Hurricane Florence, Culmination of Exploitation of Natural Events by Government, Extremists, and Business

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

The east coast of America experienced a storm surge, heavy rain, flooding, and strong winds that blew down trees. Also, regrettably, a few people who live in the area lost their lives. These are all normal events, except the loss of lives which only began after people occupied the region. In fact, the total impact was below the normal for long-term averages of hurricanes in this region. Being surprised by the impacts of a hurricane in this region is like being surprised by flooding when you live on a floodplain.

The whole story of hurricane Florence underscores the degree of corruption of natural events for a political agenda. All the players, from the bureaucrats at the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), through the media, and the historical role of Insurance companies, created misinformation, misused and omitted data, to nakedly distort the reality. They took a perfectly normal, well within even brief historical sequence event, and turned it into a never before seen monster.

The role of NOAA in this is further evidence of their collusion in the deception that is anthropogenic global warming (AGW). With Florence, they got almost everything wrong. The computer model predictions of the path and strength were wrong even in such a short distance and in 48 hours; a period for which they claim a high level of accuracy. They claimed the hurricane path was very unusual because it was further north than usual. No, it wasn’t. I was in Bermuda in the early 1960s when we were forced to evacuate because of a hurricane moving in.

On Wednesday the 12th I did four radio programs across America explaining what was wrong with the hype and predictions about hurricane Florence. By Wednesday evening they already downgraded Florence from a Category 4 to a Category 2, and it came ashore barely as a Category 1. In fact, it was amusing to see how long they continued to report it with wind speeds of 75 mph because if it was 74 mph, it was no longer a hurricane. NOAA control the wind speed determinations with their estimates from one or two flights above the hurricane from which, using models they estimate surface speed. We know these are consistently higher than reality, but a higher speed allows for a higher hurricane category and greater media attention.

The major story with Florence was the level of exploitation and hype by every segment of society all driven by the so-called experts getting it wrong. In just that one small region of the world with a reasonable supply of information, several computers gave different paths and potential outcomes. The idea that a cone of potential paths is somehow helpful or is an improvement is laughable. All you have to do is look at the tracks of all previous hurricanes and with a known starting point draw a cone. It doesn’t need a computer. The truth is the forecasters got the most important parts of the dynamics wrong.

Apparently, the NOAA forecast ignored three major mechanisms. One was the presence of colder water as Florence moved north. The fuel source for a hurricane is the latent heat of evaporation carried up and released as sensible heat after condensation. Estimates are that a moderate hurricane, like Florence, evaporates 2 billion gallons of water an hour. This is why, when the system moves over land it dissipates very quickly. Another was the three-dimensional dynamics of a system that stretches from the surface to the Tropopause. That very distinct boundary is twice as high over the Equator (approximate average, 18 km) as it is over the Poles (approximate average, 8 km). This means the system gets flattened out as it moves north, which explains why Florence became much wider. As it widens the wind speed diminishes in the opposite effect to a skater spinning with arms spread spinning slowly and increasing spin rate as the arms are drawn in. Very simply, the speed of rotation is determined by the radius of the mass from the axis of rotation. The combination of the energy in the system and the reduced speed of rotation served to alter the path the system takes. The Coriolis Effect is changed, which is partly why they got the direction wrong in such a short distance.

As Florence’s Category decreased the wind speed decreased but also the atmospheric pressure decreased. At 955 mb it was above average, but this increased with the category change. This is very important because a major cause of the surge is the weight of the atmosphere pushing down on the ocean surface. With low pressure the surface bulges up and it moves along with the system. When this long low amplitude wave reaches shore it becomes the tidal surge. It is amplified on the windward side of the hurricane center and also if it coincides with high tide. These factors should be part of the estimate of flooding potential.

The media distortions were fully represented by the reporter pretending to lean over because of the wind when people in shorts stroll casually past. Unseen in all this, is the role insurance companies played in this history of this exploitation. They did far more to exploit the deception of AGW or profit than any energy company.

I was reminded of this with the misinformation and unadulterated exploitation of hurricane Florence by alarmists and the media. Attempts to present the hurricane as abnormal and link it to climate change were naked and almost desperate. It reached a nadir when the Washington Post wrote,

Yet when it comes to extreme weather, Mr. Trump is complicit. He plays down humans’ role in increasing the risks, and he continues to dismantle efforts to address those risks. It is hard to attribute any single weather event to climate change. But there is no reasonable doubt that humans are priming the Earth’s systems to produce disasters.

This is a reference to Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. A good article about this distortion was presented by James Agresti on WUWT. I will only add two points. Bjorn Lomborg calculated that even if fully implemented the Paris Agreement would make no difference. He wrote,

The climate impact of all Paris INDC promises is minuscule: if we measure the impact of every nation fulfilling every promise by 2030, the total temperature reduction will be 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100. (His emphasis).

This reduction is within the error of the estimate, and it incorrectly assumes that CO2 is causing warming. To add insult to injury, China, Russia, and India, combined adding far more CO2 and not required to reduce production until 2030, are demanding money from the Green Climate Fund approved in Paris.

A hurricane is normal and is only defined as disastrous because of the damage, death, and destruction it does to humans and their constructions. Like the tree falling in the forest, all the other impacts of flooding and trees blown would occur even if humans were not present. Over time more and more people moved into the hurricane-prone region and suffered the consequences. All of the more severe consequences resulted from the enabling and false sense of security created by government and insurance companies. For example, two of the greatest loss of lives involved Galveston, Texas and New Orleans. In 1900, an estimated 12,000 people drowned in Galveston because an earthen dam failed. Authorities dramatically downplayed the loss of lives for political and economic reasons. In 2005, hurricane Katrina came ashore at New Orleans, and 1833 people died, most from the flooding. They were behind a dike that the US Army Corps of Engineers sought to fortify but were blocked by environmental groups. Katrina, like Florence, was hyped and even today Wikipedia still says,

Hurricane Katrina was an extremely destructive and deadly Category 5 hurricane that struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in August 2005.

In fact, Katrina was barely Category 3 when it came ashore.

Before Katrina, the most expensive in terms of claims for damage ($108 billion) was hurricane Andrew at $26.5 billion in 1992. This is important because the multiple small insurance companies were unable to satisfy all the claims. As a result, a few insurance companies were created to provide insurance to smaller companies, called re-insurance. They offered insurance to the smaller companies in the event of another similar overwhelming disaster. There are hundreds of them today because it is such a lucrative business. I know this because a former student of mine who is a manager handling a large portfolio (a few billion) is always looking for companies with very low overheads and extremely high cash assets. He identified a few for consideration but never invests without talking to management. He discovered that a short list of the largest early players, such as Swiss-Re and Munich-Re, established bases in Bermuda. He arranged to visit with a few of them and invited me to talk with them about how they build hurricane forecasting into their strategies.

The businesses were based in Bermuda because of a tax-free deal. Bermuda benefitted from the large amounts of cash moving through their banking systems. Ironically, the majority of staff at these companies in Bermuda were young men and women formally working for Lloyds of London. They all lost their jobs after Lloyds was unable to manage claims mostly from oil tanker spills.

As I recall, we visited with at least four companies and asked them all the same questions about hurricanes and research science and forecasting. I asked them if they followed the work of the late Dr. William (Bill) Gray at the University of Colorado. In every case, they said they did not pay any attention to weather or climate forecasting in general and hurricane forecasting specifically, and none knew about Dr. Gray. I asked them how they determined rates from year to year if they didn’t consider research and expert predictions. One answer represented the overall view, ‘We charge what the market will bear.’

The shameless part of all this was the overt activity by some of these companies, but especially Swiss-Re in promoting its business. They joined the Chicago Climate Exchange that was central to carbon credits trading and had Maurice Strong on the Board. They claimed they joined to “facilitate reduction of carbon emissions.” You could argue their intent was genuine as expressed here

Swiss Re uses its core skills in risk assessment and risk transfer to address sustainability challenges, including climate change. While its specialists foster the exchange of relevant knowledge within the company, they also collaborate with external experts to achieve a better understanding of environmental issues.

The trouble is even minimum research showed carbon credits increase CO2 in the atmosphere. Why didn’t they find this?

A UN-endorsed carbon offset scheme designed to reduce emissions has actually increased them massively, a study by a green think tank has found.

As well as pumping much as 600 million tonnes more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the carbon credits scheme has been abused by countries like Russia and the Ukraine which have used them as a money-making scam.

A simple search also raises this article title,Why does IDEAcarbon believe that carbon offsets reduce emissions?”

Then there is Swiss Re sponsorship of a documentary (here). They explain

“As part of our core focus on sustainability, Swiss Re has been committed to actively raising awareness of climate change issues for well over a decade and we believe that ‘The Great Warming’ is an important step forward,” said Mr. Simon Lam, General Manager for the Hong Kong Branch of Swiss Re.”

Here is a press release about the movie that pushes all the propaganda buttons.

Narrated by Alanis Morissette and Keanu Reeves, The Great Warming is a dramatic film about climate change that sweeps around the world to reveal how a changing climate is affecting the lives of people everywhere. It has been called “the best film about global warming ever shot,” and taps into the growing groundswell of public interest in this topic to present an emotional, accurate picture of our children’s planet.

The Great Warming includes hard-hitting comments from scientists and opinion-makers about America’s lack of leadership in what is certainly the most critical environmental issue of the 21st century, as well as new scenes documenting the emerging voice of the America’s faith communities urging action on climate change.

Why do they need to say “our children’s planet? What do “faith communities” have to do with climate change? The answer is because it is all about the political and emotional exploitation of natural events.

Perhaps the most egregious distortion created by the insurance industry was the claim that hurricanes were increasing in intensity. It turned out the data they used was the increasing cost of claims. Of course, this was almost all due to the increasing gouging for materials and labor before and after the event.

AGW is the biggest fake news story of all created and perpetuated by the bureaucrats who are the deep state. A single small moderate and normal hurricane named Florence demonstrated the level of deceptions across the social and political spectrum. We need to ask how much longer can people who consistently get their forecasts wrong, retain credibility and keep their jobs? If Upton Sinclair is correct,

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

Then it will be a long time before they go, especially adding, for me, Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s even more disturbing observation that,

“To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good.”

Finally, just a couple of many questions to underscore the insanity of it all. Consider how much infrastructure could be made hurricane proof with the billions of dollars spent by the Federal government on AGW. Why aren’t there mandatory building codes for a hurricane region that has existed for thousands of years and will continue, with or without climate change?

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126 thoughts on “Hurricane Florence, Culmination of Exploitation of Natural Events by Government, Extremists, and Business

  1. My personal gripe is how they exaggerate everything. The number of deaths attributed to the storm is rather silly – a man dies packing [to evacuate] and he becomes a victim of the storm. Someone dies of a heart attack and that is attributed to the storm, despite the fact that every day in that area many have and some die from heart attacks. A couple [dies] in their burning home – exactly why is that the storm’s doing? Etc etc

    • Kent, they are perpetrating a hoax on the American people by stimulating the Amygdala and implanting their messaging into the unassuming human subconscious. As a result many will more easily buy off on the narrative that nature kills and it is all our fault for burning fossil fuel.
      This is why they began naming snowstorms and blaming them for the heart attacks brought on by shoveling snow. They headline “Bertha kills 76” and omit the part about 72 of them suffering from bad hearts. All the while the brainwashed will respond bull, Why would they deceive us? What do they have to gain? H.L. Mencken observed that “the urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it.”
      He also noted that “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of Hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    • One way they justify exaggerating the strength of an imminent Hurricane, is to get people to evacuate, especially along the barrier islands and the Florida Keys, just in case it really is bad, because they really are clueless about how bad it will be and they know it, they just don’t want to admit it. Unfortunately, this will have the unintended consequence of fewer people evacuating, knowing that the risk is consistently exaggerated.

      • There is an interesting observation to be made comparing heat waves with cold snaps and the resulting death rates. With a heat wave, there is a peak of deaths but, after that, there is a dip in the death rate, which means that the heat wave killed those who were already with one foot in the grave. The heat wave simply shortened lives from a normal background death rate. A few people simply died a couple of weeks earlier than if there was not heat wave.

        A cold wave causes a death rate peak, but there is no dip in the death rate afterward. Cold kills. People who would live a lot longer died well before their “time.”

        The idea that warming is going to kill people is simply stupid and belies the political and evil agenda behind the contention. In fact, people move south when they retire, to enjoy the warmth. They do not move north to colder climes to have a peaceful life

        • A big item a lot of people take for granted with cold is traffic deaths. There are thousands of traffic deaths every year in Canada due to snow and ice. This isn’t one of those “maybe kind of related” things. This is a direct causation.

    • I posed to a group of acquaintances a hypothetical situation followed by a few questions:
      A man suffering a heart attack is transported to the Hospital, but the road is blocked by a traffic accident and the man dies in route.
      Did the traffic accident cause the man’s death?
      If the traffic closure was due to a due to a flooded road, was that the cause of death?
      The answers were essentially, “No” in both cases with some adding contributory factors, but with the caveat that the man could have very well died anyway.

      When informed that the 3rd death attributed to Florence was indeed this exact situation some acquiesced that the statistics were being cooked. Other’s wish to be deluded.

      • Looking through the 30 attributed deaths, all are lamentable, but attribution to any storm is dubious at best.
        2 deaths due carbon monoxide poisoning…
        1 death of an octogenarian who struck his head while packing…
        1 electrocution death caused by improperly connecting extension cords…
        1 death from heart attack…

  2. You know, they better cut this crap out….they are believing their own hype…and over predicting these storms
    ….and not crying wolf….hysterically screaming wolf

    They had everyone in the state of Florida jumping from one side to the other before Irma…until people finally said screw it, exactly the same thing they did with Ivan
    ..claimed a 20 ft + storm surge on the SW coast…when the wind has to go over land first and blow offshore…

    ..and the news getting caught faking it over and over….

    My absolute favorite..the weather channel puts some sacrificial reporter…right on the beach…to everyone they are all going to die….people see that and go “like hell”…..who’s going to go into debt, and all the trouble, evacuating when they see that?

    They are flat out telling everyone …we fake it, we lie, it’s all hype

    • They do that in Florida every year.
      Been in Florida 11 years,central east coast 1 block from the beach. Haven’t evacuated yet.
      Have seen a lot of adverse weather in my lifetime from blizzards & ice storms to tornados, typhoons to hurricanes… but y’ haven’t really seen anything until y’ ride out a hurricane on a Navy ship out in the middle of the ocean sometime
      Hyperventilating is an art form for the weather channel. It’s especially bad when that ‘bad boy’ Canatore
      standing on a beach somewhere starts spouting off the hyperbole long in advance of the storm.The guy makes me want to puke.If y’ think the faker from Florence was bad, y’ need to watch Cantore start foaming at the mouth about the coming Armageddon that might,could,may,if this,if that,possibly,
      chances of, maybe,perhaps,makes his spiel along with the ambiguous map that has 50 different lines of spaghetti on it that don’t tell anyone anything other than there is a storm brewing,but we don’t know where it is going to go. What’s worse than the obvious playacting of the pretenders is trying to read the news stories they have posted. Just about everything that could otherwise be an interesting read is spoiled by the insertion of CAGW blather in the article & I quit reading when I come to that part. One of the things that makes me laugh is that they are always flashing me a little message to turn off my ad blocker because ads pay their bills. I think yea I don’t really care if you go broke cause the AGW message & false reporting are not what a reputable weather station is supposed to be about. In short I hate liars.

      • The problem for the MSM and the politicians is that they hype up the storm while it is still 3-4 days offshore, using someone’s wind estimates, and someone elese’s predicted track. Then, they don’t antiticpate upper-level wind shears, or the effects of colder water, or whatever, and the storm weakens and weakens. But they have already invested themselves in the story, and can’t back down. So, instead of “the worst hurricane ever”, it becomes “well, the storm has weakened, but it’s going to linger and drop a lot of rain in one place” and “it isn’t over yet – there is still going to be catastrophic river flooding”. They believe their initial lie, and then can’t admit they are wrong.
        Also, they send massive amounts of reporters (even Don Lemon, from CNN) into the area, and they have to have something to report, so they use lots of scary-sounding adjectives to describe what is really a pretty pedestrian stomr.

    • https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/26/shocker-national-geographic-admits-they-were-wrong-about-starving-polar-bear-video/#comment-2414983

      The radical enviros are typically dishonest – “any lie is OK, if it supports the Cause”.

      As a general observation:
      Eco-extremism is the new “front” for economic Marxists, who were discredited after the fall of the Soviet Union circa 1990.

      Read Dr. Patrick Moore’s essay, “Hard Choices for the Environmental Movement”, written in 1994, especially “The Rise of Eco-Extremism”
      http://ecosense.me/2012/12/30/key-environmental-issues-4/

      I have corresponded with Patrick on this essay and I think he “nailed it”. So did he.

      Regards, Allan

  3. Politics, money, peer pressure and the lying, fact-free, fake news media’s censorship have completely corrupted science. Climate change has turned science/engineering/economics into full time bullshit factories.

    The Radiative Green House Effect theory contains a fatal flaw.

    For RGHE to perform as advertised requires the earth’s surface to radiate upwelling LWIR as an ideal black body, i.e. 1.0 emissivity at 16 C, 289 K, 396 W/m^2. (TFK_bams09)

    The contiguous presence of atmospheric molecules participating in non-radiative heat transfers through conduction, convection, latent renders impossible such BB LWIR, the effective surface emissivity being 0.16, i.e. actual 63 W/m^2 / ideal 396 W/m^2.

    The LWIR upwelling 396 W/m^2 does not exist – the GHG energy loop “warming” the surface and atmosphere does not exist – and the global warming and climate changes that are attributed to carbon dioxide and mankind do not exist.

    Three decades of careers, books, papers, research, seminars all go straight in the trash bin and the trillion-dollar climate change industry is instantly unemployed.

    No big deal, just some minor changes.

    Hey, what can you say? It’s SCIENCE!!! Have any yourself? Bring it!

    Nick Schroeder, BSME CU ’78, CO PE 22774

    • Using all the energy flows except the bogus surface emission and the bogus back radiation figures of NASA, I get 58.5 W/m^2 from the surface but NASA says 40W/m^2 of that is the straight through atmospheric window. I have not seen proof of the atmospheric window number of 40W/m^2 though.

      https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1029/2012GL051409

      From the above study since the conclusion was that at most, N2 and O2 together were responsible for 38% of the influence of methane and then only under dry conditions , I had then ignored and forgotten the study. However rereading the study , it dawned on me that we can’t say that collisions with O2 and N2 is a significant source of outgoing LWIR. Indeed the study proposes that collisions with N2 and O2 reduce the outgoing LWIR slightly. This I had completely failed to understand when I had first come across the study. That means that if back downward radiation is significant( I don’t believe it is), the atmosphere can’t get rid of the DWIR by collisions with N2 and O2 since that study says that OLR is actually reduced from collisions. It is very important to prove that all the latent heat that is released from condensation is conveyed by convection to the upper atmosphere and then to space. However the 18.5W/m^2 that is the net outgoing IR from the surface (163.3 total absorbed by surface – 86.4 evap – 18.4 convection – 40 atmospheric window ) is the amount that the GHGs are waiting to trap according to the alarmists. Notice I have considered the whole thing in balance with no back radiation. The alarmists do not dispute the above figures but of course they add in a large bogus back radiation amount without the corresponding upward radiation because they forget that GHG’s are isotropic. See the NASA diagram. https://www.nasa.gov/feature/langley/keeping-an-eye-on-earth-s-energy-budget

      So this 18.5 W/m^2 is where all the trouble starts. Even the alarmists would have to admit that little back radiation existed in the year 1750 so that we can start with above figure of 18.5W/m^2. That is of course assuming that the 40W/m^2 for the atmospheric window and the 18.4 for conduction are correct. I have verified from the hydrological cycle numbers that the evap figure of 86.4 is more or less correct.

      So because mankind has been emitting ~6.67% of CO2 see latest satellite figures of 17% more farmland than we thought and more CO2 emitted from plowed fields than we thought) and add an extra 30 % (6.67 * 0.3 =2.0) for methane and another 10% for N2O (6.67 *.1 = 0.667 which in the overall greenhouse gas emissions would put man ‘s contribution at 6.67 + 2 + 0.667 = 9.333 % Let us round it to 10% to give the alarmists the benefit of the doubt. However for this to be valid then the IPCC will have to ban cows and I dont know what else to ban to cover the N2O) However that is only 10% of the non condensing GHG’s which are anthropogenic. Of course this analysis isn’t completely accurate
      because it doesnt take into account the net residence increase of those GHG’s per year. For CO2 we know it is on the order of 0.5%.

      However as you can see from the above study, methane has become more important. Since the actual forcing of the present levels of methane are now 30% of the forcing of CO2 , it will be interesting whether the IPCC proposes to ban the 1.5 billion cows. However since human emissions of water vapour are only 1% of natural sources, at least IPCC won’t yet propose to ban us from watering our lawns.

      For latest radiative forcings of the GHG’ s see

      https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016GL071930

      However , we still have to compare the total forcing of water vapour with the GHG’s. See the water vapour forcing calcs

      https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/agu16-poster-final.pdf

      Since there was 3.3W/m^2 of increased forcing from water vapour in the 28 year period 3.3/28 = 0.1178 W/m^2 per year

      However from the radiative forcing study above, increase of CO2 forcing from 1950 has been 1.4 W/m^2.

      So dividing by 68 years we have 0.02 W/m^2 per year for CO2.

      That gives water vapour ~ 5.9 times times the forcing of CO2.(0.1178 / 0.02) Even including the other GHGs since 1950 we have 1.4 + (1.4 * .3) + (1.4 * .1) = 1.96 W/m^2
      dividing by 68 years we have 0.0288 W/m^2 per year

      Or since 1950 when the modern day heavy CO2 emissions began, water vapour has a forcing of (0.1178 / 0.0288) = ~4 times the amount of all GHG’s.

      This brings up an important point. If there is back radiation with CO2 then there is back radiation with water vapour. Thus if there is forcing of more water vapour with CO2 then there is more forcing of water vapour with water vapour.

      If water vapour is 4 times more powerful than CO2 in the atmosphere at 408 ppm CO2 , then why havent we had runaway global warming because of water vapour? Is it because that the 18.5 W/m^2 that I derived above from surface emission only translates to a 3.3 W/m^2 of increased forcing from water vapour since 1988 and the 2.3 W/m^2 from all GHG increased forcing since 1750 ? Obviously this total of 5.6W/m^2 of all forcing means that 18.5-5.6 = ~ 13 W/m^2 escapes into space along with the other 40 W/m^2 in the atmospheric window. Also every little bit of the released heat from condensation obviously escapes back to space. Trenberth thinks the missing heat went to the oceans. How could it get to the oceans surface without also getting to the land surface and heating us up?

    • Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
      C. S. Lewis

    • This is all Donald Trump’s fault.
      His personality is hurricane-like,
      and that has stirred up
      mother nature!

      Obama had his eight years
      with no major hurricanes
      making landfall.

      Trump shows up in
      January 2017 and hurricanes
      are hitting us left and right.

      So they are obviously his fault.

      Trump should pay for these
      hurricanes from his own vast fortune.

      All Americans with homes on the Atlantic
      Ocean should sell them immediately —
      if the hurricanes don’t get them, they will
      soon be underwater from global warming,
      so says Al Gore (A brilliant man who also
      invented the internet).

    • Follow the money eh?
      OK:
      Insurance–>Underwriter (down to the last cufflink, it was, to be a member of Lloyds) not any more.
      Instead we have –>Re-Insurance= circular logic .. take a piece of the premium and pass on the risk.. ergo the Underwriter is now the Taxpayer= same guy who pays the premium (see AIG $180 Billion to pay shorts/claims to Goldman Sachs et al. 2008/9).
      Fast forward: Honest Joe, my Turf Accountant, (he doesn’t like the term ‘Bookie’) pays out 80-90 cents on the Premium $ v 25-30 cents (last time I checked) by your Insurance Co. !
      My recommendation: Bet ON the Hurricanes not AGAINST them…. much better odds and more fun too!
      I rest my case.
      Cheers

      • Private insurance doesn’t offer flood insurance, they may pretend to, but the flood insurance comes from the federal government at heavily subsidized rates. Most People decline because FEMA will give grants and low interest loans to rebuild the homes anyway.

  4. There is a great deal of hype concerning any natural disaster, and a good many useless proposals to deal with the problems.
    Renewable energy to deal with global warming would be counterproductive with tropical storms, given the frailty of the systems, and the general lack of relationship between CO2 and storms.
    Dealing with the effects of these storms is mostly zoning in not building in the worst flood zones, and building codes that deal with the side-forces and uplift. There was a picture of a hurricane damaged building on this site last year (I think) with brick veneer not tied to the frame walls, and the wall sheathing being foamboard over the studs. A fair example of what not to do to harden a frame structure against windstorms.

    • We could nip this in the bud beaucoup quick–the Insurance Companies just have to decline to ever insure again any building in a floodplain or below a certain sea level in surge-prone areas. You want to live there, the risk is on YOU–not the stockholders, not the co-insured, and sure as HELL not the taxpayers.

      Fine, build your hacienda-on-stilts below the high-tide line. Knock yourself out . . . but YOU take the risk!

      Ever wonder why Native Americans and early settlers (say, before 1880’s) never built much in these places? Riight–they understood nature’s power and cycles, and did not suffer from modern hubris where we think we CONTROL climate, weather, and storms. The wild TURKEYS in my woodlot are smarter than most modern humans. And certainly manage hurricanes better.

      • The insurance companies don’t insure against floods. In certain places federal flood insurance can be purchased. Most of the properties in the flooded areas in N Carolina aren’t covered.

      • The insurance companies declined to provide flood insurance long ago. In flood prone areas it is possible to buy federal flood insurance but most of the houses in the flooded areas in N Carolina don’t have it!

          • Most of the people in the affected areas apparently don’t know that they don’t have coverage. Relying on FEMA is very risky (and based on Sandy not very reliable), for example it requires that a federal disaster be declared which wouldn’t be the case for localized floods. Also you’re probably alright if you live in a Republican district but it’s a bit more dodgy if in a Democrat district. Blue states are expected to subsidize the red states and not apply for assistance. Thirty six republican senators voted against the emergency spending package for Sandy (NJ and NY etc.), no such reticence by them in applying for aid after Harvey in Texas.

  5. When faced with disasters you have two choices.
    Put up with so called gouging, or be prepared to deal with massive shortages of everything.

    I worked for Sears in Atlanta when Andrew hit Florida. The night before Andrew hit, a gentleman bought every gas powered chainsaw in the store I worked at. He said he was taking them down to Florida to sell.

    If you think he was planing to sell them for the same price that he bought them, you don’t know human nature.
    He was planning on selling them for as much as he could get.
    Does anyone think he would have gone to this effort if he knew he couldn’t make a huge profit?
    Does anyone think the people of Florida would have been better off had the man not brought down extra chainsaws?

    • You can either harness our faults so that they produce good, or try and remove our faults so that we become good.

      One works, the other does not.

  6. I live in Raleigh which is on the north edge of the storm. As the storm slowed, the bigger issue quickly became the rain bands away from the eye coming in over the same areas. Hours of 2+” of rain an hour quickly becomes overflowing rivers. The flooded areas of New Bern, Belhaven and some others on the western side of the sounds floods during Nor’easters, so this is not unexpected. The only difference with Florence was it has crawled along so the wind has lasted days causing higher waters.

    We have had other hurricanes with more wind damage, especially inland. Fran was more intense for a shorter time. Matthew dumped more water upstream so the flooding came down river from farther up.

    Florence will be memorable like Harvey for just how long it stayed around. Other than that, it was your basic hurricane. It wasn’t Hugo or Hazel which roared in as true major hurricanes. It certainly wasn’t a Camille that put large ships 2 miles inland. It just kind of eased on in and as I write this, is still wondering slowly over South Carolina. Everyone will be glad when it finally leaves.

    • Here in the northeast, rainfall amounts could be in the 2 – 3″ range, with perhaps some minor flooding issues. Not unexpected, and to some extent, welcome, as it’s been a bit on the dry side the past few weeks.

    • And the CAGW crowd will claim the rains are a sign of global warming. Of course they claimed that hurricanes would increase in number and when that didn’t pan out it was they would be more intense and when that didn’t they would cause more rain because they’d more slower (that was based on Harvey). So they’ll add Florence to the list of “proofs”.

      A radio talk show host (with the initials RL) made a point that most peoples (certainly the presses) history only covers the time they were alive. I’m beginning to think he’s right. They keep talking about Sandy being “unprecedented” (a cat 3) and never mention the 1938 hurricane that devastated New England for example.

    • In Florida, they have massive infrastructure for dealing with rain. Is that nor present in the Carolinas? I know the Carolinas get fewer hurricanes than Florida, so maybe it is easier to just deal with the damage rather than prepare for it ahead of time.

      • The average slope of the ground in both Carolina’s is many times greater than FL, and the actual slope (even from “bottom of the Piedmont (lowest hills of the Appalachians) to the coast is many times steeper than FL. So the water runs off much, much faster than in FL.

        FL is characterized by regular – but brief! – afternoon thundershowers. The Carolina’s (and GA and AL to some extent) get irregular afternoon showers but fewer severe thunderstorms. The weather across MS-AL-GA-NC/SC is usually from west-to-east as regular frontal systems. So there are longer periods of storms (sometimes tornadoes) over each area as these frontal systems across each state. Between strom fronts, not too many showers and thundershowers. Very, very little winds outside fo the storms due to the Bermuda high. But “call AL and find out what the weather will be in Atlanta tomorrow morning” is a very real thing. (In SC, “Call ATL and see what the weather be in the morning.” In NC, call Greenwille and see what the weather will be this afternoon.”)

  7. The kicker is, one of these days they will cry “wolf”!, and it truly will be a wolf, but many won’t believe it, and many deaths will result. That will be on their heads.

    • Because the media, many decades ago, threw in with the party that advocates for more centralized government solutions to everyday problems as they slowly yet openly evolve int the the American Socialist Party. This maneuver has always required a government controlled Propaganda Ministry masquerading as news.

  8. Hurricanes in the North Atlantic usually start out tracking to the northwest and then curve to the northeast. That’s why the forecasts showing Florence curving to the southwest after landfall seemed a little strange. Of course, local pressure areas can affect how hurricanes move (in weather, likes attract and unlikes repel). I notice that the track of Florence is as expected–northwest to northeast–even after landfall.

    Jim

  9. The explanation of coriolis here is not very clear.

    Coriolis is a reaction, rather than a force. The winds try to blow and flow in a straight line, as everything does, but the spherical curvature of the Earth gives the winds (and bullets and cannon-balls) an apparent turn to the right, in the northern hemisphere. This has the resultant effect of creating a low pressure to the left, which draws the wind to the left, so the winds always spiral anticlockwise into a hurricane or depression in the NH.

    However, the further north you go, the greater the coriolis reaction. And since this increasing reaction is to the right, it opposes the left turn of the winds spiraling into the low. So a hurricane will naturally widen, and its peak winds reduce, as it travels north. An Atlantic depression hitting the UK will have almost as much energy as a tropical hurricane, but its center will be more spread out and its peak winds lower.

    R

    • I would say that a more accurate description of the Coriolis effect would be the conservation of momentum rather than your “low pressure to the left” explanation. Think of the figure skater’s spin as she brings her arms in close to her body. Imagine a wind blowing directly north from the equator. As that wind follows the curvature of the earth northward, the land beneath is rotating eastward more slowly as one proceeds northward following the curve of the earth. In order to conserve momentum, the air mass must maintain the original eastward velocity so it appears to gain a velocity component in the eastward direction as it flows northward. Moving toward the equator, the Northern Trade Winds curve westerly as they flow toward the equator.

  10. The explanation of coriolis here is not very clear.

    Coriolis is a reaction, rather than a force. The winds try to blow and flow in a straight line, as everything does, but the spherical curvature of the Earth gives the winds (and bullets and cannon-balls) an apparent turn to the right, in the northern hemisphere. This has the resultant effect of creating a low pressure to the left, which draws the wind to the left, so the winds always spiral anticlockwise into a hurricane or depression in the NH.

    However, the further north you go, the greater the coriolis reaction. And since this increasing reaction is to the right, it opposes the left turn of the winds spiraling into the low. So a hurricane will naturally widen, and its peak winds reduce, as it travels north. An Atlantic depression hitting the UK will have almost as much energy as a tropical hurricane, but its center will be more spread out and its peak winds lower.

    R

  11. Another factor not mentioned here, was the cyclone energy potential.

    The waters to the north were warmer than usual, but not warmer than the tropical waters. In addition, the depth of that warmth was not that great. A hurricane will churn up the sea to quite a depth, and so if the oceanic warmth is shallow, the hurricane will mix and cool the sea surface very quickly. And once that happens, the cyclone strength will likewise decrease rapidly.

    R

  12. There were a lot of media organisations and other sufferers of Trump Derangement Syndrome hoping that Florence would be a disaster with huge loss of life and property damage so they could lay the blame at President Trump’s feet in their wish to destroy him.

    As far as they were concerned, lives and property were just collateral damage in support of a greater cause.

    Very sad.

  13. Thank you for that Dr Ball. The take home quote for me was “we charge what the market will bear”. I had naively pictured teams of actuaries bent over their desk scanning the statistics to evaluate risk and levy charges accordingly.
    However in a situation where they rely on “what the market will bear”, it is in their interests to hype up all of the dangers so that their customers will be happy to accept larger and larger costs if they perceive that the risks are continuing to increase.
    When I was a lad and they sent kids up the chimney to sweep them, thieves were generally freelancers, working on their own. These days they are company men and occupy the offices of reinsurance companies.

    • In reality, is that not how almost all business works? They charge what the market will bear. When you sell your house you get as much as the market will allow. My stocks are worth what someone is willing to pay. It is free enterprise, so I see nothing very shocking about that statement. If people do not do their own research and accept the inflated prices, then that is what the companies will charge.

      • Max D.
        …They charge what the market will bear….
        Yes, in a free market. When the market is heavily regulated you must buy from the Government approved store (i.e. Insurance) which quickly becomes what you can afford to pay rather than what the market will bear.
        cheers

  14. They are really reaching on the “death toll” thing, now up to 16. Included are a couple who died from CO, i.e. were stupid, and had a generator running close to, or even in their house, and the driver of a pickup truck that went off the road. And that was Florence’s fault because….

  15. A hurricane is normal and is only defined as disastrous because of the damage, death, and destruction it does to humans and their constructions.

    Well said Tim.

    I am still in awe and wonder at how nature can coral all that water vapor — millions of tons of it, into a cohesive entity like a hurricane and then move it hundreds, if not thousands of miles, to dump that water all over the land.
    Its as if nature is saying ‘So puny humans try this for a display of strength!’ and ‘Try that with your ineffectual CO2 emissions!’

    • Florence passed directly over a NDBC station JMPN7 at landfall.
      https://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=jmpn7

      Maximum sustained winds in the leading eyewall reached 52 knots.
      The maximum sustained winds in the trailing eyewall reached 56 knots.
      Saffir-Simpson category 1 threshold is 64 knots.

      Most of the surrounding land based anemometers showed winds in the 50 knot range.
      The station located at Cape Lookout recorded higher winds, but the anemometer was located higher than the standard 10 meters site elevation. It will be interesting to see the final NHC report on Florence.

      • I think this needs to be researched and published. NOAA and others are massively deluding the population. There needs to be an accounting.

  16. Consider how much infrastructure could be made hurricane proof with the billions of dollars spent by the Federal government on AGW.

    The government AGW scaremongers are not in office to do good or do thigs that make sense. They are around to frighten the sh*t out of the people. Frightened people are easier to control.

  17. Regarding Florence coming ashore as barely Category 1: Intensity was 90 MPH and landfall had occurred according to the 60A Public Advisory.

    Regarding models getting the path and intensity of Florence wrong only 48 hours before landfall: No, they got the path right, and the intensity was only a little less than expected. The #57 forecast discussion gave a 24 hour forecast of 100 MPH for the time that turned out to be when landfall occurred, and said Florence would be “near the coast” then. The #53 forecast discussion gave a 48 hour forecast of 120 MPH, but also mentioned that the wind forecast for up to 48 hours was on the high side of the guidance.

    Regarding Katrina being barely Category 3 at landfall: No, it was barely short of Category 4 at landfall. It was even originally considered Category 4 at landfall, but downgraded to barely short by reanalysis afterwards.

    • Land and offshore anemometers near Florence landfall all show about 50 knots sustained winds.
      That’s well below the Saffir-Simpson category 1 threshold of 64 knots.
      https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/met.html?bdate=20180910&edate=20180917&units=standard&timezone=GMT&id=8658163&interval=6

      The closest NDBC station to landfall was JMPN7. Florence crossed directly over that station, with leading eyewall showing 52 knots sustained winds, the low winds of the eye, then the trailing eyewall with 56 knots.
      There is one NDBC station at Cape Lookout, NC with higher speeds but the anemometer height above ground for that station was higher than the standard 10 meters.
      None of the real time video of the storm showed Saffir-Simpson category one winds at landfall.
      Post storm photos of the surface damage show little wind damage. Certainly not reaching the criteria listed for a Saffir-Simpson cat 1 storm.

      • bwegher: I followed your link, and I got results of only one anenometer, the one at station 8658163.

        The fact that you mentioned leading eyewall and trailing eyewall indicates that you missed where the winds were strongest, which was farther north (or northeast) in the right side of the eyewall where the wind did not have a double peak (at most hardly one), with a distinguishable lower wind period in between due to being closer to the path of the center of the storm than where the strongest winds were.

        Some stations in this area were not reporting wind conditions, for example 8658120, Wilmington NC.

        Also as a result of following your link, I saw a feature for “nearby stations”, and they appeared to me as mostly about 100 miles apart. And I was not able to get your link to show JNBN7, which sounds to me as a buoy that was close to the point of landfall because you mentioned a double peak in wind speed – and the strongest wind while Florence was landfalling probably happened around 20 miles northeast of the one that you mentioned, which your link did not mention unless I missed something.

        If I missed something that you know of that supports your case in light of this, please show us where to see it.

      • I did some followup by googling for JMPN7 site:noaa.gov. I found it, it’s the same station as 8658163. The nearest land station to the northeast was the Cape Lookout one, CLKN7. Its greatest continuous wind, noted as a 2-minute average, was 34 meters/sec to the nearest .5 meter/sec, which is 76 MPH to the nearest MPH. And it’s anemometer height is 9.8 meters above site elevation.

        CLKN7 is about 77 miles from JMPN7. The strongest winds occurred somewhere between these two, where there are no NDBC stations at the coast. The strongest sustained wind I found so far for a buoy in this general area was at the buoy 41065, between JMPN7 and CLKN7 (but about 35 miles from the coast), 24 meters/sec to the nearest 1 meter/sec, which is almost 54 MPH. This is an 8 minute average, and the anemometer for that buoy is 2.95 meters above the sea surface. The peak gust was 50 meters/sec, about 112 MPH. There is no wind data for the nearby 41159. I looked for other buoys well between JMPN7 and CLKN7 and didn’t see any.

  18. We’re having another heat wave here in drought-stricken Colorado. My personal experience has been that heat waves here are strongly correlated with Atlantic hurricanes. I’ve developed a theory that since the overall atmospheric pressure must balance, areas of extreme low pressure such as tropical systems should be associated with high pressure somewhere else. This is a simple yet interesting idea, but I have not seen it discussed elsewhere.

    One of the implications of this theory is that oceanic heat is converted into the kenetic energy of convection and advection by the hurricane, then this energy is converted back into heat by the ridge. However, the ridge is far inland in an arid area, so this heat does not evaporate much water and does not participate in further iterations of the convective storm cycle. It is here, in the ridge, where it is finally dissipated into space by radiative cooling.

    • The upshot here is that a particularly active tropical storm season would be indicative not of global warming but of a far deeper and more structural trend towards global cooling, as the comparatively stable oceanic heat is converted first into mechanical motion and then into dry atmospheric and surface heat, and finally into radiation.

      The deserts are the great radiators of the globe. If we assume that the solar constant doesn’t vary significantly, then if the deserts are getting hotter, that means that the oceans are getting colder.

  19. The upshot here is that a particularly active tropical storm season would be indicative not of global warming but of a far deeper and more structural trend towards global cooling, as the comparatively stable oceanic heat is converted first into mechanical motion and then into dry atmospheric and surface heat, and finally into radiation.

    The deserts are the great radiators of the globe. If we assume that the solar constant doesn’t vary significantly, then if the deserts are getting hotter, that means that the oceans are getting colder.

  20. Remo , I was wondering whether one can take your ideas about the energy contained in individual hurricanes a bit further. One of the current points of disagreement is whether the present Modern Warming Period (ModWP) is making the frequency and severity of hurricanes (and for purpose of discussion lets restrict to the Atlantic variety) greater or less.
    Suppose one could sum up all the kinetic energy and its excess enthalpy to provide a total energy figure that increases from inception off the west coast of Africa or mid ocean until its landfall in the eastern US or Caribbean.
    Instead of plotting frequency of landfall of hurricanes of varied category, which is sometimes contentious, look at the total storm/ hurricane energy per season for the pre ModWP and for recent decades to establish whether there is a connection with the (very) slight recent warming of the Atlantic.
    The regulars, with real knowledge of meteorology , will now say that that has been done since , oh, about 1803. In which case what do the plots look like?

    • As is well documented, previously the (now disappeared) global cooling scare was previously blamed for a deterioration in global weather.

      I think the truth is that severe weather events arise when you have a large temperature contrast, however that arises.

    • To the query as to whether hurricanes might save lives: I saw reports attributing 2-3 traffic fatalities to hurricane Florence. I wonder how many traffic fatalities normally occur over the affected area during the same time period. There was a lot less driving going on…

      SR

  21. From the article: “Another was the three-dimensional dynamics of a system that stretches from the surface to the Tropopause. That very distinct boundary is twice as high over the Equator (approximate average, 18 km) as it is over the Poles (approximate average, 8 km). This means the system gets flattened out as it moves north, which explains why Florence became much wider.”

    That’s interesting. I saw a graphic on tv the other day showing that Hurricane Sandy was estimated to be 1,000 miles in diameter, while Hurricanes Katrina and Florence were each about 500 miles in diameter.

    So is Hurricane Sandy’s more northerly course the cause of it being so wide? I would guess the Northeaster that merged with Sandy when it made landfall added to Sandy’s size.

    • Tim and Tom,

      ” … Another was the three-dimensional dynamics of a system that stretches from the surface to the Tropopause. That very distinct boundary is twice as high over the Equator (approximate average, 18 km) as it is over the Poles (approximate average, 8 km). This means the system gets flattened out as it moves north, which explains why Florence became much wider. As it widens the wind speed diminishes in the opposite effect to a skater spinning with arms spread spinning slowly and increasing spin rate as the arms are drawn in. Very simply, the speed of rotation is determined by the radius of the mass from the axis of rotation. The combination of the energy in the system and the reduced speed of rotation served to alter the path the system takes. The Coriolis Effect is changed, which is partly why they got the direction wrong in such a short distance.

      As Florence’s Category decreased the wind speed decreased but also the atmospheric pressure decreased. …”

      I liked your post Tim, except this quoted part made me doubt your emphasis it criticizing forecasts and path-intensity models. I disagree about the path forecast criticism. I thought it was very well forecast for path (but I’m not in the USA and don’t see the media source dirge you see).

      The US Navy’s site “Navy/NRL TC_PAGES Page” ( https://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/TC.html ) provides a forecast that appears to broadly mirror the European ECM model output for path but includes their own wind-field intensity forecast and mapping. IMO, the US Navy’s method is very usable and is quite reliable, sufficiently accurate over time for planning purposes. It exists because the USN determined it required a reliable 5-day forecast to position ships and aircraft well in advance of a storm, thus instituted an effort to provide that level of 5-day forecast accuracy–and it had to be globally accurate. It was astonishingly accurate at predicting the landfall location and intensity of Katrina, 5-days from its second landfall. That’s when I realized their predictive forecast was working. The path for Florence worked very well also, as did the ECM model in general, though the intensity and central pressure forecast aspects did not.

      It seems it was the official, private and commercial ‘diversity’ models and ‘inclusiveness’ of models that seem to have produced the appearance of inaccuracy in forecast tracks, plus media nonsense. That’s why I always bypass TV forecasts (or in my case, BOM forecasts) and just go to the US Navy page instead. So enough of that, on to area and intensity.

      Cyclonic storms routinely increase (rapidly) in area as they intensify regardless of (tropical) latitude. I’ve observed an intense warm-core cat-4 tropical cyclone at 27 degrees south. A large initial low will usually generate a spread-out cyclonic wind field and cloud area as it intensifies. Likewise small initial lows tend to produce small area wind fields and a central-dense-overcast that is much smaller for most of the life of a storm. They can grow and shrink but initial conditions at the lower levels have a large impact on storm area as it intensifies and moves pole-wards.

      The USN page linked also provides a very useful track map that depicts the likely sector expansion and shrinkage of a storm’s radius and wind levels during the 5-day forecast. In general, it shows a common trend of a strengthening storm getting bigger, and a weakening storm getting smaller, irrespective of latitudes and troposphere elevation.

      That is not to say troposphere has not significant impact. But Tropopause elevation is a dynamic factor in such a storm as the deep convection cloud-tops over such a large area, can lift the local Tropopause elevation as the system “makes its own weather”–the atmosphere (being predicatively modeled in computer) responds to the atmosphere that was, and is. Resulting cloud-tops and humidity in upper levels show that the cyclonic storm convection strongly impacts all aspects of upper troposphere, as cloud-tops exceed the normal Tropopause elevation for that area and latitude for the season.

      Tropopause elevation may suppress the strengthening of a storm some with higher latitude of the path, but it’s less likely to be a major factor in dropping cyclone strength. Plus it’s fairly clear that upper level pressure is what directs the path, as it did in the case of Florence, via pushing it for NW to SW just before landfall. So Tropopause elevation affecting Coriolis input, was not a dominant aspect of resulting path for Florence.

      However the latitude of Wilmington is 34.2 north, well outside the tropics, so Tropopause may further squeeze the already large storm to spread-out more. You are most likely correct about that.

      But such squeezing from above does not mean it can’t maintain its strength or intensify, if other conditions are favorable.

      In this case other conditions were not favorable for maintaining strength to landfall as a large area of descending air over Georgia and South Carolina inserted drier air closer to the lower and mid level which fed into and wrapped around the storm during the final 12 hours before landfall, and the result was it rapidly atrophied the storm’s central dense overcast storms, plus its southern and eastern margin inflow bands. SST was about 28 degrees C in the affected area and could not compensate to as moisture to overcome the dry air input to the core. It thus could not maintain its central pressure and outflow as the convection intensity dropped.

      Thus it weakened out quickly to Cat-1 before landfall.

      Thank you for the the article, Dr Bell.

  22. “It is hard to attribute any single weather event to climate change. But there is no reasonable doubt that humans are priming the Earth’s systems to produce disasters.” What a stupid statement. If it is hard to attribute any one single weather event to climate change, by what measure would you use to attribute one of them may be do to climate change? In other words, there is no practical way to attribute any of them hence it is not reasonable to say humans are “priming Earth’s systems to produce disasters”.

  23. Damn, even the movie industry is in the exploitation business, as evidenced by a line in the new Predator movie that I just went to see an hour or so ago.

    There’s a line in the dialogue about how long Earth has before climate change reduces it to a hothouse that will be more favorable to the predators.

    No. They. Didn’t !

  24. Thank you Tim Ball for another highly informative article.

    It is particularly helpful to have a recognized climate expert like Dr. Tim Ball, who can dismiss all the nonsense we see on the news about global warming and climate change hysteria.

    The news media have NEGATIVE CREDIBILITY whenever they comment on climate issues –they are spewing a pack of lies that support their political agenda.

    (SNIPPED)

    (POLICY: Publishing comments in SHOUTING MODE (all caps) is not acceptable. The reason for the SNIPPING) MOD

    • IT’S TIME TO FIGHT BACK – WARMISTS ARE LYING SCUM, TRYING TO STEAL YOUR MONEY AND CONTROL YOUR LIFE. BOYCOTT THEM NOW!”

      Yes, yes the world’s experts in climate science are incompetent liars, we know —- it makes perfect sense. Thousands and thousands of them over the decades.

      No one has come along with observations and any sort of ABCD theory that can be repeatably checked out as contradicting the discoveries of climate science (and any other related Earth science) this last 150 years plus my friend.
      Stands to reason, doesn’t it (sarc)
      It, really really helps to have a conspiratorial mind-set … and tellingly an absence of common-sense driven by the mind-set that can manufacture a “Scum” because you don’t like the world they have discovered.

      If it were me nursing you I’d call the men with the white coats.

  25. Taking the whole area affected by the Florence weather system, with its several million population, can anyone estimate how many accidental deaths would normally happen, on average, in a 5 day period?

    How does this compare with the 11 deaths “caused” by Florence?

    • Bill
      Numbers would be too small combined with stochastic variability for any significance. But at least it would put the deaths in perspective.

      The concept of control and the null hypothesis is disappearing from the scientific consciousness of today’s closely knit media-political and scientific establishment.

  26. As usual, Tim Ball’s comments about the AGW hoax are among the most cogent available and should be required reading for anyone examining the various aspects of climate change theories.

  27. There were four National Forests and three National Parks that were thought to possibly be in the path of the storm well after it made landfall. The Cherokee, Nantahala, Pisgah, Jefferson and George Washington Forests, the Great Smokey Mountains, the Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway that closed some or almost all of their developed recreational facilities and many access points and roads on Wednesday and Thursday of this past week because of the devastation expected from this ‘awesome’ storm’s violent winds and torrential rains. It ain’t happened yet as near as I can tell on Sunday, September 16th, 2018. My barometer has only fallen .4 from its high of 30.2 in the five days I’ve been carefully monitoring it. Perhaps it is well they erred on the side of caution. On the other hand, somebody might have sold them a pig in a poke named Florence.

  28. There is a fundamental philosophy underlying much of what goes on in the world today regardless if it deals with climate change, inner city violence, poverty, the environment or any other issue dramatized by our mainstream media and our politicians.

    It is a wholesale endorsement of this idea: If you believe your cause is good, noble or profitable, then the end justifies the means. If the means is lying, exaggerating, falsifying or even damaging someone’s reputation by doing these things for your cause, then it is justified.

    This philosophy was codified by Sal Alinski in his “Rules for Radicals” published many years ago when he devoted a whole chapter to justify such tactics as “—anything is fair in war”.

    The problem is once you do this, you eventually change the noble “ends” through the principle of unintended consequences, such as ignoring real and solvable environmental problems.

  29. Dr. Ball, the university associated with Dr. William Gray is Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, (the Rams) and not the University of Colorado in Boulder (the Buffaloes). The CSU / CU distinction is a minor one except to all the people at these two schools, which are rivals in sports, recruiting, fund-raising and other more symbolic activities.

  30. Dr Ball

    I believe you have made two errors.

    1 “As Florence’s Category decreased the wind speed decreased but also the atmospheric pressure decreased. At 955 mb it was above average, but this increased with the category change.”

    Surely this should read:

    “As Florence’s Category decreased the wind speed decreased but also the atmospheric pressure increased. At 955 mb it was above average, but this increased with the category change.”

    2 “the majority of staff at these companies in Bermuda were young men and women formally working for Lloyds of London.” “formally” means that they were still nominally on Lloyd’s books as employees. I believe you mean “formerly”.

    Dudley Horscroft – Pendant First Class.

  31. Dr Ball

    I believe you have made two errors.

    1 “As Florence’s Category decreased the wind speed decreased but also the atmospheric pressure decreased. At 955 mb it was above average, but this increased with the category change.”

    Surely this should read:

    “As Florence’s Category decreased the wind speed decreased but also the atmospheric pressure increased. At 955 mb it was above average, but this increased with the category change.”

    2 “the majority of staff at these companies in Bermuda were young men and women formally working for Lloyds of London.” “formally” means that they were still nominally on Lloyd’s books as employees. I believe you mean “formerly”.

    Dudley Horscroft – Pendant First Class.

  32. Meanwhile, in Oz we are told that Florence landed with 135 kmh winds:
    https://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/death-toll-grows-fear-of-flooding-as-florence-downgraded-to-tropical-depression/news-story/65bfef941defcd942c7f48b1dc7b8da7

    Weakened to a tropical depression early Sunday after blowing ashore as a hurricane with 145km/h winds, Florence was still spinning slowly atop the Carolinas as it pulled warm water from the ocean and hurled it onshore.

  33. I’m pretty sure that had Clinton been president, a study by Harvard would not have concluded that Maria killed 4645 people in Puerto Rico, instead of 65, nor would GWU have found that almost 3000 died as a result of the storm.

  34. Regarding your last sentence, why doesn’t the government mandate hurricane-proof building? Because no one would move there, there would be sticker shock. I lived on Guam which is hit much more often with stronger tropical cyclones and no one has a place to go. Your house is your typhoon shelter. The houses are built with concrete block and “200 mph coconut proof” windows and all the power poles are made of concrete. I believe that if there were no place for the residents of the east & gulf coast to go in the event of a hurricane, and if there were no one to bail them out with insurance that houses would be built to withstand hurricanes, and people would stop building in floodplains.

  35. Geomagnetic activity is still high.
    https://images.tinypic.pl/i/00971/lu28cxcw8byp.png
    A jagged hole in the sun’s atmosphere is facing Earth and spewing a stream of solar wind toward our planet. Estimated time of arrival: Sept. 17th. Because the gaseous material will reach Earth only a few days before the onset of northern autumn, it may be extra-effective at sparking auroras–a result of “equinox cracks” in the geomagnetic field.
    http://spaceweather.com/archive.php

  36. While I agree with the thrust of your article, there are some errors. First, hurricanes start at 74 mph, but we like to round to the nearest 5 mph. Second, surface winds measured by aircraft are generally pretty accurate at both the surface and at flight level. The WC-130s are equipped with Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometers, (SFMR) which measure the ocean surface winds with reasonable accuracy under most conditions. Dropsondes equipped with GPS also deliver accurate measurements of wind (and rain rate) from flight level down to the surface. Flight level winds can also be determined using the aircraft GPS, with fine resolution in space and time. All this to say that winds are usually measured quite accurately these days, and the only question is how representative these measured winds are of the storm’s max sustained winds. I might add that the WC-130s do not fly above the hurricanes, they normally penetrate at a pressure altitude of 10,000 to 12,000 feet.

    Now I have an important point to make here. I flew weather reconnaissance with the 54th Weather Recon Squadron (Typhoon Chasers) out of Andersen AFB Guam from July 1981 to July 1984 as an Aerial Reconnaissance Weather Officer (ARWO), and was credited with 56 typhoon eye penetrations. I also flew for 2 weeks with the 53rd WRS (Hurricane Hunters) in Sep 2008 as a mission scientist on 10 of their missions that were part of an international research project out here in the western Pacific, called TPARC. Eight of the missions were flown on Typhoon Sinlaku, and the other two were invest missions. Dr. Peter G. Black directed the effort here on Guam. Now here is the point: I am familiar with the recon business, and I can tell you that the top priority of every mission is to get the most complete, representative and accurate data possible consistent with safe flight, and get it to the forecast agencies that need it to produce the best possible forecasts and warnings. There is no political agenda, either among the flight crews or among the forecasters at NHC, which is under NOAA. No one at NHC is trying to make any hurricanes look worse than they are. The hype comes from the media.

    I hate to say this, but your understanding of atmospheric dynamics seems a little weak. No, hurricanes do not expand because the trop is getting lower as the storm moves poleward. I’ve seen plenty of typhoons that expanded while staying in the deep tropics on a westerly track. Forecasting really is a little more complex than just drawing a cone from a point, and if you really did look at tracks from previous years you would know that. So how did NHC do in their forecasts? Well in Advisory 39, issued late Saturday the 8th, NHC’s 5-day forecast had Florence about to make landfall near Wilmington NC late Thursday the 13th—five days later. In fact, Florence did make landfall near Wilmington late Thursday/early Friday, and Wilmington reported a gust to 105 mph in the northern eyewall. I’d say that was pretty good forecasting. Next, the sea surface temperature was plenty warm enough in the Gulf Stream along the coasts of the Carolinas: in the lower to mid 80s F. Florence weakened primarily due to upper-level southerly wind shear that disrupted the storm structure near the center, causing the eyewall to open up, and weakening the winds. Finally, the lowering of pressure in the eye can only raise the ocean surface 2 or 3 feet at most. The main cause of storm surge is the wind, that piles up water ahead of the storm as it encounters a continental shelf. The 1900 Galveston Hurricane killed so many people because of the massive storm surge that was built up by the winds, and because of the lack of knowledge about hurricanes back then and the resulting lack of effective warnings. There was no earthen dam, by the way–check it out.

    Dr. Ball, you make a lot of good points concerning media/business/gov’t hype, and concerning the fact that Florence was a perfectly normal hurricane in a normal climate. But your essay is marred by the many untrue assertions about hurricanes and hurricane forecasting, which can only undermine your main thesis. As a skeptic myself about AGW/climate change, I would urge you to be more careful.

    • Mike Middlebrooke –

      OUTSTANDING POST!! Yet another example of knowledgeable & factual meteorological information (something sorely needed around here at times). Thank you for your service!

      Just a small difference of opinion, if I may:

      ” Florence weakened primarily due to upper-level southerly wind shear that disrupted the storm structure near the center, causing the eyewall to open up, and weakening the winds. ”

      I believe the weakening was more due to ingestion of dry air on it’s SW side. The satellite imagery (GOES-16!) did not show any blow off of upper-level clouds on the up-shear side (outflow was fairly symmetrical) nor the exposure of low-level clouds up-shear which is typical of shear events. However, wxsat imagery did show the evaporation/loss of deep convection as it was wrapping around the core. This works against the latent heat effect, cooling the core & upper-level high and weakening the system.

      Similar thing happened to Katrina in the days before landfall.

      • Actually, that was also a big factor that ties in with the shear, which may help dry air penetrate into the center. Radar imagery showed the dry slots clearly. The shear was 20-25 kt according to NHC. Thanks for your improvement on my analysis.

  37. I haven’t found a single working link in this article. I am sure it is just an oversight but I do like to check those things.

    Thanks

  38. Great Post. For the MSM they should be looking/focused on those that authorized: “An AP analysis of location data from hog waste disposal permits shows there are at least 45 active North Carolina HOG farms located in 100-year and 500-year floodplains at risk of being inundated by nearby streams and rivers.”
    Who was stupid enough to allow this or how much did they get to ignore the obvious.

  39. And yet we give WUWT and their hysterical reporting of the storm? Didn’t I see a Never before has a storm been so high with Cat 4, and due to extra warm coastal oceans – which haven’t been seen in years the storm Cat would go up up up – we would need to invent new levels just for this storm. And then dud.

    Lets not criticize the media too much when WUWT is just as guilty.

    • Seems like you really had something to say, it also seems you rushed it out.
      There is no rush, things won’t change overnight.

  40. ‘The major story with Florence was the level of exploitation and hype by every segment of society all driven by the so-called experts getting it wrong.’

    Our esoteric analysis of the coverage is not the major story. Florence was real, affecting real people. Millions of them.

    Our analysis is important, it’s just not ‘the major story.’

  41. Tim-
    ” For example, two of the greatest loss of lives involved Galveston, Texas and New Orleans. In 1900, an estimated 12,000 people drowned in Galveston because an earthen dam failed. Authorities dramatically downplayed the loss of lives for political and economic reasons.”
    The Galveston death toll estimate is 6,000-12,000, most likely about 8,000. A record any way you cut it. But what earthen dam failed? The city was unprotected and the waters rose, submerging ferry landings and railways. Death was by drowning or being crushed by debris. The SeaWall was built in response.

  42. “Over time more and more people moved to the hurricane-prone region and suffered the consequences.”

    Having benefited from cheaper living in flood-prone residential areas and shorter commutes to work.

  43. I grew up on the Gulf coast in the 50’s and 60’s. The Hurricane cycle was very strong in those years. There was almost a carnival atmosphere on the coast because you built it knowing it would be swept away within a few years. My cousins lost a house from Carla but found a number of wrecked pianos left on the property…..and snakes! Go figure.

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