NASA: Record Streak of No Major U.S. Hurricane Landfalls Due to ‘Luck’
No Major U.S. Hurricane Landfalls in Nine Years: Luck? - 'Nine-year period without a major landfall is likely to occur once every 177 years on average.'
The United States hasn’t experienced the landfall of a Category 3 or larger hurricane in nine years – a string of years that’s likely to come along only once every 177 years, according to a new NASA study. The current nine-year “drought” is the longest period of time that has passed without a major hurricane making landfall in the U.S. since reliable records began in 1850, said Timothy Hall, a research scientist who studies hurricanes at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York.
“The last nine hurricane seasons were not weak – storms just didn’t hit the U.S.,” Hall said. “It seems to be an accident of geography, random good luck.”…“Hurricanes respond in complicated ways to their environment,” Hall said. Regarding the larger climate change-hurricane question, he said, “It’s one of the areas of climate change research where reasonable people can still disagree.”
The researchers ran 1,000 computer simulations of the period from 1950-2012 – in effect simulating 63,000 separate Atlantic hurricane seasons. They found that a nine-year period without a major landfall is likely to occur once every 177 years on average.