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Posted at 7:30 PM ET, 10/25/2010

Is a hurricane shield protecting the U.S. coast?

By Jason Samenow

* PM Update: Muggy with a few showers | Richard's troubles *

Ten hurricanes have formed in the Atlantic basin this season, but none have made landfall in the U.S. As it turns out, this is pretty unusual.

U.S. Dr. Adam Lea, a researcher at the University College London Department of Space and Climate Physics, posted some fascinating statistics relating to this fact on a hurricane research list-serv. Here they are, reprinted with his permission:

1. Since 1900 there is no precedent of an Atlantic hurricane season with 10 or more hurricanes where none has struck the U.S. as a hurricane. The five previous seasons with 10 or more hurricanes each had at least two hurricane strikes on the U.S.

2. The last precedent for a La Nina year of the magnitude of 2010 which had no U.S.-landfalling hurricane is 1973.

3. Since hurricane Ike (2008) there have been 16 consecutive non US-landfalling hurricanes. Such a sequence last happened between Irene (1999) and Lili (2002) with 22 consecutive non U.S.-landfalling hurricanes, and between Allen (1980) and Alicia (1983) with 17 consecutive non U.S.-landfalling hurricanes.

4. The period 2006-2010 is one of only three 5-year consecutive periods without a U.S. major hurricane landfall (the other two such periods were 1901-1905 and 1936-1940). There has never been a six year period without a US major hurricane landfall.

5. Historically one in four Atlantic hurricanes strike the US as a hurricane. Thus the recent dearth in strikes should be 'corrected' in the next few years.

By Jason Samenow  | October 25, 2010; 7:30 PM ET
Categories:  Tropical Weather  
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>none have

There is so much bad grammar in the Post these days, most of which isn't even noticed. The correct phrase is "none has...." "None" is singular, not plural.

Posted by: RAB2 | October 25, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

RAB - In short, you are wrong.


It is sometimes held that none can take only a singular verb, never a plural verb: none of them is coming tonight , rather than none of them are coming tonight . There is little justification, historical or grammatical, for this view. None is descended from Old English nān, meaning ‘not one,’ and has been used for around a thousand years with both a singular and a plural verb, depending on the context and the emphasis needed.

Posted by: jahutch | October 25, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | October 25, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

#5 sounds like a case of the classic Monte Carlo fallacy.

Is there any scientific mechanism by which a dearth of hurricanes this year makes a hurricane next year more probable?

Posted by: stuckman | October 25, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Generally the U.S. East Coast has a "hurricane shield" in the form of the trough that habitually develops offshore as cold frontal boundaries stall off the Delmarva/Carolinas region. This trough causes most Atlantic tropical/subtropical systems to recurve offshore as "fish storms".

The notable hurricane years around here are generally those years when this trough fails to stall offshore or remains inland.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | October 26, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

In a year when the weather has been turned on its head, nothing surprises me. With a blocking high causing so much heat hereabouts, it's not surprising that most tropical weather systems stayed to the south or veered out to sea.

Two more cooling degree days yesterday, now up to 2,112 for the year. Meanwhile heating degree days are well below the seasonal average (and comparatively for last year at this time). Those who predicted a warm fall were spot on. (However, it appears by this weekend, warm is heading south.)

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | October 26, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

It's because the US is back in God's favor.

Posted by: ksu499 | October 26, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

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