The Heat Is Gone! Hurricane Expert: “Tropical Atlantic 2nd Coldest”…”Could Suppress Hurricane Activity”

Unusually cold tropical Atlantic could suppress hurricane activity this year, says Colorado State University hurricane expert Phillip Klotzbach. However cold tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures don’t necessarily mean reduced hurricane risk.

Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane expert Phillip Klotzback at Twitter commented that the tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are the 2nd coldest on record and that this could mean “significantly suppress Atlantic hurricane activity.”

Cold tropical Atlantic doesn’t mean fewer hurricanes hitting US!

However history shows that it is purely speculative that cold tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures will act to suppress hurricanes hitting the US.

Klotzback notes that the coldest tropical sea surface temperatures seen in June were recorded in 1985, and looking at the 1985 US hurricane season Wikipedia tells us that season was in fact a rather nasty one for the entire east coast of the USA:

The 1985 Atlantic hurricane season featured eight landfalling tropical cyclones in the United States, including a record-tying six hurricanes, the most in a single year since 1916.


1985 season record “destructive and disruptive”

Wikipedia writes that “the year featured average activity overall” but was “particularly destructive and disruptive for the United States, with damage amounting to a then-record US$4 billion.”

Further, Wikipedia adds: “The entire coastline from Brownsville, Texas, to Eastport, Maine, was under a gale warning at some point during the year and a portion of every state was under a hurricane warning.

Bastardi warns of the “in-close” threat

Observing the 1985 hurricane chart, we see that the vast majority of the 11 named storms formed “in-close”, relatively near the US mainland.

Meteorologist Joe Bastardi warned in his May 26th WeatherBell Saturday Summary that warm waters near the coast needed real attention and harbored plenty of threat. In no way should people let themselves get casual about it.

So, don’t let all the cold tropical Atlantic surface water fool you into  thinking that the upcoming hurricane season is going to be on the light side for the US coast.

1985 shows us things can get pretty nasty even when the surface of the tropical Atlantic basin is cold.

Philip Klotzback is a meteorologist at CSU specializing in Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane forecasts. Avid runner, cyclist and hiker.

12 responses to “The Heat Is Gone! Hurricane Expert: “Tropical Atlantic 2nd Coldest”…”Could Suppress Hurricane Activity””

  1. Yonason (from a friend's comp)

    I got hit by Irma last year, and boy do I hope we don’t have an active hurricane season this year, or anymore for that matter.

  2. Yonason (from a friend's comp)


  3. Bitter&twisted

    This won’t matter to the alarmists.
    Cold or hot it’s climate change.
    Heads they win, tails we lose.
    Unfortunately we haven’t reached peak climate stupidity yet.

  4. Kurt in Switzerland

    There is so much to learn about climate on earth.

  5. Researcher

    Letter to CSIRO in Australia

    All climate change is natural and follows several natural cycles. The mechanism regulating such cycles is primarily to do with variations in cloud cover which in turn are affected by variations in cosmic ray intensity. As solar activity increases the heliosphere expands and this reduces the influx of cosmic rays entering the inner Solar System. Magnetic fields from the planets also affect cosmic ray intensity reaching Earth because they can alter the paths of such rays.

    I will soon be framing a Freedom of Information question seeking internal documentation relating to any attempts to pay due diligence in checking what was totally false physics originating in the early 1980’s from a small group of overseas climatologists. It all hinges on the false claim that Earth’s mean surface temperature can be explained by adding to the solar flux of about 168W/m^2 a further flux of about 324W/m^2 from the colder atmosphere, that flux including some radiation from carbon dioxide. But radiation from different sources cannot be added like that to determine resulting temperatures.

    The required input of thermal energy needed to warm the surfaces of planets like Earth and Venus on their sunlit sides is primarily supplied by non-radiative processes that have nothing to do with carbon dioxide concentrations. Your physicists cannot prove otherwise and they certainly cannot produce any established physics supporting the compounding of radiation, let alone any empirical evidence.

    Nor has anyone at the CSIRO produced empirical evidence of either of the “greenhouse” gases water vapour or carbon dioxide actually warming the Earth. In fact empirical evidence clearly shows that water vapour cools it. My 2013 paper “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures” and my other two papers support what I am saying and, for the first time in world literature, present the correct physics which does explain the necessary heat transfers and resulting temperatures on Earth, Venus and even at the base of the 350Km high nominal troposphere of the planet Uranus where it is hotter than Earth’s surface despite being many times further from the Sun.

    Please forward this email to those involved and refer them again to my papers at

  6. Eric

    We had Navy Ships all over the world in WWI and WWII. We went to the moon in 1969. However, we only start our weather records at 1982. Suspicious to say the least.

  7. RAH

    It’s the MDR will be stunted for at least the first half of the season and right now it’s not just cold SSTs there but a big blob of dust blowing off Africa that will inhibit development.

    There are warm waters along the northern 1/2 of the seaboard of the US and down the gulf so development in those regions is more likely.

    Anyway one cuts it, it seems the odds that the Atlantic Hurricane season will be about average as all of the several 1st projections I have seen don’t look good. Weatherbell already lowered theirs and I suspect others will too eventually.

    Meanwhile in the Pacific there is a much better potential for an average season. So it appears that things are flipping from last year when the Atlantic season was above average and most regions of the Pacific well below.

    The global ACE for 2017 ended up 22% below average despite the active Atlantic season. A big part of that was the SH which was at near record low of 41% of the average. The NW Pacific was also low at 53% of average. This year expect the NW Pacific to be at or above average. In todays daily update Joe Bastardi said he wouldn’t be surprised if Japan was hit with up to 5 Typhoons this season.

  8. Ed Caryl

    In 1985, the hurricanes were hugging the shore to keep warm!

    1. tom0mason

      Indeed Ed Caryl,
      Our future appears to be a return to the climate of the past.

  9. Yonason (from a friend's comp)

    They want us to believe that they can predict the future, wen can’t even remember the past.

  10. tom0mason

    Of course the ocean cycle are influence by solar cycles as reported here —

    This solar “de Vries cycle together with the AMO/PDO determine practically completely the global climate of the past (Fig. 1) and the coming time. A significant influence of CO2 on the climate thus has to be excluded. This latter is not surprising in view of the small amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and its weak infrared absorption cross section (also in view of the various proves of NEGATIVE water feedback).

  11. LINER011

    Anytime you see the word “could”, you can disregard the rest of the headline.

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