Next time somebody tries to tell you hurricane Sandy was an “unprecedented” East Coast hurricane, show them this

All one need to do to explode the memes that paid political activists Bill McKibben and Brad Johnson are pushing is to look at a history book. In this case, WeatherBELL’s Joe Bastardi points us to NOAA’s National Hurricane Center history book:

Source: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/images/tracks/majors_1951_1960.jpg

Joe says via Twitter:

Track of major hurricanes, 1951-1960..for the record: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/images/tracks/majors_1951_1960.jpg … How would you like that period (54-60) pic.twitter.com/mIfH8CGt

And…

So what were those 6 IN TWO YEARS ( 5 majors)??? CAROL, EDNA, HAZEL, CONNIE,DIANE IONE, Nothing even CLOSE on east coast since then

Along the same lines of looking at history, what was the CO2 level then? The Keeling Curve tells us:

Source: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

Looks like the CO2 level was less than 310ppm prior to 1958, when the data begins.

So here’s the question, if 350 ppm is the “safe” level as defined by activists Dr. James Hansen and Bill McKibben how did all those hurricanes happen back then?

From http://www.350.org/en/node/48

Regarding the last question, we are only doomed if we continue to listen to opportunists like Bill McKibben that try to spin fear of climate (aka Tabloid Climatology) into every weather event now.

h/t to Tom Nelson

In related news, see why the sea floor geography increased the storm surge, as Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. explains:

New York City is particularly vulnerable to storm surge because of a geographic characteristic called the New York Bight.

See the full post here

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71 Responses to Next time somebody tries to tell you hurricane Sandy was an “unprecedented” East Coast hurricane, show them this

  1. dwright says:

    Also know as Manufactured Consent.

    Their desperation is showing like dirty underwear after a 2 week bender.
    It happened, but no one wants to admit the fact…
    Dale

  2. Vince Causey says:

    I am equally baffled as to where the term “frankenstorm” came from. I assumed it was invented by HuffPo or Hansens, but I read somewhere that it was from NASA, which is strange considering the modest windspeeds. Perhaps they were referring to the huge area covered by Sandy. Those sat images looked like something out of “Day after tomorrow”, or the cover of Al Gores latest book.

  3. clipe says:

    Canadian perspective

    http://www.ec.gc.ca/Hurricane/default.asp

    Copy, paste and affix to URL in address bar:
    ?lang=En&n=1B2964ED-1

    Looks like: http://www.ec.gc.ca/Hurricane/default.asp?lang=En&n=1B2964ED-1

  4. boballab says:

    The history of storms that do damage in the MidAtlantic to the Northeast goes back even further than the 50′s and we have photographic evidence of them. Here is a series of photos of Ocean City Md. after the Great Chesapeake Hurricane of 1933:
    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/eastern-shore/bal-1933storm-pg,0,6378003.photogallery

    Look at those photos and you see great similarity to what happened to the coastal towns of NJ.

  5. vukcevic says:

    Next time somebody tries to tell you hurricane Sandy was an “unprecedented” , show them this

  6. Dennis Gaskill says:

    I think “frankenstorm” kinda fits in with a Halloween theme; we have to have a theme don’t we?
    No real information was forthcoming from the lame stream Media.
    Hysteria and Hype!

  7. Werner Brozek says:

    Whatever the motivations behind Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to cite Sandy and climate change as a reason for his endorsement of President Obama, it has the effect of relocating responsibility for Sandy’s devastation from NYC City Hall to Washington, DC.

    Why stop there? In the U.S., emissions fell.
    See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/05/usa-co2-emissions-fall-7-7/
    In China, they went up.
    See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/06/co2-emissions-china-is-the-big-hockey-stick-in-the-room/

    Now exactly what does Bloomberg expect from Obama? Does he expect Obama to spend tens of billions to reduce CO2 which will do nothing or does he expect him to spend billions wisely by helping New York build systems that will protect the city from the effects of future storms?

  8. John Robertson says:

    Interesting looking at other images showing hurricanes/storms hitting the US during the period 1931 through 2010 – simply change the dates on the link (consistent ten year period xxx1 to xxy0 only)
    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/images/tracks/majors_1951_1960.jpg
    to the ten year period you are interested in, so for 1991 – 2000 change to:
    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/images/tracks/majors_1991_2000.jpg
    1951 to 1960 is certainly the greatest number of landfall hurricanes in that period by far!

  9. john says:

    And when non-union crews come in to restore power, this happens.

    http://www.waff.com/story/19981857/decatur-utilities-crews-home-after-issues-with-union

  10. clipe says:

    In 1995 JLK was contracted to conduct a study that would help explain the observed record of cooling at stations in coastal eastern Canada and western Greenland. A relationship between this trend and variability of the Canadian Polar Trough was discovered and a new 50 kPa index called the Baffin Island – West Atlantic Index was introduced. A co-authored paper was published and the work was presented to the 20th Climate Diagnostics Workshop in October, 1995.

    http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/u_arch/knox.doc

  11. Vince Causey says:
    November 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm
    I am equally baffled as to where the term “frankenstorm” came from. I assumed it was invented by HuffPo or Hansens, but I read somewhere that it was from NASA, which is strange considering the modest windspeeds. Perhaps they were referring to the huge area covered by Sandy. Those sat images looked like something out of “Day after tomorrow”, or the cover of Al Gores latest book.

    The motivation for the term was the idea that Sandy would merge with two other weather systems heading eastward, creating a monster storm cobbled together from different sources, the way Frankenstein was created from parts of different people’s bodies.

  12. Sparks says:

    I’m not even entertaining the notion of hurricanes being caused by human activity, in whatever way or even who ever says they are. I’m actually considering sitting all this nonsense out until the fever breaks, election fever that is. But it’s just so fascinating, who knows?

  13. Sparks says:

    BTW, Frankenstein was the creator of the monster, and just like AGW creating a “frankenstorm” it is pure fiction.

  14. vukcevic says:

    Sparks says: November 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm
    ……….
    Nope.
    The AGWs thought their Christmas came early, so they named it after Frankincense and myrrh
    :) (sarc off)

  15. Mark Cates says:

    The claim I hear is that Sandy is “unprecedented” for because of size and coming this late in October. One can look at the hurricanes in October for the 1800 and 1900s and see that isn’t accurate, but I think that is what drove the concept of the “Frankenstorm”

  16. Gunga Din says:

    What’s “unprecedented” about Sandy is the attempts to cash in on it.
    (Oh wait. I forgot Katrina. Maybe we need a “Cash in on it/Political Hay” scale for hurricanes from now on.)

  17. clipe says:

    1925-2

    Storm #2 began on November 29, 1925 in the Caribbean Sea. This storm contained winds of 156 km/h (85 knots) at its maximum strength making it a category two storm. Storm #2 entered the CHC Response Zone on December 3rd as it was weakening into a tropical storm. It brought winds of km/h (40 knots) to the CHC Response Zone. Storm #2 later dissipated on December 4th and did not cause any damage in Canada.

    http://www.ec.gc.ca/Hurricane/default.asp

    ?lang=en&n=A170B8D0-1

  18. I wounder if the rise in CO2 is the cause of the recent rise in obesity? It correlates.

    REPLY: or, said another way…”does this trace gas make me look fat?” – Anthony

  19. RockyRoad says:

    Here’s a flood of a different nature that was man-made:

    http://news.investors.com/photopopup.aspx?id=632002

  20. David Ball says:

    It is extremely entertaining to watch the contortionists spin their way out of documented “precedence”. You really have to be creative to pretend a storm like this has never happened in this way ever before. Stitch a bunch of poorly linked pieces together.

    I guess this is what is needed to re-animate the corpse of CAGW. Frankenstorm might be more apropos than I first thought.

  21. Gunga Din says:

    Dennis Nikols says:
    November 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm
    I wounder if the rise in CO2 is the cause of the recent rise in obesity? It correlates.

    REPLY: or, said another way…”does this trace gas make me look fat?” – Anthony
    ======================================================================
    If CO2 can magnify heat ………………..

  22. Luther Wu says:

    Since Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been touting “Global Warming” since he took office, why has he done nothing to prepare his city for an event such as this?

    The reason is simple: Michael Bloomberg could care less. Let the peasants pay for it all.
    The only reason he and his elitist peers use the terms “Global Warming” in the first place is because they think that it gives them the air of being hip and cool, since the term has become de rigueur in the upper social circles. Bloomberg and the like are actually less free than many of us, because they must conform to the social edicts of often cruel, yet clueless doyennes who call the shots…
    equally laughable and disgusting, really.

  23. Luther Wu says:

    REPLY: or, said another way…”does this trace gas make me look fat?” – Anthony
    ______________
    You talkin’ ’bout that brief methane ballooning in britches?

  24. Sandy became a large-size hurricane (although only Cat-1) in significant part
    due to “baroclinic forces”, which are extratropical influence.

    Next, Sandy did that strange left turn, due to extratropical influence. I suspect
    that may be related to Sandy having hurricane-qualifying winds only in its
    southwest quadrant while moving or turning westward, or about to do so.

    If not for greatest winds being where they are normally not greatest, and if
    Sandy was to be classified on wind strength where winds are normally worst,
    Sandy would have been classified as a 70 MPH tropical storm.

    The hurricane-qualifying winds were only offshore, only in a not-bad direction
    when close to shore should they have hit shore, and may be only indirectly
    measured, possibly extrapolated “in ways that count”. Sandy may get altered
    in post-season re-analysis, such as what downgraded Irene from hurricane to
    tropical storm in its stretch from about Maryland to NYC.

    The large wind field size is due to factors related to Sandy officially having
    changed from a hurricane to an extratropical cyclone before landfall. So,
    Sandy landfell as a bad Nor-Easter. A few of those do have eyes.

    New York City had record storm surge – this was a bad storm taking a bad
    course for NYC.

    I would consider this storm somewhat of a hybrid of post-North-Carolina
    Hazel of October 1954, and the 1991 “Hallaween Storm” / “Perfect Storm”.
    Hazel landfell around Myrtle Beach, SC and brought hurricane-qualifying
    winds all the way to about 70 miles north of Toronto. Hazel was an
    extratropical cyclone by the time it got from NC to VA.

    Don’t forget Agnes of June 1972.

    These storms do not appear to me getting worse. Such freaky storms
    are merely infrequent, and now one had to hit NYC in a bad way.

    For the record – the highest flooding of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia
    is from the “Saxby Gale” (hurricane) of October 1869. I suspect that
    hurricane’s leading rainband merged with or became a frontal boundary,
    and extratropical forces assisted a band of heavy rain, fueled by tropical
    moisture, to pound badly for a prolonged period of time where it would make
    the Schuylkill get to highest in Philadelphia history.

  25. _Jim says:

    [snip - waaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy off topic - Anthony]

    .

  26. bw says:

    At and just before landfall, Sandy was NOT a hurricane. There were no sustained winds anywhere near land that qualified for the 33 meters per second hurricane threshold.
    Scanning for the maximum sustainded winds in the area from the NDBC I found the max was
    28.3 meters per second (55 knots) at Robbins Reef, NJ recorded by ROBN4
    26.8 meters per second (52 knots) recorded by station CMAN4 at Cape May, NJ.
    Other stations were less, eg. SJSN4 (Ship John Shoal, NJ) max was 26.3 meters per second.
    NDBC 44065 and 44025 off New York Harbor showed 24.4 and 25.1 meters per second.
    Station 44009 off Delaware at 23.7 meters per second.
    Other stations were substantially less, especially land stations.
    http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=robn4

    Also, read the NHC reports, before landfall, they always over-estimate the surface winds estimated from aircraft. Sandy might have been a hurricane well off-shore, but it weakened when it merged with the cold front some hours before landfall.

  27. Blade says:

    David Ball [November 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm] says:

    It is extremely entertaining to watch the contortionists spin their way out of documented “precedence”. You really have to be creative to pretend a storm like this has never happened in this way ever before. Stitch a bunch of poorly linked pieces together.

    I guess this is what is needed to re-animate the corpse of CAGW. Frankenstorm might be more apropos than I first thought.

    It is amazing isn’t it! Any scientist, or really anybody at all, that uses the word “unprecedented” is doomed to fail immediately, and I’m sorry, should be summarily rejected from any position of importance. There is almost nothing that can be described using the word “unprecedented”. Not even their own innate stupidity.

    What we are seeing is the literal definition of doomsayers, who are well-represented throughout human history, formerly warning of catastrophe from a comet spotted in the sky or a plague decimating the population, resulting in the summary sacrifice of a hundred cattle or maybe virgins to appease the angry Gods.

    This time around they want us to pay an even higher cost by sending civilization back to the dark ages where these very doomsayers ironically would fit right in. These nitwits were harmless when they only strolled through Times Square wearing sandwich boards that said: “The Day Of Judgment is at Hand. Repent!”. Somehow we allowed them to migrate from there to positions in the Media, Academia and Scientific Institutions.

  28. Spence_UK says:

    Check out Hurricane Agnes in 1972 as well:

    link

    Because apparently hurricanes just don’t suddenly turn left like that without global warming. (Once again, I posted this at Phil Plait’s place – after he smeared Dr Pielke Jr by linking to Joe Romm – but it got disappeared. Phil doesn’t like the science)

  29. _Jim says:

    [snip - waaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy off topic - Anthony]

    Eh?

    Werner Brozek asks above: “Now exactly what does Bloomberg expect from Obama?” and I respond (in a not so direct way) with an implication that Bloomberg has taken a lesson from Rahm E. in ‘never letting a crises go to waste’?

    Ooooookaaaayyyyyyy …

    .

  30. pokerguy says:

    “So here’s the question, if 350 ppm is the “safe” level as defined by activists Dr. James Hansen and Bill McKibben how did all those hurricanes happen back then?”

    Sorry, this just isn’t a good argument. It leaves one open to this of (course phony baloney) reply.”Guess we were wrong. 350 ppm is not safe after all. Which (naturally) means things are much worse than we thought.”

    Facile arguments reflect poorly on skeptics just as efficiently as they do on warmists.

  31. JamesD says:

    Cat 1 storm. Full Moon. High Tide. Very negative NAO provided blocking and turned the storm right into the “funnel” causing the surge. Nothing about CAGW.

  32. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    Some how this whole saga reminds me of some Will Rodgers quotes.

    It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.
    Will Rogers

    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
    Will Rogers

    Larry

  33. Justthinkin says:

    Werner Brozek says:

    November 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Now exactly what does Bloomberg expect from Obama? Does he expect Obama to spend tens of billions to reduce CO2 which will do nothing or does he expect him to spend billions wisely by helping New York build systems that will protect the city from the effects of future storms?

    Well,being a good DemoncRat,Bloomberg will hope he spends billions on AGW,and throw a few bucks his way.
    Cripes. These eco-cultists are getting desparate. It’s to the point now where they have not only soiled the respect of reputable scientists,now they have made the word unprecedented passe.

    And as an aside,Frankinstein built the monster,whose name was Adam.

  34. Gunga Din says:

    Blade says:
    November 2, 2012 at 5:39 pm
    There is almost nothing that can be described using the word “unprecedented”.
    =================================================================
    How about they way they are using “unprecedented”?
    (I doubt the word has ever been more popular.)

  35. Chris Edwards says:

    Nice that someone mentioned the storm of 1987, that destroyed nearly 80% of the mature trees in Kentm Sussex and surrey, not that much property damage as the brits build the homes properly, look at the pictures from NJ the condos are Ok but the wood homes get swept away like toys, also the exploding transformers, why were they not disconnected before the water hit? why were the subway tunnels not protected with flood gates? I suspect the answers are all the same, the feds have picked up the tabs in the USA so why worry?

  36. Gary Lance says:

    All one need to do to explode the memes that paid political activists Bill McKibben and Brad Johnson are pushing is to look at a history book. In this case, WeatherBELL’s Joe Bastardi points us to NOAA’s National Hurricane Center history book:

    I don’t see the significance of posting an image of hurricanes passing east of New York City. Hurricanes have counterclockwise winds, so the storm surge is to the right side of a hurricane’s direction.

    We were lucky Sandy had better ground speed than the forecast, which allowed it to pass by faster. The mph of ground speed was suppose to drop from 19 to 9 to 3 in 12 hour intervals, but it increased to 28 as it changed course and went through New Jersey. Sandy had sustained winds of 90 mph before landfall, but unfortunately for NYC that wind direction was blowing the surge right at them.

  37. Gunga Din says:

    Chris Edwards says:
    November 2, 2012 at 7:34 pm
    Nice that someone mentioned the storm of 1987, that destroyed nearly 80% of the mature trees in Kentm Sussex and surrey, not that much property damage as the brits build the homes properly, look at the pictures from NJ the condos are Ok but the wood homes get swept away like toys, also the exploding transformers, why were they not disconnected before the water hit? why were the subway tunnels not protected with flood gates? I suspect the answers are all the same, the feds have picked up the tabs in the USA so why worry?
    ================================================================
    I think that you also have to consider that the local office holders at the time(s) the suggestions came up didn’t think beyond the poll numbers and their term of office.

  38. ossqss says:

    Upon further review,,,,,,,,,, the only thing that will be unprecedented will be the amount of lawsuits with respect to mold.

    Make a note of that.

  39. Steve D says:

    I think it was at the low end of category 1, is that correct?

  40. gingoro says:

    Once the pro AGW/Climate Change lobby called the storm frankenstorm or used the adjective unprecedented I found that my tendency was to discount many of the storm warnings. IMO many of the forecasters have been co-opted by the AGW forces and I find their writings less than trustworthy. I wonder how widespread such distrust is?
    DaveW

  41. James Mayo says:

    Regarding use of the word unprecedented. “They keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.”

    I think we should just start replying in kind to any climate tabloid use of unprecedented with a single word declaration.

    “Inconceivable!”

    JM

  42. Gary Lance says:

    James Mayo says:

    November 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Regarding use of the word unprecedented. “They keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.”

    I think we should just start replying in kind to any climate tabloid use of unprecedented with a single word declaration.

    “Inconceivable!”

    JM

    For everyone who doesn’t like the word unprecedented and believes Sandy was precentented, let’s start by naming one hurricane in that area heading in a westerly direction. Don’t embarrass yourselves by taking too long giving an example, because you didn’t hesitate to make all these articles and posts claiming there were precedents. And, before anyone tries to pull the bull, yes the direction of a hurricane when it hits land is very important to the amount of storm surge.

    Cough up with a precedent!

  43. RustyW says:

    I guess NOAA’s knowledge base on this subject doesn’t go back beyond 1951.
    I heard a meteorologist say during the storm that the “left turn was unprecedented” meaning the change of course from the expected NW to ENE was something that had never happened and should not happen. But it did happen in 1938. It has even been covered on the History Channel. They never learn. This hurricane did exactly the same thing as is happening now, for the same reason, only a little farther north, and not complicated by other storms from the west. It was more concentrated, with peak winds of 180 mph or so, but in a smaller area, and the damage it did was prodigious. Watch it here:

    or here:

    It had no doubt happened before, and will probably happen again. Just a matter of time, but we don’t seem to be able to remember anything for more than 50 years, which is why AGW gets so much traction. The geologists are laughing up their collective sleeves.

  44. Dan says:

    What I’ve been hearing warmists say is that the effects of Sandy were magnified due to the higher sea levels which were due to global warming. Thoughts?

  45. D Böehm says:

    Gary Lance,

    You are such an obnoxious little puppy. The direction of a hurricane has nothing to do with whether it is ‘unprecedented’. See Rusty W’s post above. The hurricane of 1938 made the same move as Sandy, and it was a much stronger Cat 3 storm, with 120 mph winds. You are still a wet behind the ears juvenile puppy who knows nothing except the talking points you get from from alarmist blogs. And as we see here, you are proven wrong once again.

  46. Kev-in-Uk says:

    pokerguy says:
    November 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm
    I’d agree with that sentiment – the trouble is; that with trying deflect the NUTTY claims of AGW effects, there will always be another one around the corner (and probably a direct opposite of the first claim!).
    The various AGW ‘effects’ can be twisted to the ‘data’ or vice versa (as we all know). That is, of course, the sign of the religous zealotry expounded by the warmista – and one, which, to be frank, we cannot really deal with in true science terms.

    Nevertheless, the skeptical side must stick to actual facts, and in your example, the argument would NOT be that 350ppm ‘may not be safe’ but that more clearly that ‘Hurricanes and or hurricane intensity/frequency are unrelated to increased CO2′ as the data shows – end of discussion! The positive correlation by the warmista is NOT demonstrated and the hypothesis of CO2 causing increased hurricanes is simply rejected. Those are the facts, based on the real data!

    In short, double bluffing or twisting the presentation of facts to the level of the warmista is simply bad science and we should avoid it at all costs.

  47. nevket240 says:

    http://www.skynews.com.au/eco/article.aspx?id=812413

    more scumbaggery from Australias finest.
    disgraceful
    regards

  48. Spence_UK says:

    I’ve added the 1938 storm to the track of Agnes 1972 on the damage estimator, so people can see the tracks. It seems this sort of storm, with the sharp left turn, occurs around once every 30-40 years; not unprecedented, not unexpected. Agnes was a bit weaker since it already made landfall in Florida prior to hitting New York, but only just weaker than Sandy (TS vs. Cat 1). New England 1938 turned less tightly, but was a cat 3 at the time of the turn. A link to the tracks is provided below.

    Agnes and New England 1938 Tracks

  49. osopolitico says:

    There has been an unprecedented increase in the use of the word ‘unprecedented’.

  50. tallbloke says:

    I see desmugblag.com have an article on Bloombergs lurid cover page that has aroused a whole raft of… three comments.

    Lol.

  51. klem says:

    I heard our local radio scientist claim Sandy is unprecedented, but he ads weasel words like ‘in recent memory’ to weasel out of it. Sadly the public buys it hook-line-and-sinker.

  52. Pouncer says:

    Edwards and Gunga Din ask “why NYC’s subway tunnels were not (in Oct 2012) protected by flood gates?”

    In particular, given the history discussed in this thread, did the several hurricanes of the 1950′s level the subways unflooded? Are the accounts of those storms now incomplete and so omit reference to flooded tunnels? Or did floodgates exist in the 1950′s which have been removed or allowed to erode in the decades since?

    And what about earlier? Recall that the NYC subway system was built by PRIVATE and competing companies. There were three different rail companies operating more or less in parallel for most of the first half of the 20th century. The city increased regulatory price controls until the companies were no long profitable at a five cent fare, then turned the whole system into a “publicly owned” — government — on the promise of holding the fares down. It would not at ALL surprise me to learn that the private companies designed in flood-control measures to protect their capital investments that the city government refuse to spend money maintaining (in efforts to keep the voters happier with unrealistic fares and fees.)

    But all this is conjecture. Does anybody actually know what flood prevention measures were where and maintained by who over the history of that system?

  53. sunsettommy says:

    This is off topic but for a good reason:

    Friday Funny – global warming home experiment kit

    Has evidence of Malware in it and should be checked for it as my computer Malware detection software detected it in all three ways of entering the blog post.

    I did not continue to enter as I believe it is an infection that is sitting there ready to exploit and spread.

    I am not kidding at all!

  54. Gary Pearse says:

    Hazel, also an October (1954) hurricane that made landfall in the Carolinas, did $1.1B (2009 dollars) damage and killed 81 people IN TORONTO ONTARIO. Hazel’s name was even retired to mark its death and devastation. Wiki:

    “Hurricane Hazel was the deadliest and costliest hurricane of the 1954 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm killed as many as 1,000 people in Haiti before striking the United States near the border between North and South Carolina, as a Category 4 hurricane. After causing 95 fatalities in the US, Hazel struck Canada as an extratropical storm, raising the death toll by 81 people, mostly in Toronto. As a result of the high death toll and the damage Hazel caused, its name was retired from use for North Atlantic hurricanes.

    In Haiti, Hazel destroyed 40% of the coffee trees and 50% of the cacao crop, affecting the economy for several years to come. The hurricane made landfall in the Carolinas, and destroyed most waterfront dwellings near its point of impact. On its way to Canada, it affected several more states, including Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York, bringing gusts near 160 km/h (100 mph) and causing …”

    No comparison at all. A large part of consensus science’s CAGW seems to be to bury history to make things unprecedented. Actually, with all the green movement and lefty politicos aware of the late Stephen Schneiderr’s encouragement to exaggerate, disregard uncertainty, generally subvert science and block dissent for “the good” and their willingness to do so makes for a very disheartening pircture. It is not a few crack pots. It is hundreds of millions of people (admittedly blissfully ignorant) who have bought into and feel good about the lying, cheating, intimidation and destruction of economies. Look at the silence and even the support of the so-called 97% of scientiists on such things as the Climategate affair, the whitewashes and the recent Nobelgate matter. Disheartening except for the equally surprising fact that the comparatively few sceptics have been so successful at confronting and beginning to dismantle this ugly beast.

  55. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    Although it happened in March, the Ash Wed. storm or 1962, exceeded flooding by Sandy over a wide area because it was stalled by a blocking cold front, and continued to grind on the coastal areas for 5 consecutive high tides.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/ash-wednesday-storm-of-1962-50-year-anniversary/2012/03/06/gIQAkSY4uR_blog.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ash_Wednesday_Storm_of_1962

    http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/10/29/hurricane-sandy-will-join-other-storms-that-were-rare-freaks-of-nature/

    Add to that a few seldom remembered storms like the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635, and the Great Gale of 1815.

    http://www.islandnet.com/~see/weather/events/gh1635.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_September_Gale_of_1815

    The subway tunnels flooded in 1992 as well.

    A few degrees colder and we would have seen something similar to the Great Blizzard of 1888.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Blizzard_of_1888

    Larry

  56. rgbatduke says:

    I repeat (and Anthony can confirm) — we are continuing the all-time record stretch without a major hurricane making landfall in the United States. Sandy (at least according to the comments above) wasn’t even technically a hurricane at landfall, let alone a major hurricane.

    My mother drove home from the NC beach hours in front of Hazel (pregnant with me) to huddle down in our Raleigh home as it roared by overhead. We endured Hurricane Fran a decade or so agowhich came ashore as a category three storm (following almost the same track as Hazel) and was still category one as it roared over my adult head in our Durham home. It was two full days before I could drive out of our neighborhood as pin oaks four to six feet in diameter were picked up by the storm and spun around like toothpicks through power lines and down onto the roadways. Hurricane Floyd a few years later wasn’t much of a hurricane as far as force was concerned, but dropped so much rain into the state that every major waterway flooded, creating riverways that were miles out of their normal shores throughout eastern North Carolina.

    The reason Sandy did so much damage is twofold. First, it was physically a very large storm (like Fran) so one could be hundreds of miles away from its center and still experience a lot of damage. The second reason is the eternal one — in the many decades since a tropical storm made a serious hit on the Maryland/NJ/NY seaboard, the coastal population has probably increased tenfold, with huge investments in property simply not designed to withstand hurricanes. That is just dumb, of course — hurricanes happen. In NC we get a reminder of this every few years, because we (like Florida) are pretty much one of the leading pins in Hurricane Alley where the outer banks poke out almost to the Gulf Stream. Even so, people still build ticky-tack houses on what should be unoccupied barrier islands down here and then just wait for the hurricane that no construction can endure. But the long-term communities, the ones that have survived a century or more, survive by building to withstand anything less than a direct hit by the eye or the strongest winds to the east of the eye.

    Not so in New Jersey. Atlantic City, famous as a place that exploits an unfortunate weakness in the human psyche to the massive enrichment of its builders, made a “bet” themselves with Nature when they built their garish pits of human suffering next to the ocean. Guess they lost. Not so in New York, largely built ON AN ISLAND in direct contact with the sea. It isn’t a matter of if, when you do such a thing, only when. There has never been a time in human history when it was “safe” to build human habitations on the outer shore (or for that matter, inland). Damn few human structures can stand up to a tornado or hurricane force winds and storm surges, and…

    hurricanes happen!

    In Hartford, perhaps they hardly happen, but hardly is not never.

    rgb

  57. Ron C. says:

    A year ago Chris Landsea explained it quite clearly:
    “The bottom line is that the current very active period since 1995 is indistinguishable from the 1940s to the 1960s – it is busy now, but it was just as active in the mid-20th Century.”
    “This is a natural fluctuation driven by the Atlantic Ocean, which experiences distinct warm and cool periods that are not tied to the long-term global warming signal. When the Atlantic is in a warm phase, not only are the waters warmer by ~ 1/2°F (~1/4°C), but the atmosphere has more moisture, less wind shear to tear incipient hurricanes apart, and more vigorous and plentiful thunderstorms that fuel the cyclones. Conversely, in the cool phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, the waters are slightly cooler and the atmosphere is drier, has more inhibiting wind shear, and cannot sustain the thunderstorm activity as readily.”
    “These multi-year swings in ocean temperature are nearly an exact match to the adjusted number of tropical storms, adjusted hurricanes, U.S. hurricanes, and normalized U.S. hurricane damages. When stratified by the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, there is a doubling in the number of major hurricanes, a 50% increase in the frequency of U.S. landfalling major hurricanes, and over three times as many Caribbean hurricane strikes between the warm and cool phases.”
    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Landsea/gw_hurricanes/

  58. Anthony Watts says:
  59. markx says:

    This focus on Sandy is not a bad thing. The true believers of course will scream the news from the roof tops and gather in small excited groups to crow about it.

    But there will be many sensible people who have been just going with the flow believing what they are told who will start looking at all the fuss and thinking to themselves that there is a something a bit wrong with the story.

    They will do a bit of research see a few facts from history , and realize they are simply the target in a bizarre marketing campaign. The more of this trumpeting of every single little weather glitch there is, the more questions will arise.

  60. Sparks says:

    I’m reading news reports that are saying Sandy has brought a lot of snow, here is an example;

    Nov 2, 2012 “Helicopters pick up distressed NC hiker on Appalachian Trail stranded in Sandy snowstorm”
    http://www.newser.com/article/da2a4v683/helicopters-pick-up-distressed-nc-hiker-on-appalachian-trail-stranded-in-sandy-snowstorm.html

    Sandy Snowstorm? wasn’t the tropical Cyclone Called Sandy and the cold front that came down was in fact just a large cold front that brought with it the snow. Has the name Sandy officially been carried over to these snowstorms or is it just more tabloid climatology?

  61. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    2012 – 1954 = 58 years.

    If there is heightened hurricane activity up the east coast in the downswing of the 60-ish year AMO cycle the next few years could be painful. Sandy may be first of the new series.

  62. TImothy Sorenson says:

    Could someone edit the Hurricane Sandy page to reflect this information since the wiki page says the last hurricane to strike New England was in 1938, Already wiki pages exist to show that the 3 (Carol 54 Edna 54 and Donna 60) all struck New England. People are trying to make the period very long since the last strike

  63. Alex Heyworth says:

    Are people really so stupid that they don’t understand that natural disasters are – ahem – natural?

    Don’t worry, I’ve answered my own question. I’m beginning to think my middle name must be Spock.

  64. Sparks says:

    Alex ‘Spock’ Heyworth

  65. Bruce Hall says:

    Left this at The New York Times post:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/nyregion/after-getting-back-to-normal-the-big-job-is-to-face-a-new-reality.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0&pagewanted=all

    Bruce Hall Michigan
    So many common sense ways to upgrade infrastructure; so little historical sense when it comes to the reason given: “Climate change and extreme weather are presenting government — and the public — with some overwhelming choices.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/02/next-time-somebody-tries-to-tell-you-hurricane-sandy-was-an-unprecedented-east-coast-hurricane-show-them-this/

  66. Thanks Anthony, I have placed links to every NOAA National Hurricane Center – Major U.S. Landfalling Hurricane Tracks decade, from 1851 to 2005 in my page “Observatorio ARVAL – Meteorology for South Florida and the Caribbean”, at http://www.oarval.org/meteorologFL.htm
    Also in the Spanish version at http://www.oarval.org/meteorolog.htm

  67. Rascal says:

    While Sandy was not an unprecedented in terms of wind, as was mentioned in several comments, the confluence of the tropical storm with the nor’easter made for a rather unusual storm in terms of the area affected.
    Add to this the increase in population density since the prior storms, and the extensive media coverage, and a rather nasty storm becomes a “frankenstorm”.
    Luckily I personally was not affected by it to the extent of those who suffered, and are still suffering due to the loss of property from the flooding, but the there were a considerable number of large trees downed in my neighborhood.
    Understandably, these losses prevent those who suffered damages to put this in perspective.
    This storm came close to the nightmare of may meteorologists, running up the east coat to New York Harhot.

  68. Alex Heyworth says:

    @Sparks, Lol, very good.

  69. philjourdan says:

    Kind of funny, but if the Alarmist had actually stuck to their science, they could claim that the LACK of catastrophic weather is a symptom of AGW. While it is indicative of Global Warming, it is not demonstrative of AGW, but at least they would be half way there.

  70. Spector says:

    Many people affected by Sandy have lost everything and deserve our sympathy. That is especially true for women who have lost the dear home they have lovingly tended all their lives. These people should not have their misery used as a justification or proof of otherwise unfounded environmental myths or to foster one or another candidate for political office.

  71. Adam says:

    People need to understand the difference between weather and climate. Weather is what you get! Climate is what you expect. Climate is based on precedence. When there is very little on account of a lack of satelite data before 1950, you take the average which then becomes skewed. Especially in the case where a tropical cyclone is converting to an extratropical cyclone at this time of year. BTW The computer models did an outstanding job with these atmospheric dynamics!

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