HOUSTON - Let's be clear: there is no hurricane heading for Texas --- not in the near term anyway. However every time the Spurs close in on a championship, an old adage surfaces in the depths of local weather forums: a hurricane may be on the way!
We've all become familiar with sayings such as: "red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning" or "bees will not swarm before a near storm."
But have you heard the latest one? "If it's a win for the Spurs, storm tide and wind will soon occur!"
The last one I made up just now. However, some seem to think that every time the San Antonio Spurs have won the national title, Texas often fell victim to the ravages of a hurricane. That's almost true but not exactly.
Let's take a look back:
San Antonio won titles in the following years: 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014. In all but one of those years, 2014, we had a hurricane landfall in the state of Texas.
-Hurricane Bret struck Kenedy County (south of Corpus Christi) in 1999. Bret was the last category four hurricane to directly impact the state.
-Hurricane Claudette made landfall as a category one hurricane near Matagorda Bay in 2003.
-In 2005 Hurricane Rita powered up to a category 5 with Houston square in its eye. It prompted the largest evacuation in U.S. history and finally made landfall just east of the area near the mouth of the Sabine River (Texas/Louisiana State Line)
-Hurricane Humberto, formed off the coast of Galveston and within a day became a category one hurricane making landfall near High Island in 2007.
The season of 2014 broke the streak with zero hurricane landfalls anywhere in the United States. Therefore while the correlation of Spurs wins and Texas hurricane landfalls is strong, it's certainly not a slam dunk.
Since the Spurs became an NBA franchise, many hurricanes have hit the state including infamous ones like Hurricane Allen in 1980, Hurricane Alicia in 1983 that hit Houston/Galveston head on and shattering thousands of windows downtown. Hurricanes Jerry and Hurricane Dolly and of course Ike--- all hitting in years the Spurs were not in contention for the title.
According to NOAA, Texas averages one hurricane strike every six years. It's been almost nine years since the last hurricane, Ike, made a direct hit on the state. That means we're overdue. Annually the chance of a hurricane strike along any given 50 mile stretch of Texas coast line ranges from 31% at Sabine Pass to around 41% at Matagorda Bay. The chances of the Spurs winning the title any given year? Far less.
Therefore it's reasonable to conclude that hurricane strikes along the Texas coast are much more likely to occur than the Spurs winning a championship. In the off chance that they do, it's more likely than not that it'll correspond to a hurricane landfall.
At the end of the day it's silly to get caught up in comparing natural phenomenon to the likes of a sport. Hurricanes have hit Texas long before the Spurs were a team and will hit long after.
But just in case you're superstitious, you now have another reason to be pulling for the hometown team! Go Rockets!
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