By Paul Homewood
Today’s fake news from the BBC:
Tropical Storm Fay brought strong winds, heavy rain and local flooding to north eastern states of the USA in the last few days.
It was the earliest “F” named storm on record and follows fast on the heels of the earliest “E” – Edouard – which formed earlier in the week.
And we may be looking at more to come. In an update to their hurricane season forecast, which includes all storms which are given a name, specialists at Colorado State University are now predicting there could be 20 named storms – up from 16 in their previous forecast. The long term average is 12.
And when it comes specifically to hurricanes – storms with winds of more than 74mph – that’s gone up too, from eight to nine. The forecast for the number of major hurricanes – Category 3 or above – stays at four.
This is the sixth consecutive year that has seen named tropical storms before the official start of the hurricane season on 1 June. Arthur and Bertha formed in May, also marking the first time since 2012 that two storms formed in that month. Cristobal, Edouard and Fay became, respectively, the earliest third, fifth and sixth named storms on record.
None of these storms became particularly large, which may have had something to do with theunusually large amounts of Saharan dust – a hurricane inhibitor – across the Atlantic.
It may well be that this year will see an above average number of storms – that is what averages are all about.
But the idea that this year, and indeed recent years, are anything special is ludicrous. This is, of course, the implication from the claimthat there could be 20 named storms – up from 16 in their previous forecast. The long term average is 12.
The average of 12 is based on 1968 to 2018, but in the early days it was still common to miss many short lived storms out in the middle of the Atlantic, even as recently as the 1990s.
A comparison of 1968 and 2018 shows clearly how very few mid Atlantic storms were picked up in 1968, despite the early beginnings of satellite monitoring.
And even when they struck the US, they were not even given names all of the time:
The only meaningful trends that can be drawn are for US landfall storms in the last 30 years, and HURDAT data shows clearly that tropical storms and hurricanes have become much less frequent in the last decade:
So far this summer, three tropical storms have hit the US, so there is no sign that this summer will end up being unusual.
The BBC article ends:
The three factors are :
- A warm Atlantic
- Thunderstorms in Central Africa
- La Nina
Weasel words indeed! The actual data, of course, shows that there has been no long term trend in Atlantic hurricanes, which rather puts paid to the BBC’s climate stirring.
In the past the BBC have had to retract claims that climate change was making hurricanes worse, following my complaints. Having had their fingers burned once, they have obviously decided to be more circumspect!