More hype on Typhoon Haiyan – this time from Supermandia and Masters of Disaster

Scott Mandia aka Supermandia crows in his Twitter feed this AM:

mandia_haiyan

The graph from Weather Underground’s Masters of Disaster, Dr. Jeff Masters, follows. But there’s only one problem – one very important storm is missing from the list.

WU_typhoon_list

Hurricane expert Dr. Ryan Maue immediately points out:

Maue_typhon_joan

And, then adds a reference list. But, watch how Supermandia put his foot in his mouth just like media did on confusing what units typhoon wind speed is reported in:

Maue-Supermandia-Haiyan

Source: https://twitter.com/AGW_Prof/status/400661282543513600

185 mph equals 160 knots, anyone who knows how to use Google can do this conversion easily by simply typing in this in the Google search box: 185mph to knots

You get this:

185mph_to_knots

https://www.google.com/search?q=185mph+to+knots&ie=utf-8

And there are other confusing elements to the wind speed story. More on that later. Adding to the confusion, tt is also important to note that there have been THREE super typoon Joans, one in 1959, one in 1970, and one in 1997, plus a minor storm named Joan in 1964.

Supertyphoon Joan in 1959 was far stronger (160knots) than the one in 1970 (150knots) which Masters referenced in his list.

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60 Responses to More hype on Typhoon Haiyan – this time from Supermandia and Masters of Disaster

  1. Latitude says:

    the stupid hurts…almost as much as the crookedness

  2. Tim Walker says:

    I appreciate Scott’s response to being corrected. That is the correct way to respond. Thanks for the post.

  3. JP says:

    When I worked at the JTWC back in the 1980s, we had sat pics of Super Typhoon Pamela in 1976. From the northeast quadrant to the southwest quadrant it measured nearly 2500 miles. The eye was close to 50nm in diameter. It went off the Dvorak scales, but estimates put it above what hit the PI. Pamela never made landfall (we can thank God for that). And it was not mentioned in this piece.

  4. JK says:

    So what was the max speed anyway? I can only find reference to 150mph.

  5. pokerguy says:

    Mandia looks good at the end, How hard was that?

  6. I have a much used book by Hubert Lamb entitled’ Historic Storms of the North Sea British Isles and Northwest Europe.’ In it storms back to the 1500’s are noted together with synoptic charts.

    The typhoon data all seemed to relate to post 1950 which is hardly extensive.

    If someone will link me to credible typhoon data post 1850 and the same info for pre 1850 events I will try and draw up a chart and determine whether the post 1850 one are larger than those that went before.

    Can anyone supply the information, or are we all discussing only the most recent 60 year slice of typhoon history which proves nothing whatsoever about their strength relative to historic events.

    tonyb

  7. James says:

    Mandia made a mistake and acknowledged it. What’s wrong with that? It happens to all of us. Making a blog post out of it just makes you look bad.

  8. dbstealey says:

    James,

    Mandia has made a MAJOR, long running mistake in his promotion of climate alarmism.

    When he acknowledges that mistake, I’ll pay more attention.

  9. John says:

    Yes, when someone doesn’t know something, and when shown the right way, says thanks and acknowledges that he learned something, that is good. Kind of 180 degrees from Michael Mann and his cronies. So props to Mandia.

    Props also to Ryan Maue and the others, who say we need a comprehensive, long term, peer reviewed paper to know if 195 is the tops. It might be, or it might be tops only within the last several decades, or it might not be tops at all (given that Camille broke the wind speed indicator at 190 mph).

    Anyway, Haiyan was obviously extremely powerful. On thing that iis important to me is whether we had storms this powerful in, or coming out of, the Little Ice Age. There is certainly evidence of powerful major storms in that period, but to determine wind speed isn’t possible, it would only be possible to guessestimate based upon how big storm surges were, back in the day, and to compare if possible to Haiyan’s and Camille’s.

    That is basic science that could be done. Ryan????

  10. mkelly says:

    climatereason says:

    November 13, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Check Steve Goddard’s site. He has some info that may be of use.

  11. Madman2001 says:

    Yes, props to Mandia. Is this worth a blog post?

  12. brians356 says:

    Since when is there such a thing as a “Super Typhoon”? I thought a typhoon was a typhoon. Next we need a “Super Duper Typhoon” moniker for the first storm that clocks (unofficially, as always) 196 mph. And what moniker comes after that?

  13. brians356 says:

    Gosh, I read now on Wikipedia that “Super Typhoon” (coined by Hong Kong Observatory) is indeed a typhoon with winds of 100 knots. The US JTWC requires 130 knots for that classification.

  14. rogerknights says:

    brians356 says:
    November 13, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Since when is there such a thing as a “Super Typhoon”?

    Maybe Super Mandia would know.

    (Probably the super was used to link it to superstorm Sandy and to the warmist meme of more severe storms.)

  15. markstoval says:

    A large portion of my extended family (my in-laws) are from the island that was hit by the typhoon. Naturally I was reading the newspapers from the Philippines and so I learned that the Philippines government said the typhoon made landfall at 146 mph. (converted from kph)

    God damn it. What does it take to get such a simple thing straight?

  16. Jeff Masters is terrible.

  17. brians356 says:

    The death toll of ~2500 is a fair indication the actual winds were a lot lower than 195 mph. Looking at the photos, many relatively insubstantial (by US standard) buildings are still standing. I believe the guesstimates of 10,000 deaths was based on the expectations that 195 mph would literally flatten the city of Tacloban, and it clearly didn’t. Many houses still retain most of their roof. The damage I see in photos might be consistent with 150 mph winds. My subjective impression only.

  18. JJ says:

    Has Mandia corrected the graphic?

    No.

    Has anyone addressed the 150 mph vs 195 mph discrepancy?

    Have they addressed the differences between Haiyan (estimated by satellite) and the other large storms like Camille, TIp, and Allen (measured with aircraft)?

  19. Mycroft says:

    Mark Stoval said;
    God damn it. What does it take to get such a simple thing straight?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Nothing!!…but the truth, clearly those with agenda’s find it hard to speak this simple thing

  20. tadchem says:

    Hanlon’s Razor says “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
    Of course, when they team up together, anything can happen.

  21. Ric Werme says:

    Check out this page – nifty interactive photos of before/after aerial photos. Not nearly so nifty on the ground, I’m sure.

    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/specials/typhoon-haiyan-photos-before-after/

  22. brians356 says:

    When malice and stupidity conjoin, there’s usually the Devil to pay.

  23. Richard LH says:

    As it would appear from most reports that it as geography and storm surge that killed most of the casualties then the actual wind speed could look kinda moot.

    I do wish that people would stop using this terrible event to promote THEIR particular AGW view (in either direction).

    I also wish that everybody would get their facts straight before speaking out, but that is always going to be a futile wish.

    My thoughts go to those still suffering the outcomes.

  24. I’m happy Mandia acknowledged his error. And I love WU because the weather data is always so good. But Masters is really walking off the train with his promotion of climate alarmism.

  25. Roy UK says:

    Wow! I read this post and already the apologists for Mandia are here in full force. They were even faster than the Greg Laden Posse.

    Madman2001, James, pokerguy, Tim Walker. When will you ever come out and admit Mandia was wrong about ANYTHING?

  26. timothy sorenson says:

    I like how his own evaluation should be used a self-criticism. “…w/o peer review…” so he goes and uses a chart from weatherunderground.com. Time for Mr. SuperMandia to follow his own advice and not open mouth insert foot.

  27. GregM says:

    With 167 mph Hayian is not even top ten on Master´s list

  28. PaulH says:

    Leaving aside the idea that the experts should know what they are talking about, it would be nice if everyone used the same units. No wonder the media, politicians, and the man on the street just trying to sort through information overload become confused. Some reports are miles per hour; some are kilometres per hour. Some are in Knots? Huh? Sustained wind speed? Gust speeds? Sustained gusts? Wait, what?

    I know Nature loves to be capricious, but some standard or another would (hopefully) avoid confusion.

  29. Leo G says:

    Earth’s strongest tropical cyclones at landfall by wind speed?
    Shouldn’t that be earth’s tropical cyclones by highest estimate (from any available source) of strongest wind speed at landfall?

  30. connolly says:

    Thanks once again for providing a factual historical comparison. But the issue is for us surely is a moral one. The climate alarmists want to hector us from a pile of corpses of the poorest people on earth who were left by the Philippine government”s corruption and negligence to face a terrible force of nature unprotected. Could not Greenpeace et al just once have found it in their hearts not to have exploited the suffering and misery of the victims of a natural disaster? The response of the warmist ideologues is shameful. The Philippine government failed to protect and now is incapable of even burying its dead citizens. Its cries global warming while its suffering citizens starve. We are witnessing the moral bankruptcy of climate alarmism.

  31. Steve Oregon says:

    Some ask, “Is it worth a blog post”?

    Good grief, what kind of question is that?

    It’s worth a blog post if the host decides it is, period.

    As it should be.

  32. brians356 says:

    A friend of mine in Chicago has a picture on his wall of himself on his sailboat on Lake Superior, with the “Big Fitz” under way in the near background – taken the very day it sank. A very spooky photograph.

  33. Bill 2 says:

    Wow, rational conversation on twitter. Imagine that.

  34. Gunga Din says:

    And there are other confusing elements to the wind speed story. More on that later. Adding to the confusion, tt is also important to note that there have been THREE super typoon Joans, one in 1959, one in 1970, and one in 1997, plus a minor storm named Joan in 1964.

    Supertyphoon Joan in 1959 was far stronger (160knots) than the one in 1970 (150knots) which Masters referenced in his list.

    ======================================================================
    Displaying my ignorance again.
    If I’m not mistaken, strong hurricane names are retired. (Based on damage, I think.)
    Are typhoon names treated differently? Is that why there are so many “Joans”? Or did they all not cause major damage?

  35. Auto says:

    Myself, I use knots. I’m in shipping – have been for a long time.
    Anything over 64 knots is Beaufort Force 12 – a ‘hurricane’ [or Typhoon or other local name (local to three or four billion in East Asia, maybe)], ‘that which no canvas can withstand’.

    Yolanda/Hayian, plainly, was a big one.

    The biggest?
    One of the biggest?
    Doesn’t matter now, except to geeks like me who collect records. [Apologies if anyone else here does that, too, but doesn't like the 'geek' descriptor.]

    Now, what does matter . . . . . . . .

    The Philippines is poor; lots of folk live by the water – as they make a “living” – a few dollars a day, plus fish – from the ocean.
    A lot of Filipino men are at sea – probably over a million at any one time – perhaps 35 or 40 per cent of all merchant seafarers around the world, carrying your oil and iron ore and containers and gas.. Some live in the worst affected regions. How do they feel today, days after the event, when they still cannot contact loved ones, or even neighbours?
    And the Philippines need help, regardless of SuperManDia’s [one n or two?] graphic.
    Please think of that.
    If only there was a single point of reference that would get 85% or more of donations on to the ground in effective help, not lost in bureaucracies, kleptocracies etc.

    Security, shelter, water, food – and burial services, whatever the toll.
    Those are needed now.
    Please think of that.

    Auto

  36. clipe says:

    Am I still off topic?

    But its long life came to an abrupt end when scientists dredged the sea bed near Iceland during a study into the effects of climate change

    http://metro.co.uk/2013/11/13/bungling-scientists-kill-worlds-oldest-creature-a-clam-after-507-years-in-sea-4185580/

  37. Gail Combs says:

    Richard LH says: @ November 13, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    ….I do wish that people would stop using this terrible event to promote THEIR particular AGW view (in either direction)….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Unfortunately when dealing with propaganda a retraction months later does absolutely no good. The false data plus emotional impact make the false data stick in the minds of the person on the street. Anthony knows this and is trying to counteract it by raising a ruckus NOW. Unfortunately that can backfire too.

    Those who have money, power and the ear of the press generally win whether or not they are right or wrong.

  38. Gail Combs says:

    PaulH says:
    November 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I know Nature loves to be capricious, but some standard or another would (hopefully) avoid confusion.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    There is a standard.

    World Meteorological Organization policy documents and Standards:

    http://www.wmo.int/pages/governance/policy/

  39. Gail Combs says:

    connolly says: @ November 13, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    ….Could not Greenpeace et al just once have found it in their hearts not to have exploited the suffering and misery of the victims of a natural disaster? The response of the warmist ideologues is shameful. The Philippine government failed to protect and now is incapable of even burying its dead citizens. Its cries global warming while its suffering citizens starve. We are witnessing the moral bankruptcy of climate alarmism.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That should be the quote of the week.

  40. Gail Combs says:

    clipe says…. The Witch of November.

    Sparks an immediate memory of the Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald

    http://gordonlightfoot.com/wreckoftheedmundfitzgerald.shtml

  41. Gail Combs says:

    Auto says: @ November 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm
    … And the Philippines need help, regardless of SuperManDia’s [one n or two?] graphic.
    Please think of that.
    If only there was a single point of reference that would get 85% or more of donations on to the ground in effective help, not lost in bureaucracies, kleptocracies etc.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Again I will mention the Salvation Army.
    Even Huffington Post says: Salvation Army
    The Christian hunger and poverty-fighting organization is allocating 100 percent of all disaster donations for relief efforts “to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors.” Text TYPHOON to 80888 to Donate $10 or give online. Learn more here.

  42. clipe says:

    Gale warning in effect
    Eastern Lake Superior
    Issued 10:30 AM EST 13 November 2013 ‘Gale’ force winds of 34 to 47 knots are occurring or expected to occur in this marine area. Watch for updated statements. Please refer to the latest marine forecasts for further details and continue to monitor the situation through Canadian Coast Guard radio or Weatheradio stations.

  43. Owen in GA says:

    I still wonder, what is considered a landfall? I know Paka clobbered Guam, but fizzled before reaching Asia proper. Would that count as a landfall or just an unfortunate blip in the path? That was one big blow. I see now that the gust reading at Andersen has been discounted. Figures, the anemometer broke off in the middle of the reading. We were all quite impressed with that 236mph gust too…though not as much as by the damage.

  44. clipe says:

    clipe says:
    November 13, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Gale warning in effect

    hehe, Gale Combs?

  45. Frank K. says:

    Yet another reason to not trust Jeff Masters and to never visit the awful “Weather Underground” website.

  46. bobl says:

    I give up,
    This cyclone had a sustained windspeed of 235kph with gusts to 275 kph that makes it a pretty ordinary category 4 cyclone

    From the Australian government BoM

    Category 4 Severe Tropical Cyclone 225 – 279 km/h
    Very destructive winds Significant roofing and structural damage. Many caravans destroyed and blown away. Dangerous airborne debris. Widespread power failures.

    Make a note though, This notes that a category 4 Cyclone is very destructive particularly when in plows into a populated area, and even worse when it’s a poor populated area. For all the carry-on of ordinary storm sandy – which was not even a category 1 storm, this Cat4 storm is much, much more destructive.

    Instead of calling for more waste of national debts on shutting down coal power stations and building windmills or solar farms – I propose that you nail your representatives to instead waste it on building Phillippino storm shelters, at the very least some thousands of lives will be preserved the next time this happens ….

    PS (I didn’t really mean that cyclone shelters would be a waste of money – that’s the right thing to spend it on – excuse my editorial discretion to emphasise the waste and misdirection of funding away from useful pursuits that characterises the CAGW fantasy)

  47. Richard LH:

    It’s not promoting “yours” by debunking someone else’s attempt.

  48. tobias says:

    @bobl, thanks for that info. The other thing that people seem to have missed (you did not) that in a lot of reports the observers focus on storms over the decades but fail to include the population growth and as you said the areas where mainly the poorest people end up. Those areas are always in the low lands , flood plains, tornado alleys etc , and it does not matter what country you look at, from Bangladesh to the Gulf coast in the USA they are the same and have the same vulnerabilities because of that. I have been scratching my head for years why governments keep on keeping people in those locations. those flood plains are great for farming (Nile river, Mississippi River Valley and others all over the world) and making bricks (removing clay to keep the channels open) but must cost fortunes to rebuilt time and again.

  49. David A says:

    They missed three storms just in the Philippines likely as strong, but those pre satellite storms did not have 24 hour, 1oo percent of storm area coverage in THREE DEMENSIONS, measuring of ABOVE GROUND wind speeds? NO, THOSE PRE SATELITE storms had spotty LAND BASED
    SURFACE LEVEL wind gauges, not likely at the ideal spot, AT THE IDEAL TIME.

    DUH!!!!!!!!!

  50. David A says:

    Historical storms should only be based on surface readings, modified by distance from and relationship to the eye where those readings took place. In may of the pre-satellite storms the wind gauge broke, and it was not in the ideal location. In one case in the Philippine’s, where the wind gauge was not in the ideal location, it broke at 144 MPH, just two less then the land based reading for this storm; which by the way did not break.

  51. Man Bearpig says:

    Another ‘know-it-all climate scientist’ exposed as knowing nothing, You would have thought he would have done his research properly? No? But there again, this is climate science where research is not necessary just say scary things and you get a Degree, PhD and a nice hockey stick/broom stick to fly around on.

  52. bobl says:

    @tobias

    Mostly it’s historical, before modern transport it was important to found communities around a reliable supply of water and access to a port for shipping, which was originally the best form of freight transport (and probably still is) Therefore most large cities are built around river mouths.

    Many cities are therefore quite flood prone

  53. Bill Taylor says:

    just a layman but not understanding why on earth politics has anything to do with reporting the weather????? shouldnt observations of weather be pure science? or as joe friday said “just the facts”?

    it is OBVIOUS the weather underground has become a political body NOT a science body.

  54. DDP says:

    ‘Super Typhoon’? So it was a typhoon then *rolling eyes*

  55. John Of Cloverdale WA, Australia says:

    I supervised a shallow water seismic survey in Bangladesh back in 1974 for UNOCAL (Union Oil of California). On one of the larger islands (Haitia), the chief of the island told me that on a few of the neighboring islands everyone one was killed during the 1970 Bhola Cyclone. Over 500,000 people were killed during that biggy.
    Below, I list a few major ones, without the wind speeds (how they estimate the death toll, I would not know) which I got from Wikipedia:
    1582, unnamed, 200,000 dead;
    The Great Backerganj Cyclone of 1876, 200,000 dead;
    1970 Bhola cyclone, where the official death toll was 500,000, but the number is likely to be higher.
    1991 Bangladesh cyclone 150,000.
    My apologies for getting away from the thread of discussion.

  56. Richard from Oz says:

    Whatever Mandia’s error may have been, the deception is in the presentation of the graph. The Y axis shows the storms in order of increasing wind speed, with the latest storm at the top and implying some sort of trend.

    If the Y axis was presented in time order (ie earliest at the bottom, latest at the top) there would be no trend over time.

    But that wouldn’t present the desired result, would it?

  57. yirgach says:

    Well, lemme tell you about Wunderground. They “support” Personal Weather Stations”, which is OK, I have one listed there. you can reference it by zip code (BTW, my station is the ONLY one in this zip code, we are a bit rural). The thing is, they have an “algorithm” which automagically unlists the station if it reports temperatures outside the range of neighboring stations. This is all well and good, unless you take into account the local terrain, which they do not. Here (Vermont) we have ridges which run N-S, the sun rises E-W, so my station, (at a higher elevation) will report a temp much higher than the nearest station to the West in the early AM (that station is sighted at a lower elevation and does not get any temp increase until later in the AM , relative to mine). So they conveniently unlist my station, until the local temp synchs up with the far beyond neighbors later in the AM. So much for micro-climate, just throw it out.
    I don’t know, but this doesn’t seem quite correct…

  58. _Jim says:

    brians356 says November 13, 2013 at 11:57 am

    The death toll of ~2500 is a fair indication the actual winds were a lot lower than 195 mph. Looking at the photos, many relatively insubstantial (by US standard) buildings are still standing. I believe the guesstimates of 10,000 deaths was based on …

    … gut feel. And the man that made that ‘guesstimate’ was sacked, so, let’s close the loop on that one now:

    1) “Official Sacked for Wrongly Saying Haiyan Had Killed 10,000 People”

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/11/guy-who-said-haiyan-killed-10000-filipinos-now-has-no-job/71590/

    2) “The Lede: Philippine Official Fired for Estimate of 10,000 Dead From Typhoon”

    http://www.onenewspage.com/n/World/74w4f4wd1/The-Lede-Philippine-Official-Fired-for-Estimate-of.htm#PPQP0PTtcqCsvlfT.99

    “A senior police commander in the Philippines was fired for telling reporters last weekend that the death toll from the typhoon that devastated the nation could exceed 10,000.”

    .

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