October 2012 is the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature. If you were born in or after April 1985, if you are right now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average. State of the Climate: Global Analysis October 2012 (NOAA). While $50 billion Sandy has had the spotlight, the biggest natural disaster of 2012 (in the US) has been the Great Drought still ongoing which is expected to cut America's GDP by 0.5 to 1% for the year. The death toll from the heat waves that accompanied this year's drought will exceed that of Sandy. This Sunday and Monday, Ken Burns premiers his new documentary "The Dust Bowl", on PBS. (via)
A massive rare 'superstorm' is currently bearing down on Alaska, with hurricane force winds (100+mph gusts), blizzard, sea-surge flooding. "This is going to be one of the worst storms on record over the Bering Sea". The storm passed through an area of unusually high sea surface temperatures. "This may help explain why the storm is turning from an ordinary Bering Sea disturbance into a ‘superstorm’." [more inside]
National Hurricane Center and the Likelihood of Hurricanes. In December 2003 the NHC predicted a 68% chance of a major (Category 3-4-5) hurricane hitting the US, in fact there were three major hits on the US (Charlie, Ivan, and Jeanne). In December 2004 the NHC predicted a 69% chance of a major hurricane, in fact there were four major hists (Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma). The odds of that happening are about 0.9% (see link for math), or "statistically very significant evidence" the NHC predictions are understated. Forecast for 2006: 81% chance of a major hurricane.