US faces brutal hurricane season, while Europe sees “the year without a summer”

More bizarre weather on the horizon as the US may see an unusually brutal hurricane season this year, while summer’s warm weather may skip western Europe entirely as forecasters there warn that this may be “the year without a summer,” Europe’s coldest in 200 years.

And some are saying that we’re seeing the effects of climate change.

First, our Hurricanes

David Mixner points us first to NOAA’s (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Hurricane Season Outlook that just came out a week ago.  In it, NOAA says we should expect above-normal activity this year:

NOAA’s 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook indicates that an above-normal season is most likely, with the possibility that the season could be very active. The outlook calls for a 70% chance of an above-normal season, a 25% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 5% chance of a below-normal season….

Based on the current and expected conditions, combined with model forecasts, we estimate a 70% probability for each of the following ranges of activity during 2013:

  • 13-20 Named Storms
  • 7-11 Hurricanes
  • 3-6 Major Hurricanes
  • Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) range of 120%-205%
Hurricane Sandy entire US image, via NOAA

Hurricane Sandy entire US image, via NOAA

To fully appreciate what those estimates mean, check out the average number of storms each year:

Note that the expected ranges are centered well above the official NHC 1981-2010 seasonal averages of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.

At its max, that’s almost twice the number of storms possible.   NOAA also explains what that ACE is all about – basically, it means stronger, and longer, storms:

An important measure of the total overall seasonal activity is NOAA’s Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index, which accounts for the intensity and duration of named storms and hurricanes during the season. This outlook indicates a 70% chance that the 2013 seasonal ACE range will be 120%-205% of the median. According to NOAA’s hurricane season classifications, an ACE value above 120% of the 1981-2010 median reflects an above-normal season, and an ACE value above 165% of the median reflects a very active (or hyperactive) season.

The Coldest Summer in 200 years in Western Europe

Now to Europe.  As many of you know, our writer Chris Ryan lives in Paris, France.  This spring, if you can call it that, has been oddly cold in France, and much of Europe.  And that’s after colder than usual winters the last several years.

Well, now France’s main weather channel, Meteo, is reporting that there’s a 70% chance that the summer is going to be record-breaking cold and wet across much of western Europe.  Meteo says that it’s been the coldest spring in 20 years in France, and the forecast is looking so bad, there’s talk of this being “the year without a summer” across western Europe.  Europe hasn’t had one of those since the unusually brutal year of 1816, when Mary Shelley, reportedly stuck inside due to the bad weather, wrote “Frankenstein.”

European weather forecast for the summer (source: Meteo)

European weather forecast for the summer shows temperatures below normal in much of western Europe, and a rainier summer as well. (source: Meteo)

Is it Climate Change?

Of all the newspapers to say that all of this mess just might be a sign of climate change, is none other than Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, in a story just published:

Mark Wysocki, a climatologist with New York state who works with the Northeast Regional Climate Center, said the jet stream functions like waves along the ocean. “Some of these waves are small choppy waves and they move by very quickly and sometimes you get caught in these big waves that gradually build and move by very slowly,” he said. “We seem to be stuck in a pattern that has these big waves that are moving by very slowly.”

As the wave of air rolls across the country, it causes several problems, he said. The larger waves carry greater temperature contrasts, exposing areas to more dramatic weather shifts.

When the air shifts temperatures dramatically, “that’s where the storm brews and you get heavy rain,” he said. The amount of rain already this month, at 8 inches, is more than double the historical average. He estimated that the world had been in a cycle of large waves for at least a year. Although the factors are complex, “There is enough science to indicate that warming climates could lead to these kinds of conditions,” he said.

His advice to New Yorkers? “Get used to it.”

England’s The Guardian newspaper says that part of the problem is melting sea ice, caused by climate change:

Climate scientists have linked the massive snowstorms and bitter spring weather now being experienced across Britain and large parts of Europe and North America to the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice….

According to Francis and a growing body of other researchers, the Arctic ice loss adds heat to the ocean and atmosphere which shifts the position of the jet stream – the high-altitude river of air that steers storm systems and governs most weather in northern hemisphere.

“This is what is affecting the jet stream and leading to the extreme weather we are seeing in mid-latitudes,” she said. “It allows the cold air from the Arctic to plunge much further south. The pattern can be slow to change because the [southern] wave of the jet stream is getting bigger. It’s now at a near record position, so whatever weather you have now is going to stick around,” she said….

recent paper by the US government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also found that enhanced warming of the Arctic influenced weather across the northern hemisphere.

Do be sure to check out our climate change archives, where Gaius, in particular, has chronicled much of the problem we’re facing.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • InternationalRelationsXPERT

    It is so cold here in the U.S. It’s early August and termperatures are in the Lower 70′s here in the Midwest. I’m sick of it! I want my summer!

  • weathergirl

    Hmm.. well this turned out not to be true, UK and NW Europe sweltering in 90 degree heat for the past few weeks!

  • taurusjwb

    ‘Segway’ is a shite product developed by a dude who couldn’t ride his own device and fell of a cliff, a ‘Segue’ (which I believe is the TERM YOU MEANT, but used inaccurately) is actually a smooth transition…you were trying to explain my tactics as diversionary….but none the less, we all no you need schooling.
    Bye bye Mate

  • taurusjwb

    Cheers, Kid. Good luck in your Thermodynamics class at Cambridge! You need brushing up

  • mulattokid johnson

    There you go…another segway on being found wrong. Just as I described. bye ;0)

  • taurusjwb

    My life is splendid ole’ chap, and I’m a wonderful human, thanks for projecting, no need!

  • taurusjwb

    Apparently you can’t explain these things, lateral thinker…actually, you exhibit, concave thinking.

  • taurusjwb

    No s*h*i*t, really, couldn’t tell by your arrogance or anything….

  • taurusjwb

    Right, right, the Guardian is akin to the Economist….hahaha! You need a better job, shoveling propaganda is not your life’s gig it seems. Cheerio, Mate, wanker!

  • mulattokid johnson

    Erm…Im actually in England? Recognise the language do you? Lack of lateral thinking you see, which sums up your posts. The ones before you had to resort to calling people names. You are a very very unpleasant human being. Ejoy your life.

  • taurusjwb

    And PS, it’s spelled recognized genius. Explain to me the thermodynamic principles behind the false theory behind CO2 absorbs heat….love to hear it?

  • taurusjwb

    Obviously not a reputable one, who do you think you’re talking to, a 5 year old? Even the most naive of individuals on the planet would fall for your little ‘credential’ trick. No one gives a s*h*i*t who you think you are, your information is false and if you’re truly a ‘scientist’ you know your spreading misinformation. Now begone dolt!

  • mulattokid johnson

    Quote: “don’t fundamentally understand” What? Im an environmental scientist ……and you are who? I tell you the all the evidence is that atmospheric Co2 is directly related to the earths temperature. Even anti anthropological warming arguers accept that. It seems that you trust science with your life every minute of every day until you find a bandwagon that you want to jump onto. No amount of evidence ‘could’ convince you otherwise it that is the case. Go and get yourself an environmental qualification and then you might have something to add to the discussion.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ice-core-data-help-solve

  • taurusjwb

    Weak Mensa-boy, Scary….I mean Circumcision, you need to leave the keyboard every now and again….save yourself now while you can from future bouts of carpel-tunnel syndrome!

  • taurusjwb

    ScaryMuslim4Repubs is now Circumcision, I’m sorry I mean “Circumvention”. Hopefully adding more to the conversation than parroting “add nothing to the conversation”….ha!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcrEqIpi6sg Moderator4

    Please do not keep repeating the same phrase over and over again, ScaryMuslim4Republicans.

  • ScaryMuslim4Republicans

    Way to add nothing to the conversation

  • taurusjwb

    hahahaha….mental midget….go read a book and stop jerking off infront of your computer….1700+ comments, go get a job, after you finish reading a said book.

  • ScaryMuslim4Republicans

    Way to add nothing to the conversation

  • taurusjwb

    You might need to wake up from your smoke filled haze and look at the thread to simply see your contributions to this topic and mine…it’s undeniable, just like the climate science supporting that APG is a fraud….plainly see you’ve added nothing, ScaryFraud

  • ScaryMuslim4Republicans

    Way to add nothing to the conversation

  • ComradeRutherford

    Oh, I’ve done the research, I am not ‘misguided.’ And you are asking me to deny reality.

    All this started for me in the mid-1980s when I spoke to farmers and hunters: People that spend hours and hours outdoors. Every single one of them told me that 1980 was the year the weather went whacky. All of the weather-lore they had learned from their ancestors was no longer reliable, they all knew that something was very wrong.

    What’s wrong? Well, adding tons of carbon to the atmosphere certainly can’t be good. Water vapor is an even worse ‘greenhouse gas’ than carbon.

    Are you seriously saying that adding millions of tons of carbon to the atmosphere over 200 years would have no effect on the climate?

  • taurusjwb

    Says the Parrot

  • taurusjwb

    There ya go! Enough said

  • ScaryMuslim4Republicans

    Nothing to add to the conversation?

  • taurusjwb

    You’re a true idiot, shew lame-dane, see above for clarity

  • ScaryMuslim4Republicans

    Learn something, instead of parroting crap you obviously don’t fundamentally understand.

  • ScaryMuslim4Republicans

    Learn something, instead of parroting crap you obviously don’t fundamentally understand

  • taurusjwb

    And PS, I would never ask someone to deny reality, okay, no matter how political the subject, because politics has nothing to do with my argument, unfortunately, the same can’t be said for most articles available on the topic, it’s become too devisive. Please do you’re own research, I’m sure you’ll find you’re a bit misguided. Thanks.

  • taurusjwb

    Way to add nothing to the conversation, taking your familiar place as usual I’m sure Mensa-boy.

  • taurusjwb

    Your eyes don’t deceive you, your causal reasoning only deceives you. By the way, the Guardian isn’t a resounding attempt of a defense, do you know the history of the ‘Guardian’?….I thought not, you’ve probably never experienced life outside of your own comfy little cocoon. The Guardian is akin to Inquirer here in the States.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Raw Story is a news aggregator. That article actually came from The Guardian in the UK.

    By Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian

    Here is the actual paper they are all talking about:
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

    You are discrediting the message because you refuse the messenger. Don’t be such a bonehead! Look beyond your own reflection…

  • ComradeRutherford

    OK, I’ll do exactly what you demand: ignore my own eyes and believe some right-wing crackpots that have no idea what they are talking about.

    You choose to ignore reality because you have been ordered by your masters to discredit the messenger.

  • taurusjwb

    Ya know, after looking at the link you posted, you could assist your argument a bit better by citing or even finding a more legitimate/reliable source than ‘Raw Story’. And you call me a Wingnut, look at who you source…that’s Fresh stuff Chief! Pot, Kettle; Kettle, Pot. Hahaha

  • TheCaliforniaKid

    Says the parrot

  • taurusjwb

    And PS, Carbon Dioxide doesn’t affect climate. Learn something, instead of parroting crap you obviously don’t fundamentally understand

  • taurusjwb

    No, because greater than 29,000 independent scientists disagree you mental midget. Go do some research on the “facts” you spew, they’re riddled with hack science from a ‘Hack’ organization known as IPCC. Dipstick

  • ComradeRutherford

    So 29,000 scientists are wrong just because YOU say so? My own eyes are lying because YOU say so?

    How is it wrong? Where is it wrong? What documents do you have to back up your horrific assertion that the climate is not changing more drastically and rapidly now that for the last 800,000 years? An article in WingNutDaily? A Glenn Beck video? Alex Jones?

    What are you saying: there is NO increase in carbon in the atmosphere? An increase in carbon would have no effect? Digging up sequestered carbon millions of years old over the last 200 years never happened?

    Just ’cause YOU say so is NOT a valid reason for be to disbelieve 29,000 scientists that have been working on this for decades.

    “Nice try, wrong” Oh, I get it, you are just being a troll with no point to make other than to be rude.

  • taurusjwb

    Nice try, wrong

  • Dano2

    There is NO ‘ice loss’ in the Arctic.

    False.

    And an extra point off for using Watts’ site as a reference.

    Best,

    D

  • ComradeRutherford

    “the climate has constantly changed on planet earth”

    Yes, but, “anthropogenic climate change is the cause”

    Your denial of reality indicates that you should lay off the valium…
    —–
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/05/15/survey-finds-scientific-consensus-on-cause-of-climate-change-humans/
    A survey of thousands of peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals has found 97.1% agreed that climate change is caused by human activity.

    Authors of the survey, published on Thursday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, said the finding of near unanimity provided a powerful rebuttal to climate contrarians who insist the science of climate change remains unsettled.

    The survey considered the work of some 29,000 scientists published in 11,994 academic papers. Of the 4,000-plus papers that took a position on the causes of climate change only 0.7% or 83 of those thousands of academic articles, disputed the scientific consensus that climate change is the result of human activity, with the view of the remaining 2.2% unclear.

    The study described the dissent as a “vanishingly small proportion” of published research.
    —–
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/08/carbon-dioxide-levels-are-at-their-highest-point-in-at-least-800000-years/

    For decades now, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have higher than at any point in the last 800,000 years — a fact scientists discovered by analyzing ancient air bubbles trapped in ice cores.
    —–
    http://americablog.com/2013/05/the-climate-crisis-story-in-three-easy-charts.html
    The climate crisis in three easy charts

  • taurusjwb

    IF true, this is all good news, relax!

  • taurusjwb

    Doesn’t mean anthropogenic climate change is the cause, the climate has constantly changed on planet earth, relax, take a valium

  • LMC082

    Stationed in Germany and it’s between 45-55 for the HIGH with rain non-stop. In June. It was 70 finally last Wednesday then back down to 47 the very next day. This is uncommon but then again the winters here have seen more snow, ice and super freezing temps than before. It’s strange.

  • ComradeRutherford

    This spring in Vermont we’d go from 25˚ to 60˚ every other day for two months. Instead of one ‘Mud Season’ We had 5.

    But “there’s no such thing as Climate Change”!!! So all this must be a mass hallucination…

  • ComradeRutherford

    Climate Change is VERY noticeable up here at 42˚ North.

    Even as early as 1986 the signs of climate instability were noticeable. I asked farmers and hunters (We have many of those here in Vermont) if they had noticed anything, their being outdoors most of the time. And yes, they did. The hunters wold say that they could tell something was wrong, but they couldn’t really articulate it, but the farmers knew. The farmers all told me that the summer of 1980 was the beginning of noticeable changes, more extreme weather, greater swings in weather over shorter periods of time, unreliable expectations for growing cycles, etc.

    So the 1980 election was a huge quantum mechanics wave function collapse. Just imagine, in another cosmos Reagan was never President…

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I did my undergrad work at Indiana University, and you are so right. One memory that sticks with me is carrying that damn umbrella everywhere.

  • HeartlandLiberal

    Those swings in weather are becoming the norm here in southern Indiana. We have become used to the fact that around the time of the previous last frost, May 15, we start going through cycles with days in the low 70′s, then in the upper 80′s. If the pattern holds this summer as it has the past three, by the end of June we will hit upper 80′s and 90′s pretty much every day, weather that used to hold off until August, and it will continue through the summer deep into September.

    We are getting quite a bit of regular rain every few days here at the moment. I am holding my breath to see if that dries up by end of June for rest of the summer, as it has the past few years, leaving gardens dead, trees stressed and many killed.

  • pappyvet

    “The sea ice is going rapidly. It’s 80% less than it was just 30 years ago. There has been a dramatic loss. This is a symptom of global warming and it contributes to enhanced warming of the Arctic,” said Jennifer Francis, research professor with the Rutgers Institute of Coastal and Marine Science.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Working for the railroad I met a lot of mormons who crewed trains from Milford UT down to Vegas. They taught me how to buy in bulk to save money. It helps stretch retirement dollars. They have larders and warehouses full of stuff – they’ll survive longer than most of us.

  • Dave of the Jungle

    Weird here, weird there, weird everywhere.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    The former is inevitable, the latter, an option.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    When you start hearing voices , better build that ark Noah.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Also, southern species of insects in CA are moving steadily Northward and affecting harvest crops.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Interesting observation. I’ve always thought climate change would be very noticeable in Northern New England because of atmospheric changes affecting the Great Lakes.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    That’s just the thing: We’re not supposed to get our monsoons until early July, and it used to be like a light switch. Now it seems to start whenever it likes and phases in and out.

    2009 we had a super heavy year and ridiculous snows as late as the first day of spring in 2010. Since then? Drought and truly pathetic monsoons.

    My wife also used to say that around the greater ABQ area, temperatures almost never cracked 100F. Now? Seems to happen all the time. And in the winters we’ve had some truly ridiculous freezes.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Who are you going to believe? A handful of oil barons that fund the anti-science lies, or your own eyes?

  • Dave of the Jungle

    Interesting. I’ve been here in Tucson for 33 years and patterns that I knew from the 80s and 90s, which never varied, have been all over the place in the last decade. For 20 years, the month of May was always only sunny and dry – acrylic blue skies – and in recent years we’ve had variability. The monsoons of the 80s and 90s were epic; now hit and miss. The first day of 100 degrees or more was always in May; now as early as April or as late as June.

    I’ve been noticing in recent years that NM gets the kind of monsoon I love, as early as June. I may move up there just for that some day. Not before researching the outlook for water supplies, of course.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wjhamilton29464 William J. Hamilton

    There has been massive losses of sea ice in the arctic. The Nortthwest Passage has been open for normal shipping for several years during the summer. The ice cap in Greenland has been shrinking as well. Trees are growing 200 miles north of their historic limit. The permafrost under the Tundra has been melting in places where it was frozen solid since the last really hot age. In my own state of South Carolina, we have amphibians active for nearly six weeks longer each year. We have species never before seen here and the mix of species has been changing as well. It turns out that since everything in the ecosystem coevolved the times when the different species eat, breed and raise young don’t match up any longer so the necessary food isn’t available to support the reproductive cycle. Yes, the planet is being messed with.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    We laughed as kids at the grandparents, who bought two of everything and stored thousands of canned food stuffs in the basement.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Probably the same reason CA’s summer came in May. Normally sunflowers bloom in July or August. Here, they came and went and it’s not even June.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I personally know some glaciers that has a sad.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Down my way here in NM, the locals are all saying we haven’t had a ‘normal’ monsoon season here since the mid 90s. Some way too wet. Some really far out from the normal timing. But mostly increasing drought conditions, growing more extreme and hot by the year.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yeah… people often are when they want to be. A casual Google search will turn up dozens of legitimate graphs and videos, including satellite views, showing the ice caps are disappearing.

  • Dave of the Jungle

    You have been duped.

  • Dave of the Jungle

    Phenomena associated with one season occurring earlier and later in that season than previously, rapid alternations of patterns rather than smooth progressions, etc. Yep.

  • Steve Brown

    One slight problem with this article. I quote … “Climate scientists have linked the massive snowstorms and bitter spring weather now being experienced across Britain and large parts of Europe and North America to the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice….”

    Have a look here:- http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/
    The figures and graphs are all from OFFICIAL sources, nothing made-up here.
    There is NO ‘ice loss’ in the Arctic.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yep. Changes in ‘traditional’ weather patterns. Frequent extreme weather events. Shifts in the seasons.

  • Armando Sousa

    We are facing the “Dante’s Hell” in climate change but weather forecast still remain weather forecast, in U.S. or in E.U.

  • nicho

    Right, because there is no connection between the two. Pffft.

  • emjayay

    Wait until the melting Arctic ice kills the North Atlantic circulation of warm water from the tropics. Europe is surprising far north compared to the US. England will be like northern Sweden.

  • Dave of the Jungle

    “Climate scientists have linked the massive snowstorms and bitter spring weather now being experienced across Britain and large parts of Europe and North America to the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice…”

    Climate Change => Loss of Arctic Sea Ice => Unusual Weather

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Proofread!

  • Armando Sousa

    you speak about meteorology not about climate change. The sadness in the case it’s that you don’t knowing the diference between!

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Why is Minnesota having Western Europe’s spring?

  • Dave of the Jungle

    Global Weirding

  • BillFromDover

    “We’re all going to die”? Well, hello, what’s to be afraid of?

  • Bill_Perdue

    The ‘weather’ is going to kill us in larger and larger numbers. The tornado and hurricane seasons will take an increasingly grim number of lives and destroy hundreds of billions of dollars worth of homes and infrastructure, Agricultural production will begin to diminish. More species extinctions will occur – bees are next on the list. http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/2013-may-be-worst-years-for-bees-say-beekeepers/

    Other species likely to disappear very soon include some species with a limited geographic range like rhinos, river fish, pygmy elephants, simian primates like monkeys and gorillas, and those with a wider spread like tigers, ferrets, pandas, at least one species of cetaceans and polar bears. http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1888702,00.html

    Democrats, Republicans and the rich polluters they prostitute for don’t give a damn. It will be up to working people to create a new kind of government – a workers state – to deal with environmental degradation, wars of aggression and economic chaos.

    We can end the horrors of unemployment and help repair the environment by adopting a 30 hour
    work week, with full benefits, for 40 hours pay and by supporting demands for trillions to be invested in publicly owned and democratically run Manhattan Project efforts to green industry , agriculture and the infrastructure. We need laws to criminalize polluters and mete out harsh financial penalties and long jail sentences to industrial and agricultural polluters. At some point soon we need to end the production of vehicles using fossil fuels.

    Alliance for Class & Climate Justice – Promoting a Working Class Movement For a Peaceful, Sustainable, Full Employment Economy – http://www.kclabor.org/accj.htm

  • Indigo

    We’re all going to die. Be very afraid!

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