We now get to return to one of DCW's favorite topics: Hurricanes and conventions. We've been talking about it for years (here, here, here, here, here and here). With a reminder that if you ruled out any city that might get hit by a hurricane (Tampa, Charlotte, Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans, Miami, Miami, Miami, and even New York, Boston and Philly) and earthquakes (SF, LA), you wouldn't have many options left, not to mention that even St. Paul got impacted by a hurricane in the south, we have wondered what was the probability that Tampa would get hit by a hurricane during convention week.
In 2010, I made a barely educated guess of once every 200 years, or 0.5%.
In May, we noted:
Chris Landsea, science and operations officer at the National Hurricane Center in Miami puts the chances of a hurricane hitting the Tampa Bay area during August at about 2 to 3 percent. For any given week in August, the chance may be one-half of 1 percent
And now we have one of the top hurricane specialists in the country, Dr. Jeff Masters, founder of WeatherUnderground:
Given that there have been two mass evacuations of Tampa during the past 25 years during the peak three-month period of hurricane season--August, September, and October--history suggests that the odds of a mass evacuation order being given during the 4-day period that the Republican National Convention is in town are probably around 0.2%.
Any tropical waves which might develop into hurricanes that could hit Tampa during the convention would have to come off the coast of Africa next week. Looking at the latest 16-day forecast from the GFS, all of the tropical waves coming off of Africa next week are predicted to exit too far north to make the long crossing of the Atlantic and threaten the Gulf Coast. While something could develop in the Gulf of Mexico from the remains of an old cold front, it is rare for such storms to grow strong enough to deserve mass evacuations. So far, early signs point to a hurricane-free Republican National Convention at the end of August.
0.5%, 0.5% and 0.2%. Pretty low (and a pretty good estimate from me in 2010!)
Masters has more on Tampa's hurricane history, including major storms in 1848 and 1921.