Day One Of Hurricane Season

You can set your calendar by this blog. It’s Hurricane Season. Every June 1, or thereabouts, we provide you with the obligatory outlook for the season that starts today…obligatory because, while hurricanes seldom affect cruise ships that can outrun them, the fact remains ships are on waters that can generate such storms.

So…

NOAA — officially known as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — is the most credible organization for predicting, tracking and keeping records of North American hurricanes. This year, NOAA says “below normal.” Normal is 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

Before anybody on North American shores dares to get complacent, these are weather predictions and everybody knows how often the weatherman are wrong — just ask one how many times he (or she) was blamed for mis-predicting weather. In any case, here is what “below normal” means over Atlantic waters:

Named storms — 6 to 11
Hurricanes — 3 to 6
Major hurricanes — 0 to 2

Between today and November 30, NOAA estimates there’s a 70 per cent chance it will be correct in projecting “below normal” with a 20 per cent chance of “near normal” and a 10 per cent chance of “above normal.”

It’s called hedging your bets.

Predictions are all about the temperature of ocean water. The warmer the water, the more chance of a hurricane. Apparently, El Nino is expected to suppress the hurricane season and if you can figure out how, you should head for meteorological university, yet hurricanes in the Pacific are expected to be more plentiful:

OdileNamed storms — 15 to 22
Hurricanes — 7 to 12
Major hurricanes — 5 to 8

Peak season on both coasts is early August.

The first storm (Ana) has already arrived in the Atlantic and the next one will be called Bill. Since they’re all done alphabetically, if Wanda arrives it’s not going to be a “below normal” season. The first storm in the Pacific will be Andres…and Zelda would be No. 24, at the other end of the list.

Last year, NOAA predicted 8 to 13 named storms (there were 8), 3 to 6 hurricanes (there were 6) and 1 or 2 major hurricanes (there were 2). That was in the east. Out west in the Pacific, which always seems to be something of a hurricane afterthought, there were 22 storms, 16 hurricanes, 9 of them major.

Anybody who cruised into Cabo San Lucas last September will never forget Hurricane Odile (above), which reached category 4 with winds of 140 miles per hour.

In the news…

• Quantum of the Seas makes a splash in Dubai on 53-day global trip
• Hong Kong pulls plug on supplying on-shore power for ships…too costly

Today at portsandbows.com: Another look at Carnival Vista, arriving next spring

Celebrity Millennium
7 nights
June 21, 2015
Anchorage, Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan, Vancouver
Oceanview: $549
Cost per day: $78
www.celebritycruises.com

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