Don’t Be Fooled! Here’s How NOAA Perpetuates A Climate Crisis Rainfall Myth

By Jim Steele

Here is an example of myth making by NOAA’s “Ask a Scientist” about extreme rainfall.

Their myth: “We know that warmer air can hold more moisture, and moisture is a key ingredient to heavy rainfall, so it stands to reason that a warmer environment overall is capable of generating more extreme rainfall.”

Indeed, the first 2 scientific factoids are absolutely true but totally mis-applied; warmer air does hold more moisture and moisture is a key ingredient to heavy rainfall. But it “does not stand to reason” that global warming is causing more extreme rainfall.

Still click-bait media like the Washington Post mindlessly write the headlines like, “Study finds climate change is bringing more intense rains to U.S.” explaining that it is due towarmer air’s ability to hold more water.”  Focusing on global warming is the easiest way to implicate CO2,  and persist with the click-bait climate crisis hoax.

Just because warmer temperatures increase the theoretical maximum of water vapor that the air can hold, extreme rainfall does not correlate with temperatures as data from the US National Weather Service reveals in the table below.

On July 10th, 2023, during each location’s local 3 PM, Death Valley had a temperature of 98°F, the air held 5.92 kg/m2 of water (TPW) but was only 4% of the theoretical maximum.In Shreveport Louisiana,  temperatures were 18°F cooler but held 10 times as much water vapor.

In Montpelier Vermont, temperatures were 21°F cooler but the air held 8 times more water than Death Valley. Clearly the much more important rainfall dynamic is how and where moisture is being transported from the ocean to the land.

The position of high- and low-pressure systems determines where moisture will be transported. The summer high pressure off the coast of California blocks rains from reaching Death Valley, while the high-presssure system in the North Atlantic amplified the heavy rainfall reaching Vermont and causing extensive flooding.

Likewise, how the low-pressure cyclonic system migrated up the coast determined Vermont’s temperature and heavy rainfall. On July 9th, the temperature in Montpelier at 3 PM was 67.1°F, 10 degrees cooler than its July average of 77.1°F. On July 10th during the peak of flooding rainfall, temperatures fell to 63.3°F yet the atmosphere was saturated with water vapor increasing to 42 kg/m2.

As rainfall subsided on July 11th, temperatures rose to 81.1°F,  but the amount of water vapor fell dramatically to 29.26 kg/m2, just half of the local atmosphere’s capacity.

Below the upper screen shot from the US National Weather Service, shows how the atmospheric surface circulation converged to amplify the transport of moisture into Vermont where the topography then wrung out the moisture. The lighter blue regions represent the greatest amount of water vapor.  But such scientific information was rare from click-bait media, that prefers to perpetuate the climate crisis myth!

The lower sceen-shot, show the how the jet stream’s northward flow at 500 mb further added to moisture reaching Vermont.

So the next time the media and alarmist scientists try to convince you a flood was due to global warming go to where an interactive weather map from the US National Weather Service will allow you to see the relationship  between temperature and TPW and how atmospheric circulation concentrates moisture and how it changes over time despite the same CO2 concentrations.

For more information on rainfall and other claims of extreme weather, check out our Claimed Dangers page on Everything Climate

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Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  J Boles
July 20, 2023 6:37 am

“Climate Zealots Advancing Radical Schemes Act”

Awesome title!

Joseph Zorzin
July 20, 2023 6:34 am

“extreme rainfall”

that’s a very, very, very stupid term

why not just say “heavy rain” or “very heavy rain”?

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
July 20, 2023 6:46 am


More Soylent Green!
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
July 20, 2023 8:01 am

Because EXTREME is frightening.

For my money, CLIMATE CHANGE is the dumbest term, ever. The climate has always changed and will always change.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
July 20, 2023 8:13 am

In Bucks county, Pa last weekend they had ~6.5″ in 45 mins causing flash flooding and five deaths (2 children still missing), I’d call that ‘extreme rainfall’.

Jim Steele
Reply to  Phil.
July 20, 2023 8:28 am

That’s interesting Phil. Do you have a link to the date and data? What’s funny i stated “There is an 33%–40% chance of below-normal precipitation during this period. Probability (Percent Chance) of Below-Normal Precipitation.”

Reply to  Jim Steele
July 20, 2023 7:18 pm

Sure there were a series of localized storms in the area that were short lived. The road in question is quite narrow and passes through some wooded hills and a stream runs next to the road in a narrow steep banked valley. Apparently the storm just filled the valley and washed the 11 cars on the road away. Here’s one of the many articles.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Phil.
July 20, 2023 10:05 am

It was struggle to find, whatever it was was very very localised and many nearby stations saw next to nothing.

i.e. A single isolated thunderstorm (embryonic wannabe tornado) that ‘stalled’ and didn’t drift across the countryside as they normally do.
Hence how the wind picked up dramatically but only for the duration of the actual rainfall – it was effectively a tornado.

I found one weather-station, see below – got 85mm (call that = 3½ inches) between 16:30 and 18:00 local time

Explore more from here:

KPANEWTO87 Sat July 15.PNG
Jim Steele
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 20, 2023 10:54 am

Thank you Peta

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 20, 2023 5:20 pm

Those wind speeds barely qualify as what we call a “stiff breeze”.

Reply to  Phil.
July 20, 2023 10:49 am

I way we go with Super Mega Extreme.

No reason to hold back.

Reply to  morton
July 20, 2023 2:09 pm

“On steroids” too.

Gotta get “steroids” in there to make something sound really pumped-up and nasty.

Maybe “MAGA rainfall” as well?

Reply to  Phil.
July 20, 2023 12:43 pm

Any evidence that such rainfall is unusual for the area?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  MarkW
July 20, 2023 5:22 pm

Read about the Jonestown floods.
Johnstown Flood – Wikipedia

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 20, 2023 5:26 pm

“On May 28, 1889, a low-pressure area formed over Nebraska and Kansas. By the time this weather pattern reached western Pennsylvania two days later, it had developed into what would be termed the heaviest rainfall event that had ever been recorded in that part of the U.S. The United States Army Signal Corps estimated that 6 to 10 inches (150 to 250 mm) of rain fell in 24 hours over the region.”
There was of course no radar then, so no way to know what amounts fell in local areas.
But we know that in all such events, there are always some spots that get far more than the average over the entire region.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 21, 2023 6:50 am

I was in a typhoon that dropped 22 inches of rain in 24 hours, to put things in perspective, but like you said, there can be localized areas under a thunderstorm where the rainfall is heavier.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 21, 2023 10:19 am

Yeah, that was in 1889, and in Central PA.
Basically near the beginning of the period where detailed data was being gathered and compiled.
Ian and Irma both went over my house, so I have seen a little rain as well.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 21, 2023 5:52 pm

I showered during the monsoon season at our firebase in Vietnam. Also laid in the water of partially-filled rice paddies while on nighttime ambushes.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Dave Fair
July 21, 2023 7:55 pm

That’s the most rain I’ve ever seen at one time. 🙂

Reply to  MarkW
July 21, 2023 7:36 am

Well in the last 40years I’ve seen some heavy thunderstorms and the occasional hurricane but that much rain in under an hour is exceptional.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Phil.
July 20, 2023 6:21 pm

Does using the term “extreme” communicate as much information as saying one-in-1,000-year event? Or, maximum possible event? If not, why use it? Why not assign numbers instead of using ambiguous terms?

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
July 21, 2023 7:53 am

I don’t think the ‘0ne-in 1,000- year’ communicates much to most people. I did assign numbers, I think most people would feel that ~6″ in under an hour was ‘extreme rainfall’.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
July 21, 2023 10:27 am

A big issue in that part of PA in particular, is that what was large areas of farmland and forests not veery long ago, less than 40 years, was sold off and built up, and proper planning was not done, proper precautions not taken, proper modelling of peak stormflows either not done or gravely in error…
Many such events in places either in or downstream of massive development in recent decades.
It is a big problem, identified quite a while ago in fact.

If a hundred developers each buy a small farmstead in a certain area, and build on it a few dozens homes each, it may be that none are required to do proper flood planning and area drainage infrastructure.
But over a few decades, vast areas are converted from pastures and hayfields to homes, and that farmland may have been used for farming because it is fertile ground on the edge of a floodplain…

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 21, 2023 10:40 am

It is sad when developers take over floodplain and turn into suburbia. Over eons flooding has deposited rich soil that is perfect for farming, row crops, hay/pasture, or just overflow ground. Yet rivers and streams make for “perfect” development, ala Yellowstone.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
July 20, 2023 12:42 pm

It’s like the Democrats relabeling those who disagree with them as extreme right, rather than the far right term they used to use.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  MarkW
July 20, 2023 1:02 pm

Extreme right? I thought that was defined as being to the right of Attila the Hun.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
July 21, 2023 7:00 am

The Left defines anything that does not agree with their leftwing ideology as being extreme.

This should properly be described as projection, where, in this case, the Extreme Leftwing is calling the Right extreme.

In one case they are correct: The Right is extremely opposed to Leftwing ideology. Except for some members of the U.S. Senate, I’m forced to say.

Reply to  MarkW
July 20, 2023 2:15 pm

Yes, while the loony left are described as “progressive”.

Progressively brain damaged would be a more accurate term.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mr.
July 21, 2023 7:10 am

If the Left couldn’t manipulate the language, they would be in big trouble politically.

Unfortunately, the Left has the News Media available to them to parrot their vile ideology around the world. They constantly lie to the American people, and no democracy can survive if the voters are lied to.

Without the lies of the Mass Media, Trump would be president today. I wonder what that reality would have looked like?

Let’s do it again, only this time, even better. I think that’s possible. Trump knows what to do. The rest of the Republican pack, with a few exceptions, do not see the existential threat the radical Democrats pose to our Republic and carry on like the radical Democrats are not trying to undermine the U.S. Constitution. They should wake up, or next term Biden may be enboldened enough to throw *them* in jail. Wouldn’t they feel foolish then.

Wake up! you dumbass RINO’s, or you are going to lose freedom for all of us, including yourselves and your children.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
July 21, 2023 6:51 am

One way to keep people afraid is to keep them confused.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 21, 2023 6:52 am

Well, this comment was meant for Clyde above. Sorry about that.

Jim Gorman
July 20, 2023 6:38 am

The very fact that weather forecasts use “feels like” confirms the fact that water in the atmosphere is an important part of the energy content of the atmosphere.

July 20, 2023 6:58 am

This distinction between relative humidity and “total precipitable water” illustrates one of the fallacies of climate modeling, where modelers assume that relative humidity remains constant if the air is warmed by additional infrared radiation absorbed by additional CO2 in the air.

This assumption of constant relative humidity (with higher absolute humidity at a higher temperature) leads climate modelers to believe that the additional water vapor will absorb more IR radiation, creating a positive feedback from the warming due to additional CO2.

The problem with this argument is that the additional water has to come from somewhere, most likely by evaporation from a body of water such as an ocean or lake. Water has a high heat of vaporization, so the evaporation of additional water will remove heat from the air, creating a NEGATIVE feedback on the CO2 warming.

George Daddis
Reply to  SteveZ56
July 20, 2023 7:52 am

I think we can even make your observations more general.
I’m often asked if I DENY Arrhenius’ experiments and calculations.

I have to explain that Svante was most likely correct; that under laboratory conditions that among other things included a closed system and “all other variables constant” his findings should stand.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  George Daddis
July 20, 2023 5:40 pm

Make of it what you will.
Not saying anything one way or the other…it speaks for itself.

The Shattered Greenhouse:

The Shattered Greenhouse – How Physics Demolishes the ‘Greenhouse Effect'”. (

Tom Abbott
Reply to  George Daddis
July 21, 2023 7:27 am

“I have to explain that Svante was most likely correct; that under laboratory conditions that among other things included a closed system and “all other variables constant” his findings should stand.”

I would agree with that.

But laboratory conditions are not the same as conditions in the atmosphere (I know you know this, George), and nobody has demonstrated what CO2 does in the atmosphere as far as temperatures are concerned.

Alarmist Climate Science only considers postitive feedbacks from water vapor, but there is a possiblity that instead of positive feedbacks, CO2 causes negative feedbacks..

The science is not settled. Nobody knows how CO2 interacts with the Earth’s atmosphere. There is no evidence CO2 is doing anything to the Earth’s weather.

Richard M
Reply to  SteveZ56
July 20, 2023 8:01 am

Exactly. This was pointed out long ago by Dr. William Gray.

“The main problem with the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory is the false treatment of the global hydrologic cycle which is not adequately understood by any of the AGW advocates. The water vapor, cloud, and condensation-evaporation assumptions within the conventional AGW theory and the (GCM) simulations are incorrectly designed to block too much infrared (IR) radiation to space. They also do not reflect-scatter enough short wave (albedo) energy to space. These two misrepresentations result in a large artificial warming that is not realistic.”

We can actually see the drop in water vapor at high altitudes from NOAA data.

Hoyt Clagwell
July 20, 2023 6:59 am

I feel like ‘heavy rainfall’ is the opposite of ‘holds more water’.
Isn’t rainfall caused by the cooling and condensation of water vapor? If heat causes the air to hold more water vapor, and water vapor is by far the dominant greenhouse gas, and greenhouse gases cause more heat, then there should be an infinite feedback loop that would turn the globe into a sauna in no time. Obviously that isn’t happening. Something basic is being left out of the equation.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
July 20, 2023 5:41 pm


Tom Abbott
Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
July 21, 2023 7:31 am

“then there should be an infinite feedback loop that would turn the globe into a sauna in no time. Obviously that isn’t happening. Something basic is being left out of the equation.”

I think that blows the CAGW narrative out of the water. If what the Alarmists say is true, the world should have overheated long ago. It didn’t. It’s obvious. They are wrong about CO2.

David Dibbell
July 20, 2023 7:40 am

Heavy rainfall – let’s say 1 inch per hour – represents about 17,600 W/m^2 conversion of the latent heat of water vapor into the other forms of energy in the atmosphere: internal, potential, and kinetic. ( see for example.)

So the really impressive thing about the atmosphere is not how much water vapor it can “hold.” It is the power with which water vapor can be rejected in the form of precipitation.

There is a ready supply of dry air at altitude to be compressed back to the surface as a dense replacement for the less dense more highly saturated air near the surface.

It’s a steam engine.

Reply to  David Dibbell
July 20, 2023 8:35 am

“Dry air at altitude” is almost always—due to the predominate effect of the decrease of atmospheric pressure as a function of altitude, coupled with the linear dependence of gas density with pressure—much less dense than air (wet or dry) at lower altitudes down to sea-level. Hence, as a result of this inherently-stable gradient, there isn’t a natural mechanism to compress dry air at altitude “back to the surface as a dense replacement for . . .”

David Dibbell
Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 20, 2023 9:40 am

“…there isn’t a natural mechanism to compress dry air at altitude “back to the surface as a dense replacement for . . .””

Sinking air in high pressure and rising air in low pressure is natural, is it not? And in convective weather, the concentrated updrafts naturally make the dried air come back down somewhere. Then there is the concept of a localized strong downdraft in a convective cell, perhaps put into motion mostly by entrainment in the heavy precipitation.

So the existence of overturning circulation at local to regional to global scale is all the result of the atmosphere’s natural response to absorbed and stored energy.

Reply to  David Dibbell
July 20, 2023 10:37 am

Yes, natural convection does move air from higher altitudes to lower altitudes, but outside the local areas of cumulonimbus supercells (aka CN thunderstorms), the process is so slow that the downward moving air essentially equilibrates in temperature and moisture (actually RH) with the upward moving air column it is passing through . . . thus, not being all that distinguishable “back at the surface”.

Then too, there are the large scale atmospheric circulation cells (Hadley cell, Ferrel cell and Polar cell) in each hemisphere which transport rising warm air over great horizontal distances before such air then returns to Earth’s surface.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 20, 2023 6:05 pm

You use a lot of big words, but there are some strange ideas and glaring omissions here.
There are numerous physical mechanisms involved with rainfall, and with air rising and sinking.
But the thing that really caught my attention is the assertion that during convection, descending air passes through and equilibrates with the rising air.
No, it does not.
It acts very much like a lava lamp.
Air of different densities does very little mixing, even at the boundaries.
They stay separate, with almost zero mixing.
They certainly do not pass through each other, ever.
And they do not equilibrate.
Air tends to rise in bubbles, refered to as parcels in the parlance of meteorology. The rising air may tend to form columns under some circumstances.
The reason it is rising is because it has been warmed up enough for parcels to pinch off and rise up into the sky for what is often many thousands of feet. It is far less dense than any air which is descending. As well as less dense than the air it is rising into.
Cumulus clouds would not exist if convecting air mixed, passed through, and/or equilibrated with the air it encounters on it’s ascent.

Fair weather cumulus clouds are at the top of each one of these rising packets of air, formed when air reaches the Lifting Condensation Level, (LCL), IOW when the relative humidity of the air gets up to 100% as the air cools adiabatically due to decompression.

In some circumstances, like light surface winds, and bright Sunshine at a high angle, air may warm so much and so rapidly, that it approaches and then exceed what is called the autoconvective rate (referring to the lapse rate, the amount of temperature change in degrees per unit distance that a parcel is different that air above it.). The result is dramatic.
Drive across Nevada on most any Summer day, and look around at all the dust devils. That is what happens when air reaches the autoconvective lapse rate.

Air parcels at different densities do not mix, they have a surface tension that prevents it.
This is also why frontal boundaries behave as they do, and remain for days on end and over thousands of miles as an often sharp and sudden shift from one air mass to the other. This is true of dry line fronts as well as cold fronts.
Warm fronts have a different dynamic.
But then their is also orographic lifting, which is the mechanism that is responsible for the prodigious amounts of the precip that falls in places like California when atmospheric rivers bring moist air onshore and it is then forced over the mountains.
It descends back down on the other side, wrung out of moisture more effectively than a person can wring a sponge.
Several ranges between the coast, is why a place like Death Valley is so incredibly dry, even when the state is being inundated.
And then there are the compressional winds, like the Santa Ana, which occur when warm high pressure air over the interior, is forced to descend to the coast, and dries out adiabatically, reaching very high temps at the same time that relative humidities are falling to incredibly low values, under 5% in many cases. Way under. As it descends, warms, and dries out, it gets more dense, and this accelerates it.
The result is the blast furnace-like effect that is seen when those winds blow.

No mixing, no equilibration.
Fluids of differing densities simply do not mix much, almost not at all in many cases.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 21, 2023 4:35 am

You have a very good explanation. I had not encountered the surface tension idea before, thank you.

Equilibration connotates an exchange of energy. This would violate the assumption of adiabatic movement. While adiabatic may be an approximation you can’t just wave it away entirely.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jim Gorman
July 21, 2023 11:22 am

Right Jim, no physical process in the real world is truly adiabatic, but the adiabatic case provides a good fit with observations, so it must logically be nearly adiabatic.
And all of this is very well understood for a very long time…it is not guesswork.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 21, 2023 7:19 am

But the thing that really caught my attention is the assertion that during convection, descending air passes through and equilibrates with the rising air.

No, it does not.

It acts very much like a lava lamp.

Air of different densities does very little mixing, even at the boundaries.

They stay separate, with almost zero mixing.

They certainly do not pass through each other, ever.

And they do not equilibrate.

I can only gently suggest that you talk to a sailplane pilot . . . you know, those that ride “thermals” (aka isolated rising columns of warm air going though surrounding areas of descending relatively cool air—as must be the case for local conservation of volume at any given altitude).

Thermals are not permanent . . . they die out at the top (well before reaching the tropopause) when the horizontal thermal gradient between them and the surrounding air approaches equilibrium due to mixing . . . they die out at the bottom when when horizontal convection near the surface eventually cools the temperature of the “bubble” of air a over hotter-than-normal ground spot (e.g., as exists over a large asphalt parking lot on a hot summer day) due to mixing. But the cycle of thermals forming and dissipating over such local areas can repeat.

As for your analogy to a lava lamp, don’t the blobs of relatively warm, less dense semi-solid wax float upward, passing through the surrounding liquid (oil?) and don’t the blobs of relatively cool, more dense semi-solid wax sink downward passing through the surrounding liquid medium?

Lastly, the analogy of atmospheric convection to a lava lamp fails for one very basic reason: there is no mixing of its semi-solid wax material with the surrounding fluid inside the lamp . . . the two are immiscible, therefore, not at all representative of warmer air turbulently mixing with cooler air.

These may appear to be strange words to you, but they are true.

“Fluids of differing densities simply do not mix much, almost not at all in many cases.”

Hmmm . . . one then wonders how cold dairy cream ever dissolves into hot coffee . . . how the cold air exiting an air conditioner is able to cool an entire closed room, all the way to the ceiling . . .

Jim Gorman
Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 21, 2023 8:26 am

Adiabatic does not mean isothermal. I suspect you are describing the fact that air parcels expand as they rise due to decreased pressure and thereby cool. That doesn’t mean they cool by exchanging energy with the surrounding atmosphere thereby equilibrating.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
July 21, 2023 8:48 am

Why are cumulus clouds at a fixed altitude seen to both form and dissipate over timespans of minutes if not for the horizontal mixing of air at different densities (as determined by different air temperatures and/or different relative humidities).

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 21, 2023 10:48 am

They evaporate.

Often one has to use a spoon to make the cream mix.
Are you aware of what thermoclines and haloclines are?

Adiabatic processes are theoretical, and it is well known that in the real world nothing is adiabatic, but it is close enough over certain time scales that the adiabatic case can do a good job of describing what occurs, whether in a diesel engine or in a convecting layer of air on a warm day.

Obviously convection has limits.

IN a lava lamp, of course the two separate fluids do not mix, but the separate bubbles of wax that are at only slightly different temperatures and identical composition, will not mix unless one of a few things happen. One is when a bunch of bubbles is at the top just sitting there. Occasionally two of them next to each other will suddenly join up and form a single larger bubble.
And at the bottom, the descending bubbles join into mass, but note that there is a round loop of metal spring at the bottom to disturb the surface tension and allow the recently descended bubble to join the pool sitting at the bottom. The whole thing will not work nearly as well without that coil to break up the surface tension
. I have a bunch of them on the mantle next to me even as we speak, so I am not guessing or going by memory.
You can watch a dozen lava lamps for hours a day and years on end and never see two passing bubbles pass through each other.
Or join. They only ever do it at the top and bottom.
When you initially talked about “passing through” and “equilibrating”, it seemed like you were claiming that the air parcels literally pass through each other, as opposed to sliding past each other. In the atmosphere, the static air between the ground and the top of the convection, acts like the water in the lamp. It does not mix with rising or descending air parcels or columns.

By the way, I do not get my scientific information by “talking to” hobbyists. Thanks for the gentle suggestion, but if that is how you get your info, it explains a lot.
Besides for a university education in the relevant disciplines, I have spent a lifetime previous and subsequently as a keen observer and an insatiable reader.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 21, 2023 10:49 am

You do realize that H2O absorbs a lot of the sun’s radiation at near IR frequencies, right? Water vapor that has turned into liquid state can be returned to vapor from near IR, i.e., clouds burning off.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 21, 2023 11:55 am

“Why are cumulus clouds at a fixed altitude seen to both form and dissipate over timespans of minutes…?”

Regardless of how fast it happens, cumulus are transient clouds, they form and dissipate over and over again.
It is very clear exactly what is occurring: Clouds form when rising parcels reach the dew point of the rising air, and water vapor condenses into a cloud.
This release the latent heat of condensation…the massive amount of energy it takes to evaporate water. It gets released when the clouds forms.
Also, it is easy to understand that the air the parcels are rising into is drier and cooler than the rising air. If it was not cooler, the parcel would lose buoyancy and stop rising. In fact, how fast the atmosphere cools with height is central to weather forecasting, and is called the environmental lapse rate, “ELR”.

So the air that is already sitting at the LCL, the cloud base height, is obvious drier, because it is not condensing, right? There are no clouds except for where the LCL intersects the rising parcels.
So a puffy cloud forms with dry air surrounding it.
The same thing happens as when you open the bathroom door after a steamy shower…the condensation evaporates, and is once again invisible water vapor.

So the LCL is not fixed, because by afternoon, a lot of moisture has condensed at the LCL and then evaporated, and a lot of latent heat has been released.

In Florida this time of year, you can see the results very clearly.

But sometimes there are no clouds. Does this mean no convection?
No, not at all…it just means convective activity is not sufficient to lift air to the LCL. The air at the surface may be too dry, or the LCL too high. Also, fair weather typically indicates a dome of high pressure is present, and in such airmasses, the air is descending. If it is a really strong dome, this tends to suppress cloud formation.

The short answer is…the clouds evaporate.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 21, 2023 11:25 am

“These may appear to be strange words to you, but they are true.”

Mostly not, although not every word you say is wrong, it is a mishmash of accurate info and complete made up BS.
Like commonly occurs when someone without a rigorous understanding of a well-defined subject starts pontificating about what is what regarding something scientific.
The thing is, this is a science site, as we all know, so it is really best to keep authoritative assertions of scientific phenomena, very accurate.

Sounds like you need a few primers, not just meteorology 101 basic outline.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 21, 2023 12:16 pm

“””””Hmmm . . . one then wonders how cold dairy cream ever dissolves into hot coffee . . . how the cold air exiting an air conditioner is able to cool an entire closed room, all the way to the ceiling . . .”””””

Dude, you are talking about totally different processes. Do the terms liquid and gas mean anything to you?

Air conditioners have fans mixing the air. It pulls in air that is warm, and exhales cool air under pressure. Heat transfer inside is via conduction, not convection

Reply to  Jim Gorman
July 22, 2023 7:41 am

“Dude, you are talking about totally different processes. Do the terms liquid and gas mean anything to you?”

McGinley’s bottom line, direct statement in his post of July 20, 2023 6:05 pm was:
“Fluids of differing densities simply do not mix much, almost not at all in many cases.”

So, Dude, don’t you know that liquids and gases are both considered to be fluids? Apparently not.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 22, 2023 8:47 am

Your point is inane. Yes, they both have some similarities, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t differences too. For example, liquid water is near incompressible so diffusion is predominates. Surface tension of H2O is a significant variable. Gases more or less follow the ideal gas law where pressure and other variables are a major factors.

Ask yourself why bubbles form in water nearing boiling. Why don’t the bubbles quickly dissipate?

Reply to  Jim Gorman
July 22, 2023 9:47 am

“For example, liquid water is near incompressible so diffusion is predominates.”

Oh, please.

It is obviously senseless to continue this discourse.

Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 22, 2023 9:52 am

“Ask yourself why bubbles form in water nearing boiling. Why don’t the bubbles quickly dissipate?”

In the nucleate boiling regime for water, (steam) bubbles disappear (“dissipate”) as rapidly as they form.

Op. cit. as to conclusion.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 21, 2023 12:30 pm

“…one then wonders how cold dairy cream ever dissolves into hot coffee…?”

Many of us use a spoon, or it takes a lot longer. Also, they are poured together.
Note that I am careful to say, “…in many cases…”?

This is because I am speaking of particular circumstances.
I am perfectly aware that things can be mixed. I got a chemistry degree four decades ago.

But you seem unaware that there are situations where fluids adjacent to each other do not seem to mix, even when it seem simple diffusion ought to eventually dominate.

Have you ever seen the lakes at the bottom of the ocean?
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Or the haloclines inside of some cenote caves?
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You need to see the video, or go there…pictures do not do it justice.

Of the brinicles that form when sea water is freezing?

Or a carefully poured mocha cappuccino machadiado ripofficuscomment image

BTW, get a ceiling fan, save a ton of money, the air is not mixing as much as you think, especially when a room is heated.
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There are pycnoclines that are more or less permanent, both haloclines and thermoclines, among others.
Things will mix, and diffusion and osmosis are of course real things, but so is surface tension. So is stratification. So is laminar flow.

Rising air reaches a level where it is no longer buoyant, then stops rising. This does not mean that air will stay together as a parcel. But it does not mean it cannot either.
Lot’s of things are going on.
Other things, not so much.

Reply to  David Dibbell
July 20, 2023 8:40 am

Thanks for the link. I read the attached report abstract and found this:

The global mass adjusted energy budget residual is 8 Wm-2 with a spatial standard deviation of 11 Wm-2

If I’m understanding this correctly, a model with perhaps a 1-month outlook can’t get the energy balance within 8 Wm-2. The ECMWF is a good model, and the time span is at least an order of magnitude smaller than climate models. An 8 Wm-2 residual is a big number.

George Daddis
July 20, 2023 7:46 am

With faulty (deceptive) logic like that, as Willis often said “Be sure to keep your eye on the pea”.

July 20, 2023 7:49 am

From the top of the above article:
Their myth: ‘We know that warmer air can hold more moisture, and moisture is a key ingredient to heavy rainfall, so it stands to reason that . . .”

Those two facts mentioned are necessary by insufficient conditions for assuming heavy rainfall will result.

Beyond the critical factor of horizontal transport of moist air masses as discussed in the above article, three other conditions are required for any rainfall to occur within Earth’s atmosphere:
(1) a source of cloud condensation nuclei,
(2) cooling of moist air to, or below, its dew point, which is a function of its relative humidity at any given higher temperature, and
(3) individual condensed micro-droplets of water must increase in mass, via time and/or agglomeration with other micro-droplets, to the point that normal atmospheric convection can no longer keep them suspended against gravity.

Without the cooling of moist air to or below its dew point, water droplets simply don’t form and rainfall is impossible. Such cooling of air occurs naturally from vertical convection in open air, from movement of weather fronts, and from orographic lift of horizontally-moving air masses.

Similarly, without sufficient micro-droplet agglomeration rainfall is impossible . . . witness the various types of clouds (only made visible by condensed microdroplets of liquid water) such as stratus, cumulus, and nimbus—even ground fog— that can be observed without any rainfall.

Bottom line: Yes, moisture is a necessary ingredient to form clouds, but moisture alone does not mean that clouds will form, let alone that there will be rainfall from any given moist air mass.

Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 22, 2023 7:49 am

Ouch . . . typo in second paragraph of above post . . . should read “. . . necessary but insufficient . . .”

July 20, 2023 8:01 am

The rain was along a cold front and the temperature drop is what is necessary.

Journalists and NOAA are not telling the whole story if they fail to note this need.

Dan Hughes
July 20, 2023 8:02 am

This issue has been used by Climate Science(tm) to denigrate skeptics with the approach that skeptics are “denying” one the foundational Laws of Physics. However, as stated in the Post, the statement refers to the potential for air at higher temperatures to contain more water vapor compared with air at lower temperature.

Evidence of existence of potential is not evidence of existence of outcome, was never more correct than with respect to this potential.

Even more importantly, the mathematical descriptions of all aspect of the potential for rainfall in GCMs are based solely on crude, rough parameterizations that attempt to approximate the physical domain physical phenomena and processes. Every single one. Clouds, for example, and the conditions under which condensation in the high atmosphere will occur.

Equally important is the fact that this is a case for which the actual temperature level is critically important. GCM estimates for the actual temperature level are all over the map. And it is important at the local scale and throughout the atmosphere, not the Global Average Surface Temperature.

A pretty good summary from 2020 is here:

The “weather” produced by GCMs does not in any way compare with weather in the physical domain. GCMs do not produce realistic daily weather data. GCM weather is dominated by the apparently chaotic trajectories associated with the continuous equations, and especially, the discrete approximations to the continuous equations.

Some regional emperature or precipitation biases: 

C-C thermodynamics is yet additional Bumper Sticker Climate Science(tm)

July 20, 2023 8:27 am

More clouds, more rain. Hm. I’m going to own this one, I like it. The Sahara blooming once again, the end of drought globally. It’s a lot easier to control rainfall than it is to create it.

July 20, 2023 9:30 am

Observed & recorded weather effects varying so much from place to place all around the world confirms that Earth has thousands of unique climates, all constantly doing their own things, driven by very localised geographic and meteorological influences.

The notion of a “global climate” is nonsense.

Curious George
July 20, 2023 10:40 am

I hope that WUWT does not continue publishing unsigned posts. I wonder if the Relative Humidity data are the observed data, or if they are somehow derived from the Total Precipitable Water. The relationship is not straightforward if it exists at all, as the TPW is composed of many elevations, temperatures, and local Relative Humidities.

Jim Steele
Reply to  Curious George
July 20, 2023 11:01 am

This post was from ,me, Jim Steele. Not sure why that was not included here.

The data presented in the table came from the US National Weather Service at

The numbers all come from the surface layer. The TPW amount is the total that’s integrated vertically, but relative humidity will change depending on what elevation layer is examined.

Curious George
Reply to  Jim Steele
July 20, 2023 11:26 am

Jim, thank you. I don’t know how to get historical data from

Jim Steele
Reply to  Curious George
July 20, 2023 12:26 pm

Hey Curious, has data going back to 2013. Click the “EARTH” link in bottom left and a menu appears. A row about halfway down titled CONTROL provides some options. Click on the empty square with two knobs and then you can choose year, month and day. The time in hours is displayed in the uper 2nd row and can be adjusted by the arrows .

On the map click on the location of interest. For floods in Montpelier Vermont I clicked on the area closest to 44°15′34″N 72°34′33″W The smaller box in the upper left will display the exact coordinates you have chosen. It also displays the wind speed if you chose to animate the wind (or currents)

From the HEIGHT row Choose the defined altitude layers from the surface to stratopsphere.

Then from the OVERLAY ROWS choose TeMPERATURE, or TPW, or RH etc and the exact data for that place and time will be displayed.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Jim Steele
July 20, 2023 12:21 pm

Thanks Jim.
My comment below was unnecessary.

Jeff Alberts
July 20, 2023 11:03 am

I was in the Mojave (Fort Irwin) in August 1983 for 30 days of desert training.

98 was about the max temp we got during that time. And, it rained like a mo-fo. We were told it rained more in that 30 days than the last 10 years combined. We had to watch out for flash floods quite often.

Jim Steele
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
July 20, 2023 12:28 pm

Indeed, the summer monsoon rains that come in from the east originating from Gulf can cause flash floods that have caught a few campers by surprise!

Mr Ed
July 20, 2023 11:29 am

This brings to mind the Lake Michigan high water level back in 2019 and the amount
of moisture flowing up the Mississippi river region out of the gulf. All from a high
pressure blocking system off the east coast of Florida, the “Bermuda High” . Massive
crop damage & flooding through out entire midwest. Not the first time nor likely the last,
some claim it was tied to Solar Cycle change. California got one of those this winter that
rivaled the first known one from the 1860’s. Circulations seem to be more of a factor
than CO2, given the CO2 levels back in the 1860’s..The agency guys seem to have
drank the cool-aid and are totally woke.

John Hultquist
July 20, 2023 12:11 pm

Just guessing, but that chart shows a lot of water in a square meter of air. {cubic ?}
Here is a relevant relationship: 10-3 kg/m3 = g/m3
Most such charts use one of these metrics.
The above chart uses Kg/m2
Even assuming that 2 should be a 3, 55.38 Kg (122 pounds) seems enough to stagger a person that experienced that amount of water in a few minutes.

John Hultquist
Reply to  John Hultquist
July 20, 2023 12:16 pm

Maybe the number is meant for the entire air column from ground level to the top of the air mass. At Shreveport, LA that could be 40,000 feet.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  John Hultquist
July 21, 2023 12:40 am

John H is exactly correct.
When looking down from space, as in the null school images of the surface, it is adding together all the moisture in all layers that has the potential to precipitate.
It is not showing the actual volume of water in any particular cubic foot of water.
So it is in units of volume of water per unit of area. You can switch between the units displayed.
I just wish one of the choices was inches of water per unit of area.
But this is one great thing about the metric system, ASI: It is easy to convert units of mass of water into cm of water.

That is why I like to also use the GOES data that uses different wavelengths, showing an approximation of what is going on in different sectors of the atmosphere, in conjunction with nullschool imagery.
Bands #10, 9, and 8, are the lower, middle, and upper levels water vapor imagery.
It is not perfect, and may in some cases not even be very good at what is seems like it says it is, but…it is what it is.
BTW, there is also band 11, cloud tops, and band 16, CO2 longwave IR.
You can only look at still pictures and loops of past conditions, it does not have a predictive function like nullschool does.
I love the 40 hour animation loops:
GOES-West Full Disk – Band 10 – NOAA / NESDIS / STAR
Plus it is flat imagery, not that super cool and fancy orthographic view you can get on nullschool, where it arranges it into a globe that you can drag around and zoom in on very readily.

July 20, 2023 12:37 pm

Good points.

Of course, the warmunists also speak out of the other sides of their mouths (or asses as the case may be) claiming that warming causes more drought, i.e., less rainfall. So it’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t, or, “Heads I win, tails you lose!”

But really, NOAA scientists should be extremely familiar with what causes precipitation, which is not greater moisture content in the air, but rather, a combination of several things all of which are necessary:

1) The temperature of the air must DROP (not increase) to the dew point, or very close to it. Warming air delays precipitation

2) Some mechanism that causes the temperature to drop to the dewpoint, being any of several:

a) moist air flowing over higher terrain, causing the air mass to rise and due to the lapse rate (rate of temperature decrease with elevation increase) cools the air to the dew point

b) ground heating (not air mass heating) that warms the air nearest the ground (typically during daytime with lots of sunshine), creating instability in the air mass, causing the air mass to be less dense and rise until the lapse rate causes the air temperature to DECLINE to the dew point. That’s how thunderstorms often form.

c) passage of a frontal system, either cold front or warm front, that causes instability in the atmosphere, a rising air mass which then due to the lapse rate COOLS to the dewpoint. The most severe thunderstorms accompany COLD FRONTS, not warm fronts, because the air mass being overtaken by a denser cold front rises very steeply, which is why cold fronts are always preceded by up to several hundred miles lines of severe thunderstorms … while warm fronts create stratus clouds, not thunderstorms, that tend to produce steady light rains over wide areas, not intense rains over small areas.

While the absolute density of water vapor and air can theoretically support higher levels of precipitation, what causes precipitation to be very heavy is what I describe above. Rapidly rising air that cools rapidly always causes the heaviest – i.e. “extreme” – rainfall.

That is how mountain ranges that are far inland from the seas, and downwind of dry as dirt (literally) deserts can still experience extreme precipitation events … such as in the Colorado Rockies. It is the rising terrain, combined with frontal systems.

Every meteorologist, and every person engaged professionally in weather-dependent activities like aircraft pilots, sailors, and farmers, know this stuff far better than do the so-called “experts” at NOAA.

July 20, 2023 12:40 pm

Warmer air can hold more water.
Unless something causes the warmer air to cool, it will continue to hold all of that extra water.

July 20, 2023 1:35 pm

Hat tip to commenter John Hultquist, the only one who saw the errors in the article. The water content of air is messured in kg per cubic meter – not per square meter. Water content in kg/m2 is meaningless, so I assume it’s a typo and not utter ignorance of physics on NOAA’s part (but these days you never know!)
Also missing from the discussion is the fact that water content in air is not only a function of temperature but also a function of pressure. Comparing water content based on temp alone without noting the pressure is also meaningless and the cause of the confusing comparisons in the article.

Jim Steele
Reply to  CoolEngineer
July 20, 2023 2:06 pm

Not so CoolEngineer, You are wrong!,

Total precipitable water (TPW) in the atmosphere is the amount of water that can be obtained from the surface to the “top” of the atmosphere if all of the water and water vapor were condensed to a liquid phase.

Since the ‘top” of the atmosphere varies with latitude, TPW is ALWAYS measured kg/m2, presenting how much water is available above a meter square of surface when total water vapor is integrated over the entire altitude.

Also very curious, why do you attack this article? and not the media fear-mongering. Indeed “water content in air is not only a function of temperature” which is all that this article was presenting so to contrast the alarmists(you) who argue warming causes more extreme rainfall. 

Writing Observer
Reply to  Jim Steele
July 20, 2023 7:09 pm

Also very dependent on WHERE the water mass is. Right now where I am is temperature 108F, dew point 41F, RH 11%. Directly above me is clear sky – so the water is NOT where it can condense. A few miles south, the numbers are 82F/52F/35% – and it’s raining cats and dogs.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Writing Observer
July 21, 2023 2:19 am

35% RH?
Are any of those cats and dogs actually reaching the ground?

Kieran O'Driscoll
Reply to  Jim Steele
July 22, 2023 12:57 am

Thanks for the clarification of the units used… For us lay people not being familiar with this issue made the article confusing though I guessed that this was the case because the quantity of water per cubic meter would be ridiculous… also the initialism TPW was not defined in the article… The first use of an Acronyms or initialisms should be defined…

Bruce Cobb
July 20, 2023 2:25 pm

The Climate Liars at NOAA and elsewhere, if they ever did care about the truth stopped caring. All that matters now is whatever favors the Climate Agenda.

July 20, 2023 3:55 pm

Very nice.

R L Moore
July 20, 2023 4:38 pm

point one. It generally accepted that the world has warmed over the last hundred years or so. If the thesis that warming temperatures result in more extreme climatic events such as rainfall and extreme weather events then such events would be demonstrable in the climate record. Appears they are not increasing and probably decreasing!
Thesis busted!
Point two..Winter and summer temperatures vary greatly thus the water carrying capacity of the atmosphere will also vary accordingly. The change in temperatures is orders of magnitude greater (approx one hundredth of degree per year vs ,say 10 degree per year) than the averaged annual increase in World temperatures but we all can observe that these normal seasonal changes don’t cause climate extremes.
Demonstrably just because a warmer atmosphere can theoretically carry more water doesn’t mean much in the “real World” and certainly can’t and doesn’t contribute to extreme weather any more than it currently does.
Clearly there is no climate emergency due to minute changes to theoretical water carrying capacity of the atmosphere.
The NOAA is certainly perpetuating a myth.

July 20, 2023 6:10 pm

While no increase in ”extreme” rainfall events has been observed………..

Regarding the intensity of extreme daily precipitation events, Papalexiou and Montanari [34] analysed the extreme precipitation events over 1964—2013 on a total of 8730 stations. The analysis shows an increase in intensity in 12.9% (between 11.7 and 13.9%) of stations globally and a drop in 9.8% (between 9 and 11.4%), while 77.3% of stations do not show significant trends.

These data substantially confirm those presented by Westra et al. [35], who analysed trends in global one-day maximum annual precipitation for the period 1900 to 2009 (110 years in all). The work, related to a total of 8326 ground stations that the researchers considered to be of “high quality”, led to the conclusion that about 2% of the stations show a decrease in extreme rainfall, 8% an increase and 90% has no trend.

…….the real question is whether there has been an increase in precipitation globally because rain is transported away evaporation sites. If the graph below is correct, it seems there has been. I leave it to the experts to interpret….but to me I see nothing but a net benefit and of course no evidence that human co2 is causing any of it.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mike
July 21, 2023 1:40 am

It may be because the GAST has not changed very much over time.
It is fractions of a degree per decade.
And there are many periods of time in the UHA time series, which are below the long term averages.

Plus, and these are important:

If the upper levels of the troposphere warms, it decreases the lapse rate, making it harder (less likely) for air to ascend to the LCL.If you warm the polar regions, the source region for many cold fronts, then those cold fronts will have less of a temperature contrast with the air the front is running into and lifting.The dew point of the air, is a measure of the absolute humidity. If air x is warmer than air y, but the dew point of air x and air y is the same, IOW if evaporation has not put more water into the air, then the relative humidity will actually be LOWER, not higher. Water in gas form (vapor) must convert back to water in the liquid or solid form (droplets, ice crystals, etc) before it can fall out of the sky and reach the ground, so lower RH makes it harder, not easier, for precip to occur. As Jim Steele says, it is complicated…far more intricate than the jackass sophistry described in the article, of the crap warmistas spew. The atmosphere being on average slightly warmer does increase the capacity of the atmosphere to hold water in vapor form, but that does not say anything about how much water vapor is actually entering the atmosphere, one way or the other. Unless the output of the Sun increases, there will be the exact same amount of energy incoming to evaporate water. If evaporation increases due to warmer air increasing the RATE of evaporation (we should actually probably be speaking of evapotranspiration, but…), but the amount of energy impinging upon the Earth stays the same, then that will cool the planet. It takes prodigious amounts of energy to evaporate water, compared to the amount of energy it takes to warm air. Several orders of magnitude more. Furthermore, all of that energy which is held in the water vapor as latent heat, which it acquired at the surface, will be released at altitude when the water condenses again. In most cases, it will actually return to the condensed phase as ice crystals, meaning there will be two phase changes, thus releasing even more huge amounts of energy into the upper parts of the air column. By the time these ice crystals fall out of the cloud and to the ground, they will have warmed and melted, thus absorbing still more energy, and this third time it will be absorbed at a much lower level than where it released all that latent heat. Most of the rain that falls on Earth starts out condensing as ice crystal, and all precip from thunderstorms does so. What this adds uo to is increased rates and amounts of energy transferred from the surface to aloft, where it can be more readily lost to space.
If I buy a larger wallet, it does not put any additional money in my pocket.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 21, 2023 12:59 pm

I took the time to make most of that into bullet points, but it undid that formatting when it posted. I wonder why?
Now it is hard to read.
I should have just left a space between sentences, like usual.
Oh, well, sorry.

Kevin Kilty
July 20, 2023 7:40 pm

I often complain about this also but in a slightly different way. The myth “That warm air is capable of holding more water vapor thus it stands to reason that…” is the simple expression of an equilibrium relationship — the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship. But precipitation, the process of evaporation someplace, moving the water vapor elsewhere and causing it to change state and fall to Earth, is not an equilibrium concept. It’s a transport phenomenon which is a good deal more complex as Jim Steele shows.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Kevin Kilty
July 21, 2023 1:57 am

And a lot of that transport is a net transfer of massive amounts of energy from the ocean surface to many miles up into the air…IOW, much closer to space, and much more readily lost to the cold of space.
This is of course the central reality of having a water covered planet, and the moderating effect it inevitably has on the temperature range of the atmosphere.
Anything that causes the surface to warm, puts more moisture into the air, which translates into more energy being transported to space.

Rain is important. Living things like, want, and need rain. Just as living things like, want, and need warmth.

Hot and wet = Bursting with life

Cold and dry = Pretty much devoid of life

I strongly suspect that a warmer planet has more even distribution of precipitation, not less so. And more moisture in the air definitely moderates temperature variations and does so bigly. The situation warmistas describe seems to indicate they are imagining a situation where it is suddenly hotter and with tons more moisture.
But it does not work like that. As evaporation increases, that moisture is immediately and continuously transporting thermal energy around the globe and to altitude, and it is immediately available to precipitate.

There is nothing about such a situation that suggests moisture will have more of a tendency to stay in the air and rain out all at once over some limited range of land areas.

Robert B
July 22, 2023 2:59 am

A simpler explanation.

Water is evaporating from the oceans well below 100% relative humidity. How much water the air holds is a rubbish description of what is the concentration of water vapour in the air at 100% relative humidity. Irrelevant, to a large degree, when it comes to how much water gets evaporated from oceans into the atmosphere.

You get rainfall when the temperature cools so that the concentration of water in the air equates to 100% relative humidity, and needs to continue to cool so that more water condenses at 100% humidity. Now how much water the air holds is important because it will not condense into rain drops if it can remain as water vapour. If it cools 1 degree less than it would have 50 years ago because of climate change, there is less rain.

This is a too simple a description of the atmosphere to make any sort of prediction, or explain a flood or a drought, but at least it ain’t as stupid as what we get fed by the media.

On top of that, 10% more rain does not equate to a 10% bigger flood. A steep V-shaped valley will get less than 5% greater height because the cross section is proportional to the height squared. Shallower valleys will drain faster with height so 10% more rain is more likely to only lead to 2-3% increase in height. So in the case of a 30 foot flood, only one foot extra was due to climate change, if you had any good reason to claim it caused 10% more rain.

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