The folly of linking tornado outbreaks to "climate change"

In times of tragedy, there always seems to be hucksters about trying to use that tragedy to sell a position, a product, or a belief. In ancient times, tragedy was the impetus used to appease the gods and to embrace religion to save yourselves. In light of this article on the Daily Caller Center for American Progress blames Republicans for devastating tornadoes it seems some opportunists just can’t break the pattern of huckster behavior in the face of disaster.

I can’t think of a more disgusting example of political opportunism that has occurred such as we witnessed today from The Center for American Progress via their Think Progress blog, as well as the New York Times op-ed piece that suggests predicting severe weather is little more than a guessing game. Certified Consulting Meteorologist Mike Smith of Wichita, KS based WeatherData Inc. said of the NYT piece:

The cruelty of this particular April, in the number of tornadoes recorded, is without equal in the United States.

This may or may not be true. The statement is at least premature. The NWS Storm Prediction Center March 8th changed its methodology which allows more reports of tornadoes and other severe storms to be logged (see first note here). We don’t know yet whether this is a record April.

Tornadoes in particular, researchers say, straddle the line between the known and the profoundly unknowable.

“There’s a large crapshoot aspect,” said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

To add to the mix, Peter Gleick says at the Huffington Post  “More extreme and violent climate is a direct consequence of human-caused climate change (whether or not we can determine if these particular tornado outbreaks were caused or worsened by climate change).”

In the Think Progress piece, again, Dr. Trenberth is quoted:

“Given that global warming is unequivocal,” climate scientist Kevin Trenberth cautioned the American Meteorological Society in January of this year, “the null hypothesis should be that all weather events are affected by global warming rather than the inane statements along the lines of ‘of course we cannot attribute any particular weather event to global warming.’”

It should also be noted that during that AMS conference in January, Dr. Trenberth called people who disagreed with that view “deniers” in front of hundreds of scientists, even after being called out on the issue he left the hateful term intact in his speech. Clearly, he is a man with a bias. From my perspective, these articles citing Trenberth are opportunistic political hucksterism at its finest. Unfortunately, many from these bastions of left leaning opininators don’t bother to cite some inconvenient facts, leaving their claims to be on par with superstitions that were the part of our dark past.

First, let’s look at the claim of tornadoes being on the increase, in parallel with the climate change that is claimed. In my previous essay Severe weather more common? Data shows otherwise I cited this graph from the National Climatic Data Center:

Obviously, when NCDC tallies the number of F3-F5 tornadoes from this recent outbreak, and gets around to updating that graph, there will be an uptick at the end in 2011 that is on par or even higher than the famous 1974 tornado outbreak. The point though is that despite the 1974 uptick, the trend was down.

The NYT article says:

The population of the South grew by 14.3 percent over the last decade, according to the Census Bureau, compared with 9.7 percent for the nation as a whole. Of those states hardest hit by tornadoes this year, some were among the fastest growing, notably Texas and North Carolina.

Let’s look at trends of tornado related deaths with population. From Harold Brooks. a research meteorologist with the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma. we have this graph:

Source: NOAA’s US Severe Weather Blog, SPC, Norman Oklahoma

Let’s look at other figures. Today, Dr. Roger Pielke Junior got an updated graph from Harold Brooks at NOAA to bring it to 2010:

That graph is a testament to the improved lead times, accuracy, and and dissemination of severe weather warnings by the National Weather Service, whose members did an outstanding job during this severe weather event. CCM Mike Smith, in his book Warnings The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather talks about the vast improvements we’ve witnessed since the early days of severe weather forecasting. He writes today of the recent outbreak:

There is no question that the current storm warning program, a collaborative effort of the National Weather Service, private sector weather companies like AccuWeather, broadcast meteorologists, and local emergency managers have saved hundreds of lives during these recent storms through excellent forecasts and warnings.  This image shows the tornado warning (red hatched area) for Birmingham that was issued more than 20 minutes before the tornado arrived.

Can the warning program be improved? Certainly. The National Weather Service’s new dual-polarization radar will improve flash flood warnings and will incrementally improve warnings of tornadoes that occur after dark.

But in the immediate aftermath of these tragic storms we seem to have learned two things:  People need to respond to today’s highly accurate warnings. For some reason, the media (see examples here and here seems determined to downplay the quality of the warnings which may have the effect of driving down response rates.

Second, they must have a place to take shelter. Most mobile home parks and many homes in the South do not have underground shelters or safe rooms. Mobile home parks and housing developments should look to constructing these in the future.

With 30 minutes of advance warning in this case, and many other advance warnings during this outbreak, plus the supersaturation of live television coverage, plus the fact that weeks in advance, my colleague Joe D’Aleo, co-founder of the Weather Channel and now at Weatherbell LLC,  discussed the likelihood of a super-outbreak of severe weather occurring due to the juxtaposition of cold air from snowpack in the northern plains with warm moist air in the south, it would seem Dr. Trenberth’s claim of “a large crapshoot aspect” doesn’t hold up. The death toll issue seems to be shelter, not lack of forecasts, warnings, or awareness. People knew the storms were coming, they just had few options for shelters that would survive at F3-F5 category tornado intensity.

The attempts at linking the tornado outbreak this week to “global warming” have been roundly criticized in the meteorological community. Just yesterday there was a denouncement of the tornadoes to global warming link in this story from Physorg.com

“If you look at the past 60 years of data, the number of tornadoes is increasing significantly, but it’s agreed upon by the tornado community that it’s not a real increase,” said Grady Dixon, assistant professor of meteorology and climatology at Mississippi State University.

“It’s having to do with better (weather tracking) technology, more population, the fact that the population is better educated and more aware. So we’re seeing them more often,” Dixon said.

But he said it would be “a terrible mistake” to relate the up-tick to climate change.

Anticipating this sort of nonsense in the current political climate that seeks to blame humans for the weather, last month, the National Weather Association, representing thousands of operational meteorologists, forecasters, and television-radio meteorologists in the United States adopted their first ever position statement on climate change and severe weather events. They state:

Any given weather event, or series of events, should not be construed as evidence of climate change.

The NWA emphasizes that no single weather event or series of events should be construed as evidence of a climate trend. Daily weather is subject to extreme events due to its natural variability. It is only the occurrence of these events over decades that determines a climate trend.

No clearer statement could be rendered. It mirrors what a NOAA scientist at the Storm Prediction Center said yesterday to Fox News:

Greg Carbin, the warning coordination meteorologist at NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, said warming trends do create more of the fuel that tornadoes require, such as moisture, but that they also deprive tornadoes of another essential ingredient: wind shear.

“We know we have a warming going on,” Carbin told Fox News in an interview Thursday, but added: “There really is no scientific consensus or connection [between global warming and tornadic activity]….Jumping from a large-scale event like global warming to relatively small-scale events like tornadoes is a huge leap across a variety of scales.”

Asked if climate change should be “acquitted” in a jury trial where it stood charged with responsibility for tornadoes, Carbin replied: “I would say that is the right verdict, yes.” Because there is no direct connection as yet established between the two? “That’s correct,” Carbin replied.

Historically, there have been many tornado outbreaks that occurred well before climate change was on anyone’s radar.  Here’s a few:

1908 Southeast tornado outbreak 324 fatalities, ≥1,720 injuries

1920 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak ≥380 fatalities, ≥1215 injuries

1925 Tri-State tornado ≥747 fatalities, ≥2298 injuries

1932 Deep South tornado outbreak  ≥330 fatalities, 2145 injuries

1952 Arkansas-Tennessee tornado outbreak 208 fatalities

1965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak 256 fatalities

April 3-4 1974 Super Outbreak 315 fatalities

All of these occurred before “climate change” was even on the political radar. What caused those if “global warming” is to blame? The real cause is La Niña, and as NOAAwatch.gov indicates on their page with the helpful meter, we are in a La Niña cycle of ocean temperature in the Pacific.

Here’s what it looks like on satellite measurements. Notice the cool blue:

The US. Climate Prediction Center talks about the reason for such outbreaks in relation to ocean temperature cycles:

What impacts do El Niño and La Niña have on tornado activity across the country?

Since a strong jet stream is an important ingredient for severe weather, the position of the jet stream helps to determine the regions more likely to experience tornadoes. Contrasting El Niño and La Niña winters, the jet stream over the United States is considerably different. During El Niño the jet stream is oriented from west to east across the southern portion of the United States. Thus, this region becomes more susceptible to severe weather outbreaks. During La Niña the jet stream and severe weather is likely to be farther north.

Note the collision zone in the US southeast during La Niña patterns.

Finally, Let’s examine the claims of global warming being linked to the tornado outbreak. If this were true, we’d expect the globe to be warmer, right?

Thunderstorms (and all weather for that matter) form in the troposphere, that layer of the atmosphere that is closest to the surface, and extends up to the stratosphere.

Image: weatherquestions.com - click for details

Dr. Roy Spencer, climate scientist from the University of Alabama, Huntsville, tracks the temperature of the troposphere. The university system that he tracks the temperature daily with is inoperable, due to the storms. People who have been watching it prior to this event know the current global tropospheric temperature is lower in April than the norm, but we can’t show it today. The last global value he plotted showed this:

http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_Mar_2011.gif

The global temperature anomaly of the troposphere today is about the same as it was in 1979. If there’s any global warming in the troposphere, it must be a figment of an overactive imagination on the part of people who seek to link it to the recent tornado tragedy.

Dr. Roy Spencer sums it up pretty well on his blog today:

MORE Tornadoes from Global Warming? That’s a Joke, Right?

It is well known that strong to violent tornado activity in the U.S. has decreased markedly since statistics began in the 1950s, which has also been a period of average warming. So, if anything, global warming causes FEWER tornado outbreaks…not more. In other words, more violent tornadoes would, if anything, be a sign of “global cooling”, not “global warming”.

Anyone who claims more tornadoes are caused by global warming is either misinformed, pandering, or delusional.

The people that seek to link this tragedy to the political movement of climate change should be ashamed of themselves. The only “deniers” here are the ones who deny all the long established counter evidence of their bogus claims for political gain.

——————

For those who wish to help with this tragedy there are options:

There’s a service called safeandwell.org which can help you get status on relatives and friends who may be affected.

There are several ways to register or look for messages from those affected by a disaster:

  • From a computer, visit www.redcross.org and click on the “List Yourself or Search Registrants” link under “How to Get Help.”
  • From a smart phone, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell.
  • Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register.

There is of course financial help needed for the relief efforts of the American Red Cross. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to relief efforts from your cell phone bill. Or visit the main website.

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ShrNfr

Thank you for the preview button. Now I can look at the shoe size that I stick in my mouth before posting.
The Jesuits used to have a term (and may still use it) for people such as the AGW crowd. The term was “invincible ignorance”. “Religion of the Greater Gore and Gaea” certainly qualifies for the Jesuit term.

DirkH

Trenberth:
“There’s a large crapshoot aspect,” said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. “A little quirky thing can set one off at one time, and another time not.”
The guy is a stand-in for a scientist; a bullsh*t artist obviously. If little quirky things can set off a tornadoe, then why is it impossible for little quirky things to influence climate simulations in such a way that the error bar goes beyond all bounds after a week. Trenberth can’t be dumb enough to not understand this; he is in my eyes an obvious liar, producing dishonest pseudoscience.

Curiousgeorge

I do believe that Think Progress neglected the iveism in their name. Whether that was intentional or not, I don’t know.

Frank

Slam Dunk!
Well done Anthony.

HA!
This group of climate hucksters MIGHT as well cite the HAA RP project as responsible – becoming part of a group of certifiable crackpots!
.

Douglas DC

“Never interfere with your enemy while he is making a mistake.”
Napoleon Bonaparte.
This is what I see here. This outbreak is the result of a cold pattern,
and just like all other major outbreaks it is occurring as we cool off.
not warm up. Also, we have much better detection,radar and forecasting.
in the last oh, 30 years….
Would love to see Joe Bastardi has to say about it…

wayne

Anthony, can I also pose the very same question here? Please, pretty please…
Also fogot to mention the vortex aspect (coralis effect) but everyone probably knows that well.
——————————–
From the Southeast Missourian:

“… meteorologists now have lots of radar and video imagery of the storms which may help them understand these worst-case outbreaks a little better. The Tri-State Tornado has long been a puzzle for meteorologists trying to figure out how a single tornadic storm can hold together for so long across varied terrain.”

Well… not if they insist on ignoring new theories, such as a new one on water vapors influence in relation to tornadoes, hurricanes and the overall global pressure system such as one by Dr. Anastasia Marakieva et al.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/02/new-atmospheric-model-says-tail-wags-dog/
Take it from a sailplane pilot, get up there and play with those cute little cumulus clouds that sometimes become monsters. You will recognize the her idea, you will have felt it in the moisture.
It is not merely the heat that causes those events, heat has it’s role, but it is H2O vapor. Tornadoes are implosions, not explosions of heat and it is water vapor that drives them to fury.
Let’s see if I can paint it… the warm air rising is what creates the mild and slow ascent of air. That is the ‘engines’ of a sailplane. Also you have the relative humidity rising as you get carried higher and higher toward the cloud base. At the cloud base you hit 100% relative and condensation starts to occur and that causes conversion of 1000 units of water vapor to 1 unit of water in tiny droplet form intensifying the rise, and your variometer (measures rate of ascent/descent) clearly shows that as it pegs upward. Latent heat is being created but the drop in pressure (very local) is compensating this volume decrease.
Now, take a tornado. The same scenario is occurring as you stand on the ground looking upward at the wall cloud. The slight lowering of the wall cloud is that 100% relative humidity level. But thinks get out of control just ABOVE the wall cloud. You will see a very distinct violent mixing of the frigid upper layer aid being stirred in with the warm totally saturated air just below. This is where the violent implosion occurs and it is that 1) violent mixing of temperatures with the 2) total saturation that causes the violence right there.
A 1 volume of cold air and 1 volume of hot air when suddenly mixed will have a volume of 2. BUT, a 1 volume of cold air and a 1 volume of 100% saturated warm air suddenly and thoroughly mixed volumes will have a much lower volume as the condensation occurs immediately. BAM! The sudden implosion.
That is why very frigid upper air is dangerous if lots of moisture is around. That is here paper with the equations.
As long as enough warm to hot already near saturated air can flow into this event from below this mixing and volume implosion will continue. Walla, a tornado. On a bigger scale, a hurricane. On an ever bigger scale (but here slow and mild) ocean/continental systems. Some may be heat only but it doesn’t then make sense to me anyway.
Can not anyone see that?

Chuck Wiese

Good job Anthony! Joe Bastardi had warned his bloggers and the public that a persistant La Nina signature into the spring would have this result. I had mirrored those comments as well a few months back. Just for fun, I went back into archives into the 1974-75 tornado season looking at weather map series for the month of April to see whether or not equivalent potential temperatures as a whole were higher now than then. They are not. That is also an offer of considerable proof that claims by climate modelers are false that attribute an increased evaporation rate off of the tropical oceans as a result of a higher CO2 concentration. These recent storms had no greater heat energy fuel than in earlier times, and as you are aware, the bigger triggering mechanism was just the usual culprit, strong cold air advection with the advancing cold front and a strong, over developed polar jet that provided plenty of shearing. It isn’t much more complicated than that. Kevin Trendberth and all of these other AGW sloths are a disgusting and painfully dishonest bunch. Trendberth and his colleagues are the true deniers.
Chuck Wiese
Meteorologist

Latitude

Anthony, the tornado graph you posted starts in 1940…
..and still shows a downward trend.
If you can go back to 1884 to start the graph, it will show a downhill plunge…
…reason being, 1884 was known as the Enigma Tornado Outbreak.
Feb 19-20 there were more than 60 tornadoes on the ground, in one 15 hour period.
Estimated that up to 1200 people were killed. That’s at a lot lower population density than today.

Jimbo

Warmists are doing exactly what they accused us of doing: using weather events to back up their case. Where is the peer reviewed evidence linking this outbreak in the US with man-made global warming. They demand we produce peer reviewed evidence but ommit it when they like.
My list of historical outbreaks on another thread with examples of over 300 deaths in each episode starting in the late 19th century. It’s worse than we thought!!!

Anthony, I have been always quite suspicious about the warming of the stratosphere by “sunlight absorption by ozone.” According to established knowledge, stratospheric ozone is 0.000003% (three millionths percent). Oxygen and nitrogen are several orders of magnitud more abundant. If absorption of solar light (especially UVC) is a warming factor it is performed by O2 and N2, not by ozone whose ability to absorb UV radiation is minimal.
Ozone’s quantum energy is too high and can only absorb about 32 kcal/mol from incoming photons while O2 and N2 have an energy absorption of about 111,117 kcal/mol and 118,000 kcal/mol.

wayne

While the subject is on tornadoes, I’ll add a bit to the mental picture I drew above…
Radiation just might play a big role in the science behind tornado and hurricanes. I’m not talking of “backradiation” or any of the screwball ideas in relation to CO2… get that out of your mind here, this is speaking of very local, less than a meter or centimeter effects.
When you quickly mix food coloring into water you will notice the ‘streamers’ of color streaming in close proximity to clear water streamers. This is the initial attempt to mix the two different substances. If one substance is frigid air and the other is air that is warm to hot and 100% saturated, I can easily see radiation playing in right there at that very local point.
Conduction can only occur on a molecule to molecule basis (mixing) but radiation can transfer energy across trillions of molecules at a time. I’ll call it long-reaching conduction. This long-reaching conduction though occurs as the difference of the two temperatures to the fourth power (see Stefan-Boltzmann). These streamers bring these two highly different (in temperature) substances in very close proximity to each other where this radiative, and instantaneous, transfer of energy can occur. It’s that instantaneous loss of heat by radiation from the water molecules that could, just could, also manifest as violent loss of volume. Needs some deeper testing there. It’s the fourth power that could make this violent and quick if the temperatures were highly different. Think of the frigid upper air and the warm moist air below being forcibly and quickly mixed together.
Does anyone see that mental picture?

Jimbo

Obviously, when NCDC tallies the number of F3-F5 tornadoes from this recent outbreak, and gets around to updating that graph, there will be an uptick at the end in 2011 that is on par or even higher than the famous 1974 tornado outbreak. The point though is that despite the 1974 uptick, the trend was down.

The trend was going down during the warming period. This is desperate, desperate stuff.

James Sexton

I’m so tired of hearing that global warming is unequivocal and that because the earth is warming, x, y and z are happening.
Horse hockey! If this ridiculous notion was correct, then we’d have seen more tornadoes 10 years ago.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001.25/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001.25/trend
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2001.25/plot/rss/from:2001.25/trend
It turns out, the good Dr. Spencer was spot on once again. “In other words, more violent tornadoes would, if anything, be a sign of “global cooling”, not “global warming”.
Anyone who claims more tornadoes are caused by global warming is either misinformed, pandering, or delusional.”

Tell me again what warming causes? Tell me again what is unequivocal? It’s simple foolish immorality cloaked in vapid sophistry to make such indecent posits while people suffer personal human tragedy.

Jimbo

A message from a Warmist to other Warmists:

Britain’s cold snap does not prove climate science wrong
Climate sceptics are failing to understand the most basic meteorology – that weather is not the same as climate, and single events are not the same as trends
Guardian 6 January, 2010
George Monbiot and Leo Hickman

What has the trend been doing regarding F3-F5 tornadoes? ;O)

Bob in Castlemaine

Perspective personified – thanks Anthony.
You know I can’t help but think the real reason for your recent weather in the US is that you’ve stopped burning witches.

Frank K.

Thanks for this Anthony.
You know, I used to love meteorology. As a kid, I dreamed of becoming a meteorologist, and read many books on the subject from our local library. In college, though, I decided to a pursue a mechanical engineering degree. I did, however, end up focusing on thermo-fluid dynamics in graduate school, and computational fluid dynamics for my Ph.D. Much of my love for fluid dynamics and mathematical physics came from my interest in and observations of the natural flows in the atmosphere.
Now, I just get disgusted. It seems that climate elites and opportunists of every stripe have sought to politicize the weather. Every thunderstorm, every tornado, every hurricane is somehow “linked” global warming. That’s why I can barely stand to watch The Weather Channel any more.
And just wait until hurricane season begins. Any slight anomaly in the season will be amplified by the climate elites. People will be accused of causing(!) natural disasters if they choose not the believe the global warming hype. It makes me want to vomit.
I don’t think we’ll ever return to the past, when weather was apolitical. There’s too much money, greed, corruption, ego, and utter insanity to turn back the climate mania. The best we can do is to separate the climate elites from the government money trough which sustains them – and, unfortunately, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

What we need here is a sense of proportion. It is gloves off time.
The Global warmers who claim these devastating tornadoes are connected with man-made CO2 are despicable cockroaches who should be drummed out of the scientific community.
Their anti-science puts their own sordid self-serving gravy train ahead of the need to save lives. For heavens sake we, WeatherAction – using solar activity (and lunar modulation) PREDICTED ALL SEVEN OF THESE EXTREME WEATHER PERIODS in USA this April. Someday, maybe, someday these advances in science might help warnings and SAVE LIVES. But NO the New York Times and their associated leeches, spongers, liars and brainwashers prefer people to die than science which can help save lives get a look in. Please see http://bit.ly/gnCOhY
Thanks Piers

wayne April 29, 2011 at 5:08 pm:
… Well… not if they insist on ignoring new theories, such as a new one on water vapors influence in relation to tornadoes, hurricanes and the overall global pressure system such as one by Dr. Anastasia Marakieva et al. …

Not to endorse the above theory (ATTM), but, here is a video presentation on it:

.

Jimbo

Dr. Roy Spencer
Anyone who claims more tornadoes are caused by global warming is either misinformed, pandering, or delusional.

Or off their medication.

Ted

Anthony.
Your site becomes better and better using graphs, data reports and facts, while the warmist revert to the lowest common denominator. Name calling, howling at the moon and demands for sacrifice!
There is truly NO competition despite the warmist overwhelming financing, tens of thousands of Eco leftist organization and the ear of the most powerful elitist, bureaucrats and governments in the world. Thy still can’t mount a believable/truth/ fact base offensive (A castle built on sand and defended by straw men cannot persevere)
I give thanks to the unpaid but incredible smart skeptics and the most powerful tool the world has ever seen, the Internet, for disseminating facts and information.
We have got them by the short hairs! Good work to Anthony and everyone who devotes all this time, energy and research!

Jimbo

Pssssst! James Sexton, they no longer care about global warming. They only care about the weather. You, like many of us, wonder why?
[your link]
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2001.25/plot/rss/from:2001.25/trend

Latitude

Frank K. says:
April 29, 2011 at 5:57 pm
I don’t think we’ll ever return to the past, when weather was apolitical
==================================================
Frank, remember when people used to pray for rain…..
Now we know that lack of rain, too much rain, warm rain, cold rain, and snowrain…
…are all caused by man

TonyG

Ignore – following comments

O2BNAZ

More Republican warming…NOAA Blizzard Warning:
729 PM CDT FRI APR 29 2011
…A BLIZZARD WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR WESTERN AND PORTIONS OF
CENTRAL NORTH DAKOTA TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING…STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL AMOUNTS SHOULD RANGE FROM 6 TO 9 INCHES
http://forecast.weather.gov/showsigwx.php?warnzone=NDZ017&warncounty=NDC053&firewxzone=NDZ017&local_place1=Watford+City+ND&product1=Blizzard+Warning

wayne

Thank you _Jim!
Didn’t know they had a video out… I’ll watch.
For sure the idea and paper is theirs, not mine, I just also know it does exist from experience. ☺

Nick

While Think Progress’ blog contribution is less than useless,the NYT article did not suggest that predicting severe weather was “little more than a guessing game”. The clear point of the expert comments cited is that predicting exactly when and where tornadoes might form within thunderstorms is very difficult,no matter that the conditions and mechanisms producing the storms are better understood and forecast.

Cromagnum

I have seen some websites, like Space Weather, dicussing a Solar “Coronal Hole” event from April 28
http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?PHPSESSID=5pa1cn9imf3961fmjn017cc705&month=04&day=28&year=2011&view=view
is this true, and if so, what effect would this have on the globe this time?

u.k.(us)

To state the obvious, this event needs to studied due to determine what appear to be some unusual climactic conditions.
We get the occasional tornado warning where i live.
I fear the warnings may never be able to predict an F5 (where the only safe place to be is below ground), but maybe the speed of communications can begin warn those in the path of utter destruction.
Personally, i always watch the big storms roll in. Fascination trumps safety.

Bennett

“”Anyone who claims more tornadoes are caused by global warming is either misinformed, pandering, or delusional.” Dr. Roy Spencer via WUWT”
That’s my latest tweet. Thanks Anthony.

Cementafriend

Trenberth is committing scientific fraud if he knows ( slide 26 of following http://climategate.nl/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/KNMI_voordracht_VanAndel.pdf ) that the atmospheric radiation window from the surface to space is 66 W/m2 and has not put forward a correction to his papers which show 40 W/m2 (eg TF&K 2008). His crediblity is in the same category as Mann. I would not be surprised if Trenberth actually knows, from measured data which shows CO2 lags temperature, that the AGW hypotheses as wrong.

“I fear the warnings may never be able to predict an F5 (where the only safe place to be is below ground), but maybe the speed of communications can begin warn those in the path of utter destruction.”
Let me reassure you: These tornadoes were VERY well forecast, including that violent tornadoes were likely. Take a look at this posting: http://meteorologicalmusings.blogspot.com/2011/04/pds-tornado-watch-alabama.html If you look at the lowest row, you see the chance of EF-2+ intensity tornadoes is “high.”
The very next posting began: “An extremely dangerous, life-threatening situation continues to unfold this afternoon across a large part of MS and AL…with adjacent portions of TN and NW GA also expected to become a concern late this afternoon and evening.”
So, yes, most of the time these days meteorologists will accurately predict outbreaks of violent tornadoes.

John F. Hultquist

In the WSJ for Friday (4/29/2011) there is an interesting Q & A with Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane. One of the questions was . . .
Marc Myers, WSJ: Your voice always sounded like a warning. Was It?
Grace Slick.: Sometimes. For example, on “Somebody to Love,” the opening lines are:
When the truth is found to be lies, and all the joy within you dies.
“When you learn that a truth is a lie, anger follows. There’s an annoyance in my voice because I’m annoyed.”
Gore and friends pushed the CAGW issue (I say, follow the money). They claimed the science was settled. It wasn’t and isn’t. Now they claim GHG and global warming increase tornadoes. As the information provided in Anthony’s post explains – this too is a lie.
Anger follows. Be annoyed.
Act annoyed. Financial help with shelters rather than wind turbines would make sense. Cash for clunkers? Make a list.

Nick April 29, 2011 at 6:32 pm:
… The clear point of the expert comments cited is that predicting exactly when and where tornadoes might form within thunderstorms is very difficult …

Did you a) mean this, and b) are you serious?
Individual storms/tornadoes: A lot of dedicated observing has concluded it is the SW corner of a T-storm cell has the highest likelihood of producing a wall cloud and perhaps a subsequent tornado … never mind weak, infrequent spin-ups on the leading edge of squall lines that do little damage … tornadoes formation during/in hurricanes are a different matter which I’ll not address …
For an introduction, may I suggest these two sites for a quick ed. on tornadic thunderstorm dynamics:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supercell
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lmk/soo/docu/supercell.php
General likelihood for the occurrence of tornadoes: The SPC (Storm Prediction Center) had that area rated as “High” that day –
Here’s the 1300 UTC Day 1 Outlook for instance for 27 Apr 2011:
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/outlook/archive/2011/day1otlk_20110427_1300.html
I still don’t understand how they can make the claim “The clear point of the expert comments cited is that predicting exactly when and where tornadoes might form within thunderstorms is very difficult” unless they are severely deficient in even the elementary aspects of meteorology, and certainly below that of a novice storm-spotter to be sure.
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rbateman

If warmer global temps were to elevate severe weather, the statistics of the global rise in temps don’t show it.
Ex: Cold air in Canada at x=4. Warm air in Gulf at y=8.
Warm the globe by 3.
Result: x=7, y=11
Now the temps are still 4 apart, but the contrast ratio is lessened.
(8/4=2) > (11/7=1.57) where the warm (energetic side) has less contrast to the cold side.

Claude Harvey

Nobody gets it! It’s not global warming causing the tornadoes. It’s thousands of windmills. Those little beasts are tornado factories. Think about it! The propeller-ed marvels generate horizontal vortexes in their wake. When those vortexes turn vertical, voila! We have tornadoes. I’m pretty sure solar plants do the same thing by creating energy holes in the atmosphere. Nature detests a vacuum and fills it with in-rushing air. The earth’s rotation naturally causes that inrush to rotate and again, voila! We have tornado factories. (sarc)

gofer
Mike Bromley the Kurd

Piers_Corbyn says:
April 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm
What we need here is a sense of proportion. It is gloves off time.

I disagree with the first sentence and doubly agree with the second, Piers. Is that proportional?
Time to start pressing for the sound defeat of this whole stinking gravy train. How can so few egomaniacal witch doctors hold sway over so many rational people? By force, plain and simple. They hold the guns and power…and the purse strings. The money they have squandered so far has been directed towards fabricating a bogeyman. Period. No solutions to any real problems at all. Meanwhile the real problems, too numerous to list, go unsolved. Real science languishes on the sidelines, censored by bursors with their heads in the sand. Pollsters rave about belief statistics of people who are starving and who don’t know what a poll is…
It was the aftermath of the horrible events in Japan, namely a cynical and opportunistic posting on Grist linking plate tectonics to climate change, that caused me to become militant. This ongoing outburst from the slatterns of climate preaching has served to destroy their credibility further: time to lace ’em up and punch their lights out.

u.k.(us) April 29, 2011 at 7:17 pm
To state the obvious, this event needs to studied due to determine what appear to be some unusual climactic conditions.
We get the occasional tornado warning where i live.
I fear the warnings may never be able to predict an F5

They had a really, really good idea ahead of time … owing to a developed field of science/study termed “meteorology”.
Here’s what the science meteorology (courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center) prognosticated at about 11:00 AM EDT that morning here and pertinent parts excerpted below:
…SYNOPSIS…
AN INTENSE MIDLEVEL SHORTWAVE TROUGH AND ASSOCIATED 100 KT 500 MB JET WILL PIVOT EWD FROM TX/OK THIS MORNING TO LOWER MS/TN VALLEY REGION BY THIS EVENING … GIVEN THE PRESENCE OF VERY STRONG WINDS THROUGHOUT THE TROPOSPHERE AND AN INFLUX OF RICH MOISTURE FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO …THE ENVIRONMENT WILL BE FAVORABLE FOR A DANGEROUS OUTBREAK OF FAST-MOVING TORNADIC SUPERCELLS AND EMBEDDED BOW ECHOES TODAY INTO EARLY TONIGHT.
…MS/AL/TN/KY/GA AREA THROUGH TONIGHT…
THE REMNANTS OF AN INTENSE OVERNIGHT MCS /INCLUDING
EMBEDDED SUPERCELLS AND BOWS/ IS WEAKENING OVER NE AL AND MIDDLE TN AS OF SUNRISE. OTHER ELEVATED THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT IS UNDERWAY TO THE W FROM NE LA INTO SE AR/NRN MS. SOME FORM OF THIS ELEVATED CONVECTION WILL LIKELY PERSIST THROUGH THE DAY WHILE SPREADING ENEWD OVER NRN MS INTO WRN/MIDDLE TN.
S OF THIS ACTIVITY AND IN THE WAKE OF THE EARLIER MS/AL MCS…IT APPEARS THAT THE WARM SECTOR WILL RECOVER QUICKLY DURING THE MORNING/EARLY AFTERNOON IN RESPONSE TO CLOUD BREAKS AND STRONG LOW-LEVEL SLY FLOW.
A RESERVOIR OF 70-72 F BOUNDARY LAYER DEWPOINTS FROM SRN LA TO SRN AL WILL SPREAD NWD IN THE WAKE OF THE MORNING STORMS…BENEATH THE REMNANTS OF STEEP MIDLEVEL LAPSE RATE PLUME SPREADING EWD FROM TX/LA. SURFACE HEATING WITHIN THE MOIST WARM SECTOR WILL BOOST MLCAPE VALUES TO 2500-4000 J/KG ALONG AND S OF THE REMNANT OUTFLOW BOUNDARY…AND REDUCE CONVECTIVE INHIBITION BY ABOUT MIDDAY.
THIS WILL ALLOW THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCATTERED-NUMEROUS WARM SECTOR SUPERCELLS ALONG CONFLUENCE BANDS E OF THE COLD FRONT/DRYLINE BY EARLY AFTERNOON.
THE VERTICAL SHEAR ENVIRONMENT WILL BECOME VERY FAVORABLE FOR TORNADIC SUPERCELLS…CHARACTERIZED BY LONG/CURVED HODOGRAPHS WITH EFFECTIVE BULK SHEAR IN EXCESS OF 70 KT AND EFFECTIVE SRH OF 300-600 M2/S2 IN THE UNSTABLE WARM SECTOR.
GIVEN THE EXPECTATION OF SEVERAL HOURS OF DISCRETE SUPERCELL DEVELOPMENT IN THE WAKE OF THE MORNING STORMS…A VERY MOIST BOUNDARY LAYER…THE STRONG INSTABILITY…AND INTENSE VERTICAL SHEAR… THE SCENARIO APPEARS FAVORABLE FOR MULTIPLE LONG-TRACK SUPERCELLS WITH THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE INTENSE/DAMAGING TORNADOES IN THE HIGH RISK AREA.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Bold is mine – for emphasis.
Perhaps the best kept ‘secret’ is the SPC:
1) Convective Outlook – http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/outlook/
and
2) Mesoscale Discussion – http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/md/
web pages where these dynamics are discussed in advance of anticipated weather.
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Steven Schuman

Back in the fifties if we had weather like this, we knew the cause. That darn atomic bomb testing.

Jason Hoerner

The lower troposphere temperature trend in the United States is down over the last 18 years (since 1993), according to RSS satellite data, and it’s flat in other global temperature indices. There’s no warming in the U.S. where all the tornadoes happened…

Meteorology provides the most important part of building codes by contributing regional climatic data. That way we design, build and provide energy within that critical design temperatures. They also tell us to watch out for solar radiation and we are to reflect or protect from it. Solar emfs allowed to interact with anything produces results we won’t like and one is producing heat.
In work we completed in 7 provinces and 25 states we documented solar interaction with building development. We aren’t doing the job meteorology expects and the results are severe weather for all of us generating extreme heat atmospherically. In the summer building exteriors have reached over 200 degrees F on a 95 deg. day.
Here is an example of what we did around Earth Day in April to show solar interaction with building materials is generating extreme heat and it even happens in the winter.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isfE-B129Vg&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3%5D

Merovign

Weather is not climate.
Unless it’s bad weather. Then it’s climate change.

toby G

What I want to know, is why in known tornado country people build their houses out of wood and plaster ..?!

Frog

Hi,
Maybe this can help

Frog

I read through the comments at ThinkProgress, and I must say that ‘it is worse than we ever could imagine … ‘
Quite a few comments are stuck in ‘ awaitning moderation’, but the ones let through both give a hint of the ‘to-be-moderated’ contents and the level hang-around crowd there that isn’t moderated.
Both there, and at RealClimate (and other similar ones) I wonder if those running the site never are concerned with or heed the impression they give to them who aren’t already utterly entrenched in the mudslinging.
Most sympathetic comments are at Kindergarten- och schoolyard level …

RomanM

The intellectual bankruptcy of the self-appointed leaders of the climate scientology crusade becomes more apparent with a few simple edits of the Trenberth quote in the head post:
Given that global warming [God’s existence] is unequivocal,” climate scientist [High Priest] Kevin Trenberth cautioned the American Meteorological Society in January of this year, “the null hypothesis should be that all weather events are affected by global warming [God] rather than the inane statements along the lines of ‘of course we cannot attribute any particular weather event to global warming [God’s wrath]’.
That they would use this type of specious reasoning to score political points is morally reprehensible.

Dave Springer

Annual number of tornadoes isn’t comparable year-to-year when the two years being compared are many years apart. The farther back in time you go the fewer people there were to spot funnel clouds and the less likely their observation would make it into any historic record. Comparing number of deaths suffers from a similar problem where population density increases every year so that a tornado that killed 10 people 50 years ago would kill 40 people today. Or maybe it would kill none at all because of better warning systems and preparedness. Even worse in number of tornados logged is that many of them are shrouded out of sight by rain so that a spotter can’t see it but modern doppler radar can see right through the rain shroud. The number of deaths is also extremely dependent on where the tornado strikes. One F-4 or F-5 with a base over a half mile wide leaving a 10 mile ground path through a metropolitan area would kill more people than all others combined for the past century. This has never happened that I know of which just goes to illustrate how little actual land area in the U.S. is metropolitan compared to what’s rural.

Jim S

My own anecdotal experience of tornado weather events (having grown up in the heart of tornado alley) is that you experience a significant temperature drop right before the storm rolls in. Everyone who has experienced this knows that tornados are on the way. It’s a spooky feeling and almost impossible to describe to someone who has not experienced it. I would think that cooler temperatures that extend further into spring would increase the chances of tornados and that warmer weather decreases their chance.