Thursday, October 6, 2022

The 2021 Texas Cold Wave Catastrophe Still Being Debated

Believe it or not, the causes of the catastrophic cold wave (more than 200 died) that began Valentine's Day 2021 in Texas are still being debated. 

The causes are actually known pretty well but political correctness prevents them from being clearly stated. The newest report is better than the previous versions but still suffers from not stating the following clearly:
  • Wind energy didn't "fail," per se. The human operators stupidly turned off the power to the gas wells to "conserve" electricity. 
  • Wind energy is often called "nondispatchable." That is electric utility-speak for "unreliable." 
  • There is a lot of talk about "winterization" of wind turbines as is done in the northern United States. But, the problem the night of the 15th -- when things when from bad to tragic very quickly -- the winds were calm. Wind power dropped to 1% of "name plate" output (name plate is every turbine working perfectly). No amount of winterization can fix calm winds. It is an absolute meteorological fact that winds tend to be calm or nearly calm when it is extremely hot and extremely cold -- in other words, when electricity is needed the most.
With all of that, you can find the important parts of the report, with expert commentary, here

Addition: Some simplified information on the disaster that are wind and solar. 

Would anyone sane buy a car costing 5 – 10 times the normal price that only works one day in five, when you never know which day that might be ?  And then insist that its technology is used to power the whole economy.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

How the Hurricane Warning System Works

With all of the controversy surrounding Hurricane Ian, you might wish to learn how the hurricane warning system works. You find that and much more -- in a non-technical manner -- in my book Warnings

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Drought Update, October 4

Here is the Palmer Drought Index with data as of September 27 (the rains from Hurricane Ian had not fallen yet).  
Reds are dry, blues are wet.

The drought in the winter wheat belt (southern Nebraska to Texas is becoming severe to extreme. Here is information from the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.
Planting for the 2023 winter wheat crop should be in progress but conditions are too dry in most of the area. 

Some rain will move into the area but it will be light unless the remains of a Mexican hurricane hold together better than expected. Below is the forecast seven day rainfall.
I'll keep you informed over the next few days. 

Monday, October 3, 2022

Does Any of This Look Familiar?

In the wake of 2012's Hurricane Sandy:




And, ten years later in the wake of 2022's Hurricane Ian. Any of this look familiar?


In the ten years since Hurricane Sandy, the United States' National Weather Service has seriously regressed (see: here, here, here, here, here, and those are just a small number of the too numerous examples). Yet, the usual suspects rushed to defend these increasingly unacceptable performances by the National Weather Service. Science is not supposed to go backward!

For reasons only political insiders can explain, NOAA has not had a weather-oriented leader in 50 years. FEMA often seems more interested in public relations than its mission of providing critical assistance in catastrophic disasters. 

Since December, 2012, about six weeks after Hurricane Sandy, I have been proposing a National Disaster Review Board. Expert, independent oversight of NOAA/NWS, FEMA, Red Cross, local and state emergency management is the only way that we will see these problems repaired. 

My vision for the National Disaster Review Board includes the following:
  • It would be modeled after the hugely successful National Transportation Safety Board. 
  • The members and staff would be subject matter experts rather than political generalists.
  • The Board would be located away from Washington to help insulate it from politics. 
  • It would, by law, be forbidden to get into climate change. We have the IPCC and USCA for that purpose. 
  • The Board would have subpoena power but, like the NTSB, would be a recommendation agency rather than an enforcement agency. 
  • It would keep independent statistics as to the accuracy of NWS storm warnings. 
Dr. Cliff Mass, professor of meteorology at the University of Washington, says that this will be fixed only with the active intervention by Congress. I completely agree. Congress needs to conduct hearings and move as quickly as possible on this issue. 

One of the Best Storm Surge Videos I have Seen

A number of storm chasers affix stationary cameras in areas where a severe storm surge is expected to occur. This video shows the power of the storm surge and why you should evacuate when you are under a storm surge warning. 

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Hurricane Ian's Forecast Fiasco

--- Bumped because of the additions below -- 


I am sorry to have to report that the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) forecasts of Hurricane Ian left a great deal to be desired. 

 

Yet again, the European Global Weather Model did a far, far better job with the hurricane than the USA’s model. So did the British UKMET model. The Hurricane Center, as meteorologists sometime say, “went model chasing" in its forecasts.

 

On Friday (23rd), NHC had the forecast for Ian correct. It was nearly perfect -- and should have been left alone. M = major hurricane in the correct area. 


Unfortunately, the Hurricane Center allowed its judgment to be influenced by the often defective National Weather Service “GFS” model which took Ian on an excursion to the Alabama – Florida border – which was 400 miles from the eventual point of landfall. 

 

The center’s forecast by 11pm Saturday moved the point of landfall 


to the Florida Big Bend (above) because they were splitting the difference between the stable, nearly correct European/UKMET models and the terrible GFS (green line, below). Some members of the GFS Ensemble (thin, gray lines) had landfall in Louisiana! The eventual point of landfall was slightly outside of the “cone” (above) – which should not have happened. 

Meteorologists as far west as New Orleans began raising the alarm ("#NOLA").

As with Hurricane Sandy ten years ago, the GFS – yet again – misled forecasters. I became so frustrated that I began issuing and publishing my own forecasts on this blog, weighted toward the ECMWF/UKMET, something I am reluctant to do in hurricanes for fear of confusing people. 

 

The National Hurricane Center didn’t revert its forecast back to one that was essentially correct until Tuesday evening at 11 pm (below) -- just 14 hours before landfall. The fact it was at night made last minute evacuations chancy. 


The nearly four days of inferior forecasts cost our nation in several ways. The first was evacuating people who did not need to be evacuated. The second was shutting down businesses unnecessarily. The third was the hit to the reputation of weather science. Will people who unnecessarily evacuated for Ian evacuate the next time? And, what about the people in flooded Naples, quoted on newspaper websites, that said they didn’t have enough notice?


For a full decade, the NWS has been promising to fix these issues and has not. The agency has an internal culture problem where it usually rejects outside suggestions and even technical assistance. 


I'm hardly the only one to notice these issues. Dr. Cliff Mass of the University of Washington meteorology department has written a blog piece on these issues. I wholeheartedly agree with what he has written. 


The chances of the NWS/NOAA fixing the GFS model, deteriorating tornado warnings, and the rest of the ever-growing number of issues facing it are nil. They've had a decade and the problems have only worsened


This is why the United States desperately needs a National Disaster Review Board (NDRB). As with the National Transportation Safety Board does with airline or rail accidents, the NDRB would evaluate the performance of the NWS, FEMA, the Red Cross and others after one of these giant storms. It would make solid recommendations as to improvements.

 

After the Sandy fiasco, I first proposed a National Disaster Review Board on December 2, 2012

The National Weather Services’ poor model made national news after Hurricane Sandy, we have a yet another fiasco for exactly the same reason, in spite of the NWS and NOAA’s assurances that all would be well. Dr. Cliff Mass of the University of Washington meteorology department has come to a similar conclusion. In order to fix the problem, we can’t depend on NWS or NOAA. He ends his excellent piece with the the following:

 

“it will take the active intervention of Congress to fix it.”        

 

Cliff is absolutely correct. Please write your congressional delegation and urge them to create a National Disaster Review Board. Feel free to include a link to this post. 


----

Addition: Sunday, October 2:  

I have been asked, specifically, what was "wrong" with the forecast with regard to Lee County, Florida (Ft. Myers area). Here an explanation beginning with NHC's forecast 48 hours before landfall.

Red is hurricane warnings and blue is tropical storm warnings. In Florida, pink is a hurricane watch and yellow is a tropical storm watch which includes Lee County. No one orders evacuations for a tropical storm watch. 

Monday, at 8:06pm, Lee county still isn't in a hurricane warning. They were in a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning. My forecast, which included is above, NHC's is below. Their forecast still had landfall north of Tampa Bay. 
My purpose isn't to point fingers. It is to provide some context as to why Lee Co. officials may have been "late" in ordering an evacuation. As the administrator of FEMA is quoted:
The last time the National Weather Service (four years ago) did one of its "service assessments" of its performance during a hurricane, 100% of the participants were employees of or associated with the NWS and/or NOAA, its parent agency. See page 11, here

Too much is at stake for these lame "service assessments." The NWS should not be investigating itself. 

We must have an independent and expert National Disaster Review Board. 

Sunday Fun: Our Tax Dollars Paid for This Study!

If you like reading taxpayer-paid studies that state the obvious, it is here

Saturday, October 1, 2022

AFTER Hurricane Checklist

Some very good advice. 

His Destination Was Within Driving Range

Almost almost all of the well known global warming advocates are hypocrites. Listen to their advice accordingly. 

There was no need to burn the huge amount of fossil fuel as compared to driving. 

Friday, September 30, 2022

Florida Damage Estimate From Ian

A number of people have asked me how much damage Ian caused in Florida. Here is an estimate. 
The full article is here.

More than two million homes and businesses are without power at this time = more than 5,000,000 people.
It will be weeks before all of the power is restored. 

Hurricane Ian Restrengthening as it Approaches Coast

Above is the radar from 12:06pm. The center of Hurricane Ian is moving slightly north of west. The pressure has dropped two millibars in the last couple of hours. The National Hurricane Center says its maximum sustained winds are 85 mph. It is possible the wind could strengthen just a bit before it makes landfall. The winds are more spread out than usual for a hurricane. 

  • H = hurricane. 
  • D = tropical depression (< 40 mph winds)
  • Amber = winds stronger than 40 mph.
  • Brown = hurricane force winds ( ≥ 75 mph)
  • Red = hurricane warning 
  • Blue = tropical storm warning

9:50am Update on Hurricane Ian

Here is the color code:
  • H = hurricane. 
  • S = tropical storm (> 40 mph winds)
  • Amber = winds stronger than 40 mph.
  • Brown = hurricane force winds ( ≥ 75 mph)
  • Red = hurricane warning 
  • Pink = hurricane watch
  • Blue = tropical storm warning
There is a hurricane warning from Savannah to Cape Fear. There is also a storm surge warning. 

The orange area especially will have a life-threatening storm surge. 

The area in yellow below has a significant risk of tornadoes.

The red area has a moderate risk of flash flooding.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

No Tropical Storm Ian Coverage Today

Unfortunately, I have a number of (routine but time-consuming) medical tests today. It is not possible for me to provide quality information on Ian. 

If you were unable to listen to my appearance on last night's Jim Bohannon Show, a podcast recording of the show is here

News coverage is here

This equates to about 7 million people without power. 

The people who fly the vital Hurricane Hunter flights are heroes

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

CNN and Others Begin the "Ian was Caused By Global Warming" Campaign Tomorrow

So, here is all you need to know. 

These are two peer-reviewed graphs that demonstrate there is no increase in number of hurricanes....

...and, no increase in hurricane intensity.

You can see these for yourself at Dr. Ryan Maue's (PhD, Tropical Meteorology) website.

The trend in landfalling hurricanes in the United States is clearly down.

8:10pm Hurricane Ian Update

Like 2004's Charley, Ian is headed in the direction of Orlando. 8pm radar. 
Maximum winds at 8pm are 115 mph with a central pressure of 960 millibars. Winds gusts to 90 mph in Charley and something similar will occur with Ian. People in the Orlando - Disneyworld area need to hunker down, now! 

Below is a map of the predicted wind swath of Ian into the Atlantic where it will regenerate to near hurricane or actual hurricane force and then turn north threatening coastal areas of Georgia and South Carolina.

Here is the specific projected path:
Legend:
H = hurricane. 
S = tropical storm (> 40 mph winds)
Amber = winds stronger than 40 mph.
Brown = hurricane force winds ( ≥ 75 mph)
Red = hurricane warning 
Pink = hurricane watch
Blue = tropical storm warning


A tornado watch is in effect until 1am. The watch is the area enclosed in red.


Florida is approaching 2 million homes and businesses without power. That equates to about 5 million people. The power failures were only get worse tonight and power will be out for more than a week in some areas.


I've made many comparisons of 2004's Hurricane Charley to today's Ian. Ian has stronger winds (by 10 mph) and is far larger. The Miami Herald published the comparison below.
Neglecting inflation, the damage toll from Ian will be much more than Charley. Here's hoping the warnings saved many lives. 

Finally, Sunday's game may be in jeopardy.
Sports Illustrated


5:20pm Update on Hurricane Ian

Note: I have posted updates as of 5:50pm. 



Radar image of Ian at 5:21pm.


Here is the latest forecast path by the National Hurricane Center as of 5pm.
H = hurricane. 
S = tropical storm (> 40 mph winds)
Amber = winds stronger than 40 mph.
Brown = hurricane force winds ( ≥ 75 mph)
Red = hurricane warning 
Pink = hurricane watch
Blue = tropical storm warning


Wind Forecast
This is the peak wind forecast for the next four days. Ian is expected to cause wind gusts of near 100 mph around Orlando-Disneyworld. It will weaken a bit until it emerges into the Atlantic where it is forecast to restrengthen and make another landfall in Georgia or South Carolina. 

Update: Here is a map of power failures. There are 1.3+ million customers out at this point which equates to nearly 4 million people. 



Storm Surge
A serious and possibly life-threatening storm surge is forecasted to occur across coastal areas of South Carolina, Georgia and the First Coast of Florida. 

Tornado Watch
The red outline is a tornado watch until 1am EDT. The risk of tornadoes will continue throughout the night. I urge you to sign up for StormWarn to be alerted if you are in danger of a tornado at night or during the day. 

Freshwater Flooding
Above is a forecast of additional rainfall with this storm. Severe flooding will occur in the areas with the heaviest rain. 

Below is the amount of rain that has already fallen up to 5pm EDT.




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