“Our winters are getting sick, and we know the reason why. It’s global warming, it’s rising temperatures, and that’s the only logical explanation for what’s happening.”
– Amato Evan (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) before the American Geophysical Union (Fall 2018), quoted here.
False science based on climate models is part of the complicated story behind the Great Texas Electricity Blackout of February 2021. As I posited in “U.S. Winter Outlook: Cooler North, Warmer South” (NOAA’s prediction bust):
Enter climate models, the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and politics. And a very bad result for the South this winter. The lack of weatherization in Texas for traditional power plants, in particular, might well have been influenced by the climate narrative of warmer winters.
And with winter fading, and a snowy winter at that, it is worth revisiting the false alarm of snowless winters in the U.S. and elsewhere.
A Google search will find the usual suspects, such as Al Gore, incorrectly predicting this and that. Mr. Climate Al is nowhere to be found, but his exaggerations are. Glad the social media giants have not censored his excesses.
“Protect Our Winters”
In my low-to-no-snow search, I found a group, Protect Our Winters (POW). They must really believe the hype about global warming amid the snowy fun their membership is enjoying.
“Your passion for the Outdoors Can Help Save It,” the website picture explains. “Crush It for Climate” another headline reads.
But nowhere is there any ink or analysis on how winters and snow are on their way out. POW seems wed to a name that allows it to sneak in green energy. “We drive to crags, trailheads, and renewably powered ski areas in zero-emission vehicles,” it is said. But nothing on saving winter….
What does the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say about winter? “The outlook does not project seasonal snowfall accumulations; snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance,” NOAA stated in October 2020.
If you want a word salad to “we just do not know what sort of winters global warming will bring,” try reading “What to Expect From the Upcoming Winter — and How Climate Change Impacts Our Predictions: A look ahead to the winter of 2020-21, and an assessment on accuracy of modern seasonal forecasts by meteorologist Matt Noyes (NBC10 Boston, November 2020).
Here’s what we all determined: winter is not what it used to be. Climate change has not only changed weather patterns, but has also changed the game. In recent years, you simply cannot look back decades ago, find a match and expect to see a similar winter play out.
For all the reasons mentioned above, there are new factors that disrupt and disjoint what was once a fairly stable regime in our atmosphere. With all of this considered, it becomes less surprising that the winter of 2018-19 found the experts at the Climate Prediction Center trying to explain “negative skill” for the first time in a long time: a winter forecast that actually performed worse than a random guess….
And the answer still does not come into view:
The honest answer, in our collective estimate, is the stakes are tremendously high in winter forecasting now, because you’re trying to nail down wobbling surges of fractured cold and interactions with sustained warmth…and being off by a couple dozen miles – a virtual pinpoint in the world of meteorology – can make all the difference between warmth and little snow, to warmth and lots of snow, or cold and varying amounts of snow. There are, however, still clues….
Just guessing, Noyes continues:
Now, adjust for climate change: make the warm warmer, make the cold more regionalized but more intense. This leaves you with a three-pronged solution: the vast majority of the United States will likely be warmer than normal, much of the northern half of the country near the jet stream will be wetter than normal with Pacific moisture inherent in each disturbance, but wherever the battle between that warmth and fractured cold unfolds…mega snow has the potential to dump….
Final answer? … All of the above:
In reality, the answer is likely to be both…cold with staying power will largely stay in central and eastern Canada, unable to dislodge abundant warmth in the long term in the eastern United States, but the occasional incursions of penetrating cold….
Why just not say “we do not know” about macro and micro weather–and put climate science in its place while doing so? False knowledge is worse than no knowledge when it comes to global warming, global climate change, or “global weirding.”
So much for settled climate science, wintertime or otherwise.
The world would be a better place if people simply responded with a “I don’t know” rather than launch into a lengthy monologue that any sentient, informed person will immediately recognize as logohorrhea.
What percentage of long term forecasts are accurate? Is it better than chance? Perhaps they got lucky when they predicted a dry winter in Southern California. So far just over five inches of rain has fallen in Orange County and the rainy season is almost over.