February Fantasy Versus Reality

From Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Yesterday, Eric Worrall posted an interesting article entitled “Forbes: Global Warming is Causing Colder Februaries“. The title says it all. The Forbes article states:

Thanks To Climate Change, February Is Now The Cruelest Month

Jeff McMahon
Senior Contributor
Jan 29, 2023,12:14am EST

Those unusual frozen Februaries in Texas may not be so unusual anymore.

Early winter has been warming across North America, but late winter is another story. Scientists have documented a cooling trend over more than 40 Februaries, marked by dangerous and increasingly common intrusions of Arctic air deep into the United States.

The underlying article in Science says:

Cold weather disruptions

Despite the rapid warming that is the cardinal signature of global climate change, especially in the Arctic, where temperatures are rising much more than elsewhere in the world, the United States and other regions of the Northern Hemisphere have experienced a conspicuous and increasingly frequent number of episodes of extremely cold winter weather over the past four decades. Cohen et al. combined observations and models to demonstrate that Arctic change is likely an important cause of a chain of processes involving what they call a stratospheric polar vortex disruption, which ultimately results in periods of extreme cold in northern midlatitudes (see the Perspective by Coumou).


The Arctic is warming at a rate twice the global average and severe winter weather is reported to be increasing across many heavily populated mid-latitude regions, but there is no agreement on whether a physical link exists between the two phenomena. We use observational analysis to show that a lesser-known stratospheric polar vortex (SPV) disruption that involves wave reflection and stretching of the SPV is linked with extreme cold across parts of Asia and North America, including the recent February 2021 Texas cold wave, and has been increasing over the satellite era. We then use numerical modeling experiments forced with trends in autumn snow cover and Arctic sea ice to establish a physical link between Arctic change and SPV stretching and related surface impacts.

Hmmm …

Now, I’m a data guy. So I went and got the US February temperatures from four different datasets—Berkeley Earth, CERES, NOAA ClimDiv, and the UAH MSU lower troposphere data. All but the CERES dataset cover the 1979—2021 period covered by the study.

Here are the US February trends from the four datasets:

Figure 1. February Continental US Temperature Anomalies, four datasets.

In all four datasets, February has been getting warmer, not colder … go figure.

So … how did they get their results? Well, they didn’t look at observational data.

Instead, they used a climate model fed with the results of a climate reanalysis model plus snow cover data plus arctic sea ice data … and in addition, they used K-means clustering of the 100 hPa reanalysis geopotential heights, multiple linear regression, a simplified Betts-Miller convection scheme, an idealized boundary layer scheme based on Monin-Obukhov similarity theory, a slab ocean, the Rapid Radiative Transfer Model (RRTMG) radiation scheme, and lots of other good juju.

What it seems they didn’t do was … actually look at real-world data instead of using the Bette-Midler convection scheme.

Gotta say, the dying throes of the climate insanity are kind of amusing to watch … or they would be if climate alarmism weren’t so dangerous, particularly to the poor. This kind of madness is driving energy prices through the roof, and that’s the cruelest tax of all.

My very best to everyone,