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Hurricanes as usual Statistics from the US National Hurricane Centre suggest that, contrary to appearances, major hurricanes are not becoming more frequent. On the standard Saffir-Simpson scale, a hurricane is classed as “major” if it reaches at least category three. From 1851 to 1900, there were 27 such storms in the US. Between 1901 and 1950 there were 34. But between 1951 and 2000, the number fell to 28. The peak decades of activity in the 20th century were 1931-60, with no fewer than 26 of the century’s total of 62 major hurricanes. And in the three decades from 1971…

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