Image Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)
By WUWT Regular Just The Facts
From the Insurance Journal:
“The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season looks set to go down as a big washout, marking the first time in 45 years that the strongest storm to form was just a minor Category 1 hurricane.
There could still be a late surprise in the June 1-Nov. 30 season, since the cyclone that mushroomed into Superstorm Sandy was just revving up at this time last year.
But so far, at least, it has been one of the weakest seasons since modern record-keeping began about half a century ago, U.S. weather experts say. Apart from Tropical Storm Andrea, which soaked Florida after moving ashore in the Panhandle in June, none of this year’s cyclones has made a U.S. landfall.”
“It has been “a very strange sort of year” in the unpredictable world of cyclones, said Jeff Masters, a hurricane expert and director of meteorology at Weather Underground. “We’ve been in this multi-decadal pattern of activity but it just didn’t happen this year,” Masters said, referring to the prolonged period of increased hurricane activity that began in 1995.”
“There were two short-lived Category 1 hurricanes this year, making it the first Atlantic season since 1968 when no storm made it beyond the first level of intensity, according to the National Hurricane Center.
It has also been a year marked by the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982 and the first since 1994 without the formation of a major hurricane.
In terms of so-called “Accumulated Cyclone Energy” (ACE), a common measure of the total destructive power of a season’s storms, 2013 ranks among the 10 weakest since the dawn of the satellite era in the mid-1960s, said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the Miami-based National Hurricane Center. “The ACE so far in 2013 is 33 percent of normal,” he said.”
“Phil Klotzbach, a Colorado State University climatologist, readily admits that the forecasts are based on statistical models that will “occasionally fail,” since the atmosphere is chaotic and subject to fluctuations that cannot be predicted more than a week or two in advance.”
For reference here are Global Tropical Cyclone Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) – 1971 to Present;
Global Tropical Cyclone Frequency- 1971 to Present;
Global Hurricane Frequency – 1978 to Present;
US Hurricanes 1851 – 2010;
and Australian Region Tropical Cyclones 1970–2011 (Severe tropical cyclones are those which show a minimum central pressure less than 970 hPa);
So I guess that we don’t need to buckle up for those Category 6 hurricanes after all?:
If you look at superstorm Sandy on October 29th, the ocean water east of New Jersey was nine degrees fahrenheit above average. That’s what put so much more energy into that storm. That’s what put so much more water vapor into that storm. Would there be a storm anyway? Maybe so. Would there be hurricanes and floods and droughts without man-made global warming? Of course. But they’re stronger now. The extreme events are more extreme. The hurricane scale used to be 1-5 and now they’re adding a 6. The fingerprint of man-made global warming is all over these storms and extreme weather events. Al Gore – Washington Post