There are stories everywhere about subtropical storm Ana. Each of these stories mentions that this is an early storm, that this is the seventh consecutive year that a named storm occurred prior to the start of the storm season, and that there have been more storms than “normal.”
and it is misleading.
Why it’s misleading is that “subtropical” storms were not included in named storms until 2002. What does this mean? In the 19 hurricane seasons that subtropical storms have been added to the naming system, there have been an average of 16 named storms per year, with only 4 of those seasons seeing fewer than 12 storms. In the 19 seasons prior to 2002, there were an average of 11 named storms per year, with ten of those seasons having fewer than 12 storms.
So why did the criteria for naming storms change? If you look at the statistics for named storms, something jumps out at you. The number of storms drastically increases, beginning in 1995. What changed in 1995? Was it global warming?
Nope. The director of the National Hurricane Center, Doctor Bob Sheets, retired in 1995. The director of the NHC sets the criteria by which storms are classified. Politics, or science?