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Are the Tropics Heating Up?

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyAugust 10, 2010 10:53 AM


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I must say I'm a bit surprised the hurricanes have been so quiet lately. However, there are reasons to think that will soon change.

First, there's the Atlantic right now, with a 50 % probability area and a 70 % probability area:

Atlantic August 10

But moreover, there's also the following NOAA figure, obtained courtesy of Eric Berger and showing the distribution of activity in an average hurricane season. As you can see, we're right where the slope starts to go way, way up:


Again, given the warmth of the ocean and the conducive atmospheric conditions, I would have expected another hurricane before now. But nevertheless, it's undeniable that climatologically, things are only beginning.

And as for what hurricanes can do--I need only refer once again to my Mom's new book, with her vacant lot on the cover where a house once was.

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