2019 April 21
originally posted on facebook

NHC’s post-season analysis of the 2018 hurricane season upgraded Hurricane Michael to category 5, but their report on Michael incorrectly gave context for its strength. They write:

“In terms of wind velocity, Michael is tied with the San Felipe Hurricane of 1928 as the fourth strongest hurricane to strike the United States (including Puerto Rico) since 1900, behind the Labor Day Hurricane (1935), Camille (1969), and Andrew (1992). […] Additionally, Michael marks the latest date of a category 5 hurricane landfall in the United States.”

Both of these are false, as two weeks later Typhoon Yutu struck the Northern Mariana Islands at peak strength, making it the second strongest cyclone to have struck the US by either windspeed or barometric pressure. While forecasting Yutu fell under the responsibility of the Japan Meteorological Agency, not the NHC, it would be nice if they did not forgot about the US’s outlying territories in their public-facing reports. This particular error was repeated by CNN, the Washington Post, and NPR.

(Typhoon Karen was also officially stronger than Michael when it struck Guam in 1962, although there is some reason to think it may have been weaker.)

Washington Post

CNN

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/19/715134716/hurricane-michael-was-a-category-5-noaa-finds-the-first-since-andrew-in-1992

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL142018_Michael.pdf

Wikipedia

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