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The Things Peter Stanford Did Not Tell You About Hurricanes

October 16, 2016

By Paul Homewood 


h/t Bloke down the pub




More of the usual misinformation, or maybe just ignorance, from Peter Stanford.

He might have noticed that Bermuda is no more than a speck in the vastness of the Atlantic, and because of that landfalling hurricanes, of any size, are extremely rare.

As Wikipedia state:

According to the Bermuda Weather Service, the islands of Bermuda experience a damaging tropical cyclone once every six to seven years, on average.[3] Due to the small area of the island chain, landfalls and direct hits are rare.[3] Strictly speaking, only nine landfalls have occurred during years included in the official Atlantic hurricane database, starting in 1851.

Map depicting the paths of all landfalling tropical cyclones, according to the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale, in the territory since 1851



Stanford might also have added that, so far this year, there have been three major Atlantic hurricanes, Cat3 and above – Gaston, Matthew and Nicole. The average in the satellite era is 2.6 per year.

He could also have mentioned that Hurricane Matthew was the first Cat 5 Atlantic hurricane since 2007. Since 1924, there have been 31 Cat 5s, an average of one every three years. Given that Matthew only peaked at Cat 5 for 6 hours, it almost certainly would not have even been spotted as a Cat 5 prior to the satellite era.


But then, Mr Stanford seems little interested in facts!

  1. RAH permalink
    October 16, 2016 6:30 pm

    And the Major Hurricane “drought” (their word not mine. I think hiatus would be a better word) for the lower 48 continues. That fact just drives them nuts. So they have to talk about something else.

    But we aren’t out of the woods yet. If Joe Bastardi and the others are Weatherbell are correct the potential for hurricane formation will extend past the traditional, November 30th, end of the season this year. Still, now that we are past the traditional peak, the probability of our hiatus extending to next season increases. Who could have ever imagined that this record Grace period for the Continental US would occur? I’m sure though that the insurance rates for those along the coast do not reflect the savings that industry has enjoyed.

  2. The Old Bloke permalink
    October 16, 2016 7:37 pm

    The thing is, I tracked Matthew and it never got to Cat 5, nowhere near. It barely got to Cat 1 let alone Cat 5. In Florida it was reported that 135 mph winds battered the east coast. No they didn’t. The maximum wind speed I could find over 4 days on monitoring airfield and private met stations was just 55 mph with maintained wind speeds of 40 mph. Somebody has been telling porky pies on Matthew and Nicola come to that.

  3. John F. Hultquist permalink
    October 16, 2016 10:01 pm

    There is a mostly rain disturbance near the Bahamas at the current time. Otherwise, the formation area for Atlantic Hurricanes is clear.
    Hurricanes often begin along the west coast of Africa and travel slowly as Easterly Waves**. If and when they get to American coasts about 2 weeks will have passed. Formation can be closer and time to landfall shortened.
    Don’t start the corn popping for now.

    **wiki: Tropical waves, easterly waves, or tropical easterly waves, also known as African easterly waves

    • RAH permalink
      October 16, 2016 10:49 pm

      I hear ya.
      Close in formation is a real danger with the SSTs in the Caribbean, Gulf, and some of the eastern seaboard pretty warm still. The disturbance currently shown however is not expected to develop into anything.

      As soon as the ridge that is currently across the NE moves on a trough is forecast to form in the SE and that will set up a pattern less conducive for tropical storm formation. But unfortunately it will also bring heavy rains in the SE along some of the area where flooding from Matthew has occurred.

  4. October 17, 2016 8:45 am

    Theory has it that El Niño years can affect hurricane trends…

    In general, warm El Niño events are characterized by more tropical storms and hurricanes in the eastern Pacific and a decrease in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

    Of course ‘in general’ is not the same as ‘always’.

  5. Bloke down the pub permalink
    October 17, 2016 11:56 am

    Some local reports I’ve seen from Bermuda suggest wind speeds not much more than a stiff breeze with very little damage done. Stanford’s claim of wind speeds in excess of 100mph seem doubtful.

  6. NeilC permalink
    October 17, 2016 3:54 pm

    As far as I can see the max was a CAT 1 on thursday 13th. 124 km/h Gust 167 km/h. The graphs at the bottom show the centre passing very close to the airport readings.

    • Bloke down the pub permalink
      October 17, 2016 8:11 pm

      A proper meteorologist wouldn’t use gusts as a measure of hurricane strength, which explains how Stanford comes up with ‘winds in excess of 100mph’.

  7. October 17, 2016 9:02 pm

    The Met Office can now foretell the weather 12 moths in advance


    The new computer can perform more than 16,000 trillion calculations per second proving more accurate predictions than ever before.

    so there ! says Sarah Knapton

    and it cost £97,000,000

  8. John F. Hultquist permalink
    October 18, 2016 1:48 am

    Off the coast of North America, near the Pacific, a serious storm was forecast. The warnings went out. Wind and rain did appear.
    But the complex models and fancy computers missed something. Instead of One-Serious-Low developing there were 2 lows. The combined systems seem almost an order of magnitude less serious than had been expected.
    This was happening before they knew it was happening. So much for trillions of calculations per second.

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