MIT: 'more extreme storms' for California due to warming – but history mocks the claim

From the “models can make you believe anything” department comes this breathless doom-laden press release from the same school that brought you the big wheel of silly climate model results.

The “Pineapple Express” hits California in 2014 Image: NOAA

Study finds more extreme storms ahead for California

New technique predicts frequency of heavy precipitation with global warming

On December 11, 2014, a freight train of a storm steamed through much of California, deluging the San Francisco Bay Area with three inches of rain in just one hour. The storm was fueled by what meteorologists refer to as the “Pineapple Express” — an atmospheric river of moisture that is whipped up over the Pacific’s tropical waters and swept north with the jet stream.

By evening, record rainfall had set off mudslides, floods, and power outages across the state. The storm, which has been called California’s “storm of the decade,” is among the state’s most extreme precipitation events in recent history.

Now MIT scientists have found that such extreme precipitation events in California should become more frequent as the Earth’s climate warms over this century. The researchers developed a new technique that predicts the frequency of local, extreme rainfall events by identifying telltale large-scale patterns in atmospheric data. For California, they calculated that, if the world’s average temperatures rise by 4 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, the state will experience three more extreme precipitation events than the current average, per year.

The researchers, who have published their results in the Journal of Climate, say their technique significantly reduces the uncertainty of extreme storm predictions made by standard climate models.

“One of the struggles is, coarse climate models produce a wide range of outcomes. [Rainfall] can increase or decrease,” says Adam Schlosser, senior research scientist in MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. “What our method tells you is, for California, we’re very confident that [heavy precipitation] will increase by the end of the century.”

The research was led by Xiang Gao, a research scientist in the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. The paper’s co-authors include Paul O’Gorman, associate professor of earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences; Erwan Monier, principal research scientist in the Joint Program; and Dara Entekhabi, the Bacardi Stockholm Water Foundations Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Large-scale connection

Currently, researchers estimate the frequency of local heavy precipitation events mainly by using precipitation information simulated from global climate models. But such models typically carry out complex computations to simulate climate processes across hundreds and even thousands of kilometers. At such coarse resolution, it’s extremely difficult for such models to adequately represent small-scale features such as moisture convection and topography, which are essential to making accurate predictions of precipitation.

To get a better picture of how future precipitation events might change region by region, Gao decided to focus on not simulated precipitation but large-scale atmospheric patterns, which climate models are able to simulate much more reliably.

“We’ve actually found there’s a connection between what climate models do really well, which is to simulate large-scale motions of the atmosphere, and local, heavy precipitation events,” Schlosser says. “We can use this association to tell how frequently these events are occurring now, and how they will change locally, like in New England, or the West Coast.”

Weather snapshots

While definitions vary for what is considered an extreme precipitation event, in this case the researchers defined such an event as being within the top 5 percent of a region’s precipitation amounts in a particular season, over periods of almost three decades. They focused their analysis on two areas: California and the Midwest, regions which generally experience relatively high amounts of precipitation in the winter and summer, respectively.

For both regions, the team analyzed large-scale atmospheric features such as wind currents and moisture content, from 1979 to 2005, and noted their patterns each day that extreme precipitation occurred. Using statistical analysis, the researchers identified telltale patterns in the atmospheric data that were associated with heavy storms.

“We essentially take snapshots of all the relevant weather information, and we find a common picture, which is used as our red flag,” Schlosser explains. “When we examine historical simulations from a suite of state-of-the-art climate models, we peg every time we see that pattern.”

Using the new scheme, the team was able to reproduce collectively the frequency of extreme events that were observed over the 27-year period. More importantly, the results are much more accurate than those based on simulated precipitation from the same climate models.

“None of the models are even close to the observations,” Gao says. “And regardless of the combination of atmospheric variables we used, the new schemes were much closer to observations.”

“Actionable information”

Bolstered by their results, the team applied their technique to large-scale atmospheric patterns from climate models to predict how the frequency of heavy storms may change in a warming climate in California and the Midwest over the next century. They analyzed each region under two climate scenarios: a “business as usual” case, in which the world is projected to warm by 4 degrees Celsius by 2100, and a policy-driven case, in which global environmental policies that regulate greenhouse gases should keep the temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.

For each scenario, the team flagged those modeled large-scale atmospheric patterns that they had determined to be associated with heavy storms. In the Midwest, yearly instances of summer extreme precipitation decreased slightly under both warming scenarios, although the researchers say the results are not without uncertainty.

For California, the picture is much clearer: Under the more intense scenario of global warming, the state will experience three more extreme precipitation events per year, on the order of the December 2014 storm. Under the policy-driven scenario, Schlosser says “that trend is cut in half.”

The team is now applying its technique to predict changes in heat waves from a globally warming climate. The researchers are looking for patterns in atmospheric data that correlate with past heat waves. If they can more reliably predict the frequency of heat waves in the future, Schlosser says that can be extremely helpful for the long-term maintenance of power grids and transformers.

“That is actionable information,” Schlosser says.


This research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Department of Energy.

Written by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office

PAPER: Paper: 21st century changes in U.S. regional heavy precipitation frequency based on resolved atmospheric patterns

Ok, here’s some “actionable information”.

They failed to examine the null hypothesis, what sort of rainfall patterns would California get with a 4°C cooling?

In citing “…the team was able to reproduce collectively the frequency of extreme events that were observed over the 27-year period. ” They fail to note that they are only reproducing weather during a period of warming in California’s history. And since models are tunable, this could be little more than a self-tuned confirmation bias.

But here’s the real kick in the pants from California history: The Great Flood of 1862

The Great Flood of 1862 was the largest flood in the recorded history of Oregon, Nevada, and California, occurring from December 1861 to January 1862. It was preceded by weeks of continuous rains (or snows in the very high elevations) that began in Oregon in November 1861 and continued into January 1862. This was followed by a record amount of rain from January 9–12, and contributed to a flood which extended from the Columbia River southward in western Oregon, and through California to San Diego, and extended as far inland as Idaho in the Washington Territory, Nevada and Utah in the Utah Territory, and Arizona in the western New Mexico Territory.

The event was climaxed by a warmer, more intense storm with much more rain that was much more serious, due to the earlier large accumulation of snow, now melted by the large turbulent heat fluxes into the snow over the lower elevations of the mountains. Throughout the affected area, all the streams and rivers rose to great heights, flooded the valleys, inundated or swept away towns, mills, dams, flumes, houses, fences, and domestic animals, and ruined fields. An early estimate of property damage was $10,000,000. However, later it was estimated that approximately one-quarter of the taxable real estate in the state of California was destroyed in the flood. Dependent on property taxes, the State of California went bankrupt. The governor, state legislature, and state employees were not paid for a year and a half. 200,000 cattle drowned, and the state’s economy shifted from ranching to farming.

The floods were likely caused by precipitation from atmospheric rivers, or narrow bands of water vapor about a mile above sea level that extend for thousands of kilometers.

Prior to the flooding, Oregon had steady but heavier than normal rainfall during November and heavier snow in the mountains.

The weather pattern that caused this flood was not from an El Nino, and from the existing Army and private weather records, it has been determined that the polar jet stream was to the north as the Pacific Northwest experienced a mild rainy pattern for the first half of December 1861. The jet stream then slid south and freezing conditions were reported at Oregon stations by December 25. Heavy rainfall began falling in California as the longwave trough moved down over the state, remaining there until the end of January 1862 and causing precipitation everywhere in the state for nearly 40 days. Eventually the trough moved even further south, causing snow to fall in the Central Valley and surrounding mountain ranges.

What was the global CO2 level in 1862? According to The Keeling Curve at Scripps, it was about 260ppm compared to today’s 400+ PPM


So if global warming is caused by more CO2, and according to MIT, warmer times will cause ‘more extreme storms’, why have we not seen events like the one in 1862, or worse?

And what makes these events, when CO2 levels were lower, not worthy of them running the model backwards in time?

March 1907 and January 1909 Floods

Significant flooding on all major rivers in the Sacramento Valley. A record instantaneous flow peak was set one year, the record overall flow volume was set during the other. A total of 300,000 acres were flooded in the Sacramento Valley in 1907.

– Long-term Strategic Impact: The flood episodes resulted in an overhaul of planned statewide flood control designs. Previous designs were based upon Midwest experience, which relied upon confining rising rivers between levees. The concept of bypasses and overflow weirs had been suggested and rejected. Following the 1907 and 1909 record floods, a new Lead Planning Engineer was selected and the current California flood control design was devised.

1969 Winter Storms and Floods

Significant flooding on Central Valley rivers and reformation of Tulare Lake in the San Joaquin Valley as extended precipitation fell across the state. Heavy snow fell in all mountain ranges and the monthly rainfall record was set in Sacramento. Forty counties were disaster-declared.

Source: DRI

Personally I think their modeling is all wet, and just about as credible as the last doomsday climate model MIT produced:


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January 3, 2017 9:32 am

““None of the models are even close to the observations,” Gao says. “And regardless of the combination of atmospheric variables we used, the new schemes were much closer to observations.””
In other words, they aren’t quite as bad as they were before.
Not as bad, is not the same thing as being good.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  MarkW
January 3, 2017 11:01 am

A bush pilot told the two hunters he was dropping off “only one moose apiece”.
A week later he flies in and there are four moose.
“C’mon”, says one hunter, “you can do it. After all, your brother took us last year, and we had four then too”.
“Oh, he did, did he? Ok!”.
Two minutes later they crash and one hunter says to the other “Where are we?”
“Oh, about three miles further than we were last year…”.
Yes, “not bad” is not always “good”.

Tom O
Reply to  MarkW
January 3, 2017 1:25 pm

but wasn’t it just a year or so ago that global warming was causing endless drought in California? Got to love that global warming – it is capable of doing everything at the same time!

David A
Reply to  MarkW
January 4, 2017 3:28 am

At the same time they were calling their drought ” permanent”.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  David A
January 4, 2017 7:50 am

When I worked with a government agency, we had three types of funding: base, one-time, and recurring one-time.
Calling a drought “permanent” would seem to be the same as saying its a recurring one-time drought – bad, but not bad enough to be a base drought, i.e., permanent. Without the quotes.
Or something. I couldn’t get my head around the idea of a recurring one-time anything, which might be the reason I’m not involved in government funding anymore.

January 3, 2017 9:35 am

If the first model produces garbage, then any model that uses the output of the first as it’s input, will also produce nothing but garbage.

Reply to  MarkW
January 3, 2017 10:47 am

“then any model that uses the output of the first as it’s input, will also produce nothing but garbage”
But better garbage, no?

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Paul
January 3, 2017 11:06 am

Yes, better garbage that will obviously need much, much more study to ensure it is the best garbage the model can possibly produce. You are obviously an uneducated heathen if you don’t want to continue spending billions to get the absolute best garbage available to science.
I remember an old book on the exploration of Venus, and how off every estimate of the Venusian “day” was. I believe the conclusion as “the previous estimates were worth zero, and a further refinement of zero is…still zero”.

Reply to  Paul
January 3, 2017 12:42 pm

“the previous estimates were worth zero, and a further refinement of zero is…still zero”
Oh no, the dreaded multiply by zero error. Hate when that happens…

Reply to  Paul
January 3, 2017 12:46 pm

In the immortal words of Jethro Bodine,” naught into naught is naught, naught into one is one,etc etc”

January 3, 2017 9:37 am

Well done for exposing this to the harsh light of reason, Anthony. Is climate science in the States becoming like some Hollywood screenwriters guild, whereby whatever is currently deemed fashionable, and liable to attract the funding, is what gets produced, in oh-so-predictable, follow-the-template ways?

January 3, 2017 9:41 am

If global temperatures rise by 4 C by the end of the century? And if I were a foot taller and more athletic I would be an NBA player. When did unlikely imaginative hypotheticals become passable science?

Reply to  RWturner
January 3, 2017 11:02 am

When politics replaced science.

Reply to  MarkW
January 3, 2017 5:54 pm

“Political Science”. Alberta’s Environment minister has a Poly-Sci degree. It got us a Carbon Tax and renewables subsidies and a whole bunch more costs. Science indeed.

Reply to  RWturner
January 3, 2017 11:16 am

When the prediction depends upon everyone who is an adult today being dead when it can either be verified or disproven… or long forgotten.

Reply to  RWturner
January 3, 2017 12:42 pm

Yes, that unrealistic “IF” bothered me also…
“IF frogs had wings they wouldn’t bump their asses when they jump.”

Reply to  RWturner
January 3, 2017 2:48 pm

4 degrees since when? From 1880 to 2100 or from 2016 to 2100? Is this something I’m just supposed to know? If 1880 to 2016 (136 years) is little more than a degree, why do we expect 2 or 4 degrees more in little more than 1/2 the time?

Ross King
Reply to  Dave Magill
January 3, 2017 3:44 pm

Someone, somewhere, on this planet, every minute of every day, is most probably having a record-breaking weather-extreme of one kind or another according to one metric or another. Deluges in CA one day; fleeting meteorological warm-front spell at the N.Pole another (gone tomorrow?); typhoon in Philippines the next. It is perhaps surprising that the Alarmists don’t publish a daily rag for the check-out stand: “Weather Extreme TODAY!” as a means of fallaciously promoting their propaganda that the end of the World is nigh. The media sycophants, solely interested in circulation, bad-news, sensationalism and disasters, would love it! (The flip-side wd be a daily which records the fact — along with bazillions of such others — that, say, Vancouver had 3 days without rain last month …. actually, that *may* be a record, but I digress!) So Alarmists and their media flacks pick every ‘extreme-bad’ they can find to conflate the vision of an impending global catastrophe ….. IT’S ALL HAPPENING TODAY, FOLKS!! All this is obvious to all of *us* skeptics (of some stripe or another) but how do *we* best promote the alternative view? As *we* know, there’s lots of persuasive material out there, but *we* are chaff (albeit a lot of it) in the Alarmists’-contrived wind-tunnel. I and my brother are falling-out over this: he says I’m ‘paranoid’ and I retort that he — as a Man of Science — shdn’t base his views on blatant distortions from BBC and Guardian (for starters). If *he* can buy this crap and formulate a definitive opinion from it, Heaven-help the less educated masses, all of whom have a vote.
Ross King, MBA, P.Eng. (ret’d) 1453 Beddis Road, SaltSpring Island, B.C., V8K2E2, Canada (250) 537-0666
“The older I get, the better I was….”
On 3 January 2017 at 14:48, Watts Up With That? wrote:
> Dave Magill commented: “4 degrees since when? From 1880 to 2100 or from > 2016 to 2100? Is this something I’m just supposed to know? If 1880 to 2016 > (136 years) is little more than a degree, why do we expect 2 or 4 degrees > more in little more than 1/2 the time?” >

Reply to  Ross King
January 4, 2017 7:11 pm

DingDingDingDingDing!!!!!!!!!! We have a winner!!!!!!!

Reply to  Dave Magill
January 3, 2017 5:39 pm

They just pulled those figures out of the air. No basis in fact.

Reply to  Dave Magill
January 3, 2017 7:44 pm

Why do you care? It isn’t going to happen anyway.

Martin A
January 3, 2017 9:42 am

An unvalidated model is no more than an illustration of somebody’s hypothesis.

January 3, 2017 9:42 am

MIT has been drowning in the extreme weather drivel ever since kerry emanuel’s power dissipation index weirdness.

Reply to  chaamjamal
January 3, 2017 10:37 am

isn’t Kerry Emanuel the climate shaman who was behind the hype on Hurricane Patricia (supposedly the strongest hurricane to hit North America), which ended up being nothing more than a strong wind that blew over a few leaves.

Reply to  chaamjamal
January 3, 2017 11:00 am

“Even in 1990 no one at MIT called themselves a ‘climate scientist,’ and then all of a sudden everyone was. They only entered it because of the bucks; they realized it was a gravy train. You have to get it back to the people who only care about the science.” Richard Lindzen

January 3, 2017 9:48 am
Climate Experts Say Only Hope For Saving Planet Lies With People Who Save Napkins From Takeout Order

Dan Davis
Reply to  jimmy_jimmy
January 3, 2017 8:35 pm

I’m down with that! Got my stack ‘o nappies right here! (Italian joint, easy to get more!)
Even more to the point was the Onion’s strangely prescient article on The Trump Team member Pence walloping an IPCC report in his daily workout – caught on camera!
Love those sauteed Onions!!

Mumbles McGuirck
January 3, 2017 9:49 am

My first thought was of George Stewart’s 1941 novel “Storm” that depicts a massive Pacific storm slamming into California, causing havoc. But, of course, that was before Global Warming.
I would caution you that the CO2 values from the Keeling Curve prior to 1956 are backward extrapolations, and not observations. There ought to be error bars included.

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
January 3, 2017 3:35 pm

He must have had the 1964/65 flood in his crystal ball when he wrote that story. The winter of 1996/97 came close to doing what the winter of 1861/62 did to Sacramento. I wonder if the only difference was the many dams now in place saved Sacramento as well as a large portion of the valley from flooding.

David A
Reply to  goldminor
January 4, 2017 3:32 am

I believe the 1861 precipitation was far greater.

Hats off...
January 3, 2017 9:49 am

27 years of historical records! Do any climate researchers actually wait for predicted events to come to fruition to support their claims, or is the trend to pluck a hypothesis, make a computer model with lots of variables, tweak a few options to get a curve that more or less fits and then follow up with a media release claiming proof and predictive capabilities?

January 3, 2017 9:54 am

Under their “Business As Usual” (BAU) scenario, the globe is slated to warm 4°C in the next 83 years, to get to 4°C/century.
This is a rise of about a half a degree per decade, each and every decade, for the next eight decades.
This rate of rise is about four times the highest recorded historical rate of rise, and it is supposed to not only happen for one decade, but for eight decades in a row???
On what planet is that “business as usual”, and how did we get to the point where these kind of unbridled fantasies are sold wholesale as being science?
Finally, if their claims were true, why have we not seen an increase in extreme rainfall events around the globe in the last hundred years or so?
Sigh …

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 3, 2017 10:02 am

You beat me to the “Sigh”.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 3, 2017 10:48 am

And they claim that “a policy-driven case, in which global environmental policies that regulate greenhouse gases should keep the temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.”
Perhaps they should have just used the 2C increase results without the politics.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 3, 2017 11:03 am

Worse, the century is already 82% over, with no warming.

Reply to  MarkW
January 3, 2017 11:04 am

oops, make that 18% over, so you have to divide those results by 0.82.

David A
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 4, 2017 3:34 am

Out of the other side of their mouths they claim ” permanent” drought.

David A
Reply to  David A
January 4, 2017 3:35 am
Ross King
January 3, 2017 9:56 am

When the Homogenizers get to work, the 4 deg temp. increase will be mannipulated up to … what? …. 6 deg. 8 deg. Guys, you’ve got a neat toy there! Why stop at 4? For more piss & giggles, run the same models for the greater temp. forecasts (I’m sure someone will find such fanciful forecasts somewhere, failing which invent them. I often wonder if they pick a start number off the next bus that goes by the Lab.)
It would also be comforting to know the periodicity of storms with rainfalls @ 2 deg., 4, 6, and 8 deg. temp. increases, stated as “3” rain once in every 4 weeks; 5″ rain once every 11 weeks; 10″ rain once every 4 months ….. etc.” The denizens of CA would like to know how soon, and how fast the State will be washed away to the Nevada border.

Reply to  Ross King
January 3, 2017 10:10 am

But if they keep homogenizing the temperatures up, at some point (I hope), someone will ask them where all of the extreme weather that is supposed to come with the higher temperatures is hiding? Although California could probably use the additional water were it to come to fruition.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  js4strings
January 3, 2017 9:56 pm

“js4strings January 3, 2017 at 10:10 am
But if they keep homogenizing the temperatures up, at some point (I hope), someone will ask them where all of the extreme weather that is supposed to come with the higher temperatures is hiding?
It’s hiding under the hotspot deep in the ocean ready to create more angry weather.

January 3, 2017 10:09 am

From this side of the pond it seems that CAfornians winge if it is too dry and now are wingeing that it is going to be too wet. It’s just called weather here!

Reply to  Johnb
January 3, 2017 5:32 pm

“From this side of the pond it seems that CAfornians winge if …”
I suggest not believing everything you see on your mass media systems, johnb . . most of us are just people, ya know? ; )

January 3, 2017 10:10 am

“That is actionable information,” Schlosser says.

This stuff should be actionable, just not the way Schlosser thinks.

An act, event, or occurrence is said to be actionable when there are legal grounds for basing a lawsuit on it. For example, an assault is an actionable tort. link

This paper is just curve matching, nothing more. The authors should know that curve matching should never be used to extrapolate. It should indeed be actionable because the authors should know better.

Major Meteor
Reply to  commieBob
January 3, 2017 12:02 pm

Here is the action that should be taken: QUIT FUNDING THE BUREAUCRATIC SCIENTISTS.

Reply to  commieBob
January 3, 2017 1:17 pm

Mark Twain told a parable regarding unrealistic extrapolation.
As River boat pilot on the Mississippi river he was well aware of the topology of the river and its occasional ability to cut off a meander thereby creating an “ox bow” lake and also shortening the course of the main river channel often by several miles. He off handedly commented that if the river continued to shorten its course every year by the same amount, the mighty Mississippi would be less than 2 miles long by the year 2000.

Steve Oregon
January 3, 2017 10:24 am

This just in!
California continues to experience weather of all sorts with fluctuations and variations from normal to routine.
Water may be in abundance this year.

Reply to  Steve Oregon
January 3, 2017 6:18 pm

I certainly hope so! We need it.

January 3, 2017 10:36 am

It’s heartbreaking. MIT is simply drowning in CAGW Kool Aid. Every time the president sends out a message, it contains a line about climate change. MIT is now as bad as your typical liberal arts backwater, Bennington, Harvard, Smith, Brown. Follow the money, I guess. They want fat grants to study non-problems just like every other school in the land. Trouble is MIT, like CalTech & Georgia Tech, should be leading the way out of the dark woods, not making them darker. Alas.

Reply to  Titan28
January 3, 2017 1:19 pm

Sadly, I lament the damage done to the reputation of my alma mater.

January 3, 2017 10:40 am

“What our method tells you is, for California, we’re very confident that [heavy precipitation] will increase by the end of the century.”
“…the team was able to reproduce collectively the frequency of extreme events that were observed over the 27-year period. ”

I wouldn’t buy second hand ‘Tesla’ car from anyone who claims that the previous 27 years can be extrapolated to the next 80+.

January 3, 2017 10:44 am

I thought climate change was to usher in a new era of permanent drought in California? Won’t all these storms rain on their parade?

Smart Rock
Reply to  Brad
January 3, 2017 10:59 am

Brad, you don’t get it. if CO2 can cause warming and cooling at the same time, it can surely cause simultaneous droughts and floods. In fact, everything bad that will happen in the future (including bad things that don’t happen in the future, but could have if the future had been different) will be a direct consequence of CO2 from fossil fuel.

Reply to  Smart Rock
January 4, 2017 5:11 am
“A complete list of things caused by global warming”

Reply to  js4strings
January 4, 2017 6:51 pm

Thank you! #3, my grandmother’s gout. See? There is NOTHING Globall Warmining can’t cause.

January 3, 2017 10:50 am

O/T Judith Curry takes early retirement
JC Blogpost
“I have no plans to join the Trump administration (ha ha).
Technically, my resignation is a retirement event”
“I’m ‘cashing out’ with 186 published journal articles and two books.”
“The reward system that is in place for university faculty members is becoming increasingly counterproductive to actually educating students to be able to think and cope in the real world”
“I no longer know what to say to students and postdocs regarding how to navigate the CRAZINESS in the field of climate science. ”
“We’ll see how all this plays out, but I figured I’ve earned the right to explore and do what I want.”

January 3, 2017 10:50 am

I’m still confused — isn’t California supposed to have more droughts under a warming scenario?

glen martin
January 3, 2017 10:56 am

If its bad someone will tweek a climate model to predict more of it.

tom s
January 3, 2017 11:00 am

Great news for precip strickened CA. Right?

R.S. Brown
January 3, 2017 11:00 am

…and in 1913 the “midwest” including Ohio was treated to huge amounts of rain:
(See the pictures)
Here in Portage County it was reported we got 17 inches of rain in three days.
Fortunately, the Cuyahoga River feeds Lake Erie. However, the headwaters of
the Mahoning start in Stark and wind through eastern Portage, then dump into
the upper Ohio.
I understand that Illinois, Indiana and western Pennsylvania shared in the wealth
of water.
All this was an example of WEATHER without the influence of increased levels
of CO2.
No wonder the modelers don’t go into any depth, time-wise, in setting the
baselines for their projections.

January 3, 2017 11:05 am

with all that precipitation there will be no need to straighten out decades of piss poor management of water resources in the Pacific Southwest and California….Horray!

William Astley
January 3, 2017 11:11 am

The cult of CAGW is looking for justification to force countries to spend trillions of dollars on green scams that do not work. Their models can be tuned to give any answer.
There is a very heavy rain event forecast for the Pacific west coast over the next few days.
Odd there is no conversion concerning the Pacific Ocean, cold blob. The cult of CAGW will likely try to blame Trump for end of global warming.

Reply to  William Astley
January 3, 2017 4:05 pm

Here is a look at what is coming in. This development started right at the beginning of the year. …,28.34,497

January 3, 2017 11:12 am

For an extra fee they will throw in a jobs created or saved report for Jerry Brown to run with.

January 3, 2017 11:15 am

Jobs for the boys.

Charles Hendrix
January 3, 2017 11:18 am

For giggles, read this one.
Go to the USA maps near the end.
Notice the years.
All from discredited models.
Sadly, a product of MIT.

January 3, 2017 11:22 am

There is a fatal flaw beyond the 4C ‘assumption’ called out by Willis upthread.
I thought it curious that a paper published late in 2016 would end with observational data only through 2005. What happened to the intervening decade? That is an old Mann ‘hide the pause’ trick called out in essay An Awkward Pause. So researched it.
Starting 1979 is understandable– the satellite troposphere temperature era. NOAA ESRL says there there were 42 ARs in California from 1979- first week 2006. They bring up to 50% of California’s total precipitation, and cause virtually all its floods. I could not locate an official AR count since 2005 in a quick half hour google search, but just counting Pinapple express events reported in the local press through 2015 there have been only 4: 2008, 2010, 2014, 2015. This probably under counts California ARs. But, California has been in drought since ~2010, so a dearth of ARs compared to the previous period based on ESRL is a ‘fact’. Now look at the study method. A statistical correlation between CMIP5 large scale atmospheric patterns and actual ARs. The correlation will be higher in a period with more ARs. For max alarm, select a sample period for max effect so stop in 2005–not a subtle bias.
Overheat the model to get more large scale patterns, then goose the end result by careful sample period selection. As Heisenberg once commented about a quantum physics paper, so bad its not even wrong.

Reply to  ristvan
January 3, 2017 7:59 pm

like to use the proper technical term, when I can. The word here is:

David S
January 3, 2017 11:26 am

If a model can’t replicate the past how can it predict the future?

January 3, 2017 11:27 am

Sounds like they’re using the climate models to predict weather. Interesting turn. As a Californian, I personally hope we do have more precipitation. I presume that will spare us from the droughts that the models also predicted.

January 3, 2017 11:37 am

When I was in graduate school in the mid-1970’s a friend of mine did his thesis research on weather map typing. Briefly the theory was that if you had a catalog of weather map types and knew what happened after each map type then you could forecast by matching the current weather pattern with a historical map type.
I have always wondered if the same technique could be applied to determining whether the frequency of severe weather is changing over time. There is a data set that goes back to, I believe, 1950 and I assume that computerized pattern recognition techniques have improved in the last forty years.
My question is why don’t the climate scientists use historical data instead of running historical simulations in their analyses?

Reply to  rogercaiazza
January 3, 2017 12:55 pm

Because historical data does not give them the “we are all going to die in a fiery flood” globall warmining results with which they continue to get phat checks from the government.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  rogercaiazza
January 3, 2017 4:35 pm

The use of “analog years” is a technique used for short term weather forecasts, weeks to months.
Here is one:
by Pete Parsons
This is from the Oregon Department of Forestry, now using the years 1983-84, 1992-93, & 1998-99.
If you look in a “picture dictionary” for weather forecaster that uses analog years, you will find a picture of Joe Bastardi & The WeatherBELL team.

John Boles
January 3, 2017 11:47 am

It is irrelevant what the models say, we should not base policy on whacko models.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  John Boles
January 4, 2017 11:23 am

Correct. What we should be doing is preparing ourselves to be able to handle ANY climate extremes, whether they be related to warming OR cooling, with the priority placed on cooling since that leads to the most problems, as can be seen from history. ADAPTATION is the one and only thing human beings can do about “climate change,” since human beings aren’t in control of climate change and cannot stop it from occurring or alter it to out preferences.
As far as the science goes, we should be focused on understanding the natural drivers of climate, by identifying, observing, and measuring such forces, and by developing a sufficient understanding to reasonably predict any dramatic shifts so that we can prepare for them. All this tail chasing about CO2, which can be shown by the Earth’s climate history to be of absolutely no consequence to the Earth’s climate, is nothing more than a squandering of precious resources that could be used to solve ACTUAL problems.

January 3, 2017 12:18 pm

Los Angeles Times shrill about an offshoot ‘horrors’ story which ‘would be caused’ by this same creature; Atmospheric rivers fueled by climate change could decimate wild oysters in San Francisco Bay
Study done by researchers at UC Davis’ Bodega Marine Laboratory and the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

In the 1850s, the booming human population along the West Coast — especially in San Francisco — could not get enough of the little oysters, which have a coppery taste compared with the shellfish often served in restaurants today. Around the late 1800s or early 1900s, the fishery collapsed . .

That was naturally occurring, naturally; however, the next time it happens it going to be because of man-made climate change.
Calling Pres-elect Trump – put them on your list of where to cut funding.

January 3, 2017 12:38 pm

The first hurdle they have to cross…
Is convincing Californians more rain is a bad thing

January 3, 2017 12:52 pm

I keep telling people when they have a computer modeling program into which you enter accurate past data and get a result at odds to the actual past record their modeling program does not work. Some have twirled and twisted and prevaricated, others were honest and replied, “So, I get paid either way.”. Still friends with the honest ones.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  2hotel9
January 4, 2017 11:27 am

And further, after they have “tuned” the models so that they CAN get a (known) result, that STILL does not mean their models have any predictive value. In order to have predictive value, the model must reflect an accurate and complete understanding of the forces that ACTUALLY drive the Earth’s climate. Since they haven’t scratched the surface of doing THAT (i.e., understanding the forces that actually drive the Earth’s climate), their models are nothing more than GIGO reflections of their hypothetical BS.

Reply to  AGW is not Science
January 4, 2017 7:07 pm

Actually what their “models” are is money generating scams. They don’t give a f**k about the environment or people, just stealing money from governments. The honest ones admit it, the liars, well, the liars have a personal profit and political agenda, in that order. Stripping the leftist ideologues of their power to funnel money to these liars will bring the entire edifice crashing down. Then REAL scientists can openly tell the truth. Then humanity can achieve progress.

January 3, 2017 12:57 pm

Oh. I thought severe drought was the global warming fate for California.
Can you have a stormy drought?

David A
Reply to  AP
January 4, 2017 3:46 am
January 3, 2017 1:04 pm

Isn’t global warming meant to be reducing the temperature differential between the tropics and the poles? And isn’t that temp differential the thing that drives such events?
Very confused. I need a climatology scientologist to explain it to me.

January 3, 2017 1:27 pm

Of course you can have a stormy drought. Not to be pushing details, but from what I read, the idea is not more rain, just that whatever rain falls, will fall in intense storms.
Why not re-run this model for 1989-2015. Did they publish their code and data? Can it be independently reviewed? I’m holding my breath… Gasp.

David A
Reply to  DavidQ
January 4, 2017 3:47 am

Not with atmosgeric rivers in Calif.

David A
Reply to  David A
January 4, 2017 3:48 am

Fat fingers, little keys.

January 3, 2017 2:23 pm

” should become more frequent ” …. it could happen, and hurricanes might become more frequent and stronger, snow could become a thing of the past ( still selling space on the lawn for those that want to experience this rare event.. I’m mystified that they’re not hordes of people) … ” it never rains in California ” there have never been mudslides or flooding ? Frequent or not, they are predicting/ projecting nothing. I can say with certainty that the midwest will experience drought again. How long or how severe ?

January 3, 2017 3:14 pm

If it were true it is great news to us here in California. Even though we had more than average rainfall last year and so far this year, we are officially in a drought and must save as much water as possible. I myself have been saving rain water from my roof to be used later to water my garden. Mayby we will get enough to reestablish Lake Tulare as the largest lake in the lower 48 west of the Mississippi as it once was. Maybe the extreme weather will help with our population problem. Of course in trying to cut down on methane emmissions we need to rid the state of all organic matter including humans.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  willhaas
January 4, 2017 11:31 am

Climate policies will deal with your population problem. They will drive business and prosperity out of the state, and the (productive) people with it. Well, maybe that won’t deal so well with your population problem, since you’ll still have the unproductive ones. When everyone has a government job, you know you’re screwed.

January 3, 2017 3:24 pm

California may get hit with an AR in the middle and south portion of the state, if this flow stays on course. This AR plume broke away 2 days ago, and started moving northeast…,28.34,497

Reply to  goldminor
January 3, 2017 6:51 pm

Good thing it is just an AR, an AK plume would be way worse! Ya know, .30 versus.223 and all.

Reply to  2hotel9
January 6, 2017 4:34 pm

Yet I was correct in my assessment of the flow as everyone can now see.

January 3, 2017 3:25 pm

I read an article today that they are expecting a “river” of moisture to hit the southern California area late this week and early next week.
It was a local report but forgot where it was.
Here is one forecast showing the beginning of next week.

David A
Reply to  Macusn
January 4, 2017 3:51 am

It is hitting Calif now.
Started yesterday

January 3, 2017 3:45 pm

Maybe they are looking at this forecast.

January 3, 2017 4:14 pm

You would think with the drought that this rain would be welcome. California has never gotten the rains like they do on the east coast or midwest. It’s always been feast or famine when it comes to water. Some of the reservoirs will fill up.

LOL in Oregon
January 3, 2017 5:58 pm

No one receiving goberment funds was harmed by publishing this fiasco.
…and many in the propaganda press strongly “believe”.

January 3, 2017 6:58 pm

We must remember, MIT manufactured the building 7 collapse model. The Moloch Institute of Terror and Contrived Science also has connections to MITRE.ORG and other fine institutions of which are connected to our manufactured reality.

January 3, 2017 8:18 pm

“… MIT scientists have found that such extreme precipitation events in California should become more frequent as the Earth’s climate warms over this century.”
“Found” is the wrong verb here.

David A
Reply to  BallBounces
January 4, 2017 3:53 am

Yes, the found exactly zero. The took a well funded WAG.

January 4, 2017 5:34 am

So the experts at MIT, with their ‘actionable’ hypotheses, think we ought to do what? What action? A link to the 1996/97 ARK storm mentioned in comments above is illuminating. The illumination comes in the form of ‘Should we or should we not build the Auburn Dam’. There is no other discussion. The storm dropped as much as 42 inches of rain in nine days above Oroville Dam with a peak inflow of 330,000 cubic feet per second and the system worked to mitigate downstream damage.
We get one of these storms every few years. Not to the degree of the 1986 or 1996 or 1955 or 1969 or 1909 or 1862 storms, but we get them. Now these folks are claiming we will get 2 – 3 more such storms every year? Nonsense. We don’t even average on per year now. They are actually saying that storms we now see on a multiyear scale will occur multiple times per year?
Once again it looks like models…all the way down!

G. Karst
January 4, 2017 9:14 am

When are people going to get it? It is cooling which causes severe weather. Warming is a pleasant walk in the park. GK

AGW is not Science
Reply to  G. Karst
January 4, 2017 11:35 am

Yup – people should be thankful we’re fortunate enough to be living in a warm climate, relatively speaking. And if they don’t believe that, they need to do some historical research about how marvelous life was for humanity during the Little Ice Age.

January 4, 2017 2:17 pm

Well. If their analysis is true it is time to raise the elevation on Shasta Dam and build more storage reservoirs, even if they are off stream. Also need to provide more wells to replenish ground water systems. All the previous global warming scenarios suggested more droughts.

Mike Maguire
January 5, 2017 4:42 pm

This post was made earlier, below another story but it probably belongs here:
The big weather story right now is the massive precip event taking shape on the West Coast of the USA.
Here is the latest NWS QPF(quantitative precipitation forecast) for the next 7 days:
This product is updated 2 times daily and it’s currently Thursday Evening. It will be fairly similar on Friday, before the event(s), which will come in several waves. It will be much different(with lesser amounts) if you are looking at it in several days, as precip goes from predicted to measured.
This is why its a big deal. Drought in California:
There will be places in central California that currently have exceptional drought that have their best precip measured in 1 week in many years. Reservoirs near record lows will get some needed water. Many locations will see 5 inches of rain with isolated spots getting much more than that. Snow in the highest elevations will be measured in yards. These heavy amounts will also effect northern California.
Hefty but less precip will fall farther north(Oregon/Washington), where they are in less need of the water//snow but it still will help boost moisture reserves.
Of course too much will fall in some places, causing mud slides, flooding and other issues. Nothing new for the state of California.
California extreme precipitation symposium:
How far south will the heavy precip fall?
Good question. Probably not far enough to substantively help San Diego. Los Angeles has the best shot at an inch of rain early on Monday. Here’s the NWS link for LA:
The forecast totals and locations will be adjusted a bit in the next few days but the pattern and powerful Pacific jet stream aimed at the West Coast makes this a sure thing.

Johann Wundersamer
January 10, 2017 8:17 am


Johann Wundersamer
January 10, 2017 8:45 am

From the “models can make you believe anything” :
Large-scale connection
Currently, researchers estimate the frequency of local heavy precipitation events mainly by using precipitation information simulated from global climate models. But such models typically carry out complex computations to simulate climate processes across hundreds and even thousands of kilometers. At such coarse resolution, it’s extremely difficult for such models to adequately represent small-scale features such as moisture convection and topography, which are essential to making accurate predictions of precipitation.
Those researchers will stick to their ‘models’ not leaving heated bureaus while every janitor and Miss Smilla does a better job on weather / climate:

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