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History Repeats Itself

September 11, 2017

I don't want to get in a political discussion, but....

 

I keep seeing people saying that climate change is the reason for the strength of Irma. 

Try Googling Global Warming and Hurricanes:

Yes, there's a link, according to-

L.A. Times

NPR

CNN

Scientific America

New Scientist

and the list goes on and on, just from articles in the last 2 days.

 

No, there's not a link, according to-

Newsweek

 

Eh, it's hard to say, according to-

The Daily Beast

 

Now I'm not a climate change denier.  I'm just saying that the earth gets hotter in cycles and it gets colder in cycles.  I remember in the late 70's people talking about a new ice age. The late 70's, why does today feel like the late 70's?

 

During the first week of September in 1979, Hurricane David formed in the South Atlantic and had 175 mile per hour winds. One of the strongest storms on record, Category 5 David slammed into the Dominican Republic and nearly wiped the country off the map, killing over 2,000 and doing a billion dollars in damage.  David then wobbled up the east coast of the United States as a Category 2 Hurricane and did just under half a billion dollars in damage in America. Before David rained itself out, there were 5 concurrent storms in North America. 

 

  • Hurricane David

  • Tropical Depression 8

  • Tropical Storm Elena: Elena dropped nearly 10 inches of rain near Galveston, Texas, but Elena wasn't much worse than a bad thunderstorm.

  • Hurricane Gloria: Peaked as a 100 mph nuisance in the North Atlantic shipping lanes.

  • And Hurricane Frederic: The locals still talk about Frederic...


Two weeks before it made its eventual landfall on the Gulf Coast, Frederic started out as a tropical wave off of Africa on August 29th, 1979. The the storm then made it's way slowly across the Atlantic into the Caribbean where it crossed every major island, keeping the storm weak. But once it moved off the north coast of Cuba it strengthened into a category one hurricane and then quickly ramped up as it made its way across the Gulf of Mexico before making it's eventually landfall on Dauphin Island as a Category Three storm with a massive storm surge and devastating winds.-Fox10 Mobile

 

From the time Frederic hit the Gulf Coast with 135 m.p.h. winds, to the time it trudged through Canada, Frederic caused nearly 2.5 billion dollars in damage, the costliest hurricane in American history at the time. And that doesn't include the 5 inches of rain Frederic dumped in Ontario causing as one of the largest rain events in Ontario Provincial history.  At the time, Frederic was also one of the largest evacuation events in American history, thankfully keeping the American fatality rate low. Many dollar damage records set by Frederic stood until Hugo hit in 1989.  

 

Maybe global warming does have something to do with intensifying the severity of some storms, but not in all cases. By the time all is said and done, the storms of September 2017 are going to be very similar to the storms of September 1979 during hurricane season. 

 

Despite the destruction caused by Frederic and David, 1979 didn't even spawn the most hurricanes. That would be 2005. The year with the most Major Hurricanes? 1950.

 

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