Recently I blogged about my fears about this upcoming hurricane season. I'm not the only one.
Reuters recently reported that many experts are worried. Fellow storm bloggers Jeff Masters and Eric Berger are worried. Heck, everybody is worried.
Berger points out that if we look at a quantity called ACE--or, "accumulated cyclone energy," which is basically a combined measure of hurricane numbers, strength, and duration-there are only three years in the historical record that had shown more activity than this one in June and/or July. They are 2005, 1933, and 1916. And here's where it gets interesting: 2005 was the worst year ever, with 28 storms, and 1933 was the second worst, with 21.
Not good company to be in.
[Storm Tracks of the 1933 Atlantic hurricane season. Note all the smackage of the U.S. coastline.]
Granted, hurricane seasons are tricky things. They love to defy expectations. For example, the U.S. took a very serious battering during the Atlantic hurricane season of 2004, when four powerful storms rammed Florida. But four years ago in July of 2004, you wouldn't have been able to see that coming. The very first storm of that year, Alex, didn't even form until July 31st.
Or consider the 2006 hurricane season: It had a notably quiet August, a very active September, and an almost completely dead October. The atmosphere is a complicated place.
Still, I'm expecting that when the next round of seasonal hurricane forecasts comes out-the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's prediction for the rest of the year is due in early August, and another prediction from Colorado State University can be expected to come out August 5-they'll be quite bullish in terms of what they foresee for the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, southern Texas must be reeling right now from our fourth storm of the year, Dolly, which hit (the experts say) as a strong Category 1 or weak Category 2. Either way, it was the strongest storm to hit the United States since Hurricane Wilma shook Florida as a Category 3 monster in October of 2005.
Speaking of which...there's another of those historical analogue years.