Skip to content

Explaining The Extreme Weather Events That Did Not Happen

March 17, 2016

By Paul Homewood 






Unable to persuade the public that a slightly warmer world is a bad thing, the climate establishment has turned to peddling the myth that global warming is leading to more extreme weather.

There have been a number of studies which have attempted to connect the two. Even then, as I showed with the above AMS attempt a few months ago, most extreme events cannot be linked, and those that are claimed to be are extremely tenuous.

Of course, weather is an impossibly complex affair, and it is inevitable that some weather events may be made more likely or more intense in a warmer world. But, equally, the opposite is also true – that some events are less likely. Naturally, we never hear the absence of extreme weather analysed in this way by the likes of the AMS or Met Office.

So, I invite them to have a go at these examples:




US land falling hurricanes have been at record low levels in recent years, and it is now more than ten years since a major hurricane hit.








There has been a long term decline in both the number of tornadoes, and particularly, the frequency of stronger ones.







Droughts were much more commonplace, prolonged and severe prior to the 1970s.




Summer Heatwaves

There has been a marked absence of extreme heatwaves in recent years, and nothing approaches the run of intensely hot summers in the 1930s.




Bitter Winters

According to NOAA’s albeit highly adjusted data, extremely cold winters are a thing of the past in the US.







As with drought indicators, US rainfall has tended to be greater since the pre 1970 period.

There is no indication, however, of precipitation becoming more extreme since then. The wettest year was 1973.





Regional Precipitation Extremes

National totals can, of course, cover up regional imbalances.The NOAA chart below shows the balance of extremely wet and dry areas. As with PDSI, very dry areas are much less common, while the area of very wet weather is stable.

(NOAA’s graph is not well presented; although it says “December”, it is in fact for all months since 1895. Each bar represents a single month)



  1. March 17, 2016 6:48 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism.

  2. March 17, 2016 6:55 pm

    Ant moderately well informed fluids physicist knows perfectly well that more energy in a system makes it more chaotic. Steep little rivers are turbulent, deep fairly level ones smooth.
    Of course, it is energy per unit mass or volume that matters. Roman engineers building aqueous viaducts knew it.
    Tropical storms (hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones) are all instances of violent turbulence, and warmer water supplies them with more energy with which to wreak destruction, either with more instances, or more violent individual ones. See Kerry Emanuel’s work.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      March 17, 2016 7:26 pm

      No it does not work like that, I know it is supposed to according to Climate Physics, but it is not the overall energy in the system that causes Chaotic Weather, it is the temperature Differential between the Poles & the Equator. The warmer the world gets overall the less differential exists.
      Which is why Tornadoes, Hurricanes & Typhoons are of less power and less often, not of greater power and more often now than they were in the past.
      Unless of course you actually believe all the Hyped up Strongest, Biggest ever Hurricanes/Typhoon data that comes out of the Satellite values, which is not backed up by the old land based systems.
      History shows that the theory is wrong.

      Did you not even bother to look at Pauls Graphs?

      • johnmarshall permalink
        March 18, 2016 11:09 am

        I agree ACO, but remember that into the mix is the ENSO, PDO, AMO cycles that increase the chaotic processes. All are solar driven.

    • dennisambler permalink
      March 18, 2016 10:21 am

      Check out Kerry Emanuel

  3. A C Osborn permalink
    March 17, 2016 7:16 pm

    Paul, it is interesting that Bitter Winters shows a decline, when over the last 3 or 4 years more all time Cold Records were broken than at any other time.
    I suppose you used the “Quality adjusted” NOAA data?

    • March 17, 2016 8:18 pm

      Yes, or in other words, the ONLY data that NOAA publish!

      • bjc70 permalink
        March 17, 2016 11:43 pm

        As the old ad said – For when only the best will do !

  4. tom0mason permalink
    March 17, 2016 7:27 pm

    Indeed and that is why such oversimplified causality explanations of chaotic climate events make no sense what so ever, especially when based on very short term observations of dubious veracity.

    Simple chaos explained here is complex enough when all initial conditions are known. How more erratic does the pattern become when, as with climate, there are so many more parameters, more degrees of freedom and the initial conditions are not known.

  5. Broadlands permalink
    March 17, 2016 7:36 pm

    A large part of the problem stems from the fact that earlier events are ignored or data are modified by algorithm “adjustments”. Take California for example…

    California…1898 is the third driest year on record (1895-2015)… And before 1895?

    “The drought of 1898 was, if possible, more devastating in its effects than previous droughts except that of 1862-1864. The southern half of the state was most severely affected, grasses drying as early as March so that cattlemen were in search of northern ranges early in the year. Lacking grazing facilities or the ability to transfer their herds long distances to better pastures, cattle producers found their stock dying in droves before the end of the summer. Even in the usually humid Pajaro Valley in Monterey County cattlemen resorted to the felling of trees in order to obtain the moss and browse from their branches, Tulare Lake, which had been the succor of thousands of cattle during the drought of 1862-1865, went dry during the summer of 1898.”


    Then look at some “improvements” that have been made to the state of Arizona during NOAA’s database transitions. From 2009 through 2012 the warmest year on record in Arizona was back in 1896. But, in 2014, 1896 was moved down to 37th warmest. The average annual temperature was adjusted down from 63.9°F to 62.3°F…a lowering of 1.6°F!

    And, Hurricane Sandy? It has been a “poster-child” for extreme weather, yet few have bothered to even mention, much less compare, the 1938 hurricane, the so-called Long Island Express, which decimated the very same area…74 years earlier.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      March 17, 2016 7:43 pm

      That would of course be “Tropicla Storm” Sandy by the time of landfall.

      • A C Osborn permalink
        March 17, 2016 7:46 pm

        I think you have forgotten the really old droughts, weren’t they 300 Year Droughts?
        Of course the rest of the world was not much interested in the USA that far back.

      • Broadlands permalink
        March 17, 2016 8:37 pm

        Wikipedia, at least has recognized it…

        “Hurricane Sandy not the first to hit New York: A 1938 storm ‘The Long Island Express’ pounded the Eastern Seaboard. The storm formed near the coast of Africa in September of the 1938 hurricane season, becoming a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane scale before making landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on Long Island on September 21.
        Long Island was struck first, before New England, Vermont, New Hampshire and Quebec, earning the storm the nickname the ‘Long Island Express’. The winds reached up to 150 mph and had waves surging to around 25–35 feet high.[The destruction was immense and took a while to rebuild. The western side of the hurricane caused sustained tropical storm-force winds, high waves, and storm surge along much of the New Jersey coast. In Atlantic City the surge destroyed much of the boardwalk. Additionally, the surge inundated several coastal communities; Wildwood was under 3 feet (0.91 m) of water at the height of the storm. The maximum recorded wind gust was 70 m.p.h. at Sandy Hook.”

      • March 18, 2016 4:51 pm

        Broadlands: 70 mph is not hurricane winds no matter how Wiki labels it. Hurricane force is 74 or more. That would be Cat 1. There are winds of 70 mph in many places throughout the US. Adding the rain and flooding does increase the damage. Sandy was a tropical storm by metereological standards, even if the news and Wiki don’t like it.

  6. March 17, 2016 8:42 pm

    There must be an extreme absence of hurricanes – call Al Gore, Obama and their climate crazed cronies now 😉

  7. Broadlands permalink
    March 17, 2016 8:45 pm

    Deja vu?

    The Met Office… March 25, 2012…
    “What’s Causing All the Warm Weather?”

    And in March 1938?

    Reading through Charles Lindbergh’s Wartime Journals, 1970, pages 11-12, he wrote this just outside London on Sunday April 3rd, 1938, Almost 78 years ago…

    “Wonderful weather since we landed last month. Was beginning to become enthusiastic about the weather in England until Anne read in the morning’s Observer that it was the warmest March for 150 years.”

  8. March 17, 2016 9:59 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.

  9. Reasonable Skeptic permalink
    March 17, 2016 11:58 pm

    What was Obama’s tweet again?

    Obama or Data?

    • March 18, 2016 11:04 pm

      Considering the 97% is a made up number, I think I’ll go with data, assuming we can find some that is not made up.

  10. March 18, 2016 10:23 am

    Reblogged this on Wolsten.

  11. dennisambler permalink
    March 18, 2016 10:33 am

    For some more on extreme weather in history, check out “Extreme Weather, Extreme Claims”,


    Dutch records show that the year 1540 was one with an even hotter summer than the heat wave year of 2003. “This Europe-wide heat wave lasted for seven months, harvests were destroyed and thousands of cattle died, leading to wide spread famine and death.

    “This Europe-wide heat wave lasted for seven months, harvests were destroyed and thousands of cattle died, leading to wide spread famine and death. The Rhine dried up and it was reported that people could walk upon the Seine riverbed in Paris without getting their feet wet.”

    “A new study of tree rings provides the most detailed record yet of at least four epic droughts that have shaken Asia over the last thousand years, from one that may have helped bring down China’s Ming Dynasty in 1644, to another that caused tens of millions of people to starve to death in the late 1870s.”

  12. Svend Ferdinandsen permalink
    March 18, 2016 6:54 pm

    Naturally, we never hear the absence of extreme weather analysed in this way by the likes of the AMS or Met Office.

    This is a real bias in the reporting. Pleasant weather should also be caused by CO2 like all other types of weather is said to be, but we never hear of that.

  13. Agent76 permalink
    March 18, 2016 7:50 pm

    Dec 8, 2015 Climate Change is Unfaslifiable Woo-Woo Pseudoscience

    Karl Popper famously said, “A theory that explains everything explains nothing.” So what do you make of the theory that catastrophic manmade CO2-driven “climate change” can account for harsher winters and lighter winters, more snow and less snow, droughts and floods, more hurricanes and less hurricanes, more rain and less rain, more malaria and less malaria, saltier seas and less salty seas, Antarctica ice melting and Antarctic ice gaining and dozens of other contradictions? Popper gave a name to “theories” like this: pseudoscience.

  14. Derek permalink
    March 18, 2016 7:54 pm

    This is an excellent post and much needed to counter all the hype.

  15. RAH permalink
    March 18, 2016 9:44 pm

    When evaluating tornado incidence and severity as shown in the chars above it should be noted that this decline comes as our ability to identify tornadoes has increased because of advances in technology and coverage during the entire time span of the graph.

    If the actual numbers were adjusted as they have done with the sun spot count due to our ability to see more now, the down slope of the trend lines on both charts would be steeper.

    • March 18, 2016 9:52 pm

      Yes. NOAA suggest that excluding EF-0s takes care of Doppler etc.

      My view is that you need to exclude EF-1s as well

      The most appropriate measure is EF-3s +, which should heve been picked up anyway

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: