Quote of the Week: While Newspaper claims Florida might see a Cat6 Hurricane, scientist says “not so fast”

From this article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The QOTW:

“Whether we’re talking about a change in the number of storms or an increase in the most intense storms, the changes that are likely to come from global warming are not likely to be detectable until 50 years from now,” said Brian Soden, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

“There’s so much natural variability in the system, the typical year-to-year variability in hurricane activity, that the signal really doesn’t emerge from that background variability until the latter half of this century.”

“We used to think 20 years ago that in a warmer climate there would be more hurricanes,” Columbia’ Sobel said. “Then the computer models got better. Most of those started to show fewer hurricanes, not more. No one knew why. Then some of the models started to show increases with warming. So I think we’re back to where we don’t know.”

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91 thoughts on “Quote of the Week: While Newspaper claims Florida might see a Cat6 Hurricane, scientist says “not so fast”

  1. More hurricanes, fewer hurricanes … either way it’s worse than they thought 😉

  2. A Cat VI, eh? Actually, their computers are spewing Cat VI BS each time they run the model.

    • For a hurricane to maintain a Cat 5 status takes almost perfect conditions and even then they do not stay at that level very long. Too many variables working against it. So a Cat 6 with 200 mph winds? Well, they can always hope.

        • It all makes sense now…many buildings these days are wired with Cat 6 ethernet cables so hurricanes should be allowed to upgrade to the newer standard.

      • It’s not that hard for a newspaper to correctly foresee a Cat 6 hurricane. The newspaper just redefines Cat 6 as an overlay to Cat 5 without mentioning it. Maybe they add an element, like diameter, or duration. They have done this often enough: redefinition of previously known terms without notifying your opponent. When called on it, the paper makes it obvious that the deniers just aren’t keeping up with the latest definitions. They are out of date. Their notions are date. Don’t listen to them any more.

  3. “So I think we’re back to where we don’t know.”
    Right. But then, you never did. You only pretended to know.
    Same thing with all climate “science” (or at least the “consensus version”).
    Game over.

    • “Then the computer models got better. … So I think we’re back to where we don’t know.”

      Or put another way, “better” computer models prove that Climate Scientists don’t have a clue on how to predict project future changes in hurricane intensity.

        • “until they admit that hurricanes get stronger…when the eye spins down smaller”

          They probably can’t account for that in their Climate Models since the average grid size of their models is larger than the average size of a hurricane’s eye. Maybe they need to create a new “parameterization” to account for that factor.

      • but I’ve been told the models are just “simple physics”, so how can “simple physics” change from more to less hurricanes ????

    • Right Latitude, if I read him right the signal won’t be detectable from the noise until vastly more information is collected over many decades.

        • Work it out, Latitude. They have 50 years of data; they need another 50 years to be certain. These guys are thinking about their grandchildren’s future — as climate scientists!

    • If you were going by the satellite OBSERVATIONS, you’d call it all a nothing-burger, but models are so much better, it’s a double quarter-pounder with cheese, and supersized freedum-fries.

  4. Exactly how much stronger will a water temperature increase of maybe 0.01C make hurricanes?

  5. When did the Saffir-Simpson scale add Category 6? Since the designation doesn’t exist, I don’t thing we’re likely to see one ever. Just more journalistic hyperbole.

  6. Forecasters debate whether the storm will generate the 200 mph winds to achieve Category 6 status.” [David Fleshler, Contact Reporter]

    He just made that up. “debate” = speculate = make up stuff

  7. ” and the worsening of storm surges from rising sea levels “…..until they stop blowing their forecasts and proving they don’t know

    Their prediction for Irma was Naples Fl would be under 18-20 ft of water….there was barely any water at all

  8. From the article: “the changes that are likely to come from global warming are not likely to be detectable until 50 years from now,” said Brian Soden, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.”

    You have to laugh at this kind of stuff.

    I guess Professor Soden didn’t get the memo from the Climate Alarmist Headquarters where they claim CAGW is already detectable in any and all weather events.

    • Tom, I don’t think these academics are cognizant of the conflicts that exist in the clamor of post-grad papers which seek to cash in on the current hysteria (albeit there are few other current and timely avenues to high-profile scientific celebrity for the “less gifted”).

    • It’s going to take 50 years for the signal to get strong enough to be discernible from the noise.
      On the other hand the signal is going to be so strong that it’s going to add 50mph to hurricane speeds.

      Cognitive dissonance much?

    • I’m a little upset with the logical Linda Blair head turning being foisted on the public by talking out both sides of their mouths. IF polar amplification is true, then extreme storms MUST diminish, because there is less of a temperature (and subsequent pressure) gradient from which to draw power. You don’t get to have it both ways.

      To all climate scientists, I say, PICK A FRICKIN’ HYPOTHESIS!!

  9. The Los Angeles Times put that story in the Sunday paper this week – Page A-6. I posted a few comments – inc this, and then got black-listed ‘for life’ they told me.

    The study period, 1949–2016, is suspect. Especially after he breaks it down into two parts, 1949-1982 and then 1983 – 2016. First, the data on tropical cyclones prior to 1982 is not complete, with many hurricanes not being studies at all. Many, out at sea, were hardly, or never seen, and others simply were not accurately tracked, nor measured. Note – early satellite data (1970’s) was only of poor quality black and white images, with no other scientific data collected.

    Secondly – there are major shifts in the various ocean oscillation phases during the time period, most notably the shift of the PDO in about 1979-1980. This alone created a major shift in the frequency and intensities of tropical hurricanes. I’d bet that most all of his findings are because of natural climate changes of the Earth.

    Thirdly, and also not referenced in his report is the North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO. It completed it’s phase shift – to positive – between 1975 and 1980.

    “The Positive NAO index phase shows a stronger than usual subtropical high pressure center and a deeper than normal Icelandic low. The increased pressure difference results in more and stronger winter storms crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a more northerly track. This results in warm and wet winters in Europe and in cold and dry winters in northern Canada and Greenland.”

    Though it’s more studied in regards to winter systems in the NE part of the US and NW Europe, it’s believed that it causes hurricane tracks to come closer to the NE US Coast – Tropical Super Storm Sandy ring a bell? And recently, we went through the longest period on record with out a major hurricane making US landfall.

    There are major powerful natural forces driving cyclonic activities and patterns; that some fraction (be it small, or large) of 0.50 C of global warming since the late 1970’s may have some human footprint in it, is not what is driving changes in these storm systems – at least not yet. Also missed in his study, is the fact that Mother Earth was experiencing global cooling from 1945 thru the late 1970’s. Then a warming cycle returned, almost identical to the global warming trend between 1910 and 1945. So roughly speaking, the first half of his study period was during a cooling cycle, and the second half during a warming cycle – yet, he makes no mention of that. Many scientists believe that those shifts are mostly driving by phase shifts of the various ocean oscillation cycles.

    • “… and then got black-listed ‘for life’ they told me.”

      Question: Did give you a reason for the blacklisting?

  10. Technically – they could have added a cat 6 to the scale a long time ago. A cat 5 is 157 MPH+. I was in Cozumel, MX in 1988 when Cat 5 Gilbert hit us dead center with sustained winds of 185 – gusts of 226 – and double eye wall (sorta like a 50 mile wide eye wall that lasts for a long long time). I’d be happy to call it a cat 6.
    Here’s the deal. The increase in wind speed for the different cat’s are:
    1-2 = 21mph
    2-3 = 14mph
    3-4 = 18mph
    4-5 = 26mph

    Don’t quite get the pattern – must have been designed over cocktails.

    Anyway – to take the last delta. 157 + 26 = 183. Gilbert was a Cat 6, and I can attest to it. HA!

    FTR – the guy’s article and the ‘study’ it’s based upon, are pure bunk, as is any newspaper that would publish such.

    • I think the basis for Cats is the destruction expected from the speed of the winds. Any winds over 155 mph blow down just about everything so what’s the sense of having a higher category.

      • Yes – I knew that it was based on something in that arena. Still, those are weird numbers. Perhaps TXS Sandy is a good example of that. But, the numbers are weird. I was kinda joking around – but still impressed by Hurricane Gilbert.

  11. Has anyone even tried to figure out if there’s an upper limit on hurricane strength? These systems are so chaotic the extra energy may just cause it to rip itself apart.

    • All of these speculative papers about increasing the intensity of tropical cyclones with global warming are based on the assumption that the intensity is limited by insufficient water temperature. This assumption is false. While warm waters are essential for cyclones to form and thrive, the required temperatures are almost always available in places like the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and tropical Atlantic during the summer and early fall. The limiting conditions are in the Atmosphere. They are so poorly understood, that the yahoos writing these articles don’t even know that atmospheric changes are the only things that can cause a trend in cyclone development and intensity. They aren’t even studying the proper part of the Earth!

    • I raised that question years ago.
      It appears there are limits on wind speed in storms.
      Sustained winds if about 200mph seem to be the maximum.
      The wind limit is not due to a shortage of energy.
      The energy levels in storms of all types are tremendous.

      • The pressure and temperature differentials are the main limiters. Wind blows from warm to cold, from moist to dry, from high pressure to low pressure. Greater the difference, faster the winds. As temperature and pressure equalize, winds slow and ultimately stop. Faster wind, faster effort to equalize. Classic negative feedback.

        To get much beyond 200mph you need to go elsewhere in the solar system where the differentials are orders of magnitude wider. IIRC Neptune is the current record holder at around 1300mph. 😮

  12. ““We used to think 20 years ago that in a warmer climate there would be more hurricanes,” Columbia’ Sobel said. “Then the computer models got better. Most of those started to show fewer hurricanes,”

    Bafflegab, false claims and false attributions. This guy must be the life of the parties.

    • His very next sentence goes on to say . . . “So I think we’re back to where we don’t know.”

      No kidding, Shinola.

  13. A good news reporter, from days gone past, would have pointed out that no one making such predictions today that are fifty years out will be around to accept accolades or blame. Some would have even compared such predictions to the past Apocalypse Predictions where some “authority” convinced a bunch of folks to meet on a hill because end days were upon the world. I guess when you throw in that these modern predictions all come from a computer, well gee whiz that must give them more validity. The only thing news worthy in this report is Soden admitting they were wrong before.

  14. “…No one knew why…”

    Really? A total mystery? Even the people who build the models – supposedly on science and physical equations – couldn’t figure it out? What a pathetic field.

    • “What a pathetic field” Whaaa? It’s a GREAT field. What other field allows you to pull predictions out of your…um your model, and present them as future possibilities with no accountability what so ever, none. It’s a fantastic gig, prolly pays well too.

    • Clipe,
      I grew up in Wisconsin.
      Some years our hope was for summer to come on a weekend so we could have a picnic….

  15. Is this site now indenting the first indentation level by a lesser amount? Good, if so—it looks that way. (But it should be decreased still further.)

  16. Yeah, we have accurate sustained wind measurments on peak hurricane intensity back to the Roman Warming Period. Oh wait, no we don’t!

    Heck we don’t even have very much data on Tip, compared to the degree we watched Patricia every second of its existence. Just look at Hurricane Beryl recently, we would have never even noticed that brief 50 total mile wide storm 60 years ago, but I digress…..

  17. Models, all unverified and unvalidated. No wonder they can and do give any answer the user requires.

  18. Whether we’re talking about a change in the number of storms or an increase in the most intense storms, the changes that are likely to come from global warming are not likely to be detectable until 50 years from now,”

    said Brian Soden,

    professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

    “There’s so much natural variability in the system, the typical year-to-year variability in hurricane activity, that the signal really doesn’t emerge from that background variability until the latter half of this century.”

    “We used to think 20 years ago that in a warmer climate there would be more hurricanes,”

    Columbia’ Sobel said.

     “Then the computer models got better. Most of those started to show fewer hurricanes, not more. No one knew why. Then some of the models started to show increases with warming. So I think we’re back to where we don’t know.”
    _____________________________________________________

    We even can’t say is it a ‘Soden’ or should it be ‘Sobel’.

    Shucks.

  19. Nul hypothesis for the win. Where’s my Nobel?

    If it will take 50 years for a signal to emerge then the honestvanswer is to admit no signal can be detected and any model that shows one is wrong.

  20. ‘“We used to think 20 years ago that in a warmer climate there would be more hurricanes,” Columbia’ Sobel said. “Then the computer models got better. Most of those started to show fewer hurricanes, not more. No one knew why’

    That’s odd, because most people who expressed an opinion on these pages was pretty sure that in a warming world, the poles would warm faster than the tropics, which would reduce the temperature difference between the two, which is the driving force of all tropical storms.

  21. What *is* going on here…. some sort of crazed mating ritual or just childishness?
    Looking at it from the ‘romance’ perspective, are they claiming to have got/obtained/found The Biggest and Bestest Thing (a Cat 6 storm)?
    This will then promote whoever to being The Alpha Male. ’nuff said there.

    Or are they claiming to be super sensitive & caring, in the imagination that that is a desirable & attractive characteristic and will bring the girlz racing to their company.
    =One Epic Fail: because at the moment(s) when girls *are* actually fertile, that is THE very last thing they’re looking for in a mate. They know fakery when they see it, it gives them headaches.

    Or are they using the idea of a Cat 6 as some sort of threat – as in the way schoolboyz might introduce spiders into the hair of their female classmates. Demonstrating the Complete Lack of Social Skillz – simultaneously laughable and sad.
    Is Social Skill the only thing lacking in these people, what about scientific skill not least?

    All beautifully exemplified by Jeff Masters and his Cat 6 blog at Wunderground.
    Epic Big Willyism combined with Dating Profile pictures of himself and how ‘intrepid he is/was, and then, loaded with stomach churning Faux Sincerity and Technicality about Weather & Climate.

    Yet go there and watch *anyone* put in a skeptical word and within minutes their comment is blitzed by a storm of horrible Ad Hominem, subsequently to be deleted by folks calling themselves ‘gatekeeper’ Amazing to watch. They constantly give themselves away as rather unpleasant people.
    (I did an understatement there, didya see it)

    What happened to self awareness and honesty in this world…….

  22. This is a classic case of people believing their lifetime is the whole world. NOAA has records of hurricanes dating back to the early 19 century. The last time I checked, the use of fossil fuels started around the start of the 19 century, so that gives us over 2 centuries of steadily increasing fossil fuel use, and over a century of hurricane records. Here is what NOAA Says: “Once an estimate for likely missing storms is accounted for the increase in tropical storms in the Atlantic since the late-19th Century is not distinguishable from no change.” https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/historical-atlantic-hurricane-and-tropical-storm-records/
    So the question to ask, if it hasnt happened in almost a century and a half of increasing co2 generation, why exactly do they think it will happen in the next few decades?

  23. “we’re back to where we don’t know”
    Don’t be ridiculous. You never left.
    That’s what happens when you do science based on the tea leaves in your cup.

  24. “We used to think 20 years ago that in a warmer climate there would be more hurricanes,” Columbia’ Sobel said. “Then the computer models got better. Most of those started to show fewer hurricanes, not more. No one knew why. Then some of the models started to show increases with warming. So I think we’re back to where we don’t know.”

    Perhaps the models were adjusted because there’s no grant money in predicting fewer hurricanes.

  25. I guess if you wait long enough you might see a bigger better higher lower etc thing. Thats why we have records and why they are occasionally broken. Big Deal.

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