@NPR tries and fails to connect “slow moving hurricanes” like #Dorian to “climate change”

Since Dorian didn’t cause any significant U.S. death and devastation that the MSM was looking forward to covering in the vein of “See, climate change!”. NPR had a go at it though, citing a NOAA study that is nothing more than an exercise in cherry picking data. The slow movement of Hurricane Dorian prompted the search for connections.

Is Climate Change Contributing To Slower Moving Hurricanes?

NPR’s Steve Inskeep talks to atmospheric scientist Jim Kossin of NOAA about why more hurricanes like Dorian are moving at slower speeds, and if that has anything to do with climate change. Link to audio interview.

The study cited has data that produces this graph, prepared by “Inside Climate News” one of Tom Steyer’s well funded PR outlets if I recall correctly. They wrote:

Hurricane Dorian’s slow, destructive track through the Bahamas fits a pattern scientists have been seeing over recent decades, and one they expect to continue as the planet warms: hurricanes stalling over coastal areas and bringing extreme rainfall.

Recent research shows that more North Atlantic hurricanes have been stalling as Dorian did, leading to more extreme rainfall. Their average forward speed has also decreased by 17 percent—from 11.5 mph, to 9.6 mph—from 1944 to 2017, according to a study published in June by federal scientists at NASA and NOAA.


Note the starting point, 1944. Also note that the majority of “slow moving hurricanes” are during the satellite era, when hurricane tracking improved by at least an order of magnitude.

“Climate Denial Crock of the Week” producer, Peter Sinclair jumped all over this of course on Twitter “See, climate change!” But atmospheric scientist Wei Zhang would have none of it.

Later in the Twitter thread, there is this telling exchange:

So in a nutshell:

There’s no good storm motion data from earlier recorded hurricanes.

  • What data they had has been “reconstructed” from old charts, which may or may nor be accurate.
  • The study cited doesn’t go back further than 1944, which means the majority of data is from the post 1960 (TIROS-1) satellite era, which is more accurate as a given. This skews the data set towards the present, while the past remains highly uncertain.
  • The study’s graph from 1944 ignored data on slow moving hurricanes as far back as 1915. Evidence exists that many slow moving hurricanes occurred well before the satellite era.

Here is the chart Wei Zhang presented:

Cherry picking to fit the climate alarm agenda, clear and simple.

Wei Zhang said this when the Dorian threat loomed large:

He’s talking about people like Peter Sinclair and Tom Steyer….and people like this, captured by cartoonist Rick McKee:

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September 4, 2019 12:22 pm

“Hurricanes are awful. Now is a good time to remind science deniers that there is no observational data to suggest they are any worse than they used to be. Not stronger or more frequent or producing more rain.”

Perhaps it is time that skeptics just start referring to alarmists as Science Deniers since they are the ones intent on ignoring the scientific evidence, even when the IPPC themselves say that there is no evidence that hurricanes are getting worse, in any metric. There was also a lull for almost a dozen years with no major hurricane over Cat 3 even hitting the continental USA, between late 2005 and 2017. That should really make that long term statistic go down even further in the climatic record.

While I don’t like having to ‘salt’ language for a negative affect, such as using the word Denier and all its nasty connotations of the last 75 years, maybe it’s time that the word is used against alarmists. That way, the word will have no more meaning when it is seen for what it is, which is a slur against those one uses it against.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Earthling2
September 4, 2019 2:21 pm

Climate cultist is a completely accurate description and I’ll stick with it.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Earthling2
September 4, 2019 5:26 pm

I suggest:

Reply to  Earthling2
September 4, 2019 7:18 pm

“He who controls the language controls the masses.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals.

Leftists understand the power of language.

Reply to  Earthling2
September 4, 2019 11:00 pm

Truck drivers have to pay for NPR in their taxes. Weird, how come affluent liberals who listen to NPR don’t ever demand that they, and they alone, pay for their propaganda? Truck drivers, they hate you. Miners, they hate you. Petrochemical workers, they hate you. People who cattle ranch or dairy farm, they hate you. So why should you have to pay for their propaganda network?

Reply to  Jim
September 5, 2019 1:57 am

All one has to do is drive a rig to the leftist right coast to see that they hate us. The further east one gets the tougher driving conditions get and the fewer places to park a rig one will find. Also few of the cretins have any consideration for other drivers, let alone big truck drivers. Three weeks ago I delivered a load of Nestle coffee creamer to a place in Maspeth, NY (Queens). Pulling a 53 ft. refrigerated trailer. Had to park along a curb 2 blocks from the facility I was deliver to and felt good about finding parking there. As is so typical there when my turn came to dock I had to back off the road into the dock. Tight back with little clearance requiring drivers to use all of the road. As usual cars parked along the road where they shouldn’t be. Despite their guard trying to stop traffic I had cars blowing their horn flying by my blind right side as I tried to back in to the left. Just a typical day driving a rig in those kind of places really. Third world conditions.

Reply to  Earthling2
September 5, 2019 1:31 am


old construction worker
Reply to  Earthling2
September 5, 2019 2:56 am

“Science Deniers” No; How about Chicken Littles.

Jimmy Haigh
Reply to  Earthling2
September 5, 2019 3:40 am

I call them “Global Warmongers”.

Reply to  Jimmy Haigh
September 5, 2019 1:34 pm

Climate Doomsayers has a nice ring to it. Doom is a terrible thing to forecast.

Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
Reply to  Earthling2
September 5, 2019 4:09 am

Alarmist misses the point. The debate is not between those who think there should/shouldn’t be alarm, but between those who have an irrational belief in some doomsday idea and those who base their views on rational analysis. It is between those who seek evidence and then asses it to form their views, and those who start from a socially acquired belief and then at best cherry pick small amounts of evidence in order to bolster their belief, but in most cases do absolutely no research or investigation or learning of the topic of their own.

Dennis Sandberg
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
September 6, 2019 3:38 pm

Mike Haseler, “…those who start from a socially acquired belief…” very well said, I agree, but we need some kind of label. Labels are fun. I’m stuck with Alarmist, and so are you unless you come up with something better. Anything I’ve come up with is worse.

Reply to  Earthling2
September 5, 2019 6:46 am

Yes, of course, the ones who claim the mantle of science are in fact the science deniers .. denying what is obvious to anyone with at least an 8th grade earth science course under their belt, that the earth’s climate has always, changed, and it has usually changed more radically than it is today, long before any humans started driving SUVs.

By the way, this “slow moving hurricanes results from global warming” meme is getting the viral treatment this week, after Dorian. By next year, it will all be forgotten, flushed down the memory hole, when it turns out that most hurricanes don’t do what Dorian did. As they always have, and always will.

The dummies! What makes a storm move slowly is 100% about the location and strength of high pressure and low pressure areas in the regional atmosphere. It has zilch to do with air temperature or sea surface temperature.

Reply to  Earthling2
September 5, 2019 8:23 am

How about “calamitologists”?

Denis Ables
Reply to  Earthling2
September 12, 2019 12:43 pm

“Science Deniers”! EXACTLY, right, and from the get-go.

There were several global warmings prior to our current version (such as it is), the most recent being the MWP. CO2 did not begin increasing until the mid 1800s at the earliest, so provided no influence to any of these earlier warmings. Instead of opting to use historical data to build a theory (and a model ) the usual suspects instead selected CO2 as the culprit. This was apparently based on the early mistaken interpretation that there was a good correlation betwixt CO2 and temperature variation. Of course, correlation does not imply causation, and there is also no evidence that CO2 has ever had any impact on our planet’s temperature. And, when checked out, it turns out that the only correlation tracking both up and down trends of CO2 and temperature shows temperature occurring FIRST, followed hundreds of years later by similar variation in CO2. And, what about those earlier global warmings?

It’s easy to demonstrate that the MWP was global and at least as warm as it is now. The usual suspects merely DENIED that there were any earlier global warmings ! So, the alarmist models cannot replicate any of that historical data.


September 4, 2019 12:42 pm

Slow moving Hurricanes over open ocean are good, since when they are spinning in place, they’re not moving over new sources of energy to increase and/or sustain its strength and weaken instead. Notice how quickly this one dropped from a cat 5 to a weak cat 2 as it was spinning in place? Since hypothetical arguments are apparently acceptable, wouldn’t a Hurricanes ability to sustain its strength increase as temperatures increase and decrease otherwise?

Reply to  co2isnotevil
September 4, 2019 1:29 pm

Good point.
I wonder how much a stalled hurricane would also block the sun from heating the ocean below, thereby robbing itself of the very energy it needs to continue. Auto-starvation?

Robert W Turner
Reply to  co2isnotevil
September 4, 2019 2:07 pm

Ever since they categorized the El Reno tornado as a 2.5 mile wide EF5 based on radar (not how you rate or measure tornadoes) I have started to question all their categorizing of storms. I doubt this one was ever actually a cat 5.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  co2isnotevil
September 5, 2019 7:16 am

co2isnotevil – September 4, 2019 at 12:42 pm

Notice how quickly this one (Dorian) dropped from a cat 5 to a weak cat 2 as it was spinning in place?

But, but, but …….

Stationary Cat. 4 Hurricane Dorian Continues To Pound The Bahamas

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Category 4 Hurricane Dorian remained stationary on Monday night as it continued to pummel the Bahamas.

When stationary, why didn’t it run out of energy?

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
September 5, 2019 8:15 am

It did … dropped from a very strong Cat 5 to a weak Cat 2 when it hovered in place.

Combination of interaction with land forms (Bahamas) and upwelling, bringing cooler deep waters to the surface as the surface churns with large waves.

It was only when the storm got moving again to the north that it strengthened back to a Cat 3.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
September 5, 2019 8:32 am

Yea, the media certainly tries to make a big deal out of something normal. Sure, the Bahamas got hit, but they’re hit with many tropical storms and/or Hurricanes per year. The fact that a CAT 5 resulted in only about 20 deaths tells me that either it wasn’t really a CAT 5 or they were exceptionally well prepared considering that on any other day about 8-10 Bahamians would die anyway.

BTW, it didn’t run out of energy because it started moving again, otherwise, it would have continued to weaken.

Jeff in Calgary
Reply to  co2isnotevil
September 5, 2019 10:01 am

The pictures I saw from the Bahamas of well built houses indicated less than CAT 5 storm. From NOAA “CAT 5: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse.”

The pictures I saw fit closer with “CAT 3: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends.”

Areas where homes were devastated seemed to be closer to shanty towns, not well built framed houses.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
September 5, 2019 2:25 pm

Most of damage looks to be flood damage rather than wind

September 4, 2019 12:42 pm

The reporting being done by NPR, since I can remember, has been an embarrassing use of public and donor money. Frankly, they should stop covering news and politics: Their contribution to education, history, and culture is immeasurable, but NPR is TAINTING those efforts by their climate change anti-intellectualism.

Thanks for clear-eyed reporting, Anthony.

Reply to  Stephen Heins
September 4, 2019 1:18 pm

Not embarrassing for NPR. Their large donors are the same ones pushing the CAGW. One of their biggest is Ford Foundation, where a Club of Rome member Korten worked together with Obama’s mother when the Obama/Soetoros lived in Indonesia. (see http://appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/StillNoWarming.htm)

Reply to  Stephen Heins
September 4, 2019 1:51 pm

I often listen to NPR during my commute, but often will switch channels to avoid raising my blood pressure.

John Bell
Reply to  Rocketscientist
September 4, 2019 2:33 pm

Anyone ever watch the PBS World channel? Constantly banging the drum of past oppression and discrimination, they just churn it out, but that is all they have, the oppressed and the oppressors, that is all they see in the world.

Reply to  Stephen Heins
September 4, 2019 3:55 pm

NPR was once a very good institution that I enjoyed listening to on my morning and evening commutes. In the 1990s they slowly drifted from being politically neutral to being very politically biased and I stopped listening to them on a regular basis. The 2010 hatchet job they did on Juan Williams, who I generally disagree with but who I also respect as a reporter, was the last straw and I rarely listen to them now.

Reply to  RicDre
September 5, 2019 3:32 am

I quit listening to NPR (national propaganda radio) in 2001, after they completely ignored the fraudulent 2000 election and supported the ridiculous official lie about the 9/11 false flag.

Reply to  Stephen Heins
September 4, 2019 6:09 pm

Most of their current programming, including educating children are solely propaganda stuffing machines.

Reply to  Stephen Heins
September 5, 2019 2:15 am

No, you know what is really embarrassing? Watching Trump trying to explain the hand-drawn Sharpie line over Alabama on his hurricane map.

Reply to  Loydo
September 5, 2019 6:50 am

I Still BELIEVE that it will be headed to Alabama. After all the “Chosen one” said it.

Reply to  Loydo
September 5, 2019 6:52 am

You really need to get some therapy to help you deal with your emotional issues.

Reply to  MarkW
September 5, 2019 7:17 am

MarkW, what exactly are you trying to say? Are you Angry that Dorian didn’t exactly and unexpectidly follow the “Chosen’s one” predicted path?

Reply to  MarkW
September 5, 2019 8:18 am

Trumpist koolaid drinkers always say what you just wrote … apparently it is a knee-jerk symptom of your Trump Derangement Syndrome, a malady falsely ascribed by insane Trumpists to normal people who aren’t Trump voters. It’s called “projection”by the mental health profession.

Reply to  Duane
September 5, 2019 10:54 am

Ah ok Duane! Thanks. Now I understand the pain.

Reply to  MarkW
September 6, 2019 2:38 pm

Let me start off by saying, that whole clip was just wrong, Trump committed an “own-goal” by putting that Sharpie mark on that chart, and I don’t see why Trump felt the need to present anything… BUT the lamestream media is wracking up their own “own-goals” at a breakneck pace, and by that I mean every time they even start another piece about this insane trivia crap! Can any “news” organization present any actual news? Or has that become beyond them?

Joe Chang
September 4, 2019 1:09 pm

too bad the AGW/CC people didn’t predict any of this before it happen, and rambling don’t count. It needs to be theory->model->prediction
Also, if warmer temperatures are making hurricanes stronger, then where is the data for warmer equatorial water temperature? oh wait, they predicted the bulk of warming to occur in the upper latitudes. So how does this result in more energy in the tropics?

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Joe Chang
September 4, 2019 2:08 pm

Just wait for the next fast moving hurricane to hit land. It will be the new norm, as deemed fit from the climate gods.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
September 4, 2019 5:48 pm

I was thinking that they have now set the benchmark that slow moving hurricanes = CAGW, so if we get a series of fast moving hurricanes do that accept it’s not CAGW.

paul courtney
Reply to  Joe Chang
September 5, 2019 1:13 pm

Joe this is an excellent point, which gets even more pointed when you consider that “the science is settled.” So well settled we can predict what hurricanes do ONLY AFTER it’s done.

Mike McHenry
September 4, 2019 1:20 pm

I did a search in the NY Times digitized archive https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachi…/…/31/issue.html I search for Bahamas and hurricane 1920-1980. I got 378 hits! It’s been hammered many times. Amazing that people want to live there permanently.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Mike McHenry
September 4, 2019 2:29 pm

The Bahamas are spread-out across 180,000 square miles. Over 70% of the population is in Nassau. The Nassau airport never closed during Dorian.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Mike McHenry
September 4, 2019 2:54 pm

Look, obviously, CO2 being heavier, therefore denser, it makes it harder to move through the atmosphere, therefore hurricanes move more slowly. 97% of grade school children know this, and YOU don’t? Ha!

I know that, as CO2 levels have increased over the last thirty years, I move slower. That’s proof enough fo me!

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
September 4, 2019 7:55 pm

Robert, you have actually solved the problem of taming violent hurricanes!

Instead of nuking hurricanes, we just need to pour enough liquid CO2 into the leading edge of a hurricane to totally shut it down. The increased density effect, plus the massive cooling would surely be sufficient.

I will leave the calculation of the necessary amount of liquid CO2 to the innumerate alarmists.

David Chorley
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
September 5, 2019 9:37 am

Pillage Idiot, you cant get liquid CO2 at atmospheric pressure and tropical temperatures….. maybe you could try Coca-Cola

Reply to  Mike McHenry
September 4, 2019 3:06 pm

Eh. Just about everywhere is a wonderful place to live – some of the time. Other times, they are the most miserable places in the world. (Natural places; I exempt the places where dysfunctional people have destroyed their environment. Slums, Communist “efficiency” in mining, etc.)

This is why a lot of people that can afford it and are able to move around buy Winnebagos…

Steve Briggs
September 4, 2019 1:24 pm

I vote for SciVoid. Science Avoiders = alarmists. It also describes the general education of the members who echo nonsense.

September 4, 2019 1:28 pm

One of the “statistics” running around with the AGW nutters is basically “we’ve had more Cat 5 hurricanes with high sustained winds in the last 23 years, compared to the last 115 years.”

Those two odd numbers sure pop out, don’t they?

Well, it turns out we have more Cat 5 hurricanes with higher sustained winds because they started using GPS dropsondes and other devices – just over 23 years ago. Which makes it possible to detect very high sustained wind speeds that we wouldn’t catch with the older equipment.

September 4, 2019 1:34 pm

A few observations:

Every single initial Dorian storm track I saw was wrong. No Florida landing. If these weather models cannot predict short term weather events why should I trust them to track weather over time.

I did myself a favor yesterday and pulled up wind and pressure map of the globe. Hurricanes, while large storms, are still just play toys to the overall atmospheric engine. I did this prompted by a conversation between Dr. Joe B and Hannity last night. I wish Hannity had let him finish his atmospheric physics explanation.

It seems to me that storm probably pulled an enormous amount of heat out of the Atlantic ocean, facilitated great amount of upwelling and ocean turn over. These items should act as net CO2 sinks for a short period of time.

And frankly I for one welcome a slightly warmer planet.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  JEHILL
September 4, 2019 8:41 pm

“Hannity last night. I wish Hannity had let him finish his atmospheric physics explanation.”

Hannity always finds it necessary to butt in. It’s pretty irritating when his guest has something interesting to say but we don’t get to hear part of it because Hannity wants to interrupt.

Hannity isn’t singling Joe out. He does that to all his guests.

Reply to  JEHILL
September 5, 2019 3:35 am

why should I trust them

“Them” being different people, that’s no reason to trust them. But the basic answer to the question is,
yes, people make errors and predictions are only validated after the fact. So for Hansen’s West Side Highway, we’ll see it before 2028, at least if we live then. Hansen maybe doesn’t.

To quote SkS for example.

“We can check back in 2028, the 40 year mark, and also when and if we reach 560 ppm CO2 (a doubling from pre-industrial levels). In the meantime, we can stop using this conversation from 1988 as a reason to be skeptical about the human origins of global warming.”

So their story is now 2028, doubled CO2. Well, in 2028 they’ll note the CO2 is not doubled (it will be 430 ppm maybe), so they’ll chicken out. That’s so easy when you are not held accountable for bullshit.

Greg Strebel
September 4, 2019 1:54 pm

Given the baggage accompanying the word ‘denier’ in science denier, perhaps one might consider the term ‘abuser’. The emotional loading of that word is a little more generic.

Robert W Turner
September 4, 2019 2:00 pm

Well, beyond that, is creating an arbitrary metric (hurricanes that stall for 48+ hours), and then dividing the total of those hurricanes by their occurrence in a given year, meaningful at all? A hurricane that stalled for 40 hours doesn’t make the cut?

Not to mention that the graph data is baffling – 18% or 19% of “slow moving hurricanes” occurred in either 1998 or 1999 – that’s either 11.88 or 12.54 hurricanes. There were 10 and 12 hurricanes in total in 1998 and 1999 respectively. If you’re going to create propaganda, you should at least understand simple concepts like whole numbers.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Robert W Turner
September 4, 2019 2:18 pm

Ha it dawned on me that they are plotting the percentage so it’s probably 12 hurricanes. But that certainly doesn’t explain their claim that more hurricanes stalled in the 1998 season that hurricanes in total.

Mike G
September 4, 2019 2:17 pm

For watt it’s worth, the winds at the extreme western tip of that island never got much over 50 knots, with gusts into the 60’s while the storm was parked 34 miles east of there, at least as reported by the national buoy system (there’s a land station there).

Reply to  Mike G
September 4, 2019 6:02 pm

Mike G,

Other than the storm surge that few coastal buildings can withstand, the Bahamas have the best power poles and lines, street signs and palm trees on the planet. From news reports I viewed. lol

But coastal Florida took a lashing (per the TV news) and Daytona Beach had 22 mph winds with 34 mph gusts! Ohh …. the horror! Jacksonville had it just as bad!

Jeff in Calgary
Reply to  eyesonu
September 5, 2019 10:12 am

And one guy died from the hurricane (heart attack while boarding up his windows).

September 4, 2019 2:24 pm

Recent stalled or ‘slow’ hurricanes or tropical storms headed for the US have stalled because they have met opposing weather masses coming from the northwest or west off the continental US. Those essentially are pushed along by the subpolar jet stream which would intensify when the planet cools (look at the difference between winter and summer). If models are getting systems to stall by themselves, it sounds like they are coding energy equations and forgetting about the (vectorial) conservation of momentum constraints.

September 4, 2019 2:30 pm

Now wait a minute here. Why only hurricanes? Climate change is supposed to be global! So why aren’t tropical cyclones everywhere moving slower? Point being don’t be so quick to accept the premise of their claims. Attack the very premise of the claim before bothering to get into nitty gritty details.

Robert of Ottawa
September 4, 2019 2:48 pm

Look, obviously, CO2 being heavier, therefore denser, it makes it harder to move through the atmosphere, therefore hurricanes move more slowly. 97% of grade school children know this, and YOU don’t? Ha!

I know that, as CO2 levels have increased over the last thirty years, I move slower. That’s proof enough fo me!

September 4, 2019 3:00 pm

That is the result of fast paced report prep, organizational bias, and near total lack of critical thinking. That does work as long as the audience has the same attention span problems, listening bias, and lack of critical thinking. Call it paired reporting syndrome.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
September 4, 2019 3:45 pm

You mean like the cretins putting on this show and those buying into it?
“Eye Roll: CNN’s Blitzer Opens Town Halls by Blaming Climate Change for Hurricane Dorian”

Gary Pearse
September 4, 2019 3:03 pm

Has anyone charted a quick drop-off in intensity with slow movers? It seems Dorian was to be a Cat 4 hitting Florida until it slowed and quickly lost wind speed. Yeah they may drop more rain in one spot as they are dying, but that’s not blowing buildings away at least. The stationary hurricane soon has sucked up the energy available and draws cold water from below. This looks like the kind of research project that Willis likes to investigate.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 4, 2019 4:36 pm

“It seems Dorian was to be a Cat 4 hitting Florida until it slowed and quickly lost wind speed.”

I noticed that the weather channel seemed a little disappointed that Hurricane Dorian was turning away from Florida and weakening so they made sure to emphasize that it was growing in size as it weakened so they could assure everyone that Hurricane Dorian was still an unprecedented, killer storm that could only happen because of “Climate Change”.

Grady Patterson
September 4, 2019 3:04 pm

Honest question to which I have no answer, so I figure it is worth tossing out to see if I’m alone in this thought?
Hurricanes, along with many other storm types, are basically a concentration of energy which then is dissipated over time and distance. A portion of that energy which is concentrated is thermal. So – if thermal energy is collected from an area, then dissipated over a larger area through wind and water effects – wouldn’t the overall net effect be cooling? Are hurricanes and similar storms a balancing factor on the presumed heat gain caused by GHGs?

Mr. Banker
Reply to  Grady Patterson
September 4, 2019 5:31 pm

In the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, we use the term “hurricane” to describe severe storms with high-velocity winds that rotate around a central, low-pressure core. The same type of disturbance in the Northwest Pacific is called a “typhoon” and “cyclones” occur in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.

In order for a hurricane to form, two things must be present: a weather disturbance, such as a thunderstorm, that pulls in warm surface air from all directions and water at the ocean’s surface that is at least 80° Fahrenheit (27° Celsius). Because it is the interaction of warm air and warm seawater that spawns these storms, they form over tropical oceans between about 5 and 20 degrees of latitude. At these latitudes, seawater is hot enough to give the storms strength and the rotation of the Earth makes them spin.

Hurricanes start simply with the evaporation of warm seawater, which pumps water into the lower atmosphere. This humid air is then dragged aloft when converging winds collide and turn upwards. At higher altitudes, water vapor starts to condense into clouds and rain, releasing heat that warms the surrounding air, causing it to rise as well. As the air far above the sea rushes upward, even more warm moist air spirals in from along the surface to replace it.

As long as the base of this weather system remains over warm water and its top is not sheared apart by high-altitude winds, it will strengthen and grow. More and more heat and water will be pumped into the air. The pressure at its core will drop further and further, sucking in wind at ever increasing speeds. Over several hours to days, the storm will intensify, finally reaching hurricane status when the winds that swirl around it reach sustained speeds of 74 miles per hour or more.

Eventually, hurricanes turn away from the tropics and into mid-latitudes. Once they move over cold water or over land and lose touch with the hot water that powers them, these storms weaken and break apart.

Recent studies have shown a link between ocean surface temperatures and tropical storm intensity – warmer waters fuel more energetic storms.

How does the ocean affect hurricanes? : Ocean Exploration Facts: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

Reply to  Mr. Banker
September 5, 2019 9:39 am

“Recent studies have shown a link between ocean surface temperatures and tropical storm intensity – warmer waters fuel more energetic storms.”
Then recent studies need to explain why the global ACE is not climbing.

Mr. Banker
Reply to  Grady Patterson
September 4, 2019 5:41 pm

Three basic ingredients are required for a thunderstorm to form: moisture, rising unstable air (air that keeps rising when given a nudge), and a lifting mechanism to provide the “nudge.”

The sun heats the surface of the earth, which warms the air above it. If this warm surface air is forced to rise—hills or mountains, or areas where warm/cold or wet/dry air bump together can cause rising motion—it will continue to rise as long as it weighs less and stays warmer than the air around it.

As the air rises, it transfers heat from the surface of the earth to the upper levels of the atmosphere (the process of convection). The water vapor it contains begins to cool, releases the heat, condenses and forms a cloud. The cloud eventually grows upward into areas where the temperature is below freezing.

As a storm rises into freezing air, different types of ice particles can be created from freezing liquid drops. The ice particles can grow by condensing vapor (like frost) and by collecting smaller liquid drops that haven’t frozen yet (a state called “supercooled”). When two ice particles collide, they usually bounce off each other, but one particle can rip off a little bit of ice from the other one and grab some electric charge. Lots of these collisions build up big regions of electric charges to cause a bolt of lightning, which creates the sound waves we hear as thunder.

Severe Weather 101: Thunderstorm Basics

Gary Pearse
September 4, 2019 3:07 pm

Actually looking at the video of the 40hr stall, you can see the intensity of the storm dropping, the eye filling in and the arms becoming more diffuse.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 4, 2019 4:15 pm

Of course. The eye sat either over land or shallow water for a good period of time. Even the feeder bands out over deeper waters used up the thermal energy available from the warmer surface waters. The convection engine requires thermal energy and Dorian starved from lacking it and thus what was declared to be a CAT V degraded to a CAT II. Also the storm went through an eye wall replacement cycle in which the eye of the storm essentially doubled in size and laying over the islands it never could tighten up and regain the tight organization it had prior to that. As the storm got weaker the wind field expanded as typically happens. Though a storm that has gone through such a transition can regain some strength it is very difficult for one return to the tight, well formed, compact powerful convective engine it was before even under ideal conditions.

September 4, 2019 3:55 pm

Why 1900’s at all….any history book on Florida documents many hurricanes that sat for days…and even weeks..all the way back to the 1500’s

..all those Spanish galleons didn’t get out there because of mechanical problems

Jim Whelan
September 4, 2019 4:22 pm

MSNBC has been full press on “Dorian is evidence of climate change” since it first appeared that it might be a strong storm that would hit populated areas.

September 4, 2019 4:23 pm

When Hurricane Harvey stalled over Texas, it was blamed on “Climate Change”, so as soon as I heard that Hurricane Dorian had stalled over the Bahamas, I was pretty confident that “Climate Change” would be the explanation for why it happened. It became even more important to invoke the “Climate Change caused Hurricane Dorian to stall” meme when Hurricane Dorian didn’t make a direct hit on Florida (and failed to wipe out Mar-A-Lago as they were hoping).

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  RicDre
September 4, 2019 10:18 pm

It would be sweet irony if Dorian hits Obama’s new home on Martha’s Vineyard and then hits Nova Scotia Canada, after the former liberal nutter Canadian minister said she hoped it hit Trump’s Florida Mar-a-Lago (which it obviously didn’t).

Bruce Cobb
September 4, 2019 4:32 pm

And if it had instead made a beeline for Florida and struck as a CAT 4 or 5 as originally forecasted to, that most certainly would also have been due to “climate change”. Because “climate change” can do anything it wants, even completely opposite things. It’s magic, don’t you know.

Mike Maguire
September 4, 2019 6:07 pm

Trump is correct on Hurricane/Alabama-here’s proof


Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mike Maguire
September 4, 2019 8:58 pm

Thanks for that link, Mike. CNN has been bashing Trump over his hurricane caution to Alabama all day.

The Leftwing News Media distorts everything Trump does. They are lying to millions of people every day. Their behavior in distorting reality is a danger to our personal freedoms because we cannot govern ourselves properly if we are constantly lied to and presented with a false picture of reality..

Joel O'Bryan
September 4, 2019 6:20 pm

Dorian met my hypothesis predictions for a Rapid Intensification (RI) phase in conjunction with a spike in the Geomagnetic disturbances K and A indices:
The actual Geomagnetic data recorded by SWPC is in this graph

My Atlantic-basin Hurricane-Geomagnetic Link Rapid Intensification hypothesis was supported by the actaul recorded station K and Ap data as predicted here in this comment post from Thursday morning (60 hours prior to RI onset):

Dorian had stabilized as a Cat 4 for most of the day Saturday (31 August) operating with a 945 mb Central Pressure and 150 mph sustained winds. Then starting at 2100 GMT a Rapid Intensification (RI) phase began.
See here for Dorian wind/pressure data:

Dorian “peaked” at 1645 GMT (from hurricane hunter aircraft direct observation) on 1 September. This was 19.75 hours from the start of the RI to and “she” topped out at 910 mb/185 mph winds. A 35 mb drop in 19.75 hours = -1.77 mb/hr and achieving a 35 mph increase in sustained winds. That’s the textbook definition of an RI for an already powerful Cat 4 hurricane into a monster destroyer that then hit the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas ~2 hours later as a 185 mph shredder pushing a +20 foot storm surge and 30 foot waves across Great Abaco and Little Abaco Islands.

Dorian’s RI coincided almost precisely with the Planetary (est) K index (3 hour intervals) for 1 September.

Across the entire Atlantic Basin Hurricane development region, 3 other tropical systems sprang up (TS Gabrielle, TS Fernand, and Invest 92L) within 48 hours of Dorian’s RI. And also two popped up out in the East Pacific hurricane development zone. The now Hurricane Juliette popped up quickly on 1 September at 0900 GMT as a TS and went to a full blown Cat 3 within 42 hours. And Invest 99L is trying to get organized about 900 miles SE of Hawaii.
Something clearly shifted to assist development across a very wide swath of Western Hemisphere Atlantic and Eastern Pacific basins
So we have 6 Tropical systems spread across many thousands of miles distance with one Cat 4 undergoing RI to strong Cat 5 and the others “pop up” in synchronization with each other ~48 after with Dorian’s RI phase. The Geomagnetic Activity is now tapering off over the past 72 hours as well. My hypothesis predicts these newer Tropical Systems to pretty much hold their own, but not strengthen (Fernand is already well into Mexico so its already kaput) appreciably even if they remain over favorable waters unless another geomagnetic storm arrives.

I’ve been doing some mechanistic research, and I now have a plausible mechanism that fits most of the historical data, and even explains why the Atlantic Basin storms may be strengthening and slowing.

It’s a Tropical Cyclone Magnetic Dynamo-Geomagnetic storm hypothesis.
Once closed circulation is established in developing cyclone, the rotating band of clouds (vast numbers of micron size water droplets) carries a slight negative charge (ROM guess ~ 0.1 coulomb/cubic meter). Water also is a polar molecule. (Remember the static charged plastic comb-water faucet trick?)

A closed circulation of a CCW rotating negative charge eye wall would necessarily create a magnetic field surrounding the eye wall. The magnetic field at the inner eyewall would be pointed downwards into the Earth, with the dynamo magnetic field lines wrapping back “up” at outer eyewall as the entire eyewall rotates horizontally.

This tropical cyclone dynamo magnetic field would also align with the downward (Z direction) Earth’s geomagnetic field across the North Atlantic basin for the inner eye wall, but be opposed at the much larger radius outer eye wall. I would hypothesize that this would likely mean the downward Z geomagnetic field represents a braking mechanism on the strengthening of TC, and it realxation/disruption during a geomagnetic storm would release some of the magnetic braking on outer eye wall rotation (where most of the precipitation is occurring).

The downward Z component of the Earth’s geomagnetic field runs between 20 microTesla to 40 microTesla across most of the Atlantic Basin hurricane development region (see NGDC WMM data in the pdf link above).

Geomagnetic storm disturbances alter the local geomagnetic field strength. But exactly how this would interact with a tC cyclonic created magnetic field will require a complex supercomputer simulation.

I found exactly one 2006 AMS conference (by Dr. Robert A. Dickerson, PhD) submitted technical paper where the author did the magnetic field calculations for a representative hurricane/tropical cyclone using a “best guess” 0.17C/m^3 charge (best guess), 60 m/sec eye wall rotational velocity, and a eyewall volume described by a 20 km inner eye wall diameter, a 200 km outer diameter and 4 km thickness above sea surface. Using these numbers that author came up with ~5 microTesla magnetic field strength for the hurricane as a first order rough order of magnitude calculation.
Dr. Dickerson’s paper at conference: https://ams.confex.com/ams/27Hurricanes/techprogram/paper_107571.htm
And his paper PDF: https://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/107571.pdf

A hurricane/Tropical cyclone generating its own magnetic field that is 10% to 30% of the geomagnetic field in the same axis would certainly “feel” the effects of a geomagnetic storm causing variations in the local geomagnetic field Z component.

Also the Atlantic Basin geomagnetic Z field strength has been diminishing (about 120 nT to 200 nT per year since 2015) due to the weakening and rapid movement of the North magnetic pole towards Siberia of late.

This secular variation in the Z component along with this hypothesis would also provide an additional explanation the posited strengthening of hurricanes over the past several decades. And a geomagnetic-TC MHD hypothesis would explain why RI’s tend to happen (as correlation indicates) with geomagnetic storms.

Joel O'Bryan
September 4, 2019 6:27 pm

Mods Help!
Long comment lost in moderation!!
Comment #2787185.

Thx in advance.

September 4, 2019 6:39 pm

US Democrats have announced investigations into Russian influences on Dorian’s path away from Trump properties in Florida.

September 4, 2019 7:21 pm

As I contemplated the comment from Right-Handed Shark above I began to lament the lack of a “LIKE” button for these insights.

September 4, 2019 7:53 pm

Have to say, it really bothers me that they would drop the 1920s data where a number of storms were estimated at 2 and 3 miles per hour, and then claim a 17% drop after 1944 based on about two miles per hour difference of much quicker moving hurricanes. Would have been interesting to know the average speed during this earlier time for comparison.

September 5, 2019 12:21 am

The climate change and hurricane obsession of climate science


September 5, 2019 12:44 am

“Since Dorian didn’t cause any significant U.S. death and devastation”

But it DID cause death and truly awful devastation in the Caribbean, in the Bahamas…

Where it was a record storm, behaving exactly as climate science predicts.

Similarly we had Maria in 2017 which devastated Dominica, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

There seems to be a certain US centric blindness going on here.

Reply to  griff
September 5, 2019 1:13 am

IPCC and NCA say global and US storms show no trends over the century, in numbers or intensity.
Global weather mortality is down near 98% since the 1920s.
You seem to have a data blindness here, Griff.

Reply to  griff
September 5, 2019 3:43 am

yeah reports I heard today say 20 dead found so far.. mightnt be Mainland but ignoring their deaths and the families left is damned rude!

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  griff
September 5, 2019 9:38 am

“exactly as climate science predicts.”

And here I thought weather models were used for storms.

Reply to  griff
September 5, 2019 12:46 pm

yeh Griff, hurricanes never behaved that way before! Right?

September 5, 2019 1:04 am

It’s remarkable that the paper incuding the figure, above cited from “Inside Climate News” makes this statement: ” We make no attribution to anthropogenic forcing of the trends in TC stalling frequency and associated annual-mean coastal TC rainfall, and the trends reported here could be due to lowfrequency natural variability. Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-019-0074-8.pdf?origin=ppub (Hall/Kossin (2019))

September 5, 2019 1:20 am

It’s remarkable that the paper incuding the figure, above cited from “Inside Climate News” makes this statement: ” We make no attribution to anthropogenic forcing of the trends in TC stalling frequency and associated annual-mean coastal TC rainfall, and the trends reported here could be due to lowfrequency natural variability. Source(Hall/Kossin (2019)Nature npj

September 5, 2019 3:23 am

I’m reminded of this classic Piper’s Pit segment starring Rowdy Roddy Piper:

Michael Oshae
September 5, 2019 5:00 am

Thank God no lives were lost to this minor storm. Just more proof of the scam.

September 5, 2019 9:01 am

You know as well as I do that, regardless of whether or not what they said was a crock, the important point was to say it. For the overwhelming majority of sheeple that listen to NPR religiously, the barb has already been set. This just further reinforces their already made up minds. As this “reporting” was intended to do.

Reply to  TomB
September 5, 2019 12:51 pm

I guess so. One would think that it would be hard to set a hook in fish species that have a boney head but apparently it is quite easy.

Steve Z
September 5, 2019 2:38 pm

Defining a “slow-moving” hurricane as one that stalls in an “area” for two days or more is rather sketchy–how large is a “coastal area” that a hurricane stalls in, and does that mean that the eye is in that area, or only some of the rain bands? Harvey, which dumped 50 inches of rain in the Houston area, came ashore as a Cat 1 near Corpus Christi, then drifted eastward about 200 miles over five days, although many of its rain bands stayed over the Houston area all that time.

It’s also a lot easier to measure the movements of hurricanes in recent decades using weather satellites than prior to the space age, when we relied on eyewitness accounts from people living on the coast or on islands. There may have been many hurricanes as slow-moving as Dorian prior to 1960, but there were fewer eyewitnesses, and a slow-moving hurricane over a Caribbean island wouldn’t make the news in the U.S. before weather satellites were invented.

Slow-moving weather systems frequently cause problems–not only hurricanes, but also floods, blizzards, or even droughts, heat waves, or winter pollution-trapping inversions if an anticyclone is stationary for more than a few days. But what is the scientific evidence that additional CO2 in the atmosphere causes weather systems to slow down?

September 5, 2019 5:58 pm

More frequent? — No

More powerful? — No

So, let’s go with slower.

How about less interesting clouds, or , …. well, we’ll find something that works, since everything else we’ve tried is contradicted by evidence.

Kristi R Silber
September 5, 2019 9:36 pm

Um, so, the records before 1930 are better than the records between 1944 and 1960? And that includes not just their forward motion, but the wind speed, since Zhang’s graph applies to those above 112 MPH?

“Note the starting point, 1944. Also note that the majority of “slow moving hurricanes” are during the satellite era, when hurricane tracking improved by at least an order of magnitude.”

The graph isn’t of “slow moving hurricanes,” it is of the percentage that stalled for 2 days or more. It is really necessary to have satellite tracking to know if a hurricane has stalled? Presumably they use the same definition of “stall” for all years.

Zhang’s data and the graph are simply not comparable.

Of course, NPR must fail in order to be reported here – or it must seem to fail. Evidence supporting AGW is not favored on WUWT. Most of the good, credible evidence is either ignored by WUWT or twisted somehow to make it appear wrong through misinterpretation or presentation of cherry-picked data/research by a denier.

See - owe to Rich
September 6, 2019 12:51 am

Now that Dorian is right on the North Carolina coast would be a good time to study weather stations and buoys to see if Dorian’s sustained winds are actually what they are cracked up to be. When I followed Sandy the recorded winds were about 2/3 of those “called for”.

When I get back from an errand I’ll have a look, but hope others will too.

See - owe to Rich
September 6, 2019 1:58 am

OK, here’s the highest I found by searching around 34N 76W. It ‘s a buoy, so winds on the land are not so strong. It maxed out at 48.6kt, which is tropical storm force but not hurricane force, just before minimum pressure of 28.33in = 959mb, which is only slightly higher than NHC’s 1.00am 956mb eye estimate. So the eye passed pretty close to this buoy. On the other hand, the buoy only reports once per hour; who know what horrendous winds there were when we weren’t looking?


09 06 2:08 am NW 46.6 64.1 – – – – 28.74 – 74.8 81.5 – 36.07 – –
09 06 1:08 am ENE 29.1 56.3 – – – – 28.38 – 75.9 81.5 – 36.08 – –
09 06 12:08 am ENE 29.1 56.3 – – – – 28.33 – 76.1 81.5 – 36.09 – –
09 05 11:08 pm ESE 48.6 68.0 – – – – 28.62 – 74.8 81.5 – 36.10 – –
09 05 10:08 pm ESE 42.7 54.4 – – – – 28.87 – 74.5 81.7 – 36.09 – –

So what do you think: is it now a Category 2 hurricane, or a tropical storm?

See - owe to Rich
September 6, 2019 2:27 am

I would add that the visible destruction in the Abaco islands is appalling, and concomitant loss of life, quite consistent with a severe major hurricane at that time. If they had weather recorders there it would be interesting to know their readings as Dorian approached, but they would almost certainly have been destroyed before the maximum wind speeds were attained.

John M Brunette, Jr.
September 6, 2019 10:06 am

It’s sad state of media affairs when you wish for death and destruction based upon your political viewpoints. Pretty disgusting times we live in. I barely watch any news anymore. It’s so tainted. Even on hurricanes. Remember the faked guy trying to stand on camera during the last one, while others walked by casually in the background? Why?

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