There’s not much to report in the tropics, which is why I haven’t been blogging much here. As expected, Tropical Storm Laura had a short and uneventful life over the open ocean, briefly transitioning from subtropical to tropical before becoming extratropical and weakening. Now there’s a disturbance in the Western Caribbean that’s being watched, and another east of Lesser Antilles, but neither of these seem likely to become Marco. With an early winter pattern developing, there may never be a Marco — and if there is, he’ll probably form at low latitudes, staying well away from the U.S. mainland.
Meanwhile, the death toll in Texas from Hurricane Ike has risen to 33, and it’s a good bet it will continue to go higher, with 300 people still missing — some of whom may have simply been washed out to sea. A full count of the dead may take years.
Alas, in Haiti, there’s no need to wait for the grisly totals from a catastrophic hurricane season. The quartet of consecutive storms that ravaged that poor country — Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike — killed at least 793 people, with hundreds more still missing.