This is not a comment on the COVID-19 situation, just an attempt to draw attention to the model mayhem that goes on in weather and climate. The March 26 comments by Dr. Birx on the modeling with this certainly raised some eyebrows. While the general public is now following this all the time and so is now understanding model variance,  they are unaware for the most part of what has to be dealt with in weather and climate.

My real job is not to show up on TV or write blogs or books, etc.

A)  I have a “face for radio” as one of my best friends have told me and

B) I am an editors nightmare.

But what I do is advise major companies, for energy (any energy, wind, and solar has to be forecasted also) to financial entities, de-icing companies in Europe, retailers, construction and trucking, basically anything and everything.

In the global economy the weather has its fingers in everything, and so many models are out there, (over a dozen daily ones alone from many countries) that very rarely agree with each other.

Take March 26. The 12z run of the US model looked EXACTLY OPPOSITE  of what we had forecast with a massive warm spell the first few days of April.

image.gifThat would imply for instance above normal Cooling degree days in the southern plains and above normal HEATING DEGREE DAYS in the Northern Rockies. So let us say you are swinging to this model.
We know there are many more people in Texas than Montana. Early air conditioner use (we have had a very warm past couple of weeks in Texas anyway) would likely add more Cooling degree days population-wise, than the Heating Degree days in Montana. (As a side exercise, imagine if you had major cold over the NE and major warmth in the south… You could average near normal, but have a double whammy of energy use because of Cooling needed in the south and warming in the population centers of the NE). Yet we told our clients do not buy it because the underlying conditions in the global pattern did not support it. So 12 hours later it comes out with this for the same time period:

image.gifThe “ensemble” followed suit. Look at the change in its 500 mb pattern for April 1st in just 6 hours. The orange represents what would be a lot of warmth.  However we know if there is fierce red over NE North America, the pattern on the right is not likely. The pattern on the left which was the newer run took over.  It was much colder.


The current cold wave in Europe forecasted to open up April..

image.gif..was only hinted at 2 weeks ago. As the model can see warmth but could not see the cold, except over the water where changes are slower to occur and more in line with the Sea Surface temperatures which are colder than average there.

image.gifStill looking at the underlying conditions in the atmosphere, the forecaster can tell his Euro clients its likely to be cold to open in April even from that chart above.
Sudden swings like what we saw on March 26, when energy is more expensive, can lead to sudden swings in futures trading. Sometimes it is hard for someone to look at a map opposite of what was forecast and resist the temptation to swing with it. I think you get the point given you may now be more aware of model variance given Dr. Birx statement.  When it comes to models of the future, a quote from the book of Joel, Billy, from his song Summer at Highland Falls, applies.

For we are always what our situations hand us. It’s either sadness or euphoria.

But we have to be handed the situation, and models are not reality, but virtual reality. If you treat them as reality, its when wild swings can occur. As a bonafide snow lover, I have never seen so many major storms forecasted 5 days out for where I live which turned out to be nothing. So if I bought the model, it was euphoria at the time, only to end up with sadness.

Now lets step to climate. Knowing how bad models are, why would you buy models that have been wrong so far? It is true it has warmed, but let us take a look at the model forecasts and reality.

From Dr John Christy:

The bottom deep line is the Satellite temps of the earth, the gold standard of observation this era. This was through 2010, there has been an upturn in relation to the models you see (only 3 of them) that have been so close to that. The thick box line north of that is Nasa. The solid line is the consensus of all models.

Why would you base claims of catastrophic warming on faulty modeling that has factored in CO2, rather than reality? (Supposedly the best model was the Russian model, which had the least CO2 feedback factored in) Compressed timelines also exaggerate the problems.

Take the chart above, suppose the 5 year intervals were twice as long on the chart, so the chart covered more space and you can see individual increments better. The change would be even less imposing. What can not be argued is that close to 97% of the models (amazing how that number is given to the so-called 97%  “consensus”) are much too warm. But there is no Dr. Birx on TV that can point this out, even though man-made climate change agenda people are trying to portray their issue as being as dire or more dire than what we are facing now. How in any real-world objective look, is that even a consideration, unless you are a zealot pushing an agenda for a different reason?

A close up from Dr Roy Spencers site reveals that Super El Niño’s are responsible for the warming that takes a long time to wash out. While one can draw a line from the start to finish with a steady slope rising, a tiny increase of WV has the greatest effect where it is coldest and driest. Which is just as reasonable, and this is due to the nature of water vapors effect on temperature when it becomes more evenly distributed over the years. (Simple correlation) Thus, when a Super El Niño comes along and pumps that into the air, there is a step up in the temperature to a new “pause” level higher than the one before..This is my hypothesis and it was first opined before the Super El Niño of 15-16.

Disclaimer: I do not know if Dr Spencer agrees with me or not on the hypothesis. But my point is you can draw the trend from coldest to warmest or looking into the details of how that happens. We had an increase of close to .3C after the 97-98 Super EL Niño. The increase after 15-16 is about .2c.

image.gifThis would put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Super El Niño’s since at the warmer level, the new water vapor introduced to the system has produced less of a rise (again due to the relationship of WV to temperatures, the colder the place, the more the effect).
What can not be denied is the cyclical nature of the oceans which are in a warm phase, in tandem, supports the higher equilibrium. “Hopes” for low solar cooling in the means back to below these levels are offset by the amount of heat in the ocean now. This, which is very slow to change and may be a result of many large scale effects, solar included (200 years of high sunspot activity). But the point is a forecast made from the 15-16 El Niño. On for a new higher pause point to develop, looks to have at least some interest.

BTW here is Dr Spencer’s site.

The moral of the story: models can’t be trusted as we don’t know everything that goes into them and the WEIGHTING  of the variables, co2 included, or the code used to create the model.  . The overall trend is up to no doubt, In addition, it may be a step-up function and since it has occurred with super Ninos and co2 increase has been steady, it is much more likely that the super Ninos are responsible for these increases, not co2. The cause of such events are hard to pin down, but one thing I have pointed out many times is contrary to trapping hot spot ideas over the tropics, the atmosphere has been drying out leading to less cloud cover, more incoming radiation in the ENSO regions, which could act to retard cooling, But that is a solar-ocean connection not a co2 connection.  Given man only is responsible for 25% of the co2 in the atmosphere and nature has the other 75%, much of that in the oceans, it seems like nature far outweighs man in this situation, So trusting models loaded with co2 feedback that catch a general trend that nature has but the models far overdo it, is something, in my opinion, to be skeptical of when forming policy for one, or making predictions, for another.

I see some of the models have a snowstorm for me around April fools day, To quote Ronald Reagan.. well there you go again,Maybe this time we will get it.


  • Joe Bastardi is a pioneer in extreme weather and long-range forecasting. He is the author of “The Climate Chronicles: Inconvenient Revelations You Won’t Hear From Al Gore — and Others” which you can purchase at the CFACT bookstore.