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Increasing Hurricane Frequency Due To Better Observation, Not Climate Change–BBC

March 16, 2021

By Paul Homewood



Wow!! A BBC man actually tells the truth about hurricanes!




The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on 1 June. But over the past six years, significant storms have been forming earlier than this. So does the hurricane season need to start earlier – and is climate change to blame?

At a regional meeting of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) this week, meteorologists and officials will be discussing a possible change to how the hurricane season is defined.

"The 2020 hurricane season was one of the most challenging in the 40-year history of [the] WMO’s Tropical Cyclone Programme," says WMO Secretary-General Prof Petteri Taalas.

"The record number of hurricanes combined with Covid-19 to create, literally, the perfect storm."

The hurricane season has officially started on the 1 June since the mid-1960s, when hurricane reconnaissance planes would start routine trips into the Atlantic to spot storm development.

Over the past 10 to 15 years, though, named storms have formed prior to the official start about 50% of the time.

And the way they are defined and observed has changed significantly over time.

"Many of these storms are short-lived systems that are now being identified because of better monitoring and policy changes that now name sub-tropical storms," Dennis Feltgen, meteorologist at the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) told BBC Weather.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active on record with a total of 30 named storms. Two of those storms – Arthur and Bertha – formed in May.

As all the pre-determined names were used up, officials at the NHC had to move on to using the Greek alphabet for only the second time.

During the 2020 season, the NHC had to issue thirty-six "special" forecasts called Tropical Weather Outlooks prior to 1 June. These highlight areas in the Atlantic where meteorologists monitor activity.

Mr Feltgen said that "in order to provide more consistent information for late May and early June systems, NHC will begin to issue these outlooks routinely from 15 May this year".

Is this a step closer to officially recognising the season starting earlier?


"Discussions will need to be made on the need for, and potential ramifications of moving the beginning of the hurricane season to 15th May."

When referring to the average or normal Atlantic hurricane season, meteorologists have used a 30-year climate average from 1981-2010.

But we now have a new climate period of 1991-2020 to consider and this dramatically increases what we should now consider "normal".

Data will be discussed and finalised by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) in May, ahead of the new season.

But data provided by Brian McNoldy, senior researcher at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School, shows a 12-19% increase in named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes. 

Is climate change playing a role?

The number of named storms has increased over the decades, but there is no real evidence this is the result of a warming world.

Dr McNoldy notes "the big shift in counts is simply that there were several inactive seasons from 1981-1990 and several active seasons from 2011-2020".

"Once that inactive period drops out of the average, and is replaced by the active, it will increase the numbers"

The overall increase from 1961 is also likely to be due to better technology, along with observations over the Atlantic Ocean.

Since satellites came along in the 1980s, we can spot and monitor the development of tropical cyclones and name them when they meet the threshold.

We are simply able to record more.

However, it is thought climate change is having an impact on the intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes and therefore their potential impacts.

Experts have noted that, in recent years, tropical storms that make land are persisting far longer and doing more damage than in the past.



In short then:

1) We now record many more hurricanes than we used to in the past because of better technology and satellites which really only came along in the 19801s.

2) We also name more storms because of policy changes that now include sub-tropical storms.

3) The 1980s was a very inactive decade for hurricanes, thus skewing trends.  But since the 1960s, the rise in numbers can be explained by better observation.

There is the usual nonsense about hurricanes getting stronger, for which there is absolutely no evidence. As we can see below, major hurricanes were just as frequent as now back in the 1950s. The inactive period of the 1970s and 80s is also evident, and as we know this is associated with the cold phase of the AMO:





If the theory was correct, we would expect to see an increasing frequency of major hurricanes worldwide. But we don’t:



Finally, let’s see what NOAA had to say about Atlantic hurricanes in their latest assessment last September:


It could not be clearer.


Maybe Simon King who wrote this piece should have a word with Harrabin, McGrath and co, who keep misleading the public about “record hurricane seasons”.

  1. March 16, 2021 3:57 pm

    What I find most egregious about the reporting style of the BBC starts with the observation that they so often present opinion as news which it most certainly is not. Secondly, it is their habit of inserting key emotionally triggering phrases” into the opening paragraph as they do here.

    IF as it is claimed, this piece is solely about the science then there is no need to insert the following “and is climate change to blame?” Science is about what something is, not what it isn’t. They already know from the conclusions that it is not. There is only need to tell WHAT IS, the facts….what justification is there for inserting non facts? That non fact could be also that dogs start visiting different trees earlier in the year but right or wrong as it may be there is no proven link so why mention it? The reason is that it is an emotional hook.

    The BBC knows very well that most people read only the headline and the majority of the rest only scan the first paragraph. This is VERY important and I am starting to see a trend in BBC information dissemination. I can no longer call it news because of their methods and motives.

    So even in this situation when climate change is NOT involved they still give it a plug in the first paragraph! . Consequently a large number of people read “Hurricane season starts earlier”….. “climate change”.

    Keeping the lie uppermost in people’s minds is critical to the fraud for which the BBC are willing promoters.

    • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
      March 16, 2021 4:09 pm

      Most folks start out believing what they read in newspapers.
      Then, with luck, each of us is misquoted early in life and the naivety drops away.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      March 16, 2021 4:39 pm

      See Betteridge’s Law – any headline ending in a question mark can be answered No!

      Andrew Marr summarised it as:

      “If the headline asks a question, try answering ‘no’. Is This the True Face of Britain’s Young? (Sensible reader: No.) Have We Found the Cure for AIDS? (No; or you wouldn’t have put the question mark in.) Does This Map Provide the Key for Peace? (Probably not.) A headline with a question mark at the end means, in the vast majority of cases, that the story is tendentious or over-sold. It is often a scare story, or an attempt to elevate some run-of-the-mill piece of reporting into a national controversy and, preferably, a national panic. To a busy journalist hunting for real information a question mark means ‘don’t bother reading this bit’.

      Which is pretty apt. Doesn’t just apply to headlines it would seem.

  2. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    March 16, 2021 4:03 pm

    Glory be! Give Simon King a gold star.

    It seems there are more and more folks realizing the science is not settled.
    However, the political, “elites”, activists, socialists, and United Nations are all in awe of the axiom that CO2 causes global warming.
    Changing an accepted axiom is hard.

    Thanks, Paul.

  3. MrGrimNasty permalink
    March 16, 2021 4:50 pm

    Simon King is a meteorologist (weather presenter), it seems he’s been a bit more scientific/truthful than usual for the BBC, whilst trying to avoid tweaking too many noses.

    Going by past experience he’ll be back soon, dead behind the eyes, full on climate doomster.

    At the moment Harrabin is probably on the phone demanding his attendance at a BBC climate reeducation camp or his head on a stick.

    • James Neill permalink
      March 16, 2021 4:57 pm

      What about both? Poor Simon King must attend said re-education camp then have his head put on a stick.

  4. March 16, 2021 6:46 pm

    Chasing down climate agitators is like whack-a-mole. PH must be glad to get a day off 😃

    Extreme Weather Is Not Getting Worse – Dr Roger Pielke Jr
    AUGUST 24, 2016
    By Paul Homewood

  5. March 17, 2021 12:17 am

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Joe Biden has healed the planet!

  6. Gamecock permalink
    March 17, 2021 10:46 pm

    ‘However, it is thought climate change is having an impact on the intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes and therefore their potential impacts.’

    What exactly this undefined ‘climate change’ is supposed to be doing isn’t mentioned.

    The fact is, the surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico/northern Atlantic Ocean get hot enough every year to support whatever sort of storm is brewed up. They are already hot enough every year. Global warming/climate change CAN DO NOTHING to what already exists.

    Weather conditions determine the arising of storms, their intensity, their direction, and their speed.

    ‘Mr Feltgen said that “in order to provide more consistent information for late May and early June systems, NHC will begin to issue these outlooks routinely from 15 May this year”.’

    Do whatever you want. Nature doesn’t care.

  7. March 20, 2021 12:26 am

    Interesting. What we SAY is reality, not what is happening, not what we observe. If we SAY hurricane season is X to Y, then that is reality and if it changes, it’s not because we made up an artificial constraint, but because we created reality and now we have to recreate it so we can blame climate change or create a new reality that serves our purpose. Our words create reality. Alice in Wonderland thanks you.

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