Another unprecidented early season tropic system

By: hcubed , 1:26 AM GMT on February 06, 2012

According to the consensus, the added .7 degrees of warming we've seen in the last 131 years is supposed to cause more storms (both in frequency and in strength).

So, to the scientists, it comes as no surprise that we have 90L developing - a full 116 days before the beginning of the "official" season.

But as Dr Masters mentioned, it was just 60 years ago that saw another "early season" storm (the 1952 Groundhog Day Storm).

Let's see - climate is defined as a 30 year period. So we could say that 2 complete climate cycles have occurred since our last early season storm.

And, early storms are no indication of activity in the season. 1952 only had 7 recorded storms. The next storm to develop in 1952 was Hurricane Able, from 08/18-09/02.

Let's also go back just a few years - to the hyperactive 2005 season.

If climate change can be blamed for EARLY season storms, it could also be blamed for LATE season storms.

Enter Zeta.

"...Late on December 29, more than four weeks after the official end to the season, a tropical disturbance developed in the east-central Atlantic. It quickly became more organized and was declared Tropical Depression Thirty. The next day, Thirty was declared a tropical storm. Zeta made a turn toward the west but stalled and gradually weakened until dissipating on January 6, 2006..."

For those who love to count, Zeta developed 59 days AFTER the end of the "official" season.

And, there again, we hear that that late development wasn't unprecedented, either.

"...Zeta is one of the latest-forming tropical cyclones ever to develop in the recorded history of Atlantic hurricane seasons; the only later storm was Hurricane Alice of 1954-55, which is estimated to have become tropical on December 30, 1954 at 1 a.m. EST (0600 UTC). It is also the second recorded North Atlantic tropical cyclone (after Alice) to exist in two calendar years. In addition, Zeta surpassed Alice as the longest-lived tropical cyclone to form in December and cross over into the next year, and it was also the longest-lived January tropical cyclone. Zeta finally dissipated on January 6, 2006..."

So, numbers again.

Zeta, 2005/2006.

Alice, 1954/1955.

A 51 year span between record LATE season storms.

Again, those who forget past weather extremes are doomed to state that all current weather extremes are unprecedented.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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About hcubed

Living in Biloxi MS, have been here since '85 (first Hurricane was Elena).