Posts tagged with "coast"

Hurricane symbol illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

The 2021 Hurricane Report

Author and climate scientist Bill Pekny says the 2021 hurricane season began early this year, and the forecast is to be active all season long. He explains how this compares to previous seasons, why it is the way it is…and why we shouldn’t assume hurricanes are worsening.

The 2021 hurricane season is upon us again. And according to Bill Pekny—who has an extensive background of tracking hurricanes and studying science—says it’s living up to its preseason prediction of being an active, but not unprecedented, year.

“These days there is a lot of unwarranted fear that these types of storms are getting more frequent and more severe,” says Pekny, author of A Tale of Two Climates: One Real, One Imaginary (Two Climates LLC, 2021, ISBN: 978-1-73493-960-6, $34.59). “This is a misconception driven by the fact that we measure storms in terms of economic damage.”

“We continue to build more and more high-dollar homes, hotels, and resorts in high-risk coastal areas,” he explains. “When hurricanes do make landfall, they naturally create more property damage with higher price tags. In other words, the real culprit is more development, not more hurricanes. People just conflate these two issues.”

He says the experimental reality is that hurricanes in the North Atlantic basin, which includes the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico areas, are not trending worse in either frequency or intensity over “climatological” (30 year) time scales. The same is true on a global scale. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded, “Hurricanes have not become more numerous in recent years.” And, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) data shows there has been “no increasing trend in tropical cyclone or hurricane numbers.”

Pekny says storms have intrigued him all his life. (“As a young scientist back in 1969, I had the truly unique experience of flying into the teeth of one as a RADAR meteorologist/crewmember with the renowned U.S. Navy Hurricane Hunters,” he notes.) What he’s learned is that, despite great strides in the technology that allows us to track and measure storms, not much has changed with respect to the storms themselves.

Still, from the much shorter-term “weather” perspective, this looks to be an active hurricane season in the North Atlantic basin, says Pekny. Here is his latest check on tropical cyclone activity this season in the northern hemisphere as of July 19, 2021:

Pekny’s analysis of hurricane season

Basin – Named Storms – Names Storm Days – Hurricanes – Hurricane Days – Major Hurricanes – Major Hurricane Days – Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE)

N Atlantic (Includes Caribbean & Gulf of Mexico) – 5 – 13.75 – 1 – 1.50 – 0 – 0.00 – 12.8

NE Pacific (out to Hawaii) – 7 – 20.00 – 2 – 6.75 – 1 – 2.75 – 34.9

NW Pacific – 3 – 8.50 – 1 – 1.00 – 0 – 0.00 – 7.0

N Indian – 2 – 6.00 – 2 – 3.25 – 1 – 1.50 – 13.8

Total – 17 – 48.25 – 6 – 12.50 – 2 – 4.25 – 68.5

Source: Colorado State University, Department of Atmospheric Science, Tropical Meteorology Project

It’s been a fairly active hurricane season to date, at least with regard to the number of named storms (17 this year, as compared to the historical average of 14.1, at one-fourth of the way through the six-month hurricane season).

In terms of another cyclone metric—Named Storm Days—there’s been a noticeable increase in the number of short-duration tropical storms (those lasting less than two days). Meanwhile, storms lasting longer than two days have not shown a noticeable increase. The long-lasting storms are the most devastating ones.

Another metric around intensity/severity is Accumulated Cyclone Energy, or ACE. It is a measure of the kinetic energy of hurricanes, and is directly tied to sustained hurricane windspeed. Over the long haul, ACE has been trending downward, and it’s no different this year—relatively calm in terms of kinetic energy.

Only one tropical storm in the North Atlantic basin, and not even a hurricane-level storm at that, has made a meaningful landfall this season. It was Tropical Storm Elsa, which earlier this month dumped a significant amount of rain as it passed northeasterly over Florida and then up the Atlantic seaboard before dying out.

What determines how active this hurricane season will be?

Common ingredients in the recipe for hurricane development are a combination of a weather disturbance and thunderstorm activity as seeds for a tropical storm; warm ocean water to power the storm; and low vertical wind shear to prevent the storm from breaking up as it traverses the ocean. Those conditions, and especially the expected continuance of low vertical wind shear in the North Atlantic basin, favor hurricane development throughout this season.

In other words… “Be prepared for another active hurricane season, just like last year,” says Pekny.

About the Author:

Bill Pekny is the author of A Tale of Two Climates: One Real, One Imaginary. He holds physics M.S. and B.S. degrees from Georgia Tech and DePaul University, plus graduate study in physical meteorology and numerical analysis at Florida State University and the University of Utah, and a visiting scholar appointment at the Ginzton Laboratory of Applied Physics at Stanford University.

Bill’s career in science spans over 50 years in the U.S. Armed Forces and the aerospace industry.

His career highlights include: Project Stormfury with the U.S. Navy Hurricane Hunters; applied atmospheric physics and meteorology research; LASER RADAR development; new product testing in various atmospheric environments; aviation optics and electronics; global climate research; and more.

For more information, please visit: Two Climates.

About the Book:

A Tale of Two Climates: One Real, One Imaginary (Two Climates LLC, 2021, ISBN: 978-1-73493-960-6, $34.59) is available from major online booksellers.

Cherry Blossom illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Cherry Blossoms Celebrated

FROM HUMAN CHESS TO PADDLEBOARDING:
UNIQUE WAYS CHERRY BLOSSOMS ARE CELEBRATED THROUGHOUT JAPAN

With the much-anticipated arrival of their delicate pink flowers, the cherry trees blossoming in Japan is a yearly spectacle. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, cherry blossoms in Tokyo are expected to bloom on March 15th this year. Associated with renewal and the coming spring, the cherry blossoms (or sakura) spur a variety of unique celebrations and experiences throughout the country, with many cities and towns forming their own yearly traditions and unique ways to see the cherry blossoms.

Cruise the Matsukawa River, Toyama Prefecture

Travelers can enjoy hanami (the custom of flower viewing in Japan) as well as the beautiful landscapes of Toyama Prefecture on a special cruise along the Matsukawa River. During cherry blossom season, cruises on the river drift along with the relaxing current and make their way through tunnels of cherry blossom trees. Cruises begin and end outside of the Matsukawa Tea House, so travelers can enjoy a nice cup of tea after a peaceful afternoon of hanami.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride Through Kitakami Tenshochi Park, Iwate Prefecture

A massive park spanning over 700 acres, the Kitakami Tenshochi Park has been a favorite for hanami among both locals and travelers for decades. 2021 is the 100th anniversary of the park’s opening and there is a myriad of ways for travelers to see the cherry blossoms, such as taking a riverboat cruise, or taking a ride on a horse-drawn carriage underneath the “tunnel of pink.” Cherry blossom branches stretch out from the trees on both sides of the walkway and form a floral tunnel that travelers can traverse

Human Chess Match at Tendo Sakura Matsuri, Yamagata Prefecture

Ninety percent of Japanese chess pieces, or shogi, are produced in the city of Tendo. Every April, as over 2,000 cherry blossoms bloom, locals and travelers gather to watch a human chess match, or shogi battle, in Maizuru Park, where two professional chess players compete with humans dressed as samurai and servants in place of chess pieces. The festival also features taiko (Japanese drum) performances and delicious festival food like yakisoba noodles and takoyaki balls.

Stand-up Paddleboarding in Shiga Prefecture

In Kyoto, travelers who want to partake in hanami can go stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Biwa to see cherry blossoms bloom along the coast. Shirahage SUP at the Shirahige Beach Campsite offers travelers the opportunity to see the cherry blossoms directly from the crystal blue waters of Lake Biwa.

Moka Railway Ride in Tochigi Prefecture

The city of Moka in Tochigi Prefecture is perhaps most known for the Moka Railway, which has been operating for over 100 years. During the spring when cherry blossoms begin to bloom, the railway line becomes a popular attraction since its track is almost completely surrounded by cherry blossoms and rape flowers. Travelers can book a trip on the scenic railway between Mogi station and Shimodate station for an unforgettable hanami ride.

Boating Under Hirosaki Castle, Aomori Prefecture

Hirosaki Castle is well-known as a top destination for hanami. Since local apple farmers prune the cherry trees the same way they do apples, the trees end up with two to three times more flowers than normal. To see the lush, pink flowers, guests often rent a rowboat and sail it out on the river surrounded by cherry blossoms. The sparkling river coupled with the towering castle and the bright petals makes for a fairy tale to come to life.

Noh Plays at Night, Tokyo

Under the lovely cherry blossoms of Yasukuni Shrine, a stage is set and traditional plays called noh are performed. These plays often date back to the 14th century and include kyogen (comedic spoken dramas) and maibayashi (a shorter version of noh with music). Performed, under the yozakura (cherry blossoms at night), the plays are enhanced by the atmosphere of the lit-up blossoms and the bonfire, two integral elements of this experience. Japan’s top actors and actresses are known to take the stage.

Events and experiences above are subject to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For updates on travel restrictions to Japan, please visit the website.

 

Ocean View illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

The Gasparilla Inn & Club

The Gasparilla Inn & Club is pleased to announce its 2020 Gasparilla Experience Package. The package offers guests a wide variety of unique Gasparilla Island activities, including exciting golf, tennis, kayaking, paddleboard, tennis, pickleball, fitness and sunset cruise experiences, while the Inn’s Beach Club undergoes a transformative and exciting renovation. 

The exclusive offer includes a complimentary experience each day, a complimentary golf cart to explore the island during your stay and complimentary breakfast in the Inn’s Dining Room. “The Gasparilla Experience Package” will be offered October 8-31, 2020. 

Guests can select one of the following complimentary experiences each day:

  • 18 holes of golf on the Pete Dye Championship Golf Course, including 30 minutes of instruction with a Gasparilla Inn PGA Professional.
  • A guided kayak or paddleboard tour in the waters surrounding Gasparilla Island.
  • Unlimited Tennis and Pickleball, including 30 minutes of instruction from a USTA-Certified Professional
  • A sunset cruise in the Gulf of Mexico 
  • 30 minutes of private fitness instruction with a Certified Personal Trainer.

There are so many ways to enjoy our Island and the great outdoors. Guests can pick and choose whatever experience excites them each day,” said Jon Reecher, General Manager.

Rates begin at $399 per night based upon double occupancy. To book, please call 844.253.1289. 

Entering its 107th season, The Gasparilla Inn & Club has been a premier destination on Florida’s Gulf Coast since 1913. A member of Historic Hotels of America and listed on The National Register of Historic Places, this grand resort offers 142 accommodations in a pristine environment in the heart of Boca Grande, located on Gasparilla Island. Owned by the William Farish family, the resort has played host to many notables throughout its storied history, including Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Thomas Edison, Katharine Hepburn, the George H.W. Bush family, members of the DuPont family, and others.

Follow The Gasparilla Inn & Club: Facebook | Instagram

Ghosts of Big Sur

Everyone loves a good ghost story, and the best ghost stories are the ones that are true. Culture Editor Tom Wilmer traveled along the California Coast via Highway 1 through Big Sur and learned all about one of the most haunted routes in America. Wilmer spoke with Rory Cosma at Ragged Point Inn and Resort and was told the spookiest ghost stories of Big Sur. Check out Wilmer’s podcast and hear it all for yourself. You may want to sleep with the lights on after this one.

Check out the companion videos for the podcast HERE and HERE