Contra Yahoo News, “Weather Whiplash” is not Threatening Autumn Weather

From ClimateREALISM

By Linnea Lueken

A Google news search for the term “climate change” turns up a Yahoo News article claiming that autumn weather is disappearing, and is being replaced with an abrupt change from hot summer temperatures to frigid early winter. This is false. Cold snaps, and even heavy snowfall, are not unusual in the fall, and data show no evidence of a significant change from past transitions from summer to fall when compared to more recent ones.

In the article, “What happened to autumn? Scientists point to climate change,” writer Ben Adler claims that “experts” say the season of autumn has “all but disappeared.” To Adler’s credit, he interviews two climate researchers – one of whom, Judah Cohen, enthusiastically supports Adler’s narrative, but the other is slightly more hesitant to agree.

Adler writes:

“We’re seeing this weather whiplash here in the fall, where it can be so warm, it can have record warm temperatures, and then very quickly we can transition into a very cold period,” Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, told Yahoo News.

Experts such as Cohen say climate change is a factor. Weather is fluky, and it’s impossible to ascribe most individual events to climate change, but climate change is creating the conditions, starting with a longer, hotter summer, that make fall-less years more likely.

“Weather whiplash” is not among the approved meteorological terms, and appears to be an intentionally sensationalist description of normal weather phenomena like cold snaps. It is not a new claim, as discussed in a Climate Realism post, here, where Sterling Burnett explains that “weather whiplash” is the result of natural conditions like atmospheric river events and others that have been known to occur since recordkeeping began.

One of the pieces of “evidence” pointed out by Adler was the recent colder-than-average temperatures in October and November, and record-breaking snowfall in Buffalo, New York. The Buffalo Niagara International Airport measured a local record of 21.5 inches falling in a single day, making it the second highest single-day snowfall in November for the area. The number one spot is taken, according to local weather data, by November 20, 2000, which saw 24.9 inches of snow in a single day. While the record-breaking quantity is impressive, November snowfall is not unusual for Buffalo. Records show that “extreme daily snowfall” in November has occurred since at least 1913.

A second scientist interviewed by Adler, Matthew Barlow, professor of climate science at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, indicated that although he believed warm weather is sticking around later in the fall, he doesn’t think there is sufficient solid evidence to claim that summer is quickly transitioning into winter, or that global warming increasing the occurrences meteorological trend disruptions which might lead to such rapid transitions.

“There isn’t a consensus on that, I think, yet, on whether there’s an increased breakdown or stretching of the polar vortex, or whether the jet stream is getting wavier, at least in the North Atlantic. There definitely is some evidence of that, but I don’t think there’s a consensus,” Barlow told Yahoo News.

This is correct, there is no scientific consensus on whether or not the jet stream has changed in such a way that would increase the probability of severe cold snaps. Evidence to the contrary exists, for example in Climate at a Glance: Cold Spells, collected data show there is actually more evidence pointing towards fewer cold temperature extremes. This is a reason to celebrate, actually, because cold weather is responsible for ten times as many deaths as extreme heat, according to peer-reviewed mortality research in The Lancet.

Adler seems to have had a particular conclusion in mind—that fall weather is disappearing due to climate change—and hunted down a researcher who supported his unscientific premise. Following the links in the article lead you into a never-ending spiral of news articles making unsubstantiated claims, without a data driven study in sight. That’s because there is no data supporting the claim that normal seasonal transitions are being disrupted, with summer bypassing fall and going straight to winter. Yahoo News should celebrate an overall decline in harsh cold weather conditions, rather than try to upset readers over the questionable “loss” of their favorite season. Contrary to Yahoo News claim, fall is here to stay.

Linnea Lukin

Linnea Lueken

Linnea Lueken is a Research Fellow with the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy. While she was an intern with The Heartland Institute in 2018, she co-authored a Heartland Institute Policy Brief “Debunking Four Persistent Myths About Hydraulic Fracturing.”

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December 6, 2022 2:06 am

“”autumn weather is disappearing””

Try telling the trees, plants and fauna that nonsense, my garden/area/country didn’t get the memo

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  strativarius
December 6, 2022 12:19 pm

I thought spam was a thing of the past after registration?

Steve Case
December 6, 2022 2:42 am

Gish gallop
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

     The Gish gallop /ˈɡɪʃ ˈɡæləp/ is a rhetorical technique in which a
     person in a debate attempts to overwhelm their opponent by
     providing an excessive number of arguments with no regard for
     the accuracy or strength of those arguments.

December 6, 2022 4:58 am

I calculated how much installed capacity is needed to supply an assumed 24/7 Power requirement under the assumption that in addition to supplying domestic power, the turbine fleet would also generate Hydrogen or some other storage medium at a certain efficiency sufficient to supply enough powerwhen the wond doesn’t blow. This is simply a calculation of average energy flows and takes no account of the storage necessary for a prolonged wind drought.


Let P be the power in Gigawatts required to satisfy all our societal needs 24 /7
Let I be the power in Gigawatts of installed wind capacity necessary to achieve this
Let Cap be the Capacity factor – the percentage of the nameplate power that is delivered on average
Let Eff be the efficiency factor of the energy storage say Hydrogen with efficiency about 50%
Imagine in any 100 hour period let Cap be the number of hours the wind turbine is producing
Energy supplied in Gigawatt hours =I *Cap where cap = number of hours say 40 for a 40% capacity factor
This energy must be enough to satisfy our 40 hour need i.e. P*40 plus in addition to supply that power for the 60 days that the wind is not blowing taking into account the efficiency factor of the storage medium i.e. P*60/eff
then I *40 =P*40+P* 60/Eff
I used 40 an d 60 hours for illustrative purposes
The general equation uses Cap and 100-Cap
And the equation is
I*Cap=Cap*P+P* (100-Cap)/Eff
or I = P* (Cap+(100-Cap)/Eff)/Cap
Using figures of cap=40% and storage efficiency = 50% the answer is that you need an installed capacity of 4 x the assumed 24/7 power requirement
Needless to say this calculation has not entered the minds of the Net Zero fanatics at te Climate Change Committee.
I will happily supply anyone with a spreadsheet that encapsulates this.

John Hultquist
Reply to  alastairgray29yahoocom
December 6, 2022 9:42 am

No transition here! Just a jump from the topic of ‘fall’ to an unrelated non-parallel universe.
Well played. 🤣

abolition man
December 6, 2022 6:40 am

The minor atmospheric warming due to heat (and CO2) being released from the oceans is almost entirely beneficial! Most of the warming is taking place at high latitudes where it is welcome; extreme cold events were becoming less frequent.
Will the mindless minions of the Church of Climastrology celebrate what appears to be a return to increased snow and cold weather? No! They will blame it on CO2, the Gas of Life, and call for a return to the Little Ice Age as a way to assuage their collective guilt for daring to live in a time of growing wealth and freedom! At least religious zealots of past ages went into the wilderness and lived life without Earthly pleasures. The modern zealots want to have all the modern conveniences produced by an advanced fossil fueled economy; they just want everyone else to go without! To paraphrase Dean Wormer: “Fat, rude and stupid is no way to go through life!”

December 6, 2022 6:58 am

Warming strengths the jet stream. There’s no trend in drought. Warming reduces frequency, intensity, and area of cold incursions. Such events were much more common in the past. Fringe nonsense.

The recent wavy jet stream we’ve dealt with started during the weakest solar cycle in 100yrs & stabilization/rebounding of arctic ice, coinciding with climatic oscillations. The arctic seems to have an 80ish year quasi-cyclic oscillation.

Last edited 1 month ago by aaron
Tom Abbott
December 6, 2022 7:24 am

From the article: “Experts such as Cohen say climate change is a factor. Weather is fluky, and it’s impossible to ascribe most individual events to climate change, but climate change is creating the conditions, starting with a longer, hotter summer, that make fall-less years more likely.”

Except we did not have a longer, hotter summer. Therefore, your claim doesn’t reflect reality.

These views about Autumn weather going away are subjective observations by alarmist people who are seeing what they want to see. As the expert says, “it’s impossible to ascribe most individual events to climate change”, and he is correct, although he should have said “any” rather than “most” individual events, since he can’t ascribe even one weather event to human-caused climate change, so “most” doesn’t apply.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 6, 2022 12:17 pm

He can’t even show “human caused” climate change, that’s just another naked “gish gallop” assertion without evidence.

And no, “scientists say so” is not evidence, nor are pet hypotheses “evidence” of their own existence.

December 6, 2022 7:35 am

The running joke here in northern New England is that our kids’ Halloween costumes are made to fit over their snowsuits.

We’ve had warm Halloweens. We’ve had cold Halloweens. And we’ve had snowy Halloweens.

I haven’t seen a change from primarily one to the other over the past 66 years.

It isn’t climate change. It’s weather…

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  DCE
December 6, 2022 12:19 pm

And a departure from “average” weather is not “evidence” of anything, since “average” weather is nothing more than a midpoint of *extremes* to begin with.

Andy Pattullo
December 6, 2022 7:44 am

They loudly and insistently predicted warming and reduced snow. We get cooling and more snow and they want to pretend this is consistent with their predictions. Some people never matured to the point of attending preschool. If we let them get away with this they will never contribute to society in any useful way.

Hoyt Clagwell
December 6, 2022 8:29 am

Interesting that CO2 is supposed to kill us all with heat but it can’t seem to prevent drastic cold snaps from happening. Also interesting that all of the climate prophets never saw this coming.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
December 6, 2022 12:22 pm

There ability to “see it coming” is retroactive. They only see it coming after it is happening.

At which point, of course, they will claim to have accurately “predicted” what’s going on outside their windows at the time of said “predictions.”

Joseph Zorzin
December 6, 2022 8:46 am

“a Yahoo News article claiming that autumn weather is disappearing, and is being replaced with an abrupt change from hot summer temperatures to frigid early winter”

We had a very nice fall here in New England- better than most.

December 6, 2022 9:46 am

This amounts to micromanaging climate thought.

December 6, 2022 10:58 am

l checked my 45 years of first snow data for my local area here in N Linc’s England to see what it makes of these claims. So l compared the first 20 years of the data with the last 20 years of the data. To see what if any changes there has been in which month the first snow happens for each year. Here is the results.

Nov 9 times
Dec 9 times
Jan 3 times

Oct 2 times
Nov 8 times
Dec 5 times
Jan 4 times
Feb 1 time

Over the last 45 years there has been little change in the average date of the first snow.
But what l have noticed in recent years, is that the yearly swings away from the average have become greater. Between 1977-1997 the first snows were limited to 3 months but between 2002-2022 the first snows were spread over 5 months.
Now a more wavier jet stream could certainly be a factor in this change.lts just that a doubt that this change is linked to man made CO2 levels.

Paul Hurley
December 6, 2022 12:37 pm

I guess we can add “Weather Whiplash” to the ever growing lexicon of exaggerated weather/climate phrases. Or…

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