If you’re a fan of Mexican Telenovelas (my wife watches them to practice Spanish) you’ll probably recognize the theme song to the series “Teresa”, and I can’t hear that name without the song getting stuck in my head. Teresa is pretty bad (mala), but her tropical storm namesake this year isn’t. In fact, by the time you read this she will might well have broken up. In any event, Teresa is just offshore the US, and there are no watches or warnings. Sam on the other hand is almost a major hurricane, and should continue to gain some strength. But as expected, it should miss the Leeward Islands, and all of the major track models agree with it turning to the north, with the ECM right over Bermuda, and GFS well to the east, so they might have something to worry about late next week. Here’s the respective swaths of doom for the next five days:
Teresa raises a point to remember when at the end of the season people start taking about the number of storms. Teresa is the ninth short lived, structurally marginal storm that in past years might well not have been named or tracked. If we are generous and say two or three would have been counted, then this year doesn’t look so bad (12 or 13 named storms rather than 19). Again, that is a testament to improved monitoring, and partly due to changes that allow/encourage NHC to track hybrid systems that don’t exactly fit the tropical cyclone definition (which is important due to the explosive growth in vulnerable coastal areas over the last few decades). So while climate change is very real, and how storm frequencies and intensities are changing is a subject of intense study right now, the raw numbers game can be misleading. In this case, the hype is wrong – but the underlying truth of anthropogenic climate change is all too real.