Hurricane Season Underway!

Truth About Weather, Climate and Climate Change

Alex is now the earliest landfalling hurricane in 15 years. And many folks are already using this as a basis for fearing the upcoming hurricane season.

While it is true that Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico sea surface temperatures are very warm and that La Nina is replacing El Nino, complex atmospheric - oceanographic interactions will eventually define this season.

Consider 1992. This was a very weak season and forecast to be one. Yet Andrew, one the most devastating storms until that time, struck southeast Florida.

The opposite could happen. 2010 could have lots of storms, but none strike our area. Hence, the season would be classified as a dud.

As for long-term trends, Chris Landsea, Science and Operations Officer at the National Hurricane Center, has studied 120 years of hurricane history. His data say steady as it goes, with a slight decrease in the number of storms. As for intensity, there is a slight increase.

All in all, climatologically, things will average out as about average.

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