Falling Awake

Just Darts Since 2009

Ahead of the curve, again.

You read it here first!  I wrote my little post on the absence of hurricanes this season on November 22, 2006.  The rest of the world is now catching up.

First, read this prediction from the “AccuWeather” forecast people from last year.  Among its predictions for 2006:

  • An active hurricane season appears imminent, which could have major repercussions for the U.S. economy and the one in six Americans who live on the Eastern Seaboard or along the western Gulf of Mexico.
  • For the 2006 Hurricane Season-which traditionally runs from June 1 through November 30-Bastardi and his team are forecasting that six tropical cyclones will make landfall in the U.S. Five of these landfalling storms are likely to be hurricanes, with three being major hurricanes of Category 3 or greater. 
  • “The 2006 season will be a creeping threat,” said Bastardi. “Early in the season-June and July-the Texas Gulf Coast faces the highest likelihood of a hurricane strike, possibly putting Gulf energy production in the line of fire. As early as July, and through much of the rest of the season, the highest level of risk shifts to the Carolinas. From mid-August into early October, the window is open for hurricane strikes to spread northward to the more densely populated Northeast coast. At the very end of the season, southern Florida also faces significant hurricane risk.”
  • “There are few areas of the U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico that will not be in the bull’s eye at some point this season,” said Ken Reeves, AccuWeather’s Director of Forecast Operations. 
  • The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center forecasts six landfalling storms-five hurricanes and a tropical storm-this year, with three of the hurricanes being major upon landfall. 

Okay, this was the conventional wisdom last year.  I remembered, and waited.  Then I posted on 11/22.  Drudge must have read my blog:

Barring a last-second surprise from the tropics, the season will end Thursday with nine named storms, and only five of those hurricanes. This year is the first season since 1997 that only one storm nudged its way into the Gulf of Mexico.

That was dated the 29th.  My favorite psychiatrist, Dr. Sanity, posted this on the 28th:

Jesse Jackson, noted climate expert, said while surveying the damage of Katrina in New Orleans last year: “Global warming is no longer academic, global warming is real.”

Al Gore, former vice president and current environmental policy pimp has gravely warned Americans that, ” We are altering the balance of energy between our planet and the rest of the universe.”

Whoh! Did you realize that the future of the galaxy–of the universe!–was at stake here?

She has a good post on the matter, and you should read it.  But I had it first.

Why?  Because I know these eco-disaster types.  I know what drives them, and–surprise!–it’s not (just) money.

I’ll be talking about them later.  My next post on the subject of global warming will be a round-up of what we know about what’s happening now.  No estimates, no climate models run on computers.  How has our climate been changing in the past 100 years?

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4 responses to “Ahead of the curve, again.

  1. edarrell November 29, 2006 at 6:51 am

    Um, so you missed the revision of the forecast mid-summer when the unexpected heating event occurred in the Pacific Ocean?

    That event may foretell more disasters of different weather. But if all you’re counting is hurricanes, you’d miss it.

  2. Gerald Bostock December 2, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    I don’t think you realize it, but you’re proving my point.

    Weather is a very complex phenomenon. You can run all the simulations you want through your sophisticated models, but when your predictions don’t pan out, pointing the finger at an “unexpected event” just means you didn’t know what you were talking about.

    If scientists can’t predict (even broadly) what’s going to happen next year, why should we have any confidence in what they predict will happen fifty or a hundred years down the road?

    “That event may foretell more disasters of different weather.” Well, there’s a prediction with all the clarity of the Oracle at Delphi! I’ll agree with you, there.

    I PERSONALLY PREDICT that a disaster involving some sort of weather will occur somewhere on earth, within the next year. I ALSO PREDICT that it will be taken as evidence for global warming.

    Hey! Now I’m as smart as Al Gore!

  3. edarrell December 2, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    Well, while you’re as smart as Al Gore, explain the super typhoons that are hitting Asia — two in the Philippines in the past couple of weeks.

    To call it “global warming” can muddle the point. While the whole planet may be warmer, the effects we see on the ground would be, chiefly for the first couple of decades, just more violent weather with more dramatic swings. That means there will be lower lows, deeper freezes, greater blizzards, etc., etc. — and every time one of these global warming events occurs, some ill-informed wag will say, ‘See, you can’t predict the weather, even — the weather experts claim we should see global warming, but it’s colder than the dickens!’

    The prediction of hurricanes was always contingent on no significant change in the band of water that runs roughly from the Philippines to Chile — but the El Nino itself has become wildly unpredictable in the past 15 years, which is another effect of global warming.

    What you don’t account for is the worldwide decline in ice, nor the worldwide increase in the severity and number of storms. You’ve pointed out that hurricanes in the Caribbean were not so numerous nor severe as originally expected, but you failed to account for the dramatic increase in number and severity of such cyclonic storms in other places. Nor have you accounted yet for the weather effects of El Nino, nor for the fact that it came four months early. You’ve not accounted for the drought it generally causes in Australia, now come years early, on the tail end of record droughts on that continent that produced record-setting wildfires.

    Oh, one can scoff — those weather scientists sure are silly! Then, Nero-like, you’ll sit back as Australia, Mexico and the American west burn.

    You failed to account for the full prediction: More hurricanes in the Americas IF no El Nino; if El Nino, disasters move elsewhere. 200 dead in the Philippines this week. If your “no doom today” methods are no better at saving lives than the current predictions, I’ll stick with the science and the scientists. It’s time to control CO2 emissions in some form (my favored method would be through planting a billion trees, but that’s unpopular with concrete- and asphalt-loving people who think we can pave over any old problem, even global warming).

  4. edarrell December 3, 2006 at 3:16 pm

    Weather disruptions across the Northern Hemisphere, seen here:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061203/sc_nm/weather_winter_dc_2

    VIENNA (Reuters) – Flowers are blooming on the slopes of Alpine ski resorts and bears are having trouble hibernating in Siberia amid a late start to winter that may be a portent of global warming.

    Rare December pollen is troubling asthma sufferers as far north as Scandinavia, sales of winter clothing are down and Santa Claus is having to reassure children his sleigh will take off on Christmas Eve, snow or no snow.

    From Ottawa to Moscow, temperatures have been way above average at the start of the winter in the northern hemisphere — with exceptions including a rare snowstorm in Dallas, Texas.

    El Nino settles in, disruptions to follow:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061201/sc_nm/weather_elnino_dc_1

    GENEVA (Reuters) – A moderate “El Nino” event has taken hold in the tropical Pacific, threatening to trigger further weather disruption into the first quarter of 2007, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Friday

    AND

    “A moderate El Nino does not mean that the impacts will be moderate,” he told a news conference.

    Australia and Indonesia have already suffered severe drought conditions linked to the higher Pacific temperatures, which Kumar Kolli said might also explain the surprisingly mild Atlantic hurricane season this year.

    “An El Nino is usually associated with a weaker hurricane season,” he said.

    Past occurrences of El Nino have been linked to droughts across Southeast Asia, heavy rainfall in parts of South America and East Africa, and mild winter temperatures in the northern United States and Canada.

    An extreme El Nino in 1997-98 killed hundreds of people across the Asian-Pacific region and dealt a blow to their economies at the height of the Asian financial crisis.

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