Bill Nye the clueless weather guy – flattened by tornado data

“Yid with Lid” ran this scathing headline (in the screencap below) yesterday, and pointed out why Nye just doesn’t have a clue. The tornado data following eviscerates Nye’s claims, who seems unable (or maybe unwilling) to Google his own claims for accuracy before bloviating them on CNN.


The screencap source at “Yid with Lid” is here, and the article goes on to explain and prove the headline correct. But, while Nye is taunting Inhofe, his own claims go up in flames with a simple examination of data.

When Nye Tweeted Monday he’d be on CNN with Piers Morgan, I gave him some advice:


Which he promptly ignored, from The Blaze:

During CNN’s live coverage of the deadly Oklahoma tornado on Monday night, host Piers Morgan and Bill Nye speculated on the possible role of climate change in the disaster.

“As a scientist, when you hear about the size, scale, power, devastation of this tornado, what does it tell you about the ongoing debate about climate change?” Morgan asked his guest.

Nye said climate change has to be considered after a catastrophic weather event like the devastating tornado in Oklahoma. He also claimed 10 of the last 12 years are the “warmest years recorded.”

“Thunderstorms are driven by heat and a tornado is a super thunderstorm — result of a super thunderstorm. So you’ve got to figure that if there’s more heat driving the storm then there’s going to be more tornadoes. Now this is the kind of thing that is worth investigating,” he added.

Watch the video at the Blaze here

I agree, it is worth investigating, all you need is about 20 seconds on Google to figure out Nye’s claim is totally unsupportable.

Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. Points out on Twitter, the map we carried in this post: The 2013 Moore Oklahoma Tornado – a synopsis

Fact of the day: In US 1953-1982 saw 38 F5/EF5 tornadoes (30 yrs) from 1983-2013 (30 5/12 yrs) there were 20. Source: …


This is a map and list of tornadoes since 1950 which the National Weather Service has rated F5 (before 2007) or EF5 (equivalent, 2007 onward, the most intense damage category on the Fujita and Enhanced Fujita damage scales. The tornadoes are numbered in the order they happened since 1950; so the numbers run from the bottom up. NOTE: Since the (E)F-scale is a subjective damage assessment tool, official NWS ratings (as logged in Storm Data and in the NSSFC/SPC database) may differ on occasion from those of other tornado databases, such as those of the Tornado Project or University of Chicago.

[Note: I’ve made the post 1983 F5 tornadoes blue, and the pre 1983 F5 tornadoes red in the table below – Anthony]


NUMBER	DATE                    LOCATION

======	=====================   ===========================

59	May 20, 2013		Moore OK

58	May 24, 2011		El Reno/Piedmont OK

57	May 22, 2011		Joplin MO

56	April 27, 2011		Rainsville/Sylvania AL

55	April 27, 2011		Preston MS

54	April 27, 2011		Hackleburg/Phil Campbell AL

53	April 27, 2011		Smithville MS

52	May 25, 2008		Parkersburg IA

51      May 4, 2007             Greensburg KS

50	May 3, 1999             Bridge Creek/Moore OK

49	April 16, 1998          Waynesboro TN

48	April 8, 1998           Oak Grove/Pleasant Grove AL

47	May 27, 1997            Jarrell TX

46	July 18, 1996           Oakfield WI

45	June 16, 1992           Chandler MN

44	April 26, 1991          Andover KS

43	August 28, 1990         Plainfield IL

42	March 13, 1990          Goessel KS

41	March 13, 1990          Hesston KS

40	May 31, 1985            Niles OH

39	June 7, 1984            Barneveld WI

38	April 2, 1982           Broken Bow OK

37	April 4, 1977           Birmingham AL

36	June 13, 1976           Jordan IA

35	April 19, 1976          Brownwood TX

34	March 26, 1976          Spiro OK

33	April 3, 1974           Guin AL

32	April 3, 1974           Tanner AL

31	April 3, 1974           Mt. Hope AL

30	April 3, 1974           Sayler Park OH

29	April 3, 1974           Brandenburg KY

28	April 3, 1974           Xenia OH

27	April 3, 1974           Daisy Hill IN

26	May 6, 1973             Valley Mills TX

25	February 21, 1971       Delhi LA

24	May 11, 1970            Lubbock TX

23	June 13, 1968           Tracy MN

22	May 15, 1968            Maynard IA

21	May 15, 1968            Charles City IA

20	April 23, 1968          Gallipolis OH

19	October 14, 1966        Belmond IA

18	June 8, 1966            Topeka KS

17	March 3, 1966           Jackson MS

16	May 8, 1965             Gregory SD

15	May 5, 1964             Bradshaw NE

14	April 3, 1964           Wichita Falls TX

13	May 5, 1960             Prague OK

12	June 4, 1958            Menomonie WI

11	December 18, 1957       Murphysboro IL

10	June 20, 1957           Fargo ND

9	May 20, 1957            Ruskin Heights MO

8	April 3, 1956           Grand Rapids MI

7	May 25, 1955            Udall KS

6	May 25, 1955            Blackwell OK

5	December 5, 1953        Vicksburg MS

4	June 27, 1953           Adair IA

3	June 8, 1953            Flint MI

2	May 29, 1953            Ft. Rice ND

1	May 11, 1953            Waco TX


Let’s look at the NOAA plot of F3+ tornadoes:


Now compare that chart with US temperature data for the same period:



The majority of violent tornadoes occurred in the cooler periods of US history.

So, no matter how you look at it, Nye’s claim of…

““Thunderstorms are driven by heat and a tornado is a super thunderstorm — result of a super thunderstorm. So you’ve got to figure that if there’s more heat driving the storm then there’s going to be more tornadoes.”

…gets flattened with a simple inspection of temperature and tornado data.

If Bill Nye really is a “Science Guy”, you’d think he’d want to check his claims against real-world data before going on international TV, especially after being admonished to do so. Apparently not.

As Yid With Lid points out, “Perhaps his Bow Tie is on a bit too tight.”

Of course, this seems to be a pattern for Nye, who made unsupportable claims in a paid video production for Al Gore, and got flattened by the recreation of the “high school physics” experiment. He still hasn’t come clean on that one. See:

Al Gore and Bill Nye FAIL at doing a simple CO2 experiment



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Reg. Blank

His twitter profile says “Science Educator seeks to change the world..”, rather than to educate about science.

John from the EU

Time for WUWT to talk with Piers Morgan?


Just another low-information (and not caring) activist.
In general, colder conditions produce more storminess, due to steeper temperature gradients.
Glacial phases of ice ages are stormier than interglacials, such as now. In the solar system, the colder the planet, the higher its winds.


Nye is not a scientist. He was a mechanical engineer and training presenter at Boeing during the day and a local standup comedian in Seattle when he was tagged the “science guy” while being a know-it-all spelling nazi with a local television show’s host. The host, btw, was actually funny – Nye not so much. Disney later exploited the science guy meme and Nye’s popularity as the nouveau Mr. Wizard was settled among the facts challenged.
It would be best for all to not take this guy too seriously. He has no qualifications in climate science or any other science that prepares him to speak as an authority on climate matters.

Take Off Your Shoes & Feel the Global Warming

So, as those soothsayers of Game of Thrones say: Winter is coming. 🙂

Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
Bill Nye used to be funny, and he used to make cool shows about science for kids. Now he just acts like a juvenile and rambles on in incoherent ways that would be funny if he were on a Monty Python skit. Of course, as is, while laughable and ridiculous, it is mostly just sad. It makes me wonder if he is being paid to act so pathetically.
To Anthony, thanks for the ready compilation of references and facts.

Is the end for Bill as “the Science Guy” nigh?

John from the EU says May 23, 2013 at 7:43 am
Time for WUWT to talk with Piers Morgan?
Will U take him back?

Bill Nye, if you’re reading this, you came across much better when you were skeptical of human-induced global warming. Yup, I recall you on CNN not so many years ago.

Steve Keohane

Interesting, pre-1983 EF5 tornadoes were February through December, post-1983, March through July.


Long before Bill Nye got national exposure, he was on Seattle’s “Almost Live”, where half the time his science demonstrations failed on live TV. He was better as one of the High Fivin’ White Guys or as the semi superhero Speed Walker. Those roles were supposed to be pathetic.


Paul Homewood, on his site carries out a fairly detailed examination of Nye’s claim against the data. That’s also worth a look.

Steven Groeneveld

I have often thought of stroms in terms of a heat engine. What is important in the thermodynamics of heat engines is not absolute temperature per se, but the temerature difference available to convert heat energy to mechanical energy. The claim that storms will get more violent with “global warming” is not logically (or scientifically) supported by their (the global warming zealots) very own general circulation models which universally predict that the poles will warm more than the tropics, in which case the temperature differences available to make big storms will be smaller. From the apparent evidence in the tornado count shown above I interpret that it is likely that the converse proposition, that cooler “global” temperatures create larger available temperature differences that will make storms more violent, is more likely.

John B

Bil Nye really is an apology for a human being. How disgusting for anyone to be selling their false beliefs off the back of the victims of this natural weather event. What does this say about any TV channel that allows this person to invade our screens. If advertisers are not offended by this then they should be.


We don’t want Piers Morgan back.
Favourite Piers story: He Tweets “I was disapointed that Bradley Wiggis didn’t remove his cap for the National Anthem”. Bradley Wiggins Tweets “I was sorry Piers Morgan didn’t go to jail for insider dealing an phone tapping, but hey…”

In the June issue of Popular Mechanics, there is a tribute to Fathers, for Fathers Day, article with snippets from the standard go to establishment spokes-mouths, including the “science guy” for the Sesame Street set. The Nye guy’s dad….”called himself Ned Nye, Boy Scientist. His life was changed and shaped by four years in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in World War II.” It is sad that Ned apparently did not adequately describe this Hell, or that Bill has not invested any time into the elite stage setting that created that Hell, the previous Hells and the worlds pending Hell. The Japanese imperialism was created, nurtured and maintained by Euro elites, first to counter Russian expansion, then to destabilize China, who’s leaders had traded a millennium of silk and spices with Europe, but only for GOLD. This one way exchange had depleted western Gold stocks, and every effort was made to ‘recapture’ this economic base material. As Japan closed in on this stockpile, the Chinese emperor loaded six US battleships with gold and sent it to Ft Knox for ‘safe keeping’. To understand the economic hand that directs our puppet show reality, see the your tube video “All Wars Are Bankers Wars” and read “The Creature from Jekyll Island” by G Edward Griffin. AGW is puppet science will remain unaffected by empirical evidence until exposed as elitist directed manipulation.
Ned had no access to watches as a prisoner, so developed an interest in sundials, later patenting the “Sand-dial” for beach goers who didn’t want their Timex to take a licking. Bill honors his dad by saying….”his love of sundials stuck with me. I think he’d be proud to know I helped put the first sundials on Mars”.
No Bill….i think your dad would be proud if you discovered the lies that created his four years of Hell and did ALL THAT YOU COULD DO TO PROMOTE TRUTH. Placing a token time piece on a remote planet is of no value to anyone.


Lying propoganda hack.
Clueless brainwashed zombie.
Shameless cynical gold-digger.
Narcissistic cognitively-dissonant piehole flapper (or “media celebrity” for short).
Choose at least one.

John F. Hultquist

@ 8:24 Bob Tisdale provides a clue; “. . .you came across much better when you were skeptical . . .”
Bill had his moments of fame many years ago and was on the wane. He gets invited places now, makes friends with ex-vice presidents and other rich and famous folks, and has a re-invigorated career. What’s not to like? Sure, someone figuratively stomps on him now and then, but the old adage fits:
“Sticks and stones will break my bones
But words will never harm me.”

Michael Cohen

In following up on a claim by James Elsner on the DotEarth blog, I came across this:
which claims a trend of increasing severity in strong tornadoes.
Does anyone know if this is reviewed work, or have any other comments? The rpub link is broken.


I see the 1977 climate shift too in the floor as well as the spikes..we should be shifting back I’m guessing

Richard Day

Bill Nye, the “science” guy. There, fixed it for you.

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead

When he utters his conflab on CNN, he does so with his eyes closed. Notice that? A sure sign of deception.


Shameless, not clueless.
Here’s a prime example of someone who really should ‘take the 5th’… forever.


Caught his speech at the Lehigh University commencement on Monday, where he proclaimed that there is probably a virtual “endless supply of fossil fuels” for at least a couple of centuries and that we shouldn’t waste them. He left his most caustic comments for nuclear energy.


“When a tree falls in a lonely forest, and no animal is near by to hear it, does it make a sound? Why?”
It used to be, that birds twittered.

Ron Dean

Interesting quote from the drought monitor summary at

Iowa’s longest stretch without a tornado (359 days from May 25, 2012, to May 18, 2013) ended when several twisters were spotted on May 19. Previously, Iowa’s longest spell of tornado-free weather lasted 355 days in 1955-56.

I wonder if Bill Nye will highlight this interesting data.


His insinuations and claims (and those of Sen. Boxer) are so ludicrous and are so comprehensively exposed as factually incorect they cross from valid opinion to outright dis-information. In fact, let’s cut to the chase: he lied.

Bill Nye , Climate Clown

Bill Taylor

i am simply a layman but even i know storms are driven NOT by heat, but by the clash between the cold air mass and the warm air mass,and tornadoes happen when the UPPER air currents are moving in different directions, this cause a “rolling” of the air between the directional differences and then a storm gets some uplift into the spinning air and causes it to tilt and sometimes reach the ground as a tornado……..remove the different wind directions in the upper air and you dont get tornadoes.

I was a member of the Planetary Society since the beginning in 1980. Last year I declined to renew. Couple of months ago they called up to ask me to renew. I told them that as long as Bill Nye is the current president, I’ll have nothing to do with them.

Bill Nye reminds me of Dr. Karl in Australia. Both have wiped out any positive stuff they ever did by getting on this sinking ship.


Science has become scienciness in true Colbert fashion with these guys.


Back in 1975 they were blaming tornadoes on global cooling. Were they lying then or lying now?

Mark Folkestad

Joseph A. Olson, you have a unique view of history. Puyi, the last emperor of China, abdicated in 1912, and the monarchy was officially abolished by China in 1916. There was no emperor to send gold to the USA in the years leading up to WWII. It is unlikely, in any event, that we would send six battleships to transport gold, and, if we had done so, the battleships would have had a great deal of difficulty in reaching Kentucky.

Strange thing is…. They could make an argument that AGW affects tornadoes. The formation of tornadoes relies of both warmer air AND cold air, something Nye doesn’t seem to know. Global warming might be affecting the frequency of tornado formation because it’s causing a decrease in cold systems aloft, making larger tornadoes LESS likely.
And the real world observations provided by NOAA supports that hypothesis, as the trend of observed larger tornado occurrences does seem to have decreased a bit over the years.
But a trend of LESS larger tornadoes just isn’t useful to the global warming alarmist industrial complex, so they’re not going to follow what the real world observations seem to be suggesting.

Jack Simmons

Joseph A Olson says:
May 23, 2013 at 8:39 am
Joseph I need references for the claims about gold being shipped to US.
There are no International Court of Justice cases involving the Federal Reserve and China.
The claim of 200,000 tons of gold being moved to US is hard to swallow as the US claims to have a total of 20,000 tons.

Stephen Skinner

“As a scientist, when you hear about the size, scale, power, devastation of this tornado, what does it tell you about the ongoing debate about climate change?” Morgan asked his guest.
Nye said climate change has to be considered after a catastrophic weather event like the devastating tornado in Oklahoma.
Tornadoes are definately more devastating and catastrophic today than say back in 1888 when they would have caused hardly any damage at all. Why? Because Oklahoma City did not exist. It was settled in 1899 and has grown to over 1.3 million people today. That is a big target which wasn’t there not that long ago.
To be scientific the amount of devastation caused by a storm is not a useful measure of anything as the amount of people and the value and amount of their possessions keeps on growing.


Here is the giant hole in using the frequency of “strong” tornadoes as rated on the Fujita and Enhanced Fujita scales; the scale rates a tornado’s strength based not only on objective measurements of wind speed but also on the amount of damage that it causes. So as land use has changed (from rural/farmland to suburban) the amount of damage a tornado can do has increased. Until someone invents a way to normalize current tornado damage to historical land usage (or vice versa) it is impossible to know if the frequency and strength of tornadoes have increased.

Luther Wu

Come on Bill, if you insist on wearing bow ties while getting political, not sticking with science, then people are going to lump you in with other bow tie- wearing pols like Louis Farrakhan and Karl Marx. (No, Pee- wee Herman isn’t political.)


Lying about the weather to kids is as creepy as can be. Since he is also still loved by so many immature but creative geeks, activists included, the stormy backlash will be quite a blowout indeed. The skin of the entire left side of the political equation is beginning to crawl.

James at 48

Anyone ask Bill Nye about April 1974?

F. Ross

@Jack Simmons says:
May 23, 2013 at 10:42 am
@Joseph A Olson says:
May 23, 2013 at 8:39 am
“The claim of 200,000 tons of gold being moved to US is hard to swallow as the US claims to have a total of 20,000 tons.”
I’ve searched through all the posts above but cannot find where Olson claims that 200,000 tons [or 20,000 tons either] were sent to the US.
Can someone please point me to the Olson post that makes that claim? Thanks.


From his show long ago, there was one good piece of advice that we should all take to heart: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” (after Laplace, I think, though he didn’t give attribution). If you debate again, consider quoting that back to him.


It look from the graph that F3 to F5s have been going down with all the better detection we have nowadays. And during the ‘hottest’ decade on the record.

Jarrett Jones

It is not true that tornadoes are classified based on the total amount of damage they cause.
They are classified based on the *type* of damage they cause. A 100 mph wind causes a certain level of damage to structures and trees. A 200 mph wind causes a different level of damage to structures and trees. The difference was as obvious in 1913 as it is in 2013.
Whether this damage is only in a small area or along a path a mile wide and several miles long and whether or not there are only fields and trees in the path or neighborhoods and schools does not affect the rating of the tornado. Normalization is not necessary.


A couple of interesting things. First of all, people always refer to “tornado alley.” I wonder what that means? The number of locations, running West to East, south of Oklahoma’s northern border is the 2nd largest number. The largest number is from West Texas and South central Texas up thru central and eastern OK, up thru central and eastern KS and far western MO, up thru the middle of IA and on into Wisconsin. That appears to be the true alley.
If you show this temperature graph to any continental US citizen (1.2% of the earth’s area [I think]), they would probably say that global warming is obvious. We all know about the other 98% of the world, but, most of them do not. Also, I am not that good at math, but since 1955 the temperature trend is up, but the average is down? I know that is possible, but I think that means that the average the first 55 years was really high?

Blue Sky

Dear Bill,
In was a great day, last Monday at Lehigh, as my daughter was graduating(with a job). I was looking forward to a day of inspiring speeches, happy students, proud parents and the joy that graduation brings. All those things happened. Even the weather held a perfect balance…no rain and not too much sun.
However, your speech was a little discordant. You are a good Public Speaker and being in front of a large live crowd must be a little tough, but your don’t have children and we are killing Mother Earth because of Co2 rant was kind of sad. Your going on Piers Morgan that night were you lied about tornadoes was brutal. The class of 2013 will as you said “Change the world”. They will do this being positive.
The future belongs to the brave. Tornado activity has declined these last fifty years. Why do you not say that? According to climate models(that you believe in) the poles warm faster than the equator thus lowering the difference between hot and cold…less storms…less severe weather.
Why do you not say this?

Bill Nye was the main commencement speaker at my daughters Lehigh University graduation ceremony this past Monday. I am sure that many real science guys in the audience were seething about his global warming claims.


Entertainer idiot who would sell his own mother to run with the big boys.. Its a pretty safe bet that nobody is paying him to tell the truth.. So he gets tapped to slip a little left wing indoctrination to the kids that followed his children’s show..
Standard stuff really.. If your politically powerful and completely full of dung the only way to ensure YOUR future is to brainwash the kids ASAP..