May 24, 2017

Historical Atlantic Hurricane and Tropical Storm Records

by
Gabriel A. Vecchi and Thomas R. Knutson
,
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory/NOAA
  • States that existing records of past Atlantic tropical storm numbers (1878 to present) show a pronounced upward trend, correlated with rising SSTs
  • States, however, that the density of reporting ship traffic over the Atlantic was relatively sparse during the early decades of this record
  • Finds, after adjusting for an estimated number of missing storms, there is a small nominally positive upward trend in tropical storm occurrence from 1878-2006
  • Statistical tests reveal that this trend is so small, relative to the variability in the series, that it is not significantly distinguishable from zero