As of today, October 24th, it has been 3652 days (including leap years) or a decade (10 years) since the US has been hit by a Category 3 or greater hurricane.
The last such hurricane was Wilma on October 24th, 2005. Hurricane Wilma was the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic basin. Each day forward will be a new record in this decade long hurricane drought period.Via Wikipedia’s article on Wilma:
Part of the record breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, which included three of the six most intense Atlantic hurricanes ever (along with #4 Rita and #6 Katrina), Wilma was the twenty-second storm, thirteenth hurricane, sixth major hurricane, fourth Category 5 hurricane, and second-most destructive hurricane of the 2005 season. A tropical depression formed in the Caribbean Sea near Jamaica on October 15, and intensified into a tropical storm two days later, which was named Wilma. After heading westward as a tropical depression, Wilma turned abruptly southward after becoming a tropical storm. Wilma continued intensifying, and eventually became a hurricane on October 18. Shortly thereafter, rapid intensification occurred, and in only 24 hours, Wilma became a Category 5 hurricane with winds of 185 mph (295 km/h).
Intensity slowly leveled off after becoming a Category 5 hurricane, and winds had decreased to 150 mph (240 km/h) before reaching the Yucatán Peninsula on October 20 and 21. After crossing the Yucatán Peninsula, Wilma emerged into the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 2 hurricane. As Wilma began accelerating to the northeast, gradual re-intensification occurred, and the hurricane became a Category 3 hurricane on October 24. Shortly thereafter, Wilma made landfall in Cape Romano, Floridawith winds of 120 mph (190 km/h). As Wilma was crossing Florida, it had briefly weakened back to a Category 2 hurricane, but again re-intensified as it reached the Atlantic Ocean. The hurricane intensified into a Category 3 hurricane for the final occasion, but Wilma dropped below that intensity while accelerating northeastward. By October 26, Wilma transitioned into an extratropical cyclone southeast of Nova Scotia.
But, to listen to Al Gore and the media, you’d think global warming has made more hurricanes hit the U.S. since then. In fact, there has been no Category three or stronger hurricane that has made U.S. landfall in a decade.
Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. wrote 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)
Note: the graphs have been updated by WUWT to reflect current date and values since Pielke wrote his analysis.
CommonDreams.org quoted Al Gore back in 2005:
… the science is extremely clear now, that warmer oceans make the average hurricane stronger, not only makes the winds stronger, but dramatically increases the moisture from the oceans evaporating into the storm – thus magnifying its destructive power – makes the duration, as well as the intensity of the hurricane, stronger.
Last year we had a lot of hurricanes. Last year, Japan set an all-time record for typhoons: ten, the previous record was seven. Last year the science textbooks had to be re-written. They said, “It’s impossible to have a hurricane in the south Atlantic.” We had the first one last year, in Brazil. We had an all-time record last year for tornadoes in the United States, 1,717 – largely because hurricanes spawned tornadoes.
Well, tornadoes aren’t doing any better, as these graphs from the Storm Prediction Center show. Eight of the last eleven years have been below average:
Back to the hurricane drought, the mighty media was quoting the mighty scientists, and they have fallen flat on their face. Here’s a collection of failed predictions in the wake of Hurricane Katrina:
In 2006, CBS’s Hannah Storm Claims Katrina-like Storms Will Happen ‘All Along Our Atlantic and Gulf Coastlines.’ Just five days before Hurricane Katrina’s one year anniversary, CBS news anchor Hannah Storm featured climate alarmist Mike Tidwell on The Early Show to discuss his book, “The Ravaging Tide.” “I think the biggest lesson from Katrina a year later is that those same ingredients, you know, a city below sea level hit by a major hurricane, will be replicated by global warming all along our Atlantic and Gulf Coast lines,” Tidwell said on August 24, 2006. Tidwell then went on to claim that cities all along the coast would be underwater due to increased hurricane activity and intensity “unless we stop global warming.” In a 2009 Washington Post op-ed, Tidwell explained just how far he thought people should go to “stop global warming.” After comparing the current global warming problem to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, he insisted that “After years of delay and denial and green half-measures, we must legislate a stop to the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.”
‘No End In Sight’ For Big Hurricanes, CBS Says Less than a month after Katrina made landfall, CBS anchor Russ Mitchell predicted that there would be “continued high levels of hurricane activity and high levels of hurricane landfalls for the next decade or perhaps even longer.” “For years now, experts have been saying we’ve entered a period of increased hurricane activity that may last a long time.” Mitchell said on the Sept. 22, 2005 Early Show. Later in the broadcast he added, “since 1990, the number of big hurricanes in the Gulf is up again, and there’s no end in sight.” Now, a decade later that prediction looks laughable since there hasn’t been a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) to make landfall since October of 2005, when Hurricane Wilma struck Florida.
NBC Blames Global Warming for Stronger Hurricanes, Says It’s ‘A Trend That’s Likely To Continue’ In the weeks following Katrina, NBC turned to global warming as the hurricane’s cause. On September 18, 2005, Nightly News anchor John Seigenthaler said, “scientists studying the earth’s climate say we are experiencing stronger hurricanes in this century, a trend that’s likely to continue.” NBC’s chief science correspondent Robert Bazell continued, asking: “Was Katrina a warning of more terrible hurricanes in the next few years?” Bazell admitted “one storm cannot prove anything about climate change,” but claimed the projected ocean temperature rise would cause more severe storms through the end of the century. That NBC report included climatologist Stephen Schneider who said, “humans won’t make the storms, but we can make them a little stronger than they otherwise would have been.”
Looking back, it’s easy to see how wrong the networks were.
In 2008, The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) responded to climate change assumptions about hurricanes saying, “There is nothing in the U.S. hurricane damage record that indicates global warming has caused a significant increase in destruction along our coasts.” As the years passed, the more obvious it was that fewer major hurricanes were hitting land. In April 2015, the American Geophysical Union reported that the United States has been in a nine year Atlantic hurricane landfall drought. A record low. AGU said, “Such a remarkable ‘hurricane drought’ has never been seen before – since records began in 1851 … the last major hurricane – of Category 3 or higher – to make landfall in the U.S. was Hurricane Wilma in 2005.” Research by meteorologists Anthony Watts and Ryan Maue, and environmental studies professor Roger Pielke, Jr. showed the same hurricane drought and an overall slump in tropical cyclone activity throughout the world. Chris Landsea, who is the Science and Operations Officer for the National Hurricane Center at NOAA, tweeted skeptically about a hurricane/climate change link in May 201
How long will it be before the media stops pushing the meme of “more hurricanes due to global warming”? Perhaps never, because as we all know the news cycle maxim: “if it bleeds, it leads”
Note: shortly after publication, the first paragraph was updated to mention leap years