Don't Fear the Storm Meister Home > Don't Fear the Storm Meister
Our "storm meister" is Cruise Critic senior contributor Steve Faber, who, like many of our members, also happens to live in the "zone." Steve came to the study of meteorology out of necessity, learning the skills out of an aversion to death and dismemberment -- his own! For years he was a private pilot with ratings in single engine, instruments and gliders, and for those endeavors understanding weather is a basic survival skill.... More
Normally this would be the worst day of the year for sufferers of the dual phobias triskaidekaphobia and lilapsophobia.
Okay, most people know that triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13, but what the heck is that lilapso thing? Lilapsophobia is the fear of hurricanes (or tornadoes). So imagine you're some poor soul with these two afflictions tossing and turning as the clock clicks over at midnight to Friday the 13th smack dab in the thick of hurricane season.
But this year has been a blessing for victims with the two afflictions. It would seem, as I predicted about a month ago, that the passage of South Florida's first seasonal cold front, that hurricane season is, in fact, winding down prematurely. Though no one in authority is ready to signal the all clear just yet, the National Weather Service, this week, did declare that Florida's rainy season was over. Since the rainy season and the hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin roughly run concurrently, it's not difficult to connect the dots.
So, breathe a little easier, triskaidekalilapsophobes; there's light at the end of the tunnel!
As for the statistical wrap-up for the month of September, in the Atlantic/Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico, through September, we've had nine named storms. 10-year average is 10.4; in the 2005 season we had 17, so we are slightly behind the 10-year average and close to half the number of the catastrophic 2005 season. Of those named storms, five ultimately reached hurricane strength as opposed to 6.5 on average and 10 in the 2005 season. Again that's slightly behind the norm and half the 2005 numbers. As for major storms, this year only two have reached Category Three or above as opposed to the 10-year average of 3.3 and 2005's five, repeating the pattern already noted.
The more active Eastern Pacific season has seen 13 named storms in the same period, of which eight ultimately became hurricanes, and, of those, five reached Category Three. The 10-year averages for the first three categories are 11.3, 5.6 and 2.9, so the season is running close to normal. In 2005, the Pacific counts were 15 named storms, six hurricanes and two majors.
So, it looks like smooth sailing for the rest of the season, with the caveat that fast-developing October storms often develop near Florida, the Bahamas and the Leeward Islands.