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Bermuda Hurricane Claims Don’t Stand Up To Scrutiny

March 4, 2021

By Paul Homewood


A new paper claims that hurricane intensity has doubled around Bermuda:



New research shows that hurricane maximum wind speeds in the subtropical Atlantic around Bermuda have more than doubled on average over the last 60 years due to rising ocean temperatures in the region.

Hurricanes intensify by extracting energy from the warm ocean surface via air-sea heat fluxes, so a warmer ocean can lead to more intense hurricanes.

Improving predictions of wind speeds from hurricanes will help determine the right level of response in advance of the storm and potentially limit the resulting damage in Bermuda.

Between 1955 and 2019 mean hurricane intensity near Bermuda, measured by the maximum wind speed, increased from 35 to 73mph – equivalent to over 6mph per decade.  At the same time sea surface and sub surface temperatures in the region increase by upto 1.1°C, providing the additional energy for hurricanes to intensify.

The study, published in Environmental Research Letters,  also develops a predictor for the intensity of hurricanes moving through the Bermuda area using the average upper ocean temperature in the top 50m layer.

Samantha Hallam, the lead author of this paper from the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), said , “The approach we used could provide a better way to predict Bermuda storm intensity than current theory or operational methods alone. It could also be use elsewhere in the subtropical Atlantic where there is a shallow mixed layer depth, typically north of twenty five degrees north.

“We used hurricane potential intensity theory, locally-based weather balloon soundings, surface and upper ocean observations of conditions in and around hurricanes passing within 100km of Bermuda over the last 65 years (including direct hits and ‘near-miss’ storms).”

Mark Guishard, co-author and Director of the Bermuda Weather Service said “the research demonstrates the greater relevance of upper ocean heat versus sea surface temperatures alone in the prediction of hurricane intensity. Preliminary testing with the recent passage of Hurricane Paulette shows promising results that this technique could be further developed into an additional operational tool for forecasters locally.”

These findings are the result of a statistical analysis on hurricane paths within 100km of Bermuda, between 1955 and 2019. The research used surface and subsurface ocean temperature observations from the Bermuda Atlantic Times Series (BATS) Hydrostation S programme, managed by the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.

This research was funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) and Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, and involved a collaboration between the University of Southampton, the National Oceanography Centre, the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and the Met Office.


The claim that “Between 1955 and 2019 mean hurricane intensity near Bermuda, measured by the maximum wind speed, increased from 35 to 73mph “ immediately presses the BS button.

After all, we know that there is no such trend in Atlantic hurricanes as a whole:



And, again, I wonder why they have needlessly complicated things by messing around with averaging wind speeds. Why not simply look at the number of hurricanes by category, which would avoid bias created by the much more comprehensive systems we have nowadays for measuring wind speeds.


The Bermudan recently published a history of hurricanes, which have either made landfall there, or brought hurricane force winds:




From this we can plot a chart of the hurricane strengths of each. (Note that these are not necessarily the wind speeds over Bermuda itself, where no landfall is made).



Two things stick out like sore thumbs.

1) Previous eras saw at least as much activity as the last decade or two. In terms of Cat 3s, they actually used to be much more common.

2) There is a dearth of hurricanes in the 1950s through 1980s. Recall that this research looks at the period 1955 to 2019, and it is little wonder they have found increasing intensity.

But as I keep explaining, that dearth and subsequent recovery is the direct result of the AMO, which was in cold phase from the 1960s to 1990s.

If the researchers knew about the role of the AMO, then it is dishonest of them to have started their analysis in 1955.

If they did not know, they are simply incompetent.

  1. Bloke down the pub permalink
    March 4, 2021 12:09 pm

    Well they’d never get any more funding if they came up with the wrong conclusion.

    • John Palmer permalink
      March 4, 2021 1:22 pm

      Quite so, BDTP, this is what happens when they start with a conclusion and then try to ‘prove’ it using pseudo-science. It is the polar opposite of proper scientific methodology.

      • March 4, 2021 4:38 pm

        Welcome to the post Enlightenemnt world of claim and assertion where feeling and opinions trump empiricism.

        Extremes in any context are caused by the often coincidental interaction of several different forces. The charlatans of today who are more and more working outside of what until yesterday was considered to be the ridgid constraints of the scientific method are coincidently being aided and abetted by the marxist mob including the marxists of BLM by trying to claim that science and mathematics are racist.

        They dismantle empirical science claiming there are not laws but opinions of white men, describing empirical data based scientific output as “opinion” worth no more or no less than any other opinion. I kid you not.
        Those practicing the black arts of climobabble cannot believe their luck and the climate change funding keeps coming and coming as standards of claimed “research” are in freefall.

      • March 4, 2021 4:39 pm

        Sorry about the typos. They were not suppoded to have made it that far…oops!

  2. Gamecock permalink
    March 4, 2021 12:12 pm

    Regardless, hurricanes are directed by weather conditions. The conditions that occur exactly as occur while the hurricane exists. In other words, where hurricanes go is purely random. If more bigger get to Bermuda, it’s because of weather.

    ‘New research shows that hurricane maximum wind speeds in the subtropical Atlantic around Bermuda have more than doubled on average over the last 60 years due to rising ocean temperatures in the region.’

    Pure BS. The waters around Bermuda are ALWAYS warm enough to support hurricanes every hurricane season. Weather determines what Bermuda gets.

  3. terryfwall permalink
    March 4, 2021 12:26 pm

    Does Samantha Hallam have an email address, and can this rebuttal be sent to her for comment?

    I suggest my question from another thread is posed: “But isn’t this just NSW?”

    (Normal Severe Weather, in case you missed it).

  4. March 4, 2021 12:37 pm

    On the one hand climate science says that you need global data over a long time span for these empirical tests and on the other hand when something like this crops up they forget their own science.
    As they say in Thailand,
    “HOW CAN”?

  5. David V permalink
    March 4, 2021 12:48 pm

    When I went to school in the late 1950s I distinctly remember being taught that, on the Beaufort scale, hurricane force winds were 72mph or more. It seems that something with a maximum wind speed of 35mph in 1955 is now found to have been a hurricane. How does that work?

  6. March 4, 2021 12:54 pm

    With thousands of “scholars” having to do studies there must be little left to study these days. However, these people have to try and earn their crust and keep their names in the news for their 15 minutes of fame so I suppose any twaddle will do. Basic research like studying history must be such a yawn and cannot be relevant and certainly not scientific. I am supised any Bermudan would associate himself with the two principal loons.

    • chriskshaw permalink
      March 4, 2021 4:41 pm

      What about the distinct chance that a visit to the island(s) was also part of the crust. ?

  7. Broadlands permalink
    March 4, 2021 1:04 pm

    “At the same time sea surface and sub surface temperatures in the region increase by upto 1.1°C,…”

    Up to? What the heck does that mean? The title of the paper is not even provided so we can’t find out.

  8. Broadlands permalink
    March 4, 2021 1:28 pm

    Perhaps an over-analysis, but looking at the first chart one sees a clear increase in the number of Atlantic hurricanes from 1850 to 1950 but little change thereafter. Maybe even a decrease? It is interesting to note that up until 1950 the CO2 in the atmosphere was still essentially at pre-industrial levels. It is only after 1950 that CO2 began to rise. Is there a message there?

  9. Mack permalink
    March 4, 2021 1:36 pm

    The authors definitely aren’t students of history. The islands had 8 landfalling hurricanes between 1609 and 1629. If such a series happened now, the ‘End is Nigh’ placards would be coming out in force. The early 1800s were also a tad breezy culminating in 1839 with, arguably, the islands’ worst hurricane since first settled by Europeans. Nothing novel or unprecedented is happening there.

  10. Stuart permalink
    March 4, 2021 1:52 pm

    It appears she’s a postgrad….

    • March 4, 2021 4:44 pm

      She says she is studying “North Atlantic Storminess”. Is that English? It is certainly not conservative scientific terminology . One studies “storms”. It is a given that they vary …doh!

  11. John189 permalink
    March 4, 2021 3:15 pm

    Am I missing something? (or just thick!) – but to say that the average maximum windspeeds of Bermuda hurricanes has more than doubled is just not believable. And how can storms with maximum windspeeds of 35mph be classed as hurricanes?

    • March 4, 2021 3:45 pm

      I wondered that!

      I assume they are the outer wind speeds when a hurricane is hundreds of miles away, which make the whole thing worthless anyway

    • March 4, 2021 4:49 pm

      John. We are all guilty of varying degrees of thickness because we are not “embracing the religion” and taking the monthly cheque by churning out pointless garbage as research. One must question the level of peer reviewing today of published work on all subjects “climate”.

      • Broadlands permalink
        March 4, 2021 5:17 pm

        That is quite correct. I’ve noticed that what used to be a tough place to publish (the PNAS) has succumbed to the climate change frenzy and has published a number of pretty suspect papers lately. This is not that surprising when you realize that the current president of the US National Academies is the former editor of SCIENCE and a dyed-in-the-wool climate change aficionado. She wrote in SCIENCE an editorial piece: “Time’s Up CO2”.
        Thus, the level of peer-review is now likely to be very one-sided on that topic.

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