A new buzzword for pushing climate fear? ‘Explosive Cyclones’

After the past weekend’s silliness over a snowstorm that wasn’t all that much different than Nor’Easters of the past, I can imagine some CNN anchor using the phrase badly in the not too distant future, like suggesting sending in a drone or robot to “defuse it”. /sarc On the serious side, this paper looks at the ingredients that must come together to form a stronger than usual and rapidly deepening cyclone, much like a rogue wave has to have many smaller waves come together in synchronization – Anthony

Maue_explosive_cyclone

Ryan Maue via Twitter: GFS back to 919 mb with explosive cyclone off east coast that will move WNW of Iceland during next 36-48 hours.

 

From AGU highlights:

Global climatology of explosive cyclones

Explosive cyclones, which have rapidly intensifying winds and heavy rain, can seriously threaten life and property. These “meteorological bombs” are difficult to forecast, in part because scientists need a better understanding of the physical mechanisms by which they form. In particular, the large-scale circulation conditions that may contribute to explosive cyclone formation are not well understood.

Black and Pezza analyzed broad-environment energetics in creating a global climatology of explosive cyclones. They identify global hotspots for explosive cyclones and find that explosive cyclones in different geographical locations share a similar characteristic energy-conversion signature that can easily be identified in satellite data. The study could help improve storm track prediction.

A universal, broad-environment energy conversion signature of explosive cyclones

Abstract

[1] This study presents the first analysis of the Lorenz energetics associated with a global climatology of explosive cyclones. Energy budgets of the large-scale environment are calculated for 32 year climatologies (1980–2011) of explosive cyclones within four of the most active regions in the world: the Northwest Pacific, the North Atlantic, the Southwest Pacific, and the South Atlantic. A robust signature in the Lorenz energy cycle is observed; anomalous energy conversions commence 48 h before explosive cyclone development and remain strong (i.e., significantly above background noise) for 120 h. Remarkably, the calculated signature of energy conversion is virtually identical for all four geographical regions. While the conversions imply a classic baroclinic growth cycle, they are not seen in regular cyclones that undergo a deepening of less than half that exhibited by explosive cyclones. This finding opens a new avenue of exploration of explosive storm behavior based on the large-scale environment.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters, doi: 10.1002/grl.50114, 2013 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50114/abstract

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29 thoughts on “A new buzzword for pushing climate fear? ‘Explosive Cyclones’

  1. “In particular, the large-scale circulation conditions that may contribute to explosive cyclone formation are not well understood.”

    So that means they’re caused by anthropogenic global warming, right? I mean, if it’s not well understood, that definitely means AGW, doesn’t it? /sarc

  2. “After the past weekend’s silliness over a snowstorm that wasn’t all that much different than Nor’Easters of the past…”

    Perhaps could use some clarification. That is, are you saying that it was not that much different in the way no two storms are ever exactly alike…which qualifies in my mind as “trivially” true (hence probably not worth mentioning)…or was it different in some more fundamental way that might open the door, however slightly, to the CAGW explanation….?

  3. The winter of 2010-11 I think we had one in the Ozarks. I wasn’t there but they tell me that my neighbor was seen walking down the road in waist deep snow… “Aren’t you in rough shape?” He replies back, “If you think I’m in bad shape, you should see my horse down there!”

    No sissies in the Ozark Mtns.

  4. Bleeding hemorrhoids? Get it? I want my $100.000 for this study now! Go talk to Professor H. and get his approval (He works in the grant dept).

  5. Now to be an officially sanctioned climate scientist acknowledged to be quotable as an expert by the press, a Roget’s Thesaurus will come with the degree. Always searching for those emotionally suggestive adjectives that will pack a punch and stick in the mind.

    It’s just not sufficiently dreadful if it’s not a memorable phrase that shrieks calamity that must be stopped. Not a moment to wait you selfish people refusing to acknowledge we live in an Interdependent world that you are not free to disregard.

  6. i posted leo hickman in the guardian on this last week, but now we have the backdown:

    11 Feb: Daily Mail: BBC backs down on climate change: Forced to delete David Attenborough’s ‘alarmist’ warming claims from final show of Africa series
    Broadcaster removed assertions that ‘some parts of the continent have become 3.5C hotter in the past 20 years’ in repeat shown last night

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2276888/BBC-climbdown-climate-change-claims-David-Attenboroughs-Africa.html#axzz2KZM6azYu

  7. The buzz word pushing climate fear is CATASTROPIC in Australia used in all aspects of our life weather, fire,floods etc

  8. A BBC source told The Times that the mistake was made by the production team and not by Sir David, who told them he did not know how it ended up in the script.
    ‘The mistake was being so specific.
    ‘It should have been more carefully scripted,’ the source said.

    Thank you for being specific. If you get the specifics wrong, might your conclusions and warnings be wrong, too?

    So Attenborough is not responsible for the error. Yet he parrots the error in the script. He could have put his foot down and refused to say something he didn’t believe. The most charitable conclusion is that he believe what was written and said it to camera without reservation. It is certainly true that Sir David is no longer a skeptic.

  9. Weather Bombs, Explosive Cyclones – Its a war zone! I’m trying really really hard to create a mental image of the Hockey Stick Team charging off into battle to save the world from certain climatic disaster. Josh – there’s gotta be a cartoon in here somewhere.

  10. Now the Weather Channel is planning a series: “Hacking the planet” Sounds like they are going to explore the various ways that man can “control” the weather. I suspect that it will be good for laughs — if I don’t toss something through the TV screen.

  11. Very disturbing trend in science generally are these emotive terms – Science used to use objective terms like “rapid development” instead of emotive terms like Explosive, soon we will be fighting “A war on terror storms”

  12. Oh, and one more thing – I think the title is grossly misleading, as I understand physics air moves from regions of high pressure to low. Therefore is it not scientifically illiterate to call them Explosive. The correct term would be “Implosive storms” no? – Not quite the same ring to it though! What does this illiteracy teach our young’uns

  13. If less than one degree of warming can cause “unprecedented,” “catastrophic,” and “explosive” weather, what will another 30 degrees of warming do to us this summer? The possibilities are unimaginable.

    Climate change experts are like stock market experts. They can always tell us exactly why something happened after the fact. They even tell us such events were to be expected. And yet they have extreme difficulties telling us what’s going to happen in the future. If it was so expected, why didn’t they tell us to expect it before it happened?

  14. Anthony, correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s the 900 mb chart, not the surface analysis and so the wind speeds shown will be well in excess of what would be experienced at the surface. I don’t know the average percent decrease from 900 mb to the surface, but I don’t think 60 or even 70 knots is unusual for high latitudes of the North Atlantic in January.

    REPLY: it was just put there to illustrate the concept of an “explosive cyclone”, not to analyze. – Anthony

  15. This reads like something composed from one of those three column lists of long, uncommon (adverb,adjective.noun)’s:choose any combo you fancy.

    –created a global climatology of explosive cyclones–”remarkably, the calculated signature of energy conversion is virtually identical in all four geographical regions”–aproduct of the model?
    what is this unique energy conversion? PE to KE? KE to PE? or is it mcxc to E?

    48 hours notice–in Nth Queensland that would be “it will be a biggy and will make landfall at A if it doesn’t change track to B or wander off to the SE pacific. Expect gutsy wind and rain”

    Anyway I have my UK Govt sponsored handbook of future catastrophes and it shows that Atlantic coastline civilization will be tsunamied into oblivion when one of the Azore Islands drops into the sea soon (except Portugal in the wave shadow). QUID ME ANXIOUS SUM.

  16. Thank you Mr. Watts.I enjoy all the info on this site.
    I am pointing others to it,maybe they well learn the
    truth about ‘Watts’ going on out there before it is to
    late. Thank again ];{
    Alfred

  17. Perhaps the time has come for real meteorologists to play with the easily alarmed, invent totally fictitious weather conditions and promote them to the press.
    Every calm day can be presented as the calm before the storm.
    Mild wind sold as building tempest, snow, rain and sleet as deadly di-hydrogen monoxide deluges.
    Basically describe any and every weather condition in multi-sylible threatening pseudo meteorological terms and tweet it to the easily panicked.
    After all if these same people keep insisting on wetting themselves over the weather, why not help them out?
    Time to convince them, do not venture outside the deadly vapours of Gia will get you.

  18. “In particular, the large-scale circulation conditions that may contribute to explosive cyclone formation are not well understood.”

    Perhaps they should team up with the ozone guys who were able to attribute CO2 to some wind patterns and not others… My guess is that if the cyclone flies over a cruise ship affected by the Norwalk virus, this may truly bring explosive properties to bear… hitting the proverbial fan! /sarc

    But seriously, they may rediscover Leroux soon… LOL

  19. Folks, you better be careful with this one. As a long-term synoptic meteorologist I can attest that the term explosive cyclogenesis and even meteorological bombs dates back to the late 1970s–well before much talk about global warming. This is a very typical term used by synoptic meteorologists and goes along with a very specific definition—a deepening of a storm by approximately 24 mb in a day. This is not a new idea and terminology created by the global warming set….cliff mass

  20. Perhaps I didn’t look deeply enough, but I didn’t see the study connect to Global Warming. Isn’t it just a study of rapidly developing storms?

    These storms have been called “bombs,” “bombogenesis,” and “explosive” for quite some time, mostly because it can be downright amazing how swiftly they blow up. One wonderful bit of reading I did was a fisherman’s description, back in the age of sail, of fishing on a balmy spring day, and having the Blizzard of 1888 develop right overhead. The sky got black; there was thunder; it suddenly got windy and abruptly colder, he barely made it back to port through blinding snow, and so on and so forth. When he stated the storm winds quickly blew up, he was talking about wind, but “blew up” also suggests an explosion.

    This is not to say Alarmists will not, (and haven’t already started to,) make the term “explosive” sound like such storms are “unprecedented.” You have to persistently and patiently point out that such storms are not new, and present them with the facts. For example, last weekend’s blizzard was only the fifth worst is Boston’s “history,” and that “history” only goes back to 1934.

    (I suppose, before 1934, Bostonians were too busy surviving winters to make “official” measurements of how deep the snow was. You can find measurements, but they aren’t “official.”)

  21. john robertson says:
    February 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Perhaps the time has come for real meteorologists to play with the easily alarmed, invent totally fictitious weather conditions and promote them to the press.
    Every calm day can be presented as the calm before the storm.
    Mild wind sold as building tempest, snow, rain and sleet as deadly di-hydrogen monoxide deluges.
    Basically describe any and every weather condition in multi-sylible threatening pseudo meteorological terms and tweet it to the easily panicked.
    After all if these same people keep insisting on wetting themselves over the weather, why not help them out?
    Time to convince them, do not venture outside the deadly vapours of Gia will get you.

    Already happening. Here in Seattle, the local weather guys on one station (as far as I know) call every front that moves through a “storm”. Seriously. Even if all we get is 5/100ths of an inch of rain. For those in the Seattle area who watch Kiro 7 news, you know what I mean.

  22. The NHC hurricane commentaries talk of ‘explosive deepening’ of tropical cyclones on occasion, with a clear definition of 2.5mb per hour decrease in sea-level central pressure for at least 12 hours or 5mb decrease for at least 6 hours.

    To use the term ‘explosive cyclone’ is, however, a little bit silly.

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