with the name in one of his storm discussions: “IT IS QUITE POSSIBLE THAT LITTLE OR NOTHING WILL BE LEFT OF FRANKLIN…THE STORM…NOT THE FORECASTER…IN 2-3 DAYS. ”

Gert – Used in every season except 1987 and a hurricane in every other season except 2005.  Gert 1993 made three landfalls and re-strengthed everytime, ending up as Tropical Depression 14 in the eastern Pacific.

Harvey – Also used in ever season except ’87.  1993 and 1981 versions were hurricanes, with the later reaching category 4 strength in the open ocean.

Irene – Not used in ’87 or ’03, but name of a hurricane every time it was used. The 1999 edition did quite a bit of damage to South Florida as a category one.

Jose – Also not used in ’87 or ’03.  Hurricane in 1999. Were it not for a tropical storm forming in the Bay of Campeche in 2005 amd/or Tropical Depression 10 had developed further, the storm now known as Katrina would have bore this name.

Katia – The name replacing Katrina and the one most feared by superstitious sorts.  The situation is similar to that of 2010 when the name Igor replaced Ivan, a change that struck fear in the hearts of the superstitious due to the similarly  terrifying name.  To some extent, Igor justified the fear as it rapidly intensified to near category five strength and is in books as  the most destructive cyclone to hit Newfoundland in the books, causing the name to be retired.

Lee- At this point in the list, the only time previously used names made an appearance was in 2005, so all descriptions from here on refer to the 2005 storms. Lee was a piddling tropical storm in the deep Atlantic. The name replaced Lenny after 1999.

Maria – At sea category three hurricane.

Nate – At sea category one hurricane.

Ophelia – A long lived hurricane that took a leisurely tour of the east coast.

Philippe – Category one hurricane at sea.

Rina – The third new for 2011 name replaces Rita. Guess there aren’t that many female names that start with R that aren’y being used on other lists, though I note the name that rhymes with fun is not used in either the Atlantic or Pacific lists.

Sean- Replaces Stan.

Tammy – Weak tropical storm that affected Florida and Georgia.

Vince – The hurricane that seemed to disobey the laws of thermodynamics.

Whitney – Replaces Wilma.

The Outlook offers a bit of a surprise. There is a disturbance off the east coast of Florida that is being monitored for potential of development. (Adding to surprise, many anticipated the southwest Caribbean to be the sight of the first action this season.) It was tagged as Invest 93 early this morning and the National Hurricane Center gives 30% chance of development before it comes ashore later today.  It probably doesn’t have enough time to develop to tropical cyclone status, though the sea surface temperatures are warm enough and shear isn’t terrible.

As central Florida has been in drought conditions, rain from the disturbance is quite welcome, as the Jacksonville National Weather Forecast discussion says


Tis the season


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