Thursday, May 14, 2015

10 years without a major landfalling hurricane?

A new study suggests that no major hurricane (category 3, or above 111 mph) has struck the US in the last 9 years. This is the longest so called "Hurricane Drought" we've had since records started back in 1851. Could we make it 10 years in a row?

The previous longest streak was between 1861 and 1868.  The last time we had a major system strike the US, was Wilma in 2005 and we all know how that turned out.

Several Cat 3's have made landfall over Cuba but quickly ran out of juice before impacting the US.

This doesn't mean we haven't had hurricanes hit, they just weren't category threes. For example:
  1. Hurricane Ike a category 2, struck in 2008
  2. Hurricane Irene another category 1, made landfall in 2011
  3. Hurricane Sandy yet another category 1, hit the northeast in 2012. This last one caused plenty of damage.
Two researchers investigated the likelihood of this so called drought to happen again.  Timothy Hall, hurricane researcher at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, partnered with Kelly Hereid, who works for Stamford, Connecticut-based ACE Tempest Reinsurance, a private company that insures insurance companies.
 After a lengthy process, they came up with this statistic:

  • Roughly a quarter of all tropical systems in the North Atlantic hit the United States
  • The average wait time for a nine-year drought is 177 years, making it rare but not impossible
  • What's more, there is a 39 percent chance that the hurricane drought could end in 2015
Lets hope we can continue this Hurricane Drought. Keep your fingers crossed. We've already had a tropical storm by the name of "Ana", and the season hasn't even started yet. It officially begins June 1st. This is a good time to start prepping for a season that lasts 6 months.

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