Sunday, November 23, 2014

What Is It With New York Politicians and Extreme Weather?

Gov. Cuomo criticizing the National Weather Service (WGRZ)
For the second time in less than six months New York's (D) Gov. Cuomo has been caught making inaccurate comments about weather. In this video (sorry, couldn't figure out how to embed it), he says "no one" knew about the impending Buffalo-area blizzard before it occurred. He went on to explicitly criticize the National Weather Service.


Here, verbatim, is what the Buffalo NWS forecast two days before the blizzard began:
Closures of major freeways? Check.   

Lightning and thunder with blizzard conditions? Check!

He said, the "...Weather Service was off, no one forecast five inches per hour." See above!

The NWS went on to forecast "major disruptions" and at least the worst snow in five years. What more do you want?

In July, Gov. Cuomo told the public that global warming causes tornadoes in New York and that New York never had tornadoes before. Wrong again!
As The Vane reported, tornadoes are fairly common in New York. My research indicates they have become slightly less common in recent years, the opposite of what Cuomo stated.

Then, of course, there was Mayor Bloomberg's statement 48 hours before Sandy made landfall downplaying the threat. This is what I wrote that evening (after attending my niece's wedding and listening to people talk about the mayor's comments):
In fairness to Mayor Bloomberg, the NWS did a poor job in their nomenclature that day but there was nothing to indicate Sandy was weakening or that it would be a lesser threat. Where he got that information, I still don't know.

There are three takeaways:
  • It has been my experience over 40 years that politicians frequently provide misinformation when it comes to extreme weather. 
  • Cuomo is a believer in global warming which seems to color his remarks. 
  • Never listen to politicians when a storm is approaching. Get your information directly from meteorologists. 
If I knew Gov. Cuomo or someone close to him, I would send him a copy of Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather.  He really needs to read it.

Addition: The Vane has more on the subject. 

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