Monday, October 17, 2005

Hurricane inaccuracies can scare you.

As Tropical Storm Wilma forms in the Carribbean and with all the sensational stories that emerged after Hurricane Katrina predominantly being proved false, one would think the media would fact-check themselves and the people they interview. But alas it seems they do not.

First we have Scott Kiser, Tropical Cyclone project manager for
NOAA-NWS, saying

"With one additional hurricane, this season will tie 1969 for having the most
Then John Pain, Associated Press writer, writes in his news story the following:

By Tuesday, it could become the season's 12th hurricane, which would match
another record: There were 12 hurricanes in 1969, the highest number since
Atlantic record-keeping started in 1851.

There is just one tiny problem with this. The hurricane season of 1969 produced thirteen named storms, ten of them became hurricanes, and only Camille and Gerda make landfall in the United States while Martha, the last named storm, made landfall in Panama.
Source: NOAA-NHC archives

Still they got one thing right, this season does tie 1933 for most storms with 21. Also note that Kiser mentions that October 1950 and October 1887 produced six storms each, one record we may not break. TS Stan went ashore in Mexico killing hundreds of people, TS Tammy rained on the US East Coast, and TS Vince did something no other storm had yet to do and went ashore on the Iberian Peninsula. Right now TS Wilma is being forcasted by the National Hurricane Center to approach the Gulf of Mexico starting late Thursday, traveling between the Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba.

Oh for those who think all these killer hurricanes are a product of global warming, I suggest you go research the Great Hurricane of 1780. It formed in October, struck the Lesser Antilles, and is estimated to have killed between 20,000 and 22,000 people. Or to show how cyclical the increase/decrease of storms occurs, this graph maybe of interest; also the increasing frequency of strikes started before the Great Hurricane of 1780 say in 1750. This information was extracted from NHC in a report called The Deadliest Atlantic Tropical Cyclones 1492-1996.

Plans and policies can not be formulated when inaccurate information is reported and never corrected.

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