Claire Wilkinson starts August out by sounding an ominous note:
A Weather Channel report reminds us that some 93 percent of major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale) – those causing the most damage — occur during the peak months from August through October.
Another reason for residents of hurricane-prone areas not to let their guard down.
Insurers know this only too well. In a ranking of the top ten most costly hurricanes in the United States posted at III.org, all 10 hurricanes on the list occurred from August through October.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, the category 5 hurricane that devastated South Florida on August 24, 1992. It’s important to note that Andrew was the first storm in a late-starting season that produced only six named storms.
To this I would add the following: It has been an unusually hot summer here in the mid-Atlantic states. The waters of the North Atlantic likely are not as cold as they might normally be in August. Warmer water = more fuel for storms. A Long Island agent voiced these concerns to me just a few weeks ago. All things being equal (and I'm not factoring in the effects of El Nino,) the hotter summer would appear to increase the odds that a major storm will hit the New York City metro area and New England.
No one in New York is anxious to see the cousins of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee pay us a visit, but we shouldn't be terribly surprised if they do.