Hurricaneville Making Up Lost Time

Good evening everyone. Sorry that I’ve been away for about the past ten days, but I’ve been paying more attention to my school work as well as fall league basketball action for my high school basketball web site, GMC Hoops. However, I’ve just completed several new articles for the web site including two retrospectives on hurricanes from the 1996 season, and two on storms from the 2006 season.

The two featured storms from the 1996 season that I wrote articles on for the site were Hurricane Bertha and Hurricane Fran. I mention in both articles that the 1996 season was a season that was during a time when the active hurricane cycle that we often hear a lot about in the news was in its infancy. As a matter of fact, the 1996 season had more major hurricanes than the hectic 1995 season. In addition, that season ten years ago had more landfalling major hurricanes with two if you count Hortense, which affected Puerto Rico.

There were more landfalling storms period that year. With Bertha, Edouard, Fran, and Hortense, there were four storms that brushed the coast or came ashore in 1996. The season was a sign of things to come in the Atlantic. Especially on top of the fact, that Hurricane Opal helped close out the 1995 with a bang as the Category Three storm blew ashore near Pensacola as the O.J. Simpson trial reached its climax with the controversial not guilty verdict.

The first two seasons of this recent active cycle had 32 named storms, 20 hurricanes, and 11 major hurricanes. Now, some ten years later, those numbers have grown to 167 named storms, 93 hurricanes, and 45 major hurricanes in a twelve season span (1995-2006). These storms also occurred during a pivotal time in my life. Early on in the summer of 1996, I was laid off from a System Administrator job that I had, and I decided to go back to school, and resume my studies. The first semester back, the Fall of 1996, I took a introductory course in Meteorology at the Cook College Campus of Rutgers University.

The other two articles dealt with the present hurricane season, 2006. Two recent storms: Hurricane Ernesto and Hurricane Florence were not significant storms in terms of their intensities, but they were still notable in the sense that they were the first hurricanes of the season that both made impacts on land. Ernesto only was a hurricane for just twleve hours, but it made four separate landfalls including three along the United States coastline from the Florida Keys to South Florida to the southern shores of North Carolina.

Florence was a stronger storm with 90 mph winds, and stayed at hurricane intensity for a longer period of time than Ernesto did. More importantly, the sixth named storm was the first hurricane to make an impact on the island of Bermuda in almost exactly three years. The last storm to affect Bermuda was Hurricane Fabian a major hurricane that was the worst storm to hit the island in fifty years when it pounded the island in September, 2003. On average, Bermuda gets impacted by a tropical storm or hurricane every seven years or so.

In addition to these articles, which also have accompanying video footage, I’m currently working on a book review for the month of October. It will be a summary on the book, Windswept, by Marq de Villiers. My interest in the book grew when I noticed the author included brief passages on his daily tracking of Hurricane Ivan as the storm traversed the Atlantic prior to crashing ashore near the Alabama and Florida border in September, 2004. I really enjoyed the book, and found it to be a nice little weather supplement. The book talks about all kinds of topics dealing with wind and weather. Not just the obvious things such as hurricanes, thunderstorms, blizzards and tornadoes, but also things such as the layers of the atmosphere, the Beaufort scale, wind related sports such as sailing or hang gliding, and localized winds such as the harmattan, sirocco, foehn, and blue norther.

I also plan to have an article on the historic Miami Hurricane of 1926. I read about it in the book, Divine Wind by Kerry Emanuel, and realized that this year was the 80th anniversary of the devastating storm. So, keep your eyes peeled for more stuff.