Bastardi: No Michael Mann — Climate change did not cause Hurricane Harvey

Meteorologist Joe Bastardi takes down fake Nobelist Michael Mann’s lame effort in the Guardian to link climate with Hurricane Harvey.

By Joe Bastardi
August 29, 2017, Reprinted with the permission of

Dr. Mann at PSU has outdone himself. Back when New England had their famed February with snow and cold, he made the claim a warm eddy some 350 miles ESE of New England was enhancing water vapor and leading to extra snow. But:

  1. If he plotted trajectories from the storms he would see that the air from that source could not get back over New England since the mean flow would lead to enhanced snows in the Canadian Maritimes.
  2. Convective feedback from such warm eddies would act to PULL STORMS OUT TO SEA.
  3. The mean water vapor surface to 700 mb was BELOW NORMAL in New England in Feb 2015. The extra snow was high ratio snow with great crystal growth soundings because of the cold!

This is why climatologists should be forced to forecast for a year, so they can get an appreciation of what the weather does, not what they think it does based on their “research.”

But he may have outdone himself here.

I was emailed this quote, supposedly from him. It’s making the rounds in the skeptic community. It was in the Guardian

The stalling is due to very weak prevailing winds, which are failing to steer the storm off to sea, allowing it to spin around and wobble back and forth. This pattern, in turn, is associated with a greatly expanded subtropical high pressure system over much of the US at the moment, with the jet stream pushed well to the north. This pattern of subtropical expansion is predicted in model simulations of human-caused climate change.

He unwittingly describes THE EXACT OPPOSITE EFFECT to what is going on. He could not have even looked at the 5 day means! There was no expansive subtropical high. Quite the contrary there was a well forecast MJO phase 2, with a major cool trough in the 5 day means trapping the hurricane. Out to sea? In August? In Texas? When does anyone see that? They move northwest or west through the state. BECAUSE NORMALLY THERE IS NOT A MAJOR TROUGH THAT FAR SOUTH TO STOP THE STORM! When has anyone given the coast of Texas seen a storm move “out to sea” what does it turn around and head back southeast? Look at the 500 mb means and 5k temps, This is what is a ridge? There is a major ridge in the west like we see when there are a lot of storms. It’s warm in the west cool in the east, but there is no subtropical ridge trapping this storm. It’s caught in trough.

That is the five-day mean.

Here are the temps at 5K.

Which looks a lot like the phase 2 MJO I have been drooling about for over a week to set all this up.

And it lights up the tropics.

Here is the other little ditty he is blissfully unaware of. If it was just caught in a subtropical ridge, it would HAVE NO BAROCLINIC FORCING which enhanced the rain. The cooling from the trough while the storm was stalled and STILL bringing in warm moist air clearly helped amounts. Take a storm inland with a uniform temperature gradient as in an enhanced subtropical ridge, they die.

So what apparently he is describing is a ridge position enhanced that means the storms moves slow. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS THE OPPOSITE? THIS IS A MAJOR TROUGH TOO FAR SOUTH. The same thing that caught Elena in 1985 except it was over the gulf.

It Caught Dennis in 1999.

But Dennis was over the water before he came back. You want really crazy? Look at Esther in 1961.

Major cool shots, not the kind of blocking ridge that you get occasionally like… let’s say Ginger in 1971 or Dora in 1964. Both storms that had major ridges to the north, which do happen sometimes steering them in. But amplitude happens. It always has and always will.

I usually do not get involved with the climatariat. But I set this pattern up from Spring. As soon as the cool started coming in July I said here we go. This phase 2 had me chomping at the bit (still does). So when I got emailed this tonight, I had to comment.

The gentler side of me understands he could not have looked at the major cold trough in the means when he accused the expansion of the subtropical ridge as the cause. The gentler side of me understands that he did not think about the implication of a storm trapped over land in a mainly barotropic atmosphere vs one where baroclinic processes are also going on (e.g., heavy rains on troughward side of recurving hurricanes) The gentle side would like to say, brother you should forecast for a year where something is on the line so you can understand what the heck you are saying.

That would be my suggestion, but that quote, given the actual reasons for what set this up and what occurred is about as opposite as you can get. And if someone wants to suggest the highly amplified pattern, which is what phase 2 in hurricane season does, where its hot in the west is the reason, then fine, quit talking about coast to coast heat cause it means there will be a whole lotta cooling going on.

Now if it’s me, I would be talking about the warmth of the oceans. (You see I know what they should be arguing.) And how in a phase 2 with all the cool in the US, that favors big storms near our coast. (You may see another next week, and whether named or not, this system tomorrow will have tropical storm conditions from NC to South Jersey). If the Atlantic was colder, it wouldn’t be as likely. But instead, to justify these nonsensical models, we get a quote when the actual set up reveals there is no abnormal subtropical ridge. IT’S OPPOSITE. THERE IS A BIG TROUGH OVER THE EAST. In fact Mann does not even understand that a stronger than normal SE US ridge generally means less impact on the US such as 2007. Our preseason idea showed how warmth may be distorting patterns so that it leads to less hits but this year we felt it would be different.Look at what has been going on, its been cool over the last month. Perhaps Mann is even unaware of that.

Let me tell you folks something, Harvey is horrible. For that area of Texas the rain is unprecented. Other areas have had it. But its not climate change, unless climate change means cooler than normal temps across much of the United states in one of the best growing season summers we have seen since the summers of 2013-2015 — even last year.

But what is despicable is what I see coming out. If Dr. Mann was out on a limb before the season showing what he thought, or even earlier this week, that is one thing, But this is an example of what will be a relentless tirade of statements Say nothing, make no forecast you can actually be held accountable for, then come out after and grab headlines with stuff like this. And if he wants to debate me on what caused this storm to act the way it did, given what I have shown, I’m right here, bring your stalled subtropical ridge but you wil have to glo look over Afrida cause tis not over the US And if he wants to tell me that the expansion of the subtropical ridgen now means a trough that catches and stops a tropical cyclone and enhances baroclinic processes in warm tropical air, I would love to see that explanation, that below normal heights and temps are a sign the subtropical ridge is stornger than normal, at an AMS conference with just operational mets looking on. Would be worth the price of admission

Get ready for more of this. We had a high impact, major hit drought ending hurricane season specifically targeting the northwest gulf in our preseason forecast with all the reasons. It’s why this year was different from the past 12, where by the way, because of it warming more in the north than over the tropics may be leading to a reduction of storms. You can read the why before what, having nothing to do with climate change, here. It’s from MAY! The only thing I updated was the ace to a normal range in June and there have been no updates since.

This is really starting to get nuts. They sit and hide and only come out after the fact. Let’s see him you make a forecast for the season or even 5 days out when this was nothing. Fat chance. But its not going to stop and its only going to get worse. In 10 days or so, another major impact event could threaten the southeast. Why? because that is the pattern we are in and it was predictable and still is. Nothing to do with CO2 or an agenda.

17 thoughts on “Bastardi: No Michael Mann — Climate change did not cause Hurricane Harvey”

  1. While America rallies to help the victims of the hurricane and hate that it happened, the global warming crowd is delighted with it. It gives them an excuse for more propaganda.

  2. In 1900 a hurricane totally destroyed the heavily populated island of Galveston. Back then they did not have any of the warning systems we now have. Also “science” had assured them that a hurricane could not possibly form in the Gulf of Mexico because the “necessary conditions did not exist there” and they were unprepared. All of this happened long before Al Gore invented global warming. Also long before the conditions alleged to cause “man made global warming” existed.

  3. I think McFadden should also take a look at this which offers a rather more balanced, scientific approach (something he doesn’t really mention in his post) to the link between hurricanes, warmer waters and human inducted climate change:

    Warmer Seas Creating Stronger Hurricanes, Study Confirms

    New Evidence That Climate Change Is Altering Hurricane Season as You Know It

  4. Michael J McFadden: “The Warmers tell us that Hurricane Katrina was just the first kiss of death due to climate change, and that EVERY YEAR FROM THEN ONWARD”

    What a complete and utter load of rubbish – exaggeration used to make a point. No-one said anything like this and McFadden knows it. The point is more about hurricanes intensifying in strength. Stop using crass exaggeration if you want to make a serious point.

  5. Mr. Mann clearly doesn’t understand why a falsifiable hypothesis is essential to make something scientifically valid.

  6. What’s hilarious yet at the same time tragic is the warmist penchant for ascribing AGW to ANY weather event nowadays. Even more tragic-hilarious is Little Mann pretending to be a meteorologist when in fact he’s just a used car salesman- the kind that like to wash titles and sell lemons as the real deal.

  7. As usual Joe is way out in front as a scientist and forecaster. By the way water vapor has more influence on global tempsthen co2 will ever have.

  8. The crowd that claims skeptics are “anti-science” should be forced to read Joe’s explanation – so they could see what real science looks like.

  9. Little Mann… Making the typical mistake of conflating climate change and weather events. Looks like your PhD stands for Phake Degree… 👉🤡👈

  10. We can’t say climate change caused Michael Mann to be the way he is, though we can say it made him worse…

  11. Joe,

    Mann counts tree rings for a living. Why would anyone expect him to know any more than me about the weather?

    Thanks for the learned evaluation.

  12. piece of slime wasting time.
    Get on with providing the discovery materials Dr Mann. You’ll get a day in court one day. PSU may yet become SPU.

  13. I want to apologize for the spelling errors in this, after I got home from the Hannity hit ( it was in Harrisburg) I opened my email and out popped the statement.

    I was stunned. He could not have been watching the set up for this. He could not have looked at the means. He could not have been watching for phase 2/3 of the MJO which lite up the tropics next to the US. If he was, then I cant understand why he would say this, as there is plainly the result that one would expect without co2. BTW all this verifies a forecast I made early in the season, that if I am right about the kind of season we were going to have, they would be out in droves. Its easier to predict what the climatariat is going to do than the weather sometimes. But how a trough is now and expansive subtropical ridge is beyond me.

  14. Is there any knowledgeable person (Al Gore or some real Climate Scientist) who can tell me something that might happen, over any timeframe, that might make them say, “Maybe our models are totally wrong, and CO2 is not the primary driver for Climate Change.”? The 15 year Global Temperature Hiatus didn’t do it. It just stimulated them to find a new way to manipulate their raw data that led to the conclusion they “knew “ was already there.
    I challenge the Climate Change Alarmist Community to identify some observations that might falsify their theory. A Scientific Theory must have some experiment that can falsify the theory. Since we can’t control the variables, we can’t run the experiment, but we can observe changes and then look back at the variable that led to them. If everything that might happen can be rationalized as being caused by your “correct” theory, you don’t have a theory, you have a religious belief. That is not the Scientific Method.

  15. Whew! Joe, your analysis is MUCH more knowledgeable and detailed than the one I sent out to some folks earlier this afternoon, but mine might be a good addition in terms of looking at the sheer propagandistic politics of the game.

    You can certainly bet yer bupkis that Anthropogenic Global Warming and Manmade Climate Change will be blamed to high heaven for Hurricane Harvey.


    If you catch anyone doing that, just remind them that TWELVE YEARS AGO we were listening to The Warmers tell us that Hurricane Katrina was just the first kiss of death due to climate change, and that EVERY YEAR FROM THEN ONWARD the US would be doomed to be hit with hurricane disasters of steadily increasing intensity because we had dared to ignore the PSA commercials showing the sweet little blond girl dreadfully killed by secondhand smo… er… I mean, by a speeding train! (Sorry, hard to keep the propagandists straight. They all sound kinda alike, y’know?)

    So how many Katrinas and Harveys have we had since 2005? The predicted ten or twenty or thirty? Hmm… odd… I can’t think of a half dozen. Not even sure there have been ANY!

    Convenient how blithely they ignore their past predictions when they don’t turn out, eh? Anti-whatevers remind me of the scammers who’ll start with a population of 1,000 people and tell half of them:
    “I’VE GOT A *SECRET METHOD* OF PREDICTING STOCKS! I’ll even PROVE it to you: See this stock over here? It will go UP in the next week. Invest in it!”

    Of course they tell the other half it will go down.

    They then repeat the game with the 500 folks who stick around after seeing the first prediction work, and then again with the remaining 250.

    THEN… they start demanding to be paid a “reasonable” fee for their next prediction, and a larger fee for the next prediction for the audience of 62 or 63 still with them, and maybe demand a million dollars for their final prediction with the thirty that are left!

    The only way they can lose is if the stock stays absolutely the same. Heck, if the scammer is good enough they’ll even retain some of the losers from the first two or three rounds by using the loss as PROOF that IT’S NOT A SCAM! LOL! They’ll “sadly” admit that their secret method has a 5% failure rate, but 19 times out of 20 it’s a winner. They’ll be admired for their honesty and the rubes will simply invest MORE money next time so that they can “make up” for that rare and unlucky loss.

    The smoke and climate scammers are the same: They make their claims, flaunt the ones that they get good evidence for and “forget” the ones that didn’t work out. They then go on to use the flaunted ones as a base for demanding more money from taxpayers and grants.

    I’d say at least half of them oughta be jailed.

    – MJM, who highly recommends reading Michael Crighton’s “State Of Fear.” Before reading that book my sympathies were largely, though moderately, with the Warmers. I just wish Crichton had stayed alive long enough to write a similar novel about secondary smoke and the Antismokers! See his thoughts at:

    P.S. Steve, this is a bit long for a posting. if it’s too long for you and you want to cut it before I go into the scamming explanation in the second half, feel free!

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