Thursday, May 20, 2010

2010 Hurricane Season Outlook Delayed
Stupid Pet Tricks Mock Hansen

The Florida Sun-Sentinel Storm Center blog reports that NOAA's 2010 hurricane season outlook, scheduled to be released today, has been delayed until next week. No reason was given. Last year's outlook was announced on May 21. Hurricane season begins officially on June 1.

Hurricane Preparedness Week begins on Sunday, May 23, with a focus on the history of notable storms. Other topics include the triple threats of storm surge, high winds, and inland flooding; the forecast process; preparedness; and taking action.

The Central Pacific hurricane season outlook, released yesterday, calls for a below-average tropical cyclone threat to Hawaii. It predicts a "70% chance of a below normal season, a 25% chance of a near normal season, and only a 5% chance of an above normal season."

Meanwhile, a ClimateWire article, reposted by the New York Times, considers the effects of a hurricane on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:
Researchers Ponder a Hurricane Hitting the Oil-Slicked Gulf of Mexico
NOAA talking points list a number of open questions, such as whether the oil plume could affect storm formation by suppressing evaporation of Gulf water and how a hurricane could change the size and location of the oil slick. There's little information about what would happen if a hurricane hit the spill, experts said.

Still, several scientists are worried that a hurricane could drive oil inland, soiling beaches and wetlands and pushing polluted water up river estuaries.
In the Stupid Pet Tricks department, NBC Miami reports that a right-wing political lobbying organization, The National Center for Public Policy Research, is using the opportunity to mock climate scientist James Hansen (and conflate weather with climate) by having a chimpanzee roll dice to predict the number of hurricanes for the season:
No Monkey Business: Primate Predicts Busy Hurricane Season

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