Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 30: Final Day of the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Hello my friends... Yes, it's the official end of the 2008 Atlantic
Hurricane Season. Hurray hurray. And Phew. What a season, hey?

To sum up the 2008 season: Officially we had 16 named storms, of which 8
were hurricanes, 5 major (cat 3 or higher). An above-average year (average
is 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, 3 major) and the folks who play the
'Forecast-Exactly-How-Many-Storms-We'll-Get' roulette game were close to
the mark for a change. I suppose if you stick to the same lottery numbers
every time, eventually you'll be lucky.

I think some of you may have noticed in my fabulous (!), brilliant (?!?),
and witty (??!!) entries this year that I didn't *always* agree with the
official assessment. In my opinion there were about 4 storms that
shouldn't have been named, and one hurricane that could have remained a
Tropical Storm. But despite that, we did have some rather large hurricanes
(remember Big Beautiful Bertha?) - most of which had remarkable aim and
managed to hit Cuba or some other island en route to wherever it ended up.
It was most definitely an active year. I believe the crystal balls for
next year are already being polished. From NOAA the 2009 forecast is 14-18
named storms and 10 hurricanes. I forecast that 12 months from today we'll
know if the NOAA forecast was accurate. :)

As I wrap up this year, I'd like to thank those who helped me... my
fabulous technical support - the computing guys at CMS/USF for the
listserve, and C.H. in Texas for maintaining the blog. I should also thank
the St. Pete Times - after that article, the readership increased a tad...
from an estimated 600-700 to over 2000. Eeek!! I need to thank our
intrepid reporters in the field - it seemed like there was someone who
read this in the path of almost every storm this year - from Bermuda to
the Caribbean to Texas to Canada! It was pretty darn tootin' cool getting
real picture "real-time" reports from you all. I also thank all of you for
continuing to read this drivel ;) ... the hilarious comments I got back
made the whole thing so much more entertaining (for me and your
fellow-readers). Finally, my thanks to my friends, family and colleagues
for their sometimes futile efforts in keeping me sane and helping me
retain a sense of humour... good luck with that ;) And to my producers,
director, and fellow-actors... oh, sorry, wrong thank-you speech.

Have a wonderful 'off-season' (hurricane), best of luck for those whose
'cyclone season' is just beginning! (I got your notes - thank you), happy
holidays, wishing you all a great New Year, keep laughing, keep enjoying
the obscure words etc etc...

It's time for me to hibernate now... that's all for now folks.


Disclaimer... blah blah blah.... (see the website blog archives if you
want to read it).

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