Popular Posts

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Above Average Hurricane Season Expected

NOAA Expects Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season

May 27, 2010
Hurricane Ike. Hurricane Ike, 2008.
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

An “active to extremely active” hurricane season is expected for the Atlantic Basin this year according to the seasonal outlook issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service. As with every hurricane season, this outlook underscores the importance of having a hurricane preparedness plan in place.

Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is projecting a 70 percent probability of the following ranges:
  • 14 to 23 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
  • 8 to 14 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
  • 3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)
“If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared.”

The outlook ranges exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. Expected factors supporting this outlook are:
  • Upper atmospheric winds conducive for storms. Wind shear, which can tear apart storms, will be weaker since El Niño in the eastern Pacific has dissipated. Strong wind shear helped suppress storm development during the 2009 hurricane season.
  • Warm Atlantic Ocean water. Sea surface temperatures are expected to remain above average where storms often develop and move across the Atlantic. Record warm temperatures – up to four degrees Fahrenheit above average – are now present in this region.
  • High activity era continues. Since 1995, the tropical multi-decadal signal has brought favorable ocean and atmospheric conditions in sync, leading to more active hurricane seasons. Eight of the last 15 seasons rank in the top ten for the most named storms with 2005 in first place with 28 named storms.
Hurricane Noel. Hurricane Noel, 2007.
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

“The main uncertainty in this outlook is how much above normal the season will be. Whether or not we approach the high end of the predicted ranges depends partly on whether or not La Niña develops this summer,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “At present we are in a neutral state, but conditions are becoming increasingly favorable for La Niña to develop.”

"FEMA is working across the administration and with our state and local partners to ensure we're prepared for hurricane season," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "But we can only be as prepared as the public, so it's important that families and businesses in coastal communities take steps now to be ready. These include developing a communications plan, putting together a kit, and staying informed of the latest forecasts and local emergency plans. You can't control when a hurricane or other emergency may happen, but you can make sure you're ready."

The president recently designated May 23-29, 2010, as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. NOAA and FEMA encourage those living in hurricane-prone states to use this time to review their overall preparedness. More information on individual and family preparedness can be found at www.Ready.gov and www.hurricanes.gov/prepare.

NOAA scientists will continue to monitor evolving conditions in the tropics and will issue an updated hurricane outlook in early August, just prior to what is historically the peak period for hurricane activity.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us on Facebook.

Hurricane Names for 2010

Hurricane Names 2010
Alex Lisa
Bonnie Matthew
Colin Nicole
Danielle Otto
Earl Paula
Fiona Richard
Gaston Shary
Hermine Tomas
Igor Virginie
Julia Walter

The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act

The longest free flowing river east of the Mississippi has a bill in congress to create The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act.  This Act if passed, would provide $5 million per year for five years to implement a voluntary, coordinated approach to sustaining and enhancing habitat, water quality and flood control improvements for fish, wildlife and people.

Under the act, the Secretary of the Interior would coordinate a program that would involve all four states in the basin, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The program would provide support for local, projects by non-profits, universities, state and local governments, community organizations and others. This could support such things as wetlands restoration and protection, flood mitigation and waterfront revitalization.

The Delaware River Basin lacks a coordinated federal/state/local oversight effort, even though it is home to more than 8 million people and provides drinking water to 15 million. Other major American watersheds, including the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay, get tens of millions of dollars in federal funding for conservation coordination. The Delaware Basin get relatively little funding, and the upper basin gets none.  This bill can change that.

The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act (H.R. 4698) was introduced on Feb. 25 by U.S. Rep. Michael Castle (R-Del.) and has bipartisan co-sponsorship by U.S. Reps. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), Rush Holt (D-N.J.), Charles Dent (R-Pa.) and Joe Sestak (D.-Pa.).

Please send an email asking them to support H.R. 4698, the proposed Delaware River Basin Conservation Act. Here's a handy link to make it easy: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml Also, send an email, to the congressmen listed above thanking them for supporting this legislation.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Third-Annual One Bug A Big Success

The third-annual ―One Bug‖ trout fly-fishing fundraiser in the Hancock, N.Y., area was a resounding success, said Dan Plummer, chairman of the event‘s sponsor, Friends of the Upper Delaware River.
The weekend-long event was bigger and better than ever, raising more than $54,000 to benefit charitable causes in the region. Plummer estimated that the event pumped as much as $50,000 into the local and regional economies from purchases both by FUDR and contestants of goods and services from restaurants, hotels, guide services and fishing shops, and grocery and liquor stores.

"The One Bug weekend keeps getting bigger and bigger" said Plummer. "We see it as our way of giving back to everyone who helps us throughout the year, including local businesses. This is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and we hope our event helps spread the word of all that Hancock has to offer."

The One Bug raised the proceeds for FUDR from entry fees, an auction and ticket sales. The tourney is the most important fundraising event of the year for FUDR, a nonprofit stream advocacy group. FUDR has been a leader in the battle to get in place a more sensible water-release plan from the area‘s reservoirs, providing both safety from flooding and a sustainable world-class fishery.

This year‘s event, held April 23-25 on the upper Delaware River, was headquartered at the Old Capitol Theatre, 170 Front St. in Hancock. Guests at the Friday night opening reception included Pete Grannis, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; Hancock Town Supervisor Sam Rowe and wife, Laura; Krystyna Wolniakowski, a director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Commissioner Bob Bachman of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The Stanley Cooper Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Indian Springs Flyfishing Club bought tables at the event.

Plummer and several friends and FUDR supporters spent nearly two weeks decorating the theater for the event. It was tricked out with temporary walls plastered to look rustic and aged, then framed with hemlock slabs that were scraps from local lumber mills. The centerpiece of the room was a 24-foot-tall white birch tree found that a utility crew had cut down and discarded. The room was illuminated with Chinese lanterns and decorated with wooden fish silhouettes, evergreen boughs, giant trout flies hand painted on canvas by artist Gordon Scott, and mounted trout, vintage paintings and hand-carved decoys from Plummer‘s personal collection. The ambience was enhanced by fish and wildlife images projected on a screen onstage by environmental filmmaker David Morris.

"Everyone thinks we‘re crazy for putting so much effort into the décor each year" said Plummer. "But I really want the event to feel special. We owe it to Hancock, the guides and all the participants who support FUDR."

This year‘s tournament included 13 teams, each of which paid a $2,200 entry fee to compete. Patagonia, the outdoor clothing and gear company, paid $4,000 to become the tourney‘s first corporate entry. For the first time, the One Bug also had two all-women teams.

Under One Bug rules, each team selects a single artificial fly for each of the two days of competition. If it breaks off or is otherwise lost, the team‘s day of tournament fishing was finished. The event was fashioned after the Jackson Hole One Fly fundraiser in Jackson, Wyo. Each team was paired with a top-notch local guide and assigned to a specific beat, or stretch of water.

The favorite fly patterns selected this year were the Caddis, the Hendrickson and other mayflies. Despite low water levels, trout were plentiful, Plummer said, with nearly every fisherman and woman boating fish. The rules call for CPR: catch, photograph and release.

FUDR‘s struggles continue with the lack of common sense in water releases from the New York City Bureau of Water Supply reservoirs, Plummer said. "Fishermen encountered low water levels again this year, but we were lucky with cold days and nights that kept the water temps cold enough for bug hatches and feeding trout."

Team winners this year were One Bug three-year veterans Pete (Doc) Bousum and his brother, John Bousum, fishing as Team Eagles. Second place went to Andy (Big Fish) Tumalo and Glen Erickson, fishing as Team Big Fish. Third place was a tie between the Delaware Boys, Terry DiSabatino and Paul Robino of Indian Springs Fly Fishing Club, and the Undertakers, John Morris and Mike Romanowski, both from the Stanley Cooper Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

The individual winner was Tumalo, following by Doc Bousum and Romanowski. The 2010 Big Fish Award was a tie between Tumalo and Romanowski. Each caught, photographed and released a beautiful 22-inch native brown trout.

The Jimmy Charron Top Guide Award was a very close competition, with guides John Endreson and Ben Rinker tied with the same score for the two days. Endreson was named the winner based on a big-fish tiebreaker. He had boated a 22-incher, while Rinker‘s biggest fish was 17 inches.

Proceeds from the event will help fund FUDR‘s charitable work, including an ongoing project to restore Sands and Cadosia Creeks, important Delaware River tributaries for wild spawning trout in Hancock that were seriously damaged by the June 2006 flood.

Food and catering for the three-day event was provided by a number of local businesses, including the Circle E Diner, the Bluestone Grill, the Hancock House and Grand Union supermarket. Susan Alper, chef and co-owner of the Bluestone Grill, which hosted dinner Saturday night, said she didn‘t have to ask whether contestants were having luck on the water ."I have never seen the guys this happy", Alper said. "I knew the fishing must be good."

For information about FUDR‘s work, please visit www.fudr.org or call Plummer at 607-363-7848.