Hurricane Hype, Lies, Censorship – and Reality

Politicized hurricane and climate science breeds distrust, green energy and economic disasters

Paul Driessen

Hurricane Ian is in the history books, having unleashed its Category 4 fury on southwestern Florida. Even as the area slowly digs out and rebuilds, the devastation and tragedies will linger in reality and memories.  

Ian was the latest of 123 hurricanes to hit the Sunshine State since official recordkeeping began in 1851. But not surprisingly, some wasted no time trying to link Ian to the most dominant issue of our time.

Climate change is “rapidly fueling super hurricanes,” a Washington Post headline proclaimed. “I grew up [in Florida] and these storms are intensifying,” CNN’s Don Lemon insisted. Rising temperatures in the atmosphere and ocean are making hurricanes “stronger, slower and wetter,” reporter Morgan McFall-Johnsen asserted. They’re becoming more frequent and intense, multiple commentators pronounced.

Ian should have “finally ended” the debate about “whether there’s climate change,” President Biden stated, as he assessed damage along Florida’s Gulf Coast with Governor and First Lady DeSantis.

The newest fear-mongering is slightly more sophisticated. Now hurricanes are gaining strength more rapidly, because of fossil fuels. The phenomenon even has a fancy name: “rapid intensification.”

This clever claim cannot be proven or disproven, because we didn’t have technologies to measure how rapidly certain storms intensified even a few decades ago. But for climate-obsessed White House and Deep State officials, news and social media campaigners, and academic and corporate grant seekers, it’s another incontrovertible truth.

It certainly enhances climate propaganda efforts and advances anti-fossil-fuel, pro-wind-and-solar agendas. But are “rapid intensification” and these other assertions supported by actual evidence?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides an extensive, handy resource: the complete record of all hurricanes that struck the continental United States (made landfall), 1851-2021. It offers fascinating insights, reveals surprising short term and recurrent cycles, but does not provide data to support claims of any recent trends, such as more frequent and intense, or stronger, slower and wetter.

Among its revelations is the sheer number of hurricanes – hundreds of them, many of which struck multiple states before dissipating, returning to pound other unlucky states, or heading back out to sea to maul Caribbean or Atlantic islands. Florida appears to have been hit more often than any other state.

Also surprising is the number of times New York and other Upper Atlantic States got pummeled. “Superstorm” Sandy (2012) was barely a Category 1, but NY State and City have been pounded and inundated by hurricanes as far back as 1869, including two Category 3s, in 1954 and 1985.

Another northernmost cyclone, Fiona (barely a Category 2 when it hit Nova Scotia this September 24), was quickly branded Canada’s “strongest and costliest cyclone on record.” It may have been costly – for the same reason today’s US hurricanes are: extensive, expensive development along coastlines. But the powerful 1775 Newfoundland hurricane caused storm surges up to 30 feet high and killed over 4,000 people; it’s still Canada’s deadliest natural disaster.

Returning to the southernmost USA, Florida was absolutely slammed by five Category 4, two Cat 3, one Cat 2 and four Cat 1 hurricanes in just six years. Thankfully, it was October 1944 through October 1950, before coastal development took off. But the loss of life was still horrific.

Imagine those twelve hurricanes punishing the state’s Gulf and Atlantic coasts today. It could happen.

Florida got bludgeoned again more recently – with one Category 2, one Category 4 and six Category 3 hurricanes hitting it in just 15 months: August 2004-October 2005. Some would call that an upward trend (doubtless due to global warming). However, not a single hurricane of any magnitude hit Florida during the following eleven years. (Was that significant downward trend also due to manmade climate change? Or must we employ liberal double standards again?)

Even more startling, during the nearly twelve years between Wilma (Florida, Category 3, October 2005) and Harvey (Texas, Category 4, August 2017), followed two weeks later by Irma (Florida, Category 4) –  not a single Category 3-5 “major” hurricane struck the US mainland, anywhere. That’s an all-time record, surpassing the previous nine-year record, set in 1860-1869.

Equally amazing, the USA didn’t experience a single Category 5 hurricane until 1935. The next three struck in 1969, 1992 and 2018. All but Camille hammered Florida. Either these monsters truly didn’t exist before 1935, or we just couldn’t measure winds speeds above 156 mph until the 1930s.

The NOAA records reveal, and experts like Roger Pielke, Jr. can find, no upward trend in hurricane frequency or intensity. There are cycles of multiple monstrous storms, interspersed with stretches of few or no major hurricanes, or any hurricanes at all. But no discernable trends. (The strength of the epic Nueva Senora de Atocha hurricane of Mel Fisher fame in 1622 is anyone’s guess.)

But because of hyper-hyped hurricanes and other climate crisis fables, we’re supposed to abandon the fossil fuels that are 80% of the energy the United States and world require to sustain our factories, homes, hospitals and living standards; that give us affordable food, strong houses, early warning systems, and vehicles with enough fuel to get us out of harm’s way and rescue people trapped by flood waters.

Michael Bloomberg is now funding an $85 million campaign to end petrochemical manufacturing in the United States! That would force us to do without or import feed stocks for nitrogen fertilizers, makeup, paints, pharmaceuticals, synthetic fiber clothing, and plastics for toys, cars, boats, medical devices, packaging, solar panels – and wind turbine blades and nacelles. Even the frames on the Glock and Springfield pistols that Bloomberg’s private security guards carry are derived from petrochemicals.

(Bloomberg also thinks you just drop seeds in the ground, add water, they grow and you eat.)  

As to that fossil-fuel-free utopia – how many thousands of wind turbines, millions of solar panels and millions of backup battery modules would Florida alone need to power its economy? How many of them would have survived Ian’s, Andrew’s or Michael’s ferocious winds, floods and storm surges? How many years would it take to replace them afterward? How many EV and backup batteries will spontaneously ignite when they’re immersed in floodwaters, causing unprecedented problems for firefighters?

We can build gas turbines and nuclear power plants to withstand these natural furies – and we wouldn’t need many of them. How do we fortify sprawling “renewable, sustainable” energy systems?

So while you’re filling your gas tank, looking at your grocery bill and reflecting on what’s left of your retirement savings, you may want to listen less to Joe Biden and John Kerry – and more to real experts like Joe D’Aleo, Joe Bastardi, Stanley Goldenberg, Roger Pielke, Jr. – and the Miami National Hurricane Center’s Jamie Rhome, whom Don Lemon tried to browbeat into linking climate change to Ian.

The Biden White House and UN Intergovernmental Politicized Climate Cabal (IPCC) cannot abide that. They mean to monopolize the conversation, impose their climate and energy agenda, and silence anyone who challenges them.

The White House even has an Office of the National Climate Advisor, which works hand-in-glove with Big Tech and news organizations to censor, deplatform and demonetize inconvenient facts about climate models, actual global temperatures, hurricane and climate change reality, fossil fuel benefits, and the massive land areas, raw materials and mining required for wind, solar and battery power. Anything that differs from its narrative is “denial” and “disinformation.”

At stake are our freedoms and living standards, our access to reliable, affordable energy, and the looming specter of life in a totalitarian state of constant deprivation. Remember that in November.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow ( and author of books and articles on energy, environmental and human rights issues.

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Tom Halla
October 10, 2022 6:09 am

Not following their catechism is crimethink.

Reply to  Tom Halla
October 10, 2022 4:20 pm

The crime think is not their catechism, rather their miserable handbook for “power”.

Ron Long
October 10, 2022 6:21 am

The only Reality the CAGW Loonies, and their enablers, will accept is when they are starving in the cold and dark. How long will we have to wait for it?

Reply to  Ron Long
October 10, 2022 7:31 am

Ron Long: How long will we have to wait for it?”

At the rate Canada, the U.S., U.K., and EU are going, we’re almost there.

Don’t bother stringing lights on the tree this year. You might just see it this Christmas.

Patrick B
Reply to  Ron Long
October 10, 2022 9:39 am

Oh, they don’t plan to be the ones starving in the cold and dark.

They expect you to do it.

Reply to  Ron Long
October 10, 2022 9:41 am

Not the exalted elite, YOU!

October 10, 2022 6:27 am

Florida suffered far more damaging hurricanes, relative to the volume of development, in the 1920s and 1930s, particularly the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 (back before we assigned human names to tropical cyclones). The deadliest US hurricane on record was the Galveston storm in 1900, whose storm surge wiped out most of the city and resulted in somewhere between 6,000 and 8,000 fatalities (nobody will ever know, as many of the bodies of the missing certainly washed out to sea).

Christopher Columbus experienced at least two deadly major hurricanes in the 1490s on or adjacent to Hispaniola island that wiped out entire fleets of ships. Similar massive Spanish treasure fleet wipeouts occurred throughout the 17th and 18th centuries off the coast of Florida, resulting in the southeastern coast of Florida acquiring the moniker of “Treasure Coast” for all of the unsalvaged treasure that still occasionally washes up on a beach or is found by a diver today.

Reply to  Duane
October 11, 2022 11:44 am

The population of Galveston in 1900 was around 37,500. Even with the lower figure of 6,000 dead, that’s 16% of the people gone right there… BOOM!

Dennis Kelley
October 10, 2022 6:44 am

Much of the media are hyping Ian as not a Category 4 hurricane, but as “nearly Category 5!”

This last Thursday in a waiting room I was forced to endure a presentation of The Weather East of the Mississippi Channel’s New PATTRN show in which the hosts were wringing their hands about how much climate change (i.e., fossil fuels) are making hurricanes more intense. They even had some stooge from the National Hurricane Center explaining how hurricanes are becoming worse, if not more frequent, because their paths are slowing due to climate induced high pressure ridges. Thus they spend more time doing their damage in one place. I guess that hurricanes are now, thanks to fossil fuels, rapidly slowing or slowing rapidly.

It’s all bad, it’s all climate change, it’s unprecedented, and it’s all the time.

Reply to  Dennis Kelley
October 10, 2022 7:14 am

Yep, it WAS a Cat 5, a reeeeaaallllll powerful cat 5.

Isn’t Desantis doing a GREAT job getting things back up and running so quickly after such a terrible powerful hurricane?.

He must be the best governor ever.

Reply to  Drake
October 10, 2022 10:00 am

He’s getting help from Biden.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
October 10, 2022 10:47 am

Slo Joe Biden could have tried to refuse disaster relief but it would be political suicide so his handlers decided to open up money for debris clearance.

The Biden maladministration is all about spending money anyway.
This way they can pretend they have empathy while the legacy media outlets can proclaim that Floridians deserve getting wiped out for supporting Desantis and sane economic policies.
Add to the national debt and demean the suffering masses. To them, that’s a win-win.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
October 10, 2022 11:04 am

Depends on what is considered help. Help in the form of our tax dollars, while Governor Ron DeSantis efficient before and after Storm response was worthy of praise. So the President decided he needed to share in the praise with a few executive orders.

william Johnston
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
October 10, 2022 12:19 pm


Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Drake
October 13, 2022 5:30 am

99% of customers in Florida now have power.
The Pine Island Bridge was repaired in less than a week.
The Sanibel bridge that was wiped out in at least three spots is now reopened, as of a couple of days ago.

Yes, De Santis is doing an amazing job of getting things back up and running.
How long do you expect it should take to rebuild entire towns, islands, and cities?

Democrat politicians are incompetent and corrupt fools, who have run our entire economy off the cliff in record time.

Thanks for being so concerned about us down here, buttmunch.
We have lost so much sleep wondering if you really cared.

Erast Van Doren
Reply to  Dennis Kelley
October 10, 2022 1:41 pm

Was there any serious damage from wind at all?

Reply to  Erast Van Doren
October 10, 2022 2:37 pm

I saw some pictures of some 80’s doublewides that were trashed (but right next door were the same thing un-harmed).

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  DonM
October 13, 2022 6:27 am

I have seen concrete utility poles broken into little pieces.
3.4 million lost power for some number of days.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Erast Van Doren
October 10, 2022 3:01 pm

All I see are trailers, shacks, and storm surge debris.

Reply to  Erast Van Doren
October 12, 2022 7:51 pm

Storm surge does the damage. Ian was far more devastating than Irma, which declined to cat 1 as soon as it made landfall. The southern arm of Ian created 12 ft surge in the Caloosahatchee River area, it devastated the barrier islands of Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Pine Island as well as several areas of Cape Coral, North Fort Myers with their canals. Nothing to do with ‘climate change’, just bad luck after 60 years of good luck in that area.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jim
October 13, 2022 6:23 am

About half of all roofs where I am, 40 some miles inland, are now covered in blue tarps.
Just for a small clue of actual fact.
But if none of you know anything about it, it is almost like nothing happened.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jim
October 13, 2022 7:13 am

SW Florida has been hit numerous times in recent years and decades.
Additionally, most of the population and hence homes have been added in the past 20 years, an accelerating trend, so most buildings are new to newish.
Charley hit the same spot with similar winds, although it was a smaller storm with a narrow cone of hurricane winds. Wilma came through here the very next year. Irma was only five years ago. There are many lesser storms in between.

These storms are God’s pruning shears.
And He has been very industrious with his efforts to prone this region.
We are lucky that few here have been unaware that hurricanes are a fact of life, and some of them will be very powerful.

October 10, 2022 6:51 am

The world appears to be going insane, rather than just moronic.

October 10, 2022 6:58 am

Great data, Paul, as usual.


Frank from NoVA
October 10, 2022 7:01 am

Excellent article, factual, concise and very readable. If I were a Republican office seeker, I’d have the key points memorized in order to quash any ‘ambush’ questions posed by corporate media hacks. And just maybe, a Republican congressional majority might want to summon some of Biden’s climate hacks to see how well versed they are on these facts.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
October 10, 2022 12:17 pm

“And just maybe, a Republican congressional majority might want to summon some of Biden’s climate hacks to see how well versed they are on these facts.”

That sounds like a good idea.

John Garrett
October 10, 2022 7:06 am

Michael Bloomberg began his career as a professional liar and snake-oil salesman at Salomon Brothers (see Michael Lewis’ Liar’s Poker).

He remains a professional liar and snake-oil salesman.

Sweet Old Bob
October 10, 2022 7:22 am

At what wind speed do palm trees loose their branches ?

I think this is quite an accurate indicator of actual hurricane strength ….

I know what Google says , but what do weather experts say ?

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
October 10, 2022 7:46 am

You mean you still ask Google questions?

Greg in Housti=on
Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
October 10, 2022 12:43 pm

Just a nit: They are not branches, they are “fronds.”

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
October 10, 2022 10:18 pm

I have been through a few cyclones big & small, in the Whitsunday Islands of the great barrier reef. We found that 90 knots stripped all the leaves off trees, & I mean all.

Coconut palms were stripped of fronds on the windward side in less than 80 knots, with a few broken fronds on the down wind side surviving in 90 knots.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Hasbeen
October 13, 2022 6:37 am

Here in the place that gets more hurricanes than anywhere else (as detailed in the headline article), and always has, the vegetation has had, oh about as many years as there has been since the beginning of time to adapt to being hit regularly by such winds as strip your sissy-ass trees bare.
Live Oaks laugh at 120mph winds.
They shed a limb or two in a direct hit from a strong tornado though, if they are young and weak.

Which is exactly why you see them all over the southern US, in places like Charleston for example, doing just fine after many hundreds of years and all of the inevitable hurricanes that blow through in that span of time.
fba82afbc22fd5d6a6bd3aaf725b6775.jpg (400×300) (

It is likely the hurricanes explain the crazy shapes of the older ones.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
October 13, 2022 6:33 am

One of my Royal Palms still has a couple of the fronds (palms do not have “branches”), but the rest lost all but the apical meristem.
In most places, palms are kept severely pruned at great expense to avoid all sorts of problems, hurricanes killing them being one of those.

Palms of course are adapted to hurricanes. They bow over, they can shed fronds, and they have a small cross section and zero branching to begin with.

Steve Case
October 10, 2022 7:34 am

 It offers fascinating insights, reveals surprising short term and recurrent cycles, but does not provide data to support claims of any recent trends, such as more frequent and intense, or stronger, slower and wetter. LINK

Your can follow that LINK and plot out the Categories against the Years to see if there is any trend as claimed:

It sure looks like there’s a trend as all the category 5 storms plot out as 1935 and later, and there are 10 category 4 storms listed prior to 1935 and 18 since that date.

Those of us on the skeptical side of the Climate Wars should acknowledge that what that LINK shows is an increase in the strongest hurricanes over the last 100 years or so.

Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” That’s good advice. The Climate Mafia isn’t Caeser, but if they are right about something then agree.

Now, is that LINK accurate, or has it been fiddled with? Does anyone know? How accurate was the assignment of categories prior to 1935?

Hurricanes Year and Category.gif
Reply to  Steve Case
October 10, 2022 7:55 am

Steve Case: How accurate was the assignment of categories prior to 1935?”

The Saffir-Simpson Scale was developed in 1971, so prior storms were categorized after the fact.

Barometric pressure was and is used as an indicator of the strength of hurricanes. What I am learning is that it is difficult to characterize a hurricane with just a few measures. Wind speed is just one part of it all.

Since the scale was developed, there have been a lot of changes to building codes. So, for example, the descriptor of damage to roofs from a Cat2 in the ’70s wouldn’t tell you much about homes with roofs built to the new codes. You can’t categorize the storm when the shingles or tiles stay put along with the roof and you can’t get wind speed measurements everywhere.

As far as comparing past storms to current storms, what I am learning is… “It’s complicated.”

Steve Case
Reply to  H.R.
October 10, 2022 9:14 am

The Way Back Machine has the 2012 edition and it’s different, but it will take some fooling around to try and play match-up. And I’m off to no computer land in a hour or so, so it will have to wait for a few days.

Reply to  H.R.
October 10, 2022 2:06 pm

ACE is a good metric.

As these form and approach land, and as they hit land, I watch the barometric pressure. Lower absolute values are worse / more powerful hurricane.
Cat 5, besides wind speed definition, is a hurricane with baro at or under 908.
Cat 4 range of baro is 908 to 932.

Ian sat at 937 for a long time, as it waited off the coast before pouncing on Ft Myers.

937 is not that scary. As it went ashore, it quickly and favorably moved to 940, so I knew it would weaken pretty quickly. It just was so big to start out with, and moved so slowly, and the terrain is so vulnerable, that it really wrecked.

So, barometric pressure is one measure of how strong they are.

BTW: There used to be the idea that hurricanes never would get over to the west side of Florida peninsula, and then head back east to hit this Sanibel / Ft. Myers area – so some have said this was a relatively safe area.

Sure, hurricanes might get to the west side then go north, and hit Sarasota, or Tampa, but the Sanibel area was supposed to be in some cone of silence.

I don’t think realtors will be using that selling point any more.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  H.R.
October 13, 2022 7:02 am

Buildings, whether homes or larger structures, have specific failure modes.
It always starts with the weakest link, and progresses from there.
What has been learned is that if the ways that homes failed are studied and steps taken to stop those initial failures from occurring, houses can stand up to very strong winds.
Any wind.
Garage doors were one failure mode.
Roofs lifting off is another.
Debris hitting windows, or trees falling into the roof yet another. (So have shutters or board up, and do not have big heavy trees overhanging your house. Duh. Every tree dies, blows over, and/or sheds limbs at some point. If they are over your roof, it is a disaster in plain sight, waiting to happen.))
Walls of debris from surge will wreck anything weaker than reinforced concrete, and sometimes even those will be destroyed. (So do not live in a surge zone unless you are prepared for what will happen eventually)

Hip roofs instead of gables.
Poured concrete at the top of concrete block walls will keep them from collapsing.
Imbedding steel straps in that concrete and wrapping them around trusses will prevent the wind from lifting the roof off.
Concrete tiles on top of rolled roofing adds a huge amount of weight and protection from debris, and the rolled roofing prevents water from entering the building even when wind drives it under the tiles.

Hurricane windows are made to stand up to a two by four launched from a cannon.
Storm shutters do wonders.
Some place heavy corrugated steel over all windows.
I have electrically controlled shutters that cover every window, door, and close off the entire lanai.

Wind is not an irresistible force.
One just needs to prevent any failure mode from initiating.

Brent Qually
Reply to  Steve Case
October 10, 2022 8:52 am

It’s “Global Warming” not “North Atlantic Warming”. Even if US hurricanes are up a little, Western Pacific cyclones are down and the world wide total is trending down.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Brent Qually
October 10, 2022 3:05 pm

No, it’s Florida Straight Warming, since this was barely a hurricane when leaving Cuba.

Greg in Housti=on
Reply to  Steve Case
October 10, 2022 12:45 pm

Read Neil Frank’s article on this site a few days ago. Hurricane counts before the satellite era are too low, because many “fish storms” were never counted.

Reply to  Greg in Housti=on
October 10, 2022 2:11 pm

Don’t fear: thy are going back to remodel history…they have stats back to 1850.

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
October 10, 2022 3:30 pm


1850, eh? Does that mean “making stuff up”?

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Steve Case
October 10, 2022 3:03 pm

For about the past 10 years, all hurricanes have been bumped up a category by modeling windspeeds rather than actually measuring them. So no.

James Schrumpf
Reply to  Steve Case
October 10, 2022 6:27 pm

Before the advent of weather satellites circa late 1960s, if the hurricane didn’t landfall, we had no way of knowing it existed.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Steve Case
October 10, 2022 7:12 pm

11 of the 18 post-1935 Cat. 4 hurricanes occurred between the early 1940s and 1970, and only 7 (including Ian) occurred from the late 1980s to date. Since there was no warming during the approximately 30-year period between the early 1940s and 1970 (it actually cooled), natural processes clearly caused 61% of the 18 Cat. 4 hurricanes considered to date. Over an equivalent approximately 30-year period only 7 Cat 4 hurricanes (39%) occurred during the warming period between 1990 and the present.

I start my analysis post-1935 because accurate measurements of hurricane strength were not available prior to that time. The data clearly show that hurricane frequency over an approximately 30-year cooling period was greater than that during an equivalent approximately 30-year warming period from 1990 to 2022, with increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Just 4 Cat. 5 hurricanes over an approximately 90-year period is not enough data to draw any conclusions as to if there is any trend or not. Anyway, 2 of the 4 Cat. 5 hurricanes occurred before CO2 concentrations and temperature increases could have had any appreciable impact on them; 1935 and late 1960s.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Dave Fair
October 10, 2022 11:23 pm

I was too late to finish the above comment before revisions timed out, so here is the corrected version:

11 of the 18 post-1935 Cat. 4 hurricanes occurred between the early 1940s and 1970, and only 7 (including Ian) occurred from the late 1980s to date. Since there was no warming during the approximately 30-year period between the early 1940s and 1970 (it actually cooled), natural processes clearly caused 61% of the 18 Cat. 4 hurricanes considered to date. Over an equivalent approximately 30-year period only 7 Cat 4 hurricanes (39%) occurred during the warming period between 1990 and the present.

I start my analysis post-1935 because accurate measurements of hurricane strength were not available prior to that time. The data clearly show that hurricane frequency over an approximately 30-year cooling period was greater than that during an equivalent approximately 30-year warming period from 1990 to 2022, with increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Just 4 Cat. 5 hurricanes over an approximately 90-year period is not enough data to draw any conclusions as to if there is any trend or not. It is not known how many, but we can assume many Cat. 5 hurricanes occurred prior to the 20th Century and up to 1935. Anyway, 2 of the 4 Cat. 5 hurricanes occurred before CO2 concentrations and temperature increases could have had any appreciable impact on them; 1935 and late 1960s.

Draw your own conclusions.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Steve Case
October 13, 2022 6:47 am

The author of this article points out that it was likely impossible to measure winds over 155 mph back before 1935.
We have a hard time making direct measurement of such winds today.
Direct hit by sustained winds of that velocity come after a few hours of winds at near that strength, with higher gusts sprinkled throughout.
There seems to be some feeling that a “gust” is not a real wind, like it does not count or something.
Maybe not for official classification of hurricane category, but for what is still working it sure does.
2 seconds is how long a gust has to last for it to do it’s damage.
Additionally, no place has ever had any power by the time a cat 5 eyewall crosses overhead.

Michael in Dublin
October 10, 2022 7:46 am

Two hurricanes every three years over the past 170 years. Had the population been much larger with many more houses, there would have been greater numbers of houses destroyed and people drowned in the previous worst storms.

Michael in Dublin
October 10, 2022 7:48 am

The utter lunacy of alarmists and media cheering on the hurricane to do even more damage.

October 10, 2022 8:18 am

All of the data I have collected shows Ian was a slow moving Cat 1 when it came ashore. Too many buoys to close to not have recorded at least 100 mph sustained winds if Ian came ashore with 150+. The pictures tell the tale of deception.

Reply to  Nelson
October 10, 2022 9:30 am

You are reading bullshit then. Sustained winds in excess of 150 mph – a strong cat 4 – at landfall, sustained cat 3 inland several hours after landfall. Sustained winds offshore in the northwest quadrant as landfall began at 177 mph, gusts to 236 mph.

In my neighborhood, 20 miles and two barrier islands inland from the gulf, measured winds ground level were 140 mph.

Mark BLR
Reply to  Duane
October 10, 2022 10:06 am

Sustained winds in excess of 150 mph …

Where did you get that from ?!?

A typical “hysterical media article” from USA Today just a couple of days after Hurricane Ian hit Florida (direct link) :

The top gust recorded by an NWS station was 155 miles per hour, and that burst hit the Punta Gorda airport.

That 155 mile per hour gust was the strongest NWS recorded Wednesday.

The “Weather Underground” website ( data seems to have all of SW Florida’s weather anemometers “breaking” around 4 PM.
That data, the “… (WU) …” lines in the graph below, happens to have a near-constant “Sustained : Gust” wind speeds ratio of around 1.5.

155 / 1.5 is just over 103 mph.

As far as I know, though I am perfectly willing to be corrected here, a hurricane’s “category” is determined by its “sustained wind speeds”, not by the “peak gusts” numbers.

That would make the “official” category of Hurricane Ian at (and after) landfall “a Cat. 2”.

PS : My original spreadsheet was for buoy data (from the NDBC / NOAA). The discrepancy between the “Fort Myers buoy” and “Fort Myers airport” datasets is … “odd” (?) …

Reply to  Mark BLR
October 10, 2022 11:34 am

Data for NDBC station BGCF1 show maximum sustained winds at 1900 hours on the 28th at 39.6 meters per second. All other data show lower wind speeds.
That converts to 77 knots. Saffir-Simpson wind scale for Category 1 winds is from 64 to 82 knots. BGCF1 anemometer height is 17 meters above ground, so is exposed to higher winds than standard 10 meters.
Time plots of Venice Beach, Big Carlos Pass sustained winds show that Ian was Category 1, Ft. Myers was below Category 1

Venice Beach, VENF1
Maximum sustained winds 72 knots

Big Carlos Pass
Maximum sustained winds 77 knots

Ft. Myers, FMRF1
Maximum sustained winds 50 knots

Reply to  bwegher
October 10, 2022 2:13 pm

People: sustained winds means x 1 minute! Not a gust! bweger thanks fo the info.

Reply to  bwegher
October 10, 2022 5:43 pm

Utter bullshit. NHC hurricane hunters, local doppler radar, and local anemometers all reported consistent wind speeds in excess of 150 mph sustained at landfall, gusts to 236 mph, and local neighborhood readings in my town of Cape Coral on the ground of 150 to 140 mph sustained. Three hours after landfall ground measured winds well into Cat 3 we’ll inland.

WTF are you smoking???

Mark BLR
Reply to  Duane
October 11, 2022 4:18 am

… wind speeds in excess of 150 mph sustained at landfall, gusts to 236 mph

Three hours after landfall ground measured winds well into Cat 3 we’ll inland.

Everyone else has provided (at least) references, and often actual links, to specific websites and articles supporting their arguments.

Please provide some concrete “supporting evidence” for your vague bald assertions highlighted in my extract from your post.

Which “NHC hurricane hunters” do you have in mind ?

For which “local doppler radar” sites can you provide a URL that will allow everyone to download the data and plot it for themselves ?

Which (serious) websites do not use qualifiers like “wind gusts of 150 mph” or “winds up to 150 mph” ???

… and local neighborhood readings in my town …

In scientific terms, the plural of “anecdote” is not “data”.

Reply to  Duane
October 11, 2022 7:11 am

Duane, you should look at the data for the Cape Coral Yacht Club. It can be found here.

Wind speeds are reported throughout the 28th as Ian moved ashore. How do you reconcile these data with your 140 mph wind speed in Cape Coral. Are you sure you aren’t confusing gusts with wind speed?

Reply to  bwegher
October 10, 2022 5:50 pm

None of those areas had the eyewall pass over. The strongest wind passed over Cayo Costa, Sanibel, Pine Island, and Cape Coral. Landfall was centered in Cayo Costa.

140 mph sustained here in my town of Cape Coral.

These aren’t just numbers. The scale of damage in those areas you cherry picked is nothing compared to that seen in Cayo Costa, Sanibel, the north end of Fort Myers Beach, and Cape Coral. You have no idea what you are blabbing on about.

You think NOAA and NHC fabricated the photos and videos of the actual damage?

C’mon down here and see for yourself.

Mike Maguire
Reply to  Duane
October 10, 2022 11:26 am

The 6 dozen calibrated NWS instruments on the ground all agreed. No SUSTAINED hurricane winds, except for briefly right along the coast.
In fact, even wind GUSTS inland were not hitting hurricane force anymore 2 hours after landfall.
Some of these instruments were exactly in the path of highest winds over land.
To suggest that all 100% of them were wrong for 6 hours and without even 1 land reading as evidence of them being wrong defies logic:

But people decided what they wanted to believe about Ian early on and empircal data, no matter how powerful loses to cognitive bias in most cases.

Almost all the catastrophic damage was right along the coast from the Storm Surge NOT the wind.

If you didn’t already KNOW that and the facts above……….showing them now is a waste of time if it contradicts what you think that you know.

Reply to  Mike Maguire
October 10, 2022 1:09 pm

Agree, Ian winds show a few legit Category 1 data records. All in the trailing side of the eyewall.
Post-storm surface damage is completely consistent with Saffir-Simpson description of Category 1.

Reply to  bwegher
October 10, 2022 5:54 pm

Utter bullshit. 150+ mph sustained at landfall in Cayo Costa, 140 mph in my own near neighborhood.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Mike Maguire
October 10, 2022 3:11 pm

Almost the exact same path that Charley took in 2004 and we know Charly was a Cat 4 because those wind speeds were actually measured. The wind damage is quite obviously worse from a real Cat 4.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
October 10, 2022 5:56 pm

Ian was “actually measured” significantly higher sustained wind speeds than Charlie and Ian was massively larger than Charlie (50 mile wide eye vs 12 mile wide eye), and did massively more damage than Charlie. The storm surge of Charlie was minimal compared to Ian.

Reply to  Mike Maguire
October 10, 2022 5:53 pm

Utter bullshit. You are simply inventing lies. I lived thru Ian in real time unlike you. I read the data in real time as it came in. I witnessed the 140 mph sustained winds in Cape Coral which is 20 miles and two layers of barrier islands inland of where the eye landfalled. I see the damage every day as I drive around, in my own neughborhood.

Reply to  Duane
October 10, 2022 5:33 pm

I see the usual band of idiots here at WUWT ars down voting proven facts.


Reply to  Duane
October 10, 2022 10:51 pm

A simple test Duane. Did the trees have leaves after the passing. If they did, the speed was less than 90 knots.

October 10, 2022 8:35 am

Wilma was the last legit major hurricane to make landfall in the USA. Also, the last hurricane with measured sustained winds that matched the Saffir-Simpson scale definition for Category 3 based on post-storm damage assessment.
2005 was a bad year for hurricanes, certainly, but nothing like it in the following 17 years.
The NCH claim that Ian was Category 4 is falsified by post storm photos and recorded surface anemometers. All post-storm photos show Category 1 damage. Ian damage was dominantly flooding from storm surge. Every tropical cyclone has different details, like fingerprints. The Saffir-Simpson scale does not claim to be anything except a correlation between actual measured wind force at the surface against actual surface damage effects.
Since 2005, the NHC declarations do not match the recorded surface winds by actual anemometers. Usually by 10 to 20 knots, but with Ian the claim for surface winds is egregiously false. If Ian had sustained winds of “nearly Category 5” then the surface damage would have resembled hurricane Andrew in 1992. That is obviously a gross lie. Andrew in 1992 was a legit Category 5, with post-storm damage that was total devastation in the path from east to west and width about 10 to 15 miles. Anyone who saw the damage personally will never forget what happened there. Driving on the highway from north to south in the path of damage reminded me of photos on the ground after Hiroshima, total devastation.
Comparing Ian to Andrew proves that the NHC claims are total lies.

Reply to  bwegher
October 10, 2022 9:12 am

Isn’t the Saffir-Simpson scale for winds at 10 feet, not at the surface? That may make a difference. What was the altitude above ground level of the anemometers?
The fact that the anemometers survived the storm might be grounds for questioning the Category 4, near Category 5, claims.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
October 10, 2022 10:50 am

Actually, the definition is 10 meters above ground level. The Saffir-Simpson scale has published papers that calibrate surface damage to known engineering forces on structures, signposts, tree limbs, palm fronds, windows, etc. The surface is just shorthand for everything between 10 meters and surface level.
There are so many variables in the boundary layer from 10 meters to the ground, so there is no way to be exactly sure what forces are involved in detail.
Also, the 10 meter level happens to be rooftop level for houses. Taller structures will see higher wind forces obviously.

Reply to  bwegher
October 10, 2022 9:34 am

More bullshit. Irma came ashore in Collier Co Florida northbound as a strong Cat 3, 40 miles due south of my home at the time. My next door neighbor’s roof mounted anemometer failed at a final reading of 130 mph. The storm ripped off my storm shutters that survived Wilma in 2005.

Reply to  Duane
October 10, 2022 10:59 am

Irma not a hurricane at landfall. Maximum sustained winds at Vaca key and Key West were measured at 31 meters per second. Category 1 is 33 meters per second.
The facts are what the data says. Data are available, stations in the path of maximum winds show that Irma was a tropical storm. Post storm photos of surface damage confirm the recorded wind speeds. There was substantial water surge damage, but that is not the definition of a hurricane.

Reply to  bwegher
October 10, 2022 6:02 pm

Bullshit – you guys are just inventing your own facts. Irma landfalled at Marco Island/Everglades City as a Cat 3 and exactly as I stated had winds in excess of 130 mph at least 40 miles north of there at my home, strong enough to rip the storm shutters off my home. Thousands of downed trees in Naples, flooding throughout Collier County, and was still a Cat 1 storm by the time it moved north into DeSoto County.

You morons are claiming that what I and 21 million other Floridians personally experienced didn’t happen.

Reply to  Duane
October 10, 2022 2:15 pm

Dunae – you are mixing up wind gust with sustained wind. A sustained wind has to be at that level for a minute.

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
October 10, 2022 6:04 pm

I am mixing nothing – the only gust I referenced was 236 mph in the northwest eyewall – every other figure I stated was sustained winds as measured by multiple sources including hurricane hunter aircraft sensors, local doppler radar, and ground stations here locally.

Martin Buchanan
Reply to  Duane
October 11, 2022 4:02 am

You strick me as someone who REALLY wants to be able to claim they “saw the worst”

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  bwegher
October 10, 2022 10:10 am

96 mph gusts were recorded in New Smyrna Beach…which is northeast of Orlando and on the Atlantic side. We had 80+ mph gusts here 100 miles from landfall on the “weak” side of the storm.

Andrew was 1992. Florida building code has changed a number of times since then in response to Andrew specifically along with subsequent hurricanes – but especially in response specifically to Andrew. Ft Myers where Ian hit has doubled in population since Andrew and also had substantial teardowns and rebuilds. So it is well-over half “newer” than Andrew. Not only that but grand jury investigations found homes in Andrew’s path were often deficient with respect to construction materials. Comparing 2022 Fort Myers buildings to 1992 buildings in places like Homestead and Florida City is apples to oranges.

There’s differing info on windspeeds depending on source, but Andrew was 922 mb at landfall vs 940 mb with Ian. That seems a substantial difference.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
October 10, 2022 11:02 am

Gusts are not part of the Saffir-Simpson scale. Sustained winds for defined times at a height of 10 meters above the ground by anemometers. Sustained winds define a hurricane using the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
October 10, 2022 3:16 pm

And we had higher wind gusts in the heartland during a winter storm last year, what’s your point? What were the sustained winds?

Reply to  Robert W Turner
October 10, 2022 6:08 pm

150 mph measured sustained winds at landfall in Cayo Costa, 140 mph in Cape Coral, 115 mph at 3 hours after landfall in DeSoto County 30 miles inland.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
October 10, 2022 6:06 pm

Andrew was a tiny storm with no substantial storm surge – Ian was a humongous storm with massive worst case storm surge. Like night and day.

Reply to  Duane
October 11, 2022 6:29 am

Duane, you should read through the NHC bulletins for the 28th. You will notice something interesting. The NHC reporting of actual measured station data is always below a 100 mph for sustained winds. I think the NHC did a slight of hand by using eye wall wind speed data several 1000 feet up in calculating the SS category.

Greg in Houstion
Reply to  bwegher
October 10, 2022 12:58 pm

The estimated maximum windspeed for our Galveston 1900 storm was 130-145 mph; highest measured was 100 mph, barometric pressure of ~936. But… it actually came ashore about 40 miles SW of Galveston, near what is now Surfside Beach. Much of Galveston’s damage was due to the ~15′ storm surge, much like the Hurricane Ike damage just northeast of Galveston.

Reply to  Greg in Houstion
October 11, 2022 5:05 am

Although that estimated CAT IV storm killed an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 on the island due to storm surge (the real death toll will never be known because the island had many tourists that time of year), it went on to kill another 4,000 to 6,000 inland, (Contemporary accounts place the total at 8,000 to 12,000) making it the deadliest natural disaster in US history.

They built a nice big sea wall after that hit but now, last I saw, that sea wall is half buried by sand. We never learn.

Reply to  bwegher
October 10, 2022 6:14 pm

You are a total liar. Ian was a vastly more destructive storm than Andrew. Andrew was tiny with eye only about 15 mi dia vs Ian at 50 mi dia … and Andrew had very little storm surge, and hit in a mostly rural area of Homestead, while Ian presented a worst case scenario of storm surge (up to 15 ft) and hit in one of the most heavily developed coastal areas of Florida. The total damage created by Ian will be by far the greatest in Florida history, many times that of Andrew.

October 10, 2022 8:41 am

I think they have it backwards, these climastrologists. If we have global warming, extreme weather should decrease. Storms are spawned by temperature and pressure differentials, not “global warming” which implies uniformity of temperature.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Slowroll
October 11, 2022 3:30 am

YES! This.

Not to mention that THE SAME CLAIMS of the weather getting “more extreme” were made during the “global cooling” scare in the 70s.

So given some of the SAME so-called “scientists’ were on BOTH bandwagons, their credibility on what impact ‘climate change from ANY source will have on weather hit ZERO a long time ago.

October 10, 2022 8:48 am

Earth is in a time of good weather for life and they are complaining.

October 10, 2022 8:58 am

If the future of green power is going to work, hurricanes will have to be completely outlawed. Solar fields and windmills can’t survive them.

Reply to  rwisrael
October 10, 2022 1:27 pm

so it seems

Robert W Turner
Reply to  paul
October 10, 2022 3:17 pm

Oh but I saw article headlines saying how roof top solar survived Ian and show how resilient it is. Are you telling me that the media is full of shit? Naaa

Kevin kilty
Reply to  paul
October 11, 2022 6:28 am

Where is that solar plant, Paul?

October 10, 2022 9:13 am

“Office of the National Climate Advisor…”

Better take an umbrella, Joe…. Agent griff informs us it’s 6% wetter

October 10, 2022 9:21 am

resistance with land causes the eye to spin down and get smaller….it intensifies right before land fall

October 10, 2022 9:23 am

It’s weather

It’ll blow over

October 10, 2022 9:40 am

Interesting trivia:

Florida has about 1,350 miles of coastline ( ).

Air flight from Jacksonville, FL to New York City is 836 miles.

Florida gets hit by hurricanes from the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico. Not surprising that Florida gets hit somewhere with 1350 miles of coastline. If you want to live on the ocean front in Florida you should expect to have a landing near you at some point in time. If you want to live along the Canadian border states you should expect snow. If you want to live on the banks of a river anywhere else you should expect flooding. If you wish for me to cry for your decisions …. well, you need to take the wish test and wish in one hand and crap in the other and see which fills up faster.

It is a personal decision to pay a premium price to choose to live on the coast. I didn’t make that decision for you.

James F. Evans
October 10, 2022 10:53 am

Is this the first hurricane…

October 10, 2022 10:53 am

What happened to the wind turbines in Florida with Ian?

James F. Evans
Reply to  Fran
October 10, 2022 10:55 am

They didn’t work too good, I bet.

James F. Evans
Reply to  James F. Evans
October 10, 2022 10:59 am

Or maybe they did… I’d like to see video… do they spin like a prop?

… seriously…

Reply to  James F. Evans
October 10, 2022 1:16 pm

Engineering design of large turbines have safety features. At some setpoint the safety features feather the blades and turn and keep the nacelle pointed into the wind. The turbines consume grid power when the blades don’t turn.

James F. Evans
Reply to  bwegher
October 10, 2022 3:41 pm


October 10, 2022 11:57 am

The Ukrainian government flies this flag, and they’re just swimming in billions and billions of dollars in support from the United States. We’re just swimming in sewage,” said Ray Valdivia, the Response Coordinator working to assess the damage in the town. “We tried going through the normal channels to get help from the government, but Biden just sent us a letter of “best wishes” that looks like it may have been written in crayon.

Erast Van Doren
October 10, 2022 1:40 pm

Harvey and Irma were barely cat 2.

October 10, 2022 2:20 pm

My wife and I predicted the news:

Puerto Rico: the president will not be dissed for the job he / fed govt is or is not doing;
FL will be trashed for the job they are doing.

This prediction has been manifesting.
All but a modest portion are yet without power in FL. Etc. Etc.

PR: they won’t get power on for months.

At least I don’t have to argue with my family on this one. We know PR, back to the 1980s, and know how corrupt it has been for decades, by info from a few small bit players.

But now they may need to get in line behind Ukraine for money laundering off of a crisis

Robert W Turner
October 10, 2022 2:56 pm

Calling this cat 4 when the strongest wind gusts measured weren’t even that strong is just more disservice to truth.

Robert B
October 10, 2022 2:57 pm

It’s the huge variation in weather events over generations that allows this extremely dishonest use of completely opposite weather events to prove that burning fossil fuels is bad.

Then you have old people have their pensions topped up to go around claiming things like “we never got tornadoes before”. They might not be able to remember the one that destroyed the town of Nhill 125 years ago, or the F3 that tore through a Melbourne suburb a little over 100 years ago, They should remember the F3 that ripped through Brisbane 45 years ago.

James Schrumpf
October 10, 2022 6:21 pm

Here’s the thing: expensive, intermittent electricity is the goal. When it’s pointed out how many wind turbines it would take, how many acres of solar panels would be needed, how much storage capacity we don’t have, how the infrastructure doesn’t exist, the answer is “Yes.”

Remember, if you want to increase the percentage of renewables providing our power, the easiest way is to get rid of the others until the numbers are what you want.

Pat from kerbob
October 10, 2022 9:51 pm

Just finished watching “5 Days at Memorial”, about Katrina. Quite riveting, but while they want you to think about climate change the big takeaway for me was how fast everything devolved once the electrical grid collapsed.
Civil society only lasted a few hours.

Something to ponder with winter approaching and europe potentially facing havoc.
What happens when you let rabid ideological clowns get their hands on Power?

October 12, 2022 9:59 am

Data from the official NOAA anemometer at Ft. Myers, FL from the 27th to 30th shows both leading and trailing eyewalls passing directly over the station.
Leading eyewall maximum sustained winds in the 30 knot range at 1900 GMT.
The trailing eyewall shows maximum sustained winds in the 40 knot range 3 hours later.
Minimum central pressure 961.6 millibars at 1948 GMT.
Those winds are well below the threshold for Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

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