What Will Northwest Weather and Climate Be Like in 2050?

Reposted from The Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Sunday, October 18, 2020

What Will Northwest Weather and Climate Be Like in 2050?

The future of Northwest climate is frequently discussed and debated these days.

Knowing the future climate is very important, because we can take steps to adapt to climate change, saving lives and property. And the threat of unpleasant consequences can motivate society to take steps to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere and increase carbon storage in the ground.

A number of politicians have made climate change a centerpiece of their political platforms, and a range of natural disasters (such as wildfires, drought, and storms) have been blamed on increasing CO2 and other greenhouse gases. A free-for-all of name calling has followed this topic with terms such as “denier”, “alarmist”, and “warmest” representing just a few.

A Time Machine

Climate change has become such an issue of contention, that activist groups have pushed to remove radio commentators that don’t follow their line (e.g., Seattle350 pushing KNKX to remove a certain meteorologist).  It has become an issue of almost religious intensity to some with “right thinking” on the topic becoming an important way to demonstrate that one is a true “progressive.”

So let’s  clear the air a bit now.  I will show you the gold standard of projections of what will occur here in the Northwest over the next three decades due to increasing greenhouse gases.   

It is a time scale that is short enough that I believe we can have great insights into what weather/climate conditions in the Northwest will be like if CO2 continues to rise.

Each of you can consider the projections and make your own judgement whether it is an “existential” threat, a serious threat, an inconvenience, or an improvement over our current climate.  You decide.

The Gold Standard of Regional Climate Projections

My group (particularly Richard Steed and Jeff Baars) in concert with Professor Eric Salathe of UW Bothell has been working on the most advanced regional climate projection capability of the region.

Specifically, we have run an ensemble of TWELVE high-resolution regional climate simulations (12-km grid spacing) for 130 years (1970-2100).  

Each of these simulations was driven by a different global climate model.  Such global models have such coarse resolution that they make profound errors with our local terrain.  Thus, we applied a proven high-resolution weather forecasting model (WRF) to properly simulation regional weather effects, running it for 130 years. 

Global climate model (left) versus our high-resolution regional model (right).

In our simulations, we have assumed the worst case scenario for increasing greenhouse gases (known as RCP 8.5), which assumes increasing use of coal and fossil fuels.  CO2 rising rapidly. 

Reality will probably be more benign, as increased renewables come online, the use of coal declines, and hopefully there will be a revolution in the use of nuclear energy (both safe fission and fusion).  And with increased energy sources, sequestration of CO2 (removing it from the atmosphere) become more viable.

Our work demanded enormous computer resources, with much of it supplied by a grant from the Amazon Catalyst Program.  The Amazon folks also helped support some of the researchers that completed and analyzed the output, and guided us in our use of cloud computing.  So a big thanks to Amazon.

What I am about to show you is unique:  no other regional climate prediction effort provides such a high resolution view of the future climate of the Northwest or offers information about the uncertainties in the projections.


There is a lot of talk about climate change bringing drought to the region, so let’s see what state-of-science models suggest. 

I will start by show you the change in annual precipitation over the region between 1970-2000 (think 1985) and 2030-2060 (think 2045).  This graphics shows changes in the averages of all twelve forecasts.  The average of an ensemble of many forecasts is generally more skillful than the individual predictions.

For most of the region, annual precipitation will increase by1-4 inches, with some decreases on the lee (downwind) side of some major terrain barriers.  In general, MORE water for our region each year.  Good news.

What about during the summer? 

For about 2/3rds of the region, amounts will decline, but most of the declines will be small (0 to .5 inches).  The biggest declines (up to roughly 1 inch) will be on the western side of the Cascades and the western slopes of Vancouver Is.   Interestingly some of the region, particularly east of the Cascade crest, will see small increases, with largest increases over the northern Rockies.

 Bottom line:  no major precipitation declines over the arid eastern side of Oregon and Washington.

What about Seattle? What can you expect for precipitation and how good are our simulations?  Good question.
The key precipitation period is midwinter…and below is a plot of all ensemble members, the average of all of them (green line) and observed values (black dot) for 1970-2100.
A very small upward trend in winter precipitation through 2050.  You won’t notice it.  Also note that there has not been much trend in the observations either.

What about summer (June to August) in Seattle?   The forecast is below.  
A very slight downward trend.   Summer has always been dry around Puget Sound (typically 2-3 inches in total) and perhaps we will lose as much as .5 inches from global warming by 2050.  

How about Omak in the fire-prone mountainous area of northeast Washington? As shown in the projections below, it is a dry place with little trend.

The bottom line of these forecasts is that the precipitation changes through 2050 over our region will be modest, even if greenhouse gases increase rapidly over the next several decades.  
Increasing greenhouse gases WILL have a significant impact on our regional temperatures, but how much?  Let’s check out maximum temperatures.
Annual average maximum temperatures by 2030-2060 (think 2045) will increase by 1-2 C (2-4F) west of the Cascade crest and 2-3 C (4-5F)  to the east.

What about the summer, where we worry about heat waves and wildfires?  Clearly larger increases in temperature (see below).  Along the coast, pretty much the same as for winter– 2C or less increase in temperate.  The ocean temperatures do not warm up as rapidly as the land, so relief from heat will remain available from Forks to Astoria to Lincoln City along the coast.
Summer temperatures in Puget Sound will notch up by about 2.5- 3 C (4-5F).   So a typical summer high in Seattle would increase from approximately 76F to around 80F.

East of the Cascade crest, summer high temperatures will increase 3-3.5C (5-6F), so the typical summer high in say Richland, WA will rise from 88F to 93.5F.  Enough to be noticeable.
Below is a plot of how the daily average winter (Dec-Feb)  temperature (C) will change at SeaTac through 2050. Again, the green line is the average of the ensemble of regional climate forecasts.  A slow increase over time by about 2 C.

The summer temperatures also increase steadily, by about 3 C.   Note in 2020 we have already experienced about half of the greenhouse warming that is expected by 2050.

By the way, do you notice that the high-resolution model is too cold in winter and too warm in summer at SeaTac?  This error is probably due to the lack of resolution even of the regional climate simulations, with an inability to define the relatively narrow Puget Sound west of SeaTac.

Omak mean temperatures in winter and summer?  A gradual increase, with summer temperatures going up 2-4C over the period (and we are again about halfway there at this point).

Omak Winter

Omak Summer
Bottom Line:  Assuming a worst-case scenario of increased greenhouse gases, the region will warm, with greatest increases east of the Cascade crest.    Winter warming (from approximately 1985 to 2045) will be approximately 3F in the west and 5 F in the east.  Summer warming will be roughly 4F in the west and 4-5F in the cast.  Warming will be gradual and progressive.
With only a modest rise in precipitation but warming temperatures, one should expect a decline in snowpack–and that is exactly what the regional simulations are showing.
Here is the change in April 1 snowpack (snow water equivalent in mm), a critical measure of melt water availability for the summer, between roughly 1985 and 2045.  Notable declines  (darker brown colors) over the western slopes of the Cascades and the Olympics.  Some increases in eastern WA (from the increases in precipitation).

To get a more intuitive idea of the April 1 snowpack change below are the ensemble forecasts and ensemble mean (green line) at Stevens Pass.  You will note a lot of variability in the forecasts and observations–snow amounts vary a lot from year to year for a variety of reasons (including natural variability such as El Nino/La Nina).  Over the entire period through 2050, the snowpack declines from roughly 1000 mm (1 meter) to around 750 mm:  a 25% decline.
It is not clear whether there has much decline so far in the observed snowpack (black dots).

Declines in projected snowpack are less at higher locations, and greater at lower ones, such as Snoqualmie Pass.     Skiing at Snoqualmie is often marginal today and I would not buy a season pass there after 2030.   I suspect skiing will be history at Snoqualmie by 2050.
Wind Speed        The regional climate simulations do NOT suggest much change in average daily maximum wind speed (see below) between 1985 and 2045.  The same is true of annual maximum gusts or the strength of approaching Pacific windstorms.

I can provide a thousand more graphics, but you get the general idea.  
If the emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases continue on their present pace, there will be changes in our regional climate.  In fact, some of the changes have already started.  So by 2050:

  • Annual precipitation will increase slightly for most of the region.
  • Temperatures will warm by roughly 3-5F.
  • Winds and windstorms will experience little change.
  • Snowpack will decline dramatically (roughly 25%) by 2050.

Importantly, the model projections do not suggest  any “tipping points” nor abrupt changes in our weather/climate as a result of increasing greenhouse gases.
To say something that will get me in trouble with the climate activists folks, there is no existential threat to our region through the middle of the century.  We will be able to adapt to the modest changes that are expected, although some will be worrisome (loss of skiing at Snoqualmie Pass).

Not optimal snow conditions
I believe the above is the best available estimate for what unrestrained global warming will bring to our region through mid-century, and I ask that the activist folks and over-the-top “journalists” in some local media outlets restrain their name calling and twitter rage when such information is communicated.   My erstwhile radio station, KNKX, surrendered to the climate activists–hopefully, as the political rancor of this season ends, rational discussion and good science will again be appreciated.


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John Tillman
October 20, 2020 10:07 am

Drier in Central Oregon?

Hope the regional climate models are as bad as the pandemic models.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  John Tillman
October 20, 2020 7:43 pm

Why start with the fantasy 8.5 scenario?
Doesn’t that line make the entire rest of the post garbage?
I’d expect better from Cliff

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
October 20, 2020 9:05 pm

If you start with the other side’s worst case scenario and can show it results in nothing serious, you have completely taken the wind out of their sails.

You give them no wiggle room to suggest that if the worst case does happen, then things will be bad.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
October 21, 2020 7:26 am

I keep telling you guys, Cliff thinks CO2 is a problem. And I still can’t figure out why. He constantly debunks the forest fire/flood/drought alarmist nonsense regarding climate change, yet he thinks reducing CO2 emissions will have any meaningful effect.

As for his “ensemble of TWELVE high-resolution regional climate simulations”… I’ve seen no evidence that they’re any better than looking out the window, and worse, in many cases. Often the local forecasts are wrong just a few hours out.

And his statement (my emphasis) “I will show you the gold standard of projections of what will occur here in the Northwest over the next three decades due to increasing greenhouse gases.”

Their gold standard hasn’t been able to “project” anything accurately, period. He doesn’t know what WILL occur any more than I do.

Curious George
October 20, 2020 10:13 am

What will Northwest weather be like in February 2021?

Reply to  Curious George
October 20, 2020 2:01 pm


Reply to  Curious George
October 20, 2020 2:05 pm

I walked out the door yesterday morning (W-MT) and was greeted by the
sights and sounds of migrating snow geese. Only a few flights
but they were not looking to land.
.seems maybe a month, or so early…
the weatherman vs mother nature?… If I was
a gambling man I’d put my chips on February ’21
being snowy and cold..same with the rest of the winter.

Reply to  Dan-O
October 20, 2020 9:05 pm

This coming weekend the Northwest is in for arctic air that will give us night temperatures in the teens.

October 20, 2020 10:13 am

If you use a computer to do your fortune telling, is it still fortune telling?

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  d
October 20, 2020 10:45 am

I have come up with a new global temperature computer model, called The Accurate Regression Of Temperatures.

Let’s just call it the TAROT model!

Ill Tempered Klavier
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
October 20, 2020 5:48 pm

Somehow I suspect you don’t turn up “Juggernaut” often 😉 😉

Reply to  d
October 20, 2020 10:59 pm

No, it’s FORTRAN telling.
Slightly less accurate due to floating point rounding.

October 20, 2020 10:14 am

“Knowing the future climate is very important”

So what method should we use to predict future climate?

How far in the future?

How important is Very Important?

Stupidity right out of the gate.


Reply to  Bad Andrew
October 20, 2020 2:45 pm

1) How Alarmists view average temperatures
(using temperature anomalies – degrees Celsius)

+0.0 = pre-industrial paradise
+0.5 = paradise lost
+1.0 = now
+1.5 = terrible
+2.0 = catastrophic
+2.5 = extinction


2) How Skeptics view average temperatures
(using actual real temperatures – degrees Celsius)

+4 = Moscow
+5 = Helsinki
+6 = Oslo
+7.3 = Berlin
+8 = Warsaw
+10.3 = London
+12 = Beijing
+12.4 = Paris
+14.1 = Madrid
+15.5 = Rome
+16.3 = Tokyo
+17 = Sydney
+18.5 = Athens
+19 = Nairobi
+20 = Lima
+21 = Cairo
+22 = Baghdad
+23 = Hong Kong
+25.2 = Delhi
+27 = Jakarta
+27 = Manila
+27 = Singapore
+28 = Bangkok

The average temperature in Bangkok is 24 degrees Celsius hotter than Moscow

Compare that to another 1 degree Celsius of global warming to reach the IPCC’s 2 degrees Celsius temperature limit

Some like it hot!!!

Reply to  Sheldon Walker
October 20, 2020 3:14 pm

Finally someone has discovered why the eco-marxists want a colder world – they are homesick for mother Russia!

October 20, 2020 10:21 am

I predict that by 2028 there will be carbon taxes in place and at least one increase in the rate. Having achieved the great hoodwinking, climate scare and predictions will be pushed down in the media by political forces such that it will dwell alongside Save the Whales, Nuclear Winter, and Free Tibet. Carbon tax revenue of course will be used for all manner of unrelated priorities of the Party and anyone who opposes will the an instant non-person. Elections will be run electronically with results tied into the computer systems of Google, Facebook, IRS, and DOJ.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
October 20, 2020 8:17 pm

UNEP / DTU Partnership

Climate Initiatives Platform

Webpage includes many topics and organizations.

Can scroll down to: “Divest-Invest Global Movement”


Also on the Internet.

Reply to  Barbara
October 20, 2020 11:58 pm

I looked at your list Barbara. I couldn’t find “Responsible Recycling of Renewable Infrastructure” anywhere!

I couldn’t find “Ways to Prevent Death of the People, and Degradation of their Environment in Developing Countries Due to Mining for Manufacture of Renewables Infrastructure” either. I have been led to believe that their lives matter. No?

And I tried to find “What happens to the Millions of Small Animals, and all other Flora and Fauna that is Bulldozed Flat to make way for Renewables Infrastructure?” It troubles me that their water holes are now gone and they have been fenced off from the places they used to live. Or worse still, they are no longer alive. Permanently removed one way or another over many million acres across the globe. All for the greater good? I guess I don’t understand how environmentalism works.

These are some of the issues that are not even considered, and by people who are ignorant of the facts, people who see themselves as caring.

It’s a long list on this link of yours Barbara. But there is much that you haven’t considered.

Reply to  Megs
October 21, 2020 12:33 pm

True, and that’s why the list was posted.

UN Document Repository

Background Document

“.Pledge Pipeline”, (2017)

List of historic GHG emissions and reduction pledges for all countries.


Reply to  Barbara
October 21, 2020 6:38 pm

Barbara, just to set the scene, this is meant to be read in conversational tone.

The CO2 AGW theory is nothing but a ruse. The scientists who invented it are not true scientists, if they were, they would not be afraid to share their raw data. None of it was ever proven to this day! Instead they shut down debate completely, with the backing of politicians. The whole ‘97% of scientists agree’ is fake. I believe that around 10,000 scientists were surveyed, the questions were obscure and there were many who did not respond. The surveys were whittled down to 77, those that most aligned to the AGW theory. The resulting ‘97% of scientists agree’ came from a handful of scientists.

Be it science, politics or any profession for that matter, if you attain top level status it comes with immense power. You have the power to drive your own agenda, (which goes against the responsibility you’ve been given) through to its conclusion, as long as you don’t let anyone stop you. That’s where transparency in science is essential, or there is risk of corruption.

It isn’t enough to tell leaders that you need to make changes across the globe that will save the planet, and that doing this is the only way to stop the world from burning up! Oh, and by the way, trillions of dollars will need to be ‘invested’ to do this. Before radical steps such as these were made you would need to be sure that the information that led you to that conclusion was checked and rechecked, and your buddies don’t count. It wasn’t, properly checked that is.

I know that this sounds simplistic but they won’t let me write a book here. Now the powers that be should have asked, “are you sure?” And the scientists would have responded “absolutely, 97% of scientists agree that if we don’t take these extreme measures then the planet will surely fry!” To that the top leaders replied “Well OK then, we must trust the science”. And all the while those words “trillions of dollars will need to be invested” stuck in their heads.

This ugly ruse has grown into a monster. I have no doubt that there is now a high level of corruption, on a global scale to keep this ruse alive. They keep inventing new products to keep it going as long as possible, to prop up a scheme that in reality can never ‘deliver the goods’. The Carbon Tax is one of the products they are finding difficult to get up and running, in reality it will do nothing practical, but what a money spinner. They turn a blind eye to the terrible cost of this scheme, the immense damage that has already been done and they have barely begun.

The science was never settled Barbara. There is not large numbers of scientists in agreement about anthropogenic CO2. This ruse has been going on for decades by the same handful of ‘scientists’. It’s been taught in schools and universities to the extent that it’s accepted as fact. Journalists went through that school system, they are so sure that it’s real that they won’t allow skeptics to put forward alternative views.

I am not a scientist, but a significant number of the population think the way I do. I always felt that there was something about the whole AGW story that just didn’t fit. Of course that, and the fact that not one, of the cataclysmic events that they have predicted over more than thirty years has come to pass. Not one. Two years ago I decided to find out what it was that I wasn’t being told. This site came up time after time, it’s not the only source of my information but it’s the best. They put forward information and ideas to open up a debate. The MSM will not provide you with a balanced view, or even an alternative view.

You assume, because you believe the whole ‘97% of scientists agree’ fraud, that there are a small number of scientists, 3%, who need to get with the programme.

You are wrong Barbara, there are brilliant minds, on this site alone, people with integrity. This site was created primarily for scientists Barbara, and though I don’t understand it I have witnessed scientific debate on a daily basis, it’s wonderful. There is banter too, and sometimes they get cranky, they are real people. The scientists tolerate interlopers like me to a certain extent, but it is mostly scientists, and many of them. The powers that be out there in the real world are blocking scientific papers altogether in some cases, or rejecting them without properly refuting them.

Great people of science, people of integrity have been sacked from their jobs because they dared to question the principles of AGW. Some had worked in their field for decades. That is simply shutting down science. This doesn’t make sense Barbara, why choose to simply believe the AGW scenario and the disasters that go with it are true because you have to ‘trust the science’. If you thought that there was a chance that they might be wrong, wouldn’t that be preferable? Scientists do make mistakes, that’s where integrity is important, to admit when you are wrong. After all the stakes, as in this instance, can be extremely high. In fact it doesn’t get any bigger than this one. And if that turned out that they were wrong, then the planet could be saved from the certain death and destruction that comes with renewables. That scenario is actually happening, it’s happening now, and if the ‘Green New Deal’or any similar plan were to be launched it will be ultimately devastating, to everyone, especially developing nations.

It’s taken me two years to find answers that gave me a real understanding of how much the general population don’t know. Eighteen months of that time has been a good part of every day. I cannot teach you what I have learned in one response. But it seems that you have altruistic intentions. The trillions of dollars that have been wasted so far on renewable energy could have gone a long way to resolving the non climate related charities on your list.

Do some research of your own Barbara, or come back here and ask questions. I really think that ‘chapter 2’ would be out of the question. There is sooo much you don’t know. It doesn’t have to be ‘us and them’, it’s called, a conversation. Old school. Look at both sides of the story to get to the truth. Better still return ‘all’ scientists into the debate, openly and in a transparent way. The way it should be.

October 20, 2020 10:25 am

…enormous computer resources…


Roll the bones.

Reply to  fretslider
October 20, 2020 3:59 pm

But plenty of CO2 energy used 🙂

Keep that carbon cycle clicking over… good lads.

October 20, 2020 10:27 am

Same as today’s. Rainy, sun, snow, night, day.

Brian R Catt
October 20, 2020 10:37 am

In 50 years? Indiscernible from now for people, some regional change of course (NPO?), but that’s not global climate change. Nor does CO2 come into it. It’s natural , doesn’t matter what fairy tale science guesses might create inside computer games in models, the CO2 effect is infinitesimal in total GHE, and total GHE effect is easily controlled by evaporation hence cloud albedo. Hence no tipping points for 500Ma. Because GHE is an internal heat transfer function within the lapse rate, not the control

After decades of satellite observations of the real global climate, able to obsreve what happens over the controlling 2/3 of the ocean covered surface where the weather comes from, there is NO current evidence of incremental change in excess of the previous cycles of natural cyclic change. Covering the 40 years when most of the incremental CO2 GHE effect on total H2O GHE, 1.6W/m^2 in 300W/m^2 per the over egged IPCC models, has been claimed to be changing global climate unnaturally. And hasn’t – in fact. Change is consistent with natural cyclic change this interglacial. NO detectable anomaly.

500 years? About 1.6 degrees colder. Then up again to 3,000 AD with slight overall reduction in peak warm at 3,000 AD. e.g. Same change as always, 2 deg up and down at the poles’ about 1 deg at the equator, on a 1Ka cycle superimposed on the much slower but steadier path to the next glacial phase of the roughly 100Ka period ice age. The best predictor of change we have is the natural change cycles of the last Million years. In greater detail of a dominant 1Ka 2 deg cycle, with several other cycles overlapping at these frequencies under a solar wind cause, superimposed on the sum of three Milankovitch cycles that the 100Ka cycle currently dominates. It just happens. Here is the last 10Ka of GISP2, with modern warming since the LIA, as measured directly, added to the end of the series and compared to the historic rates of the last warmings, which suggests the warming we observe is natural, within the noise. No anomaly to be seen.

comment image?dl=0

October 20, 2020 10:42 am

Oh boy, more modeling but this time it’s better. Every modeler is convinced they developed the Rosetta stone of climate modeling.

October 20, 2020 10:46 am

“The average of an ensemble of many[model] forecasts is generally more skillful than the individual predictions”.
Who told you that, Cliff?
That might be a reasonable statement for weather models that are all looking at short-term data and forecasting results. And it might also be true that an average of multiple runs of the same climate model may be more useable than any single run, relatively. But an average of an ensemble of different models? We’d need just one to be right, but which one is it? The one nearest the middle?

Reply to  mothcatcher
October 20, 2020 1:38 pm

This is clearly a misunderstanding by Dr. Mass. Including less skillful models in the ensmble makes the prediction less accurate, not more. Since there is clearly a large disparity in the various models’ ability to hindcast, some models were proven to be less skillful – these should have been discarded. Along with adopting RCP 8.5, a non-credible model of the future CO2 trajectory, these two things make the prediction completely useless. Besides, it’s hard to believe preditions that estimate future temperature increases in some areas will progress at 3 to 5 times the rate of historical, measured rates.

Don K
Reply to  mothcatcher
October 20, 2020 1:59 pm

Averaging a bunch of models does largely eliminate the risk of inadvertently picking one seriously flawed model from a collection of models. AFAICS, it does nothing whatsoever to mitigate the, substantial in my opinion, possibility that ALL the models are more or less complete nonsense.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Don K
October 21, 2020 7:30 am

How do 12 wrongs make a right?

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
October 21, 2020 11:05 pm

The Right Honourable Arthur Calwell, was forever plagued by a jocular assertion he made in Parliament when Minister of Immigration that “Two Wongs don’t make a White”.

So it is just possible that 12 wrongs could make a right. Remember that if rounding numbers is allowed, 2 + 2 can equal 5.

October 20, 2020 10:48 am

Modeling is the way to fame, fortune, and comfortable retirement…..if you present the right results.

Forrest Gardener
October 20, 2020 10:52 am

Maybe I missed it in among all the wiggly graphs but I’d be interested to know what the climate was in Seattle 30 years ago and what it is now.

Nelson Woodard
Reply to  Forrest Gardener
October 20, 2020 11:13 am

Easy to check the temps at SeaTac. No change since 1996

October 20, 2020 10:54 am

His hypothesized increase of temperatures from 2º in some places to 3-4º in others beats even RCP 8.5 and he positively asserts that climate change and increased temperatures are due to CO2 emissions. Is Cliff trying to make amends to the mob who got him fired?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  alexei
October 21, 2020 7:31 am

No, he’s always been that way.

Nelson Woodard
October 20, 2020 11:11 am

Interesting, but…. why use RCP 8.5. There is a zero chance that this outcome will happen. It makes the results not very interesting. I get that running the simulation is expensive but I think a comparison with a more plausible RCP outcome would make the analysis more interesting. Also, if you used “adjusted” temperatures in your simulation for the period where actual data is used for benchmarking it makes the effort not very interesting or accurate.

We know that there has been no temperature increases at SeaTac since 1996. This is easy to check.

There are 3 Washington State sites in the Climate Reference network and none of them show any rise in temperatures for about 13 years

Mauna Loa where we get the Keeting CO2 data from has a negative trend in temperature since 1980 when CO2 rose from 338 to 414 PPM.

And now your simulations are saying 3-5 F increase in temperatures over the next 30 years!

I’m sorry, this is model world stuff at its worst.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Nelson Woodard
October 20, 2020 12:41 pm

“Interesting, but…. why use RCP 8.5. There is a zero chance that this outcome will happen. It makes the results not very interesting. I get that running the simulation is expensive but I think a comparison with a more plausible RCP outcome would make the analysis more interesting.”

I agree. Cliff is using the worst-case scenario,, RCP 8.5, yet his results are still fairly moderate for the area of interest. Use a less extreme RCP and no doubt the results will be even milder.

Wolf at the door
October 20, 2020 11:14 am

Saw the word models……

Clyde Spencer
October 20, 2020 11:29 am

“The average of an ensemble of many forecasts is generally more skillful than the individual predictions.”

Logically, there can only be one ‘best’ forecast. If one averages the best with the less skillful forecasts, I would expect the ensemble to have less skill than the best. The only advantage of an ensemble is that it might be difficult to identify the best forecast. Averaging, hedges one’s bet by encompassing all reasonable possibilities at the cost of less precision. Sort of like blurring the picture of someone. You can still recognize them, but you are missing all the wrinkles that truly characterize their appearance.

October 20, 2020 11:30 am


Read Lorenz, then tell me which bit of “inherently unpredictable” you are having difficulty understanding.

They’ve been teaching chaos theory now for over 50 years. Did you skip those lectures?

Ken Dean
October 20, 2020 11:47 am

And here is me, half way through reading the above thinking there would be a Sark tag at the end! Silly me!

Richard M
October 20, 2020 11:47 am

Ignoring natural ocean cycles (like the models do) is almost certain to mean these projections will miss the mark significantly. It is fairly likely both the AMO and PDO will turn negative in the near future and could remain that way all the way to 2050.

However, it should be interesting to many people that even these worst case scenarios are hardly something to fear. In fact, many would call it an improvement.

Kevin McNeill
October 20, 2020 11:47 am

When meteorologists can reliably tell me what the weather will be in two weeks I will believe that they can tell me what the climate will be in 40 years.

Not Chicken Little
Reply to  Kevin McNeill
October 20, 2020 11:58 am

I wrote my comment before I saw yours – I would just ask, when will they be able to tell me reliably if it will rain or not TOMORROW?

Not Chicken Little
October 20, 2020 11:54 am

I know that short-term weather forecasting and “climate change” forecasting aren’t quite the same thing – but if anything, short-term weather forecasts SHOULD be more accurate, and also more easily verified if they are accurate, than some forecast for 30 years into the future.

Both have high-powered computer resources and many man-hours spent on them – because especially for the near term the consequences can be disastrous for incorrect forecasts, for crops, for power outages, for human life.

Yet so often the weather guessers can’t even tell me if it’s going to rain tomorrow – they’ll say “49% probability” or “51% probability” but that’s meaningless – it means it’s a coin toss but it also means they can’t answer YES or NO to the simple question, “Will it rain tomorrow?”

Once they can get that right, maybe then I’ll start paying attention to forecasts 30 years ahead. Until then I have no confidence in their ability to forsee the future.

Bruce Cobb
October 20, 2020 11:56 am

“Each of you can consider the projections and make your own judgement whether it is an “existential” threat, a serious threat, an inconvenience, or an improvement over our current climate. You decide.”
Thanks. I’ve decided that the projections, although somewhat less alarmist are still just more of the same Warmunist horseshit.

Kevin Hearle
October 20, 2020 12:02 pm

“in our simulations, we have assumed the worst case scenario for increasing greenhouse gases (known as RCP 8.5), which assumes increasing use of coal and fossil fuels. CO2 rising rapidly.”
If you use an unrealistic RCP 8.5 you will get an unrealistic output. All your work for a wrong answer guaranteed. The only thing you have shown is that the worst situation isn’t that bad. Now go back and do it all again with RCP2.6 and get the other end of the scale. Then RCP 4.5. /6 then the reader can decide what reality might be, keep in mind that “all models are wrong, some are more useful than others”. Beautiful presentation .

Jeroen B.
Reply to  Kevin Hearle
October 20, 2020 12:42 pm

I think you missed the point:

that even assuming unrealistic, impossible base line input values the expected changes would be extremely modest if detectable at all.

So rather than decry the methods, models, and scenario used consider that for a moment:

Minimal to barely detectable changes DESPITE worst case “probably not even remotely possible” scenario.

I can’t think of a better way to undermine any idiotic policy measures than to show the politicians and other proponents of “action now” *using their own chosen tools, methods and parameters* that any measures taken are just wasted money, time and effort.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Jeroen B.
October 20, 2020 8:24 pm

Yes, the models are worthless. Yes, reliable data for all factors goes back 100 years, not 50. Yes, the guesstimate is poppycock upon poppycock.

Buuuuut, the results are NEGLIGBLE change. All predicted outcomes are well within the historical range of variability. It rains 4 feet a year where I live. That’s going to increase by one inch? Nobody is going to notice. The findings of the whizbang superdooper model is that the climate in the PNW will remain almost exactly the same under the WORST CASE scenario.

Jeroen B. has it right. The frenzied alarmists who want to strangle the economy use these models and call them “science”. Well bozos, the “science” you rely upon shows the climate catastrophe is more like a marshmallow puppy lamb nothing burger. In 50 years the Big Change will be undetectable. Under the WORST CASE scenario. As per the Magic Computer Model of your choice.

Point, set, match. The rug is pulled out. Crickets.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Kevin Hearle
October 20, 2020 12:59 pm

I would love to see the RCP2.6 result. 🙂

Not that I believe any of these models are valid representations of reality, since I have never seen any evidence that CO2 is causing the weather to do anything it wouldn’t otherwise do. CO2 may not be the Control Knob of the Earth’s climate, and these models are based on it.

Even if we go with the models, RCP2.6 would show results so mild that there would be no need to take any action against CO2 and fossil fuels. Those Amazon guys may not want to pay for that kind of study.

October 20, 2020 12:13 pm

It is not clear to me why the average of a group of guesses gives a more accurate guess than any one of the guesses. I know IPCC does it and so it seems do you. RGB at Duke once wrote a paper on the mathematical error of such a process.

October 20, 2020 12:20 pm

Problem is that CO2 only has a warming effect in “climate models”. !

Reality…. yet to be observed or measured.

October 20, 2020 12:37 pm

The love of far into the future unverifiable weather/climate modeling scenarios continues…..

Splitdog Homee
October 20, 2020 12:38 pm

The best models are Hot Wheels.

October 20, 2020 12:41 pm

Sequester CO2 in the ground or anywhere and you limit the earth”s foodstuff production by that amount. If food was universally abundant, that would be no problem, but we all know the situation is otherwise. So are people who want carbon sequestration stupid, evil, or both?

October 20, 2020 12:45 pm

Did the models come with any estimation variances?

October 20, 2020 12:53 pm

My prediction for the 2050 case of global warming:
there will be six months warmer than any of the other six months.
There is also chance of global cooling in 2050, there I predict:
there will be six months colder than any of the other six months.
There you have it, a prediction that can be easily verified.

October 20, 2020 12:56 pm

I HOPE BIben wins soo you undertand what pain is all about

Ron Long
October 20, 2020 12:58 pm

2050? It will be hot, fool, were you born on the sun? It’ll be damn hot, it…wait a minute, it will be hot where I’ll be in 2050, that’s for sure, because I’ve already signed a deal with the devil for 2040. 74 and counting.

Reply to  Ron Long
October 20, 2020 2:13 pm

See you there Ron.

Reply to  Mr.
October 20, 2020 3:58 pm

I’ll be guy on the big chair ! 😉

Nelson Woodard
October 20, 2020 12:59 pm

I just downloaded Tony Heller’s free software that allows one to download and graph the unadjusted temperature data from NOAA’s website. I have checked the data records for many sites in WA. I have yet to find one where there is significant warming. I have always liked Cliff’s work, but I have to say this article is an outlier. To be clear, the predictions by Cliff’s work can not be reconciled with the unadjusted data that NOAA provides.

I believe a more accurate interpretation is that the temperature rise Cliff predicts is the amount of adjustment to actual measured temperatures that NOAA will have to make in order for the temperatures they report to be consistent with the hypothesis of Catastrophic Global Warming.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Nelson Woodard
October 21, 2020 6:22 am

Yeah, those temperature chart manipulations and bastardizations are the only place where we can find Human-caused Global Warming.

If the Alarmists didn’t have temperature chart manipulation, they wouldn’t have anything.

The good news is the Temperature Chart Manipulators didn’t have time to manipulate all the charts on the planet, so we can go look at the unmodified data and see that we are not experiencing unprecedented warming today, which means the Human-caused Climate Change narrative is just scaremongering and CO2 is not the control knob of the Earth’s temperature.

Tony Heller does good work. Right, Steven? 🙂

John Shotsky
October 20, 2020 1:16 pm

The climate cycles on an approximate 70 year cycle. 30 years from now it should be approxmately where it was 40 years ago – when it was all the rage to warn of the coming ice age. This is easily testable. I believe we are on the down cycle now, and it will soon become abundantly obvious.

October 20, 2020 1:39 pm

The title asks
“What Will Northwest Weather and Climate Be Like in 2050?”
My answer,even after reading the article, is about the same as it has been for the last 30 years. You will probably have to have very good records to see any changes in the average precipitation , temperature, or weather patterns. Climate change is slow and mostly imperceptible leaving only a vague feeling on the old timers that things used to be different. It is also cyclical and will likely veer back toward the currant climate in 50 or 60 years. But most importantly for this discussion it is hardly influenced by changes in CO2 and certainly not measurably effected by human emissions of CO2. If the programs they ran to produce this scenario are controlled by the evolution CO2 in the atmosphere and that evolution is predicated on emissions, the only way it will be right is by accident.

Peter W
October 20, 2020 2:00 pm

Here it is, mid-October, still early fall. I have been checking the daily temperature and weather maps for some time now. Since the start of the week, for three days now, I have consistently seen in Montana, the Dakotas, and even into northern Minnesota, snow and sub-freezing temperatures. I would guess that the inhabitants of those areas, especially the farmers and ranchers, would be more than happy to be seeing some of that global warming they are being promised.


Richard M
Reply to  Peter W
October 21, 2020 5:48 am

You got that right. My MN location set a new snowfall record yesterday with about 3″. Some places got up to 10″. More on the way this weekend. Temperatures have been 15-20° F below average and are predicted to remain there for the next week at least.

October 20, 2020 2:04 pm

Using historical data until 1980, what would these models predict for 2019 – 2020 ?

Mark Hansford
October 20, 2020 2:07 pm

miss just one parameter and the whole ensemble is meaningless more than a few months out. And lets assume the worst possible scenario to run our model. You know the scenario that by your own admission is not going to happen. All ready garbage in, so why expect better out.
Interesting fiction at best. More unfounded conjecture at worst

Peter Shinn
October 20, 2020 2:29 pm

“Greenhouse warming,” what a load of, to be nice, ….garbage. I can’t believe you people think you are using scientific methods.

I don’t deny the possibility of things warming up on the West Coast, but global warming because of humans, NONSENSE!

James Clarke
October 20, 2020 2:52 pm

Here is my prediction. Cliffs attempt to placate the mob by using our RCP 8.5, and the best computer technology in the world, will fail. That is because the mob doesn’t care about science or even climate change for that matter. These things are just tools they use to effect the social change they desire, which will be based on a post-modern philosophy. In that society, there will be no place for classical science or classical scientists.

Geoff Sherrington
October 20, 2020 3:07 pm

Not random noise, but noise constrained by beliefs of the operators.
Where are the estimates of uncertainty?
Why use RCP 8.5 when several papers claim it is not possible for this scenario to happen?
Noise. Meaningless noise, a disgrace to Science.
Geoff S

October 20, 2020 5:11 pm

if you want to see what “experts” are doing, check the Prairie Climate Centre and their Climate Atlas at:
They have also assumed the worst case scenario of RCP of 8.5. Then they also got the worst case scenario temperatures from somewhere and plot all this on a “high resolution” map for the future. They claim Manitoba will have Texas temperatures by 2080. Dream on.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Gord
October 20, 2020 8:05 pm

Never seen that site before

“ Our team has high-level expertise and many years of experience in climate change science and storytelling”.

Doesn’t that mean they are like the rest of the climatologists?

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
October 21, 2020 9:36 am

Their strength is in “storytelling”. Their experience is in accepting the misinformation of IPCC and rebroadcasting it. Then they have movie makers on the payroll. They thoight that RCP was a MEASURED number. And the gov gives them money.

October 20, 2020 5:39 pm

He says he will show us the gold standard of projections and then he pulls out the worst case scenario of RCP 8.5 — which shows the worst case and beyond. But the title of his article was “What Will Northwest Weather and Climate Be Like in 2050?” . What will it be like, or what will it not be like?

I can do better than that. It will be just like it has been for the past 30 years.

Garland Lowe
October 20, 2020 7:39 pm

Knowing the future climate is very important, because we can take steps to adapt to climate change, saving lives and property.
These idiots can’t predict the high and low temps a week out, but they’re able to predict the temps 80 years from now. What a bunch of Horse Shi.. manure.
Do any of the well educated people have any intelligence?

October 20, 2020 9:02 pm

“What Will Northwest Weather and Climate Be Like in 2050?”

What do you want it to be?

October 20, 2020 11:25 pm

Carbon dioxide makes up only ~0.04% of the atmosphere and constitutes only 3.6% of the greenhouse effect and has increased only 0.008% since emissions began to soar after 1945. Such a tiny, tiny increment of CO2 can’t cause the catastrophic warming predicted by CO2 alarmists.

Also overlooked by models is that the sun has just entered a Grand Solar Minimum. The last time a similar event occurred was the Dalton Minimum from 1790 to 1820 during which global temperatures dropped into one of the several Little Age cold periods.

Glacier fluctuations on Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier show many warm and cold periods well before CO2 began to rise after 1945. None of these had anything at all to do with CO2.

Reply to  Don Easterbrook
October 20, 2020 11:49 pm

“Carbon dioxide makes up only ~0.04% of the atmosphere and constitutes only 3.6% of the greenhouse effect and has increased only 0.008% since emissions began to soar after 1945. ”

but somehow it can green up the world’s forests. Astonishing.

Reply to  Loydo
October 21, 2020 2:11 am

Fair comment.

Richard M
Reply to  Loydo
October 21, 2020 5:56 am

Loydo, IR absorption vs. photosynthesis. Two entirely different processes. You really should learn a little science.

CO2 IR absorption has already pretty much saturated. The ability of plants to utilize CO2 for photosynthesis saturates at around 1000 ppm.

John Shotsky
Reply to  Don Easterbrook
October 21, 2020 4:03 am

The human contribution to CO2 is just 20 ppm per year. That is 5% of the total. Warmunists would have you believe that the 20 ppm is responsible for ‘global warming’, and that somehow, the earth ignores that particular Co2 in it’s annual cycle of emission and absorption.
They would also have you believe that somehow, Co2 could ‘double’ due to human emissions.
I have news for them…if ALL human emissions were stopped, including our own breath, the climate would not take notice.

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Don Easterbrook
October 21, 2020 7:07 am

The Sun is just over halfway through a very short and so far unusually mild centennial solar minimum. While the next two centennial solar minima from 2095 and 2200 will be the longest pair for 3500 years.
But curiously in the previous and in the current centennial solar minimum, we see the globe warming, because increased negative NAO/AO drives a warm AMO and increases El Nino conditions.

Ulric Lyons
October 21, 2020 6:58 am

The trends in the study period are dominated by weaker solar wind states since 1995 driving warmer ocean phases. By 2045 very strong solar wind states like in the early-mid 1970’s will be driving multi-year La Nina and a cooler North Pacific and North Atlantic. That will take the rainfall, snowpack, and temperatures back toward 1970’s conditions.

Jeff Alberts
October 21, 2020 7:35 am

“Knowing the future climate is very important”

Humanity has done just fine not knowing what the weather will be like tomorrow. Changes in climate are so slow that adaptation is easily accomplished, if needed.

Dudley Horscroft
October 21, 2020 11:34 pm

I thought that this was a good piece of satire at the convolutions Climate Alarmists go into in order to predict something so totally unpredictable as weather. Amazing so many people have taken it as factual!

Nevertheless, probably the best prediction of British weather can be found here:

October 23, 2020 8:44 pm

The article reaches its conclusions from model “projections.” Projections differ from predictions in the respect that projections lack falsifiability but predictions do not. Falsifiability is the mark of the scientific method of investigation. Thus, these conclusions are scientific nonsense.

Ron Richey
October 25, 2020 7:16 pm

“Assuming a worst-case scenario of increased greenhouse gases, the region will warm, with greatest increases east of the Cascade crest. Winter warming (from approximately 1985 to 2045) will be approximately 3F in the west and 5 F in the east.”

I wonder what the Winter warming was from 1935-1985 in the same area?

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