Storm Summary 7

Welcome to the fifth “Storm Summary” post of the hurricane season. Each Friday from now until the official end of the season (November 30) I will post an update on past and present storms, like the following:

Andres Cat. 1 6/23 to 6/24 Southeast Pacific Moderate damage
Carlos Cat. 2 7/10 to 7/16 East Pacific None 
Felicia Cat.  4 8/3 to 8/11 East Pacific None 
Guillermo Cat. 3 8/12 to 8/19 East Pacific None 
Bill Cat. 4 8/15 to 8/24 Mid Atlantic  No major damage
Fred Cat. 3 9/8 to present South Atlantic None 

Hurricane Fred developed into a category 3 storm early this morning. It remains active about 745 miles west of the Cape Verde islands and poses no immediate threat the the United States.

Though the Atlantic has only seen three named storms, the waters of the Pacific are seeing constant activity, due, in part, to El Niño, which is “the periodic warming of central and eastern tropical Pacific waters [that] occurs on average every two to five years and typically lasts about 12 months.” Although most people think of this phenomenon in negative terms for the damage it can spur on the West Coast, it is actually beneficial to the East Coast/Gulf Coast in the sense that warmer waters in the Pacific usually create conditions that suppress Atlantic hurricanes. Why exactly this occurs is not something I’m qualified to explain but, as I recall, it has something to do with warm and cool air mixing in a different way and creating a “wind shear” that helps prevent storms from developing. The International Research Institute for Climate and Society can probably explain it better.

For constant, up-to-date storm information, visit NOAA. And for breaking information on the insured losses the storms create, check out the Insurance Information Institute and theInsurance Services Office.

Most importantly, don’t forget to check back next Friday for our eighth “Storm Summary” installment.


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