Michael E Mann Goes Humpty Dumpty on “1000 Year Event”

When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.

 Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking Glass

From the video transcript emphasis, mine:

Um you know we we toss around these uh terms like thousand year event um and it makes it sound like well okay it was just really bad luck that’s not what it means.

When we say this was a Thousand-Year event um means we shouldn’t have witnessed it if we lived for a thousand years.

Um Methuselah of biblical fame should not have witnessed an event of this sort um the only reason we’re witnessing itis because it’s no longer a thousand years uh event it’s maybe a five or ten year event…


Stalled thunderstorms aren’t rare. How long have we had the technology to measure a pocket of localized rainfall such as this, perhaps 200 years? How long have we had the granular coverage, 100 years? Radar, 50 years?

I’ll leave it to the readers to further discuss the idiocy of the Mann’s quote above.

Incidentally I live in Fort Lauderdale. It rained a lot.

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April 16, 2023 6:07 pm

That’s what I don’t understand. With no data, how you do know what’s a 100, 299, or 3876 year event? People who are my age complain about extreme weather and climate change all the time saying how unusual and scary it is. My friend was talking the other day about “how we used to get regular ass weather,” but because of climate change I guess we don’t anymore. He was referring to the wild temperature fluctuations in our area; on April 3-4 we had a blizzard dropping about a foot of snow only to melt less than a week later with beautiful 80 degree weather causing plants and flowers to finally bloom. Keep in my mind he’s one of the smarter and reasonable ones of this generation; it’s bizarre how much they’ve brainwashed my generation.

Last edited 1 month ago by Walter
Reply to  Charles Rotter
April 16, 2023 6:44 pm

I call those figures, “preliminary order-of-magnitude approximations,” or P.O.O.M.A. numbers

Reply to  Charles Rotter
April 16, 2023 10:56 pm


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gumbel_distribution. has nothing to do with weather models.

nothing to do with extrapolation

pulled from ass? nope.

ask yourself how companies can guarantee a part to last 10000 hours

or to have a MTBF of 100000 hours.

HINT they dont measure it

look return peroids are a standard measure.

In probability theory and statistics, the Gumbel distribution (also known as the type-I generalized extreme value distribution) is used to model the distribution of the maximum (or the minimum) of a number of samples of various distributions.
This distribution might be used to represent the distribution of the maximum level of a river in a particular year if there was a list of maximum values for the past ten years. It is useful in predicting the chance that an extreme earthquake, flood or other natural disaster will occur. The potential applicability of the Gumbel distribution to represent the distribution of maxima relates to extreme value theory, which indicates that it is likely to be useful if the distribution of the underlying sample data is of the normal or exponential type. This article uses the Gumbel distribution to model the distribution of the maximum valueTo model the minimum value, use the negative of the original values.
The Gumbel distribution is a particular case of the generalized extreme value distribution (also known as the Fisher–Tippett distribution). It is also known as the log-Weibull distribution

log Weibull?

yes, you know this one time i had an employeer who needed to model the failure rate of 20000 auto parts.

no number pulling out the ass, but rather study, observation and testing.


The Weibull distribution is related to a number of other probability distributions; in particular, it interpolates between the exponential distribution (k = 1) and the Rayleigh distribution (k = 2 and �=2�https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/media/math/render/svg/9a7a2872f7bce070c0e67b5db632b285301f4cec[4]).
If the quantity X is a “time-to-failure”, the Weibull distribution gives a distribution for which the failure rate is proportional to a power of time. The shape parameter, k, is that power plus one, and so this parameter can be interpreted directly as follows:[5]

  • A value of �<1https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/media/math/render/svg/7a6b9bf087f37f4b26612ebe865b12a8ea668c31 indicates that the failure rate decreases over time (like in case of the Lindy effect, which however corresponds to Pareto distributions[6] rather than Weibull distributions). This happens if there is significant “infant mortality”, or defective items failing early and the failure rate decreasing over time as the defective items are weeded out of the population. 
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 17, 2023 8:34 am

You just described what we call a “scientific wild-assed guess” (SWAG). “You can give respectability to mythology if you couch your myth in sufficiently academic language.” (Dr. RC Sproul)

How about some simple arithmetic? The most heavily affected area of the recent Florida floods was no more than 30 square miles. The area of the earth is 196,936,994 sq mi. So say we are interested in a 1,000-yr return period event.

196,936,994 mi2 / (30 mi2 x 1,000 yr) = 6,565 events per year

In any given year on earth, we should expect to see over six thousand 1,000-yr events.

Ft. Lauderdale was the most recent recipient, which just happened to be where weather is recorded and in a nation addicted to the bizarre and extreme, spouted 24/7/365 in the media.

According to Mickey Mann, if this is really a 5 to 10 year event, then we should be seeing 650,000 to 1,200,000 extreme weather events per year across the globe. Hogwash!

Reply to  Charles Rotter
April 17, 2023 1:51 pm

Well said, and true.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
April 18, 2023 10:33 am

Charles Rotter:

California and adjacent areas have been subjected to multiple Atmospheric River events, which are also unpredictable, and it is highly probable that the recent Florida flooding was also due to an Atmospheric.River.

They are random natural global events which will become more common as temperatures continue to rise.


George Daddis
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 17, 2023 11:20 am

I won’t give Steve the same leeway I just gave Michael Mann.
The example given is for a single specific part using basic statistics.

It ignores the fact that the example is analogous to a single local weather zone. A flood of that magnitude will only hit THAT PARTICULAR STREAM once every 100 years. But there are millions and millions of such streams across the globe and the probability is VERY large that these 100 year (or 1,000 year) events are very frequent.

Steve knows he is being disingenuous.

Reply to  George Daddis
April 17, 2023 4:30 pm

Actually, I think he doesn’t

Last edited 1 month ago by Mike
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 17, 2023 11:35 am

Steven, I won’t argue that such mathematical methods don’t make sense, they do have applications in the real world.
Do you have any eveidence that this method was actually used to calculate that THIS weather event was a 1000 year event? I’m inclined to believe Mann made it up, unless we have evidence otherwise.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
April 17, 2023 1:53 pm

You and MEM might have just learned something about reading comprehension. 

Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 17, 2023 1:49 pm

Its dangerous to write long warranties without running long tests… small positive inflation and retirement help.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 17, 2023 7:45 pm

o.k., You call it a 1000 year event without even knowing why.

Is it based on rainfall?
Is it based on floodwater elevation?
Is it based on volume off runoff?

Have you checked to see if the 1000 year rainfall matches/ties in with the associated (modeled 1000 yr) floodwater elevation? If not, you are just throwing terms around (like Humpty Dumpty).

AND, YES … IT does have to do with extrapolation.

Although rainfall intensity curves are based on measured knowns, the projections are extrapolated.

AND, based on an assumed data history of 300 years in the FT Lauderdale area, there would be a 26% chance of hitting a 1000 year event in the 300 yr time period.

Your professed expertise in statistics is shown to be wrong … time & time again.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
April 16, 2023 10:58 pm

extreme value theory has some heavyweights

  1.  von Mises, R. (1936). “La distribution de la plus grande de n valeurs”. Rev. Math. Union Interbalcanique 1: 141–160.
Reply to  Charles Rotter
April 17, 2023 12:27 am

Many of those are done by examining the geological and historical records. 

No, you need observations for this method.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Charles Rotter
April 17, 2023 2:38 am

… derived from weather models …

“Weather models”, like in “rolling dice” or “flipping coins”?

Last edited 1 month ago by Joao Martins
Reply to  Joao Martins
April 17, 2023 5:09 am

They’re not derived from weather models; they’re derived from probability distribution statistics, which can be and are applied in many fields, including non-climate related ones.

Reply to  TheFinalNail
April 17, 2023 6:01 am

Your distinguishing between Mathematical model and a mathematical probability statistic I think is without a difference.

Reply to  mkelly
April 17, 2023 7:29 am

You can always look it up and find out what the difference is.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  TheFinalNail
April 17, 2023 3:20 pm

Probability distribution statistics require you to have sufficient data to form a distribution! There hasn’t been a flood in my present location since shortly after the glaciers retreated. So what is the probability that my location will get a flood in the next 1000 years? In the next 100 years? In the next 10 years>?

George Daddis
Reply to  Charles Rotter
April 17, 2023 11:13 am

It is a way of stating the statistical probability of such an event (e.g. once every hundred years) FOR THAT PARTICULAR LOCAL WEATHER ZONE. I have no idea how many weather zones there are across the globe, but I imagine the odds are pretty good we have a 100 year weather event somewhere in the world many times an hour.
A “thousand year event” is only 10 times more frequent.

Mickey Mann knows this and this is pure demagoguery (to be polite).

Reply to  Walter
April 16, 2023 10:46 pm

its a definition ding dong. its just a DIFFERENT WAY of expressing the frequency or probability.

hint you dont need to measure every swede to estimate their height.

Hint: if you measured 100 swedes and foiunf the average swede was 6 feet tall
with a std dev of 3 inches.

you would say a 7 foot swede was a 1 in 5000 occurance.

if you flip a coin 10 times and witness heads 5 times, then you could also say that
observing 100 heads in a row could be a 1 in 500 occurance.

the magic of sampling is you dont have to sample 1000 years to know the 1000 year return peroid

AGAIN return peroid is not like observing for 1000 years and saying : we saw this
once, we saw that twice, we saw this 6 times. that would be stupid.

return peroid is just inverse of frequency by definition

Return periods for floods are a way of expressing the likelihood or probability of a flood of a certain size or magnitude occurring in a particular location in any given year. This information is useful for planning and designing infrastructure, such as bridges, dams, and levees, as well as for setting insurance rates and establishing emergency response plans.
The return period is a statistical concept that is calculated based on historical data on floods in a particular area. It represents the average time interval between floods of a certain size or magnitude occurring in that area. For example, a 100-year flood has a return period of 100 years, which means that there is a 1% chance of a flood of that size occurring in any given year.


Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 17, 2023 1:58 pm

Why all the downvotes? Because:you wrote “if you flip a coin 10 times and witness heads 5 times, then you could also say that observing 100 heads in a row could be a 1 in 500 occurance.” 1/2 yx 10 = 1/1024.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 17, 2023 3:21 pm

hint you dont need to measure every swede to estimate their height.”

But you need to have measured at least SOME Swedes!

If you have no data on a location then how do you estimate a frequency for *anything*?

Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 17, 2023 7:31 pm

“if you flip a coin 10 times and witness heads 5 times, then you could also say that
observing 100 heads in a row could be a 1 in 500 occurance.”

What the hell are you saying ….

You are so confident that you are always correct about everything, and you write complete crap like that, you simply prove that you can’t be trusted on anything.

(100 in a row is not 2.0E-3, it is 7.9E-31; that is a pretty big difference.)

(mebbe I completely misunderstood you because your use of ‘occurance’ is intended to define and, at the same time, utilize a brand new word … You, Mann, & Humpty Dumpty

Last edited 1 month ago by DonM
old cocky
Reply to  Walter
April 16, 2023 11:32 pm
Reply to  old cocky
April 17, 2023 3:41 am

I liked this quote from that article, “However, Australia’s flood records do not extend far into the past”. If the records don’t extend far into the past, calculating things like 1000-year events should be amazingly difficult.

old cocky
Reply to  spetzer86
April 17, 2023 4:28 am

There are over 200 years for a number of areas, and over 150 for most of the rest. There are also some quite good sediment records. That allows a reasonable probability distribution to be derived.
Changes to flood channels and runoff are more of an issue.

Another factor is that the inland rivers have quite long stretches with no significant tributaries, and have very little fall. Check out the elevation of Walgett and Collarenebri on the main tributaries of the Darling.

ps The NOAA page which thefinalnail linked to gives a good summary of deriving a probability distribution from rainfall data.

Last edited 1 month ago by old cocky
Reply to  spetzer86
April 17, 2023 9:03 am

I once bought a piece of land in a flood plain, intending to live there for a short time. Asked an older gentleman who had lived on the ridge above said property his entire live,just how often it did flood. His reply was that it might not flood again in my life time, or it could flood 3 times that summer. Heavy rain and floods happen without us having any say at all in the matter–always have, and always will.

Reply to  spetzer86
April 17, 2023 1:59 pm

Unless climate has not changed for 1000s of years?

April 16, 2023 6:10 pm

A feature of rain is that it can be highly localised.

I was once in a situation requiring permitting of a referable dam. It got to the point of meeting and discussions with the regional inspector of dams. He stated that dams designed to a 100 year ARI rarely achieved that because he had around 5 incidents for breaches, on average, every year. Typically there would be three years of few incidents and then 2 years of more incidents. I asked how many referable dams in his region. His answer 1200.

old cocky
Reply to  RickWill
April 16, 2023 6:45 pm

There would be a high degree of autocorrelation across the region, though.

Reply to  old cocky
April 16, 2023 8:00 pm

His domain was quite large but there was correspondence with ENSO in terms of his good years and bad years in the higher latitudes. Cyclones and tropical depressions were more dominant in the lower latitudes..

Citizen Smith
Reply to  RickWill
April 17, 2023 8:46 am

Dear Mr. Will,

You are talking about probability of a specific threat at a specific place. A flood at a dam. So if we consider 100 dams built to 100 year flood standards, should we not expect one flood per year?

If Ft Lauderdale was one of a 10,000 cities monitored for flooding, shouldn’t we see 10 cities have a 1000 year flood event every year?

Am I missing something or is this just bad weather hyped by alarmists?

Frederick Michael
Reply to  Citizen Smith
April 17, 2023 9:42 am

Bingo. This is why this whole thing is NOT news. There are thousands of locations around the US. We should expect one of them to have a record day (for heat, cold, rain, drought, etc.) pretty often.

It’s all just click-bait.

George Daddis
Reply to  Citizen Smith
April 17, 2023 11:31 am

Too many posters have been taken in by Steve’s misdirection, given weight by the use of statistical terms.

There is no relation to his explanation with Mann’s statement.

In other words, a 1000 year event does NOT mean an event that would only occur once in a thousand years ANYWHERE ON EARTH! Only for that river or dam.
The probability is that such an even occurs SOMEWHERE around the globe at least daily!

April 16, 2023 6:20 pm

Errormann strikes again!

Reply to  Sunsettommy
April 16, 2023 10:57 pm

That’s his superpower, he just needs a cape & tights.

Where’s Josh when you need him?

old cocky
Reply to  Redge
April 17, 2023 12:28 am

Wasn’t that Dana something or other?

old cocky
Reply to  old cocky
April 17, 2023 4:55 pm

It’s come back to me now. It was SuperMandia

Reply to  Redge
April 17, 2023 5:11 am

Capes are good. See “The Incredibles”

Reply to  Sunsettommy
April 17, 2023 9:10 am

Do you mean Mann appearing in tights?
EEeeeuuwww 🙁

John Aqua
April 16, 2023 6:26 pm

The things he says are an embarrassment to science. “We shouldn’t see these things if we live 1,000 years.” What? As a geologist, these statements are absurd. He talks about the heat dome in the PNW as an example that proves a warmer climate. Cliff Mass dispelled that myth quite easily. This person has no business being interviewed on anything but how Grape Nuts taste.

Reply to  John Aqua
April 16, 2023 7:02 pm

Not to mention he doesn’t even debate other people he just blocks them 💀. Some scientist right?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  John Aqua
April 16, 2023 9:37 pm

Ha! You said Grape Nuts.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
April 17, 2023 10:34 am

This person has no business being interviewed on anything but how ape Nuts taste.

There, I fixed it for you.

The Real Engineer
Reply to  John Aqua
April 16, 2023 11:59 pm

The man must be insane. A thousand year event does not mean if you wait 1000 years you will not see one! Presumably he means that it will occur on year 1001! This sounds so like his curve that his understanding of mathmatics must be like a small child.

Reply to  The Real Engineer
April 17, 2023 7:54 pm

Assuming we have been observing rain in Ft Lauderdale for 300 years, there would be about a 25% chance of hitting the 1000 year (rainfall) event in our time frame.

Now the converse. If 20 locales, with the same historic 300 year observance, did not get with the “1000 year rainfall event” over the 300 years, what are the odds that …

… the projected events are bogus.

(then apply the same question to the flooding projections/modeling)

Reply to  John Aqua
April 17, 2023 4:13 am

“Grape Nuts taste.”

Thanks for reminding me. I haven’t had them for ages. I hope they’re still available.

Reply to  Disputin
April 18, 2023 5:08 am

There is a fresh box in my cabinet right now.

And Grape-nuts haven’t been coated in sugar like so many other cereals.

No matter how many times I explain Grape-nuts to younger generations, they believe Grape-nuts should be able to pour cereal and eat immediately.
You can hear their crunching throughout the house.

Chris Hanley
April 16, 2023 6:52 pm

No doubt longstanding Florida locals at different locations can cite rainfall events that Mann would consider thousand year events.
For instance there was the ‘Great Southern Florida Flood’ in 1947 when the CO2 concentration was ~315 ppm.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
April 17, 2023 7:46 am

I read that article, the heaviest rainfall event they referred to was “As much as 15 inches fell on Fort Lauderdale that night”, well my understanding is that the recent event was 20-25 inches on Fort Lauderdale (25.9″ at the airport). That’s significantly greater, +50%!

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Phil.
April 17, 2023 11:15 am

If you look at the data posted by Charles Rotter below you’ll see that apart from Fort Lauderdale the average for the other stations is around 15″.
So was that an outlier for some reason

Reply to  Chris Hanley
April 17, 2023 8:19 am

Chris Hanley:


The 1947 Florida flood was probably due to an Atmospheric River. I have observed that they always occur during a drought, and I checked and there was a strong drought in the USA in 1947, in Norway, and probably other places around the world. It probably started earlier than 1947, will have to check Drought.gov.

They are caused by a rise in global temperatures, such as caused by an El Nino, but the last El Nino was in 1941-42. However, there was a.7 million ton decrease in industrial SO2 aerosol emissions between 1944 and 1946, which would have caused temperatures to rise.

The recent Florida flood was probably also due to an Atmospheric River, since we have been in a drought since 2000.

I have an article “The Cause of Atmospheric Rivers” which might be of interest to you.


April 16, 2023 6:57 pm

Thanks for the post, CTM. Made me smile at the absurdity.

I especially enjoyed the headline. A second time reading it, I added Numpty at the beginning.


Reply to  Bob Tisdale
April 16, 2023 8:00 pm

Mickey Mann makes his living from being ABSURD !

Why anyone listens to any of his absurdities, and can’t see them as such, speaks to the almost total lack of intelligence and common sense in the climate science field.

E. Schaffer
April 16, 2023 7:01 pm

Not a single station reported more than 10 inches of rain, except for one station that reported 25.6 in. Indeed a very unlikely event..


Tom Halla
April 16, 2023 7:09 pm

I was formerly of the opinion that Mann might be honest, but deluded and incompetent. I am more and more convinced it is deliberate and knowing.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 16, 2023 8:17 pm

Yes, if he is reasonably competent, which his degrees and titles suggest, then it is “deliberate and knowing.”

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 16, 2023 9:39 pm

Enough reading at Climate Audit will show that it’s totally deliberate. His “statistical errors” weren’t errors at all.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 16, 2023 11:01 pm

Formerly, Mann probably was honest, deluded and incompetent.

Latterly, he probably is deliberate and knowing – his career and liberty depend on it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Redge
Reply to  Redge
April 17, 2023 2:50 am

The court case Mann v Ball is a good example of how he is staying out of the State Penitentiary.

Reply to  galileo62
April 17, 2023 5:53 am

He never even paid Tim Ball’s costs! What a dishonourable Mann.

Kit P
April 16, 2023 7:16 pm

Stopped listening after one minute.

The design basis for nuke plants is 200 year events. If a seismic event occurs that is greater the 200 year earth quake, that becomes the new design basis 200 year event.

Took a class in environmental geology. The book used case studies. In the case of flooding, land development can increase flooding for various reasons and just maybe building a mobile home park in a flood zone is a bad idea.

Just saying it is not climate change.

Martin Brumby
April 16, 2023 7:18 pm

When I was working as a Chartered Civil Engineer in the mining industry, amongst my responsiblilies were a large number of very large mineral tailings lagoons, mainly elevated.

These didn’t come under the UK legislation for impounding reservoirs but I thought it prudent to join the British Dams Society and learn more of the technical issues and approaches. Also to discuss issues with experts who were qualified to design and supervise Large Dams. (I was also responsible for a couple of them.)

The Dam legislation required that spillways should be capable of passing a ten thousand year flood.

Unfortunately, no-one was sure what Noah had done with the Ark’s ship’s log. So we had to rely on available rainfall records with a big bunch of extrapolation and a seasoning of guesswork. The more expensive Consulting Engineers had dreamed up this huge computerised procedure and Contractors and Consultants were both rubbing their hands at all the tasty enhancement Contracts in prospect.

I have to confess that although design, construction and maintenance of Dam Spillways was vital i had the chutzpah to point out, that many dams had failed with massive loss of life but not due to spillway failure. Piping failure or failure of drawoff pipework being two very obvious ones.

Michael Mann, yet again, reveals that he is a complete nitwit, without even the sense to keep his blowviating gob shut.

And you don’t expect to wait 1,000 years for a 1,000 year flood event.

That’s a schoolboy, or perhaps a politician’s blunder. It means that there is a 0.1% probability of it happening this year. Or next year. Or maybe the year after that.

Reply to  Martin Brumby
April 16, 2023 7:34 pm

Mann’s hokey stick proves that he did not have a clue how statistics works.
This comment shows that he still doesn’t.

Boff Doff
Reply to  MarkW
April 16, 2023 8:58 pm

“Mann’s hokey stick proves that he did not have a clue how statistics works”

Actually it probably proves that he does have a clue. He just didn’t have the predictive skill to foresee McIntyre and McKitrick.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  MarkW
April 16, 2023 9:50 pm

I disagree, Mark. It showed that he knew enough to manipulate the data to get the result he wanted. As Boff alluded, he didn’t expect anyone to actually check his work

The Real Engineer
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
April 17, 2023 12:03 am

Another failure of peer review then? It is clearly a useless procedure and should be scrapped, then we can all comment on poor work!

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  The Real Engineer
April 17, 2023 9:04 am

Failure would depend on your perspective. For them, it wasn’t a failure, it went as planned.

old cocky
Reply to  Martin Brumby
April 16, 2023 8:07 pm

point out, that many dams had failed with massive loss of life but not due to spillway failure. Piping failure or failure of drawoff pipework being two very obvious ones.

That’s a good example of looking at a problem with a fresh pair of eyes. It can be very easy to focus on a particular aspect and develop tunnel vision.

Reply to  Martin Brumby
April 17, 2023 5:57 am

Got to admit Martin, at nearly 72, that’s the first time ever, I’ve encountered the word “blowviating” (even my spell checker doesn’t recognize it). :()

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  bobpjones
April 17, 2023 9:08 am

I’ve seen it as “bloviating” many times.

Reply to  Martin Brumby
April 17, 2023 9:32 am

Just remembered. Back in the 80s in the UK, we had a dry summer. So bad that they declared it a drought, and threatened to introduce stand pipes. Fortunately, in the month of September, it poured down, and all was well.

The water authority, stated it was just a 100 hundred year event, and would never happen again. Just five years later it happened again, and then again in the mid 90s.

After that, they laid a special pipe all the way from Kielder to West Yorkshire.

Chris Hanley
April 16, 2023 7:23 pm

Taking advantage of natural disasters and the like to further one’s professional standing or for political gain is figurative looting.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris Hanley
April 16, 2023 7:26 pm

1000 year events just means that the odds are 0.1% that a given event will hit a given spot each year.
Only a complete idiot would declare that it means such an event should only happen once in a thousand years.

Beyond that, since there are a million spots each with a 0.1% chance of an event each year, the odds are that there will be 1000 such events each year.

old cocky
Reply to  MarkW
April 16, 2023 7:32 pm

There is a high degree of regional autocorrelation, so it clusters quite a bit.
That particularly applies to flood levels, which cluster along rivers.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
April 16, 2023 8:24 pm

It seems to me that if the theoretical 1,000-year flood happened the year before a defined time interval, then it wouldn’t be highly probable for another 999 years. However, that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen the next year.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 16, 2023 9:09 pm

Yes. Also include that the rainfall for a 500 yr event would be very similar to that for 1000 yr.
This follows from the actual statistical numbers ( 1000 yr is just a media shorthand) one is 0.1% probability per year the other is 0.5% per year

Reply to  MarkW
April 17, 2023 5:25 am

This is correct. The intensity duration frequency statistical extrapolation is conducted on a localized basis. Climatology should not butcher their communication of these stats.

Media should consult with hydrologists and stormwater managers who work with such statistics every day.

Hydrologists did not create such statistics to discuss global climatological trends. They want to know the odds of such an event for their particular gauge location.

I think realistically 1 million independent locations is a little high, but certainly a few so-called 0.1% probability events should be expected annually even without climate change.

April 16, 2023 7:32 pm

That was painful, but worse than Mann was the boot licking reporter.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Bob
April 17, 2023 5:35 am

All these bogus reporters could claim that when interviewing a “scientist” they can’t be expected to know enough for a thorough interview- but that’s false- all they have to read is Koonin’s “Unsettled”. That’s not too much homework for an important interview.

Reply to  idontknowjoe
April 16, 2023 7:51 pm

1926 flood 1928 flood

followed by severe drought

followed by severe flood 1947

it’s Florida

Reply to  idontknowjoe
April 16, 2023 9:10 pm

Its common worldwide , weather happens in decadal cycles and isnt totally random each year.

April 16, 2023 7:58 pm

There is no such thing as a 1000 year ”event” or a 500 year ”event” or a 100 year ”event”
It’s made-up bullshit mann! Stop making up shit, liar.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mike
Bryan A
Reply to  Mike
April 16, 2023 10:18 pm

That’s what the Mann said
So won’t you listen to what the Mann said
He said
Blah Blah Blah,
blah blah blah blah blah

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Bryan A
April 17, 2023 9:09 am


Tom Johnson
April 16, 2023 7:58 pm

The biggest error is that if there were 1000 places where an event might occur, it would be expected that a1000 year event would happen in one of them annually (on average). Even if you were to be glued to one spot for 1000 years, you would see one event, not zero.

Bryan A
Reply to  Tom Johnson
April 16, 2023 10:24 pm

It could also be taken to mean that, in all likelihood it last occurred somewhere around 1022-1026…during the MWP. Prior to that would be near 33AD during the Roman Warm Period. Once in a thousand years sounds about right following the cycle of Warm Periods during interglacial cycles

Reply to  Tom Johnson
April 17, 2023 6:22 am

Not quite. If there were 1000 locations each with a 1-in-1000 recurrence interval of an event the expectation for an event in at least one location in any given year is about 63%. It is the same for the expectation for an event at one particular location in a 1000 year period. In a 2000 year period it is 86%, 3000 is 95%, 4000 is 98%, and so on. The 50/50 breakeven or the point where it is equally likely to observe the event as it is to observe the absence is about 685 years. This all assumes independence of events which isn’t always in the case in reality.

Last edited 1 month ago by bdgwx
Gilbert K. Arnold
April 16, 2023 7:59 pm

As someone who supposedly has a geological background, Dr Mann should be aware of the concept of “recurrence interval”. Put simply: a 100 year weather event has a probability of happening each and every year of 1%( this does not preclude having more than one such event a year). There is nothing that says they could not see one next year. So, if the one this year was a one in 1000 year event, We could have another one next year or possibly another one this year.

John the Econ
April 16, 2023 8:24 pm

You’d assume that such a highly lauded scientist such as Mann would have a better understanding of statistics and probability. But apparently you’d be wrong.

Reply to  John the Econ
April 16, 2023 9:14 pm

Lauded ?
he began his graduate study in Solid State physics but soon found out that area of study had many more smarter people than him…. so unlikely to achieve tenure track accolades.
He then switched to tree rings climatology. The result of him being this fields leading scholar speaks for the standard of academic study.

Last edited 1 month ago by Duker
Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Duker
April 16, 2023 9:55 pm

He’s nowhere near the leader, just thinks he is. Ed Cook is the leader, and he admitted “privately” in the CRU emails that we really don’t know squat about climate variability >100 years.

Rod Evans
Reply to  John the Econ
April 17, 2023 1:16 am

You are confusing lauded with intelligence there John.
I watched the tumbling walrus sequence with Attenborough’s voice over again last night via Gogglebox clip. There we see a classic example of an very ignorant, or highly paid agent, but clearly a very lauded individual.

April 16, 2023 8:46 pm

I have always liked this community. It is filled with scientifically minded, good-hearted individuals who really know their stuff. They tend to believe that they are not exceptional, and that most people are just like them. I, too, believe that is the case, but there is overwhelming evidence that there is small, but growing segment of the population that is not like the people on this forum, or the majority of the good people in the world.

This small segment of the population is ‘power-minded’. Everything is seen through the lens of power. What brings them more power and control over humanity is deemed good, and what brings them less power and control is deemed bad. That is their moral compass. Perhaps this is rooted in post-modern philosophy, or perhaps it is much older than that. The difference between these people and a clinical psychopath appears to be a matter of degree, not philosophy.

The problem we are having in our civilization right now is that good people have a very difficult time recognizing and acknowledging that these power-minded individuals are very real and omnipresent. Good people desperately want to believe that the power-minded are just as good and well-meaning as they are, but the evidence is now overwhelming that the power-minded are not like good people at all.

Michael Mann is not a well-meaning person. He is clearly a power-minded individual. He understood that very powerful people on the planet were desperate for some pseudo-science to sell their fake climate crisis narrative to the masses, and to bring the masses under the control of these powerful people. Mann clearly understood that he could have fame and fortune by producing that pseudo-science for these powerful people, so he did, and it worked spectacularly. A traditional scientist would not have done that, but Michael Mann is not a traditional scientist. He is a power-minded individual pretending that he is a scientist to achieve more personal power for himself, and especially for those who pay him.

We are currently deep in 5th generational, unrestricted warfare with a small group of powerful people. In this type of warfare, the weapons are ideas, usually in the form of fake narratives. These fake narratives are destroying our civilization. Our inner-cities look bombed out, and filled with a growing number of homeless refugees. The number of dead and injured are sky-rocketing. Whole generations are on the verge of being lost, and all of this damage is being done with fake narratives.

The climate crisis is one of the greatest fake narratives being used against us, and Michael Mann is often the gunner, firing this weapon at Western Civilization as often as he has the chance. He is not an idiot. He is not a fool. He is not a good scientist. He is not a good person. He is a power-minded person, choosing his power over reality, and over the well-being of humanity.

He is also, not alone. Not by a long shot!

The Wizard of Oz is a classic example of 5th generational, unrestricted warfare using a fake narrative. When Dorothy and her companions addressed the fake narrative, their lives were almost lost. That is the deadly power of a fake narrative. When Toto pulls back the curtain, the fake narrative collapses and all the power of the ‘wizard’ goes with it.

When we interact with the fake narrative, we actually give it validity and put ourselves in grave danger. We simply need to pull pack the curtain on the power-minded, and take away all of their power in the process. It starts by acknowledging that we are in a war with those who wish us great harm, and are inflicting that harm as we speak. It ends when when we simply see those attacking us for what they really are, and they lose all of their power to harm us.

Reply to  jclarke341
April 17, 2023 7:09 am

This small segment of the population is ‘power-minded’. 

The new “mayor” of Chicago declared on Sunday that it would be wrong to condemn the teens who terrorized Chicago over the weekend.

Apparently the fault lies with the system for failing to provide said teens with sufficient alternative means of entertainment.

Reply to  MarkW
April 17, 2023 3:18 pm

The teens are casualties of decades of the lefts ‘fake-narratives’. They have been essentially turned into zombies by the 5th generational, unrestricted war against the West. The mayor is not entirely wrong when he says that ‘the system’ is responsible, but ‘the system’ is the one that he and his fellow Democrats have created and continue to promote. Whether the Mayor knows it or not, chaos has always been the goal of most Democrat programs.

Your average Democrats really believe that Democrat platforms are noble and good, despite all the evidence to the contrary. The Democrat leadership, however, knows that chaos is the ultimate goal. They create the problems, which enables them to sell the solutions (that always creates more problems!). That is their business model.

The goal is to plunge all of Western Civilization into chaos, making it easier to step in and take complete control of the population simply by promising to restore order. Of course, in order to implement their solution, everyone will need to surrender their personal wealth and sovereignty to the ruling elites (who created the problems).

It is the oldest scam in the book, and it is being thrown at us from every direction. The fake climate crisis is a major offensive against the West. COVID and the jabs are another. BLM is a third. The biggest one, however, is the financial system. It is fake as well. The war in Ukraine is obviously real, but it was produced with fake narratives and is being escalated with fake narratives.

All of these fake narratives can be traced back to one source. They own the media. They own the UN. They own big pharma. They own the academies. They own the Central Banking System and the Fed. They own Joe Biden and his administration. They have been buying all of these things with money they have acquired from humanity with previous fake narratives.

You and I look at the growing civil unrest and see a problem. The globalist’s see their plans unfolding beautifully. Soon, the chaos in Chicago will be nothing compared to what happens when when energy and food cannot be found, the money becomes worthless, war spreads around the globe and a new pandemic is announced. None of this will be organic. All of it has been planned for a very long time, but none of it needs to come to pass. All we need to do is stop and remember the truth: “There is no spoon!”

In reality, we never left the Garden of Eden, but we just keep listening to the snake!

Reply to  jclarke341
April 18, 2023 5:23 am

In reality, we never left the Garden of Eden, but we just keep listening to the snake!”

Most of those seeking power desire that they themselves are to be the snake.

Reply to  jclarke341
April 17, 2023 11:49 am

“A disgrace to the profession”

Reply to  karlomonte
April 17, 2023 2:22 pm

What ‘profession’ is that? If you think of Mann is a climate scientist, then yes, he is a disgrace. But I don’t see him as a climate scientist, and neither do the globalists who pay him. They see him as a soldier in a 5th generation, unrestricted war against Western Civilization. He is not a ‘disgrace’ in that role. He has actually been pretty effective, capturing far more minds with his fake science than I ever will with the truth. Of course, he has had a tremendous amount of support from the rest of the ‘anti-Western’ army.

April 16, 2023 8:46 pm

If Mann was doing stand up comedy nobody would come to see him, so he does this.

JD Daily
April 16, 2023 9:04 pm

Michael E Mann must not know that some of the people exposed to his speeches have backgrounds in fields that understand what “1000 year event” means. It is another way of stating the probability of the event occurring this year is one in 1 thousand. It also isn’t the equivalent of taking marbles out of a box with 1000 marbles one at a time & not putting it back.

Reply to  JD Daily
April 17, 2023 7:11 am

Climate “science” has a long history of silencing those who disagree with the self appointed masters of climate.
It’s hard to blame Mann for assuming that those who know what they are talking about would stay silenced.

Reply to  JD Daily
April 17, 2023 11:17 am

But it is the equivalent of a box of one thousand marbles, one of which is not like the others and repeatedly selecting marbles and always putting the marble back, you always have a chance of pulling out the odd one.

April 16, 2023 10:23 pm

Thank you for the question Dorothy Dix….Thank you Dr Mann for the insight you always bring

April 16, 2023 10:34 pm

How long have we had the technology to measure a pocket of localized rainfall such as this, perhaps 200 years? How long have we had the granular coverage, 100 years? Radar, 50 years?

not relevant.

The theoretical return period between occurrences is the inverse of the average frequency of occurrence . For example, a 10-year flood has a 1/10 = 0.1 or 10% chance of being exceeded in any one year and a 50-year flood has a 0.02 or 2% chance of being exceeded in any one year.

eturn Period(year)= 1/(1-(1-Encounter Probability(%)/100)^(1/Period(year))) .

here a girl can explain it to you. basicaly with 20 to 30 years of data, you will get a distribution

that distribution will be definable by a set of moments, like mean, SD, etc.

a 1000 year event is just see above.. .001% event. or bewteen 3 and 3.5 sigma

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 17, 2023 9:44 am

Maybe you can find a girl who can explain basic punctuation to you.

old cocky
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 17, 2023 2:05 pm

a 1000 year event is just see above.. .001% event. or bewteen 3 and 3.5 sigma

Would you like to try again?

Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 17, 2023 4:37 pm

I think this bloke actually believes his own bullshit.

Bryan A
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 18, 2023 6:50 am

If 0.1 = 10% (10 year flood)
then 0.01 =1% (100 year flood)
and 0.001 = 0.1% (1000 year flood)
.001% would be a 100,000 year flood

Luke B
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 18, 2023 4:51 pm

But how do we know that the frequency is accurate enough, that the distribution is close enough to normal for the chosen extreme value distribution to give a good prediction and such.

I’ll be a bit facetious here. Why can’t I get a good estimate by simply taking 3 years? And then predict everything from that. Where is the error propagation?

April 16, 2023 11:06 pm

We also need to question the competency of the so-called journalist who allowed Mann to get away with making that statement.

Steve Case
April 17, 2023 12:20 am

April 17, 2023 12:46 am

Anyone reading this article might come away with the impression that Mann has just invented the ‘1000-year event’ concept off the top of his head. He hasn’t.

The term has been in widespread use for decades, including by the US Geological Survey; as has the method used for determining the probabilities.

This NOAA explainer uses rainfall, but the method can equally be applied to floods, storms or temperatures, etc, so long as sufficient observational data exist (and no, it doesn’t have to be 1,000-years of data).

old cocky
Reply to  TheFinalNail
April 17, 2023 1:28 am

Leaving aside the dodgy distribution fit on the NOAA web page, the article was about Professor Mann’s extremely poor explanation of 1,000-year events.

100-year and 1,000-year floods have been discussed here every time Australian floods are brought up.

Reply to  old cocky
April 17, 2023 1:34 am

…the article was about Professor Mann’s extremely poor explanation of 1,000-year events.

Then what are we to make of Charles’s comment?

How long have we had the technology to measure a pocket of localized rainfall such as this, perhaps 200 years? How long have we had the granular coverage, 100 years? Radar, 50 years?

old cocky
Reply to  TheFinalNail
April 17, 2023 1:36 am

Where do the data points come from to estimate the probability distribution?

Reply to  old cocky
April 17, 2023 1:49 am

Why is it phrased as a question, though? The first commenter on this thread clearly thinks 1,000-year event probabilities require 1,000-years of data. Understandable, because that is the implication of Charles’s remark.

old cocky
Reply to  TheFinalNail
April 17, 2023 2:10 am

I read it as a comment regarding the amount of data available. Others seem to have interpreted it differently.

Perhaps Charles can answer your question during the day in the US.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
April 17, 2023 7:27 am

It can’t be extrapolated statistically if it was never observed in the first place

The data are not being extrapolated Charles; the probability of extreme occurences is. Probability distribution statistics like this are widely applied in many scientific fields.

Last edited 1 month ago by TheFinalNail
Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Charles Rotter
April 17, 2023 9:56 am

Short term weather models are pretty good.”

No, they’re not.

Reply to  TheFinalNail
April 18, 2023 5:41 am

Without 1,000 years of data to validate the premise, predicting/labeling anything as 1,000 year events are simply false prophecies.

i.e., Prophecies with the same level of value as all of the rest of climate science climastrological mutterings.

Especially, since mankind keeps building large water obstructions and new channels over the selected locations.
With land receiving the rain in constant flux, there is no merit in such claims.

Most of the Florida or even Gulf coast locations identify their events as so many inches of rain per hour and how many hours rain falls at that rate. Which is what drives their real estate zoning maps.
Any location that receives very high inches per hour rainfall are liable for any weather event to rain at that rate for much longer periods of time.

The USA and Nevada built a highway through the local desert.
Henderson is a higher elevation that Las Vegas.

Yet, every few years people are surprised that the highway seriously floods as thunderstorm runoff happily runs down the highway in volume, flooding everything near the road.

Reply to  TheFinalNail
April 17, 2023 7:13 am

I have no idea how anyone reading the article honestly could come up with that conclusion.

Rod Evans
April 17, 2023 12:51 am

“Thank you Katie, always a pleasure”….pass the sick bucket.
I particularly liked his line “there us a certain amount of resilience in Earth’s climate” He goes on the say, ‘if we act now to reduce carbon emissions’ ,,,,,,,etc.. Makes you wonder what efforts were employed 1000 years back to reduce carbon emissions or maybe 12,000 years back when the resilience of Earth’s climate really came under threat. Maybe that is why there are no SUVs to be found from 12,000 years ago? The pre civilisation man/woman realised they wasn’t civilised and got rid of such things?….
He hasn’t got a new book coming out by any chance? Oh! yes he has, I remember Katie mentioning that, only a couple of times though along with a nice close up of the cover. She is so appreciative to ‘have him’ her words.
NB It is only a one in 1000 year event Katie, but beware, Mann could be back in ten years or if she is really lucky (sic) five.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rod Evans
UK-Weather Lass
April 17, 2023 1:00 am

Since nature appears to be entirely random then there was a time when it was exceedingly touch and go as to whether it would be Michael E Mann or someone entirely different born in 1965. Unfortunately for us he won. That is a once in a very very very big number event which we are paying a very very very heavy price for now.

I sincerely hope there are many parallel universes out there where nobody has ever heard of this pathetic publicly exposed liar and trickster.

April 17, 2023 1:39 am

Mike Mann saying something scientifically correct would be a real thousand year event, ie. we won’t see it in his lifetime or even 10 lifetimes of him and his snake oil salesmen confederates.

Peta of Newark
April 17, 2023 1:40 am

from BBC this morning:Rishi Sunak sets up review to tackle ‘anti-maths mindset’
Oooooh, that’s a hard one, who might the first student be…..

The real deep cynics amongst us might suggest that if Rishi Sunak and the entire UK Government got out of its ‘anti-everything’ mindset, The People might follow the example and some actual good might come.
But UK Gov has been in that mindset for the last 20+ years thanks to Tony & Cherie Blair = why we’re here now.
But no, they pass the buck – exactly what Sunak is doing there

Similar and related to why UK Gov wants all the ‘early retirees’ (age 50 > 65) in this country to go back to work.
Why should they, they’ll be taxed, stressed, ripped-off and regulated so hard as to wreck their physical & mental healths and they’ll be completely no better off financially.
Potential math students are saying the same: Stuff you Sunak

April 17, 2023 1:46 am

You gotta love the guy for his eternal search for stupid.

April 17, 2023 1:58 am

When we say this was a Thousand-Year event um means we shouldn’t have witnessed it if we lived for a thousand years.

If there are a thousand locations where we can see thousand year events, we’d expect to see one a year somewhere. There are more locations than that. There are more types of events too.

One thing about Mann is that his ability with statistics is poor. His ability with advocacy is pretty good though.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
April 17, 2023 5:46 am

I always assumed that a PhD in any science would be required to master several courses in statistics. It’s a subject I don’t understand but I can appreciate its tremendous power.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 17, 2023 7:16 am

I studied electrical engineering, and a single course in statistics was required for a bachelor level degree.
I believe mechanical and chemical engineers had to take a bit more.

Last edited 1 month ago by MarkW
Ed Zuiderwijk
April 17, 2023 3:43 am

Mann is a charlatan performing in a farce.

Ed Zuiderwijk
April 17, 2023 3:47 am

You know what is a once in a thousand year event? Mickey writing a paper that makes sense.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
April 17, 2023 5:24 am

More like one in a million, and then, only is Mike the Mannsplainer interprets it – something that will occur only once in a million years, aka never (unless he is a vampire).

April 17, 2023 4:32 am

Michael Mann has no degree in meteorology but his comments on weather are taken as the gospel by those that worship at the idol of CO2. The same cretins will be found responding to Joe Bastardi’s comments on climate by saying he only has a degree in meteorology there by implying he knows nothing about climate.

One common characteristic of all leftist activists in any field is a total lack of self-awareness!

Last edited 1 month ago by rah
Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  rah
April 17, 2023 5:48 am

Al Gore and Bill McKibben both have a BA in English from Hah-vid- which makes them climate authorities. /sarc

Reply to  rah
April 17, 2023 11:57 am

Someone stated above that Mann started out in solid-state physics; if this is correct, at some point he would have been likely required to take Statistical Mechanics (Stat-Mech). I know of at least one school where it is used to weed out masters candidates who don’t belong there.

D Boss
April 17, 2023 4:49 am

Bah, Mannhole has explosive verbal diarrhea again! I live in S Florida and these kinds of events are at least annual or biannual in some small zone. Two phenomenon produce these vents, either a stalled thunderstorm, which is constantly dissipating and forming; or a training line of small storms following the exact same geographic pattern coming in off the ocean.

I have personally witnessed this kind of 18+ inch rainfall in less than 12 hours at least a dozen times in the past 20 years, and there have been more, but not in my personal observational sphere.

AGW is Not Science
April 17, 2023 5:29 am

Sorry Mikey, but no.

A “1,000 Year” weather event has a 1 in 1000 chance of happening EVERY YEAR, not something that you only see once every 1,000 years.

As with his statistical malfeasance, one can draw two conclusions: (1) He is an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about; or (2) He is deliberately trying to deceive and spread alarmist nonsense.

In either case, this is not a man anyone should be listening to.

April 17, 2023 5:50 am

“Thanks for that question Katie” (I primed you just nicely).

And a chance to call carbon, pollution.

And he calls himself Professor!

Right-Handed Shark
April 17, 2023 6:07 am

Nope. Sorry, but can’t bring myself to press play on the video. Just the still image is enough to make me want to slap that smug expression off his face. Has he paid Tim Ball’s court costs to his family yet?

April 17, 2023 6:17 am

As many others have pointed out a 1 in 1,000 event does not mean we have to wait 1,000 years or more for it to happen. Assuming adjacent years are independent of each other, there is an approximately 63% chance of a 1 in 1,000 year event occurring in any given 1,000 year period.

If we take the very narrow view that the 1 in 1,000 event is for a single place (define as you see fit, but something smallish like a county or city) then it’s a 0.1% chance of happening in any given year. But as we are running this for many years we need to consider the cumulative probability over successive years (or season, or multi-day event, whatever statistic the claim is based on).

For these kinds of math problems it’s simpler to calculate the probability of it not happening and then subtract from 1. So if we make a quick excel sheet that multiplies 0.999 by 0.999, and then the product of that by 0.999 for each successive row for 1,000 rows, we get the running probability of it not happening for each year, which we can reverse to the probability of it happening.

After doing so we find that for this very narrow view of a 1 in 1,000 event in a single relatively small pre-specified place we find the number of years to get a 10%, 25%, or 50% chance of it happening is 105, 288, and 693 years respectively.

But we know the climate alarmist view would not take such a narrow view, they would claim any 1 in 1,000 year event as evidence. As this story is for South Florida we’ll limit our considerations to anywhere in the US. As South Florida is roughly half a state, lets for the sake of argument say there are 100 possible places in the continental US for a 1 in 1,000 year event of similar geographic scope to occur.

Now if we are being honest (which presumably is our goal given we are challenging Mann’s statements), there is also likely a spatial auto-correlation (as a few other commenters have pointed out) where a single weather pattern is likely to increase the chance of a 1 in 1,000 year event in more than 1 half-state at a time, so we would need to temper our calculation accordingly. That is no simple task to do well given regional patterns, influence of various cycles (ENSO, PDO…), seasonal differences, etc. and well beyond the scope of this comment.

But as an example, and if my dusty/rudimentary/3-decades since learning it probability math is correct, the chance of a 1 in 1,000 year event occurring after only 10 years, if we are watching just 20 independent places, rises to a little over 18%. If we expand to the full 100 possible half-state sized places (i.e. ignoring spatial effects) there is an 86% chance of a 1 in 1,000 year event occurring within only 20-years.

Now, if like number of possible places to find a 1 in 1,000 event, we do the same adjustment for the many possible weather variables tracked (single event precip, monthly precip, daily maximum temp, seasonal average temp, number of days hotter than X, length of “fire season”, etc.) we almost guarantee a 1 in 1,000 year event happening somewhere in the continental US for some weather statistic every few years.

The simplistic view shown here by Mann is the reason that Vegas exists – probability is not intuitive, cumulative probability is “hard”, and conditional probability is almost always ignored (gamblers fallacy, etc.).

Reply to  MJB
April 17, 2023 7:41 am

I worked for a company that made gambling equipment for a few years. I helped to develop new slot machines. The company had on staff a gentleman who held a doctorate in mathematics, specializing in statistics.
It was his full time job to create payout charts for the various games that we made so that the casinos could calculate in advance the average earnings they would get from each game.

The machines could be adjusted to affect the odds of any given event coming up.
The state of Nevada had regulations stating how the odds of winning were to be displayed.
There was a manual for us developers on how to use various ‘C’ functions in order to get as close to true random as possible.

Speaking of “true” randomness. Most electronic games can only get pseudo random events. They have algorithms that create a list of seemingly random numbers. The big problem with this, is that each time you run the algorithm, you get the same list. So they use a “seed” value, that can be used to pick where in the string you start drawing numbers. Now you have to try and get a random seed, for each game played. One common trick is to take the number of micro-seconds since the machine was last re-booted, and then take the 16 or 32 least significant digits of that number as your seed.

Even that method has holes, if you are not careful.
There’s a story going around, about a programmer who worked on an electronic poker game. He programmed a laptop with the same random number generator that was used in the game.
He then went to the casino and played that game. He entered in the cards that he drew, and then had the laptop search the “random” number sequence for the pattern of cards in his hand. From that he was able to make a reasonable guess as to what the next card to be drawn, would be.

He was eventually busted, there’s a clause in your contract that you aren’t allowed to play the games that you worked on.

The solution that the programmers came up with once they learned of this weakness, was to take the remaining cards and re-randomize them after each card was drawn.

Mike Maguire
Reply to  MJB
April 17, 2023 8:14 am

Great assessment!


With over 108,000 cities in the US, when you multiply that huge number by the minuscule 1 in 1,000 year event probability at any 1 location…….you have the LIKELIHOOD of it happening at numerous locations each year.

If we took a more conservative number like 10,600 observing stations: 


We would still expect several 1 in 1,000 year events in most years for INDIVIDUAL locations.

When you expand the geographical region of the event, you greatly increase the number of events to compare with and it takes an even more extreme event to be a 1 in 1,000 event.

However, the numbers above based on numerous stations make for a very flawed, region expanding comparison when they expand to areas with a completely different climate.
We can’t expand the area to the entire US to compare with because 95% of the US would never have the same extremely favorable tropical/oceanic air mass in place that caused this.

An event like this in Bismark, ND for instance would be more like a 1 in a million event.
Throwing 95% of the country in that has almost no chance of this happening will make it look more unusual than it really was.

April 17, 2023 6:24 am

What a f’ing moron. It is hard to believe people actually believe his bs. Maybe it is an indication that there are more morons out there than I thought possible. Of course I have no data to support that.

Mike Maguire
April 17, 2023 7:42 am

It really boils down to this. Cliff Mass can be counted on as an elite source for using objective, authentic science.


The Golden Rule
 Considering the substantial confusion in the media about this critical issue, let me provide the GOLDEN RULE OF CLIMATE EXTREMES. Here it is:
The more extreme a climate or weather record is, the greater the contribution of natural variability.
Or to put it a different way, the larger or more unusual an extreme, the higher proportion of the extreme is due to natural variability.    

April 17, 2023 8:54 am

As a youth growing up in south-central Kansas in the 1960’s we spent many evenings from April till June outside with walkie talkies listening to the “tornado watchers” on the edge of town. Tornados were constant, emminating from the Colorado “dry line”. Now, living in Wisconsin it appears weather stations are trying to jack the number and frequency of tornados and other “extreme weather” like small creek floods to a high level such that they can announce unprecedented frequency of extreme weather events. What tornados they get (or report) here in Wisconsin would never ever have been considered tornados in Kansas. High winds and some rotation. Maybe EF0’s or less. A couple weeks ago they reports dozens of these on a single day, with almost zero damage done.

Also, I lived through the “New Ice Age” scare of the ’70’s. It’s clear to me – and probably millions more like me – that there’s a shortage of sever weather event to attribute to “climate crisis”, and the weather statisticians are trying to make up for that.

John Oliver
April 17, 2023 9:42 am

He Reminds of those people that sit in casinos observing which slot machine has nt paid out for the longest time. Then play that machine. Oh and parts failure analysis is not analogous to to climatological analysis. We have access and observational and design data on manufactured parts; no such access to same degree of precision with climate.

Gunga Din
April 17, 2023 10:07 am

Mr. Layman here.
I haven’t read all the comments so maybe it’s been covered.
I think it was in the context of flood plains where someone explained that a “1000 year” or a “(fill in the blank) year” flood doesn’t mean it only happens once in that number of years.
It’s a term used by those in the field that understand what it means but is easily misunderstood by the layman.
Sort of like “horsepower” in cars. If a 200 horsepower car can go 0-60mph in 5 seconds, that doesn’t mean that if it was pulled 200 horses it could go 0-60 in 5 seconds or even reach 60mph at all. But, with horsepower, the layman understands. With “(fill in the blank) year” stuff the layman doesn’t.
Seems that Mickey is also a “Mr. Layman here”.

Gary Pearse
April 17, 2023 11:47 am

“When we say this was a Thousand-Year event um means we shouldn’t have witnessed it if we lived for a thousand years.”

OMG! No wonder his “novel” hockeystick statistics was so awful and easy to debunk. He does not understand the nature of probability. There is a probability (albeit small), that its possible to have two or three or more 1000yr events within a decade or two, or to not have another 1000yr event for several thousand years. That there would be one exactly every 1000yrs would have the lowest probability of all!

Stewart Trickett
April 17, 2023 12:02 pm

I get a kick out of news articles that claim that some meterological record was broken, and that this is evidence of climate wierding.

In the U.S. alone, there are tens of thousands of meterological records that could potentially be broken. This means that we EXPECT many records to be broken in any one year. If theree aren’t, it would indeed be wierd.

April 17, 2023 3:37 pm

When we say this was a Thousand-Year event um means we shouldn’t have witnessed it if we lived for a thousand years.”

Sorry, a 1000-year event is defined as occurring 2–3 times a 1000 years. Mann is an idiot. S 10-year flood occurs 2–3 times in 10 years. Duh. Simple that he clearly does not know.

April 17, 2023 9:35 pm

Did anyone ask Mann to produce the thousand years of daily rainfall data for Ft. Lauderdale that supports his claim about thousand-year-events? Shame.

April 17, 2023 9:45 pm

And all of the king’s horses and men wouldn’t put Humpty back together again.

Bryan A
Reply to  ATheoK
April 18, 2023 6:54 am

They might try if there were Subsidies to be mined in the process. They would just never be able to finish…just keep paying those subsidies

April 18, 2023 8:42 am

When we say this was a Thousand-Year event um means …. if we lived 1000y we SHOULD expect to see it.

Mann has totally lost any grasp he ever had of what these numbers actually mean.

Apart from being a lying SOB as well.

Andy Pattullo
April 19, 2023 6:20 am

If Mickey Mannish is speaking, idiocy is raining down.

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