Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30: Final Day of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season!

Welcome to the final entry of my award-breaking blog for this year!! J I might be leaping to conclusion, but as I sit here in subtropical Florida in my sweater, with the fire blazing merrily away, I’m inclined to think that the season is pretty much over. Yes my friends, it is that time of year when you can breathe a sigh of relief and thank your lucky stars (and have a glass or two of wine) that this is the last Hurricane Season message from me until next year. Probably.

(Unless, of course, that blobette with a 20% chance of development that the NHC are watching today does something silly. It has some circulation (but more like a front than a storm), not much convection, and very little conviction. It’s just Mother Nature’s wonderfully capricious sense of humour to have a blobette today, that’s all. ;-))

This year was actually a quieter season compared to last year and, contrary to some reports, I think it was generally an average year. Officially we had 19 tropical named storms, of which 7 became hurricanes and 3 were major hurricanes. As usual, you may have noticed that I didn’t always agree with the NHC (I was trying to be subtle, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it escaped your attention ;-)). According to the blurb: “This level of activity matched NOAA’s predictions and continues the trend of active hurricane seasons that began in 1995.” Hmm. Really? Let’s dissect this (because I’m a scientist and that’s what we all do in the movies).

The average season now has around 12-13 named storms, 6-7 hurricanes, and 2-3 major hurricanes. So we had an average number of hurricanes and major hurricanes. That leaves the number of named storms. We know there were some Micky Mouse storms (hey, I live in Florida, I have been indoctrinated ;-)) – those that would have been cartoon characters if they had a chance. They wouldn’t have been named in ye olde goldene dayse because our satellite data interpretation wasn’t as good. Definitely Tropical Storms Cindy, Franklin and Jose. TS Lee and TS Harvey were also rather questionable and rather short. So that leaves us with 14 storms (including subtropical Storms) that would really be eligible to attend the Queen’s Garden Party (provided they had the right hats). So I’ll go against the grain and say that really, in the grand scheme of things, this wasn’t greatly above average as seasons go. Ho hum.

And that, I think, will be my last scientific commentary for this season. Hurray! J Now it’s fun-time. First, some exciting statistics for this blog (well, it’s exciting to me J). This is my 100th entry for this season. This is also the conclusion of 5 years of having a proper website blog (which looks very blog-like with all the photos and whatnots), and 6 years of a listserve. During that time, the website has had around 21, 200 hits! That is amazing for something that has, generally, been spread by word-of-mouth. If I include the listserve since the beginning (c. 2005), you, your family, your friends, your friend’s friends, your families friends, your friends families, your family’s family, your cats, dogs, goldfish, ponies and sheep, and all their friends and families have, collectively, read my ramblings over 500,000 times!!! Gulp.

THANK YOU for continuing to read, for telling people, and for entertaining me throughout the season with jokes, comments, and fabulous questions. Also, a BIG Thank You to those of you who were in the paths of assorted storms who sent me your thoughts, comments, photos etc. That really livened up what would otherwise have been a very dull read. Thanks to the NHC for doing a pretty tricky job really, and for being Moriarty to my Sherlock (or possibly vice versa?)...give me a call if you need a hand. ;-) I also need to thank my fantastic technical support team: Doug M. at the CMS/USF ( in Florida for helping me maintain the listserve, and Chris H. in Texas and Ben A. in California for helping me maintain and upgrade my website blog. By the way, if you want to take a dip in geek-nirvana and are interested in B-movies and other such things, Chris and another friend, Scott, have just re-booted their classic podcasts at I also want to thank Andrew T. in North Carolina who contacted me via twitter to invite me to write my first guest blog entry this year for Southern Fried Science ( This is a groovy blog by marine science students in North Carolina. Unfortunately I completely goofed on this (sorry sorry!) because it was right around the time of Hurricane Irene and in the midst of an unusually mad travel/work schedule for me (my real job strikes again ;-)). Hopefully, next year? Finally, last but not least, I have to thank those who are in the thick of things – those who are near and dear to me. Thanks for your continued attempts to make me sane... you have a life-long project. Good luck with that. ;-)

Although I usually hibernate from now until June, I do have a couple of marshmallows on the fire… as you know, I’m a twit (JyovianStorm), and will continue to tweet about storms in other basins as well as other things that I find interesting (science, science fiction, literature, and things). AND now for something completely different (Monty Python)… I have a NEW blog! it’s a photo-blog called ‘Just around the next corner’ and can be found at I started this a couple of weeks ago (so I’m still a bit wonky on it) and am currently posting photos of the South West Coast Path walks in Devon, UK. Two new photos appear every day, and there are multiple pages now. Here is one sample:

“One of those rare cloudy days in the UK, just after the UFO took off…”.  

Click on them to see them in high-res. I’ll be posting other photos once I run out of these.    

Well I think that’s it from me for 2011!! So… here’s a big slurpy (and slurry) toast to the end of the Hurricane Season. I wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season, Happy New Year and all that jazz, and I’ll be back for the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season!

Cheers & TOODLE PIP!
J. J

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Twitter @JyovianStorm

DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

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