Saturday, August 19, 2023

Perhaps Not An Apocalypse

The news media is warning of a coming apocalypse in the form of Hilary (not the former Secretary of State). They tell us that, “Downpours advancing northward ahead of Hilary are already resulting in flash flooding warnings across the deserts of Southern California early Saturday morning,”  although as of 9:30pm Saturday none have reached San Diego.

They advise that “Impacts from Hilary are likely to be highly disruptive, damaging and dangerous,” (again, not the former Secretary of State), and that, “Copious amounts of rain, in some places more than would normally fall over the entire year, will trigger tremendous flash flooding.”

Lots of rain is foretold, including, “amounts exceeding the average annual totals for some locations in the Southwest,”  but not, it should be noted, by the NOAA, which has a pretty good track record.

NOAA is saying that for Saturday night, “rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch” can be anticipated, and for Sunday we can expect “possible. amounts between three quarters and one inch“ of rain. Sunday night is a repeat of “between a quarter and half of an inch.” And for Monday they advise to expect, “rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch.”

So that amounts to a National Weather Service forecast of 2.1” or less for the entire storm, which falls a bit short of  “exceeding the average annual totals,” (10.41”) that the media is hyperventilating about.

Update, Sunday 6:40am: Received 0.13" overnight, somewhat short of the "between a quarter and half an inch" that even the sane NOAA forecast, and radar shows nothing very significant to the south of us.

Update, Monday 7:00am: Essentially over. No longer raining and the radar is clear. Rainfall here was 2.13" total for three days. We did finally get a little wind last night, but nothing over about 25mph. Elsewhere in Southern California did get hit harder, particularly up in the mountains, but nothing close to the hyperbole that the media was indulging in.

Monday, August 07, 2023

Do they read what they write?

I read a story in the Los Angeles Times last week, clearly written for the purpose of declaiming against the horrors of “climate change,” that was so strange that I wondered about the sanity of the writer, and of the people he was writing about.

That is not to say that I am a “climate change denier.” I am not. But facts are too few on the ground for me to have any opinion on the subject. Too many purported “facts” are belied by the clear evidence that is visible in nature right in front of my eyes. “These glaciers will have disappeared by the year 2000.” In 2023 they are still there, and nowhere near disappearing. Other facts appear to be quite possibly true. I remain neutral. I need better evidence than what is presently available.  

But back to the article. The writer starts by stating that, “As a kid in Miami, I thought I knew heat.” He follows that with, “As an adult in Los Angeles, I thought I knew heat,” and a dramatic description of a Los Angeles summer that makes LA sound hotter than my memories of Tucson, AZ.

Then he drops the bomb. “But never have I felt anything like Death Valley last week,” he says, “where the temperature climbed to 128 degrees, within striking distance of the all-time world record the valley set in 1913 — 134 degrees.”

Think about what he says. What was the atmospheric content of CO2 in 1913? And yet Death Valley was a full 6 degrees hotter 110 years ago than it was is on the day which he cites. A day, he writes, of catastrophic heat due to the human race adding CO2 to Earth’s atmosphere. So if we are warming the planet we have, by his own statement, not yet managed to warm it back up to where it was more than a century ago.

What made it so hot 110 years ago? What caused it to cool down? If it cooled down a century ago, why is it not possible that it might not do so again? Maybe for the same reasons that caused it to cool down back then. Why is no one looking into that?

He goes on to tell of a 71-year-old man he met who was hiking across the valley. The man had one liter of water with him, which he claimed was sufficient for the day. It wasn’t, of course, and the man was found dead of dehydration that evening. Why are we so stupid these days? I knew as a teenager that hiking in the desert needed far more water than that.

His comparison of heat records to those of a century ago is not by any means uncommon. Climate change writers do it extremely often, citing “the highest temperature in a hundred years,” and they never seem to realize that the citation invalidates the very point that they are trying to make. If you're trying to sound an alarm about the planet warming, why are you telling me that it was 6 degrees hotter 110 years ago than it is today?

My point has less to do with “climate change” than it does with that it seems to me that today’s writers just aren’t very bright these days. Like drawing a contrast between Death Valley, Miami and Los Angeles. Why would anyone find it remarkable that an inland desert is hotter than two coastal cities?