Experts: Hurricane activity at 45 year low, USA major hurricane drought almost a decade

While climate campaigners hope for a big El Nino this year, and wish for more hurricanes to use for ridiculous “poisoned weather” headlines, the reality is that we are in a hurricane drought, not just in the USA, but globally as well.

Hurricane expert Dr. Ryan Maue points out the current situation in one simple and elegant graph which sums up the slump in activity:

Hurricane_frequency-March2015He writes on his Twitter feed:

5-year running sum of number of global tropical cyclones (1970-2015)

Stuck at 400 — lowest in this 45-year record.

This is backed up by data compiled by Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.:

gtcl-2014The last few years have certainly been low compared to many previous years, especially 1971.

Meanwhile, it has been a record long drought for Cat3 or greater landfalling hurricanes in the USA. This graph shows the number of days from the last Cat3 Hurricane to make US landfall. The last such hurricane was Wilma on October 24th, 2005.

That puts us at 3460 days as of today, and when hurricane season starts June 1st (assuming there is no Cat3 hurricane to hit the USA in the meantime, a likely scenario) it will be 3507 days, or 9 years, 7 months, 8 days…almost a decade!

usbt-2015flabt-2015Pielke Jr. writes on his blog:

Above are some graphs for those of you interested in the remarkable, ongoing drought in intense hurricane landfalls in the US, which is stretching close to 10 years. The top graph shows the days in between intense (category 3+) landfalls in the US since 1900. The bottom graph shows the same information, but only for Florida landfalls.

You can see that for the US, the current “intense hurricane drought” is unprecedented in at least a century. For Florida, there have been other long stretches between intense hurricane landfalls. Over the past century the average time between intense landfalls in Florida has just about doubled, from about 3 years to 6 years.

Data, sources, discussion: Pielke (2014)


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you would think that insurance companies would be lowering their premiums do to this

True, but you probably wouldn’t suspect that the person who wrote the IPCC AR4 report predicting a major increase in the dollar amount of damage due to hurricanes and other “global warming-related” weather events was an insurance industry professional justifying rate increases unless you’d read Donna Laframboise’s book “The Delinquent Teenager”.

Walt D.

Plus Warren Buffet – a climate change apologist, has been making a fortune on this.

old construction worker

Mother Nature slaps IPCC in the face.


Munich Re are still preaching the message: Ernst Rauch is quoted in Insurance Day 13th April
“Climate negotiations: steering the ship away from the cliffs
Global climate protection is like an unwieldy ship. On the path to COP21, the UN World Climate Conference in Paris in December 2015, the next step came at the end of March, when Russia, the EU and the US submitted their pledges (commitments to long-term measures for reducing CO2 emissions).
It has become apparent the steps announced by these states will not suffice to reach the goal of the international community: capping global warming at 2°C relative to pre-industrial temperatures.
From a scientific perspective, the point of departure is clear: the more extreme the global warming, the more human lives and prosperity in many regions will be endangered by natural hazards. In other words, the more the 2°C limit is exceeded, the graver the long-term consequences will be.
Our analysis of natural catastrophe events shows clear trends: the overall number of weather-related natural catastrophes worldwide that have resulted in losses has risen roughly threefold since 1980.
For our part, we must make every effort to keep from capitulating, even if the result of the climate negotiations in Paris is unsatisfactory. Mitigation of emissions remains important as a means for averting even worse consequences. At the same time, there will be growing pressure to invest in adaptation measures to protect human lives and property.
Both mitigation and adaptation to more numerous or intensive natural hazards doubtlessly entail high costs to society. Regardless, adaptation measures are already unavoidable today: excessive emissions have already led to continuing warming at least for the next decades to come. At this point, it is too late to steer the ship clear of rough waters altogether.
The choice between adapting with costly investments or risking more lives and losses is in fact non-existent. As reinsurers, we are familiar with scenarios of catastrophes aggravated by inadequate risk management, but also success stories that demonstrate how measures for adapting to natural hazards can safeguard human lives and have high economic returns.
For example, since the Great Mississippi Flood in 1927, which affected Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, around $14bn has been invested in flood protection for a number of dams and dikes built or strengthened over the course of thousands of miles.
Although a severe flood in the region in 2011 caused total damage of almost $3bn, this number could have reached $110bn without the previous protection measures, as the US Army Corps of Engineers calculated. Even taking into account that flood protection may increase values in the protected area and thus potentially may even lead to increased risk, this illustrates the benefits of protective measures impressively.
The insurance industry can contribute to adequate adaptation measures with its long-standing expertise in monitoring and assessing risks, serving as a consultant and sharing its expertise. Or, of course, in finding risk-transfer solutions: traditional covers, public-private partnerships, especially in developing and emerging countries, and more simple trigger-based sovereign or microinsurance solutions.
What might relevant and realistic alternatives be, if no binding climate protection agreement to a 2°C limit is achieved in Paris? One approach would be multilateral agreements among the leading greenhouse gas emitters such as the US, China, India and the EU, committing them to assume responsibility outside the UN process.
There is already evidence of such developments. Another path might be a large-scale campaign to promote research and development of alternative power generation and storage on a multilateral basis, to accelerate the transition to low-CO2 fuels. If skilfully designed, such an approach might also have the potential to act as an economic growth stimulus.
The COP21 conference should not be prematurely written off as being futile. Any convention that serves to reduce emissions permanently, by any amount, is better than none as a starter. But this is predictably insufficient and policymakers must act quickly to keep the ship away from the cliffs after the Paris conference as well.
Ernst Rauch is head of Munich Re’s Corporate Climate Centre”
The original article is probably paywalled but in case anybody has a subscription

No. When the last series of hurricanes hit Florida an insurance consultant claimed the number and intensity of hurricanes hitting Florida was going to increase due to global warming. Insurance companies natural used that to increase rate, now why would the lower them?

David S

This is really a reply to Admad. The reason Munich Re think that climate-related losses are increasing (and they genuinely do) is that their models underestimate the effects of inflation and affluence on the economic value of losses. This means that when historic events are expressed in current money, their costs are too low, creating a spurious upward trend. They have been doing this for decades.
It’s analogous to the way GISS has been adjusting old temperature records downwards, but in the Munich’s case it is cock-up rather than conspiracy.


Response to David S: Yes, I agree totally. Although they always protest that the effects of inlation and increased affluence are taken into account, the insurers who compile this kind of stuff cannot successfully compare apples with pineapples. Swiss Re’s Sigma research reported a mixed bag of better and worse “According to the latest sigma study, global insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were USD 35 billion in 2014, down from USD 44 billion in 2013 and well below the USD 64 billion-average of the previous 10 years. There were 189 natural catastrophe events in 2014, the highest ever on sigma records, causing global economic losses of USD 110 billion. Around 12 700 people lost their lives in all disaster events, down from as many as 27 000 in 2013, making it one of the lowest numbers ever recorded in a single year.” (NB note the distinction between economic and insured losses) but the implication I draw is that conditions are pretty benign. In fact in property cat reinsurance rates are continuing their decline, driven by capital hungry for a return and very favourable recent loss experience.

David S

They are. Prices for hurricane reinsurance are in free fall and are in fact falling far faster than the stats justify. For all the insurance industry likes to subscribe to the “climate wierding” nonsense, it is on a feeding frenzy after a few quiet years and is ignoring its own predictions of doom.


David, sorry I replied to your earlier post without reading this one first!


They would, but the regulators won’t let them. They are being required to build up reserves to cover future losses.


Thank you for this page! I was just having a discussion with someone about this and now I can just send them this link.


I think the more important story in this regard is the unprecedented fall-off in Global Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE).

Hmm could it be due to PDO in cold modus and less And weaker El Ninos?

Dennis Bird

I have been talking to our IT guy at work about AGW. While he is not a rabid warmist, he believes in global warming because he does not believe a conspiracy that large could succeed. I really don’t have a reasonable response as his mind is made up.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

Dennis. Ask him when it started. Then ask him why he chose that date. Then ask him if the tropical hot spot exists. Then ask him if the lower stratosphere has cooled over the past 20 years. Then ask him what HadCRUt4 shows since 2002.
If you ‘believe’ in something then you should be able to answer very simple questions about it when asked. I have come across countless ‘Christians’ who don’t have a clue about their religion. Yet they say they believe. They also happen to be among the least intelligent people I have spoken to. It’s not a conspiracy – it isn’t! I have spoken to real scientits (sic) who aren’t at all informed about climate change. They still believe in it because their learned colleagues do (see above). People (even scientists) like to go with the flow. They don’t go and look for themselves. I’ll wager your I.T. guy is one.


Scientists, like everyone else (probably more so) have limited time in which to function. They concentrate on their specific fields and sub-specialties at that. So they are unlikely to be much more conversant than the inquisitive layman on another field of study. They also hold the scientific community, of which they are proud members, in high esteem. When some layman suggests some faction of the community are part of some conspiracy involving fraudulent science and/or political motivations, or (No!) self-aggrandizement, they will defend their brethren out of hand, even if they are not familiar with the facts or the science, claiming that a scientist of high standing in his field simply would never compromise his scientific integrity for political or monetary gain. It’s human nature, and herd mentality. I have a good friend, a great economist, who simply cannot accept any such corruption could possibly exist in climate science.

Dennis Bird

He absolutely knows nothing. He does get the true believer look in his eyes though!

Eustace Cranch

Ask them what percentage of the atmosphere is carbon dioxide. That gets them every time.

Mark from the Midwest

Groupthink, a term coined by social psychologist Irving Janis (1972), occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment”
Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups. A group is especially vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for decision making.
References (also see annotated bibliography of books, articles and websites below)
Janis, Irving L. (1972). Victims of Groupthink. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
Janis, Irving L. (1982). Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes. Second Edition. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
Janis has documented eight symptoms of groupthink:
Illusion of invulnerability –Creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks.
Collective rationalization – Members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions.
Belief in inherent morality – Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
Stereotyped views of out-groups – Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary.
Direct pressure on dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views.
Self-censorship – Doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed.
Illusion of unanimity – The majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous.
Self-appointed ‘mindguards’ – Members protect the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions.


“If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” George S Patton Jr

Henry Bowman

Well, I agree. Groupthink is a major problem is both U.S. and global society, and of course in at least U.S. science it is exacerbated by the funding that flows from from DC. Seriously, everyone who gets funded from a Federal agency knows to somehow tie their proposals into “climate change”. It’s a strong feed-back mechanism. The media idiots simply parrot the government fools, but their essentially worthless pronouncements contaminate viewers.
Social media simply enhances the problem.
I don’t know what to do about it, unfortunately.

Peter Yates

The description of ‘groupthink’ seems very much like the description of cults. (Not necessarily a pseudo-religious cult. There are a number of different kinds of cults. )
The ‘alarmist’ side of the debate shows signs of cult-like influences. These influences appear to be when the scientific method, and the scientific need for extraordinary evidence, are often largely ignored. The technical term for this is ‘cognitive dissonance’. The alarmists feel uncomfortable when they discover that their beliefs don’t match up with reality. One of the ways they reduce the cognitive dissonance is by ignoring or denying any information that conflicts with their existing beliefs. Also, they may justify the behavior by changing the conflicting cognition (eg. the warming has just paused and is sure to return at a later date, or the missing warmth is hiding in the deep oceans – where we can’t measure it). .. A parallel with this in the dark world of apocalyptic religious cults is when the world does not end on a certain date, and it is assumed that the calculations were wrong, or the deity has decided not to punish mankind after all.


“…believes in global warming…”
It has warmed, what caused the warming is the crux of most debates. It bugs me that global warming is now synonymous with “warming caused by CO2 from Man’s use of evil fossil fuels” AND “any weather event that makes the news”. But what about the MWP?…oh that, well that was a different type of warming.
“…because he does not believe a conspiracy that large could succeed”
That’s a valid thought, and an often unanswered part of my debates too.
Does it extend to areas not reliant on government monies? Is swimming against the tide dangerous enough to silence most? One side has to be wrong, time will tell.

Maybe “both sides” are correct. It’s really a matter of degree (pun intended 😉 )

It isnt something that i have noticed personally. I lived below sea level for over 40 years. The dykes where i live havent needed to be raised. I think the whole idea is ludicrus.

Bruce Cobb

Ask him if he knows what a strawman argument is.


Ask him his position on the political spectrum. If sufficiently left of center, then you know that feelings and beliefs take precedence over a rational scientific approach – even to the point of propagating untruths – because the end justifies the means.


Dennis, conspiracy theory is ridiculous, there are a few diehards who probably believe that even if they are wrong slightly the end outcome is best for everyone. The 97% is ill-defined as demonstrated by multiple essays on this website. I would hazard a guess that a large percentage, quite possibly ‘97%’ of all contributers to WUWT belong to partial definitions of the 97%.
As far as, most researchers in the AGW realm go, most accept the peer reviewed work of others without question and incorporate that into their own findings. In the case of data sets that get modified, these same researchers know there are huge errors in the data. Using the ‘group think’ from Mark from the Midwest, they then use the 97% consensus, to justify modifying data sets that might show benign results, dramatically upwards (or at least in favor of the theory). Not because of a conspiracy but because they know that regional data being used on a global scale is unreliable at best, so if it does not demonstrate the catastrophe that 97% of all scientists predict it must be wrong, so we are justified to adjust it.
No conspiracy, just groups of scientists using each other results to justify a bad theory. Each time one group modifies upward, the next feels obligated to recheck their data for errors and modify accordingly.


brian commented:
“No conspiracy, just groups of scientists using each other results to justify a bad theory. Each time one group modifies upward, the next feels obligated to recheck their data for errors and modify accordingly.”
The conspiracy being referred to isn’t with the group think of the scientists. It’s with those that are paying for their results. Besides, it isn’t a conspiracy any more as “income/wealth redistribution” from industrialized countries is openly being targeted and CO2 emissions are the convenient means to justify the tax. The scientists are useful idiots being paid and glorified as saviors by the conspirators.


I wouldn’t expect that many people here believe in a large conspiracy. A mass delusion doesn’t require a conspiracy. Only a critical mass of individuals who are all afflicted with the same preferences, agenda, and cognitive biases.
Finally the IPCC are presenting “low confidence” regarding associations between warming and hurricanes. But, we all now expect them to be leaning in the alarmist direction.
It’s more subtle than a full-blown conspiracy.
And when the history of this is written, it may look considerably more stupid.
Or maybe, it is us lot suffering from the failure of intelligence and cognitive bias.
I consider that possibility every day.
That’s the difference between my point of view and that of Michael Mann.


Salem Witch Trials

how about eugenics? was that a conspiracy? it was a widespread belief before the war. afterward, everyone claimed they had never believed.


I don’t like calling it a conspiracy. It’s just a few idealistic and anti-industry scientactivists and politicians seeking fortune and fame and the media loving a good doom and gloom story. It has certainly padded Gore’s bank accounts.


Nobody has conspired in this.
They just all went in the same direction because that’s where the funding was. Why wouldn’t they?
Funding is sent towards important subjects – danger is important.
Funding is not sent to unimportant subjects – weather is small talk.
No conspiracy required.


A confluence of interest?

Just ask him if he would whistleblow if his IT dept had been making big cock ups for years on end

Bubba Cow

Dennis – in addition to others’ thoughts,
give him this link and let him go for it himself:
593 thoughts on “How to convince a climate skeptic he’s wrong” as of a few moments ago, so very active discussion
point out for his understanding that
warrenlb was the appointed troll

I believe the big reason most scientists accept AGW is their acceptance of the physic’s of Co2, and it’s ability to keep the planet warm (no matter that is actually the cause, not trying to restart this argument here), from there it’s easy to accept that an increase in Co2 inevitably causes warming. Nothing beyond this is required, and in probably 97% no further research into the topic is done.
Then there’s plenty of things changing around the world, throw in a melting arctic and a few glaciers, and spurious reasoning ties them all together. Theory and proof, one tidy package.
The problem is nothing on this list has a direct verified connection to increased Co2, as well as the error in measurement accuracy is way bigger than the amount extra Co2 could possibly add, models are written as if this is fact, and yet their output does not match the planet, and that’s comparing it to the hokey temp series that are about 80% based on places that were never in the most optimistic case possible actually measured.
Other than the spectrum of Co2, everything else is rightly subject to skepticism.

David A

I have never seen any evidence that MOST scientist accept CAGW.

David A commented

I have never seen any evidence that MOST scientist accept CAGW.

IMO most is more than 51%, butI have no idea what the number of scientists who believe in CAGW, but I did leave the C off on purpose, as I was really pointing out believing in AGW by scientist is IMO mostly due to the physic’s of Co2 and it’s IR spectrum. This is an easy sale, it’s just beyond the acceptance of this fact, what is really happening on the planet where it’s totally unclear whether the extra Co2 has done anything all.
GSoD surface station when you look at a years worth of how much it warmed yesterday, and compare it to how much it cooled last night at worse temp change at the station itself is 0.0F +/-0.1F (actual value -0.004151764F) since the 50’s, this is for all stations that have at least 360 days of samples. Only 4 years since 1980 have been positive (1989,1994,1997,2003).


It is not so much a conspiracy as it is something for everyone. Govt’ gets more power and taxes. Institutions get more grants. Insurance companies get higher rates. Everyone gets something and as usual we get to foot the bill.


A conspiacy that large? Ask him if it’s ok to eat eggs and shellfish if you have high cholesterol. Then ask how could so many medical professionals could have been wrong on their dietary advice for so long.
In truth, just a handful of researchers come to such conclusions based on their original research. Others in associated areas accept the work as valid, and take them on good faith. The meme stays alive, and is futher propagated until there is a substantial amount of evidence to the contrary.
This has happened in other fields as well. Michael Bellesiles made fools of all of academic U.S. historians with fraudulant research that played to their biasis. And, of course, there are still people who believe DDT causes eggshell thinning, despite the scientist who reached that conclusion announcing his research was flawed.


Ask him how the whole “tectonic plate” theory was handled.
The theory, which is now accepted Science (and ridiculously self-evident today) met with strong resistance and ridicule, not unlike the ridicule that is heaped upon CAGW Skeptics today.
Then move on to mentioning the whole Ulcer debacle, where an entire industry tried to block the fact that the majority of ulcers are caused by a bacteria and can be cured.
It’s not technically a “conspiracy”, it’s activism, often being done by people who are fully aware that they’re lying. For the most part, Skeptics are the kid pointing out the Emperor with no clothes.

or how about salt in the diet? cutting bad helps the morbidly obese reduce blood pressure. from this science assumes that cutting back would be good for healthy people as well – without ever doing the research on healthy people.
by that same reasoning, digitalis, which helps people with heart problems must be good for healthy people as well.

My grandmother salted everything, she liked salt so much, she would have salted fish from the dead sea. She eventually died of a weak heart at ninety….do we call that evidence?


I salt everything too. And, at over 50, my BP is always rock solid at 120/80. I know this because I own a good quality blood pressure tester and check regularly.
I also eat a lot of butter, and high-cholesterol foods, and fatty foods… and I have a desk job.
Then again, the food I grew up on and still eat now is pretty much the Atkins diet.

ask him if he thinks power and money corrupt?


I knew someone a few years back who was convinced that the moon landings were faked because he was convinced that the technology of the day could not have gotten a ship to the moon accurately enough.
On the other hand he believes that the probes sent to the outer planets just a few years later were real.

poisened S/B poisoned
[fixed -mod]


No matter how many statistics one can produce to prove fewer severe storms in the last few decades, whether they be tornadoes or hurricanes, the general public who are prone to climate alarmism still believe that every severe weather event is caused by climate change, and that these events are increasing – all thanks to the media and its nonsense.


And because of the intense modern 24/7 media coverage of severe weather, and the much improved reporting of tornadoes in remote areas, they also intuitively feel that severe weather is more frequent and more severe. It all comes back to the “bleeds -> leads” liberal media circus.

Phil B

Perception trumps reality. A local morning news show here decided to start sending news crews to every water line break throughout the city so motorist would have live up-dates on traffic issues. Within weeks citizens were concerned why we were having so many water line breaks this year. When they asked the city engineering department about the problem they responded that we actually had fewer than average breaks.


Perception IS reality

Just an engineer

That’s because there is an unprecedented number of cameras now and also an unprecedented amount of stupid.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

Amen to that. I think the human species is getting more stupid, rather than more clever.

PeterB in Indianapolis

Of course, as soon as another hurricane (regardless of strength) makes landfall in the US, the AGW crowd will all be touting it as further proof of “climate change”

And unprecedented.


A human disaster, all encompassing, devastating catastrophic, like a world war, off the scale, threatening the world economy and the end of the human race. ( I hope it hits…. well maybe I won’t go that far I hope they do not hit anybody.).


Some true believers of CAGW now use the term ‘climate disruption”. It’s kinda more versatile to use when blaming carbon dioxide generated by human activity for any climate variation. Global warming as a term simply isn’t stacking up well enough for their case.
So, I guess that a hurricane drought is further clear evidence of man-made climate disruption as far as those true believers are concerned.

Mumbles McGuirck

Especially since the Global Climate Models have indicated that as the atmosphere has warmed there will be fewer tropical cyclones. The IPCC AR5 and National Climate Assessment mentioned this startling fact in passing but tried to dismiss it. Of course, the atmosphere hasn’t warmed over the last 15-17 years, but they ignore that too.

Fred from Canuckistan

What has increased dramatically is the over the to hysterical media coverage.
Get three decent puffs of wind in the Atlantic basin between May & October and CNN goes in full blow HURRICANE WATCH! Aaaacccck! We are all gonna die! Carbon pollution.
The media needs fear mongering to survive & sell adverts, the Enviro Propaganda Ministry shovels it off the truck big time. Win-Win!


And all those missing hurricanes???……
they are hiding in the deep ocean, waiting to spring forth all at once.
This is what the Climate Change faithful are hoping for:

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

Hold on, I don’t think that’s a real photo. I think it’s been photoshopped. What gave it away is that some of those storms are spinning in the wrong direction.


That’s just the Southern Hemisphere.
It’s even worse in Florida. /s


That’s a topological requirement, right? For two hurricanes that are “touching” to both spiral in towards the center from their common rain bands, they have to spiral in opposite directions. Otherwise there is a defect line with no wind at all separating them.
Of course any pattern like this is going to have topological problems…


I don’t think California has a drought on that world.

It’s upside down, Big Jim!

Tom in Florida

I think it is the back of my grandmother’s head.

Send it to Al Gore for his next alarmist book!


The Algore is probably a closet WUWT reader.


Is that Liberacy’s hairdo?

Catherine Ronconi

Storms on Planet GIGO?


Hey, it’s CO2, The Magic Molecule™.
It can do anything.
Reversing the Coriolis effect is child’s play for “The Magic Molecule”™


Hey Catherine,
Not sure you’re still checking this thread, but Thanks for the idea.
Planet GIGO… I like it. Great suggestion!!
Planet GIGO, the only place in the universe where:
– The CMIP5 RCP8.5 ensemble scenario has validated predictive skill,
– The One World Government is run by Dear Leader Algore the III, who has private jet and eats caviar and down it with champagne while complaining of all the Little People polluting His world.
– CO2 is The Magic Molecule™ and can reverse the Coriolis effect at will.
– The abundant unicorn flatulence is accelerating Climate Change.
– Droughts and floods overlap simultaneously.
– Polar ice caps continue to disappear , but never quite get there, but are always just on the edge.
– Carnivorous Penguins are predators on herbivorous Coca-Cola Polar Bears.
– The humanoids live a life of vegan subsistence on boiled grasses and lichen with a firepit fueled by bison dung.
Sounds like fun.


joelobryan “CO2, The Magic Molecule™.”

This is great news for wind energy?


Better get some seriously up-rated Wind Turbines though for that world.

2014-15 low hurricane was anticipated three years ago (as posted on Climate etc)
vukcevic | May 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
Some months ago I came across a simple method (based on the current Arctic data) to estimate probability of the N. Atlantic’s hurricane activity more than a decade in advance:


Mechanism? 15 years?? or just good wiggle matching??


You see good wiggle matching? Where? Don’t be distracted by the erratic peaks; imagine it smoothed. Although even the big peaks aren’t matched as often as not. I’d be interested in seeing a K-S test on this — I’d bet that the p-value is nothing to be excited about.


@rgbatduke 12:23 pm.
No, not really. I was really wondering by what means could there even conceivably be a linkage between Atlantic basin ACE and Arctic pressure pattern 15 years in the past. Yes, I am extremely skeptical of that plot having any predictive skill.

joeloryan (replying to rgbatduke 12:23 pm)

I was really wondering by what means could there even conceivably be a linkage between Atlantic basin ACE and Arctic pressure pattern 15 years in the past. Yes, I am extremely skeptical of that plot having any predictive skill.

Most of the Arctic sea ice is first and second year ice. (About 70-75 percent, depending on how many storms happened the previous August-September melt period. Of the remaining 25%, 3rd and 4th year sea ice makes up 80-90% of the ice – and that is packed up tight against the northern Canadian islands. So. Fifth year sea ice is a very small percent of what is still in the Arctic, and the chances of finding isolated (floating in the middle of the Arctic Ocean) 6th or 7th year sea ice is nearly impossible.
So, tell me again how 1/2 of 1% of sea ice that melted 7 years before is going to influence weather this year.


That’s not good wiggle-matching. Just check NYSE vs. Bangladesh butter production, well over 0.9 correlation, that’s good wiggle-matching!

Perhaps NYSE stockbrokers use Bangladesh butter in their sandwiches /sarc
Climate events have many inputs, a very high correlation is bound to be false.
R2 between 0.55 and 0.7 with a plausible is worth looking into.


Am I supposed to be seeing a correlation here? Smoothed or otherwise?

Hi Dr. Brown
Thanks, your comments are always appreciated.
In my professional life I had often to record data, plot graph and attempt to ascertain faults in the electronic transmission systems, mainly in broadcasting industry.
It worked well, one develops a bit of an instinct about it, else I wouldn’t survive 30 years working for the same company. Now I got some time on my hands, all sorts of climate data are rich field for picking green, ripe and rotten fruit in equal measure, the problem here is it is difficult to know which one is good and which bad.
How it works, no idea but here is a guess:
-North of Iceland there is a second AMOC overturning area
-As heat is released into atmosphere, atmospheric pressure is affected
-Now deprived of its heat, cold saline water sinks up towards the sea floor, generating the North Icelandic Jet current.
-North Icelandic Jet is cold current flowing further south
“North Icelandic Jet (NIJ), contributes to a key component of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), also known as the “great ocean conveyor belt,” which is critically important for regulating Earth’s climate. As part of the planet’s reciprocal relationship between ocean circulation and climate, this conveyor belt transports warm surface water to high latitudes where the water warms the air, then cools, sinks, and returns towards the equator as a deep flow.” (WHOI)
– One fraction of the conveyor belt current up-wells of west African coast where most if not all of the N. Atlantic hurricanes are initiated.
– Unlike surface wind driven currents, deep cold currents are slow and move at rate of only few cm/sec, there is 9,000km in strait line from N. Iceland to the west coast of Africa, but currents to meander. If my quick calculation is correct 10,000km for 15 years requires velocity of 2.1cm/sec or 1.8km/day
– By time currents reach W. Africa, there is significant mixing with the currents from the Southwest of Greenland primary AMOC overturning area, hence correlation may not be as high as the rigorous scientific proof would require.


The huge problem with your conjecture (@ 1:24 pm) is momentum in the AMOC. The AMOC is moving a lot (a really lot) of mass. It simply cannot speed up and slow down on an annual scale as abruptly as your plot would require to connect the Arctic to the Atlantic basin 15 years later. And any packet of water that speeds up in that current has to have an exactly equal amount come in behind it. It is not a rubber band. Finally, the observational data (IIRC) shows there has been no significant changes in the AMOC velocity or size that would fit your Arctic pressure pattern plot.

Mr Bryan hi,
Thanks for the comment, it is only my guess.
What you suggest it would be correct if the deep cold current is moving within enclosed pipe, I suspect it is criss-crossing the top of Mid Atlantic ridge, narrowing and speeding up, widening and slowing down.
Are there any data available for deep currents flows across the N. Atlantic sea floor?

There is a similar summer Arctic Atmospheric Pressure – AMO time relationship, but ‘wriggle matching’ appears to be somewhat better


The original linked gif link that Vukcevik put up is now broken.
Plot is gone.
To RACookPE1978: I have no idea what you are talking about on this thread. Sea ice? 7 years?? So tell you again.. what??


Vukcevic l don’t know the ocean currents. But l know its possible for the air over the Arctic to make its way all the way down to the ocean off the NW coast of Africa, when the weather patterns are set up right. lt happened about two winters years ago. When areas of low pressure where sat over eastern europe dragging down air from the Arctic, which was then drawn down long the NW coast of Africa by high pressure in the mid Atlantic ridging up towards the North Atlantic. While this was happening it also took a lot of cloud cover with it.

I enjoy vukcevic’s graphs.
Life’s a signal, then you die.


Max… are you jacked-in to The Matrix??? Do you need to find a phone booth to get out?
The skeptics on WUWT, we all took the Red Pill. We know. Yes, We know.
The CAGW believers, they took the Blue Pill and woke-up back in their beds blissfully unaware of the deception.


I am very much unpersuaded by Vukcevic but…
He doesn’t overstate his certainty.
So he only infrequently makes predictions
Those predictions keep seeming to come right.
And he doesn’t seem to make predictions that come wrong.
To me, it looks like he’s just dowsing the climate, but he keeps finding the correct X that marks the spot.
I’m too feeble of intellect to know why – I just observe.

Mr Courtney
I am not much persuaded by my predictions either. They are just rough estimates based on the past behaviour, anyone can do that. Comes right or wrong, neither bothers me, but it is lot of fun, since often I have nothing better to do.
Hope your dad is well, havn’t seen many of his comments recently.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

I always enjoy vukcevic’s posts (especially the ones that used to wind up Leif!). I also frequent vukcevic’s website. There’s a few people ‘needed’ here, and he’s one.

Crispin in Waterloo

Vuk, don’t you think that air pressure over the vast Arctic basin with relatively restricted inlets and outlets would generate pulses of flow ‘over the lip’? Bob Tisdale has noted an 18″ change in sea level in the W Pacific from wind changes.
I have another observation from a comment above which is that the inertia in the ocean current can’t change the flow rate much because of the water before and aft any slug of water. I think there is an oversimplification in that analysis. The current ‘size’ is three dimensional, not two. It is not flowing inside a pipe. The width might be constrained by the physical terrain but the vertical size of the flow can change a lot. This shows that a change in ‘push’ caused by high or low air pressure during the year(s) can cause a change in the flow rate in a real current through a real ocean so it is different at various points along the 10,000 km path. All it requires is for the vertical thickness to vary which it can do easily if the inertial force exceeds the downward force provided by the density of cold salty water.
The flow can have an average speed that is not matched by any particular portion of the total flow, again because it is not flowing inside the constraints of a pipe.

Hi Crispin, please to see you are back from Ulan Bator back in your beloved Waterloo
You may well be right. Here is another thought for the Arctic ocean pressure annual differentials.
Atmospheric pressure on the ocean’s surface currents in solid ice covered area may not be equal to the ice free area. This ratio may well change not only in winter/summer seasons, but also in the annual ice coverage. The exerted pressure difference may indeed affect performance of the ‘conveyor belt pump’ and the actual strength of the conveyor belt current.
May be a load of ‘twaddle’ but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Mac the Knife

Nice! Thanks for the updates, Doctors Maue and Pielke Jr.!


Us Texans usually count on a good hurricane to bust our droughts. Although we’re technically out of the most recent one, a good toad choker would be good about now in the panhandle.


Since the hurricanes come from the Gulf, I don’t think the people in Galveston share your opinion.


Actually I’m 80 miles from Galveston.


“…toad choker” i.e. a heavy rain.
I like that one, a different slang than we get up here in MI.


Thank you for this post because this information will come in handy. I am in the midst of writing a comment on one point in Chapter 7 of the USGCRP Climate and Health Assessment draft for public comment that was released on April 7, 2015. In particular the report states in Table 1: Health Impact of Extreme Events of that chapter under this heading Climate Change Drivers & Future Projections from NCA3 (Melillo et al. 2014) that “The intensity, frequency, and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest hurricanes, have all increased since the 1980s. Hurricane intensity and rainfall are projected to increase as the climate continues to warm.”
The data in the post contradicts the Climate and Health Assessment, the reference given in the table, Melillo, J. M., Terese (T.C.) Richmond, and G. W. Yohe, Eds., 2014: Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program, 842 pp. and the references cited in this document. None of the cited references include a table of intensity and duration albeit there is one document with a graph showing number, duration and intensity but data ended in that in 2007.
So the political document categorically states that hurricanes are getting worse so I think a comment showing this contradictory data is appropriate.

Power Grab

Here’s a recent news article about the current “tornado drought”:

NZ Willy

The red “trend” lines on those graphs are silly indeed, a trend requires time (t) for the x-axis, and “days elapsed” does not qualify. I’m not sure if re-labelling would save it.


Actually a trend does not require time (t) for the x-axis, only that the instances on the x-axis can be ordinated, temporally or otherwise, which the intervals between hurricanes can be. It is perfectly possible to calculate a trend for the intervals between prime numbers for example.

Just wait a couple more years. I watch the Saturday Joe Bastardi weekly update. He is the best.
Let us all enjoy the ‘drought’ of hurricanes while it lasts.

Yes, Joe Bastardi’s Saturday Summary is a very good log range forecast, and fun to watch, at

Berényi Péter

the reality is that we are in a hurricane drought, not just in the USA, but globally as well

Meanwhile the energy keeps building up until the tension reaches the breaking point and a hypercane strikes, exterminating all deniers. That’s how climate disruption looks like in practice.


Wow, would Michael Mann still be standing? And Al Gore? MM Reporting on weatherbell? , …”Here in Pennsylvania winds have reached a unprecedented, awe inspiring, tree ring distorting wind speeds of up to … wait ,… hang on a 750,… no 800 kms per hour”? ( just measuring my tree ring to make sure)


Look, this extreme weather theory is really simple. Even a child could understand it.
As the planet warms, stormy weather and floods will increase due to an increase in air humidity.
And that explains why summer weather is violently stormy and wet leading to mass death.
And why the weather in the winter is usually pleasant, dry, calm and peaceful.
Which explains why people choose to go on holiday in the winter to avoid dying.
That’s the theory anyway.
Wait a minute – we’ve got the whole thing upside down and back to front, again.
And we would have gotten away with it, if it hadn’t been for those pesky meddling skeptics.
Back to the drawing board, I suppose!!!

Even random events have an “average frequency” and “calculated probabilities,” but they are still random.

Thanks, Anthony.
This is the most telling graphic:
And together with the Tropical Meteorology Project:
(Dr. Philip J. Klotzbach, Dr. William M. Gray. Colorado State University – CSU)
Extended Range Forecast of Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity and U.S. Landfall Strike Probability for 2015 (.pdf, 9 April 2015):
We anticipate that the 2015 Atlantic basin hurricane season will be one of the least active seasons since the middle of the 20th century. It appears quite likely that an El Niño of at least moderate strength will develop this summer and fall. The tropical and subtropical Atlantic are also quite cool at present. We anticipate a below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. Despite the forecast for below-average activity, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.
Information obtained through March 2015 indicates that the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will likely have much less activity than the median 1981-2010 season. We estimate that 2015 will have only 3 hurricanes (median is 6.5), 7 named storms (median is 12.0), 30 named storm days (median is 60.1), 10 hurricane days (median is 21.3), 1 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricane (median is 2.0) and 0.5 major hurricane days (median is 3.9). The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 55 percent of the long-period average. We expect Atlantic basin Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) and Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity in 2015 to be approximately 45 percent of their long-term averages.
I feel we are to have a quiet season in South Florida.


Hurricanes play a major role in clearing sick and weakened trees, and rejuvenating coastal lowlands. It is clear that the hottest ten years on record have played a major role in this dearth of hurricanes, and prosperous countries must be made to pay.

The Entire 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season in Under 5 Minutes
(Ignore the clouds. Oh … and the wind.)

It’s awesome in full-screen mode + HD.


Think back over the last ten years or so. The weather and climate have been pretty darn good, aside from some chilly winters in the eastern US and drought here in California, both of which are normal occurrences. Just making the “glass half full” argument that you never hear elsewhere…..

4 eyes

Thanks for the graphs in the post and the comments. I notice none of the regular trolls have commented yet. I am sure they would have read the post so I would appreciate hearing their thoughts on this matter.


There is nothing they can say. Hurricane-Tropical cyclone and ACE data are cold hard facts. No homogenization or infilling fudge-making from NASA, NOAA, BOM, or CRU can alter it.
The Global ACE and landfall fact obliterate the C in the CAGW.
The trolls stay way, way away from hard data WUWT posts they can’t argue with.


I am going to predict you will not be seeing this on any of the media outlets.

nutso fasst

Isn’t the extreme lack of extreme events an argument that global warming is real?


Could be, but that would destroy the ‘C’ in CAGW (catastrophic). They would need to change it to BAGW ( benefical anthropogenic global warming) and start encouraging people to enlarge their carbon (dioxide) footprints. There would be no way to extort money out of us, so they will never say anything about a connection between better climate and AGW.

bob boder

Only in fantasy land


CO2 is good as gold.
It feeds the plants on which we all depend.
It buffers the climate from a coming cold.
CO2 is our friend.

Gil Dewart

On the “conspiracy” issue, the whole thing doesn’t have to be some kind of vast concerted effort. However, powerful, wealthy interests can certainly work together to maximize their financial benefits from “Catastrophism”.

Nelson Imrod

I remember after Katrina there was so much propaganda in the MSM about how Katrina was the new norm. They hyped 2006 as being another Katrina year. 2006 was a dud. Then they said 2006 was a fluke and 2007 would be bad. 2007 was a dud. After two years of failed hype and predictions they backed off. Sounds like this would be a good time to dig up those failed predictions and highlight them against 10 years of reality.


The good Doctor needs an homogeniser. Without that instrument, he can not be a pure and total climatologist.

Tom J

The other day I went to an insurance agent and asked for an insurance policy. “What do you wish to insure?” he asked. I replied: “Nothing.” Needless to say (but I’m going to say it anyway) he thought I was absurd. I told him I didn’t believe I was absurd. I said I’m serious, “I’d like to insure nothing, now what are the rates?” Well, he asked me what worth I’d place on this ‘nothing’ that I was insuring. I said, “Duh, it’s worth nothing.” Again, he looked at me like I was absurd but not just absurd but also a thoroughgoing idiot. “Well, duh to you,” he said. “If it’s worth nothing because it is nothing how can I insure nothing and quote you a rate on nothing.” I told him it didn’t matter to me that it was nothing, I wanted it insured, and I wanted a rate, and I told him the higher the rate the better the commission, so “shut up and quote me a rate.” He told me he that he couldn’t do it. I told him I was paying the premium with someone else’s money. He winked and wrote up a very high value, but also thoroughly worthless policy then and there.

Your anecdote reminds me of Antiques Roadshow.
Oh how people love that program! Yet I have never once met a person who understands what the purpose of the show is, and why battalions of people will stand in line for eternity with their invariably worthless piles of crap.
The show is designed to get you to fantasize that your asteroid belt of garbage is valuable, so valuable in fact that you should 1) pay to get it appraised, and 2) pay even more, on a regular basis, to get it insured. And the higher the appraisal value (which rarely has any connection to market reality), the greater the amount of insurance you’ll buy.
Antiques Roadshow is but a commercial for appraisal services and trash insurance.
I used to think that people who pay monthly fees to rent storage space to enshrine their worthless junk were morons, but since Antique Roadshow popped on the scene, I stand corrected. At least the people who rent storage space usually figure out the scam, and simply abandon their stuff, thereby putting an end to the misery of monthly payments. But the fools who buy the inflated appraisal scam and then pay insurance from now until the sun supernovas are pretty dim. At least they feel good about themselves because they saw it on a public broadcast station, and we all know PBS isn’t your regular old stupid TV — it’s smarty pants TV.


Milder storms is classic global warming theory, tho they haven’t mentioned it lately. America was colonized during the LIA when the Caribbean was supposedly hurricane infested big time.


My standard questions to the AGwarmists are: After over 30 years of AGW caused projections and predictions name one that was realized. Why are you basing your belief on a model when none have been even close to accurate? What is the ideal temperature of the air that we breathe?

Pamela Gray

People! Stop saying “drought”! The warmers will attach some kind of global warming hysteria to it, IE humans are causing a hurricane drought, and will cry out over the soon-to-be-extinct cuddly hurricane because of human use of fossil fuels.


Power Grab

Yes’m. Can we say “dearth” instead?

This is just further overwhelming evidence that the CAGW hypothesis is collapsing like a cheap suit.
Even IPCC’s AR5 report concludes there haven’t been ANY global increasing trends in frequency nor intensity of severe weather phenomena over the past 50~100 years, and yet CAGW apologists (Leftist MSM, Leftist politicians, NASA, NOAA, NGOs, etc.,) continue to repeat the meme that global severe weather events are getting worse and worse.
The CAGW hypothesis is in complete crash-and-burn mode. If global temps continue to remain flat/marginally rising/falling for another 5~7 years, the discrepancies between CAGW global temp projections vs. observations will be well over 3 standard deviations off, which is sufficient duration and deviance to disconfirm the CAGW hypothesis with 95% confidence, which, in layman’s terms, means CAGW is completely screwed.

I guess this song has become kind of moot. Thanks CO2.


Are you Miley Cyrus’s target demographic?

Steve Oregon

Does the head of the EPA still think hurricanes are increasing because of fossil fuel use?


She refuses to answer when under oath. When not under oath, she will say whatever the WH handlers tells her to say.


Warmists pray for two a day.

Reblogged this on Norah4you's Weblog and commented:
Only 10% of an Ice berg is to be seen over water….. what we who relay on Reality instead of computer models seen regarding CO2-believers arguments will sooner or later after the Scam-ice melted be worse than anyone thought.
Reality always wins over pseudoscience and political views.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

The first figure in the article is global tropical cyclone frequency – 5 years running sums. In the comments section M. A. Vukcevic presented a figure of Arctic atmospheric pressure, AMO & AMO 5-year moving average. This clearly shows a long term variation while the former a part of the longer cycle — 60-year cycle [which I presented a figure in My book, Climate Change: Myths & Realities, WWW. on page 150: Atlantic Basin Hurricane counts (1851-2006)–. According to this, the frequency tends to move downwards and this is seen in the first figure of the article only. There is nothing unusual here. We must be careful deducing inferences from a truncated data series of a rhythmic variation..
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy


I am quite sure a case can be made for this being wholly consistent with AGW?


Why doesn’t anyone see the obvious? We must have already paid for our sins, otherwise Gaia would still be inflicting hurricanes upon us.
Spread the word. No more hurricanes until we are bad again.


You see, that was the ‘stopping the rise of the oceans’ that Obama was talking about. Everybody thought he was talking about sea level, when it was tropical storms and the rage of Gaia he was talking about, instead.


The hurricanes will return once the Republicans return to power. Just you watch.

Greg in Houston

Pielke’s graph is interesting in that it shows that for the first 22 years of the period shown, there were 85 cat 3, 4, & 5 storms. For the last 22 years, there were 125 such storms – an increase of almost 50%. This is confirmed by the global accumulated cyclone energy peaks of ’94, 98, and ’06. The drop-off seems to be a result of very low ACE since 2009. Frankly, I think the jury is still out.

I’m not quite sure which plot you are referring to for your statement. Be aware that the observational network is VERY different for the last 22 years vs. the first 22 years. Also, for the N. Atlantic basin, the period 1970-1994 is acknowledged as a low-activity era, and 1995-2014 a high-activity era. This is associated with a multidecadal-scale fluctuation, so for the Atlantic, the latter (high-activity) era is certainly more active by almost every measure. However, this is very similar to the pre-1971 high-activity era. This is discussed in detail in my paper published in the journal of Science — Goldenberg et al. 2001:

Greg in Houston

Stanley, I was referring the global tropical cyclone landfall histogram near the top of the article. I will read your article – thanks for the link.

Focusing on the 10-year absence of MH landfalls in the U.S.:
I am a published hurricane meteorologist who has specialized in climate studies much of my career. Let me note that although I agree that “global warming” (man-made or natural) has not been related to any increase in N. Atlantic hurricane activity, let us not confuse a pause in Major Hurricane U.S. LANDFALLS with a pause in Major Hurricanes in the N. Atlantic Hurricane basin! Also — although there have been no MH landfalls in U.S., there have been a number of Hurricane landfalls — some of which caused extensive damage. Also — there have been a number of MH landfalls (average of ~1 per year) in Central America and the Caribbean in those years. Note that the average number of MH each year during the period of 2006-2014 is 2.7, which matches the average number for the 1995-2005 period (the first 10 years of the recent high-activity era). Note that the low activity era (1971-1994) averaged only ~1.5 MH/year. (The previous high-activity era which ended in 1970 also had MH ~2.5/year.) It is possible we are still in the current high-activity era and it is only a matter of time till the steering patterns for these storms will again “favor” the U.S. and we will see another round of MH landfalls. Also — as I mentioned — there have still been non-MH landfalls during these years in the U.S., some hitting heavily populated areas (e.g., H IKE (2008) and H SANDY — both of which reached MH strength at some point but did not make U.S. landfall as MH). Of course when we see a MH landfall increase again — someone out there will blame it on “global warming.”


Hey look.
The last multi-year tropical cyclone drought was back when climate scientists were worried about Global Cooling.


The 5-year running sum of number of global tropical cyclones look it has a low every 11-12 years.
Anyone know how the composition of UV changed over this period?