By Paul Homewood
How the BBC twist the facts:
The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season has now officially ended, and it’s been the third most active on record.
Though the last month has seen little tropical storm activity, all the pre-determined names have been exhausted for the second year in a row.
There were 21 named tropical storms, including seven hurricanes, four of which were major hurricanes – where wind speeds were 111mph or greater.
This puts 2021 behind 2020 and 2015 – the first and second most active years.
Matthew Rosencrans, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (Noaa) Climate Prediction Center in the US, said: “Climate factors, which include La Nina, above normal sea surface temperatures earlier in the season, and above average West African Monsoon rainfall were the primary contributors for this above average hurricane season.”
In fact this year was nowhere near the third most active for hurricanes. Since 1851, there have been 50 other years with as many or more than the seven recorded this year in the Atlantic.
Neither was it a particularly active season for major hurricanes. There have been 29 other years with as many or more:
It is true that this year has had the third highest count of TROPICAL STORMS, a category which includes weaker storms as well as hurricanes. But this is largely due to changes in observing practices. Nowadays every single storm is monitored by satellite, whereas in the past many crossed the ocean unobserved.
Dr Neil Frank, who was Director of the US National Hurricane Center from 1974 to 1987 goes further, maintaining that many of the storms now named would not have been in his day.
He made two particular complaints about current methods last year:
1) Many named storms are actually winter storms, not tropical storms. He states that the first six tropical storms last year would not have been counted in his time.
2) Nowadays the NHC rushes to name a storm, simply based on wind speeds. His team would have waited until the central pressure dropped to confirm that it really was a tropical storm, and not just a thunderstorm. This often explains why named storms are often so short lasting now.
Even the BBC admitted earlier this year that increasing numbers of hurricanes were due to changing observation practices and not global warming, in article written by the same Simon King!
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on 1 June. But over the past six years, significant storms have been forming earlier than this. So does the hurricane season need to start earlier – and is climate change to blame?
At a regional meeting of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) this week, meteorologists and officials will be discussing a possible change to how the hurricane season is defined.
“The 2020 hurricane season was one of the most challenging in the 40-year history of [the] WMO’s Tropical Cyclone Programme,” says WMO Secretary-General Prof Petteri Taalas.
“The record number of hurricanes combined with Covid-19 to create, literally, the perfect storm.”
The hurricane season has officially started on the 1 June since the mid-1960s, when hurricane reconnaissance planes would start routine trips into the Atlantic to spot storm development.
Over the past 10 to 15 years, though, named storms have formed prior to the official start about 50% of the time.
And the way they are defined and observed has changed significantly over time.
“Many of these storms are short-lived systems that are now being identified because of better monitoring and policy changes that now name sub-tropical storms,” Dennis Feltgen, meteorologist at the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) told BBC Weather.
Is climate change playing a role?
The number of named storms has increased over the decades, but there is no real evidence this is the result of a warming world.
Dr McNoldy notes “the big shift in counts is simply that there were several inactive seasons from 1981-1990 and several active seasons from 2011-2020”.
“Once that inactive period drops out of the average, and is replaced by the active, it will increase the numbers”
The overall increase from 1961 is also likely to be due to better technology, along with observations over the Atlantic Ocean.
Since satellites came along in the 1980s, we can spot and monitor the development of tropical cyclones and name them when they meet the threshold.
We are simply able to record more.
Looks like poor Simon King must have been sent to the Harrabin Re-education Camp!
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
DECEMBER 4, 2021