April 27 - 30 Severe Weather Outbreak: 39 Dead, $1 Billion+ in Damage

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:24 PM GMT on May 01, 2014

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The deadly and devastating U.S. severe weather outbreak of April 27 - 30, 2014, has finally drawn to a close. The death toll from nature’s 4-day rampage of deadly tornadoes, extreme flooding, and damaging severe thunderstorms has killed at least 39 people, and will end up costing more than $1 billion, according to disaster expert Steve Bowen of Aon Benfield. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) lists 133 preliminary tornadoes over the four days in 14 states; damage surveys are on-going, and 38 of these tornadoes had been confirmed as of noon on May 1.


Figure 1. Rainfall derived from the TRMM' satellite’s Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) data is shown overlaid on GOES-EAST infrared satellite images captured on April 29, 2014 at 0402 UTC and 0532 UTC. Red symbols show the locations where numerous tornadoes were reported from Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning. Image credit: NASA.

Extreme rainfall and flooding in Pensacola and Mobile
Torrential rains on Tuesday night in Pensacola, Florida brought an all-time calendar-day record of 15.55” of rain to the city. The old calendar day record of 15.29" in October 1934 was due to a tropical storm that made landfall just to the west of the city. Mobile, Alabama saw 11.24" during the calendar day on Tuesday, their 3rd greatest calendar day total on record. The Pensacola Airport recorded a remarkable 5.68 inches of rain in just one hour ending at 10 pm Tuesday night, and numerous high-water rescues had to be performed Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. One drowning occurred, in a vehicle that tried to cross flooded Highway 29. According to a nice flood event summary from the Mobile/Pensacola NWS, the 5.68" that fell in 1 hour was between a 1 to 200 and 1 to 500 year event, and the two day estimated total for Pensacola of 20.47" lies between a 1 in 100 to 1 in 200 year event. As discussed by Andrea Thompson at Climate Central, these type of extreme precipitation events have increased in the U.S. in recent decades, are are expected to continue to increase as a warming climate puts more moisture into the atmosphere. A comparison for perspective: Wichita, Kansas is having it's second driest start to the year since 1936, with 2.01” since January 1, 2014; Pensacola received 2 1/2 times as much rain in one hour than Wichita has seen all year. Pensacola finished April with 29.53” of rain, breaking the all-time record for any month (not just April) of 24.46” set in April 2005. This also makes it the wettest year-to-date on record in Pensacola.


Figure 2. Natural gas leaks spray into the sky on Piedmont Street in the Cordova Park neighborhood in Pensacola, Florida, after the road washed out due to heavy rains on April 30, 2014. (Photo by Marianna Massey/Getty Images)


Video 1. Aerial drone footage of the Scenic Highway near Pensacola, Florida, after being washed out by extreme flooding on April 30, 2014. Another YouTube drone video here of the Pensacola flooding also shows the impressive scale of the event.

Heavy rains and flooding in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
The storm also brought heavy rains and damaging flooding to much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Wednesday. The 4.97" that fell in New York City at Central Park was the Big Apple’s 2nd wettest April day on record, behind the 7.57" that fell on April 15, 2007. In Pennsylvania, during a nine-hour period that ended early Thursday, Chester County got 6.6 “ of rain, Delaware and Montgomery counties got 5.5”, and Philadelphia nearly 5 inches. At least 62 people were rescued overnight in Chester County from their vehicles, most after driving past closed road signs and barriers. Heavy rains in Baltimore caused a washout of a retaining wall, causing multiple cars to plunge down into a flooded railway line.


Figure 3. View of the Charles Village, Baltimore retaining wall collapse near 26th St on April 30, 2014. There were no injuries, but at least six cars plunged down onto the CSX railroad tracks below. According to meteorologist Justin Berk, who took the photo, local residents said they have had concerns about this wall for a long time.

Two EF-4 tornadoes from the outbreak
At least two EF-4 tornadoes have been surveyed so far from the outbreak, and there may be others once damage surveys are complete:

Vilonia, Arkansas: A violent high-end EF-4 tornado with winds of 180 - 190 mph tore through Vilonia and Mayflower, Arkansas on April 27, killing 15 people. This tornado was also the widest (3/4 mile) and longest lived (60 minutes) twister of the outbreak. There is a report that the tornado picked up a truck in Mayflower and deposited it in a field northeast of Vilonia, 27 miles away. Update: When contacted about this again by a reporter, the man who's car was transported admitted some confusion about where his car had been parked at the time of the tornado, so this remarkable story is dubious.

Louisville, Mississippi: An EF-4 with 185 mph winds hit Louisville, Mississippi on April 28. The tornado killed nine people, carved a path 35 miles long and up to 3/4 mile wide, and stayed on the ground for 56 minutes. The tornado carried a door 30 miles from Louisville and deposited it on the Mississippi State University campus.

The longest path tornado of the event was an EF-1 twister with a path length of 46 miles that stayed on the ground 46 minutes, and killed two people near Martinsburg and Kinross, Iowa on April 27.


Figure 4. Volunteers help clean up debris where homes once stood after the area was hit by a tornado April 29, 2014 in Vilonia, Arkansas. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


Video 2. Aerial drone footage of tornado damage from April 28, 2014 in Bessemer, Alabama just west of Birmingham. The EF-2 tornado with maximum winds of 120 mph stayed on the ground 4.9 miles and hit a golf course and an apartment complex, with a near miss of the Bessemer Hospital. It’s remarkable to see the huge number of trees pulled out by their roots. According to an article in Forbes, “The FAA claims the broad authority to prohibit the ‘commercial’ use of drones, and has included the use of drones for journalism or search and rescue under that ban. The FAA’s determination comes despite having lost an enforcement action at the administrative judge level….Despite the clear value of drones in disaster response and search and rescue operations, one search and rescue group based out of Texas has been forbidden from flying their drones in search and rescue operations, prompting them to sue the federal government. That case has sent a message to all would be search and rescue groups, letting them know they should keep their drones grounded, lest they face fines for trying to help find lost persons.”

U.S. billion-dollar weather-related disasters of 2014
1) The January 5 - 8 "Polar Vortex" winter weather outbreak, which Aon Benfield estimated caused $3 billion in damage.
2) The California drought, with $3.6 billion in agricultural damages so far, as estimated by the California Farm Water Coalition.
3) Severe weather outbreak of April 27 - 30, which Aon Benfield estimated caused $1+ billion in damage.

Disaster Relief Donations Needed
The devastation from this week’s tornadoes have brought a need for donations for disaster relief. The Portlight.org disaster relief charity, founded by members of the wunderground community, is supporting the efforts of a group of local volunteers in Arkansas doing search and rescue, and needs donations. Portlight volunteers are working in tornado-hit towns to clear debris and help with other clean-up efforts. This team will also be visiting shelters and reaching out to survivors with disabilities to determine their immediate needs, whether for replacement of durable medical equipment and ramps, or for assistance with shelter and transportation issues. The Red Cross is also a great place to send your donation dollars.

This will likely be my last post until Tuesday afternoon, as I plan on taking a few days off.

Jeff Masters

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You were on a roll yesterday ric I swear I about spit my coffee on the screen more than once..good day to you sir..
wolfey....i believe in a lot of comic relief with a little weather thrown in...good day to you sir
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 676 Comments: 22571
You were on a roll yesterday ric I swear I about spit my coffee on the screen more than once..good day to you sir..
Member Since: April 1, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 212
You'd think it was Monday morning with the way today started....sheesh.....lol
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peeks in....is it safe?........GOOD MORNING EVEERYONE!!!!!!!!so great to see all things are normal during slow times.......we need a little storm or two to bring back the camaraderie....
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 676 Comments: 22571
I've read the blog for many years and Keep I really appreciate you here and the temperament you continue to display.
Member Since: April 1, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 212
VR46L keep the the great posts and updates coming you are a joy on the blog..
Member Since: April 1, 2014 Posts: 0 Comments: 212
I believe in truth and justice vr
and peeps that do and say bad things will get whats due in good time


its always been that way always will be that way

truth is the truth no matter how its dressed up

and you know that I know the truth

I've got experience with it first hand and there are lots of lurkers out there that's aware as well


like I say you can't condem one place for comments and condone the comments of another place either both be condem or both be condone but it can't be both ways
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 180 Comments: 56480
344. VR46L
Quoting 336. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

you can't condeme one thing yet condone others things
its not ok for peeps here to say things
yet its ok to be somewhere else and actively condone actions and comments from other places
lets be honest now with the approach

kinda two faced if ya ask me


I guess you are entitled to your opinion of me , But I say very little bad about anyone and you know that ....
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ZZZzzz.......

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Quoting 339. VR46L:


LOL !!! Sorry about that ... but an image of Gorgeous George look annoyed is sweet ;)

Looks like NAVGEM might be on to something



Yeah, George is blessed with his looks... Might be interesting to see how the NAVGEM follows this run... Maybe an early season system if it holds, guess we will find out..
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Quoting 325. Naga5000:



Being shamed is a completely normative behavior in many cultures, just not western cultures. We in the west tend to view shaming as personally offensive.


So you are the sociologist in the group- Japanese culture is the most famous "shame" culture, correct? In a shame culture, you are supposed to conform to your perceived role in your society, and if you do not conduct yourself as expected, then others will call you out on it. An apology makes it all better.

In Western cultures, we tend more towards "guilt", which means we prefer to do our dirty work in secret and then when caught, we try to justify our actions after the fact.

This tells me two things- if apologies could make it all better, we wouldn't need police. Also, those responsible for the Fukushima disaster might feel as if an apology for their action (or inaction) is enough. Hmmm... I can see good and bad in this.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Like I said Naga, if it's not the sun then we are in real trouble. How will you stop climate change, this planet is not made to sustain a population of 7 billion people or more with our limited scientific knowledge. Do you really think the governments of this world will stop using fossil fuel in the near future. I believe their are cycles this planet goes through that are not fully understood by our scientist and in the long run it will balance out. Like I said I trust JB more than 99.9% of the people on this blog.
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339. VR46L
Quoting 333. Torito:

*Peeks in.... Sees yet another argument... Feels disgusted....*



Anyways.. EPAC getting ready for an active season?.. Maybe... TCFP got some purple today..




LOL !!! Sorry about that ... but an image of Gorgeous George look annoyed is sweet ;)

Looks like NAVGEM might be on to something

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wind shear is low in the area but it gos up has it heads N

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I am very excited about the weather in North Carolina this weekend! No severe weather to worry about for me!
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Quoting 315. VR46L:

Sorry , Last year I witnessed 3 people had posted dunce images in relation to another blogger, admin did nothing about it either.... it made me gag it was so disgusting ~ that was bullying ... and when I spoke up about it ... I got the biggest gang beating ever . So yeah there is bullying on here ,in particular in the Climate Blog .
you can't condeme one thing yet condone others things
its not ok for peeps here to say things
yet its ok to be somewhere else and actively condone actions and comments from other places
lets be honest now with the approach

kinda two faced if ya ask me
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 180 Comments: 56480
two area two watch on the E pac the 2nd area seem two have a low fourming the other area this seem two be a mess right now

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jb has some good points
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*Peeks in.... Sees yet another argument... Feels disgusted....* (oh no.. another George Clooney reference..)



Anyways.. EPAC getting ready for an active season?.. Maybe... TCFP got some purple today..

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Quoting 329. NativeSun:

Hi everyone, JB is more knowledgeable on climate change than 99.9% of the people on this blog. Lets see what happens in the next 20 to 30 yrs. we should know by then as I believe by then we will know the real cause of climate change which is not caused by CO2 a minor trace gas. If you look up in daylight you will probably see the major cause and hopefully by then our leading scientist will have a better understanding of the star in space above our planet. If it is not that star then we are in real trouble because the only way to stop man made global warming is to reduce the human population by about half. I wish we could spend all the time and money were spending on climate change to help clean up the oceans and air, this would be a lot more beneficial to us all.


Okay. I'll go tell the scientists who have been researching climate for decades that they got it all wrong and should go visit ole' Joe for some real answers. Somehow, through some random chance, even after studying the sun they miscalculated the energy imbalance and measured the incoming and outgoing radiation incorrectly over and over again, and that all the previous basic knowledge about chemistry, physics, and geoscience no longer applies.



Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 4105
330. VR46L
Quoting 324. yonzabam:

They really are determined today. Still no one biting, though.


At least I post about weather frequently

EPAC TWINS

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Hi everyone, JB is more knowledgeable on climate change than 99.9% of the people on this blog. Lets see what happens in the next 20 to 30 yrs. we should know by then as I believe by then we will know the real cause of climate change which is not caused by CO2 a minor trace gas. If you look up in daylight you will probably see the major cause and hopefully by then our leading scientist will have a better understanding of the star in space above our planet. If it is not that star then we are in real trouble because the only way to stop man made global warming is to reduce the human population by about half. I wish we could spend all the time and money were spending on climate change to help clean up the oceans and air, this would be a lot more beneficial to us all.
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Quoting 324. yonzabam:

They really are determined today. Still no one biting, though.


I know, they are trying really hard.
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trendsetters with the metal roofs got a wakeup call yesterday evening. the rain came down so hard it was roaring. cant imagine having a metal roof. e cen florida
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Re bullying discussion I'm out. Won't be continuing this line of conversation.
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Quoting 320. FLwolverine:

The dunce post was removed. People got temporary bans. You and the insulted poster are both still here. So what does that prove?

Having one's feelings hurt is not the same as being bullied.



Being shamed is a completely normative behavior in many cultures, just not western cultures. We in the west tend to view shaming as personally offensive.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 4105
They really are determined today. Still no one biting, though.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3027
323. yoboi
Quoting 315. VR46L:
Sorry , Last year I witnessed 3 people had posted dunce images in relation to another blogger, admin did nothing about it either.... it made me gag it was so disgusting ~ that was bullying ... and when I spoke up about it ... I got the biggest gang beating ever . So yeah there is bullying on here ,in particular in the Climate Blog .


I wrote about this awhile back.....It's genetic.....
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322. VR46L
Quoting 320. FLwolverine:

The dunce post was removed. People got temporary bans. You and the insulted poster are both still here. So what does that prove?

Having one's feelings hurt is not the same as being bullied.



It was bullying . The Dunce images were removed but not immediately ... I better not engage in this with you anymore as I always get banned when You are involved .
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Quoting 313. luvtogolf:



Yep, it's too bad. Pinellas County getting it good right now with I think will be a lot more by the end of day tomorrow.
yes pouring here now...
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Quoting VR46L:
Sorry , Last year I witnessed 3 people had posted dunce images in relation to another blogger, admin did nothing about it either.... it made me gag it was so disgusting ~ that was bullying ... and when I spoke up about it ... I got the biggest gang beating ever . So yeah there is bullying on here ,in particular in the Climate Blog .
The dunce post was removed. People got temporary bans. You and the insulted poster are both still here. So what does that prove?

Having one's feelings hurt is not the same as being bullied.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 315. VR46L:

Sorry , Last year I witnessed 3 people posted dunce images in relation to another blogger, admin did nothing about it either.... it made me gag it was so disgusting ~ that was bullying ... and when I spoke up about it ... I got the biggest gang beating ever . So yeah there is bullying on here ,in particular in the Climate Blog .


The internet is a mean nasty place with people hiding behind pseudonyms. Still not bullying. We will have to disagree. Public shaming isn't bullying, but this is going down the rabbit hole into specific situations which are easily misrepresented without context. Like going into a blog and posting untrue statements routinely and then expecting some sort of respectful position from other bloggers. It isn't going to happen, especially when there isn't really a debate...

Your subjective definition of bullying isn't necessarily an objective definition of it. Anyways, have a good one.

Edit: I may not be thinking of a specific situation regarding you, so I apologize, I may be thinking of more generalized retorts to untruths.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 4105
Quoting 316. yonzabam:



Hahahaha! The frustration just oozes out, doesn't it? What's the matter? No one biting today? Maybe you could try getting an argument going on some other website.


Having a bad day today? Weather must be getting you down.
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Quoting 314. luvtogolf:

Enough said................


Hahahaha! The frustration just oozes out, doesn't it? What's the matter? No one biting today? Maybe you could try getting an argument going on some other website.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3027
315. VR46L
Sorry , Last year I witnessed 3 people had posted dunce images in relation to another blogger, admin did nothing about it either.... it made me gag it was so disgusting ~ that was bullying ... and when I spoke up about it ... I got the biggest gang beating ever . So yeah there is bullying on here ,in particular in the Climate Blog .
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Enough said................
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Quoting 301. LargoFl:

yes thats what im feeling too..well i guess if doc didnt like it he'd step in...think i'll stick to the florida blog....


Yep, it's too bad. Pinellas County getting it good right now with I think will be a lot more by the end of day tomorrow.
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Quoting 305. FLwolverine:

Bullies? Really?

Defining Bullying Behavior - Link

What is bullying? At first glance, many people might think this behavior is easy to define. Their first image of bullying might be of a physically intimidating boy beating up a smaller classmate. While that can still be considered bullying today, parents need to know that bullying behaviors can be much more complex and varied than the stereotype.

For example, harmful bullying can also occur quietly and covertly, through gossip or on the Internet, causing emotional damage.

As a starting point let’s consider a few other features that have been included in definitions of bullying. Although definitions vary from source to source, most agree that an act is defined as bullying when:

The behavior hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally.
The targets have difficulty stopping the behavior directed at them, and struggle to defend themselves.
Many definitions include a statement about the ”imbalance of power”, described as when the student with the bullying behavior has more “power”, either physically, socially, or emotionally, such as a higher social status, is physically larger or emotionally intimidating.
--------------------------

Really? I have seen people trying to intimidate others on this blog, but not in many months. Mods are doing a good job with that. If some anonymous poster on here feels emotionally intimidated by what's said by some other anonymous poster, they should consider how much power they are surrendering to that other poster, and then stop being a voluntary victim.



Stop bullying me! But seriously, there is no bullying here, arguments and disagreements sure, but this place is pretty tame for the internet and any real harassment is dealt with quickly.
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"Arctic sea ice hysteria will wind up where so many agenda driven items do - on the ash heap of history."

Joe Bastardi, May 1, 2014

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Quoting 301. LargoFl:

yes thats what im feeling too..well i guess if doc didnt like it he'd step in...think i'll stick to the florida blog....


Hey, what's the link to the Fl blog?
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Quoting 303. VR46L:



I think Big Joe site is too successful for him to worry or bother about what anyone says about him on here


I have always thought he was a great forecaster, but his climate stuff is quite lacking. However, his position does allow him to get paid for opinion piece writing on right wing websites like patriotpost.

Again the research behind the effects of the AMO don't support his claims. Which is why he writes opinion about climate and doesn't publish. /shrug

Good morning to you as well.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 4105
Good Morning/Evening

Thanks Jeff for a great post. Have a fun filled weekend.

Doug, how did you hold up in that massive downpour?

It is hard to argue against the ability of those dron..I mean hobbyist aircraft, with cameras to capture field conditions after a disaster. Not if it stays windy, but they can fly under cloud cover and help with quick damage assessment by emergency managers. I particularly liked the ability to see undercut roadwork without sending someone onto unstable ground.

This seems like a great field for returning vets with mini-drone camera experience. If the FAA approves, news agencies will likely be hiring soon.
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Quoting 301. LargoFl:

yes thats what im feeling too..well i guess if doc didnt like it he'd step in...think i'll stick to the florida blog....


Rain hit you yet? Coming down in buckets in Oldsmar.
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Bullies? Really?

Defining Bullying Behavior - Link

What is bullying? At first glance, many people might think this behavior is easy to define. Their first image of bullying might be of a physically intimidating boy beating up a smaller classmate. While that can still be considered bullying today, parents need to know that bullying behaviors can be much more complex and varied than the stereotype.

For example, harmful bullying can also occur quietly and covertly, through gossip or on the Internet, causing emotional damage.

As a starting point let’s consider a few other features that have been included in definitions of bullying. Although definitions vary from source to source, most agree that an act is defined as bullying when:

The behavior hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally.
The targets have difficulty stopping the behavior directed at them, and struggle to defend themselves.
Many definitions include a statement about the ”imbalance of power”, described as when the student with the bullying behavior has more “power”, either physically, socially, or emotionally, such as a higher social status, is physically larger or emotionally intimidating.
--------------------------

Really? I have seen people trying to intimidate others on this blog, but not in many months. Mods are doing a good job with that. If some anonymous poster on here feels emotionally intimidated by what's said by some other anonymous poster, they should consider how much power they are surrendering to that other poster, and then stop being a voluntary victim.
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304. VR46L
Good Morning Folks !
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303. VR46L
Quoting 302. yoboi:



Maybe you can give big Joe a call and "school" him.....



Major Arctic Sea Ice Story Lurking, but Is Anyone Watching?
By Joe Bastardi · May 1, 2014 2 Comments There is a huge event being forecasted this year by the CFSV2, and I don’t know if anyone else is mentioning this. For the first time in over a decade, the Arctic sea ice anomaly in the summer is forecast to be near or above normal for a time! While it has approached the normals at the end of the winter season a couple of times because of new ice growth, this signals something completely different – that multiyear growth means business – and it shows the theory on the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is likely to be on target. Once it flips, this red herring of climate panic will be gone. Global and Southern Hemisphere anomalies are already unmentionable since the former is well above normal and the latter is routinely busting daily records.

Link


I think Big Joe site is too successful for him to worry or bother about what anyone says about him on here
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302. yoboi
Quoting 293. Neapolitan:
I know, right? Some have been insisting for years now that an ice age is imminent. That's their prerogative, of course. But when they over and over again come into weather fora like this and scream that a cold US winter or a marginal increase in Southern Hemisphere sea ice is "proof" that the planet isn't warming, and are then schooled and corrected by very knowledgable people with mountains of scientific evidence behind them, they can become quite upset. Luckily, more and more people are abandoning nonsense, and are starting to come to the realization that the situation is very grim indeed, for that might actually help us move toward mitigation instead of wasting precious time rehashing the fundamentals of weather, climate, and physics...


Maybe you can give big Joe a call and "school" him.....



Major Arctic Sea Ice Story Lurking, but Is Anyone Watching?
By Joe Bastardi · May 1, 2014 2 Comments There is a huge event being forecasted this year by the CFSV2, and I don’t know if anyone else is mentioning this. For the first time in over a decade, the Arctic sea ice anomaly in the summer is forecast to be near or above normal for a time! While it has approached the normals at the end of the winter season a couple of times because of new ice growth, this signals something completely different – that multiyear growth means business – and it shows the theory on the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is likely to be on target. Once it flips, this red herring of climate panic will be gone. Global and Southern Hemisphere anomalies are already unmentionable since the former is well above normal and the latter is routinely busting daily records.

Link
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Quoting 298. luvtogolf:



This use to be a great blog until the bullies came in a ruined it.
yes thats what im feeling too..well i guess if doc didnt like it he'd step in...think i'll stick to the florida blog....
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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