We are constantly told that climate change is causing more severe weather. When a typhoon hit the Philippines causing major damage, many treated it as a sure sign that global warming was affecting the earth.
But if severe weather is a sign of “climate disruption,” then what is the meaning of a record lull in severe weather?
Back in December, I wrote about a New York Post story claiming that hurricane season had been amazingly calm this season. I now consider that story confirmed by the Washington Post.
From the Capital Weather Gang:
The U.S. has been extraordinarily fortunate lately: we have not been witness to the fury of a major hurricane (category 3 or higher) landfall since October 2005 when Wilma hit southwest Florida as a Category 3 storm. (Other countries have not had such good fortune these past few years. )
Since the hyper-active 2005 season, the U.S. has had just six Category 1 and 2 hurricane landfalls: Humberto (TX), Ike (TX), Gustav (LA), Dolly (TX), Irene (NC), and Isaac (LA). Sandy was not technically a hurricane at its NJ landfall, and if it were, it would have been a Category 1 storm.
So we have not had a major hurricane in over eight years. The writer shows a graph illustrating the time between storms since 1900. It proves his point. This most recent pause in severe hurricanes making landfall is a record-breaking lull in severe weather. But if we have been “extraordinarily fortunate” about severe weather, assuming a steady climate, then, in the presence of global warming or “climate disruption,” we have been the recipients of almost a miracle.
Somehow, the article never mentions climate change or global warming. I suppose the writer doesn’t want to risk reminding people of the bogus claims that we are getting more severe weather due to global warming.
Will this year end the streak? There’s no way of knowing. Even during an inactive season, a single storm can leave its mark on history (think Andrew in 1992). And conversely, very active seasons like 2010 can yield no landfalls for the U.S.
And in either case, the storms or lack of storms will prove nothing about global warming.