Monday, November 05, 2012

Natural and Human Caused Weather Disasters

Magazines and newspapers are filled with editorial comment and cartoons about Superstorm Sandy being the fruit of man-caused global warming. However, Sandy was a tropical storm, not a hurricane. It unfortunately struck at high tide with a full moon, resulting in a much higher storm surge.

Was Sandy proof of man-caused global warming? Even warmist scientist Kevin Trenberth says no. Are strong storms hitting the East Coast unique? Again the answer is no. The 1950’s saw an exceptional number of strong hurricanes hit the East Coast, and 1954 experienced the worst. First Carol, a Category 3 (H3) hurricane at landfall, crossed Long Island and passed through New England into Canada. Then Edna, also H3, struck New England and became the costliest hurricane to ever strike Maine. Finally Hazel, the strongest at H4, killed thousands in Haiti before hitting the Carolinas, and caused heavy damage and flooding all the way through Toronto, Canada.

In 1955 three hurricanes, Connie (H3), Diane (H1), and Ione (H3), hit North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic states. Then in 1958 Helene (H3), and in 1959 Gracie (H3) struck the South’s East Coast. The grand finale occurred in 1960 when Donna hit Florida as an H4, then passed through every East Coast state as an H3. Donna still holds the record for maintaining major hurricane status (H3 or higher) for the longest period of time.

In contrast to the 1950’s, no major hurricane has hit the US since 2005. That’s understandable, since Global Tropical Accumulated Cyclone Energy for the past five years has been at its lowest level in over thirty years.

“Sandy was a human-caused disaster. We build cities on the coast. We don’t adequately protect them. We don’t heed evacuation warnings. That is where the blame lies for this one, not climate change.” (Eric Berger)

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