Tough to ignore examples as to why the weather can’t be “worse than ever”

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By Joe Bastardi

This is a golden age for people who love weather.

We are experiencing oceanic warming which is influencing weather and temperature patterns.   In the case of the interaction with the tropics and the global weather patterns, truth be told, looking at major precip and SLP patterns and their changes in the last 60 years, it is OPPOSITE of how it’s portrayed.

We all know that lower pressure is inherently more unstable, right?   

We all know and love big high pressures to the north and lower pressures to the south right?   Dr. Joel Myers, the founder of ACCU Weather,  had a rule. Lows follow highs. Predict the High you can predict storms. 

The biggest storms are when a stubborn high is moving slower than a storm advancing right at it.  

It’s common sense.

Now I want you to look at the  GLOBAL SLP of the tropical seasons of the 1950s.  I have the same scaling for the last 10 years below it:

Look at the tropical Atlantic and Asia. That’s a lot of low pressure. High pressure is banked up in the eastern US forcing the convergence to the south in the means.

Now look at the last 10 years:

SLP pressures are running higher. That implies less, not more instability in the entire pattern.

And the precip patterns show this in no uncertain terms.

The areas of wet and dry are more vivid in the 1950s ( again same scaling):

last 10 years:

Look at the flips that have occurred in the Southern Atlantic Basin   

Heaviest precip is now around land masses in Africa and Se Asia and Indonesia. 

What is most remarkable is both were periods of the warm AMO yet the Atlantic feedback is much different. This goes directly to my distortion point that says you can’t use the same ideas of cold and warm AMO and PDO and weight them equally. It’s intuitively obvious something is going on there that is pulling the focus away from the tropical oceans. 

And we observe it  in the lack of long-tracked storms hitting the US MAINLAND near their peak.   

Most of the storms that are major and hit the US become hurricanes 2 days away not 5 or more. 

What does this imply? That the total energy of the storm is less despite the ACE and Saffir Simpson scale indicating otherwise  Those metrics need to be expanded. 

Why? Because a longer-tracked storm covers more area so there is a larger diameter of strong winds even if the wind at the center is the same as the storm matures. So when someone tries to say things are getting worse, in a true sense of bundled energy and redistribution that is plainly not the case.  And the means show that. 

It’s the opposite. 

The drier areas are not drier and the wetter areas are not wetter. 

Rising pressures imply more, not less stability. Hence the reason many of the true weather geeks that have watched this for over a half-century more than anything else every day like it was eating and breathing, are bored a lot of the time. 

Can you imagine if we had the technology in the 30,40s 50s we have today? No weather nut would ever sleep there would be so much going on.

But here is the kicker. It does not matter in the end what is causing this, It matters that we research and adapt to the facts in front of us. 

It is more of a problem in forecasting than it is for the human race.  How do models handle situations where there may be more overall energy in the entire system, but spread out in such a way it can inhibit, not increase, total overall events?

Then there is the portrayal of the events.  The easiest thing for me to do is to sell out and say yes it is getting more extreme and who is the guy that for over 50 years has had the knock ( and if right the benefit). of seeing extremes and loving them? So much so that what used to be a positive, knowing the past, is becoming a negative for people that may not know it, or may not want it revealed because of how they want the present portrayed.   

But here is the fact. The good old days were more extreme. People growing up in the 30s thru 50s are leaving this life now, so their library of knowledge that has been a treasure to future generations is no longer that.  And its being swept away and diminished.  

And that is a shame.  But instead of putting tons of money into telling us how bad it is now, or how one thing after another is doomed, why don’t we get down to the real deal, looking at what the warming is doing and how it affects us in forecasting? 

This is not some cherry-pick. And any meteorologist that has any objectivity has got to understand that if the air is more stable and precipitation overall is less extreme, there is something going on that is opposite of what is being pushed, that NEEDS RESEARCH.     

And Simply saying this is worse than ever or that is worse than ever when it suits you (it is a great strategy, make sure no one knows what has happened and simply use the inevitable major weather event to support your argument) is not getting to what my field NEEDS TO KNOW. The actual changes that are the result and an objective look at the good, the bad, and the ugly ( I like the last 2 best more fun to forecast)

Again I am not saying I have the answer. But to ignore what should be something that raises questions and shouting down people that bring it up is no way to pursue the true answer. I may not have that answer but I darn sure have some questions


  • Joe BastardiJoe Bastardi
  • Joe Bastardi is a pioneer in extreme weather and long-range forecasting.
  • He is the author of “The Climate Chronicles: Inconvenient Revelations You Won’t Hear From Al Gore — and Others” which you can purchase at the CFACT bookstore.
  • His new book The Weaponization of Weather in the Phony Climate war can be found here.

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