While climate campaigners hope for a big El Nino this year, and wish for more hurricanes to use for ridiculous “poisoned weather” headlines, the reality is that we are in a hurricane drought, not just in the USA, but globally as well.
Hurricane expert Dr. Ryan Maue points out the current situation in one simple and elegant graph which sums up the slump in activity:
5-year running sum of number of global tropical cyclones (1970-2015)
Stuck at 400 — lowest in this 45-year record.
This is backed up by data compiled by Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.:
Meanwhile, it has been a record long drought for Cat3 or greater landfalling hurricanes in the USA. This graph shows the number of days from the last Cat3 Hurricane to make US landfall. The last such hurricane was Wilma on October 24th, 2005.
That puts us at 3460 days as of today, and when hurricane season starts June 1st (assuming there is no Cat3 hurricane to hit the USA in the meantime, a likely scenario) it will be 3507 days, or 9 years, 7 months, 8 days…almost a decade!
Pielke Jr. writes on his blog:
Above are some graphs for those of you interested in the remarkable, ongoing drought in intense hurricane landfalls in the US, which is stretching close to 10 years. The top graph shows the days in between intense (category 3+) landfalls in the US since 1900. The bottom graph shows the same information, but only for Florida landfalls.
You can see that for the US, the current “intense hurricane drought” is unprecedented in at least a century. For Florida, there have been other long stretches between intense hurricane landfalls. Over the past century the average time between intense landfalls in Florida has just about doubled, from about 3 years to 6 years.
Data, sources, discussion: Pielke (2014)