2017 saw the first major hurricanes strike the continental U.S in Texas and Florida in almost 12 years, with multiple Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico, suffering major hurricane damage. Certainly hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria will be long remembered by residents of the respective devastated areas.
Although the lengthy span of no major hurricanes was quite unexpected and unusual for many weather observers, has that now somehow made the 2017 hurricane season ‘unusual’ and ‘unprecedented’ in the scientific context?
The factual answer to that is simple: ‘no’.
The 2017 season has not been very exceptional when compared against the historical empirical evidence, as hurricane science expert, Philip Klotzbach, clearly documents – see the adjacent table images. Klotzbach is a research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University.
As the top table shows, so far the very busy 2017 season in the Atlantic basin does exceed the 1981-2010 median of various measurements; but the last 2 columns of the table depict a 2017 season (so far) that is not very ‘unusual’ or ‘exceptional’ when compared against the hurricane season activity records stretching back to 1851.
To summarize, the 2017 season in the Atlantic region is not even ranked among the top 5 historically in 6 of 7 key metrics (so far) through mid-October.
In the bottom table, Klotzbach depicts the entire Northern Hemisphere’s 2017 tropical cyclone activity versus the activity for the 1981-2010 period.
Two words to describe the 2017 Northern Hemisphere’s season in historical context: rather mundane.
“While Atlantic has obviously had very active #hurricane season, N. Hemisphere has experienced average TC activity by most metrics to date,” Klotzbach wrote on October 16, 2017.
Unfortunately, despite this clear empirical evidence, the climate change and global warming doomsday alarmists attempt to portray the 2017 season as a sign of CO2-induced climate catastrophe – and that is not being well accepted by the actual hurricane experts (here, here, here) who have been on the front lines of tropical cyclone activity and impact research.
It’s another case of ‘those stubborn facts‘ deflating the typical anti-science hyperbole and exaggerations of the greens who represent the extreme loons and left-wing fringe anti-science ignorance and/or propaganda.
Of course, this not the final word on the 2017 season. It is not over and could make those above ‘so-fars’ quite irrelevant.