C'mon You Know What Day It Is! (Beware Nerdy Post)
Besides it being the start of National Accordion Awareness Month (not "appreciation" mind you, simply awareness) and the 45th birthday of Vladimir Krutov of the famed Soviet "KLM Line", it is the first day of the 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
I mark this occasion not to bore you (or not entirely to bore you) and not because I am a sucker for hot cyclonic (or anti-cyclonic, as the case may be) action, but because how this year transpires in the tropics will be a focus of political and scientific debate. In the wake of 2004 which saw Florida get battered by four storms (as well as the far more bizarre formation of Hurricane Catarina) and 2005 which annihilated all records for number of storms, intensity, intensification, and destruction, this year will likely fuel discussion on the relation between global warming and storm formation and surely will sway public opinion.
Personally, I'm not entirely sold on the idea that global warming will cause more storms, but the astonishing speed at which storms such as Hurricane Wilma strengthened - pressure plummeting 93 millibars in 18 hours - is more than foreboding. Hurricane Gilbert, the former King of Low Pressure, maxed out at a 64 millibar drop. The question of storm formation is still a little tricky in light of warmer ocean temperatures. Actually, it's a lot tricky, which is why I spend my days at a business research job superficially blogging about such topics instead of really working as a tropical meteorologist. Basically, too many variables to know for sure what the impact of global warming will be. It could mean a lifetime of seasons like 2005 or, maybe it could result in stronger upper-level winds which would inhibit storm formation. I dunno. I just know that June 1st marks the beginning of my own personal Festival of Tropical Dorkiness. Rawk!