I don’t know how it happened that the first real storm of the season has spun up to a category 3 … but there it is. Bertha is a full-fledged major hurricane, and only 7 days into July. This kind of storm, which began as a tropical wave coming off Africa, are usually more common late in August and into September. But there it is, right out in the ocean like it belongs.
The experts had predicted 3-4 major hurricanes this season. So I suppose this counts as one. For all the predictions, no one really knows how many storms will form and how many will become major blows. This certainly counts as #1.
The good news is, it looks like this one will be curving to the north and maybe threatening Bermuda, but mostly just a threat to shipping. As it move north, cooler waters and more wind shear are likely to knock it down from it’s current strength.
I don’t know how long it will be before the global warming alarmists start wailing that this early Cat 3 storm is the result of man-made warming. Since the last hurricane to form on July 7th was back in 1996 … and was also a Bertha … it’s certainly not unprecedented. Unusual, yes, but not unheard of. In fact, according to the 11 pm discussion from the National Hurricane Center:
BERTHA IS CERTAINLY NOT THE ONLY MAJOR HURRICANE THAT HAS FORMED IN THE MONTH OF JULY. THE LAST OCCURRENCES WERE HURRICANES DENNIS AND EMILY IN 2005.
That won’t stop the gnashing of teeth, though. I’m still not convinced.
Hurricanes are a fact of life living out here at the continents’ edge. Our hurricane kit for this year is so far woefully inadequate. This should serve as a wake-up call to get things together and be sure we’re prepared. We’ve been very lucky here in Northeast Florida, not having had a direct hit from a storm since 1964. I don’t want to jinx us, but facts are facts.
With Jenni in town, blogging may be a little light this week and next. I’ll post when I can, but I’m not going to worry about trying to turn every number on the calendar this month blue. I’m sure you’ll understand. Please shop around the blog a bit if you like … or check out my photos on Flickr. I’ll be around.