Friday, September 6, 2013

We're approaching a (non) hurricane record

Remember all those forecasts about above-average hurricane activity this season in the Atlantic basin?

Well, we're closing in on a very different type of record -- the latest in the season without a hurricane.

Since the U.S. government's weather agencies have been keeping tabs on hurricane activity in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, the latest first hurricane was Sept. 11, 2002. That was Hurricane Gustav, which eventually reached Category 2 strength, grazed parts of the East Coast, and eventually hit Newfoundland.

With only a few disorganized systems in the Atlantic basin today, and conditions that are very unfriendly for hurricane development, it seems almost a certainty that we'll break the record.

The government has been watching hurricanes actively since 1944, according to what I've been able to determine. Weather records show the first hurricane in 1941 also came on Sept. 11, but there are no indications that we've ever gone later than that date without a 'cane.

The season started with a bit of a bang, with several systems reaching tropical storm status in July and early August. But over the past few weeks, the few tropical storms that formed were ripped apart by a strong westerly upper level wind flow. That's the type of situation you see in an El Nino year, but scientists say we're not experiencing El Nino conditions currently in the Pacific Ocean.

By the way, those westerly winds also insure that if anything were to form in the Atlantic currently, it would get shoved away from the East Coast.  It's a different story in the Gulf of Mexico, but there is nothing threatening the U.S. Gulf Coast at this time.

Incidentally, the second-latest date for a first hurricane in recent years was in 2001. Erin became a hurricane on Sept. 8 of that year.

Meteorologists remind us of two things, however.  First, all it takes is one strong hurricane to make it a memorable year.  Second, a series of storms can form in a hurry.  In 1941, for example, there were three major hurricanes (what we know today as Category 3 or stronger) after that initial Sept. 11 storm.


Anonymous said...

Ed Clark. Where are you, Ed Clark?

Garth Vader said...

Al Gore, where are you Al Gore?

Anonymous said...

NOAA official hurricane forecast issued 5/23/13:
"Active to extremely active hurricane season.
13-20 named storms.
7-11 hurricanes.
3-6 major hurricanes."

Perhaps next year they will invite a few monkeys to throw darts at a board.

Anonymous said...

Original "active" forecast sounds like something Brad Panovich, Eric Thomas, and Steve Udelson would do.

Anonymous said...

It's a long way from over. The fat lady ain't even in the theater yet.

Archiguy said...

Anon 1:34 has it right. One big storm hitting the coast and costing billions in damage is a far worse season than a dozen storms blowing themselves out in the mid-Atlantic. It ain't over yet.

Besides, this is the wettest year in the last 70, which means the more meaningful streak of extreme weather events, likely caused by global climate change, continues. Al Gore wouldn't be surprised at that.

Anonymous said...

Rather than admit their hysterical forecast from May was just that--hysterical--these weatherman, and their groupies, seem to hope a huge storm comes along to save face. One big storm won't fulfill this ridiculous and unfounded forecast from May:

13-20 named storms.
7-11 hurricanes.
3-6 major hurricanes.

Anonymous said...

Archiguy and Al Gore - Praying for death and destruction to hype their religion.

JD Shaw, bane of Brad's Groupies said...

"3-6 major hurricanes"

LOL...what a farce.