Joe Bastardi / October 2, 2012

Increased U.S. Hurricane Threat in Coming Years

but NOT because of “climate change”

This video caught my eye, and I would advise you to watch it to put what I am writing in perspective:

Bigger Hurricanes, Inland Danger?

In it, MIT researcher Dr. Kerry Emanuel opines – as he has been since the burst of major hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 – that hurricanes are going to get worse. The problem with that idea is 3 fold:

1.) The overall global activity and of course landfalling activity on the U.S. coast has dropped since 2004-2005.

The “ACE” (accumulated cyclonic energy) index chart shows that the actual weather has gone the opposite way.

2.) The Global temperature is not rising anymore. So if Dr. Emanuel is going to claim climate change is causing all this, how is it that the global temperature has leveled off and begun to fall, in spite of the CO2 rise continuing?

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Remember the genesis of much of this was based on testimony on global warming back in 1988 by Dr. James Hansen. Take a look at those forecasts, and the reality.

3). The North Atlantic Ocean is in its warm phase and we are supposed to have landfalling hurricanes. The bigger question is why they haven’t occurred. In fact based on similar patterns in the 1950s into the early 60s, they should occur. So Dr. Emanuel is making a forecast on an event that should happen based on natural cyclical patterns and then making a connection to “climate change.” The last warm cycle of the atlantic occurred in the 1940s and 1950s:

In these 2 decades, we had 22 major hits in 20 years. This most recent cycle is “officially” 13 in 22 years, though I argue that Ike and Gustav were major hurricanes. Even then, it would only be 15 in 22 years, well under what should be expected. Therefore, the idea that bigger and stronger hurricanes should occur on the U.S. Coast is something that can be forecasted from past known events, not from changing current events. Truth is, we are under the last warm cycle.

Keep in mind the uptick in the warm Atlantic water temperatures and the associated increase in hurricane activity was well forecasted over 30 years ago by Dr. William Gray at Colorado State. Dr. Gray’s stance against climate change induced weather events, including the recent hurricane activity is well known. Many in the AGW community come up with a reason after the fact. Those of us not subscribing to the AGW agenda forecasted before hand and did so because of the natural physical drivers of the weather.

This year, the idea issued in March was for the main breeding grounds in the tropical atlantic to be much less active than normal. As of this writing, no storm has attained hurricane intensity south of 25 degrees north, and east of 80 west, or in that area where hurricanes are usually strongest. Next year though, I am already out with a forecast idea for a return to more hurricanes in these areas. This is based on natural cycles and patterns and has nothing to do with global warming.

I did speak on this matter at ICC7 and if you wish to have me speak on it for you, contact us at But it comes down to this: Major tropical weather events should happen over the next 10 years until we get out of this warm Atlantic cycle. As the examples listed above prove, the weather has done the opposite of what was being forecasted by people in the AGW community. Bigger, stronger hurricanes reaching the U.S. Coast the next 10 years should be expected – because of natural cyclical events, not “climate change.”

By the way, as a side note, for the 3rd time since the July heat wave was being touted as a sign of global warming, a record breaking cold air mass is heading into the central part of the United States – an appetizer perhaps for the main course that could be our winter.

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

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