Thursday, October 19, 2023

Hurricane Study Does NOT Conclude What Is Being Implied in the Headlines

Current Hurricane Norma (Pacific) that has
undergone rapid intensification.
There is quite a bit of news today pertaining to a new study of rapid intensification of hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin (Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf). The study is here

However, many of the news reports are just wrong. For example,
The worst headline (immediately above) unsurprisingly came from Associated Press' Seth Borenstein (Seth is an activist in the role of reporter). 

The bottom line: the paper does not say that hurricanes are getting stronger. 

What it does say is that rapid intensification (when wind speeds ramp up from, say, 75 mph to 130 mph overnight) is more common than it was 40-50 years ago. The author correctly notes there was more uncertainty as to wind speeds at that time than today, but I believe her results are essentially correct. But that is far less of a problem than one that would need an "urgent warning."

As is too often the case with global warming alarmists, they don't understand how meteorology operates today. We have tools that accurately forecast rapid intensification (RI), often days in advance. For example, today's Pacific Hurricane Norma (pictured above) intensified rapidly -- and, that was forecast well in advance. 

Emergency managers, risk managers and the public need an accurate forecast of the hurricane's wind speed and storm surge at the time of landfall. That forecast needs to be far enough in advance for appropriate safety and mitigation measures to be taken. The great majority of the time, RI is forecast far enough in advance that it isn't a problem. There is no need for an "urgent warning" because the problem has already been handled.

What I don't know is whether the author isn't aware of the current state of the art in hurricane forecasting (her CV doesn't seem to show much in the way of an applied meteorology background) or whether it is being ignored in order to hype a paper that, given the 2023 state-of-the-art in weather forecasting, is not particularly alarming. 

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