The Hurricane Season along the Atlantic Coast premiered last week. It’s a much longer show than it used to be. Now it extends from June 1 to December 1. Just a few years ago, it was from July 1 to October 1. Fact is, there have never been hurricanes in the Atlantic before July or after September. But the powers that be think we should all get nervous earlier and stay that way later. We’ve got a warmer ocean, melting glaciers, El Nino that goes nuts about as often as Roger Rabbit and extreme weather that everybody loves on YouTube and the Weather Channel. Practically everybody loves a good scare, where in fact nobody gets hurt. That’s entertainment.
Actually there are now, for the first time, two powers that be. One is the old tried and true NOAA weather service out of Atlanta. They predict twelve to eighteen named storms, six to ten hurricanes and three to six major hurricanes screaming our way.
Then there is the new kid on the block, the weather service put together by Colorado State University. Apparently they have much more accurate instruments. They say there will be sixteen named storms, nine hurricanes and five major hurricanes. These are exact numbers. Really, really scary.
And this, both services claim, is to be a very above average year along the Atlantic Seaboard. For the last ten years, NOAA (anyway) has predicted above average years. But every year for the past ten years there have been below average numbers of hurricanes. And last year there wasn’t even one that hit the Atlantic seaboard. Of course this, by reverse logic, means that every year it is below it is finally more likely to go up the next. We are now WAY WAY overdue.
“It was luck,” said environmentalist and marine scientist Jane Lubchenco. “Winds steered all hurricanes away from our coastlines. We can’t count on luck to get us through this season.”
Truth is, here on Long Island, there hasn’t been a major hurricane in 20 years. Look out the window. Here comes the first.