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Right Opinion

The Battle of New Orleans: Climate-Change Edition

Joe Bastardi · Jul. 11, 2019

On Tuesday, Weatherbell.com started covering the threat of flooding in New Orleans, and it’s a very real threat. But a storm like Barry, assuming it makes landfall as far west as we think it will, would not contain the same kind of threat if not for some preexisting conditions that occurred in the winter and spring.

Back on April 23, I warned about how tropical cyclones would be used as ammo in the weaponization of the weather.   That forecast is already coming true with today’s threat.

First of all, we identified this threat last week. I’ve been very noisy about it because it is emblematic of the kind of season we have predicted, with scattershot in-close development and likely below-average activity in the main development regions of the Atlantic. So there’s nothing magical or mysterious about this storm developing from a feature that originated well away from the deep tropics.

In fact, I talked about this on Neil Cavuto’s show last week. A notorious example was Alicia in 1983, which developed south of Louisiana from a feature that originated from the north. The storm went on to hit as a Category 3 hurricane southwest of Galveston, TX. So the idea that this week’s storm should intensify quite rapidly before reaching the coast has been discussed since last week.

But what makes this storm so different and so threatening to New Orleans is how high the Mississippi River is. The reason it is so high is because of the late, cold winter in the Great Plains. Prodigious snowfall resulted in enhanced snowmelt, which was followed by above-normal rainfall.

What is particularly galling is that around the turn of the century, there was hysteria about snow being a thing of the past. Yet snow is increasing in the Northern Hemisphere! Then, back in 2013, after the hot summers of 2010-12 were blamed on climate change (even though the heat and drought were similar to 1952-1954 and could not hold a candle to the 1930s), there were predictions that a new dust bowl would develop due to climate change. I publicly challenged that notion in 2013 on several outlets. Here we are several years later and the question is: How can you blame “man-made climate change” when the result was exactly opposite of what was being predicted?

The answer is quite simple: You can’t. You simply rely on the fact that people do not remember what was said and that every weather event is now used in a way to push a political agenda. It’s called weaponizing the weather, and I address it in one of the longest chapters of my book, The Climate Chronicles. It’s as if someone read the book and decided, Hey, let’s double down on it.

More than likely in the coming days, if this storm ramps up and gets close to New Orleans, you will be hearing the climate-change missive.

In fact, this is a new field that’s easier to forecast in than the actual weather. Forecast beforehand what Climate Ambulance Chasers are going to say and before they even know a storm is going to form. I take to Twitter to do that at times.

Maybe we can even have Climate Ambulance Chaser watches and warnings, given the unwarranted hysteria and distortion to which this agenda is prone.


Joe Bastardi, a pioneer in extreme weather and long-range forecasting, is a contributor to The Patriot Post on environmental issues. He is the author of “The Climate Chronicles: Inconvenient Revelations You Won’t Hear From Al Gore — and Others.”

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