Hurricane Harvey: long-range forecasts

by Judith Curry

The 12 year drought of major hurricane landfalls in the U.S. is over, with catastrophic impacts in Texas.  Predictions of Hurricane Harvey illustrate the realization of extended- and long-range hurricane forecasts.

This blog post analyzes the forecasts of Hurricane Harvey made by my company Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN), and also by the National Hurricane Center.

The models included in this analysis are:

  • ECMWF: 15 day HRES and ENS, and monthly (ENS extended)
  • NOAA:  15 day GFS and GEFS
  • NHC:  HWRF, HMON
  • CFAN:  calibrated tracks and intensities for ECMWF and NOAA models

The images of tracks and intensities from the NOAA GEFS and ECMWF shown here are CFAN’s calibrated tracks and intensities.  For further information about CFAN’s tropical cyclone forecast products and methods, see [link].

Hurricane Harvey – overview

An extensive summary Hurricane Harvey is provided by the Wikipedia:

Hurricane Harvey is a currently active tropical cyclone that recently made landfall in the US state of Texas as a Category 4 hurricane. It is the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005, ending a record 12-year period with no storms making landfall in the U.S. as a major hurricane.

Harvey developed from a tropical wave to the east of the Lesser Antilles on August 17. Upon entering the Caribbean Sea, Harvey began to weaken due to moderate wind shear and degenerated into a tropical wave early on August 19. [Harvey redeveloped] over the Bay of Campeche on August 23. Harvey then began to rapidly intensify on August 24, re-gaining tropical storm status and becoming a hurricane later that day. Harvey’s intensification phase stalled slightly overnight from August 24–25, however Harvey soon resumed strengthening and became a Category 4 hurricane late on August 25. Hours later, Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas, at peak intensity.

The story of Hurricane Harvey is not yet over, as it continues to produce catastrophic rainfall in Texas and seems likely to re-enter the Gulf for some intensification and 2nd landfall in Texas or Louisiana.

Genesis of Harvey

On Aug 13, we saw the first hints of storm that would become Harvey, as both the NOAA and ECMWF spotted an African Easterly Wave with the possibility of developing.  The NHC issued an Invest on Aug 13.

On 8/15, both ECMWF and NOAA settled into a westerly track towards Central America

Harvey became a named tropical storm on 8/17. Here are predicted tracks 15 hours before genesis, with ECMWF showing the first hints of tracks into Texas:

On 8/18, we see increasing probability of Harvey entering into the Gulf of Mexico:  ECMWF (56%); NOAA (41%).

On 8/19, Harvey was downgraded to a tropical wave as it encountered high wind shear, north of Colombia.  Both models continued to predict re-genesis, with ECMWF being somewhat more bullish than NOAA.

The NHC did not issue any advisories for the period between 03Z on 8/20 and 15Z on 8/23.  However, there was significant predictability during this period.

Signs of a Texas landfall started to appear, with greater than 50% probability of a TX landfall first predicted by CFAN’s calibrated track probabilities for NOAA on 8/21 00Z and by ECMWF on 8/22 12Z:

Early intensity forecasts using CFAN’s calibrated intensities and probability distribution showed ~50% probability of a hurricane forming on 8/24

On 8/22, one day before Harvey re-formed as a tropical storm, both NOAA and ECMWF were consistently predicting a landfall in south Texas.  CFAN’s calibrated GEFS tracks show high probability for the track that matched closely Harvey’s eventual track.

The NOAA GFS forecast (blue line) is used to drive two high resolution mesoscale models: HWRF and HMON.  HMON is a new model (replacing GFDL), and HWRF received an upgrade for the the 2017 season.  It is seen that the 8/22 track for HMON is too far south, whereas HWRF shows a similar track to the GFS.  Early intensity forecasts predict Harvey to become a hurricane.

The ECMWF forecast on 8/22 predicts a track that is slightly south of the eventual landfall location.  CFAN’s calibrated ECMWF tracks, relative to the raw ECMWF tracks, show a more northerly track that is closer to the eventual path and landfall location. CFAN’s dynamic cone of uncertainty is developed from our calibrated track forecast combined with a Monte Carlo resampling of historical track errors.

By the time of re-genesis on 8/23, the tracks for both models had solidified, with a landfall location north of Corpus Christi TX.

Intensity forecasts

Given the consistent track predictions among models and with time, after re-genesis on 8/23, attention turned to the intensity forecasts.   On 8/24, Harvey began to rapidly intensify.

The intensity forecasts shown below include the GFS (dark blue), ECMWF HRES (red), ECMWF clustered ensemble members (black), HWRF (yellow-orange), ad HMON (green).

HWRF was the first model to pick up hints of rapid intensification, on 8/24 00Z. The first model to predict Cat 3 was GFS at 8/24 12Z.  HMON was the first model to approach a Cat 4 forecast 8/25 00Z.

Closer to landfall, ECMWF DET (HRES) predicted the highest intensity (approaching Cat 4).  Note, after landfall, the NOAA/NHC models predict a rapid fall off in intensity, whereas ECMWF predicts reintensification about 4 days after initial landfall.  This third act for Harvey is still playing.

Summary of forecast model performance

Since Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the exceptionally accurate forecast of ECMWF as much as 6 days in advance, there has been a battle of the hurricane forecast models:  NOAA/NHC versus ECMWF.  For Harvey, all of the forecast models both performed very well, albeit with some differences.

Summary of the forecasts, using CFAN’s calibrated ECMWF and NOAA GEFS forecasts:

  • Harvey’s first genesis predicted by ECMWF & NOAA on 8/14, three days in advance and 12 days before landfall
  • Significant probability for tracks in the GoM predicted on 8/18 by ECMWF (56%) & NOAA (41%)
  • (Re)genesis: ECMWF had earlier, more consistent prediction
  • >50% probability of TX landfall: ECMWF (8/22 0Z); NOAA (8/21 0Z).  Edge to NOAA.
  • Track forecast solidifies: NOAA 8/21 12Z; ECMWF 8/23 00Z
  • Best 4 day track forecast: NOAA GFS
  • Earliest prediction of Cat 3: NOAA GFS 8/24 12Z
  • Earliest prediction of (near) Cat 4: HMON 8/25 00Z

Summary evaluation:

There was substantial predictability of Harvey’s track and intensity during the period 8/20-8/22, when the NHC was not issuing any Advisories.

ECMWF performed best beyond 5 days, for genesis and extended range track forecasts, whereas NOAA GEFS/GFS performed best within 4-5 days.  This is consistent with the comprehensive evaluation undertaken by CFAN in 2012.

For landfall intensity, GFS, HWRF, HMON, ECMWF DET performed best at different lead times.  The most surprisingly good forecast were the high resolution global model forecasts GFS and ECMWF DET.  

Both the HWRF and HMON (NHC models) appear much improved relative to last years HWRF and GFDL.  However, for Harvey there was not much value added by the HWRF and HMON relative to the GFS.  Intensity forecasts depend on accurate track forecasts, which can a problem for the NHC models

CFAN’s calibration of ECMWF and GEFS tracks and intensity adds considerable value to the forecasts in extending the prediction horizon for tracks, providing accurate intensity forecasts from the global model ensembles, and probabilities (formation, track location, intensities).  Especially for the GEFS, whose ensembles are underdisperse, CFAN’s Monte Carlo resampling provides a better representation of the uncertainty and extends the track probabilities to longer time horizons.

Harvey’s third act

At the time of this writing, Harvey’s havoc is still far from over.

ECMWF has been predicting re-entry into the Gulf of Mexico and re-intensification since 8/23 00Z (ECMWF DET HRES is red, ECMWF ensemble mean is black):

The GFS picked up on this on 8/23 18Z.  Here is the latest forecast at the time of this posting, in terms of re-emergence into the Gulf.  The plot show the 8/27 12Z forecast, with track positions on day 3.  The intensity forecasts show some intensification (fortunately, Harvey cooled off the Gulf with wind-driven upwelling).

Long-range forecasts

Harvey was a very predictable storm, with genesis predicted 12 days in advance of landfall. Hints of Harvey’s formation had signals back to 7/24.

Twice per week, CFAN produces a monthly forecast of track density probability, using the ECMWF monthly ensemble forecasts.

In all four forecasts shown below (7/24, 7/27, 7/31, 8/03), we see elevated probability of tracks between 15-20N in the east and central Atlantic, with a bulls-eye in the Bay of Campeche.  This elevated track probability is consistent with Harvey’s path.

On the 8/03 forecast, note the elevated probabilities in the Atlantic for the period 8/18 to 9/03.  The circle east of Georgia/South Carolina corresponds to the likely location of Invest 92L (soon to be Irma?).  The area of high probability in the central tropical atlantic, plus the two areas to the east of the U.S. may be an early harbinger of what is likely to be the next Invest.

CFAN’s latest 15 day forecast is shown below, encompassing these two storms (top is ECMWF, bottom is NOAA GEFS).

 

The track probability table shows that GEFS is somewhat more bullish on formation in the next two days for the storm just off the coast of Georgia.  Both models have formation probabilities in the next two days exceeding 80% for the wave emerging from the coast of Africa.

Harvey in context

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear people blaming Harvey on global warming.  How unusual was Harvey?  Well, it will definitely be in the record books for ending the 12 year drought of major hurricanes striking the U.S.

Phil Klotzbach has prepared this list off Cat 4-5 U.S. landfalling hurricanes:

This list reminds us how awful things were.  Apart from the horrendous 2004/2005 years, we have been pretty lucky in recent decades.

Anyone blaming  Harvey on global warming doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

Harvey will be in the record books for almost unbelievable amounts of rainfall (the final tally is not in yet; unfortunately it will still be raining in TX for several more days, with potential doubling of the amount that has already fallen).  While there was a large amount of water vapor ingested into Harvey, the huge amounts of rain are associated with Harvey’s stalled movement, while still close enough to the Gulf to continue to suck in moisture.

JC reflections

Continued improvements to the global forecast models (e.g. ECMWF, NOAA GFS/GEFS) and to the mesoscale hurricane models are increasing the accuracy of hurricane forecasts at longer time horizons.

The challenge is to appropriately interpret these long-range forecasts in context of the uncertainties.  CFAN has been making extended- and long-range hurricane forecasts since 2007.  The value add from CFAN’s tropical cyclone forecasts includes:

  • proprietary tracking algorithm
  • calibration of tracks and intensities using historical track errors with the model reforecasts
  • probability forecasts of tropical cyclone genesis (formation)
  • dynamic cone of track uncertainty, derived from Monte Carlo resampling from the model hindmost track error distribution

This year the NHC is calling earlier Invests, which I think is a good thing.  The prospects for extended- and long-range hurricane forecasts is pretty much being realized; the challenge is forecast interpretation and uncertainty assessment.

Apart from longer range considerations of genesis forecasts, the NHC seems focus on the 5 day forecasts from its mesoscale models. Because they are driven by a single realization of the global forecast model, substantial errors can result if this single realization has large scale dynamics and a track that are in error.  You really need to work with an ensemble of forecasts.  Investing so much NHC resources in models like the HWRF and HMON won’t help if the GFS forecast is off.  While the GFS forecast performed well for Harvey on the shorter timescales, tracks for both HWRF and HMON were often off target, which led to intensity forecasts that were either not very good, or good for the wrong reasons.

The real battle of the hurricane forecast  models is shifting to the global ensemble forecast models (e.g. NOAA GEFS and ECMWF) versus the mesoscale models (e.g. HWRF, HMON).

While the 5 day NHC forecasts are sufficient for evacuation purposes, forecasts out to 7 or 8 days help support emergency management such as stocking retail stores (think Home Depot), crew mobilizations for electric power restorations and debris clean up, etc.  There are general business continuity issues that benefit from early forecasts (including making inland hotel reservations).  When a hurricane strikes the ‘oil patch’ in the Gulf of Mexico, production is shut down and potentially the refineries. Prices at the gas pump are already going up.

And of the course the reinsurance, financial and energy trading sectors want as much forecast leadtime as possible.

While most of the hurricane forecast effort has been for winds (including storm surge), Harvey emphasizes that rainfall predictions are equally important, particularly when landfall involves a city with relatively impervious surfaces (for which Houston is a poster child).  The global models have done a good job predicting rainfall.  CFAN will begin making rainfall forecasts for hurricanes in 2018.

Bottom line:  no one should have been surprised by Harvey, which had exceptionally accurate forecasts as far back as 8/23.  The Texas Hurricane Preparedness Coordinator, John Honore, the National Weather Service and the media have done an excellent job of warning.  Even after Harvey reached category 4 and with predictions for massive amounts of rain, it seems almost unbelievable that this could happen.

Stay safe.

 

404 responses to “Hurricane Harvey: long-range forecasts

  1. Great posting, Judy. Thank you.

    Along these lines, I believe it is time for a new approach to disasters in the U.S. Comments here: http://www.mikesmithenterprisesblog.com/2017/08/editorial-renewing-my-call-for-national.html

  2. Curious George

    I am pleasantly surprised at the accuracy of these weather models. There is a huge latent heat energy “released” by condensation of all that water. I looked at the Wikipedia article on “tropical cyclone” – it repeats endlessly a Carnot cycle mantra, but it does not show how that heat is transformed into a mechanical energy of wind. Specifically, a ton of rain water coming down from 3,000 meters can create a lot of wind, as anybody who approached a bottom of a major waterfall can attest. Would this be a possible mechanism? What is a Carnot efficiency of a hurricane?

    • George, how many other hurricanes were/have been forecast never to arrive.
      Your surprise is at a post happening level where one of numerous forecasts has come true?
      Financial collapses are predicated daily but only happen decadely, the people who predict it at that time get kudu’s.
      All the others lie in the dustbin.

      • who or what is a kudu ? And what does it own : kudu’s what?

        If you mean kudos, it not a plural ( nor a possessive pronoun kudo’s ). It comes from the greek word κῦδος meaning praise or acclaim.

  3. Harry Twinotter

    I don’t think the “12 year drought” has any special significance, other than being a fabricated soundbite.

      • Silly rabbit,

        You too are clueless about how historical record works. -1

      • Silly Tim,

        What was the estimated value in United States’ dollars of the damage caused by non hurricane Sandy?

      • Jim Hunt joins the clown corps by his inability to stick with the topic or differentiate between science and economics.

        Jim, investigate the areas of inflation, population growth and economic development.

    • What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    • HT “I don’t think the “12 year drought” has any special significance, other than being a fabricated soundbite.”

      It the Left and the warmists weren’t so transparently dishonest and hypocritical, your comment would be funny. (Nobelist) Al Gore blamed Katrina on warming (See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lzx24hw_K5I ) and when the US has a benign period of time with respect to hurricanes that tends to discount Gore’s claimes, you claim the comments about a benign period are fabricated sound bites.

      JD

      • Yep, hypocrisy is becoming their trademark.

        If there had been more storms we would not have heard the end of it. “We told you so ! We must act NOW! ”

        but when the polar opposite occurs and observations falsify model predictions it’s “insignificant”.

        That is called being in denial

      • Harry Twinotter

        jddohio.

        You are a dill.

        “It the Left and the warmists weren’t so transparently dishonest and hypocritical, your comment would be funny”

        You ideology is showing. And two wrongs does not make a right.

      • Harry Twinotter

        climategrog.

        You put the word “insignificant” in quotes even though I did not include that word in my post.

    • Harry Twinotter
      “I don’t think “the “12 year drought” has any special significance,”

      Significant enough to get a comment out of you and Eli?
      Your denial makes it extra significant.
      Thank you both for confirming it.

    • The obvious significance is that it is one of the many failed predictions of Algore that we would have more frequent major hurricanes. It didn’t happen. But why focus on just another failed prediction of the warmists.
      They are becoming so numerous that we have lost count.

      • Harry Twinotter

        cerescokid.

        Subject change. My comment referred to Dr Curry’s post, not to Al Gore. Do try and pay attention.

    • Could have stopped at “I don’t think” there otter.

      As in there is this little thing called historical record. Exactly what is fabricated?

    • David Springer

      I don’t think your opinion has any significance other than being a predictable reaction from a libturd.

    • Tim – I’ll give you that I mentioned money here.

      My point being to ask whether wind speed is the only, or indeed the best, way to measure the “impact” of a storm. How about rainfall for example?

      • Jim,

        There are several characteristics by which one can measure a hurricane. Economic damage is certainly one of them. I personally think one needs to at least acknowledge the various factors which impact the economic factor. Let’s assume for argument that the research was indicating that intensity of hurricanes would decline in a warming climate. The odds are that these less intense storms would still lead to increasing economic costs.

        Returning to the original glib remark by the otter, which the rabbit though so good, the 12 year period without US landfall if a CAT 3 or stronger hurricane is a fact. And while there are other characteristics, the NWS currently uses wind speed. In other words, the otter is spewing do do, and the rabbit couldn’t wait to jump in and roll around in it.

        If you want to have a discussion about changing impacts from major weather events, I think it is a great topic. I also think climate change will be low on the list of causative factors, but who knows.

    • “Your comment is so bizarre I cannot respond to it, other than to point out it is bizarre.”
      So,so apt.
      HTO meet mirror.

  4. Very interesting analysis. But why isn’t Katrina 2005 on the list of Category 4-5 storms making landfall in the US? It had winds rated at 120 kt and pressure estimated at 923 mb on the intermediary advisory at 1300 UTC August 29 while over southeastern Louisiana, just to the southeast of New Orleans.

    • Katrina was Cat 3 at landfall!

      • The Cat 3 was entering the Mississippi Coast. Does the Louisiana Mississippi River Delta not count as part of the “mainland”? Check the 1100 UTC and 1300 UTC intermediate advisories issued by the NHC on August 29 as the eye moved across the Mississippi River Delta in southeastern Louisiana. It was rated a Cat 4 at that time, unless post analysis has lowered the initial estimates.

      • OZ, looking back through the lens of PTSD, i dimly recall katrina being downgraded after the fact…

      • (i live in the french quarter)…

      • I remember Katrina being downgraded to cat 3 at landfall too, watching the reports in real time.

    • Just for the record, I pulled the 8 am CDT (1300 UTC) intermediate advisory from the NHC archive and it is posted below. At this position, the storm had already crossed the Mississippi River delta between Empire and Bootheville and was still rated a Cat 4.

      ZCZC MIATCPAT2 ALL
      TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
      BULLETIN
      HURRICANE KATRINA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 26B
      NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
      8 AM CDT MON AUG 29 2005

      …LARGE AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE KATRINA POUNDING SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA AND SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI…

      A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE NORTH CENTRAL GULF COAST FROM MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA EASTWARD TO THE ALABAMA/FLORIDA BORDER…INCLUDING THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS AND LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN.

      A TROPICAL STORM WARNING AND A HURRICANE WATCH ARE IN EFFECT FROM EAST OF THE ALABAMA/FLORIDA BORDER TO DESTIN FLORIDA…AND FROM WEST OF MORGAN CITY TO INTRACOASTAL CITY LOUISIANA.

      A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS ALSO IN EFFECT FROM DESTIN FLORIDA EASTWARD TO INDIAN PASS FLORIDA…AND FROM INTRACOASTAL CITY LOUISIANA WESTWARD TO CAMERON LOUISIANA.

      FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA…INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS…PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

      AT 8 AM CDT…1300Z…THE CENTER OF HURRICANE KATRINA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 29.7 NORTH… LONGITUDE 89.6 WEST OR ABOUT 40 MILES SOUTHEAST OF NEW ORLEANS LOUISIANA AND ABOUT 65 MILES SOUTHWEST OF BILOXI MISSISSIPPI.

      KATRINA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 15 MPH…AND A GRADUAL TURN TO THE NORTH-NORTHEAST AT A SLIGHTLY FASTER FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS. ON THIS TRACK…THE CENTER WILL BE PASSING JUST TO THE EAST OF NEW ORLEANS DURING THE NEXT FEW HOURS WITH THE WORST OF THE WEATHER FOR THAT CITY OCCURRING OVER THE NEXT
      COUPLE OF HOURS. THE CENTER IS EXPECTED TO MOVE INTO SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI LATER TODAY.

      MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 135 MPH…WITH HIGHER GUSTS. KATRINA IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE.

      However, after post analysis, the estimate of storm intensity was downgraded to a high end Cat 3 before it entered Louisiana as explained in detail here:
      http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL122005_Katrina.pdf

  5. Dr. Curry. Do you know what caused Harvey to stall and when moving, move so slowly? Is there any conceivable way this behavior could be linked to the 200 ppm man-made CO2? Thanks.

    • A plausible explanation that has been offered goes like this:
      GHG have increased global temperatures that have caused changes in arctic climate that has the effect of changing the jet stream. There are other theories that the ocean cycles are the driver. Most likely it’s both but the arctic is changing much faster.
      One reason this was classified as a 500yr flood was partially because the first European explorers didn’t discover Texas till 1519. It’s all proxy data and we all know how controversial that can be.

      I have notice these big tropical depressions can wash a lot of pollution into the ocean. The dead zone off the gulf coast was already big and this won’t help.

      I think Curry’s claim of “Anyone blaming Harvey on global warming doesn’t have a leg to stand on.” was a big FU to climate scientist. Good for her, she has nailed her flag to the mast.

      • i guess that explains why Mosher has been ROTFL the last few days. (he doesn’t have a leg to stand on… ☺)

      • It’s hilarious! Funny beyond words.
        https://www.tceq.texas.gov/remediation/superfund/sites/county/harris.html

        “In the 30 counties where a disaster has been declared, there are dozens of Superfund sites, many of which are essentially waste pits containing harmful chemicals.”

        Think of it this way. Nature has flushed the toilet and the sh*t has disappeared into the Gulf of Mexico never to be seen again. When this is over I expect the EPA to declare all these waste dumps be rezoned as residential.

      • GHG have increased global temperatures that have caused changes in arctic climate that has the effect of changing the jet stream.

        This seems more like confirmation bias, not supported by evidence.

        The evidence is actually the opposite. Harvey was blocked by a cold front that stalled out off the Texas coast. Fronts are the leading edges of Polar Air Masses. While such things do occur, it’s not frequent that August polar air masses reach the Gulf Coast. This is an indication of more, not less vigorous circulation.

        Arctic temperatures evidently have increased, relative to global temperatures, but the effect is least in August. And in August, the jet stream is very far poleward, removed from the Gulf anyway.

        Occam’s razor cuts off this idea for the much simpler natural variation ( which given the observations we have, appears to have occurred similarly in the past: Tropical Cyclone Precipitation in Texas)

      • Jack, the gulf between plausibility and known drivers of the path and speed of the hurricane swallows entire cities whole.

      • TE,
        I qualified my statement by saying “plausible” not proof. Back in 2011 we had a severe drought and they blamed that on the jet stream too.
        I have a theory that postulates that if/when annual weather damages exceed $300 billion the government will officially declare man made climate change is happening now and will force the population to change their behavior. Meanwhile enjoy the show because we won’t see another one like this for 500 years.

      • The story few are watching but should.

        Water Contamination a Concern After Hurricane Harvey:
        https://www.bna.com/water-contamination-concern-n73014463778/
        “Wastewater plants are designed with a bypass that allows water to flow directly through them during big storms that overwhelm their capacity. However, this means that untreated raw sewage will be flowing directly into Texas’ waterways, which eventually deposit into the Gulf of Mexico.”

        In a few years the Gulf of Mexico will recover but I would avoid eating seafood from this area for awhile.

      • A follow up on my ‘plausible’ theory of how GHG can induce erratic jet stream patterns:
        http://www.resilience.org/stories/2017-08-30/co2-is-changing-the-jet-stream/
        Jennifer Francis first documented this emergent behavior back in 2012:
        “Enhanced warming of the Arctic affects the jet stream by slowing its west-to-east winds and by promoting larger north-south meanders in the flow,” NOAA said in a press release. “The researchers say that with more solar energy going into the Arctic Ocean because of lost ice, there is reason to expect more extreme weather events, such as heavy snowfall, heat waves, and flooding in North America and Europe but these will vary in location, intensity, and timescales.”

        A 2015 study by Francis and Stephen Vavrus, “Evidence for a wavier jet stream in response to rapid Arctic warming” concluded that global warming was driving an increase in the most extreme events because of “more frequent high-amplitude (wavy) jet-stream configurations that favor persistent weather patterns.”

      • Here are just a few of the reasons that it’s erroneous to try and invoke the Francis AGW->wavier jet->stagnant patterns idea having anything to do with Harvey.

        1. Francis bases this idea on Arctic Amplification. Arctic Amplification is mostly a surface phenomenon due to release of latent heat of freezing during winter, and this effect diminishes with height ( zero effect at 600 mb in the models ). Leaving aside for the moment of the relevance of the surface ( the jet stream is determined by temperature of the bulk of layers, not the surface ), Arctic Amplification is close to zero during summer and maximal during winter, so for events which occur before the Arctic Sea Ice minima, which Harvey was, means Arctic Amplification is not in play, and thus the hypothesis is not in play.

        2. The NH Jet Stream is normally far removed from the tropics during summer. This year was no different ( around the Canadian border ).

        3. Francis hypothesis is that AGW leads to higher amplitude circulation. The observed amplitude, though probably normal for August, is not very large. ( see animation link below ).

        4. The jet stream wave pattern was not stagnant – waves are observed traversing ( create animation for 7 days from August 25 ).

        5. Harvey was moving until encountering a polar air mass somewhat uncharacteristically far south at the gulf coast. Though not unheard of, this is indicative of more, not less vigorous polar circulation. The polar air mass behind the one on the Gulf was evidently more significantly vigorous. Check the temperature at International Falls Minnesotta 34F!
        The low there was 33F, which is 17F lower than normal and only 2F higher than the all time low for the date of 31F. This is colder than normal polar air, not consistent with AA.

        6. Finally, check out the recent Mann et. al. paper in Nature. See Figure 4, the changes due to AGW in zonal wind speed at 300mb. Houston is just south of 30 degrees North. Notice anything? That’s right – global warming is supposed to very slightly increase jet level wind speed at Harvey’s latitudes, not decrease them.

        So trying to attribute Harvey’s stall to AGW is probably a big case of confirmation bias.

      • TE,
        Let’s call a truce on attribution of AGW on the most expensive weather disaster in US history. If AWG theory is correct we will have another weather disaster to argue over in a year or two.

        “Gasoline may be in short supply and selling for nearly $3 a gallon for weeks”
        http://www.star-telegram.com/news/traffic/gas-prices/hptxts/picture170537242/ALTERNATES/FREE_960/Costcogas

        I think I’ll go troll some of the local gas stations here in DFW by driving my electric car around the stations with my stereo blasting out Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science”.

      • Maybe it is the expansion of the subtropics, another global warming effect, that pushes the zonal flow further from the tropics, causing stagnation to be more likely at latitudes where hurricanes would normally turn east in the zonal flow.

      • Nobody blames Harvey on agw.

        The question is.
        How much worse did climate change make it
        How much worse did subsistence make it
        How much worse did poor building practice make it

    • David Springer

      Harvey bounced off an east-west stationary front a hundred miles or so inland and no there was nothing unusual about that stationary front. Just bad luck.

    • Joe Bastardi gave a sound explanation, totally discrediting Michael Mann’s explication.

  6. Large areas of the Gulf of Mexico were 88 F, when you only need 80 F for a hurricane. This doesn’t happen often, but does more often in a warmer world, so there will be a statistical link to warming, even if you can’t link an individual case. This higher temperature helped it to intensify so fast, and also to produce a lot of rain. Reasonable people will expect more of this going forwards.

    • Sounds logical, but now explain the last 12 years.

      • (if the last twelve years are an indicator of things going forward, then “reasonable people” will be wrong)…

      • Globally there have been large hurricanes/typhoons, so we just dodged them, but even weak events like Irene and Sandy caused expensive problems.

      • During the last 12 years the Houston area has been battered by flooding. Just the big ones: Hurricane Ike; Memorial Day Flood; Tax-Day Flood; Hurricane Harvey.

        And money also rains on Houston. How bad was Ike? After Ike the city of Galveston was declared uninhabitable.

        Ike spending is the current record. Spending for Harvey is going to be better than ever before.

      • Tax-Day Flood:

    • @JimD I seem to remember James Hansen, who is an excellent scientist when he has his science hat on, remonstrating with those who think as you do. Cyclones, he said, are more frequent and more energetic the greater the temp differential across latitudes. Warble Gloaming is predicted to reduce this differential.

      • Trenberth would say that there is an increasing element of global warming in every hurricane. The Gulf was 2 F warmer than average for the time of year. Without global warming it would have been less than half this, but the background average has shifted.

    • You dont need 80f, you need temperature difference potential.

      Hurricanes in the 60s when things cooled shows that you dont need a an absolute temperature, just the potential for difference, and of course, a hurricane is also a circuit, and the charge is carried by the moisture.

      • That doesn’t sound right. Bill Gray built his whole career on knowing that 80 F is the least you need, and he wasn’t even a warmist.

    • The Gulf of Mexico has had 86-88F degree peak surface temps in late summer for many decades. IIRC the peak temp measured off of Port Aransas in one year in the 1940s was 92.

      • If global warming continues to change the mean by 1 F every couple of decades, pretty soon we’re talking about a noticeable shift in probabilities.

  7. CFANs 2017 prediction of 2.7 to 3.4 means we can expect at least one if not two more hurricanes.

  8. I’m going to be going on a cruise from Florida to the Caribbean, leaving on the 9th of September and returning on the 17th of September. Did I plan it for the worst possible time? (This trip has been in the works for months.)

  9. Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    “Anyone blaming Harvey on global warming doesn’t have a leg to stand on.”

    • Mike Mann must be legless!

      • Headless often comes to mind 😉

      • alanlonghurst

        USGS suggests that subsidence of the land surface in the New Orleans region may be attributed to the drainage and oxidation of organic soils, aquifer-system compaction related to ground-water withdrawals, natural compaction and dewatering of surficial sediments, and tectonic activity (geosynclinal down-warping and movement along growth faults). The problem is aggravated owing to flood-protection measures and disruption of natural drainage ways that reduce sediment deposition in the New Orleans area.
        Already, parts of New Orleans are well below sea level and it is projected that by 2100 these will be 2.5-4.0 metres below MSL.

        Prof. Mann – Has the coast at Houston not been impacted by some of these issues, too?

      • The USGS says the Houston area has suffered up to 10 FEET of subsidence in the last 100 years and perhaps has been affected by it more than any other US urban area. Significant floods have occurred and been documented going back to 1837 and total 160 floods in all.

        There is a massive problem in Houston but with global sea level rise at 8 inches per century and subsidence at 10 feet in a century, we need a little perspective as to which is the greater threat.

      • You say that as though the entire city of houston has dropped 10 feet. Lol.

      • JCH

        Let me help you with your reading skills. ” Houston area…up to…”

        Has this problem always been there or is it a symptom of aging? I was very precise in my wording just for you.

        Here is your real problem and that of clowns like Mann, the issue is more complicated than some want to accept. They have AGW on the brain and can’t see the big picture.

      • Great – except the problem from Harvey wan’t storm surge, but flooding rain.

      • Is Gavin legless too?

    • Addicks has experienced ~4 feet since the 1970s. So it’s 92 feet above sea level, and it used to be 96 feet above sea level. So I guess Addicks just sat there and sank.

      • USGS, Houston subsidence 1891 through 2009:

      • Much more significant than SLR.

      • TE

        That is an interesting graphic. I do not know the topography of Houston.

        Is the area next to the inlet well above sea level as it is on a cliff? At sea level but protected by a sea wall? Or below sea level and not protected by anything in particular that is designed to withstand a significant surge in sea level through a storm or very high tide?

        tonyb

      • Downtown Houston is around 50 feet above sea level. If you find your way to the old buildings on the bayou, you get a sense of it. It’s not a cliff. On the your right center there is the name Brownwood. That is neighborhood/suburb that was abandoned because of subsidence. This Allen’s landing, which is a downtown park that is where the port was established:

      • Allen’s Landing:

      • Climate reason: the inlet is Galveston Bay. To the north it branches into two lobes, to the right is Trinity Bay, to the left is the San Jacinto River mouth. A bit further north, heading west, is Buffalo Bayou, which goes through downtown Houston. Most of the land is fairly flat with a gradual rise to the north and to the west.

        The flooding in Central and north Harris County seems to be associated mostly with these streams that drain water from west northwest towards the San Jacinto. I’m not that familiar with the streams south of Houston, but my guess is most of them drain into Galveston Bay.

        I have a house about 1 km north of Cypress Creek and used to wander in the woods in north Harris (days when we even had deer and real varmints in those woods). The creeks usually have a very sharp bank on one side and a less steep bank on the other side. But as you get close to the San Jacinto it’s all mostly flat.

      • Jch and fernando

        Thanks for your comments. I was trying to get a sense as to whether the subsidence was more significant than any sea level rise.

        10 feet is an awful lot of subsidence if the land is already at about sea level, but of course not significant as regards flood potential if it’s around 50 feet high

        Tonyb

      • The problem as evidenced by the 160 floods since 1837 is that the area doesn’t drain well due its flatness. The area has undergone a huge population explosion. Houston proper had a population of 46,000 in 1900. Today it stands at 2.3 million. That is greater than combined populations of the city proper in the following cities: Madison, Buffalo, Orlando, Toledo, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, St Louis and Cleveland.

      • Tony

        By far as noted above subsidence has had a larger impact on water levels than SLR, by a large multiple. Groundwater withdrawals continue to be the dominant cause, which is to be expected with such a large increase in population.

      • “Those are the areas that are areas that are subsiding very rapidly. North and northwest. It used to be Jersey Village. (Now) it’s moving northeastwards, north and northeast these days. But it is the same area where the flooding was,” Khan tells News 88.7.

        Khan says one subsidence zone is drifting northeast towards the Woodlands and seems to be affected by fault lines that traverse the area. Khan is not saying that subsidence alone is why there’s flooding.

        “Of course there would be flooding. But maybe not huge,” says Khan.

        At the Flood Control District, Mike Talbott does not agree.
        “It’s not subsidence,” Talbott told us. “It didn’t have any role in this event, it really was about the rainfall. This was phenomenal rainfall that caused some phenomenal flooding. “

        Talbott is correct.

      • This whole thread started in response to your boy Mann’s comments about the flooding and his reference to the storm surge being higher due to SLR. He was talking about the whole region. Some of the region is affected by the storm surge, some is not. The focus was on the Houston region which includes Galveston and which is affected by storm surge and subsidence. The region beyond the city limits of Houston has been hit by the storm, even though most of the news is about the city of Houston. Subsidence is at play beyond the city limits. The flooding in Houston doesn’t need a hurricane to have it be a major problem. Going back to 1837, they have documented many flooding events without a hurricane Int he city. Having subsidence in the city of Houston with its geomorphology creating a bowl effect certainly can’t help with drainage in the watershed.

        My city is 860 feet above sea level and it still floods. There are two issues at play.

      • Michael E. Mann believes in the AMO. He’s not my boy. People who believe in the AMO are witchdoctors.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘subsidence’ doesnt matter to the question.

      • Mosher

        What exactly is the question?

      • i remember visiting places in Hawaii, Florida Keys and Oregon, in which houses were built on10-12 foot high, free flow under living-floor piers. Why did the builders do this, when a most builders didn’t? Call it intelligence. Call it self-reliance versus parasites who “save money” by building non-pier homes that get flooded and owners demand and receive moneys from taxpayers to pay for their self-aggrndisment and stupidity.

      • JCH | August 28, 2017 at 7:53 pm |

        Michael E. Mann believes in the AMO. He’s not my boy. People who believe in the AMO are witchdoctors.

        witchdoctors?

        https://www.researchgate.net/profile/David_Enfield/publication/236608411_The_Atlantic_multidecadal_oscillation_and_its_relation_to_rainfall_and_river_flows_in_the_continental_US/links/00463519e0628d4d10000000/The-Atlantic-multidecadal-oscillation-and-its-relation-to-rainfall-and-river-flows-in-the-continental-US.pdf

        Partly to distinguish it from wide-band variability as-
        sociated with the atmospheric North Atlantic Oscillation
        (NAO),thelongtimescaleoceanicphenomenonhasrecently
        been referred to as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation
        (AMO) [
        Kerr
        , 2000]. While anthropogenic factors appear
        to have become dominant in the late 20th century, the os-
        tensiblynaturaltemperatureswingsoftheAMOhavealter-
        natelydisguised andaccentuatedthesecular trend. Consid-
        erableimportanceisnowbeingplacedonunderstandingand
        predicting this natural cycle so that it may be correctly ac-
        counted for in ongoing evolution assessments of greenhouse
        warming. It is also important to understand the e ects of
        the AMO on the intensity and geographic coverage of in-
        terannual impacts such as those of El Ni~
        no-Southern Oscil-
        lation (ENSO). In this study we examine both the multi-
        decadal and interannual behaviors of precipitation over the
        continental U.S. as they relate to the alternating phases of
        the oceanic AMO.

      • Write down the date by which you think the is going to cause global cooling.

      • JCH I don’t know if or when the AMO could cause global cooling of global warming for that mar. It doesn’t mean AMO does not exist.

        AMO warm phases occurred during 1860-180 and 1940-1960, and cool phases during 1905-1925 and 1970-1990. The signal is global in scope, with a positively correlated co-oscillation in parts of the North Pacific, but it is most intense in the North Atlantic and covers the entire basin there. During AMO warmings, most of the United States sees less than normal rainfall, including Midwest droughts in the 1930s and 1950s

        The Atlantic multidecadal oscillation and its relation to rainfall and river flows in the continental US (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236608411_The_Atlantic_multidecadal_oscillation_and_its_relation_to_rainfall_and_river_flows_in_the_continental_US [accessed Sep 7, 2017].

        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236608411_The_Atlantic_multidecadal_oscillation_and_its_relation_to_rainfall_and_river_flows_in_the_continental_US

  10. I guess it is now perfectly on topic to mention that over a quarter of a million “customers” in Texas are currently without electric power courtesy of Harvey:

    http://www.V2G.co.uk/2017/08/hurricane-harvey-power-outages/

  11. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “This list reminds us how awful things were. Apart from the horrendous 2004/2005 years, we have been pretty lucky in recent decades.

    Anyone blaming Harvey on global warming doesn’t have a leg to stand on.”

    Facts and data won’t appease climate ambulance chasers. Far too many reputations, jobs and money are now at stake.

    Great wrap JC and God Bless Texans over the coming days, months, years.

  12. alanlonghurst

    Simulation at Ventusky.com has Harvey heading out to sea and moving along the north coast of the Gulf for the next couple of days, then back inland and dumping much rain on Houston before dissipating towards the northeastern states and Nova Scotia.

  13. alanlonghurst

    Sorry, that ‘Houston’ should have been Dallas…

    • David Springer

      No it misses Dallas to the east by a hundred miles or more. Not much rainfall west of the center of circulation. Very little rain in Dallas forecast just the normal chance of a few isolated thunderstorms during the week.

  14. Nice post. From my perspective, it seems the models were very wrong until 22-Aug, only 3 days before landfall in the US. This tells me that detailed forecasts further ahead than a few days – even in the case of massive storms that follow well-known paths – are of very limited value. In this sense the Harvey saga tells us to stop believing in the models. John Christie, among others, has been telling us this for a while now.

  15. Pingback: Surprise: Warmists Are Tying/Linking Hurricane Harvey To ‘Climate Change’ » Pirate's Cove

  16. And then we have the other kind of predictions:

    “For the past 8 years, the Gulf of Mexico has seen hardly any activity despite record high ocean temperatures. Thus, the East Coast is expected to see a very active 2017 while the Gulf should remain quiet.”
    Michael Holmes. The Weather Company.

    https://business.weather.com/blog/3-things-insurers-should-know-about-hurricane-season-2017

  17. Be prepared for an onslaught of press about how this event “proves” CAGW.
    Climate advocates will use this event to try to turn around the relative apathy of Americans about strong climate mitigation.

    And let’s face it, Harvey presents a pretty compelling case as the unprecedented climate catastrophe – biblical flooding and incomprehensible amounts of rain. And if anything, it’s going to get worse.

    The nuances of the causes of this event will be completely lost in the assault that is building. The Al Gores and Tom Steyers of the world are strategizing at this very moment about how to capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity. And prominent skeptics had damn well be working on their own strategy.

    I’m confident that all of the above has occurred to Prof. Curry and to all Climate etc denizens. This event will be a “massive” (to quote the Trumpster) political event having the potential to change the direction of this country.

    • David Springer

      Climate change is dead in the US, Jim. One hurricane won’t bring it back to life.

    • Al Gore is probably adding Houston images to his slide show by now. Skeptics saying “nothing to see here” just draw more attention. It’s probably tough to be a skeptic right now.

      • It’s always tough being a skeptic. Just ask John Cook deemed ‘unreliable’ by WUWT. It’s the nature of the game.

      • Apparently the US has never had two cat 4 landfalling storms in one season. This could be a new way to break a record. Skeptics are trying to figure out their defensive stance ahead of this one.

      • Jim D:
        So 2 cat 4s in one season may be these some of these things:
        Noise
        Outliers
        Signal of a regime shift
        Looking at individual hurricanes is looking at few data points.
        Similar to averaging 5 customers per year but seeing anywhere from 0 to 10 in any one year. Our statistics might not mean a lot.
        If Minnesota had 2 – 20 inch snowfalls in one season and that was the first time that happened, we conclude what?
        Let’s look at the science:
        http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/09/hurricane-season-ipcc-sandy/
        We have a diversity of opinions.

      • Ragnaar, I point it out as a difficulty for skeptics because much of the the public and probably the media automatically associate new records with evidence of climate change, even if science is more careful.

      • “…much of the the public and probably the media automatically associate new records with evidence of climate change…”
        So, it would be nice if hurricane experts would narrow what these 2 hurricanes mean about climate change?

      • There will be studies for sure. I always say climate is just statistics so while events contribute to statistics, you can’t assign individual ones. Skeptics don’t like it when I put it that way, because they can’t attack it.

    • “It’s probably tough to be a skeptic right now.” Well, no, but it pays to have a sense of realism or fatalism. Wishing that this kerfuffle has been won by the skeptics is craziness of the first magnitude.

  18. Just a reminder for my much beloved Trump-loving CE denizens; don’t forget to think about his recent rolling back of flood risk management standards (part of the intended announcement during his infamous press conference) as you consider the coverage of Harvey.

  19. Thank you for the thoughtful review. Fascinating. Ignore the politics, stay with the science.

  20. Houston, December 1935:

    Reminder that flooding is nothing new and the dynamics, not temperature, determine most of it ( December temperatures much lower than August temperatures ).

  21. Of course, the above is from Dr. Spencer’s write up entitled:
    Why Houston Flooding Isn’t a Sign of Climate Change

  22. Judith, it is heartbreaking to see you stoop low for apparently some point of professional pride. To state: “Anyone blaming Harvey on global warming doesn’t have a leg to stand on” is more than disingenuous – it is morally and professionally unethical. Of course climate change did not create Harvey any more than it created pine beetles munching through western forests or the drought that drove Syrian farmers away from their fields. But the rapid heating of the atmosphere caused by human produced fossil fuel CO2 has created the warmth that enables the beetles to march north, the droughts to worsen, and Harvey to carry more energy and water with which to wreak devastation. My heart breaks for the future particularly for the children whose environmental security and livelihood we are collectively stealing from them, How can you ignore them?

    • Harvey was only a cat 4. Not even a cat 5 which one would expect given “all that extra heat.”

    • The warmer winter nights have really reduced my energy bill. I also noticed the large tree in front of my 8th floor window seems to be growing very fast. Are trees getting taller and have more branches or am I imagining it? That tree is getting to the point that it may block my view of the ocean.

    • Uncle, mis-information might be the root of your heartbreak. But it is understandable, especially by Dr. Curry who was near the pinnacle of her career when she was testifying before the US congress in 2006, not about climate science uncertainty but how global warming was going to make Katrina and Wilma an every year occurrence.

      Her high scientific ethics led her to not discard conflicting evidence to the pre-approved hypothesis of the climate elite which gradually led her to infamy and scorn — (but not shame). Your shame is mis-placed.

    • “Mitigation has local costs and egalitarian global benefits; adaptation has local costs and inequitable local benefits.”
      https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/8/28/16213268/harvey-climate-change

      Huh?

      It is now wrong to adapt. Tell that the New Orleans.

      At the link, It’s complicated and we are partly to blame. Mann uses some math to prove it’s warmer, so these suckers are proportionally stronger. Back in the LIA using the same logic, we were safer in regards to hurricane total energy something.

      Economists also approach heretic status at the link: “…humans have adapted to all sorts of climates and it’s better to just adapt again than to upend the global energy system. And it’s not just conservatives. Economists generally have great faith in the power of human beings to adapt.”

      • The Lt. Guv said that there will be 100s of thousands of homes in Houston that will have to be remodeled: all new sheetrock; mold removal; new flooring; etc.

        We went on a house hunting trip immediately before tropical storm Allison. My wife was on the last plane out of Bush before they halted flights. The next week we went back to look some more. Every house we had liked was uninhabitable. There were huge mounds of 1st-floor debris stacked up along the streets for removal. Block after block after block after block. I decided we would lease a condo in a high rise. Rode out Rita – not much happened – and Ike on the 14th floor. Ike blew the windows out of some units, but not ours. No water and no electricity for a long time. Drove up and stayed in our house in Dallas.

        They have had major flooding events since then.

      • The geology of the Houston area seems to be lacking bedrock. Around Lake Minnetonka, people will build in former swamps, after years of paperwork, but if a City is in favor of it, less paperwork. They can use pilings into the bedrock below. But that doesn’t seem to be an option for Houston.

        It seems Houston had the advantage of being a port, as there was no bedrock to interfere with dredging depth.

    • Robot, you express a fair amount of emotion, but not any evidence.

      You do know that Accumulated Cyclone Energy doesn’t indicate any trend, don’t you?

      You do know that even if all the potential precipitation from increased humidity were realized, it would be at a marginal difference, don’t you?

      You do know that dynamics seem to be more important that thermodynamics? ( precipitable water at about 2.5 inches, it takes training and streaming to get more precipitation ).

      You do know that AGW models indicate a ‘hot spot’, don’t you? And you do know that such an occurrence would mean reduced convective energy, don’t you?

      Appeals to emotion are a red flag, and further, not very robotic.

    • Uncle robot

      You don’t think the Syrian rise in population from 4 million in 1960 to 22 million in 2012, coinciding with civil war, a venal dictator and little money to spend on infrastructure, had any effect on a drought that was no worse than many in the country’s recent history?

      I was there in the 1970’s during a severe drought and the country found it difficult to cope with food production with a much smaller population

      Tonyb

    • Geoff Sherrington

      UR,
      Quantitatively, how many degrees C of temperature rise was caused by CO2 in the air? Nobody knows, nobody scientific can put a figure on it. Zero is not excluded. Geoff

    • Not good enough.
      To be effective with these sort of Pietistic tropes you have to call someone racist, or facist or, best of all a NatSoc.

    • Queue the violin music for Uncle R. What a peanut.

  23. Klotzbach’s (really nice guy, BTW) Historical Data:

    Interestingly, if we consider that 1970 is the time when any human-footprint becomes observable in GT’s, only 4 out of the 25 systems since. That’s 16% of the total.

    If we consider that 1950 is the start date, it’s still only 10, or 40%.

    Not making the case (for the Atlantic basin, at least) of a trend in more extreme tropical cyclones.

  24. Reblogged this on 4timesayear's Blog.

  25. Multiple models are a confidence killer. The more models, the better the best forecast. It’s cheating.

    Stock brokers cold calls work the same way. Predict lots of stuff and hit up the people you called with the correct guess for business.

    Just improve the models without the commercial.

  26. Pingback: Climate Scientist Says Global Warming ‘Worsened’ Hurricane Harvey. Did It? - Tyranny News

  27. Pingback: Climate scientist says global warming ‘worsened’ Hurricane Harvey | True North Reports

  28. Have any of the so-called scientists who produce probabilistic attributions of the human contribution to specific extreme weater events done so? I suspect they are waiting for rainfall totals, since Cat 4 is not all that unusual historically and actually rare recently. The rainfall is a different story. AGW made Harvey stall, or some such. I predict it.

    Alternatively we will get the standard warmer extreme event line, namely that this is what we can expect more of (even if we did not cause it, but maybe we did). Jim D already delivered this above.

    • Yes, and not much attribution when things are about average.

      “Yesterday’s moderate rain shower and today’s mild, fair weather were undeniably caused by man made climate change.”

    • Climate is only defined by statistics and probabilities. We are shifting the probabilities with warming.

      • Conjecture stated as fact.

      • If the climate parameters oscillate aperiodically then there are no fixed probabilities. In chaos theory this is called strange statistics. Moreover, what little warming there has been looks to be largely natural, according to the satellite readings. So I doubt we are doing anything as far as the probabilities are concerned. These attributions are based on false assumptions.

      • They are currently shifting in one direction inexorably making climate difficult to define, but making climate change between 30-year averages easier to see, for sure. Policies for planning have to allow for the trend to continue, as a minimum.

      • Since statistics and probabilities involve data and math, you should be able to prove this Jim.

        But we all know you can’t.

  29. G’day from Australia,

    I may have missed something, but I am puzzled as to why the NOAA sea surface temperature and outgoing longwave radiation maps are not showing up in the data used to predict Harvey. It was clear by 13 August that there was huge heating in the Gulf of Mexico. So what was happening off Africa on that day was a bit irrelevant, I suggest. See here:
    (Failed to transmit, need an email that takes attachments)
    And here, for the daily map:
    (Ditto)
    The matching anomaly maps do not show much, but it depends on the baseline used, and I am not overwhelmed by the results. Unfortunately NOAA does not publicly archive any but the twice-weekly ssta charts, and somehow my archive pre 21 August 2017 got wiped.
    In passing, we now have a south mag pole at the core mantle boundary right over the rotation pole, and vice versa. Does not yet mean it has flipped, but close. May back off, as it often does. There is far more heat in the northern hemisphere, and, basic physics says carbon is innocent. Tidally driven deep magnetic shifts are driving real climate change, as ever. Have a free 3,000 page report on same, ten year’s independent work, hundreds of maps, etc., always offered free but zero takers so far. Ho hum. This Greenhouse Game is the new religion.
    Peter Ravenscroft,
    Geologist. Phone 617 3289 4470 Australia. Email: p.s.ravenscroft@gmail.com

  30. Steven Mosher

    Lets see.
    In 2005 I think it was Houston had a huge traffic jam as folks tried to get out of the way of Rita (?).

    Did humans learn the lesson and prepare for the weather of the past?
    Nope.
    since 2005 there has been increased growth in Houston.
    Say what? You learn in 2005 that you cant get people out. So what do you do? You do MORE BUILDING in flood plains.
    Why? because if the worst happens other people will bail you out. That
    way you get the benefit and other help pay for your losses.

    When New orleans flooded, I said dont help people rebuild.
    same with sandy.
    same with houston.

    The full cost of the risk of choosing to build someplace should rest on the people who choose to live there.

    Here’s an idea. stop building in flood plains, stop subsidizing building in flood plains. Stop helping people rebuild after the predictable disasters happen to them.

    we dont prepare for the weather of the past.

    • I agree with what you say here, but Fema, with the help of the U.S.
      Congress, bails out those without flood insurance anyway. Now that the NFIP is broke, we may get a different answer, but don’t count on it.

      Some whose homes are paid for don’t even have homeowners insurance.

      • SM: “Stop helping people rebuild after predictable disasters happen to them.”

        Says the man living in a notoriously overdue earthquake zone.

        How many cities are within 100 miles of a coast and can resist 25+ inches of rain in 100 hours?

        But Steven, I generally agree with you; we need to build smarter and insure smarter.

    • Mosh

      I agree with you as that is exactly the message I give.

      Prepare for the future by looking to the past. The trouble is that when they don’t even heed the lessons of 2005 (I’ll take your word for it) how can you expect people to look to 1905 or 1805, or, if like Britain, you have good records, 1205?

      We have the exact same problem with building on flood plains. They are generally nice places to live as they will be close to that lovely river they like to walk by. They are easy to build on as they are nice and flat and easily developable. And Hey! people need to live somewhere as our population rapidly increases.

      Three centuries ago this event would have affected virtually no one. No one might even have been around to have seen it.

      To this day we build in vulnerable areas and expect others to pick up the pieces.

      Build robust infrastructure in the right places, properly protect it. Have evacuation procedures in place. If people can’t be evacuated because the roads will be flooded then query if things should be built there in the first place.

      We can’t move Houston or any of the other big places. But surely they should not be allowed to grow in vulnerable places and what is there needs to be robustly protected. But those that move to vulnerable places in the future should surely not expect to be automatically protected.

      I have got a 1966 book by frank lane called ‘the elements rage’ which is about extreme natural violence. Hubert lamb wrote plenty to on this subject.

      These events have happened before to varying degrees of ferocity. There is an interesting account in Lane’s book of the hurricane of 1900 that killed 1900 in Galveston . A wall was built 11 miles long and 19 feet high. Does that still exist in good order. Has it been extended to protect new areas of the city? To take into account any land subsidence?

      Have we learnt the lessons permanently of that recent past in Galveston?

      tonyb

      • typo

        killed 6000 in Galveston in 1900

        tonyb

      • Jim

        Your letter. It should be easily picked low hanging fruit to build new housing to high energy efficiency standards. Our last house on the coast near Teignmouth dated from 1972.

        The ground floor boards were chipboard panels and with absolutely np insulation between it and the under-house. When the east wind blew in winter it was very cold but you could not do too much about it. In such an exposed place putting in cavity wall insulation was not a good idea.

        I am not so keen on solar panels though, in our less than sunny climate. Better to conserve energy than try to generate it very expensively. These days though we should be doing much better than we are with our energy production sources and conserving it.

        tonyb

      • TonyB,

        Prepare for the future by looking to the past.

        Exactly!. That is the fundamental principal used by geologists to establish geologic history.

        Now, can you apply this principle to demonstrate whether or not hurricanes and other severe weather events were worse when GMST was 2C to 4C warmer than now (or even 7 C warmer than now,i.e. the average temperature since complex life began)?

      • The sea wall in Galveston still exists and functions just as intended. After Hurricane Ike, which did extensive flood damage in Galveston, they declared that the sea wall had done its job.

        But, Ike originally was supposed to have a 25-foot storm surge. It ended up having a 19-foot storm surge.

        The city of Galveston has experienced minimal subsidence. The sea wall ends on the west side of the city. I don’t think there is a sea wall on the western side of the island. There is subsidence there.

        The death toll for the 1900 disaster is usually listed at around 10,000. Galveston was the Wall Street of the South – an enormously wealthy port city. A lot of the old buildings are still there. It’s a cool place to visit if you like 19th century architecture. After the 1900 disaster, Houston eventually took its place as a major seaport and shipping center.

        Houston could be next up to die. My son has been talking about practicing medicine there after he finishes his fellowship as his specialty makes a lot of money down there versus Dallas. I have been discouraging it because we experienced Allison, Katrina, Rita, and Ike in Houston. He was off to college and med school for most of that. He has now changed his mind. Much more pleasant to get hit with a tornado in DFW.

      • jch

        excellent background, thank you.

        Some places appear to be accidents waiting to happen and human memory appears very short.

        Over here we have new building in such places as ‘cliff edge’ ‘waters reach’ ‘flood lane’ That should be telling people something, but the attitude appears to be as nothing has happened in the last twenty years it won’t happen in future.

        Some places just can’t be economically defended, some can’t be economically left alone. London falls into the latter category, which is why there is a Victorian embankment (using Dartmoor granite from my own county) and a sophisticated flood defence barrier.

        However, protection seems to be the last thing on many people minds and I suppose authorities often don’t want to admit their towns might be vulnerable..

        Good luck to your son.

        tonyb

      • ExxonMobil recently announced that all of its Fort Worth XTO people are to be moved to its new headquarters in the Woodlands, which is a northern suburb of Houston. They should be moving most of their people to Fort Worth. They will save that corporate migration for the next decade.

      • I play this song. People who listen only to pop have no reminders:

      • Tony – It seems NegaWatts are things we are in full agreement on! Not so much on solar PV perhaps? Have you seen the latest Exeter Uni gizmo?

        http://www.exeter.ac.uk/business/expertise/aedm/engineering/solar/

        Academics from the University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Science have created… streamlined solar technology that fits neatly into glass blocks. Facades using the innovative product, called Solar Squared, will not only be able to generate electricity while allowing greater amounts of daylight in, but will also provide improved thermal insulation.

      • The city of Galveston has experienced minimal subsidence.

        Look at the map again.

        Galveston has roughly 1 foot per century subsidence, which is roughly the 1 foot per century sea level rise.

        To be consistent, must call sea level rise minimal also.

      • Now I know why JCH believes what he believes. He ignores what the USGS and scientists have determined. I wonder what planet these people are on.

      • Galveston County started reducing groundwater extraction in 1975 and now has very low groundwater extraction, so the subsidence rate has consequently gone down.

      • Here is the point. When the storm surge comes in it has a greater effect than it would have had because of the subsidence over the last 100 years. Regardless of recent rates, the shoreline is more susceptible to any future SLR because of the cumulative subsidence. But climate hustlers like Mann will attribute the damage to AGW SLR rather than subsidence, and a combination of SLR both AGW and from natural variability.
        This whole thread centered on Mann making a point that the storm surge was worse because of SLR.

    • Mosher I wish more people followed this logic.

      Though I would offer the counter argument that there are likely advantages to occupying such locations which make rebuilding in the face of known but randomly occurring events worthwhile.

  31. Steven Mosher

    “Anyone blaming Harvey on global warming doesn’t have a leg to stand on.”

    That’s an ill posed question.

    The real question is the counterfactual one.

    Did AGW make harvey worse than it would have been otherwise?

    So, directly off the coast prior to landfall the SST was 1.3C above the
    1981-2011 normal (NCEP)
    and SLR.

    In some sense its trivially true that AGW made harvey worse than it would have been otherwise, how much worse.

    • Steven, can you tell us how many times in the past hunnert years the SST was 1.3C above the 1981-2011 normal and a disaster did not materialize?

    • It might be difficult and costly to pack up and move a city like Houston, New Orleans, Miami, etc. etc. Then you gotta look at moving Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc etc. out of earthquake range. Maybe if you considered the economic impact you would not talk that crap again.

      • Perhaps you could answer the question I posed earlier for me Don? At the risk of repeating myself:

        What was the estimated value in United States’ dollars of the damage caused by non hurricane Sandy?

      • I don’t think there was any value in the damage caused by Sandy. But you could Google it.

      • You take things so literally Don! Here you go:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Sandy

        Hurricane Sandy (unofficially referred to as “Superstorm Sandy”) was… the second-costliest hurricane in United States history.

        $71.4 billion

        Sounds fairly major to me.

      • Actually, I was not interested in your question. And I don’t like you.

      • You’re repeating yourself Don, and If I may say so your judgment is a trifle hasty. After all, we’ve never even met.

      • Actually, I was not interested in your question. And I don’t like you.

      • What was the estimated value in United States’ dollars of the damage caused by non hurricane Sandy?

        Here’s one for you:
        What would the cost of the same Long Island Express storm, that hit back the in globally cold 1930s have been had it struck in recent times?

        If the LIE represents what happens with lower global temperature, why do you want to have more LIE storms?

      • I have given it some thought, and I still don’t like you.

      • TE – Quoting from Judith’s original post:

        Phil Klotzbach has prepared this list off (sic) Cat 4-5 U.S. landfalling hurricanes….

        Anyone blaming Harvey on global warming doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

        Perhaps you would like to prepare an ordered list of economically damaging U.S. landfalling storms?

      • Perhaps you would like to prepare an ordered list of economically damaging U.S. landfalling storms?

        Perhaps you would like to to read Pielke Jrs peer reviewed studies of decreasing disaster costs.

      • So Hunt is reduced to arguing economics because he has nothing else. Jim, a cat 10 tropical cyclone could hit Angola and cause less economic disruption than a summer thunderstorm in the Midwest.

        My question to you is How hard is it to walk in those floppy oversized shoes?

      • Tim – Scroll up. It wasn’t me that turned the conversation to economic matters.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Steven, can you tell us how many times in the past hunnert years the SST was 1.3C above the 1981-2011 normal and a disaster did not materialize?”

      Immaterial.

      The question is not a historical question.

      Imagine you sprain your ankle.

      Dr. You know Don this is very bad. Your recent weight gain made it
      worse than it would have been otherwise.
      Don: Hey Doc, as a Kid I weighed less and I had worse sprain.
      Dr. Don. Listen to me. THIS TIME, had you weighed 30 lbs less the damage
      would have been less than it is.
      Don: But once Doc, I was a real tubby just out of high school and I never sprained and ankle.!!!
      Dr. Don… focus. We are talking about this one event. It does not matter what happened before. what matters is THIS TIME. and THIS TIME if you had weighed 30 lbs less, the damage would not be so bad. We are talking about THIS SPRAIN and how your weight gain made it worse than it would have been otherwise.

      Don: But doc once I was really thin when I was young and the sprain was really bad, worse than this!
      Dr. Try this don. Remember that time when you were thin and had hair and all your parts worked and you sprained your ankle running from bullies?
      Don; ya Doc thats what Im talking about.
      Dr. Well IF you HAD WEIGHED 30 more lbs it would have been even worse.
      Don: I’m lost.
      Dr; Maybe we should test for dementia too.

      • The master of the irrelevant comparisons. The doctor might know well the effect of every pound on the biomechanics of the ankle, but you have no clue about the effect of every tenth of a degree in the strength of a hurricane, and are just assuming that it must be relevant.

        The long term change of sea surface temperature in the Gulf of Mexico is low, perhaps a few tenths of a degree. And the effect of that on hurricane strength has not been shown. However the change of sea surface temperature in the Gulf of Mexico can be of 3°C in just a few weeks. The doctor would have a lot to say about a natural short term variability that is tens of times higher than the long term change, that is also partially natural.

        Figure from a Bob Tisdale article:
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/06/joe-bastardi-was-correct-about-gulf-of-mexico-sea-surface-temperature-anomalies/

      • That is some elaborate BS, Steven. What medical school teaches doctors that severity of ankle sprains is determined by a patients weight? But hey, it might be trivially true, in some cases.

      • It may very well be a physiotherapists’ conspiracy, Don Don:

        OBJECTIVES

        Overweight children are at increased risk for many medical problems. Trauma is the leading etiology of childhood morbidity and mortality. No previous study has evaluated the association between overweight and acute ankle injuries in children. We hypothesized that being overweight is associated with an increased risk of ankle injury in children.

        METHODS

        We conducted a case-control study in an urban pediatric emergency department. Subjects aged 5 to 19 years were recruited from June 2005 through July 2006. Children with acute ankle trauma were enrolled as cases. A convenience sample of children with a chief complaint of fever, headache, or sore throat was enrolled as controls. Demographic information and anthropometric measurements were obtained. Age- and gender-specific body mass index percentiles (BMI-Ps) were calculated using pediatric norms.

        Multivariate unconditional logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between overweight and ankle injury, adjusting for demographic variables. Through medical records, we obtained demographic information and weight, but not height, of all cases who were not enrolled. This allowed us to conduct a sensitivity analysis in which we combined the enrolled and non-enrolled cases into a single case group and made increasingly more unlikely assumptions about the height percentiles of the non-enrolled cases.

        RESULTS

        There were 180 cases and 180 controls enrolled in the study. We observed a significant association between overweight and ankle injury (multivariate-adjusted OR: 3.26; 95% CI: 1.86–5.72; P value for trend <.0001). Although this result may be an overestimate of the magnitude of the association due to a possible bias in the selection of cases, sensitivity analysis demonstrated the robustness of the statistical significance of the finding.

        CONCLUSIONS

        Overweight children may be at increased risk of ankle injury.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2234453/

        I don’t like counterfactuals that much, but if I did, I would still appreciate your focus from time to time, Don Don.

      • Nice work, willito. But you didn’t notice that the very limited single study you cited, as proof of something or other, had not one –snipping– thing to do with body weight and severity of ankle injuries. You are a clown.

      • And what you fail to notice, Don Don, is that this study is even stronger that what you’re looking for: it correlates being overweight with risks of ankle injuries. Also, you fail to notice that ankle sprains are not the only type of ankle injuries and that ankle sprains refer to a diversity of ailments.

        But to appease your thirst of knowledge:

        As obesity rates grow exponentially in the US, it will be important to appreciate the effects of obesity on the musculoskeletal system. The medical literature provides evidence of a relationship between obesity and increased risk of musculoskeletal injury, a greater risk of degenerative joint disease, a need for TKR at earlier age, and a higher occurrence of certain distal fractures. Moving distally, not only are ankle fractures more common in obese patients, but the risks of dislocation and loss of reduction are also increased. Our recent study suggests that obesity presents a greater risk for more severe ankle fractures as defined by the Weber classification. With the growing incidence of obesity in our patients, it is essential that we acknowledge additional potential risks of musculoskeletal injury so that we can treat our obese patients properly before, during, and after injury.

        http://lermagazine.com/article/the-influence-of-obesity-on-ankle-fracture-risk

        Thank you for your focus, Don Don.

      • David Springer

        Doctor Mosher: You know your excessive weight made the ankle sprain worse, right?

        Evil Knievel: When I wasn’t overweight I was jumping motorcycles over canyons and getting body casts not ankle wraps. Shut up and do your job.

      • David Springer

        Doctor M0sher: You know your excessive weight made the ankle sprain worse, right?

        Evil Knievel: When I wasn’t overweight I was jumping motorcycles over canyons and getting body casts not ankle wraps. Shut up and do your job.

      • David Springer

        Hey Willard,

        It seems reasonable to assume that obesity would raise the risk involved with hang gliding, right?

        Ya ever heard of an obese guy dying in a hang gliding accident?

        The reason why you haven’t is because fat guys stay home while their skinny friends go hang gliding.

        Fat hurricanes appear to be like that given the dearth of them in so-called “warmest years on record”.

      • You haven’t played football and it shows, Big Dave.

      • David Springer

        Wee Willard

        You have no science education and it shows.

      • Pobrecito, willito. Mosher’s response to my relevant question was an irrelevant and foolish analogy and you followed him down the rabbit hole.

        I will explain it to you, willito. Mosher stammered:

        “Did AGW make harvey worse than it would have been otherwise?

        So, directly off the coast prior to landfall the SST was 1.3C above the
        1981-2011 normal (NCEP)
        and SLR.”

        Without linking the 1.3C above whatever to AGW, he makes the goofy assertion:

        “In some sense its trivially true that AGW made harvey worse than it would have been otherwise, how much worse.”

        I inquired if there was any evidence in the temp record of SST that could support his trivial speculation. Instead of finding some evidence that 1.3C above some average in SST made any difference in storm intensity or severity, he came up with that fat and ankles BS. Then you butted in, did your usual cursory googling and carried the foolishness of the fat/ankle sprain “science” to another level of irrelevant foolishness. We are amused.

      • We have two identical motorcycles. One has 120 pounds of added weight. A cornering test is then done. The lighter bike rider knows they can go through the same sweeping corner faster than the other bike. Both experienced drivers know to go to 90% of the break point where traction approaches being insufficient. In this test, the drivers compensate.

      • Indeed, Ragnaar, just like Don Don and Big Dave compensate with their Alpha male acts for something. Up to a point of course, after which they fall under their own thickness.

      • Steven Mosher

        its not surprising that springer and don
        dont get that this is about counter factuals..not medical science or climate science.

        here is another example.
        don: TRUMP got elected and unemployment is lower than it would have been otherwise

        skeptic: its been lower than this before.

        don. focus libtard. im saying Trump made a difference. all time high or low doesnt matter to my claim. he made it lower than it would have been otherwise. lower than with clinton as president.

        skeptic. this one time it was really low and he wasnt president.

      • I have to praise you for this comment, pobrecito willito. It is refreshing to see you attempt to score some point without relying on some BS quote from some obscure –snip–hole that you think is an authority on one thing or another. But you are still struggling.

      • Is this the factual or the counterfactual, Steven old boy?

        “In some sense its trivially true that AGW made harvey worse than it would have been otherwise, how much worse.”

      • Thank you for the kind words, Don Don.

        In return, rest assured that I’d rather continue quoting stuff because otherwise Denizens, and you above all, will learn nothing. And I still have hope that you will, one day, read harder instead of trying to browbeat Denizens into submission by the sheer power of your incivility. Then maybe you’ll realize that facts matter more than machismo.

      • You are on a roll, pobrecito willito. Two in a row without some borrowed italicized bull–snip–. We would much rather see your own words, than that random crap you dig up googling. You used to have some original and interesting thoughts to contribute. But you have been struggling for some time. I know how it is. My slam dunks are not nearly as awesome as they were back in the day.

      • David Springer

        M0sher asserts facts not in evidence. Richard Lindzen, who I’m given to understand knows a thing or two more about atmospherics physics and hurricanes, disputes the English undergraduate’s finding of fact:

        In “Climate of Fear” Lindzen writes:

        “The problem with this is that the ability of evaporation to drive tropical storms relies not only on temperature but humidity as well, and calls for drier, less humid air. Claims for starkly higher temperatures are based upon there being more humidity, not less — hardly a case for more storminess with global warming,”

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/climate-of-fear-global-warming-alarmists-intimidate-dissenting-scientists-into-silence/5294

      • You go from good to nonsense in just a couple posts.

        You do know that Don could have gone from a 6’4″ 230 lb combat infantryman at 19 to a 6’3″ 190 lb grandpa and that any increased occurrence of injury would be most likely due to natural causes, right Stephen?

      • Someone should explain to Willard what hypothesize means.

      • Lindzen’s statement there is just batty. Warmer oceans lead to more water vapor and stronger storms. Read any textbook or compare what happens over warmer oceans and colder ones.

    • Steven Mosher

      “It might be difficult and costly to pack up and move a city like Houston, New Orleans, Miami, etc. etc. Then you gotta look at moving Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc etc. out of earthquake range. Maybe if you considered the economic impact you would not talk that crap again.”

      There is a difference between MOVING PEOPLE
      and SUBSIDIZING them to continue stupid behavior.

      I will explain this slowly. I have no issue with people living in flood plains AS LONG AS they,not me, pay the FULL unsubsidized price of living there and fixing the problems associated with living there.

      That means insurance reform which every right thinking libertarian understands. Dont make people in kansas subsidize the kooks to choose
      to live on fault lines. You wanna live on a fault line? fine. pay a true unsubsidized insurance cost to do so. No federal bailouts.

      • Good luck with that libertarian crap, Steven. You people can’t win an election for dog catcher. The folks living on the fault lines and in the flood plains will continue to be subsidized. Money and sympathy will be lavished on them in their time of need. God bless their little hearts.

      • > The folks living on the fault lines and in the flood plains will continue to be subsidized.

        Except when they’re not:

      • Dang. WP messes up subtweeting:

      • Cruz lost. The old hag lost. Little willito lost. Trump rules!

      • It’s not only Cruz:

        “We simply cannot break the bank of the federal budget,” Pence told ABC.

        “We simply can’t allow a catastrophe of nature to become a catastrophe of debt for our children and grandchildren,” he said.

        https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gop-eyes-cuts-to-offset-katrina/

      • And there’s this:

        While former Gov. Mike Pence halted East Chicago’s request for disaster relief, local legislators continue to push to get assistance for the city.

        Members of the Lake County delegation rallied around a series of proposals to provide financial assistance to the city and school district; push for cleanup and testing efforts; and better assist residents being forced to relocate because of contamination at the U.S.S. Lead Superfund site.

        https://www.cbsnews.com/news/gop-eyes-cuts-to-offset-katrina/

      • Sorry – here’s that 2nd link.

      • But this one’s prolly the bestest.

        Mulvaney stressed that while past disaster relief bills have been passed without offsetting their cost, the size of the U.S. debt is now so large that Congress no longer has the luxury of passing bills without offsets.

        “It’s important to me that this money goes to the folks who need it very badly,” he said. “It’s so important to me, that I think we should pay for it.

        “The time has come and gone in this nation where we can walk in here one day and spend nine or 17 or 60 billion dollars and not think about who’s paying for it,” Mulvaney added.

        I look forward to seeing Mulvaney advocate that all spending on Harvey should be offset in his budget. Should be a work of art and a thing of beauty.

        http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/277321-house-kills-gop-amendment-offsetting-sandy-bill-with-spending-cuts

      • “There is a difference between MOVING PEOPLE
        and SUBSIDIZING them to continue stupid behavior.”

        “I will explain this slowly. I have no issue with people living in flood plains AS LONG AS they,not me, pay the FULL unsubsidized price of living there and fixing the problems associated with living there.

        That means insurance reform which every right thinking libertarian understands. Dont make people in kansas subsidize the kooks to choose
        to live on fault lines. You wanna live on a fault line? fine. pay a true unsubsidized insurance cost to do so. No federal bailouts.”

        Blinkered ethical approach often seen in educated superior people who do not share other peoples problems.

        People are not kooks because their great grandparents traveled to Kansas and settled there.
        The choice they have, giving up family and friends and property and family ties to move some where else “Safe” is easy to spout when you do not live there.
        If they have an earthquake, or people in Houston have a flood you can choose not to help and absolve yourself by saying it is all there own fault.
        Impeccable line of heartless logic.

        I will explain re smokers so you get it.
        People did not choose to smoke.
        Tobacco is addictive.
        People made cigarettes and sold them society promoted it.
        Now I know doctors who refuse to treat people who smoke and people who are overweight.
        I repeat.
        A blinkered ethical approach often seen in educated superior people who do not share other peoples problems.
        Smokers are in my family and in your family.
        Smokers are my friends [and enemies].
        Smokers are part of the fabric [for richer or poorer] of our society.
        Smokers and overweight people share a higher burden of disease.
        A civilized doctor, a civilized society, picks up the pieces. We help them because they need help whether they caused their problems or not.
        I do not expect you to change your attitude.
        I have lots of friends who are vehemently anti-smoking and believe as you do. They are wrong as well.

      • Angech: “A civilized doctor, a civilized society, picks up the pieces. ”

        I don’t think anyone is for refusing medical care to smokers. But few would argue that their medical insurance rates could be higher in a private enterprise market.

        If people who lived in a flood plane failed to buy insurance partly because they were relying on the prospect of being bailed out in a flood they should be helped with temporary housing but not reimbursed or rebuilt.

        What level of care and expense to give the medically uninsured is a tougher question.

      • As usual, libertarians come up with a catastrophe that is worse than the catastrophe. This is why there has never been a libertarian society and there never ever will be one. Trump is going to rebuild Houston like never before. After Katrina a lot of people from New Orleans were moved to Houston. That means it is now permissible to move a lot of people from Houston to New Orleans. Rebuild both better than ever before. A drainage system that can move 70 inches of rain in 5 days with no flooding. Piece off cake.

      • Ron Graf | August 30, 2017 at 8:52 am |
        Angech: “A civilized doctor, a civilized society, picks up the pieces. ”
        I don’t think anyone is for refusing medical care to smokers”

        Sorry, some doctors do.

        ” But few would argue that their medical insurance rates could be higher in a private enterprise market.”

        Fine with that.

        “If people who lived in a flood plain failed to buy insurance partly because they were relying on the prospect of being bailed out in a flood”

        Flood insurance is very expensive.
        Being bailed out[!] is something to help at the time, not to replace what they have lost.
        No-one would partly fail to buy insurance because they might be bailed out a little.
        More expense or ignorance or risk taking.

      • Steven Mosher

        angech
        I smoke.
        I pay higher life insurance as a consequence.
        I pay taxes on that risky behavior.
        if folks were smart they would funnel the tax to pay for the excessive
        burden we put on the health system. I have no issue with that.

        In 2005 Houston learned that they could NOT evacuate 2.5 milion people.
        Did they learn?
        Did they plan as they do in other countries to have safe evacuation areas?
        Did they curb development?
        Did they improve building codes?
        Did the chemical plant that just exploded learn that they should have emergency power to keep there frozen organic peroxides cool?

        Most certainly pull people from the water. But its criminal to encourage them and reward them for moving back and rebuilding in an area where floods are normal. nothing strange about this storm.
        Its the weather of the past.
        we dont plan for the weather of the past.

      • Angech, there is an age-old dilemma; society is stronger when one can rely on and trust the community. OTOH, if the policy steps too far and the community takes over responsibility whenever someone has a need then only the foolish in that community would take responsibility for themselves. The community suffers in either extreme.

        The best policy is to help people stay on their feet, but not help so much that they would relax their best efforts in self-management and enterprise. So the debate is where is that line.

      • Rescue those who failed to evacuate? Yes.
        Provide food and temporary shelter in public buildings? Of course.
        Rebuild un-insured homes with federal disaster grants, Hmm. No.
        Supply government-paid-for mobile-homes and community services for 6 mo., 6 years? Maybe somewhere in the middle.

      • Just so everyone is aware of how this mitigation vs. adaptation works in the USA Inc. political system. Spending money on post disaster relief is the default position. The government can use this economic power to reshape societies and pick winners and losers. Spending money and strengthening regulations to enhance resilience is considered a waste of resources and at odds with the myth of free will.
        538 has an analysis,
        https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/disaster-politics-can-get-in-the-way-of-disaster-preparedness/
        “It’s unfortunate that we reward post-disaster spending, since it’s smarter to invest in preparedness. Healy and Malhotra found that spending roughly $1 on preparedness is worth the same as spending about $15 on relief, in terms of actual disaster management. 2 What’s worse, relief spending tends not to improve affected regions’ future preparedness.

        Healy and Malhotra posit that voters reward relief spending because it feels direct and targeted, whereas preparedness is a collective good, so the results are less obvious to an individual voter. Plus, good disaster preparedness means that a would-be disaster may end up not being a disaster at all — so voters may not even realize there’s something to reward. (This logic extends to effective counterterrorism and other preventive measures, too.)”

      • David Springer

        “I don’t think anyone is for refusing medical care to smokers. But few would argue that their medical insurance rates could be higher in a private enterprise market.”

        Smokers tend to die young especially by quick & inexpensive heart attack.

        Therefore they’re far less burden on society with regard to Medicare and Social Security. Shouldn’t they get some sort of reward for that?

      • Steve and Ron,
        Please do not get too upset by my holier than thou tirade.

        It is very hard to seperate compassion from common sense.

        “In 2005 Houston learned that they could NOT evacuate 2.5 milion people.
        Did they learn?
        Did they plan as they do in other countries to have safe evacuation areas?
        Did they curb development?
        Did they improve building codes?”

        Bit like Hiroshima really .
        They learned that they lived in Nuclear bomb zone.
        They rebuilt like Houston.

        Acts of God, when they only occur every 90 years if lucky ( mean for Houston 30 years) you just have to go through the disaster and hope you come out on the other side and rebuild your life.
        Ants, humans, nature really.
        Look at Germany, Japan after the war, San Fran after the fire.
        Lots of rebuilding growth better planning and financial growth and security.
        Great thing disasters, cannot have too many of them ( Sarc).

      • JCH:

        I’ve been seeing your objection since I got onto to Al Gore’s internet highway.

        Why are there no libertarian countries?

        “The answer is that every country has tried it and every country practices it to one extent or another. This is the reason we experience progress, enjoy wealth, and have access to things like longer lives, food to eat, cities, smartphones, financial markets, useful websites, shoes, clothes, and the like. It’s why we can mostly say what we want, fall in love and act on that, and do what we want in a general way provided we don’t hurt others. These conditions all flow from human volition using private property (including property in ourselves) that is exercised whenever and wherever it is permitted by the authorities. Government doesn’t create anything. It just takes stuff, overrides our preferences, and threatens us if we fail to comply. It has the same relationship to human liberty that a tick has to a dog. Just because ticks exist doesn’t mean that dogs aren’t real or are some untried experiment.”

        Dogs exist. The fact that most dogs have ticks doesn’t mean the dog doesn’t exist. It does mean dogs and ticks exist. The problem is not libertarian dogs, it’s ticks. Yes, you can find a tick anywhere.

      • There’s an argument that goes something like this:
        We had an auto accident.
        That was no accident, that person in the car with you said you were texting as you ran off the road.
        It was an accident.
        It was your fault.
        It was an accident.
        How can you do something important like driving and just half pay attention?
        It was an accident.

    • ‘counterfactual’

      Yes, arguing conterfactuals is not very scientific.

      Hurricanes are episodic and infrequent, measurements scattered and discontinuous. So trends can’t be assessed to any significance.

      We know that past tropical cyclones have caused torrential rains in the past.

      Cognitive bias predisposes those already predisposed to believe greater influence of AGW.

  32. I’ve also read that this part of Texas is typically affected by weak atmospheric steering currents that cause tropical storms to stall out and dump huge quantities of rain. Many past examples but I don’t have time to look up references.

    • Thinking back to last year (2015?) when Louisiana had those horrific floods. I’d be willing to bet the same or similar stalling phenomenon was at work. Houston and Galveston have had many rain and flood events on the same order of magnitude.

      • Five of the top ten tropical rainfall events in the lower 48 occurred in Texas. Including 3 of the top 4, after Harvey I suspect 4 of the top 5.

    • Of the ten highest rainfall totals from tropical storms in the contiguous US, five were in Texas. Including 3 of the top 4. This would seem to confirm your suspicions. I suspect Harvey will make it 4 of the top 5.

  33. It is all about the gradients. There is the atmospheric presure gradient=wind approximately equals wind shear with the added 3d component.

    There are other gradients, including water. Components of this include oceanic and atmospheric partial pressures, transpiration pressures both from the ocean and land, and in 3d the moist adiabatic lapse rate.

    Guilty. I wrote this thing off when the pressure gradient degraded. Like many others. It would be silly to presume that this gradient has never expressed before.
    We naked apes still have a lot to learn.

    • David Springer

      Don’t feel too bad. One of the greatest climatologists the world has ever known backs you up. Richard Lindzen in the WSJ article titled “Climate of Fear” wrote:

      “The problem with this is that the ability of evaporation to drive tropical storms relies not only on temperature but humidity as well, and calls for drier, less humid air. Claims for starkly higher temperatures are based upon there being more humidity, not less — hardly a case for more storminess with global warming,” MIT’s Richard Lindzen wrote in the Wall Street Journal.

  34. Pingback: CLIMATE Ambulance Chaser – Peter Hannam – Blames Houston’s Residents For Harvey! | Climatism

  35. David Springer

    Doctor M0sher: You know your excessive weight made the ankle sprain worse, right?

    Evil Knievel: When I wasn’t overweight I was jumping motorcycles over canyons and getting body casts not ankle wraps. Shut up and do your job.

  36. Pingback: ¿Hay científicos asnos? | PlazaMoyua.com

  37. David Springer

    Doctor M0sher: You know your excessive weight made this sprained ankle worse, right?

    Darren Lake (49er’s defensive tackle, 315 pounds): Hey doc, suit up and come out for practice with us and see if you get a sprain.

    Doctor M0sher: Good point. I’ll just go ahead & shut up now.

  38. Pingback: So, Is Climate Change Really Behind Hurricane Harvey? - The Right Side of News

  39. Pingback: So, Is Climate Change Really Behind Hurricane Harvey?

  40. A very interesting new attribution method has emerged – and no I haven’t checked its reception in the blogs – that suggests most 20th century warming was anthopogenic. Abbot and Marohasy 2017 use spectral analysis on proxy data and then project those ‘cycles’ onto the 20th century. It seems plausible. For the 21st century – we can’t assume cycles.

    This is a near real time supercomputer animation of total precipitable water (TPW) in the Earth’s atmosphere. Harvey is spinning off moist air down the coast of Texas

    https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/500hPa/overlay=total_precipitable_water/orthographic=277.94,9.80,257

    Climate is a globally coupled, turbulent fluid flow problem in a spatio/temperal chaotic flow field – for which we have governing equations. The different terms in the Navier-Stokes equations give 3-dimensioal vectors corresponding to inertial forces, pressure forces, viscous forces, and the external forces applied to the fluid. The equations were derived by Navier, Poisson, Saint-Venant, and Stokes – luminaries all – between 1827 and 1845. They are astonishingly elegant. A climate of the planet in a few lines. Solving them is another problem. There is a million dollar “Clay Prize” waiting for the first to do so. I think what we probably need is massively networked quantum computers simulating networks and couplings.

  41. A prediction of Houston’s current problems?

    https://projects.propublica.org/houston-cypress/

    Plus some anecdotal news from South Asia:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-41085606

    Heavy monsoon rains in Mumbai have thrown the Indian city’s transport systems into chaos. Some roads have been hit by waist-deep flooding. Officials are calling on people to stay at home.

    More than 16 million people have been affected by seasonal floods across a swathe of South Asia, according to aid workers. Bangladesh and Nepal have been badly hit, and about 500 people have died.

    • Mega monsoon floods in Bangladesh happen every few years. See efforts by my company to forecast these for the past decade
      https://www.cfanclimate.net/bangladesh

      • Sure Judith, hence my “anecdotal”.

        However do you take my point that your “Anyone blaming Harvey on global warming doesn’t have a leg to stand on” is overstating your case more than somewhat?

        What if you look at metrics other than “category [3 and] 4 and above”, such as “almost unbelievable amounts of rainfall”?

        What if you examine evidence from storms across Planet Earth rather then merely “U.S. landfalling hurricanes”?

        What do you make of Gavin’s extended Twitter thread that I referred to above, which is now under discussion over at ATTP’s?

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2017/08/29/extreme-weather-events/

      • JH – Gavin’s tweet is actually very reasonable. Certainly, no one should try to shut down conversations about global warming and weather events. Dr. Curry donates her time to a blog to enable just that sort of conversation in a civil manner. Quite the opposite of what you seem to imply. On the other hand, she IS free to express her expert opinion. While that may get some people upset or mad, it’s not the same as shutting down the conversation.

      • J2 – It seems we’re agreed that “Gavin’s tweet is actually very reasonable”?

        What is it that you think I am implying?

      • What if you look at metrics other than “category [3 and] 4 and above”, such as “almost unbelievable amounts of rainfall”?

        Right – Harvey stalled because it was blocked at the surface by a Polar Air Mass, the kind of which one would expect to be less dense with global warming. These things happen, of course, and a marginal change from AGW might not matter, but this aspect is contradictory to, not indicative of, climate change.

        What if you examine evidence from storms across Planet Earth rather then merely “U.S. landfalling hurricanes”?

        Global Accumulated Cyclone Energy does not indicate any trend.

        This is how weak the case is. People have a concept: increased SSTs means more intense tropical cyclones. They don’t go any further, like to the modeled hot spot which should act to suppress convective potential. And they don’t have any supporting evidence. But still the concept is gospel, which is how religions operate.

      • Jim Hunt – It is NOT all about YOU!!

      • T E said…
        “Right – Harvey stalled because it was blocked at the surface by a Polar Air Mass, the kind of which one would expect to be less dense with global warming. These things happen, of course, and a marginal change from AGW might not matter, but this aspect is contradictory to, not indicative of, climate change.”

        No….

        Notice the 1000-500 mb TT lines?
        You do know what they mean?

        The was a long-wave trough (colder air) over the eastern half, and a very hot airmass over the SW US. What “blocked” the progression of the storm was simply the lack of any drift of winds over the storm at JS levels – a consequence of the barotropic nature of the air in the vicinity.

        Also, you say …
        “The evidence is actually the opposite. Harvey was blocked by a cold front that stalled out off the Texas coast. Fronts are the leading edges of Polar Air Masses. ”

        A front marked on a surface chart is a surface discontinuity. It does not describe the nature of air aloft in any way. They usually simply mark a change of surface DP ( But may be a wind shift FI ).
        Analysis needs to be made in depth and the above chart shows that the nearest baroclinicity lies over the Central plains where there are JS winds of any consequence.

    • And is this any different in any decade in the last 1000 years? Other than the millions of cars stuck in a traffic jam, of course.

      Since it’s been 12 years since a Cat 3 hit mainland, have you gotten bored waiting to say what you said about Houston? That is a very long time between Cat 3s. Nothing like Gore was expecting I’m sure.

      • Ceresco – See my response to Judith. In case you hadn’t noticed lots of people live outside the mainland U S of A. Including me!

        What have Al’s expectations got to do with it?

  42. On the Arctic Sea Ice blog daily graphs is a funny one called total precipitable water.
    Last one at the bottom of that page.
    It seems to be able to show hurricanes as they form very easily and also add immensely to rainfall expectation.
    I could see the chance of a cyclone forming of Vietnam 2 weeks ago and also Harvey before it was elevated to Hurricane status.
    Plumes of moisture from the equator down to Australia tie in very well with our getting wet and cloudy.
    Well worth a look.
    Judith , I presume this is just one of the many tools you use in your predictions. It is a bit regularly chaotic in appearance.
    The tongues or plumes seem regular but a bit unpredictable as to how far, how heavy and when they detach away from the equator on both sides

  43. Robert I. Ellison | August 29, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Reply
    This is a near real time supercomputer animation of total precipitable water (TPW) in the Earth’s atmosphere.

    Posted my comment before I saw yours.
    Note for people the animation given by the Cheifio is a clickable moveable globe.
    Very fancy.
    Guess you already have seen the other site animation, Robert. but it might do the same over a longer time in a flat format.
    Give up in highs and lows just use precipitable water!!

  44. Pingback: Terence Corcoran: How Hurricane Harvey made Naomi Klein want to shut me up | Financial Post

  45. Propaganda Alert: Nexflix have produced a maudlin hit piece on coral bleaching. The two instances they cited weren’t even caused by the same thing. (One by higher ocean temps, the other by excessive UV).

    http://graph.imdb.com/title/tt6333054/?ref_=vi_tr_mp_l_83

  46. The propaganda trying to equate Harvey to global warming is absurd.

  47. Let’s see, Roman Empire was about 500 years, about 500 since the discovery of the Americas by Europeans. It is hard to justify economic preparations for a once in 500 or 1,000 year event. However, if they can happen 3 times in 3 years to Houston it is time to toss that language out. “Tomball, Texas, Public Works director David Esquivel told a local paper there this year that the Houston area had “two 500-year storms back to back”: over Memorial Day weekend of 2015 and early April 2016. That means that Hurricane Harvey constitutes the third “500-year” flood in three years” (nymag.com). Storms are coming 500 times faster than predicted. The accelerating pattern seems obvious to me. Et tu, Brute? For starters, I vote for a country wide carbon tax to show some US leadership for making it happen internationally.

  48. Pingback: Core News

  49. In case you missed it, Robert Rhode looked at the hurdat data, and Harvey has another interesting superlative:
    Harvey exhibited the longest post-landfall stall of any Atlantic storm.

    So, if you’re trying to compare/contrast TC rainfall records, you’d have to have a storm that was similarly stationary, and there aren’t any.

  50. If one neglects storm surge, winds and tidal effects, I would think that living next to the ocean would be the safest place on earth with respect to floods. After all, the ocean is essentially an infinite reservoir and is not going to rise one scintilla no matter what is poured into it. It is like you have a perfect water overflow sewer system in your front yard. Yet, we see flooding problems all the time in seaside neighborhoods, as well as everywhere else. Why is my intuition so wrong here? Does the ocean sea level rise for a few hours after a deluge has dumped extreme amouts of water into it. Like, if you dumped a gallon of water into your bathtub near one end, the level of water all over the tub would take a few tenths of seconds to equilibrate. Maybe it takes a few hours for the ocean to equilibrate? No, no, this sounds crazy.

    • “Yet, we see flooding problems all the time in seaside neighborhoods, as well as everywhere else.”

      Interesting question. Logically the larger and the flatter the surrounding land plane the longer time for your water shed’s drainage response time. As you pointed out, if you are near the coast and live in a coastal plane you benefit by not having the body of water add to plane area that needs to be drained, and instead have an infinite reservoir (as long as you are above it). On the other hand, being next to the coast you may be in the path of everyone else’s water shed, and you likely have their waterways pointing at you.

      • Hurricane Ike used to be the most expensive storm in the history of Texas. It made landfall in Galveston. It had a ~20-foot storm surge. It made inland flooding worse.

        Harvey had ~4-foot storm surge in Galveston. Not huge, but it possibly made flooding worse in Houston.

      • Say you had a 100 sq mi field growing vegetables near the seashore, 10 miles on a side. And it is located 100 feet from the ocean’s average high tide mark and one foot higher than that line. Say the field is tilted one degree toward the ocean. Now you dump–as an experiment–50 inches of water on the field. Wouldn’t it only take a few minutes for the field to drain all its water into the ocean? It is not going to take from a Saturday to a Wednesday is it?

        I just can’t see why it takes Huston so long to shed all its water into the Gulf of Mexico…which is connected to an infinitely large reservoir (almost). Who cares how much the elevation is above sea level? …as long as it is a few inches? Who cares the distance to the shoreline as long as there is some tilt?

        The answer has to be that there are all kinds of obstructions to the exit of the water: curbs, walls, fences, gullies taking it elsewhere, garages, parking basements, plants whose roots add friction to the passage of water, etc.

        This means that city planners could improve things if they watched precise levels of man’s constructions….when building near infinite reservoirs.

      • When I was in college I got up early one morning to attend class. The disk jockey said 100s of people had drowned in a flood in Rapid City. I thought it was a gag. How on earth could there be a flood in Rapid City?

      • David Springer

        You were in college? Is that a gag?

    • Everything else being equal, you will not flood at seaside except for storm surge and perhaps being at the receiving end of a flooded river if you live near a river’s mouth.

      During the catastrophic flooding cause by Hurricane Floyd in 1999, there was no flood where I live on the coast (Morehead City NC) since there is no large freshwater river nearby, and the onshore winds were not strong enough to create a big storm surge (they were, however, strong enough to cause a fair amount of damage).

      Horrendous rainfalls such as at Houston creates a unique case because of the amount of impervious surface and the simple amount of time it takes to drain 50 inches of rain that falls in a couple of days. There doubtless would have been severe flooding without a square inch of impervious surface but you wouldn’t have heard much about it since no one would’ve lived there.

      The Houston, Louisiana area have had many such events due to stalled storms and extreme rainfalls – think Hurricane Ike in 2008 and the great Mississippi flood of 1927.

  51. Just for a bit of variety, Irma has decided to join in the fun:

  52. For a variety of reasons, the oceans have surface bulges and surface depressions.

    Houston is an inland city. It was around 35 miles to the beach from my home.

  53. As mentioned elsewhere, in July 1979 TS Claudette visited Texas, dumping 43 inches of rain on Alvin, TX (just south of Houston, in 24 hours – the previous US record.

    Looking at CAG, July 1979 was Houston’s 7th coldest July on record. 1979 was Houston’s 2nd coldest year on record, and also marked roughly the end of 3+ decades of global cooling, and the great expansion of Arctic sea ice.

    Wonder what SST’s were in the Gulf of Mexico at that time?

  54. Pingback: Elections matter: Trump’s EPA claims climate scientists are politicizing Hurricane Harvey | True North Reports

  55. Neil DeGrasse Tyson: “Hmm. Don’t see much denial of @NOAA climate scientists who have predicted Hurricane Harvey’s devastating path into Texas.” http://www.ibtimes.com/neil-degrasse-tyson-slams-climate-change-deniers-amid-hurricane-harvey-2584297

    What a maroon!

    • You want to see a bunch of maroons check out the WUWT hysterics about how hurricane Harvey would destroy the Texas wind farms.
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/26/hurricane-harvey-threatens-wind-farm-output/
      148 comments and about 1% got it right, when wind reaches design limits the turbines automatically shut down and yaw into the wind.

      Reality:
      http://blog.cleanenergy.org/2017/08/30/texas-wind-farms-survive-hurricane-harvey/
      Output did drop when the storm peaked but that was also because the transmission lines were down. Nowhere to send the power.

      • Jack, you are right. If the wind farms were only feathered during the hurricane force winds then it is no big deal. OTOH, if they had been damaged then very big deal. Do you agree that Tyson is not helping the cause of good science? Do we need even to parse his fallacies?

      • How about all the talk about the 1935 flood in Houston – ADAIGs.

      • Ron,
        I want to remove all humans from the man made climate change discussion and turn it over to a A.I. system. Humans trust machines more than they do each other. Currently A.I. isn’t quite ready yet but considering the exponential rate it is progressing it will happen.

        Application of Deep Convolutional Neural Networks for Detecting
        Extreme Weather in Climate Datasets
        http://worldcomp-proceedings.com/proc/p2016/ABD6152.pdf

        “This study presents an application of Deep Learning techniques as alternative methodology for climate extreme events detection. Deep neural networks are able to learn high-level representations of a broad class of patterns from labeled data. In this work, we developed deep Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) classification system and demonstrated the usefulness of Deep Learning technique for tackling climate pattern detection problems. Coupled with Bayesian based hyper-parameter optimization scheme, our deep CNN system achieves 89%-99% of accuracy in detecting extreme events (Tropical Cyclones, Atmospheric Rivers and Weather Fronts).”

        Side note: There was one guy who died from being electrocuted at a wind farm. I don’t know the details and his death has not been officially attributed to the hurricane.

  56. “There is, finally, the supremely important problem of combating general fluctuations of economic activity and the recurrent waves of large-scale unemployment which accompany them. This is, of course, one of the gravest and most pressing problems of our time. But, though its solution will require much planning in the good sense, it does not — or at least need not — require that special kind of planning which according to its advocates is to replace the market.” F. A. Hayek

    The word libertarian got my attention. I don’t know if I even know what it means. The closest I can get is classic liberal political and economic theory with a rich centuries long legacy. We know something about markets – typically that bubbles always burst.

    Classic liberal theories can in fact endorse a social safety net. Here’s the quote I was looking for.

    “To the same category belongs also the increase of security through the state’s rendering assistance to the victims of such ‘acts of God’ as earthquakes and floods. Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken.” F. A. Hayek

    In my experience – development in the 100 year zone – flood, storm, tsunami – is discouraged, escape routes are planned for and critical services placed above the 500 year level. Hopefully – but the next 1000 year event is just a butterflies flutter away.

    • “The word libertarian got my attention. I don’t know if I even know what it means. The closest I can get is classic liberal political and economic theory with a rich centuries long legacy.”

      Interesting thoughts. I’ve also considered libertarianism to be ill defined. While a bygone era’s political and economic theories will never align perfectly to the evolving nature of society, fundamentally I’ve considered classic liberalism to generally be the genesis of theories and sensibilities encompassing both conservative and libertarian ideas of today. Classic liberal theories do embrace a social safety net, “rendering assistance to victims”, it’s also an natural extension of judeo-christian philosophy that dominated western culture in the period. A social safety net can be extrapolated to encompass many things; i.e., an organized military for example representing a common defense is a type of safety net for protection of a nations social order and governing identity from aggressors. Social planning on certain levels, i.e., the development of infrastructure whether it be protection from flooding, or anything else for the common good, isn’t the same thing as a centrally planned society under the federal government and its control over means of production. This is something the Left delights in trying to obfuscate while they defend and promote failed economic theories.

  57. Is sea level rise making hurricanes worse? How much of the current rise over the century has been caused by AGW? Maybe half a foot? If there’s a 50 foot storm surge, that arguably makes it one percent worse. Admittedly, this does not include atmospheric moisture.

    • Thank you for putting a leg under the claim that AGW made it worse.

      • AGW has absolutely zero to do with it. In addition the global ace cyclonic index has not changed since the 1970’s showing us there has been no increase in tropical cyclonic activity.

        In the meantime S.H. global temperatures are below 30 year temperature means according to Weather Bell data for Aug.30 ,31st.

        Climate is in now way unique.

        Where is all this global warming?

      • So what?

        You think global cooling is about to commence?

  58. ALERT: ‘Southern hemisphere having one of its quietest cyclone seasons on record’ – Is this due to ‘climate change’

  59. Yes I have called for year 2017 being a transitional year.

  60. #HurricaneHarvey has set a new single storm record at 51 inches with 15-16 more expected before the storm actually ends. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/8/29/16221542/hurricane-harvey-rainfall-record-houston

    Total rainfall amount estimated at 14-15 TRILLION GALLONS… up from initial estimate of 9 TRILLION (which was 34.2 cubic km of water in metric, so the actual rainfall is more like 55 cubic km?).

    This is the third “500 year event” in three years.

    #AGW models have generally predicted wetter areas get wetter still so new precipitation records are to be expected. Warmer waters imply stronger winds, also, but that is a very local effect & subject to many chaotic inputs.

    The extreme (“top five” or “top three”) events tend to be more predictive of long term trends than averages – anomalies are harder to hide with bad statistics.

  61. Houston has unusual subsidence problems & its flooding was aggravated by extremely poor city planning due in part to #AGWdenial by city & state officials. They simply refused to believe that 500 year events were going to happen more often. Judith Curry is probably more to blame than Trump, as Trump only a few days ago revoked Obama EOs to protect Houston with better flooding – that would not have made a difference in this storm, but it will in the next storm. Which if trends hold will be next year at about this time.

    • What an idiotic claim about Judith. You have illustrated why there are so many skeptics. With such an egregious breakdown in logic like this, how can you expect anyone to care about what you think.

    • John Carpenter

      Haha. Judy is to blame for Houstons non existent zoning laws and urban planning. The fiction some people derive in their minds is amazing. You’re a hoot Craig.

      • I lived in Houston for about 15 years, this new meme about “Houston’s non existent zoning laws and urban planning” is simply more Leftist propaganda. The Left has reached cult status where they no longer care to look for truth if there’s a chance it can derail their agenda. It’s self evident as outrageous memes are birthed almost daily by the MSM hammer, they’re lapped up by willing sycophants to the cause. Calling the Left a cult is no exaggeration. The only thing worse than a snowflake is one that stays refrigerated by the MSM.

      • John Carpenter

        “non existent zoning laws and urban planning.”

        Mop, I heard it on NPR. Regardless, it’s Judy’s fault. Lol

      • Ha, NPR, who could have guessed. I’d funnel some history about Buffalo Bayou to NPR for their perusal, but doubt it would make it past their gatekeepers.

      • The no-zoning meme comes from the Houston business community, and it has been an ever-present talking point about Houston since I arrived in Texas in 1981. I’m sure it dates back for decades prior to that.

      • I know where the meme comes from, I also know why and where the memes new found exploitation comes from. There’s different types of zoning, different types of urban planning, it’s a constant challenge for growing major metropolitan areas. Lack of urban planning for flood control isn’t one of them for Houston.

      • Well, modernizing the drainage system to handle 100-year floods has a some 30-billion-dollar price tag, so that has not happened. A lot of the money for flood control comes from the federal government. They beg; they get turned down a lot. The two dams had basic projects in the last few years. If not for that, who knows.

        The lefty stuff is nonsense.

      • Yet below this string you acknowledge that Houston flood control is among the best in the U.S. What gives?

        You Lefties are so contrarian, if you can blame every catastrophe on capitalism, you will, without regard to thinking anything beyond an opportunity to exploit a circumstance. And heaven forbid if there’s a point where one can find agreement, it’s so anti resistance. While I can’t be certain; Houston’s national interest as a focal point to refining and its importance central to shipping, among other things, probably represents enough of a vital national interest that it necessitates some level of national infrastructure investment to protect the asset; subsequently fueling further growth in Houston. This represents a quid pro quo relative to social infrastructure investment and the productivity health of the U.S. This is an example, as I previously described upthread, that falls fully within the constraints of classical liberal orthodoxy. Conservatism doesn’t mean a philosophy of zero national infrastructure investment or complete deregulation, no matter how hard the Left attempts to frame it as such.

        No, the Lefty stuff is far from nonsense, quite the contrary, if a story can be twisted to condemn free markets, or exploited to drive a need for pure socialism for some, then so be it; for the hard Left especially, nothing trumps the destruction of capitalism.

      • Re: zoning or lack thereof. Who puts a chemical factory in a residential area? Texas does. Makes for a shorter commute I guess.

      • The chemical plant is not in Houston. Many of the suburbs of Houston have traditional zoning laws. In the USA, a lot of neighborhoods would have to be evacuated when nearby chemical plants are having problems.

      • After a deadly explosion a few years ago in West, Texas, people started asking what chemicals were stored in nearby plants, and Gov. Abbott’s reaction to that was to make it so that the previously obtainable information became protected, so today Texans are not allowed to ask for that information. That pertains to Crosby where journalists still can’t get the inventory of the burning chemical plant, and it is not clear if safety officials can either.

      • Jim D – the city of Houston is blue. The major way to get the water out of the red suburbs is down all the bayous that converge into Houston proper en route to the ship channel and Galveston Bay.

      • JCH, yes, but the state governor is red and doing red things to protect the chemical industry against concerned citizens. I am not commenting on Houston in particular.

      • Oh brother.

        JCH, thank god the revelation to Jim D that Houston is a blue city is on the table, we can rest easy now. Tell him Dallas is too. As is Austin. Etc. Jim D, you’re not ideological are you? We’ll have to guess JCH is. The chemical plant on fire in Crosby, Arkema Inc., that you refer to, is a non toxic fire; but go ahead and hyperventilate about the sources for said information until JCH calls all clear, it’s probably a red urban area, so don’t trust anything. But while you’re on the topic of toxic chemical fires unique to Texas, you might appreciate an epiphany:

        https://www.rt.com/usa/toxic-pesticide-california-fire-779/

        http://www.ocregister.com/2016/12/24/toxic-incidents-are-a-call-to-action-for-southern-california-health-officials/

        BTW, did you realize that CA is the pick-up truck capital of the U.S.? Maybe the world, don’t know for sure, if you don’t mind googling that so we can all be informed of that unique stat too.

      • A blue state would plan for a 500 year event like it has become a 30-year event. A red state would not plan for any change.
        http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/08/hurricane-harvey-probably-isnt-a-500-year-event-anymore/

      • JimD must mean New York after Hansen infamously said Manhattan would flood. Oh wait, they certainly weren’t ready for Tropical Storm Sandy. Maybe JimD is confused.

      • Judith et al. go to Congress and tells them nothing changing, nothing to plan for. Red states listen to that and go ahead and do nothing. Meanwhile climate is changing and fast, and those non-planning states collide with it harder. It’s the way it is, and continues to be with Republican science and environment committees. You can draw a straight line between words and inaction.

      • You’re the aO who started the lefty nonsense.

        Another 30 billion in improvements like this one, the Buffalo Bayou inside the city limits of Houston, and Hurricane Harvey would still do billions in damages.

      • JimD: A blue state would plan for a 500 year event like it has become a 30-year event.

        Which blue state would that be? CA? IL? NY? CA isn’t even maintaining the flood control and irrigation infrastructure that it has.

      • JHC, $30 billion? You’re supporting the Lefty case with math like yours, no need for me to make anything up. Improvements to Buffalo Bayou Park cost Houston $58 million, $30 million of that was donated by a foundation, the Houston Flood Control District funded the project $5 million. Although I’m not sure why you think beautifying a park means squat. Regardless, when has anything the Left estimated add up? Seriously.

      • MM, you will find that blue states do not ignore sea-level rise and do not ban the words “climate change” in their legislatures. They also act to reduce emissions. There is a big difference in mindset towards the way things are changing. CA had a big wake-up call with the drought, NY with Sandy and Irene. They believe in climate action. We’ll see how TX react.

      • The 30 billion comes from the HCFCD, and it includes surrounding counties. Argue with them. I’m certain they have had extensive experience in dealing with effluent from know it alls like you.

      • JHC, I don’t need to argue with the HCFCD, only your wildly misleading statements. Where do you get the $30 billion figure? You bluntly stated that HCFCD spent $30 billion on Buffalo Bayou Park, but HCFCD funded only $5 million towards it. Simply google the budget to develop Buffalo Bayou Park. HCFCD stands for Harris County Flood Control District, I’m not aware of any mitigation they do outside of Harris County for “surrounding counties”. Their yearly funding varies somewhat, but this year they received about $120 million in funds to mitigate flooding in Harris County.

    • Houston has flood control. I suspect their system is among the better in the United States. Every time there is a flood anywhere in the US, it looks bad. In 2001 Allison flooding killed almost all of the lab rats in the medical district. They do a lot of research there. It was a lot of rats. Senator Hutchinson got them a bunch of money and they worked on that project for almost the entire time I lived there. The rats survived the first four days of Harvey. I don’t know if they survived the 5th. If they did, then it was money well spent. Rat lives matter.

  62. Sorry about somewhat off-topic point. I am looking for an evaluation of this paper https://phys.org/news/2016-12-world-regions-wetter-drier.html and associated work. Is the fact that wetter regions get wetter generally accepted by climate scientists? Is there observational evidence strong for these points?

  63. Pingback: Rundbrief der GWPF vom 28. August 2017 – EIKE – Europäisches Institut für Klima & Energie

  64. The Guardian’s John Abraham weighs in on Scott Pruitt’s red team proposal.

    There are some “lukewarmist” scientists who think the problem won’t be that bad, but these “lukewarmers” have failed to provide compelling evidence in the scientific literature. In many instances, their work has been shown to be wrong, the mainstream scientists have evaluated their claims and found them lacking or faulty. And this is why 97% of the world’s top climate scientists agree with each other on climate change.

    So forming a red team would basically amount to a governmental helping hand to scientists who have not succeeded in the scientific arena. Since they cannot compete in the cut-throat area of scientific research, they would be given a free pass by the government to circumvent the normal peer review process.https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/aug/31/the-trump-administration-wants-to-bail-out-failed-contrarian-climate-scientists

    Abraham’s source of climate information has lukewarmers not counted as being part of the 97%. And their work is “faulty.”

  65. Ms. Curry, my daughter/hubby and friends leave tomorrow for the Dominican Republic for a week. I have been closely watching Irma. Will you be doing an article with graphics on Irma? I would like to see what your research reveals. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Debra, are you on twitter, if so follow @cfanclimate. Your daughter is probably ok for the next 6-7 days, but 8-10 days from now I would expect some impacts. So she is cutting things close, but might be ok.

      • Excellent. That’s how to build a profile that will support strong, sustainable growth of your business in the future.

  66. Bless your heart, thank you so much for responding. They leave Sat morning and return next Saturday. I will watch your twitter account, thank you. It sounds as if they may be within the window where they will be okay and be out just in time. Yes, they are cutting it close and have a plan B to leave early if need be. I have been researching extensively and am very impressed with your work. Thank you again for the quick response.

    • David Springer

      Everyone will be wanting to leave early if Irma is bearing down. The best laid of plans of mice & men often go awry.

    • David Springer

      They’re inside the 72-hour cone where the eye of a Category 4 might hit. They need to get out by any means possible in the next 48 hours.

      • They planned to leave this morn but all flights are booked. They are stuck there and I’m worried sick. :(

      • David Springer

        What city? They should be fine unless the track changes south but it would be safer to be on the south side of the island in Santo Domingo.

      • Debra

        I am from the UK where Harvey might manifest itself as a spell of cool windy and wet weather this weekend. Irma will probably do the same.

        However I can still feel for you and others who find themselves caught up in all this.

        I hope you will let us know when everyone returns home safely as I am sure they will. They will be well prepared and will follow best advice and will have stories to regale you with when they get back.

        with best wishes

        tonyb

      • tonyb
        My niece attends University of Tampa on Florida west coast. School closed till 9/11 and she checked in a multistory hotel. Hopefully it will all blow over. Storm track difficult to predict and still may go up east coast along the ocean. No hurricanes for 12 years and now two big ones. Predictions are difficult, especially about the future.
        Scott

      • I’m trying to find time to do a post on Irma, stay tuned. follow my forecasts on twitter @cfanclimate

    • d3bra
      remember what feynman said about trusting experts.

      • David Springer

        Feynman said: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

        I wonder what he would have said about non-experts like M0sher?

        Springer’s Corollary: Science is the belief that non-experts don’t even understand the questions.

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  68. David Springer

    Contention: “12-year hurricane drought” is a fabricated soundbite.

    More or less correct IMO at this point in time. A statistical anomaly. Like “anthropogenic global warming” is a fabricated soundbite. In the low-information sector of the climate debate facts don’t matter. It’s narrative on, as Trump would say, “many sides”.

    However there may be a case to be made that the current mildly warming climate regime is characterized by increased southern penetration into North America of the polar jet stream. That might help drive cyclones away from landfall.

    For those who care about facts the North Atlantic ACE index annual total history since 1950 is more like science for whether NA cyclone energy is trending up.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accumulated_cyclone_energy#Atlantic_hurricane_seasons.2C_1950.E2.80.932017

    Good luck finding a trend since 1950.

  69. David Springer

    My small town of 600 so far has had two teams of volunteers with boats go 200 miles to rescue people. The first team rescued over 300 people including 193 from one apartment building and another 70 from retirement homes. The second team is still there. Our local watering hole has collected $20,000 in donations. Volunteers will be towing bobcats instead of boats to help with cleanup and get as many families back in their homes as quickly as possible.

    In other words the real heroes here so far are rednecks with bass boats and the next phase following rescue is rednecks who work in construction.

    • Dave,

      You forgot to add “low information” rednecks. As in they don’t need PhD’s to understand one helps one’s neighbors, even when they are 200 miles away.

  70. Judith, first congratulations on the forecast results for Harvey! It sounds like CFAN improved the forecast results compared to efforts without applying your methods.
    Now we are all watching Irma, and I assume CFAN is hard at work on its forecast track, especially noting your comments to Debra Garner upthread.. Will you be sharing those results at some point with us?

  71. David Springer

    Just saw headline on Drudge Report: Strongest Hurricane Ever Recorded

    NOAA 185mph sustained winds

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT1+shtml/051742.shtml

    That’s near an EF-5 tornado (200mph) and will rip up roads, scour buildings clean off the foundation including plumbing, etc.

    I need to ask M0sher how much lower the wind speeds would be if the US hadn’t pulled out of Paris Accord. Enquiring minds want to know!

    • “….ask Mosher..”. Yea, how much lower if the US had done anything different in the last 30 years. But the blame birds will be out in full force, certain it is the fault of the US.

      • 34.3627 miles per hour is the answer. They’re just not sure if that’s lower or higher.
        And remember, you cannot doubt this number unless you do your own science first. And publish it.

    • Trump will have to defend himself against his low-information voter base on that one. Maybe he’ll tweet something about it not being anything to do with Paris, just in case. Stay tuned.

      • Mitigation is not the correct answer for landfalling U.S. hurricanes. Could’ve spent all that money not on windfarms but on ocean side watersheds. For the ducks.

      • Yes, just move everyone away from the coasts and have one long waterfront natural sanctuary from Texas to New Jersey. Some might just criticize that as being green, but perhaps it is common ground. Expensive, yes, but so are the future storms. It’s adaptation that mitigates the damage.

      • Jim D:
        Expensive yes. The markets have valued this sea side land as high value for the most part. And that is where the weather problems will be. The less developed coastal areas are the easier problem to solve.

        Others have pointed out that the urban/suburban areas are a lot of the problem. Around Lake Minnetonka the issue is framed of one of lake water quality. Before we got here, the watershed did pretty well on its own.

        On the issue of urban sprawl, if housing is denser while building holding ponds, you have a small part of the answer.

        Nature deals with heavy rains by slowing things down. The water goes sideways and floods. Man by speeding things up. With big ditches.

      • How wide is this buffer to be?

      • Jim,

        Says the guy who regularly simplifies complex issues to the point of nonsense.

        According to your statements, you must believe half of the people in this country are dumb and that all of them voted for Trump.

      • Obama had no landfalling strong hurricanes in his eight years. Trump seems on track to have two in just year one. Some of his more religious voters may see this as an immediate and divine signal about Paris.

      • The religious ones only need their pastor to put two and two together for them. Trump pulls out of Paris, bada-bing Harvey, bada-boom Irma. Things can happen very quickly in their world.

      • JimD, I see you’re into spiritualism now.

      • Don’t you agree?

      • To Paris, or spiritualism, or Trump, or all three? Umm no.

      • That religious people say everything has a purpose, even hurricanes, and some might intuit a relation to Paris, perhaps, or lack of respect for creation, or something along those lines? Do you think those people exist that would see it as some kind of retribution from above?

      • I”m sure, there are plenty of nuts that listen to coast to coast.

      • I see know that actress Jennifer Lawrence has said Mother nature is punishing Trump voters for not believing in climate change.

      • People join dots with imaginary lines: religious people, conspiracy theorists, karma believers.

  72. Pingback: Energy And Environmental Newsletter – September 5th 2017 | PA Pundits - International

  73. The discussion is, Where will all the FEMA money come from? Kill the howeowners solar credit. Use that money. Those solar panels sure did and are about to do a lot of good for Houston and Florida.

  74. What causes or will cause the WNW to North track breakpoint? Do the models pick up a wind shift that causes it? Does the Coriolis effect become strong with a Northward drift?

  75. Pingback: THE BAD AT SCIENCE GUY: Bill Nye Tries to Link Global Warming To Hurricanes, Fails Basic Hurricane Science - The Right Side of News

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  77. Pingback: Bill Nye, The Alarmist Guy! At it again! – Patriot Conservative

  78. Pingback: Think Tank West » Despite Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Science Has No Idea If Climate Change Is Causing More (or Fewer) Powerful Hurricanes

  79. Pingback: Gov’t Funded Scientists Plan Analysis Of Global Warming’s Impact On Irma And Harvey – Left & Right Wing News

  80. Pingback: Gov’t funded scientists plan analysis of global warming’s impact on Irma and Harvey | True North Reports