While the alarmists squall over trying to control what they perceive as “extreme weather” driven by global warming at Durban COP17, urging immediate action in the form of coughing up 100 billion a year to poor countries for “reparations”, a quiet record has gone almost unnoticed. As of midnight Sunday, it has been 2232 days since a major hurricane (CAT3 or greater) made landfall on the USA.Irene this year (Cat 1) doesn’t count, and I have doubts it was even a Cat1 hurricane at all given the low wind speeds when it made landfall.
And that record can only get bigger, since hurricane season ended on December 1st. It won’t start again until June 1st, 2012, so at the very least we are likely to see 6 months (184 days including end date) added to this record for a total of 2416 days. It will probably be higher than that since historically we get few landfalling hurricanes early in the season.
Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. offers this graph of days between Cat3-5 hurricanes striking the USA:
He writes on his blog:
On December 4, 2011 it will have been 2,232 days since Hurricane Wilma made landfall along the Gulf coast as a category 3 storm back in 2005. That number of days will break the existing record of days between major US hurricane landfalls, which previously was between 8 Sept 1900 (the great Galveston Hurricane) and 19 Oct 1906. Since there won’t be any intense hurricanes before next summer, the record will be shattered, with the days between intense hurricane landfalls likely to exceed 2,500 days.
If you are in the insurance or reinsurance business and want to stir up a little constructive mischief, you should ask your favorite catastrophe modeling firm or ratings agency to show you the mathematics behind their estimate of the probability of zero intense hurricane landfalls from 2006 to present (both made at the time and what they’d say today). (Hint: Zero. Zip. Nada.).
This remarkable streak has to end sometime, and likely won’t be repeated anytime soon.
One more thing. Clearly the claims of Al Gore and his ilk about Hurricane Katrina and other unfounded “AGW hurricane intensification” fears have been proven false. Not only that, deaths attributable to hurricanes are down too. That’s an inconvenient truth for Al Gore, but we’re the ones who are “racist” for saying such things.
U.S. hurricane deaths and death rates per year, 1900–2010. Sources: Updated from Goklany (2009), using USBC (2011) and NWS (2011). For 2005, this figure uses National Hurricane Center data from Blake et al. (2007), which has 1,525 deaths for that year, but Blake et al. (2011) has 1,225 deaths while NWS Weather Fatalities uses 1,016 deaths. This figure uses the Blake et al.’s older data, pending consultation with Dr. Blake.