Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sunday Afternoon: Serious Flood Risk in the Southwest

Nothing has changed since yesterday except that forecast rainfall amounts have risen slightly (as expected). This is enough rain to cause serious flooding. The rains have begun and will worsen over the next 36 hours. There is already a flash flood warning out in far southwest Arizona.
Remember: Turn around, don't drown!!

Sunday Fun: Carnac The Magnificent - The Best Episode

A couple of years ago, I had an intern who didn't know who Johnny Carson was. Sad for her (and it certainly made me feel old).

Carson was justifiably known as the "King of Late Night." For those of younger generations, Johnny had a rotating group of bits after the monologue and before the first guest. My favorite was "Carnac the Magnificent" (followed in a distant second by "Art Fern and the Tea Time Movie").

Although I didn't run across it until last week, about a year ago, the very best of the Carnac bits was posted to YouTube in its entirety. It is presented below. As a bit of historical context, that edition of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson was presented during the air traffic controller strike which produced coast-to-coast chaos. And, this particular performance of Carnac includes the very best Carnac joke of them all, which produced one of the longest laughs in the history of television. Enjoy!
Of course, most of these jokes would be politically incorrect today. That is even more reason to treasure them! Once you have watched, you'll see why this joke made it into the Archive of American Television.

I've given some thought as to what made Johnny such a towering figure as compared to other talk show hosts at the time and ever since. I think it was because Carson, as incredibly talented as he was, was never afraid to let Ed, Doc, or a guest get a great laugh. He even seemed to treasure it, likely because it made his show better. Note that none of the current shows have sidekicks that the host treats like an equal. Why? Their egos are too big and their talents to small.

And, by the way, Johnny got into an argument with Ed about the weather one night. So, since I was working for the NBC affiliate in Wichita at the time (and this was before fax machines and FedEx), I sent a letter to Johnny via the internal NBC teletype. Johnny and Ed turned it into a funny bit the very next night. On the 0.000001% chance someone has it on video somewhere, I'd love to get a copy.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Dangerous Flash Flood Situation in the Southwest

Hurricane Rosa looks like a likely flood producer for the Southwest, perhaps dangerously so.

Rosa is going to move north northeast and bring huge amounts of moisture with it. Here is the rainfall forecast.
 If anything, the precipitation amounts forecast for Arizona may be conservative. Remember, turn around, don't drown!!

80,000 People Died of the Flu Last Year

Per KSN News, 80,000 Americans died of the flu last year. Among them were 180 children (80% of the children who died were not vaccinated). This is the highest number of people to die of influenza in the United States in four decades.

Ascel Bio recommends getting your flu shot for 2018-19 as soon as possible (I've had mine!). And, to help you and your family avoid the flu and other diseases go to our It forecasts health risks, has blog articles to help you stay healthy and points you to the very best products.

Also....every person who got the flu contracted it from someone else. Wash your hands and practice good hygiene. Diseasecast will give you great tips..

"The Power of Education"

In view of yesterday's (U.S. time) tsunami, this is especially timely.

A wonderful story about a (I predict) future geoscientist.

Now, if we can just get all schools in the United States (I won't name names) to emphasize storm safety.

Friday, September 28, 2018

It Would Be a Step Up

What Does "Diversity" Really Mean?

Last week, there was a climate post last week with "#diversitymatters" at the top. So, I asked the author, since she values diversity, if she would retweet diverse climate material. As I specified in this case, it would be an item that agreed the climate was changing but that the results would not be catastrophic. She did not bother to reply.
I increasingly wonder if people understand the definition of "diversity." Here is Merriam Webster's,
Differing elements. In the realm of climate, it means the wide variety of scientific evidence on the topic of climate change. In other words, diversity = tolerance of people/opinions that differ from yours.

True diversity is increasing rare in when it comes to climate discussions.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Whenever I Think Global Warming People Can't Get More Crazy

How did they come to this conclusion? The same way global warming advocates come to every conclusion. A computer model, of course.
The researchers used a wealth of data gathered over 100 years to build mathematical models to trace the causes of the wobble and found that three factors are at play, and mankind is responsible for one of them.

And, what are we responsible for? You guessed it.
The third and final factor identified by the scientists is the massive loss of ice on Greenland and other areas, which is the direct result of global warming thanks to human activities.

If we had geostationary satellites observing the earth's motions for the last 100-200+ years then we would have something to talk about. We would also have something to talk about if they bothered to rank the size of the human influence which I suspect is much smaller than the other two. But, revealing that would be counter to the global warming narrative.

So, here is my suggestion: Let's figure out the exact right moment and have everyone jump up and down and stomp on the ground to correct the wobble. If that doesn't work we could try the Hokey Pokey.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The FEMA Mess: A Truly Innovative Solution

I have, with more than ample justification, been highly critical of FEMA on this blog and in my book Warnings. You'll find recent articles here and here. If you go to Twitter and enter #FEMA as a search you'll find complaint after complaint after complaint. I have been candid in in that I don't a solid suggestion(s) as to how to fix it. There is a case to be made that there is a need for federal coordination in a mega-disaster (huge hurricane affecting multiple states) or a huge earthquake. However, if your home was just blown away, your focus is on your family and your home and you don't directly care much about people 75 miles away. You need help at your location.

A friend of mine has made a highly innovative suggestion I want to pass along.

This is a wonderful idea.

As I said in the article at the red link, the #1 problem with FEMA is it tried to deal with 600+ disasters last year. That is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. A surprisingly large number of those are forest and wildfires.

Forest and other fires should be handled by the US Forest Service. If FEMA has people with special expertise in fire disaster recovery, by all means transfer them. FEMA needs to be focused on people, not trees.

As to the number of disasters, unless it is an exceptional year, FEMA shouldn't deal with more than 20 or so disasters each year. I understand mission creep and I understand why politicians love to swoop in with FEMA like conquering heroes. But, it just isn't working.

The National Guard is made up of highly motivated and trained volunteers. Volunteers. That means there is no big staff and overhead with nothing to do when Mother Nature is smiling. Yes, there needs to be increased disaster management training at state level and the (greatly decreased) FEMA staff can come in and help in a consulting role, when needed.

Are there many details that would need to be worked out. But, it is an idea certainly is worth considering.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Could We PLEASE Stop With the Global Warming Nonsense?! XXII

I don't know how these folks got my email address (I certainly did not sign up). They disturbed my Sunday afternoon with more climate nonsense. I don't get it.
First, it is PRESIDENT Trump whether one likes him or his politics. Besides, I strongly suspect any President of the United States has much better things to do than worry about the umpteenth group pushing the catastrophic global warming agenda. Yet again, this tells us that global warming is a political, rather than scientific, concern. Strike one.

Even though I thought the video was likely to be another silly global warming appeal, I decided to watch it (with an open mind!) because I want to hear both sides.

They didn't get 20 seconds into the video when they made two major errors in facts.
  • Even when China and South Korea, for example, were poor nations they had great weather/climate monitoring networks. South Korea actually has better infrastructure than the United States (sadly). Are there areas where weather/climate are poorly monitored? Absolutely, but the problem isn't as they present. Strike two.
  • Another point they make is that "small countries cannot afford satellites." So? The large nations like the United States are more than willing to let smaller nations tag along and use their data for climate purposes. If all 200+ members of the United Nations had their own satellites it would just contribute to the "space junk" problem. 
  • There is no evidence "small communities" are at greater risk due to global warming than large cities. If the warmists are correct, Miami is certainly at risk as are many other major coastal cities. While the item below is ridiculous, the size of the city does not matter. Strike three.

It is so frustrating that those advocating for the catastrophic global warming agenda cannot even bother to get the most basic facts and courtesies correct. As I posted last week, as a group they don't even bother to check for basic consistency any more (check this!). It is all about politics.  

It could be that global warming is a catastrophic threat (it is a mild threat, when the good and bad aspects are netted out) but the advocates, sadly, have abandoned science. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Why Do the Completely Wrong Global Warming Forecasts Never Diminish the Confidence of the Doomsayers??

For two decades, the Maldives Islands have been the "poster nation" for global warming-caused sea level rise. The islands were supposed to drown and, even before, the forecast was for the drinking water to run out by 1992.

In 2014, I ran a story about the hotel building boom in the Maldives Islands and questioning this common, but incorrect, assertion.
I pointed out the smart money was betting the global warming doomsayers were completely wrong.

What I didn't know at the time was, not only are the Maldives actually growing larger When the prediction of the "drowning Maldives" was made the population was about 200,000. Today, the population is 417,000.

Time after time, the forecasts of global warming catastrophe fail to pan out. Global warming is primarily about power and politics, not science. 

Sunday Fun: When You Meet A Kansan DON'T Mention the "Wizard of Oz"

When you meet a Kansan for the first time here's a hint: People from Kansas are tired of Wizard of Oz references and this comic from Tuesday doesn't help. The worst is "there's no place like home."
click to enlarge
On this topic, the worst offenders are people from DC and NYC who don't know what else to say. In addition to Wizard of Oz references, I have really been asked -- really -- if we have paved streets. And, I have been asked that on more than occasion.

Referring to Baby Blues above, there is a lot of color in Kansas. Take a look at the photos of the Flint Hills and, for contrast, the Jerusalem Rocks.

So, as a public service: there are many things to talk about when you first meet someone from Kansas: Dwight Eisenhower, KC Chiefs, KC Royals, Learjets, NASCAR, Flint Hills, 737's (made in Wichita), Wyatt Earp, Dodge City, et cetera.
While Kansas is #4 on the list of tornadoes (behind Texas, Oklahoma and Florida), we don't mind talking about those as long as you know we don't spend the spring cowering in storm cellars. In fact 99% of us don't have storm cellars -- we use the basement or a closet for sheltering.

Come and visit sometime. We'd love to have you.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Sen. McCaskill to Men: "Just Shut the Hell Up!" Really.

If I were a Missouri male there is no way I would vote for this elitist, ethically-challenged Senator who has spend way too much time inside the Beltway.

Yes, a Tornado Struck Ottawa, Ontario

Here is video from yesterday's tornado in Ottawa, Canada.
I was surprised this morning to read the local news media in Ottawa and find that some were calling yesterday's tornado a downburst. It was a tornado. The map below, from U.S. weather radar, shows the path of the rotation.
Two were critically injured in the tornado and power was out to more than 200,000 (assuming they define a "customer" = electric meter) people.

Based on the damage photos I have seen, I'm sure it was at least an EF-2 intensity tornado and, perhaps, and EF-3. There is more here.

The debris cloud can be seen which makes it a tornado. The fact the cloud does not extend to the ground doesn't matter. It is a tornado if the rotating winds make it to the ground.

News You Can Use

Friday, September 21, 2018

"The Creepy Line"

As a result of Hurricane Florence, there are thousands of new readers on this blog.

I got off Facebook early this year because of their highly unethical business practices. I stopped using Google about a year ago. I use the "" search engine. I'd recommend Bing over Google.

I will soon be cancelling my Amazon Prime as soon as it is up for renewal.

We can't keep being docile with regard to the threats to our freedom this monster companies pose.

Economically, One of the Worst Hurricanesin the History of the United States

The article is here

Flash Flood Danger: Southern Great Plains

80% of Flash Flood Deaths Occur in High Risk Areas
This Includes DFW Metroplex, Wichita Falls and Ardmore
A flash flood emergency is already in effect for parts of Atoka, Coal, Johnson and Pontotoc Counties in Oklahoma. Up to eight inches has already fallen and severe flooding is already in progress.

Here is a rough forecast of additional rainfall.
Please use extreme caution and remember, "Turn around, don't drown!"

Addition information 1:20pm CDT: All of Interstate 35 from Oklahoma City to the Texas state line is under a flash flood warning. 

I would urge people not to travel unless absolutely necessary in southern Oklahoma as more than ten inches of rain have already fallen. It is possible that more than six additional inches of rain will fall.  

They Don't Even Bother to Check Anymore

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Of Course They Do

A Google search or a Facebook account is not "free." YOU are their product.

The only way these gargantuan and (to put it mildly) misbehaving companies are going to be forced to reform is by people ceasing to use their services. I'm off Facebook completely. I use DuckDuckGo for web searches. Bing is my backup.

Recommend you do the same.

Danger! Danger! Fire Ants Spreading in Florence's Floodwaters

The creepy story is here.

Hurricane Maria: An Accurate Death Toll

With Florence last week, I didn't get a chance to put up the information about Hurricane Maria's revised death toll. You'll find it here.

The Wall Street Journal has a comprehensive article about the effects of Maria on Puerto Rico, here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Some Final Thoughts About Hurricane Florence

I want to begin by acknowledging to everyone what a great job the National Weather Service did with Hurricane Florence. 

And, the forecasts and messaging for Florence from the entire meteorological community represented a huge step forward. 
Florence also demonstrated the minority of people who believe we can take human meteorologists out of the process are wrong, very wrong. Some of the computer models were way off early in the process yet human forecasters knew how to correct for those issues. We are going to need human forecasters, especially in storm or unusual circumstances, as far into the future as I can see.

Regardless of that huge step forward, there were a vocal few people who were upset -- some very upset -- about the television, WEA, and Twitter warnings for Hurricane Florence.
Those are a couple of the civil tweets. Some were downright mean.

While I know we cannot please everyone, I'm not sure these people people want. The forecasts, including that it would take days for all of the rivers to crest, were excellent. See here and here.

The issue I have is that first responders have to go in, risking their lives, to rescue these skeptics.
I believe it is immoral to ask people to risk their lives to save a person when that person ignores mandatory evacuation orders. I suggest local governments begin fining people who are rescued in that way:
  • A fine of $500/household if rescued by boat.
  • Fine of $1,000 if rescued by a helicopter.
The death toll of 33, while tragic, is tiny when compared with the Florence's potential. Combine that number with the 900+ rescues so far plus the fact that most people evacuated and you can easily imagine a death toll of 1,000+ had the forecasts been off.

Weather science likely saved 1,000+ deaths in Florence. Regardless of location, go buy your favorite meteorologist a beer or send them a congratulatory note. It will be greatly appreciated.

Note that I am not congratulating the climate community. The behavior of some during Florence was disgraceful: trying to politically tie Florence to President Trump or global warming. Dr. Judith Curry -- an expert in the field -- published a piece on her blog yesterday agreeing that there is little evidence to tie Florence to global warming. Her conclusion is below. Her entire piece is here.

I’ve scratched the surface of the complex issues surrounding the weather and climate dynamics of Florence, but the take home point is that convincingly attributing any of this to human caused global warming is very challenging, and the strategies used by the mainstream climate community to do this ... are woefully inadequate and misleading to scientists, the public and policy makers.

Dr. Curry is not the only one. Here is an excerpt of a Letter to the Editor of Nature which was part of the "global warming caused/made worse Hurricane Florence" crowd. This will get a tiny fraction of the publicity than the original, unscientific claims.
Global warming has contaminated the field of atmosphere science, to which I have given my career, and it saddens me greatly.

Yours Truly On This Week's AccuWeather Podcast

Hi everyone. The topic of the AccuWeather Podcast this week is podcast (free) the Joplin Tornado and my book, When the Sirens Were Silent. I hope you'll take a listen.
The Joplin tornado was the deadliest single tornado since the storm warning program begin in the 1950's. Why? We answer that question in the podcast. And if you would like more information, please check out my book.

Generators & Hurricane Florence

A great story from Popular Mechanics

"Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather"

With all of the hard work and lack of sleep this week, I was delighted to find this on my Twitter feed earlier today:

click to enlarge
I appreciate all of the people who have read Warnings during Hurricane Florence!!
Written like a novel (but all true), my book has a 5-Star rating from both Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

If you have benefitted from or enjoyed the hurricane coverage this past week, I'd really appreciate it if you would pick up a copy. You will be glad you did. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

We Need A Moment of Nature's Beauty

After all of the death and destruction of the last week, here is a photo that is exhibits the beauty of nature.
Peak One, Breckenridge, Colorado
Mark Smith, Taken This Morning

How Bad or Good Were The Forecasts for Florence?

Charlotte Observer
The quick bottom line as to the quality of the forecasts of Hurricane Florence presented on this blog:
  • The forecast location of landfall of the eye of Florence was extraordinary. Incredibly good; a major step forward for weather science.
  • The forecast of the record flooding rains. Again, excellent.
  • The forecast of maximum wind speeds was "fair." Yes, it was a significant hurricane but the initial wind speed forecasts were too high. 
  • The forecast location and magnitude of the storm surge forecasts were good to very good. 
So far there have been seventeen reported deaths and "900 lives saved" due to rescues. The latter suggests the evacuation orders and the forecasts were not as effective as they should have been.

It also suggests that, without good forecasts, the number of deaths could have been 1,000 or more!!

Now, the details. 

Landfall Location
Here is the Sunday forecast of landfall presented on this blog. In this case, it is the NHC forecast. 
That is essentially a perfect forecast except that it was about six hours early. I was essentially using their forecasts with some slight damping out of changes due to model overcorrections at times.

There is a 15+ year old estimate that each mile of coast under a hurricane warning costs $1 million  (doesn't account for inflation). So, if a hurricane warning takes up 50 miles of coast, the preparation cost is $50,000,000. The actual hurricane warning was small enough that perhaps a $100,000,000 in unnecessary precaution costs were averted compared to the width of the hurricane for a similar storm 20 years ago. Please see my post, The 700,000,000 Forecast, for more on this topic.

Flooding Rains
On Sunday afternoon, I posted the item below forecasting record rain and flooding. I was sticking my neck way out but I wanted to give my readers time to prepare. Nearly ten thousand read it. 

Here is the forecast presented on this blog Sunday morning (9th):

Here is the actual rainfall (note: this was updated Tuesday, 18th, with later information).
click to enlarge
I believe you will agree the match is excellent, especially with a forecast made four days in advance of the beginning of Florence's rains. The forecasts got better from here. 

The flooding has been extreme. Below is an image of Interstate 40 taken earlier this afternoon. 

Florence's Wind Speeds
Here is the forecast I posted Monday.

Here is Tuesday's wind speed forecast. I revised it down but not enough. 

Here is the forecast I posted Thursday (day before landfall) that was quite good. There was a 119 mph wind gust reported right off the coast. 

Here is an analysis of the actual wind gusts from Florence.
You can compare this to the wind gust forecasts (above).

Florence weakened more quickly than expected which accounts for the overforecast of wind speeds. Wind speed forecasting is the weakest part of meteorology's forecast abilities when it comes to hurricanes.

Storm Surge
Preliminary indications are that the storm surge forecasts were good. The USGS and NOAA are out measuring that now.

Weather science has done an amazing job the last 15 years when it comes to improving both the accuracy the utility of storm warnings. The beneficiary is the people of the United States and our economy.

ADDITION: My friend, Dr. Bill Hooke, wrote about this same topic on his blog this morning. It is here