Extremely active 2017 hurricane season ranks among worst

| 01/12/2017 | 14 Comments
Cayman News Service

Hurricane Irma, satellite image Friday, 8 Sept

(CNS): The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which ended Thursday, was “an extraordinarily active one”, according to hurricane expert Philip Klotzbach. While Cayman escaped unscathed this season, other Caribbean islands were not so fortunate. Those seriously impacted include Barbuda, which had to be evacuated and is still uninhabitable, Saint Martin, where 90% of the buildings were damaged, Dominica, the US and British Virgin Islands, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Across the Caribbean and mainland USA, over 1,000 people were killed and the storms caused an estimated $360 billion worth of damage.

“While the overall season was very active, what most stood out about 2017 was the record-breaking levels of hurricane activity that occurred during September. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria were the most notable storms of 2017, leaving paths of death and destruction in their wake,” Klotzbach and his colleagues from Colorado University wrote in the end of season round-up.

See tracks of all major storms in the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season

With 17 named storms, ten became hurricanes and six of those were recorded as major, including Hurricane Irma, which recorded winds of up to 185mph, making it the second-strongest hurricane in the Atlantic Basin in history and the strongest to impact the Leeward Islands. It also set a world record for the longest-lasting and strongest cyclone. Irma maintained an intensity of 160 knots for 37 hours – the longest of any cyclone around the world since records began.

Klotzbach said the season predictions in April underestimated activity in 2017 by a large margin. Later forecasts in July and August pointed to an above-average season but still “considerably underestimated just how active the season was going to be”, he stated in the report.

Nevertheless, officials from NOAA said that their seasonal forecasts were more accurate than ever before during the most active season since 2005. In a release reviewing the 2017 season, NOAA said the National Hurricane Center published “early and reliable forecasts to communities in the path of this year’s storms”. Data shows that the NHC issued forecasts with record-setting accuracy.

The 2017 hurricane season set many records, and nearly all the measurements place the season among the ten worst on record. “This was a hurricane season that wouldn’t quit,” said acting NOAA administrator Timothy Gallaudet. “The season started early with a storm in April and the peak of the season featured an onslaught of ten successive hurricanes. NOAA forecasters rose to this challenge to keep emergency officials and the public aware of anticipated hazards.”

See the full report from Klotzbach and his team here:

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Category: Science & Nature, Weather

Comments (14)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We need more churches and pastors that help child molesters.

  2. Michel says:

    A blessed Hurricane season for the Cayman Islands. Plain and simple.

  3. Anonymous says:

    You don’t need any of that fancy stuff, just sit and pray for the storm to go away.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Felt like we were dodging bullets all summer!

  5. Unison says:

    Do we have up-to-date hurricane shelters? Are we up-to-date with earthquake and tsunami warning systems? ?

    • Anonymous says:

      If you start praying now maybe we can get the funding in 2 years in the next budget,
      cause that is the answer for everything right Uni?

      • Unison says:

        It’s good to pray, but who am I to “ask” God for anything? ? We can start with reducing the size of government, getting rid of the minimum wage, high government fees, and the cost of doing small business in the Cayman Islands for locals. This will put more revenue on the budget and stimulate the economy.

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s almost like humans who depend on an invisible sky god to provide everything for them are delusional, we see just how well “thoughts and prayers” prevent terrorist attacks around the world and mass shootings in the US

    • Anonymous says:

      Biker alerts would be more useful. If we get a big tsunami we will only have time to stick our heads between our legs and kiss our a$$es goodbye. Why would we wish to create an even more terrifying death by giving us more time to think about it?

      • Anonymous says:

        valid but morbid.

      • Anonymous says:

        You seriously gonna continue with this Biker alert/riders Shit?….It’s over and done, try so find something more useful and meaningful to talk about for God’s sake!

      • Anon says:

        The reason that statement is false is because the distance between the surface and the sea floor would need to be shallow for the tsunami to actually build, this was taken from the Cayman compass: “A tsunami wave in deep water, like the Cayman Trench, travels at speeds in excess of 400 miles per hour. However, once the tsunami reaches shallow water, it slows down dramatically. So, for example, once the leading edge of the tsunami reaches water of a depth of 15 feet, friction slows the wave down to more like 50 miles per hour. This causes the water to rise up as the leading edge slows and trailing part of the wave continues to speed in from behind.”

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