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HomeClimate WatchThe climate scaremongers: A second-class hurricane

The climate scaremongers: A second-class hurricane


IF YOU listened to the media, you’d think that Florida had never had hurricanes before.

Last week when the Category 3 Hurricane Idalia hit the Sunshine State, Sky News called it ‘unprecedented’, even though such storms are commonplace there.

The US has one or two major hurricanes (Category 3 and over) most years, and there are no long-term trends.

All hurricanes can be devastating, even the weakest, but fortunately Idalia had much less impact than warnings beforehand had suggested. There is a tendency nowadays for the authorities to exaggerate their forecasts so that they don’t get caught out on the odd occasion when things are worse than expected.

As of writing, there have been no directly related fatalities, the storm surge was much less than predicted and damage assessments suggest that the windspeeds were less than implied by satellite and aircraft data. In fact the central atmospheric pressure readings, which are the best way of estimating windspeeds, are strong evidence that Idalia was in fact a Category 2 hurricane.

This overestimation of windspeeds, based on satellite data, is something we are coming across more and more. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this is a deliberate policy to exaggerate the strength of hurricanes for political ends.

The official reports state that Idalia made landfall with one-minute sustained winds of 125mph. But in the 1920s, two of the most notorious hurricanes to hit Florida were also credited with the same 125mph windspeeds. The first was the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, which wiped most of Miami off the map, led to more than 500 deaths and is still regarded as the costliest hurricane ever, in real terms. Two years later, the Okechobee Hurricane arrived, having already destroyed nearly every building on Guadeloupe. It laid waste to Palm Beach County, and with an estimated death toll of 2,500-3,000 is officially the second-deadliest hurricane to hit the US. The deadliest, by the way, was not Katrina, but the Great Galveston Hurricane in 1900, which is credited with winds of only 120mph.

To put Idalia on a par with those two hurricanes, which the official statistics suggest, is an insult to our intelligence.

Our ‘global boiling summer’ wasn’t as hot as 1676

IT SEEMS an age since we had a couple of weeks of nice weather in June, which naturally had the Met Office leaping up and down blaming it on climate change:  ‘June has been confirmed as the hottest on record for the UK. A rapid study by Met Office scientists found the chance of observing a June beating the previous record of 14.9°C, like we have this year, has at least doubled since the period around 1940. The previous record of 14.9°C was recorded in 1940 and 1976.’

They knew, of course, that it was not the hottest on record in this country, because they have the Central England Temperature series, which dates back further their UK records.

And according to CET, June 1846 was more than a degree hotter. It was also hotter in 1676, 1822 and 1826. That, of course, demolished their claims about global warming, which was why they refused to mention the fact to the public.

As I pointed out at the time, the average temperature in June was high because of the quirks of the calendar, and nothing else. Relatively warm, sunny weather pretty much lasted all month, before disappearing at the beginning of July. At no stage did temperatures reach unusually high levels.

The Met Office made a big play of the fact that June 2023 washotter than June in the well-known summer of 1976.

It is grossly dishonest even to compare with 1976, because the heatwave got going only in the last week of June that year. When it did, temperatures peaked several degrees above this year, and the hot spell lasted well into July.

And as we can also see, there was another long heatwave in August 1976.

But despite all that global boiling in June, this summer ended up pretty unexceptional, barely above the 30-year average, and no warmer than 1857 and 1859. There have been 38 years with summer temperatures as high or higher.

There is an unmistakable takeaway from these charts. This is the fact that average summer temperatures continue to fail to beat 1976, even if hot summers have tended to become more common in recent years. And there is a good reason for this – hot summers are the result of dry, sunny weather, not global warming. In other words, weather, not climate.

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Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

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