Obama Warns of 'Devastating' Hurricanes, Despite Record 3,100 Days Since U.S. Has Had One
The U.S. has been lucky with hurricanes for sometime. In fact it has been over three thousand days since a category 3 or higher hurricane has made landfall in the US. However, despite this, President Obama has warned of "devastating" hurricanes because of global warming.
The average hurricane season has about 12 storms large enough to become named storms. Of that 12, six or seven grow large enough to be category 3 or higher storms. The last major landfall for a category 3 occurred in October of 2005 when Wilma hit southwest Florida.
"Since the hyper-active 2005 season," The Washington Post reported "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."
This lack of big storms is a record that goes back to 1900 and at the start of the season the US will have gone a record 3,142 days without a major landfall. The previous record is nearly 2-1/2 years shorter.
Yet, President Obama is warning that hurricane seasons will be getting worse, despite what forecasters are saying.
"The changes we’re seeing in our climate means that, unfortunately, storms like Sandy could end up being more common and more devastating," Obama said on May 30.
"And that’s why we’re also going to be doing more to deal with the dangers of carbon pollution that help to cause this climate change and global warming. And that’s why we’re also, with the terrific help of these departments, thinking of how we can build more resilient infrastructure," he said.
But according to the Post's Brian McNoldy, the upcoming hurricane season may also be a light one. "One of the main reasons that seasonal forecasters are anticipating reduced activity is a high probability of a strong El Niño forming," McNoldy wrote.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org