Monday, August 31, 2015

Can't Do Anything Without An Acronym

Secretary of State John Kerry said today at an Arctic conference in Anchorage that “anybody running for any high office in any nation in the world” should visit a place where the “seismic challenge” of climate change is happening “and inform themselves about this.”
“And we as leaders of countries will begin to witness what we call climate refugees moving – you think migration is a challenge to Europe today because of extremism, wait until you see what happens when there’s an absence of water, an absence of food, or one tribe fighting against another for mere survival,” Kerry told the Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement, and Resilience (GLACIER) Conference.
Climate scientists, like atmospheric scientists, can't do anything without an acronym. Calling it the Arctic Climate Conference (for example) is out of the question. 

This climate conference was in Anchorage and the next is in Paris. But, hey, it is taxpayer money they are spending while they run up their carbon footprints. As we have noted -- many times -- it is also not possible to have the conference in a reasonably priced venue like Wichita or Minneapolis. It they were really concerned about lowering carbon footprints, they would have the conference via Skype or, at least, in an inexpensive, central location. 

ABC News: $9/Gallon for Gasoline, $12/Gallon For Milk Due to Global Warming

ABC News did a special in 2009 forecasting the horrors of global warming in 2015. They were only off by 75% based on the price of gasoline in Wichita today. 

Over and over and over and over again, Big Climate gets it wrong. Yet, it never seems to affect their confidence and their forecasts of catastrophe. 

Maybe it should. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Tenth Anniversary of Poor Quality News Reporting on Katrina

It is almost hard to believe how bad the news reporting was on Katrina's aftermath.

WeatherData, Inc. (now AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions), by 10am on the 29th, had informed its clients that the levees had breached. As I write in Warnings, I boarded a business flight late the morning of the 29th and, when I reached my hotel in Charlotte, I turned on the television and expected to see non-stop coverage of the rising waters. I was flabbergasted that, even on "Nightline" at 11:30pm, there was no realization that things were getting worse rather than better. People were literally drowning due to the rising water yet no one outside New Orleans (and our clients) seemed to know about it.

On the 30th, the networks finally reported that New Orleans had flooded but got just about everything else wrong.

If you would like to learn about what went wrong with the news coverage, in addition to my book, Warnings, you can click here, here and here. The last link is to an article about the utter political confusion that, to be fair, made covering the aftermath of Katrina even more difficult.

This Week's Rainfall

Very heavy rains expected from the remains of tropical storm Erika.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

"Climate Alarmists Weep"

I wonder how many pre-written, canned press releases by Big Climate about the horrors of Hurricane Erika are being shredded at this very moment (see below).

H/T: Thanks to Steve Goddard for the headline.

Tropical Update


Tropical storm Erika is dissipated. 

Hurricane Igancio is still expected to pass north of the Hawaiian Islands but will cause high surf over the region. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

The State of Science Education

I even replayed it to insure I heard what I thought I heard,

"They are suspending the game due to heavy rain and a big clap of thunder anticipating some lightning." was stated a moment ago by an announcer for the Kansas City Chiefs pre-season game.

25th Anniversary of the Plainfield Tornado

What I wrote on the 20th anniversary still applies.

Double Tropical Storm Update

AccuWeather forecasts Erika to move up near the west coast of Florida. We continue to forecast it will be of tropical storm strength when it does.

The NWS forecasts Ignacio to miss the Hawaiian Islands to the north. It will cause very high surf on the north (windward) sides of the islands.

Carbon Credits: "It Is Like the Whole Thing is Just One Big Scam"

No kidding. In fact, there is evidence carbon credits have increased emissions of carbon dioxide. More here.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hurricanes 101 For the "Huffington Post"

Dear Huffington Post,

"Katrina" and the damage it produced was caused by a HER-A-CANE. It was a very big, round storm that came in from the Gulf of Mexico to Louisiana and Mississippi (after Florida). 

At one time, Katrina had wind gusts above 160 mph and piled water more than 25 ft. above sea level. 

The damage was not caused by pipeline construction or any of the other items in your story. The damage was caused by the very big HER-A-CANE. Here is a book that I think would be fun and educational for you and your buddies to read. Then, perhaps, you will write a story that is correct next time. 

Your friend, Michael

Double Hurricane Trouble

In the Atlantic:
This forecast is exceptionally uncertain both as to path and intensity.

In the Pacific:
Hawaii threatened again.

If you live in Hawaii, Florida or Georgia keep an eye on the forecasts starting Saturday.

Sobering Moment For Science

Just wow.

One of the central tenets of the scientific method is that others must be able to reproduce an experiment and achieve the same results. For too many years, no one was performing this vital task.

Now Science has reported on the results of the Reproducibility Project. What they learned was sobering: 64% of the peer-reviewed results could not be reproduced even when working the authors of the original studies! The Project's results are here.

I can hardly imagine what the statistics would be for climate 'science.'

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown Replies to Katrina Critics

More on the tenth anniversary of Katrina...

Mr. Brown has written a brief essay in Politico attempting to exonerate himself and his agency for their terrible performance during Katrina.

I wrote on this very topic a couple of days ago. Yes, Mayor Nagin's decision to delay a mandatory evacuation and the designation of the Superdome were terrible decisions that cost many lives.

But, it wasn't Mayor Nagin that sent the rescuers to Atlanta to take classes on sexual harassment and the "history of FEMA" while people were perishing as the waters rose. It wasn't Gov. Blanco that insisted on having a steak dinner at high-end restaurant in Baton Rouge -- and insisting on not being interrupted during the meal -- while confused first responders were awaiting deployment orders. All of this, and more, is documented in my book, Warnings

So, yes, I agree that Michael Brown does not bear all of the blame for the Katrina catastrophe. That said, it would be much more helpful to have him publish suggested ways to improve FEMA's perpetually poor responses to major hurricanes rather than writing a "poor me" article.

Update on Erika

AccuWeather continues to believe Erika will be a tropical storm when it is in the vicinity of Florida.

Question: If I were in Florida's east coast what would I do to prepare for Erika? The only thing I would do at this point is get any prescription drugs refilled if you are low. On the outside chance this storm strengthens more than we think, and since the weekend is approaching, you might want to consider getting them refilled. Otherwise, I don't recommend any other special precautions at this point.

Major Hurricanes Less Common in Florida

Thanks to Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., we learn that major hurricanes are much less common than they used to be. At the turn of the 20th century, a major hurricane struck Florida, on average, once every 1,200 days. Now, the interval has grown to 1,800 days -- a major improvement, especially given the huge increase in population and potential for property loss.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Warnings: "Exceptional" Vacation Reading

click to enlarge
With permission, I'm reproducing this unsolicited Tweet that said,

Enjoying my vacation reads. Warnings is exceptional. Love the facts, autobiography, and insight.

There are several chapters covering Katrina, hurricane forecasting and disaster response that are exceptionally timely with that storms' 10th anniversary and Erika threatening the Southeast.

You can order a copy of this 5-Star rated book here.

Update on Erika

AccuWeather continues to forecast Tropical Storm Erika to affect Florida the first of the week.
At this point, we believe the storm will continue as tropical storm until it makes landfall. Full details here.

While we are on the subject of tropical Florida weather, may I suggest reading this excellent posting from Dr. John Scala on the double threat created by gradually increasing sea levels combined with the hurricane drought.

Dangerous Fire Risk

The Northwest has already suffered mightily from wildfires and, unfortunately, the conditions are ideal for more fires to start today and tomorrow.

Shaded areas have high fire risk today.

High fire risk areas tomorrow (Thursday)
Please be extra careful in these areas.

Will the Climate "Tipping Points" Never End?

This time it is CNN. The story, as you would expect, is complete with cute polar bears
We've documented these silly deadlines all the way back to 1989 and the world is still here and functioning just fine. Our story, "Tipsy From Tipping Points," is here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

More Hypocrisy From the Climate Crowd

  --- USA Today

Why is it the people always lecturing us about global warming are the people with gargantuan carbon footprints?

I'll believe global warming is a crisis when the people telling me its a crisis start acting like its a crisis.  --Glenn Reynolds

Tropical Storm Erika Forms

More details from AccuWeather.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Katrina Became a Tropical Storm Ten Years Ago Today

As we approach the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, here is a sampling of headlines from around the nation in the weeks after the storm:

From Wikipedia:
Due to the slow response to the hurricane, New Orleans's top emergency management official called the effort a "national disgrace" and questioned when reinforcements would actually reach the increasingly desperate city.

What went so horribly wrong? How did more than 1,800 people lose their lives when the storm was superbly forecast? Why was the rescue a "national disgrace"?

I spent time researching this for Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather. The answers will likely shock you. There were two things that went horribly wrong:
  • The first was New Orleans' Mayor Ray Nagin's complete failure to grasp the gravity of the situation or to order 1) a mandatory evacuation before Sunday midday and 2) his failure to order the implementation of the southeast Louisiana disaster plan which would have activated the school buses so those without other transportation could be evacuated.  
  • FEMA proactively recruited expert rescuers from around then nation. Then it sent them to Atlanta to take seminars in sexual harassment and the "history of FEMA" while people were drowning and dying in New Orleans!!
As increasingly alarmed television anchors were asking where were the rescuers, the answer is that they were in Atlanta, nowhere near New Orleans.

In Warnings, I spend a great deal of time criticizing FEMA because, time after time, they fail at their main job. Ask the victims of more recent Hurricane Sandy and they will catalog the many, many failures of FEMA at everything except press events to tout what they claimed to be doing for storm victims.

If you live in hurricane country, have at least three days of non-perishable food, water, flashlights, heavy shoes, etc., ready to go through hurricane season. As the victims of Sandy, Katrina, Andrew, Ike and others have learned you cannot count on the government to rush in and save the day.

The second is to please evacuate if an evacuation is ordered. Yes, it is expensive and terribly inconvenient but a house can be rebuilt.

AccuWeather has a retrospective on Katrina here

Some Very Good News for Hawaii

Looks like Kilo is going to pass west of Hawaii. Very good news!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Fun: A "Climate Museum"

No kidding, the climate crowd is starting a climate museum in New York (where else?). Here are the exhibits:


They'll probably charge $30 admission.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Third Tornado Watch: Mid-Missouri River Valley

Please note there is a moderate chance of violent tornadoes and high chances of damaging thunderstorm winds and damaging hail.

It is in effect until midnight. Please keep an eye on the weather if thunderstorms approach.

Second Tornado Watch of the Day

People in this area should keep a close eye on the weather as the thunderstorms in the southwest part of the watch develop and move northeast.

Tornado Watch: Upper Midwest

A tornado watch has just been issued until 11pm for parts of the Upper Midwest. No thunderstorms are in the watch as of the time of this posting but are expected to move in quickly.

Please keep an eye on the weather if thunderstorms approach.

Update on Tropical Storm Kilo

Tropical Depression Kilo (it was a tropical storm) is struggling to get organized. However, it is still a threat to both the Hawaiian Islands and a threat to become a hurricane.

I heard from a friend in Hawaii that the local media is barely mentioning the threat -- which is typical ("don't scare the tourists"). So, I'll continue to periodically update on the threat, if any, posed by Kilo.

Attention: Siouxland

With the enhanced risk of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms today (see below), you are in great hands.
My friend, Cat Taylor, is the new meteorologist for Siouxland News. While young, she is extremely knowledgeable about tornadoes and severe thunderstorms and will do a great job for you.

Tornado Risk Today

The significant risk is the brown (5%) area with an elevated risk in the yellow (10%) area. There is also a serious risk of damaging hail.

The significant risk of 1" or larger hail is yellow (15%) with the red area (30%) a rather high risk. In the hatched area, there is a risk of 2" or larger hail.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Extremely Active Weather

In order of concern:

Saturday, widespread severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes will develop in the Upper Midwest. Fifteen percent (yellow) is the significant threshold. Hatching is where the most violent weather may occur.

Tuesday - Thursday Next Week

Now Tropical Storm, likely Hurricane Kilo will threaten the Hawaiian Islands with the highest risk to Kauai and Niihau. Major hurricanes in Hawaii are rare but, when they occur, they approach from the south or southwest. AccuWeather has more.

Hurricane Danny

Danny is now a major -- category 3 -- hurricane with 115 mph winds.
Danny will likely begin to weaken starting in 12 to 18 hours. I believe it is unlikely that Danny will have a significant effect on the United States, but it is too soon to say for sure.

Harry Volkman, RIP

Harry Volkmar passed away yesterday at the age of 89. He was one of the creators of television meteorology. In 1952, at WKY TV in Oklahoma City, he issued the first ever tornado warning. In more recent years, he was a well-known meteorologist in Chicago.

Harry was a genuinely nice guy as well as a talented meteorologist. He will be greatly missed.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Attention: Hawaii and Hawaii Visitors

There is a serious risk of a hurricane near or striking Hawaii in roughly five days. Please keep an eye on the weather if you live in the Islands or plan to travel there. Since coverage of Hawaii weather is often spotty on the mainland, I'll periodically update on the blog.

The Absurdity of the Global Warming Advocates' Position

This tweet pretty much says it all:
So, the taxpayers of the United States are being asked to spend trillions of dollars we do not have to reduce temperatures by a value too small for us to measure.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Review of "Warnings"

This review was posted on Illinois' meteorologist Chris Saindon's Facebook page:

To all of my friends, professional meteorologists (many of my friends are) and anyone else who loves severe weather, forecasting, etc: This is a MAGNIFICENT book by Mike Smith! If it we're a restaurant it would receive 4-STARS -- that's how good this book is. The chapters on Katrina alone are worth the low purchase price!!

While I do not know how long it will last, Amazon has been running a sale on the hardcover version of the book lately. For hardcover, click here. For the Kindle version, click here.

For Barnes & Noble hardcover, click here. For B&N Nook, click here.

Or, go to your local bookstore!

Why We've Mentioned Tropical Storm Danny Only Once

Earlier, a question came in asking why we have not mentioned Tropical Storm Danny, which may become a hurricane, on the blog?

I did mention Danny when it was named and mentioned it would likely become a hurricane. That is plenty considering it will be more than a week before the storm could reach the U.S. -- and that is the unlikely path. There is no reason to get excited at this point.

For others, the hype machine is going full blast:

Always dependable (for hype) The Weather Channel:

And, Yahoo! News is even worse:

As I was working on this post, the Capital Weather Gang commented on this same topic:

They had praise for AccuWeather:
FYI, this is what AccuWeather's home page looked like at the time:
The "Danny" story rotated with three others, meaning it was on the page only 1/4 of the time.

So, if you want balanced hurricane coverage throughout Danny's life, I highly recommend AccuWeather. Of course, if it looks like it will become a factor for you USA, I'll cover it here, as well.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Global Warming: The Real Agenda

George Soros helping fan the global warming fire in 2009.
While concerns about global warming may have started out as a genuine scientific and environmental concern, that era ended years ago. It is now about making money and gaining political power.

We have pointed out, literally dozens and dozens of times, the hypocrisy of most of the ‘leaders’ of the global warming movement: multiple mansions, private jets, yachts, conferences in exotic, remote locations (btw, the next one is in Paris).

Why bring this up? You’ve undoubtedly heard about the Obama Administration’s “War on Coal.” Already one coal company has gone bankrupt and two are in jeopardy. So, what is Soros, a card-carrying member of Big Climate doing? Buying coal companies!!!

These guys aren't dumb. They understand the first rule of economics, “Buy low, sell high.” In a few years, after driving down the price of coal, some magic technology will be anointed “clean" coal and the value of these companies will soar. Billionaire Soros will get even richer – even higher into the .01%. Ordinary people – especially the poor – will suffer due to the soaring cost of energy. 

But, you say, surely the scientists are honest and stand for integrity?

Remember how, ten years ago, in the wake of Katrina, we heard over and over and over that hurricanes were going to get worse because of global warming? Didn't happen. Here is a graph from topical meteorology expert, Dr. Ryan Maue, of North Atlantic hurricane intensity. 
Yes, things peaked in '04 and '05 and then ... the bottom fell out on hurricanes in the North Atlantic. The US hasn't had a Cat 3 or stronger hurricane for ten years -- breaking the previous record by four years! 

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with that failed prediction. That's how science works. But, one researcher, (full disclosure, a friend of mine) Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., recognized that hurricanes were not getting worse and damage from hurricanes was not increasing. So, how did climate science react? They blocked his research, which was peer-reviewed, from making it into the report of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). That story is here. Ten years after Katrina, it is Dr. Pielke's work that has stood the test of time not the panicked reports of ever-worsening storms. 

If this was truly about science and the good of humanity, the fire would have died down years ago as the scientific case for short-term catastrophic global warming has weakened. But, no, Big Climate continues to keep fanning the flame. 

Today, a reporter friend of mine received an email (below), not from a scientist, but from a professional "influencer," Method Communications, trying to get him to write about a story how global warming caused the floods in Texas and Oklahoma back in May (what doesn't global warming cause?). 

Here is a portion of Method Communications' web page which will give you pretty good idea of what they do. Their goal? Not to improve science. It is to fan the flames of global warming hysteria. And, far too many reporters (who tend to skew liberal, like Mr. Soros and Mr. Gore) will fall for it. 

I call these people Big Climate for a reason: Companies like Method don't work cheap. By far, the big money is on the pro-catastrophic global warming side. As reported above, Mr. Soros gives billions. But, don't worry, he'll get it back with artificially cheap investments later.

Remember: All for the good of “the planet.”