Quietest hurricane season for a decade ends

| 30/11/2009

(CNS): As the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season draws to a close today(Monday 30 November), experts say it was the quietest season since 1997, and forecasters at Colorado State University claimed its team has accurately predicted the below-average hurricane activity. The season produced nine named storms with three hurricanes, two of which were major hurricanes. There was only one storm warning for the Cayman Islands, which came with the late season storm Ida that passed some 190 miles west of Grand Cayman on 8 November.

In their end of season report the predictors said the season compared with the team’s seasonal and 15-day forecasts. The Colorado State team of Phil Klotzbach and William Gray made its long-range seasonal forecast, which called for an above-average hurricane season, in early December 2008 and issued seasonal updates on April 9, June 2, and August 4, 2009. As hurricane season began in June, the team called for 11 named storms, five hurricanes and two major (Cat 3-4-5) hurricanes. In August, the team lowered their prediction to 10 named storms, four hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

“The skill of our early June and early August forecasts was reasonably good,” said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the forecasts. “Our earlier predictions of early December 2008 and early April of this year over-estimated this year’s tropical cyclone activity because of our inability to judge the formation of the moderate El Nino event which began to develop late this spring.”

William Gray, who has been issuing forecasts for 26 years, explained activity was reduced considerably due largely to the moderate El Nino. “This event generated significantly stronger-than-average vertical wind shear, especially in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico,” he added.

The hurricane experts said that five named storms (Ana, Danny, Erika, Fred, and Henri) dissipated over the open ocean in the tropical and sub-tropical Atlantic this year. This is a fairly rare occurrence that typically happens only in years such as this year, characterized by high levels of tropospheric vertical wind shear. Only two weak tropical storms made landfall this year – Claudette in August and Ida in November.

The season was also a late-starter with the first storm not forming until 15 August.  It also had the lowest number of named storm days since 1991 with 27.25 compared to 24.25 named storm days that season.  With only three hurricanes in 2009, it was the quietist year since 1997 when there were also three hurricanes. In total there were 11.25 hurricane days and no category 5 hurricanes developed, the second consecutive year when the storms stayed below the highest level.  No named storms formed in June or July. The last time that no storm activity occurred in June or July was 2004 (Alex formed that year on August 1). This is the 18th year of the past 66 years with no storm formations in June or July.

The team will issue its first forecast for the 2010 hurricane season on Wednesday, 9 December.

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  1. Al Gore says:

    After inventing the internet, I invented global warming/climate change.

    Here is how I keep it all straight:

    When I surf online — that is the internet.

    When I surf outside on an especially warm day — that is global warming.

    When I am unable to surf because the weather is horrible — that is climate change.

    Got it? 

    Like Lord of the Rings… one theory to unite them all. LOL

  2. Anonymous says:

    I believe in negative the impact of man’s behavior on weather patterns.  The evidence in support of it is overwhelming and denial is on hte same level as denying evolution – based on blind refusal based on faith coupled with general alignment with US Republican politics who sought to discourage belief in global warming as it would cost their main constituents, the largest corporations, revenue. 

    A quiet hurricane season proves nothing – there are very credible theories that global warming does not affect the number of storms in a season but that it may affect the intensification of storms which do begin.  Most of the key intensification records have been broken in the last few years, including one with Ida.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Given the present financial condition of the Cayman Islands government if we were to take a major hurricane hit we would have been in one hell of a mess.

    Apparently the previous government didn’t consider this with their grand spending programs.

    And why not is the obvious question?


  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank God for keeping us safe through another hurricane season. 


  5. No Sah says:

    Hmmm – I’m sure the global warming / climate change alarmists aren’t liking this at all!

    We all know how they love to hark on about our fast approaching doomsday is evidenced by the active hurricane seasons as of late. (Never mind the stories told to my GRANDFATHER by his GRANDFATHER of overly-active hurricane / "storm" seasons from back in the 1800’s – not quite sure how "carbon emissions" played a role back then? :o)

    Furthermore, the last few winters have produced never before recorded arctic like conditions in certain parts of the world – I am curious as to what this may suggest?

    Once again folks – research behind the headlines for your information on these matters … you may be amazed.

    Standing by for the beraters … (yawn, yawn).

    (P.S. No I am not the spawn of satan, no I don’t think cigarettes are good for your health nor am I a serial polluter – I just believe in a responsible approach to important issues.)



    Any Brits in the house? Anyone noticed the tremendous falloff in the now infamous "global warming / climate change / doomsday TV adverts this year?

    Yeah…I know – interesting huh?

    At a minimum this clearly demonstrates the "politricks" at play.

    • Anonymous says:

      unlike you, the ‘alarmists’ are able to see a bigger picture and look at trends over a number of years, but anyway who needs scientific evidence when you believe in crackpot conspiracy theories….

      • No Sah says:

        Ok – do us a favour will you?

        Go and actually do a bit of research on the matter. Observe for yourself the TRUE positions of the science community on this matter.

        Witness the way in which a throw blanket approach is being utilised in this issue – see the disgraceful (unimaginable) marriage of science and politics.

        Then … you tell me which of us are most likely believeing in "crackpot conspiracy theories".

        I’m sure you will hold your ground on your position – but I’m sorry to tell you … between the two of us you will be the grossly misled individual.

        The actual science (or lack thereof) is behind my reasoning.

        Yours appears to be backed by the run-of-the-mill news headlines and such.

        Waste of time … enjoy your unnecessarily stressed-filled life.

        • Mozzie Fodder says:

          So where is your research? Anecdotal evidence from your ancestors doesn’t cut it for me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Even if you think there is a scientific debate re the impact of mankind’s carbon emissions on our weather systems (which there really isn’t), I would rather take precautions in case the global warming theory is right than stick my head in the sand and put dollars and greed first opnly to find out that it is too late.

    • O'Really says:

      You suggest that people should look behind the headlines, yet your post reveals little independent research.

      Although there is no absolute consensus, the generally accepted explanation for the increase in hurricane activity since 1995 is something called the Atlantic Multidecadal Occilation. This actually supports your great, great grandfathers assertion of cycles in hurricane activity and it has nothing to do with global warming.

      Very few, if any, hurricane scientists are prepared to link increased activity to global warming, so they are hardly shaking at the last quiet season. You set up a straw man argument. There is speculation that if global warming impacts hurricanes at all, it is in terms of increased intensity rather than increased absolute numbers.

      As for certain parts of the world experiencing unusually cold weather, I would remind you the term is global warming, not very local warming. There will be above and below average temperatures around the world, but the temperature data gathered from thousands of scientists around the globe is the basis for determining a global warming trend, over an extended period of time.

      I must have missed the apparently well recognised link between TV advertising and global warming. But no need for me to research it, it must be true because I read it online – in your post actually!

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you know why it is called Global warming not Atlantic warming?

      There is a big hint in the name, it’s a Global event. So how many storms hit the Phillipines this year?

      I remember all the nay sayers when scientific evidence was starting to show the link with smoking and lung cancer.

      The tobacco firms hired the same PR firms to smear the science as the oil companies are using today.

      Let’s look at money spent on lobbiests in the US by enviromentalist groups compared to oil companies for the second quarter of 2009

      Top 8 spending enviromentalist groups totalled $2.6m

      Top 8 spending oil companies spent $25m

      Interesting read:


      As for the 1800’s, you do know the industrial revolution was occuring then, producing carbon emissions

      Too funny, you’re as bad as that Miller fellow who writes in contless times about the dodgy science of the "alarmists", than writes about a study done by an oil company thnk tank on Global cooling widely rebuffed by nearly all scientists, too funny.


    • Anonymous says:

      The more accepted term at this point is "global climate change," as global warming is misleading. Climate change meaning not all areas are going to get hotter (though global average temperature is increasing) and over time there will be significant shifts in typical weather patterns. If you look on the average though, hurricane activity is showing indications of increasing lately. Not to say that it will be a bad hurricane season every year, but that there is a higher potential for that to happen. Keep in mind there was a particularly high amount of easterly wind shear which cut down on the developmental potential for many hurricanes this season. Now quit being silly and do some real thinking for a change.

  6. Praise Jesus says:

    Thank the Lord we had a UDP Government to get us through the season safely. You done know there would had been plenty hurricane if the PPM was in there boy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really and truly, how simple minded can you people be???

      I am ALL for the UDP government but come on now, does the government honestly have anything to do with HURRICANES? You blasted MORON!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Sarcasm, it’s the method of expression which separates the intelligent from the great unwashed. 

      • Oh bwoy.... says:

        I believe the moron would be you for thinking this guy/gal/genius of humour was in the least bit serious.

        PLEASE tell me you were high on crack and having a false "real" moment…

        P.S. It has nothing to do with the UDP and PPM – clearly it is God ensuring we are all safe now that the US has its second black president – check the facts before you come back on me for dat one, pickney!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      LMAO!… Whata genius you are, aren’t yah.


    • Twyla Vargas says:

      11:54,  Now Dont Start with it……..Maybe you are living on a mountain top.  Well the people of the Valley of Cumber Avenue is till waiting on both PPM and UDP to do something about their situation.   Now that the rainy season has dwindled down, let us see what the NRA or UDP or PPM  will do.

      Dont anyone think that we will believe wild excuses anymore.   What I have to say is this if the members of Government is not attending to this problem, then where are the others.  Cant they open their mouth, for open sake and say "Well Mr. Premier, I am not a UDP I am only a PPM collecting an MLA  salary but I still have some concerns for the people of Cumber Avenue. 

      Or can the Balance of the UDP team who is not on the Government Bench say  I am collecting an MLA salary and………, "Well Mr. Premier, although I am not on the Government Bench, I have some concerns  about the Cumber situation, because I am from Bodden Town and would like to see those people assisted.   Do I have to hold your hand to ask these questions or is it that no one cares. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    God is good!

    • Anonymous says:

      So when we get hit by hurricanes god is bad?

    • Anonymous says:

      I notice that god seems to be praised when there are no hurricanes, praised when it narrowly misses, praised when it hits somewhere else but spares Cayman and praised when it slams into us and wrecks the island. Peculiar.

      • Anonymous says:

        PECULIAR PECULIAR. Especially when its an Election year. The hand outs wow to special people. Where is the transparency?