Took a good long look at a scorecard that holds compelling interest for us all, especially on these first breezy days of October.
It had nothing to do with pennant races, the NFL or Manatee County high school football.
Rather, it was Weather.com’s Hurricane Season 2010 Scorecard.
Thus far, Floridians have been lucky, because what a season it’s been, indeed.
One that’s been remarkably on target for hurricane forecasters whose offseason predictions never fail to get our attention, fill us with dread as June 1 approaches, and always make us ask:
How do those academic types at Colorado State on the foothills of the Rockies know so darned much about our tropics?
They predicted between 14 to 18 named storms.
We’ve had 14.
They predicted eight hurricanes.
We’ve had seven.
They predicted four major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).
We’ve had five.
Wonder if these guys have played the gaming tables at Las Vegas this year?
They’re on a roll.
Crazier still are these other statistics that define the unusually intense season that’s been roiling around us.
According to the National Hurricane Center:
n There was just one 24-hour period from Aug. 21 to Sept. 26 during which there was no tropical depression, storm or hurricane.
n There were a record four Category 4 hurricanes within 20 days.
n There were an unprecedented five major hurricanes in the three weeks from Aug. 27 to Sept. 17.
n There were two Category 4 hurricanes (Igor, Julia) on one day (Sept. 15). The last time that happened was 84 years ago.
n Hurricane Nicole was our 14th named storm, the average for an entire season, and we still have two months left.
That Florida has remained unscathed — the Northeast has faced more hurricane threats — is attributable to beneficial weather patterns.
Some Divine Intervention, too.
Pray it stays that way.
As of Friday, there two systems in Florida’s corner of the hemisphere and it appears more will follow.
Meteorologist Jeff Masters, co-founder of the informative Weather Underground, predicts three named storms — two hurricanes and one major hurricane — this month, then two more named storms and one hurricane in November.
If it pans out, this will end up being the third busiest Atlantic hurricane season in history.
Let’s hope he’s wrong.
Mannix About Manatee, by columnist Vin Mannix, is about people and issues in Manatee County. Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail him at email@example.com. Please include a phone number for verification purposes.