Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hurricane season in the Atlantic comes to a fizzling close


Subtropical Storm Melissa seen from the GOES East satellite.
Considered the last storm of the season.
(Photo Credit: NOAA)

When I read NOAA's Atlantic hurricane season summary yesterday, I wondered how they could the pronounce the end of the hurricane season almost a week before its official ending on November 30. This from their report:

"The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends on Saturday, Nov. 30, had the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982, thanks in large part to persistent, unfavorable atmospheric conditions over the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and tropical Atlantic Ocean. This year is expected to rank as the sixth-least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950, in terms of the collective strength and duration of named storms and hurricanes."


Although it's great news for sailors who spent 2013 in the Atlantic, it raised a lot of questions. I immediately went to Passage Weather where I saw what they were seeing. Little to no activity with highs all over the north Atlantic Ocean. I can see why they would conclude that there's little likelihood of storm development.

Then I thought  about what this means about climate change. If the heavy weather was in the Atlantic last year and pushed into the Pacific this year (we had an amazing summer in the Eastern North Atlantic regions), does that mean it's circling the globe and we're in for it next year? Has the weather modelling changed so dramatically with climate change that we'll have to follow different routes? I'll just have to keep an eye on it.

But then I thought even further, by calling it early does that mean they can shut down the hurricane center earlier to save money? Hmmm. What happens if things change before the 30th? Twill be interesting to watch.

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