This map shows the tracks of all tropical cyclones in the 1893 Atlantic hurricane season. The points show the location of each storm at 6-hour intervals. The colour represents the storm’s maximum sustained wind speeds as classified in the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale (see below), and the shape of the data points represent the type of the storm. source: Wikipedia
There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth about Hurricane Ophelia , which gained Category 1 hurricane status on Wednesday, July 11th.
Ophelia becoming Cat1 means that 2017 became the first year in more than a century in which 10 Atlantic storms in a row reached hurricane strength. Here are the names of all ten hurricanes so far in 2017:
Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, and Ophelia.
But here is the kicker: This is the fourth time on record that we have had 10 Atlantic hurricanes. This is nature doing business as usual, with her swings between boom and bust. The last time there were 10 Atlantic hurricanes was in 1893, as seen in this tracking map above.
Here is something else to note. Back then, satellite, radar, and even ship to shore radio communications didn’t exist. So, there was not the same level of reporting we enjoy today. Therefore it is possible some weak tropical storms even an 11th hurricane may have gone unreported that year.
There were also 10 Atlantic hurricanes reported in 1878 and 1886. But since modern records began in 1851, there has never been an 11-hurricane stretch that we know of, though without the modern weather technology we enjoy today, it’s quite possible storms were missed in the past.
And, for those that want to blame global warming/climate change for what is going on on 2017, they should probably explain why there were three 10 hurricane event years in a short span of time when the planet was noticeably cooler between 1850 and 1900:
Right now, Ophelia is very far out in the Atlantic from the United States, and no threat. But it looks like it could affect Ireland and part of the UK:
And that’s causing the usual social justice warriors to have a cow. Of course there’s evidence of past hurricanes hitting the Ireland and UK area as extratropical cyclones, the end-stage of a hurricane.
A report in LiveScience in 2011 says:
From 1851 to 2010, only 10 extratropical storms, typically the tail ends of tropical cyclones, have hit within 200 miles (322 kilometers) of Ireland, Feltgen said. Hurricane Debbie was the only tropical hurricane to make landfall in that area, clipping the far northwest of the British Isles in 1961.
By the time storms make it across the Atlantic they are no longer getting their energy from the warm water, and they are similar to the winter storms that blow across the ocean, Feltgen said. Also, the strongest winds are no longer confined to the storm’s core as they are in a tightly wound hurricane. Katia is expected to bring winds of up to 80 mph (129 kph).
Sometimes they just form on their own, without a hurricane starter, such as the Great storm of 1987:
The Great Storm of 1987 was a violent extratropical cyclone that occurred on the night of 15–16 October, with hurricane-force winds causing casualties in England, France and the Channel Islands as a severe depression in the Bay of Biscaymoved northeast. Among the most damaged areas were Greater London, the East Anglian coast, the Home Counties, the west of Brittany and the Cotentin Peninsula of Normandy which weathered gusts typically with a return period of 1 in 200 years.
I won’t get too worried about all the alarmist caterwauling over Ophelia remnants.
NB! Some adjustments was made to the layout but not to the content.
Claim: warmer oceans will boost hurricane losses 70%
From the UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT and the “data to date says otherwise, so why trust a model” department (see after the article)
Warming seas could lead to 70 percent increase in hurricane-related financial loss
If oceans warm at a rate predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nation-sponsored group that assesses climate change research and issues periodic reports, expected financial losses caused by hurricanes could increase more than 70 percent by 2100, according to a study just published in the journal Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure.
The finding is based on the panel’s most severe potential climate change – and resulting increased sea surface temperature – scenario and is predicted at an 80 percent confidence level.
The results of the study, which focused on 13 coastal counties in South Carolina located within 50 miles of the coastline, including the most populous county, Charleston, are drawn from a model simulating hurricane size, intensity, track and landfall locations under two scenarios: if ocean temperatures remain unchanged from 2005 to 2100 and if they warm at a rate predicted by the IPCC’s worst-case scenario.
Under the 2005 climate scenario, the study estimates that the expected loss in the region due to a severe hurricane — one with a 2 percent chance of occurring in 50 years — would be $7 billion. Under the warming oceans scenario, the intensity and size of the hurricane at the same risk level is likely to be much greater, and the expected loss figure climbs to $12 billion.
The model drew on hurricane data for the last 150 years gathered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, then created simulated hurricanes under the two scenarios over 100,000 years and estimated the damage from every storm that made landfall in the study area.
Researchers then overlaid information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s HAZUS database, a zip-code-by-zip-code inventory of building types and occupancy. HAZUS sets out loss estimates according to wind speed for costs of repair, replacement, content and inventory, as well as costs resulting from loss of use, such rental income loss, business interruption and daily production output loss.
The researchers did not find that warming oceans will lead to more frequent hurricanes, only that warmer seas will lead to higher wind speeds and storms that are greater in size and therefore cover a larger area.
The losses are calculated based only on wind and wind-driven rain and do not include the large financial impacts of storm surge or flooding.
“The study shows that a significant increase in damage and loss is likely to occur in coastal Carolina, and by implication other coastal communities, as a result of climate change,” said one of the authors of the paper, David Rosowky, a civil engineer at the University of Vermont and the university’s provost.
“To be prepared, we need to build, design, zone, renovate and retrofit structures in vulnerable communities to accommodate that future,” he said.
The study was based on the IPPC’s Fifth Assessment, issued in 2013 and 2014. The worst-case ocean warming scenario the loss study is based on was not anticipated or included in the prior report, published in 2007.
“That suggests that these scenarios are evolving,” Rosowsky said. “What is today’s worst case scenario will likely become more probable in the IPCC’s future reports if little action is taken to slow the effects of climate change.”
The increasing severity of hurricanes will also affect hurricane modeling, Rosowsky said, and consequent predictions of damage and financial loss. In a postscript to the paper, which will also be published as a chapter in a forthcoming book, Rosowsky cites the three catastrophic storms of the current hurricane season, Harvey, Irma and Maria, as examples of events so severe they will shift the assumptions about the likelihood that such severe hurricanes will occur in the future.