The Tiger's Eye: As promised here is the 07 storm season wrap-up

09 December 2007

As promised here is the 07 storm season wrap-up

OK, it’s Dec 9 which means the 2007 Hurricane season is officially over.
Back in July I went out on a limb:

The phrase I used was; “…predicting that this season will be pretty much like most. A few storms, maybe a bad one here or there but nothing particularly awful or END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT!!! (Emphasis ALGORE Vs. II.b)”
I’ll admit that I was being a bit hyperbolic in blaming our former Vice-President as he actually didn’t say it would be the end of the world this year, the phrase seemed to ring true and this day that is the important thing. Something must appear to be true whether it is or not. - "Rather's rule")

Let’s see how I did:
The official prediction (original - not revised) “On December 8, 2006, Klotzbach's team issued its first extended-range forecast for the 2007 season, predicting above-average activity (14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, 3 of Category 3 or higher)”

Let’s see how it panned out:
(I’m using the Wikipedia article because it is accurate, general and easy to understand.)
There were 16 “named” storms (one – “Andrea” actually happened before the season but we'll count her anyway).
They broke down as:
1 Subtropical storm – “Andrea”
2 Tropical Depressions – “10” & “15”
7 Tropical Storms – “Barry”, “Chantal”, “Erin”, “Gabrielle”, “Ingrid”, “Jerry”, “Melissa”
6 Hurricanes – “Dean”, “Felix”, “Humberto”, “Karen”, “Lorenzo”, “Noel”

At first glance it looks like this was a pretty typical Hurricane Season. Of the 6 Hurricanes, only Dean and Felix were listed as Category 5 storms. Both storms followed similar paths plowing across the south Caribbean and hitting the Yucatan Peninsula. Felix developed rapidly and went from a Cat. 1 storm to a 5 shortly before hitting land in less than 5 days. Both made landfall in sparsely populated areas of the Mexican coast thus limiting damage and casualties.

The remainder of the storms of the ’07 season:

Subtropical Storm Andrea – never made landfall although there was some associated damage due to higher than normal winds and waves along the Florida and Georgia coasts.
Tropical Depression 10 - made landfall in the Florida panhandle causing some tornado damage but only reaching max wind speeds of 35 mph sustained.
Tropical Depression 15 – never made landfall and caused no damage to anything.

Tropical Storms:
Barry – Ran a long track up the eastern seaboard dumping much needed rain in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina then skirting up the coast to Canada. We drove through Barry on our way to Kiawah Island in early June.
Chantal – Confined to open ocean although she did cause much rain in CANADA.
Erin – Made landfall in Texas and caused heavy rain and flooding.
Gabrielle – Touched land in North Carolina and then veered back out to sea. Caused some light damage to ocean areas of North Carolina.
Ingrid – never made landfall and caused no damage.
Jerry – never made landfall and only lasted one day.
Melissa – Never made landfall and never got closer to land than 425 miles from Cape Verde (that’s a bunch of islands west of AFRICA)

Humberto – Cat 1 – made landfall into Louisiana and then petered out.
Karen – Cat 1 – never made landfall
Lorenzo – Barely Cat 1, landfall south Central American isthmus.
Noel – Cat 1 that wandered thru the Eastern Caribbean.

All in all, aside from the 2 Category 5 hurricanes (neither of which was a monster like the Cat 5’s in recent memory like Andrew, Hugo or Katrina) the hurricanes as well as the other storms were not significant in any way other than how many of them never reached land or caused any damage. While I am in no way making light of any damage or casualties that were caused in this season’s storms, it certainly does not seem that neither 2007 nor for that matter 2006 were particularly bad Hurricane seasons.
My point earlier in the season was that I felt the “experts” were guessing about the severity of the upcoming storm season and were playing to the current popular sentiment in the media that “Human-induced Global Warming” was causing worse weather systems especially hurricanes. I felt this was silly and thought that I could guess as accurately as they did. As it turns out it appears that I was about as accurate as they were. One could argue that the Klotzbach’s team was technically more accurate because there WERE 16 “named” storms but I would contend that 3 of those storms hardly classify as they either numbered “tropical depressions” or were the “Sub-tropical” depression Andrea which happened before the season started and two of them caused little or no damage. The three tropical storms Ingrid, Jerry and Melissa were open ocean storms which only “count” because they were being watched by the weather service. If you discount these 6 named storms you actually have 10 named storms which would make this year no worse than an average year for hurricanes.

As it turns out The Florida and Gulf Coast tourism industry is pretty pissed off at NOAA and the prediction. Apparently some people stayed away from the coast during the season and their insurance rates went up. Some are apparently talking lawsuits. Ahhh, our culture's solution to dammed near everything.

David Freddoso at NRO takes a similar tack in this discussion -

Also, on an unrelated note gas here in Indy is selling at under $2.70/gallon all over the city with a low at $2.63/gallon -