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Likely: latest Atlantic hurricane-free date at least since 1941

Originally posted on September 4th. Now, 5 days later, it seems that one of the currently active systems will grow to the Hurricane Humberto (Eastern Atlantic, near Africa) so the records won't be broken – the 1941 late date wasn't beaten (the difference was just a day or so) but it's the latest first-hurricane birth date since 2002.

Remotely related: Henrik Svensmark et al. have a new paper (press release) on cosmoclimatology in PLA, experimentally arguing that the UV rays increase the aerosol production from ozone, sulfur dioxide, vapor by the same factor even for nuclei above 50 nm of diameter – which may already be called cloud condensation nuclei. This strengthens his claims that the cosmic rays influence the climate and falsifies some theories about the chemistry of the atmosphere. Via WUWT. See previous TRF text on cosmoclimatology.
I have manually checked the dates of formation of the first hurricanes on Wikipedia pages about the 1851 Atlantic hurricane season (older, sparser data, are available at most on the "one page per decade" basis) through the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. You should be able to manually edit the year in the URL to get to all the other pages.

This is what I found.

The first 2013 Atlantic hurricane hasn't started to form yet; only two 20-30 percent "glimpses" of a possible depression can be seen and they're likely to be destroyed by their collision with the land (and if they won't be, they will still be too weak for a hurricane). It's September 4th. The probability is therefore high that this situation will continue past September 9th, i.e. next Monday. If that's so, 2013 will beat 2002 (Sep 9th) and the "most recent" hurricane season that could beat our present are 1941 (Sep 17th), 1922 (Sep 13th), 1914 and 1907 (the only two recorded hurricane-free seasons with 1 and 5 named storms, respectively), 1905 (Oct 1st), 1877 (Sep 14th), and 1876 (Sep 12th).

For the sake of convenience, let me mention the first "hurricane birth date" for less spectacular years which were nevertheless late in the season: 1937 (Sep 9th), 1931 (Sep 6th), 1920 (Sep 7th), 1912 (Sep 10th), 1865, 1857 (both Sep 6th). Some seasons were very weak – 1952, 1939, 1930 – but some hurricanes materialized by the end of August, anyway.

Most of the years see the first hurricane forming sometime in July. August births of the first hurricanes are rarer, much like the beginning in September or, on the contrary, June (or even May). Several out-of-the-official-season hurricanes in January etc. mess up with the calendar and I was overlooking them (treating them as if they didn't occur).

See also an Accuweather and WUWT articles about the possibly looming new record.

After the unusually vigorous 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, we were drowning in predictions of ever stronger and ever more frequent hurricanes. A statistical evaluation of the 2006-2013 seasons shows that all the hurricane-related data randomly fluctuate in the usual intervals we have been used to for quite some time. These numbers are very volatile but there's no indication that something is increasing and everything suggests that 2005 was an exceptional year that is unlikely to be repeated often.

So far, we don't know for sure whether the late earliest 2002 hurricane date will be beaten – I would bet that it probably will – and whether 2013 will join the shortlist of hurricaneless seasons (1914 and 1907: how many TRF readers remember those years?) – chances for Yes and No seem comparable to me. And yes, I think it's more likely than not that at least one hurricane was overlooked either in 1907 or 1914, due to the absence of satellites and similar devices, so it's perfectly plausible that the ongoing season will actually be the weakest one since 1851 (unless a hurricane will materialize).

But what is clear is that the absence of any unusually strong hurricane activity after 2005 is just another example of the spectacular failures of the climate alarmists. Like with other failures, they never learn any lesson. They only cherry-pick the data that agree with their scientifically pathological opinion that a dangerous climate change should be underway and simply switch to something else whenever the clash of their idea with the data becomes too self-evident.

Whenever it becomes indisputable that the data have falsified a particular prediction of their "dangerous climate change" framework – and be almost sure that the data ultimately rule out every single one of them – they just switch to something else in which the data aren't sufficiently detailed which is why sufficiently spun, cherry-picked anecdotes may be temporarily used to replace the data. This approach is unscientific and despicable.

It's not too important scientifically or socially whether the first 2013 Atlantic hurricane starts to form before September 9th but I will be personally checking what's going on above the Atlantic Ocean, just for the fun of it. Will you?

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snail feedback (14) :

reader Ann said...

And my neighbors continue to worry about the 'stronger storms' despite the evidence. People here keep harping about last year's Sandy, even though the storm surge had a lot to do with coinciding with a very high tide.

reader Lloyd Martin Hendaye said...

For a major hurricane to form offshore, move 1,500 miles northwest, then slam up the U.S. Atlantic Coast to the latitude of (say) Delaware/New Jersey, would seem improbable in the extreme. 1851 is a good baseline... as for Klimat Kooks' ongoing tergiversations, frankly: To hell with 'em.

reader lucretius said...

Heresy seems to have infected PNAS:

reader Peter Shor said...

Since climatologists predict that global warming will cause stronger hurricanes, but not necessarily more hurricanes, this observation proves nothing one way or the other with respect to global warming.

reader Luboš Motl said...

LOL, Peter. If the number of hurricanes is zero in an interval, it's hard to say whether they got stronger.

At any rate, your comment is a lie. Almost every "big story" about this stuff says that these loons "predict" that that hurricanes will get stronger *and* more frequent, see e.g. the recent Kerry Emanuel paper:

But it's common for climate alarmists like you to rewrite their previous claims and rewrite the history and mutate the picture all the time as today's data are humiliating your yesterday's statements that were meant to hold until the year 2100 but they just happened to end up in the trash bin just one day later.

reader Peter Shor said...


The global warming alarmist crazies do say that there will be more hurricanes, but if you look at the actual CLIMATE SCIENTISTS, they don't.

reader Peter Shor said...

Here is a quote from the news article you link to: "Emanuel's study casts doubt on what had been the consensus view of most climate scientists — that in most ocean basins, tropical cyclones are likely to become less frequent as the world warms, but that the storms that do occur are likely to contain stronger winds and heavier rains." So you can see from the very article that you cited that MOST climate scientists say that hurricanes are probably NOT going to become more frequent. The news articles always quote from the extreme guys on both sides ... the ones who say there is no global warming, and the ones who predict the most devastating effects from global warming.

reader Luboš Motl said...

It depends whom one count as climate scientists. If one uses the measure that was available to the media etc. during the last decade, most climate scientists surely did believe that both quantities will get "more dangerous".

At any rate, Kerry Emanuel is the #1 person who is supposed to be trusted by the climate alarmist crazies who also call themselves "climate scientists". He's a specialist focusing at this very thing at MIT. I wholeheartedly agree with you that there are lots of incompetent imbeciles who speak about things that they don't understand at MIT, but there are also some respected scientists over there and in the context of the climate crazies climatology, Emanuel is a top example.

reader lucretius said...

I hope this is not quite off-topic here.

Very good news from Australia.

"Mr. Abbott has also pledged to cut government spending, scrap both the carbon tax and a levy on the excessive profits of some mining companies, and tighten border security to stop a surge in asylum seekers from places like Iran and Afghanistan from trying to reach Australia by boat."

reader Luboš Motl said...

Yup, expected but good news - I saw it. Congrats to the winner.

reader lucretius said...

The WSJ piece gives some of the reasons to celebrate. But for me there are others too:

reader Gene Day said...

Sandy’s destruction was caused by the unlikely confluence of three factors.
First, it was a huge storm and this fact produce an unusually strong tidal surge. Small storms, regardless of wind velocities, cannot yield such big surges.
Second, It moved slowly, thus increasing the exposure time to Sandy’s damaging winds and floods.
Third, the surge just happened to coincide with an extreme high tide.
The chance of a Sandy repetition, which just happens to hit in a heavily populated, vulnerable area is small, around one to two percent per year at most.

reader Michael Bacon said...

Almost on topic: thought you'd like this:

reader Michael Bacon said...

Lubos, the article turned out to be pretty bad, should have read it beyond the headlines before sending it to you. Please disregard it and this comment. Thanks.