The Right Opinion

The Coming Nine Months: Mud in the Eye of the So-Called 'Permanent' Drought?

By Joe Bastardi · May 22, 2014

My last couple of posts have dealt with major weather/climate stories I think are lurking. The worry about the upcoming hurricane season is something I will have every year for the East Coast until we reverse the pattern we were in during the 1950s. I think we have another five to seven years, and I am very surprised it has not been worse. But it takes just one 1954 or a ‘54-'55 back-to-back season to get that score close fairly quickly.

I am on this “kick” to expose before the fact some of the nonsense being spewed and accepted by what I see as an increasingly desperate AGW crowd. It’s now or never for them, though to their credit, they have the political will backing their interests in the form of the EPA that could care less about the fact the department’s lines of evidence have nothing to do with reality.

My one month electricity bill in January was higher than the total of the seven months ending in November. And it’s going to get worse, as I discussed here.

There were places in the Northeast this past winter that were within a few days of running out of fuel for electricity. At the very least though, I give the president credit for keeping his word on what he was going to do. I believed him then when he said, “Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” and I certainly believe him now. Here’s the video, so you can see I am not putting words in his mouth.

I was taught to respect the president, whether I agree with him or not, so his own words are what I judge him on in this matter, along with the results I see. He is keeping his word with the policies enacted, which are not nearly as draconian as some of his backers want. They are attacking him for not being even more aggressive. Believe me, if you saw some of the things I see, you would actually discover that, as bad as it’s getting, it could be – and will be – a lot worse compared to what is being advocated by his supporters. Do you realize North Korea is being lauded as a champion in the fight against “climate change”? Look at this headline out of the Guardian: “North Korea: an unlikely champion in the fight against climate change.”

Ever seen a picture of North Korea at night?

The driving force behind all this – the facts on what was said about the actual climate and what is happening – is what I am taking apart piece by piece. Consider Arctic ice. We showed how the ice cap may be run a positive anomaly this summer. The modeling is actually getting stronger in its forecast! The summer melt season has been the object of the so-called “Arctic Death Spiral,” and while one summer does not indicate it’s over, it means the cycles in the Atlantic are the cause for the increase and retreat. This is the first cold year in the north Atlantic since the AMO went into its warm phase. When it flips to cold for good, it’s over for that hysteria. But no one on their side will bring this up – that is, the direct cause and effect! It’s certainly not CO2.

Wildfires are below normal again this year. You wouldn’t know it given the hysteria. The wildfires chart shows no recent increase, and in fact the opposite!

Tornado activity is not at a record low like last year, but it’s still less than 25% of normal. AGAIN.

And now comes the latest: mud in the eye of those trying to say the U.S. is in some permanent Dust Bowl again.

First of all, major U.S. dry periods are a product of a cooling tropical Pacific. In the decades such as the 1950s through the 1970s, when the tropical Pacific is cooler overall, the U.S. is drier than normal in much of the nation. It is exactly opposite in the years the Pacific warms, which by the way correlates nicely to an increase in global temperatures until the atmosphere adjusts to the warming tropical ocean and temperatures level off. But the idea that global warming causes drought here in the U.S. is opposite of the facts! It’s when the Pacific starts to cool and global temperatures start to drop that we see it dry out. The chart below shows it all.

When the tropical Pacific is predominately cold as it was in the 1950s-1970s, as shown by the multivariate ENSO index, the U.S. is very dry during the growing seasons.

When warm, like it was between 1981-2005, it’s wet.

You can see more blue starting to show up again as of late, and the drying is starting anew – but so is the drop in the global temperature! So it’s not global warming causing the reaction that leads to the drying over the U.S., but the lessening of available moisture because the source region for so much U.S. moisture – the tropical Pacific – is cooling. The temperature chart for the last 10 years shows the slow, jagged cooling that has begun, after the adjustment to the warming that occurred when the Pacific went into the warm cycle in 1978.

You cannot draw it up better than this; it’s clear as to what is going on. What happened before, naturally, is happening again, as is to be expected given the cyclical nature of climate due to the design of the planet.

One can see clearly the reaction to the warming Pacific, the adaptation (leveling off of temperatures) and then the slow decrease starting as the tropical Pacific turns cooler overall. This is from the website http://woodfortrees.org/plot/.

I inserted the correlating periods.

The first period is the global warming that occurred in reaction to the Pacific flipping from its cold cycle to warmer. The second is the adaptation period and the third is the slow downfall we see close up in the graphic before.

As far as this permanent drought, here’s something funny. Thanks to the hard work of scientists (I am not anti-science, I am pro-fact), the results of their research is producing hardier plants. Look at corn yields.

One notices though, in the MEI chart above, that during the cold cycles, there are warm spikes, and these are the short lived El Ninos that develop in the overall colder periods. We think there is one on the way. There is a lot of talk about the so-called Super Nino coming, but we do not find the physical drivers present for that. Quite the contrary: The coming El Nino looks similar to 2002 and 2009, and that means that the winter is likely to be cold and stormy, and we are already warning our clients about that. However, the rain issue is huge. Weatherbell.com believes that the dust bowl will get mud in its eye the next nine months as much of the drought stricken plains from the Texas panhandle to Nebraska gets above normal rainfall June-March. We believe another great growing season is on the way for the nation’s breadbasket, and I believe we will get some relief for California in the fall and winter! Additionally, we are seeing the modeling getting wetter and wetter. Models are tools, and we set our forecast up and then see what modeling agrees with us to fine tune it. But I like the idea the modeling is seeing, which is what we have been seeing!

June/July/August precipitation.

September/October/November.

November/December/January.

Some may wonder, why do I agree with the models now, when so many times I am pointing out they are wrong? Because I believe they are right now, since this is what my partner Dr. Joe D'Aleo and I have been thinking is going to happen based on our research. Therefore, if the models come to us (most of them are) it is a good extra opinion that is backing us up. Models are tools for the answer, and when they can be used, you use them!

I think because overall we will go back to the colder signal next year, this is a one year event. But the fact is, it will show that it’s nature in control and we are forecasting it beforehand! The climate model sees it too. I might add that in the the middle of the 1950s, the drought across the U.S. was worse overall according to the Palmer Drought Severity Index.

It is true California is worse this year. The patterns are similar, but not exactly the same. However, no one in their right mind can say increased CO2 is the cause of more rain in one place and less in the other. Such events are products of natural variations in what is a similar cycle.

By the way, you can see a lot of rain being forecasted in California in the maps above,, which will give them a break. But again, this is not over yet; as you saw, this is a multi-decade event that was well forecasted by a lot of us, though no one would listen 10 years ago. I coined the phrase “time of climatic hardship” and was on the O'Reilly Factor with it around 2008 because of what we saw coming with the overall cycle, the similarity to the 50s drought and the worry about hurricanes which, so far, have not been as bad as I feared. Then again, five of the eight majors storms that ran the East Coast between '54-'60 occurred in just two years, so we are not out of that woods by any means.

Now here is something interesting. In 1972, Albert Hammond observed how dry it is in southern California and the occasional major rains that occur, and made a hit record out of it with these lyrics:

Seems it never rains in Southern California
Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California, but girl, don’t they warn ya
It pours, man, it pours

It was actually one of my favorite songs my junior year in high school. Perhaps Governor Brown, who is really ramping up the global warming talk in spite of some questionable policies that are cutting irrigation to protect a Smelt, listened to different music. Wasn’t the Jefferson Airplane big around that time? (Ha ha. Even they sang, “When the truth is found… to be lies…”)

When you have rock and roll artists observing nature, then you know it’s something obvious.

But here is the problem. We have many more people living in these areas and, unfortunately, this gullible population is ripe to be exploited by those with an agenda not based on facts. It’s easy to refute them; you are seeing me do it in the time it takes to write this. Every time something comes up, it takes me only the time to go to the maps I know from the past to counter it. It’s all there. So as I’ve previously opined, it’s the climate agenda (rather global warming – they said it, they own it), not the climate, that is the biggest threat to our freedoms. Then again, I believe it was Thomas Jefferson who said, “The government you elect is the government you deserve.”

As in so many things in life, we reap what we sow, and if you wish to simply follow along without verifying, you will go where you will no longer be able to decide for yourself. I never ask anyone to believe me. Go look for yourself … while you still can.

Joe Bastardi is chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm.

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