Climate Donkey

May 30, 2008

Atlantic Hurricane Seasonal Forecasts — Politics and Hype Part II

Filed under: Hurricanes — climatedonkey @ 3:27 am
Tags: , , ,

May 17, 2004 – Hold the presses, NOAA forecasts another active hurricane season. — Also CNN.com

If you want to pinpoint the beginning of the Hurricane and global warming linkage hysteria, the release of The Day after Tomorrow on May 28, 2004, Memorial Day weekend is probably a good place to look.

Fox spokesman Jeffrey Godsick says, “The real power of the movie is to raise consciousness on the issue of (global warming).”

From Patrick J. Michaels’ commentary in USA Today

This film is propaganda designed to shift the policy of this nation on climate change. At least that’s what I take from producer Mark Gordon’s comment that “part of the reason we made this movie” was to “raise consciousness about the environment.”

day after tomorrow

Question to ponder…how did the producer or spokeshole for Fox know anything about the dangers of climate change? This is prior to the media onslaught — who at this point are wrapped up in the 2004 campaign season (Swiftboat). Anyways, the picture of the giant hurricane in the movie highlights the media’s playing fast and loose with the facts (why let these get in the way your agenda).

Look at this delicious tidbit and how 4 years ago it rings so true today:

Will Godsick and Gordon get their way? They’re sure being aided and abetted by MoveOn.org, the liberal advocacy group and billionaire George Soros’ policy toy. They’ve got Al Gore front and center, plumping the film. They’ve got their Web site using the movie to drum up support for legislation by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, which only failed by 12 votes last fall. There’s a huge drought out West, which a New York Times editorial blamed on global warming. The issue is hot enough to influence votes out there.

Anyone want to chime in and remind us what MoveOn.org is exactly supposed to have us move on from? Why yes, it is the Clinton scandals, which is not shocking considering their rabid, Messiah-like adoration of Barak Obama. Even back in 2004, Pat Michaels rightly presages the connections between the far left including a kabal of Hollywood, Al Gore, and George Soros.

Okay, now back to Betty.

Betty, who was introduced to us in Part I, lives in Bradenton in a trailer with polyester curtains and a redwood deck. She tells her neighbors: well hell’s bells Gladys, y’all hear about those gov’ment forecasters talking ‘bout a whole crapload of hurricanes? Gladys is late for Bingo and could care less about hockey. Yet, the 2004 season ended being one of the most active since 1950, with an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) of 226, about triple of so-called normal.
NOAA’s 2004 seasonal forecast is also based on the likelihood that an upswing in the number of hurricanes that began in 1995 will continue. Every year since then, except 1997 and 2002 — both El Niño years — has seen an above average number of hurricanes…The current period seems to be much like the 1940s into the 1960s, which saw large numbers of Atlantic Basin storms, followed by a lull in hurricanes from the late 1960s through the early 1990s.
Notice, we didn’t read anything about global warming or climate change, but actually see some hint of cycles. There are peaks and valleys in hurricane activity…hmmm…who’d a thunk that?
NOAA says 12-15 tropical storms will form, 6-8 hurricanes, with 2-4 being major. The odds are 50% of an above-normal season, 40% of normal, and only 10% of below-average activity. Huh? Where do these odds come from – perhaps a vote of the forecasters/experts in the fancy weather bureau? Now we are given an uncertainty estimate of the seasonal forecast. What do we do with that?

NOAA: May 19, 2004 11-15 TROPICAL STORMS – 6-8 HURRICANES – 2-4 MAJOR — ACE 95-155
GRAY: May 28, 2004 14 TROPICAL STORMS — 8 HURRICANES — 3 MAJOR

OBSERVED: 15 TROPICAL STORMS – 9 HURRICANES – 6 MAJOR – ACE 226

The May forecasts should look familiar again, they are about the same as 2002-2004. However, Betty in Bradenton was scared out of her wits by the criss-crossing tracks of Charley, Dennis, Frances, Jeanne, and Ivan around/across Florida. After Charley forced her to think about evacuating, Betty began wondering if she should have taken that seasonal forecast more seriously.

hurricane tracks

Dr. Gray downgraded his forecast slightly in August, clearly not in the right direction. NOAA did the same to their ACE forecast (decreased), but rightly increased their predictions of hurricane numbers. Bottom line, mixed bag prediction, clearly not anticipatory of the record high ACE and 6 major hurricanes.

“The 2004 season was one to tell your grandchildren about,” said Max Mayfield, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center director. “I believe, and stress at every opportunity, that residents should have a plan, stay informed and act when told to do so by their local officials. We should mark November 30th not as the end of the 2004 hurricane season but the beginning of the six months we have to prepare for next season.”

Well, prior to that obvious statement about preparation, the left-wing media was in its full glory:

Washington Post: Warning in the Winds

Watching storm after powerful storm plow into the U.S. coastline this year, I can’t help wondering if the world’s weather is actually trying to tell us something. Perhaps it was only coincidence that Hurricane Frances was covering the whole of Florida with blinding winds and torrential rains just as George W. Bush climbed the podium in New York to speak to the Republican National Convention (while poor brother Jeb was forced to stay home in Tallahassee). But to someone like me, who has been tracking global warming and its effects around the world for several years, it almost seemed as though the storm was trying to deliver a forceful reminder of the reality of climate change and the need to act now to address it.

This is such a retarded comment and akin to some of the stupid things that Sharon Stone (China earthquake karma) and various evangelical preachers (i.e. New Orleans punished by Katrina for gays, Gay Disney and hurricanes in Florida) have said. The weather is trying to tell us something? You don’t have to be a high-minded bi-coastal elite to figure out that the author of this piece, Mark Lynas, is an environmental activist, global warming alarmist. Lynas also picks up on a highly publicized climate modeling study by Knutson and Tuleya (J Climate 2004). “According to Tom Knutson and Bob Tuleya, tropical climate modelers at the Princeton, N.J.-based Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, we can expect a 20 percent increase in rainfall, and damage due to increased wind speeds might rise as much as 10 percent.”

So, as an example of Cascade Information Theory (cross reference John Tierney’s Lab at the NY Times), Lynas takes a study that agrees with his position and then immediately applies it to the current situation — as if we are seeing global warming effects on hurricanes in front of our eyes. Here is the lame anecdotal evidence:

Already this year, as the NOAA graph suggests, the additional warming effect may be making itself felt. Although it’s statistically impossible to isolate a tiny change among the sheer volatility of hurricane behavior, that all becomes rather academic to those in harm’s way once the storms come onshore. After all, just a 2 percent increase in hurricane strength — my rough guess for global warming’s impact this year — means that many more people in Port Charlotte, Fla., lost the roofs to their houses last month thanks to Hurricane Charley. An inch of extra storm surge might not sound like much, but that just might be the inch — coming on top of a total 15 feet of higher water — that overtopped coastal embankments and flooded large areas of vulnerable low-lying Gulf coastline during the passage of Hurricane Ivan. It would certainly have made a major difference to me driving along the North Carolina Outer Banks during the height of Tropical Storm (later Hurricane) Gustav two years ago. I remember streamers of sand blowing off the tops of the dunes and a combination of torrential rain and horizontal spray reducing visibility to almost zero at times.

The clownish implications of this type of statement are rarely understood by journalists and it reoccurs over and over again. We can’t detect the changes in the data with ‘dem fancy statistics, but just ask Betty in Bradenton and she will tell you that she don’t need no more convincin’.

And the finale:

With only 4 percent of the Earth’s population, the United States is responsible for a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Hence the quiet hope expressed by many on this side of the Atlantic that Alex, Charley, Frances and Ivan — and possibly Jeanne — might help open Washington’s eyes to the increasingly urgent need to confront climate change.

A busy hurricane season is used for agenda purposes, lovely. Again, Pat Michaels is a lonely voice in the wilderness to combat these silly assertions, especially those made by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Just after Ivan Michaels states, ” And so, British Prime Minister Tony Blair was just in Washington to visit Senator John Kerry, where he conflated Hurricane Ivan with dreaded global warming.” He continues, “I like just about everything about Blair. He’s smart, affable and a real friend to a nation that needs some. But he’s way off on global warming, and advising Kerry to bail out his campaign with apocalyptic climate hype invites a grilling by the climate truth squad, a rather large body of weather nerds in a weather-fixated country.”

Well, in Part III, I will discuss some more headlines from the 2004 season and the reaction by tropical cyclone scientists to the Knutson and Tuleya (2004) study. It is very interesting to read the quotes from these same scientists 4 years later as Knutson et al. (2008) was published and highly publicized by NOAA.

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