Saturday, November 29, 2014

From the Archives | Decades of big storms may be on the way |

Last Thursday the Post's Eliot Kleinberg took us down memory lane with this blast from the past, a story from 2001. I remember this piece from 13 years ago! Click title for link.
This story originally appeared in print Friday, July 20, 2001.
Warmer water between Africa and Panama and weaker winds high in the atmosphere mean Florida and the eastern United States can expect more and stronger hurricanes for decades to come, researchers said Thursday.
The researchers attributed the most active six-year stretch of hurricane seasons on record - and predictions of up to four decades of more and stronger storms - to warmer ocean water and weaker effects of an atmospheric condition called vertical wind shear.
The warmer water provides increased energy to fuel the massive storms. Wind shear often can inhibit the development of storms; when shear is weaker, storms typically have a better chance to grow.
When those conditions are in place - and they are now - the number of powerful hurricanes forming and striking land increases, researchmeteorologist Stanley Goldenberg and colleagues at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Hurricane Research Division wrote in an article that will appear in today's issue of the journal Science.
Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and Florida did endure a rash of major hurricanes, especially in 2004 and 2005, but it's been quiet since then. I am sure that, once again, we will be under siege by storms, their frequency, strength, location and intensity are all unknowns. And this is one of the major reasons we pay so much for wind insurance, although "they" say it is due to paying off past storms and that rates would be higher if it was just accounting for the risk of future storms.