Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:34 PM GMT on July 30, 2007
Guest blogger Margie Kieper
* lolcats, for the uninitiated – and my own contribution to the genre: metcat.
As Bob King sympathized with me a couple of weeks ago, "The only thing worse than blogging – is not blogging." And what better way to have your cake and eat it too, than to blog…but not blog. So, after doing my part to help save the Shire and its furry-footed forecasters from Mordor: I'm back.
But what TC “storyz” haven’t already been addressed ad nauseam? The collective ennui of the lingering ENSO-neutral state of the equatorial East Pacific, the ongoing SAL in the East Atlantic, and anticipating the predictable seasonal predictions of what may lie in-between (an “active / busy / above-normal” season), is almost enough to impede lifting fingers to keyboard.
For those of you who have recovered from the 2005/2006 very public debate regarding hurricanes and global warming, you can pick it up again as the next chapter rolls out today (and why not, since you’ve all finished that last Harry Potter). An extraordinarily large number of news media were advanced a preview of a paper due to clear the publication embargo today, providing a new twist on analysis of North Atlantic tropical cyclone activity in relation to SST, and it seems all of them carried a story on it. Most tout a sensational headline about global warming increasing hurricanes, but I like this one, “Tropical storms stepping up with climate change,” because it appears they actually did read the paper.
There’s sure to be some ripples in the pond, so grab the popcorn and Google News (or whatever your poison) this week to catch the dizzying repartee – which might be a lot more palatable if it were limited to pirate talk (arrr!).
Another news trend cropped up the last part of July: fearful the public might forget about the danger of hurricanes making landfall during the hurricane season, rather than just remind us regularly during the off-season, it’s now become vogue to remind us periodically during the season. So, for anyone who hasn’t yet heard this several times recently: a slow July is normal, and doesn’t mean we’re not in for an active season. August starts the day after tomorrow, and it’s going to be active. Or busier than average. Or above normal. Maybe not as many storms as predicted in May, but still more than normal. Certainly more than the old normal. Possibly more than the post-1994 normal. July to August, as far as hurricanes are concerned is, apparently, like getting in a car with your grandmother behind the wheel, put-putting along slowly in the right lane, then, just as you’re about to doze off, suddenly realizing that she’s put on some pre-1930s-trendy aviator goggles, is laughing maniacally, and you’ve swerved into the fast lane, in some crazy freewheeling Fear-and-Loathing road trip.
I’m not sure how far this trend can go, but it is conceivable that we’ll be reminded weekly, should any week in August, September, or October go by without a hurricane, that this is an active season. For those of you who want to anticipate how active, tune in to CSU on August 3rd and NOAA on August 9th.
Of course, if you want to know now, you can trust the real hurricane experts from Tulsa, OK:
Tropical developments suggest a hurricane may come ''very near the East Coast of Florida early in the 11- to 15-day period,'' Stephen Strum, president of Frontier Weather Inc. in Tulsa, Okla., said in a report.Should someone let them know how accurate the models - er, "tropical developments" - are, two weeks out?...Nah!
Comments will take a few seconds to appear.