#Alex finally forms

Potential Tropical Cyclone One finally became organized enough for the US National Hurricane Center to declare it a Tropical Storm Alex. Alex is well offshore now, with the last few showers departing The Bahamas, and looks to pass north of Bermuda tomorrow (Monday 6 June), still as a tropical storm but more than likely already transitioning to an extra-tropical system. Here is Alex as the sun rises over the Atlantic …

click to make larger.

PTC1/Alex was never really a traditional tropical storm, and in past years would not likely have been tracked. This presents a dilemma for those trying to figure out if hurricane climatology is changing. Better technology and changing criteria for tracking and warning means comparing 2022 with 2000, much less 1970, 1950, or 1920, is a major challenge. NOAA has been trying to do a reanalysis of the “satellite era” to try to identify tropical systems that were not in the data bases, and found 14 in the five years from 1966 to 1970. This is a major reason why you should be very careful when people say this or that weather system, or changing numbers, is due to climate change. In many cases we just don’t have the data to say. Now, that’s not an excuse to do nothing about human impacts on the environment (not to mention the many related resource and socioeconomic issues that are convoluted with this problem), but it does show it’s not simple or straightforward.

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