News & Current Events
david_taylor_jr — 2017-09-13T09:05:58-04:00 — #1
Look at hurricanes throughout history in the United States. The fact is Harvey and Irma were bad, and Jose is a red herring for those who want to argue about multiple strong storms at once.
It's hurricane season people. This is NORMAL.
bill_coley — 2017-09-13T13:14:46-04:00 — #2
We agree about Harvey and Irma.
Jose exists, and for a 48 hour period on September 8-10 was a cat-4 storm with highest sustained winds of 145-150 mph. A storm that reached that strength succeeded "bad" Harvey (U.S. mainland impact: Aug 26/27) and "bad" Irma (mainland impact: last weekend).
Whether Jose was ever going to strike the U.S. mainland, it WAS a strong storm and it DID immediately follow two other strong storms. Help me understand your view that references to Jose are a "red herring for those who want to argue about multiple strong storms at once."
alex_vaughn — 2017-09-13T14:14:26-04:00 — #3
I do not have as much detailed knowledge about Irma, therefore I will restrict myself to Harvey. Your opening post over sold your claim I believe. See the quotation below:
These numbers put it at number 2 on the list of costliest hurricanes to strike the United States. It will possibly become the costliest hurricane in United States history.
In addition, the two quotes below also contradict the idea that the category of a hurricane is the only important measure of a hurricane's strength.
The largest loss of life from a hurricane is often caused by storm surge and flooding rather than the winds. Do not underestimate a lower category hurricane! None of the top five deadliest hurricanes in United States history were a Category 5 hurricane at landfall.
With the exception of Hurricane Katrina, all of the deadliest hurricanes were before 1930. The reason is simple building codes and early warnings. In the case of Katrina, the large storm surge is what wrecked the levees in New Orleans, which resulted in much of the loss of life. Much of Houston is too far inland to be affected by storm surges directly. Many undeveloped countries still experience much larger losses of life during hurricanes. In addition, Harvey's rain created a large-scale flood event over the course of days. This allowed for rescue operations. Katrina's storm surge did not allow for this on the same scale.
It is a common misconception that a lower category hurricane is less of a threat than a higher category hurricane. For example, Hurricane Katrina was the costliest hurricane in United States history, and it was only a Category 3 hurricane when it made landfall.
My only qualm with the chart he presents is that it is not inflation adjusted. This would tend to favor listing more recent hurricanes in the list.
In the case of the effects of Harvey on Houston, it was primarily a rain/flood event with many short-lived tornados. Corpus Christi and Rockport received the worst of the storm surge and wind damage. Houston received 50+ inches of rain over 4 days.
In terms of the effects of climate change, landfall is not particularly relevant. Strength and size are.
david_taylor_jr — 2017-09-13T16:41:20-04:00 — #4
Costliest doesn't really mean anything as you can't really compare time periods.
Actually that's not true. Jeneane killed more than Katrina.
Which has been my point actually, The fact that we had 3 Cat 4 hurricanes isn't really notable.
bill_coley — 2017-09-13T16:44:22-04:00 — #5
Isn't any weather event that has never happened before, almost by definition, "notable," David?
david_taylor_jr — 2017-09-13T16:53:56-04:00 — #6
No actually. If a place gets 3 inches of snow and the most it has ever gotten before is 2 is that notable and somehow significant? No.
bill_coley — 2017-09-13T17:25:55-04:00 — #7
So were your church to set a Sunday worship attendance record, but only by one or two people, in your view that wouldn't be "notable"? and the people of your church wouldn't think that result "somehow significant"?
If a student who had never scored more than 88 (high "B") on the tests in his or her college classes were to score a 90 (low "A") in your view that wouldn't be "notable" or "somehow significant"?
In my view, the receipt of 3" of snow in a location which had never received more than two inches of course would be notable. Just as it is always notable when a location sets a high or low temperature mark, even if the new record temp is just a degree or two higher or lower than the previous one.
In my view, David, you're trying to minimize the significance of a meteorological event (consecutive cat-4+ storms) because of what you view as the ramifications were that event to be judged "significant." Unfortunately for your argument, however, history and meteorology both have already deemed that event both "notable" and "somehow significant."
gao_lu — 2017-09-13T18:08:56-04:00 — #8
I have a son living in the Caribean. He was direct in the bath of Irma. He is fine. The people where he is don't read the scientific data. They just know it is hurricane season. Hurricanes vary in intensity and now and then a big one comes through or makes a direct hit. That is part of living there. It is normal.
I spend a lot of time in S Asia. Same kinda deal. Exactly. Although my wife doesn't care much to be out in Typhoons (as they call them there), my daughter used to before she got married. We would go out on the beach as the klaxon howled warnings, the rain pelted in sheets and the palms lay over in the wind. When chunks of sheet metal were flying or roofing tiles sailed by, we stayed in. Our house was made of solid concrete on high ground. We loved it. Drama. Power. Normal. On rare occasions there were substantial losses like the time my friend's bonsai farm got destroyed. That was over a million dollar loss. It was also within the boundaries of "normal," or so everyone thought.
bill_coley — 2017-09-13T18:37:13-04:00 — #9
How "now and then" (normal) is it that consecutive cat-4+ storms come through the U.S. mainland within a couple of weeks, or that three consecutive cat-4+ storms form in the Atlantic on their way to the U.S.?
The issue isn't whether strong storms have formed in the past; of course they have. The issue is whether atmospheric and oceanic conditions have changed to the point where we must plan for more storms and/or stronger storms.
For example, according to THIS CHART, in the last 14 years, the Atlantic Ocean has experienced 10 cat-5 hurricanes. In the 14-year periods before that, however, the Atlantic Ocean experienced (moving backward in time) 3, 4, 5, 2, and 3 cat-5 storms in their respective 14 year periods.
Does 10 cat-5 storms sound "within the boundaries of normal" to you when previous time periods of the same length experienced 3 or 4 or 5 or 2 or 3 such storms ? If it does, how many cat-5 storms would this 14 year period have to experience, in your view, to qualify as "abnormal" given those historical numbers?
gao_lu — 2017-09-13T19:11:24-04:00 — #10
I think you are hung up on cats which serves only to massage data for political purposes. Hurricanes are normal. The range of what constitutes a hurricane is normal. The range of what a hurricane does is normal. The fact that during a normal hurricane season we have an extra hurricane thrown in now and then is rather unimpressive. Much like David's example of an extra inch of snow when you normally get 2"
I don't think "cat" #'s is a good way to measure the significance of a hurricane. There are too many other factors at play like size, speed, location of impact on humans, etc.
Put that way, does make me sit up and take notice. I wish we could see data over more time. The sampling period of 14 years is kind of small and doesn't include natural variations of things like El Nino. In fact, NOAA says that there is no "normal" for El Nino, and I think the implication is the same for hurricanes.
I am not dismissing what you say. You have my attention. I am looking forward to learning more.
david_taylor_jr — 2017-09-13T23:10:46-04:00 — #11
Correct. That would be ridiculous.
Actually only the destruction has been notable. But again, that hsa nothing to do with the storm itself but rather the location.
Same here in the Carolinas.
Why are you so stuck on cat 4? It's hurricane season Bill. Get over it.
Watch we won't get a single cat 4 next year and then where will you be?
Overall, categories are irrelevant and you can't really make that comparison. It depends on conditons when they form and location.
alex_vaughn — 2017-09-13T23:32:30-04:00 — #12
While hurricane categories are not the only aspect, they are a simple method of categorizing a hurricane. Also, a category 1 is almost always going to be less powerful than a category 5. I noticed however that your link in the OP only gives one measure of the largeness of hurricanes that is strictly related to weather. That measure is highest wind speed. Rainfall, diameter, and energy output are not accounted for.
Interesting that hurricane is not listed in the link given in your OP. Based upon the link you gave, all of the hurricanes listed were before 1930 with the exception of Katrina.
bill_coley — 2017-09-13T23:56:50-04:00 — #13
No. Categories are an objective means of assessing hurricane's strength. There's nothing "political" about winds that are 75mph or 125mph or 155mph. "Political purposes" don't decide hurricane categories. Wind speeds do.
I asked in a previous post, and I'll ask again: If 10 Atlantic Ocean cat-5 storms in the last 14 years - as have in fact occurred - while there were just 17 such storms in the 70 years before that - which is an average of one every four years for seventy years, then one every 18 months for the next 14 years - is "normal" in your view, then how many cat 5 storms would there have had to have been in the last 14 years for the number to be "abnormal"?
The data don't support your characterization. The last 14 years haven't seen "an extra hurricane thrown in now and then." They have seen extra cat-5 hurricanes "thrown in" at a frequency three times that of the previous 70 years.
But David's example didn't cite "an extra inch of snow when you normally get 2"." Here's his example:
His example wasn't of a place that "normally" gets 2" of snow. It was of a place that has never received more more than 2" of snow. For such a place - one that has NEVER received 2" of snow - 3" would be "notable." Just as for a country which has never had two cat-4+ storms make landfall in the same season, experiencing two such storms would be "notable."
By your reference to storms' "significance," it seems to me that your focus is storm impact and consequences. Those are important, but as Alex has pointed out earlier in this thread, for discussions about the role of climate change in storm formation, where they land and whom they impact are not relevant. What IS relevant is the strength and frequency of hurricane development. If more storms are produced and/or the storms produced are stronger and more intense, then we must ask about the role of higher ocean temps, which leads inexorably to a discussion about climate change.
bill_coley — 2017-09-14T00:32:59-04:00 — #14
I suspect most congregations would strongly disagree with you that characterizing the breaking a worship attendance record by one or two as "notable" would be "ridiculous," as would most students (and their parents) disagree with you that earning a first A after a long string of Bs is not "notable" either. I know I do. I think either outcome would be worthy of a shout of praise to God.
If the discussion is about the role of warmer ocean waters in storm formation and strength, the destruction caused by those storms is not relevant.
I'm "stuck on cat 4," David, because cat 4 storms are serious things - more serious than tropical storms or cat-1 or 2 storms. If we're witnessing the creation of more cat 4 and 5 storms than ever on record - see the chart to which I linked in an earlier response to Gao Lu - then in my view, that's something we need to be "stuck on."
Given that in the 21st century, we've experienced at least one Atlantic cat-4+ storm in 15 of its 18 years, I'm thinking the odds are in favor of at least one such storm next year. But if one doesn't form - and that's possible! - it won't mean any more than a cool day in July means there's no global warming. One year's results don't mean much. Trends do. Look again at the chart to which I linked in my post to Gao Lu. Over the last 14 years - not just one year - the rate of cat 5 storm production has been three times the rate in the previous 70 years. II'm guessing you think a three-fold rate increase in storm production is "normal," but I don't.
If you contend that hurricane "categories are irrelevant," then you must be saying you think hurricane wind speeds are irrelevant, because categories are nothing more than a naming convention for hurricane wind speeds. If you don't want to compare hurricane strengths by the objective measurement of wind speed, how DO you want to compare them?
"Conditions when they form and location." Yes! And among those "conditions where they form" is ocean water temperatures, which, by all accounts, are and have been rising for some time. I'm guessing you think it's "normal" for ocean temps to rise, as a trend, for decades, but I don't.
gao_lu — 2017-09-14T01:07:17-04:00 — #15
You raised some good points in your last response to me. I am thinking about this a bit differently in light of your comments. Thanks.
david_taylor_jr — 2017-09-14T15:12:47-04:00 — #16
Sounds like tooting your own horn really...
Too many factors Bill, you are focusing on one piece which is warm waters. It has to do with when/where the storm forms. Nothing to do with the hoax of man-made global warming. It's hurricane season. NORMAL.
And we have been in a cooling trend for YEARS.
What I am saying is you have to look at all the contributing factors, LOCATION, TIME OF YEAR, ETC, and not just focus on the number of cat 4 storms.
Location Location Location
bill_coley — 2017-09-14T16:02:44-04:00 — #17
You and I may disagree as to what constitutes "tooting (one's) own horn."
When a congregation celebrates among themselves and praises God for a new worship attendance record, I find that acceptable. When students and their parents celebrate among themselves and praise God for new academic achievements, I find that acceptable. Unacceptable to me are congregations or students/families who brag to others about their achievements.
Basically, in my view, it's not bragging if you keep it to yourself, which means I don't think it's bragging if congregations or families celebrate their achievements in-house.
You may well disagree.
How many hurricanes can you name that formed over cold water? According to THIS CHART, over the last 245 years or so, the Atlantic Ocean has produced exactly three hurricanes in the month of January and none in the month of February. I attribute that result to the fact that Atlantic waters are too cool in January and February to support the formation of hurricanes. How do you explain it?
Isn't it a meteorological fact that WHEREVER they form, hurricanes need warm water to form, grow, and intensify?
I don't believe you have shared your explanation of the fact, demonstrated in a previous post, that cat-5 storm frequency over the last 14 years has been three times that of the previous 70 years. I hope you'll offer your explanation.
We're still not communicating when it comes to the significance of hurricane categories. A season that produces a bunch of cat-1 storms will not be considered as strong a season as one that produces cat-4+ storms, because it takes more energy - more fuel - to produce cat-4+ storms. And what is the fuel for hurricanes? Warm water.
Your concern about location and time of year is valid, of course, but largely because water temperatures vary according to location and time of year. Hurricanes rarely form in the North Sea because its waters aren't warm enough.
You're certainly welcome to your views about what you call "the hoax of man-made global warming." But if ocean waters continue to warm as they have been warming, as a trend, for decades now, the hurricanes that form in the Atlantic and head toward the U.S. are going to encounter warmer and warmer water, which will produce stronger and stronger storms that will be capable of inflicting greater and greater damage to people and property.
It's obvious you don't believe human activity is responsible for our warming oceans. I hope that doesn't mean you're not concerned about those warming oceans and the stronger, more threatening storms they will create.
david_taylor_jr — 2017-09-14T16:17:18-04:00 — #18
That is my point Bill..... It is HURRICANE SEASON.
Location and conditions at the time of formation. If the storm had formed three weeks earlier, or three weeks later, or even in a different spot, it wouldn't reach that strength.
That is not the only factor Bill, surely you know that.
Too bad the science and models don't back that up.
I'm not. I believe in a God who is sovereign.
alex_vaughn — 2017-09-14T16:46:04-04:00 — #19
Gen. 1:26-28 seems to indicate that it is man who is meant to rule the Earth as God's representative. So, surely we ought to be good stewards of what God has given over to our control.
david_taylor_jr — 2017-09-14T16:54:07-04:00 — #20
I'm not sure how what I said contradicts that....
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