Hurricanes, Global Warming or Cooling: The Weather Year of a Lifetime
I have always been an optimist, but somehow I feel like this is it, as far as the chance to really stand out in the weather.
This past winter, now this summer and this hurricane season... well, I will never get a chance at hitting such major extreme weather events in the U.S. again. I don't plan on dying anytime soon; it's just that as far as the overall pattern recognition skills I use to come up with my ideas go, they will never line up like this again.
I realize there may have been individual events that outstrip individual events of this past year: bigger hurricanes, higher record highs, lower record lows, a snowstorm that might be bigger for a place, etc. But in terms of the frequency of headline-grabbing weather, it won't happen again in my lifetime. Here I am with 35 years of experience with the weather (45-50 if you count all the schooling my dad gave me with his insight when I was younger) that has reached its peak.
One of the bad things about being able to see major challenges is you can also see the downturns coming. I have found that the two things the weather does for me is a) brings me closer to the good Lord, because like some of us in the field, you start seeing the majesty of a power far greater than man in all this, and b) satisfies a need in me to fight.
With wrestling, I would fight and often lose, but in the weather, I have had a better chance at winning. There was always the next mountain to climb, but I don't see, weather-wise, in my lifetime the chance of this kind of mountain to climb over a period of a year like this one.
This is what it must be like to be a boxer, when you know the big fights are done. I am not talking about a forecast service-forecast service fight, but the greatest year of weather in my lifetime. If you want to talk about winter being winter and summer being summer, this is the greatest I will ever see. It's sad to know that after this such a thing won't occur again, but the challenge is getting out there with these ideas sooner rather than later, and then seeing if they are correct.
I want you to understand this: In June of last year, I notified clients about how bad the winter would be. In February, the hurricane season was played up, before anyone even saw the idea of the El Nino collapsing, and the summer was forecasted hot.
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) had a cool summer forecasted for much of the nation between the Rockies and Appalachians, as did many of my private sector competitors. This meant a huge battle in the forecast. But I am a company within a company here at AccuWeather.com with high-end clients who pay to get an advantage as early as possible. My clients are very happy with the way things were turning out. My ramped-up hurricane forecast went out in February, the others you have heard about came later (including NOAA in late May).
I am already telling clients a much warmer winter for the nation on a whole is on the way, and next summer will turn out for the nation much cooler than this summer.
With the current forecast battle, consider what has happened here. For the eastern and southern U.S., the amazing winter has been followed by one of the hottest May-June periods on record, and we still have the rest of the summer (after a wonderful break in the heat this week, we will turn it up again next week).
If the hurricane season is as portrayed, when will this come along again, the chance to forecast a triple crown of weather extremes in the large populated areas of our nation, and actually being more or less correct? It won't, and heres why:
The coming cooling of the planet overall will return it to where it was in the '60s, '70s, and '80s. And less heat over such a large area means less potential for the fight-backs that occur to cause the extreme in such a prolonged focused manner.
Now, I have often defended people that disagree with my global warming ideas because if I were looking at what they were looking at, and nothing else, then I would believe it too! But I have read and respect the other side of the argument, and it leaves me with the chance to make the forecast knowing not only what they know, but also what I know.
To me, it's a matter of who is right and wrong. But in the circle of competitive forecasters I am in, the vast majority of the long-range private sector meteorologists can see what is coming down the road and agree with me. Many of these people have masters and Ph.D.s, but they are involved in work that requires them to prove enough merit, that they are restrained. It's very competitive.
We all understand the same thing: The Pacific is cooling. The Atlantic will start doing so in 10-15 years. Then the global temperature come down and we have the satellites to measure it without data readjustment.
So it comes down to a forecast, and my attitude with my detractors is this: Let's see who is right the next 20-30 years. Global temperatures go up and down, and have been generally going up, while the oceans have been warm, but will dive over the next 18 months. Even the almighty climate models see it, as you see temperatures, relative to normal, cooling dramatically around the globe over the next nine months! (See the attached charts for more information.)
Is this simplistic? I just smile and say, we will see if I am right or wrong!
By the way, that means that the need for developing other sources of energy, along with using what we have now, is ramped up. Global cooling is worse energy-use-wise than global warming.
An aside: I am not against alternative energy. I feel like I have to say that as I have had my words twisted and taken out of context so many times before by those who do not approve of what I believe. Polarization and demonization of a target is becoming common on both side of this debate today.
But back to the main issue here.
The events that have lead to this wild weather are reversing, and for this large area of the U.S., this will be the wildest year, between winter snow, summer heat and the hurricane season, that I will ever see in my lifetime.
The words of Marc Antony in Julius Caesar come to mind about the year of weather ending after this hurricane season.
Here was a Caesar! when comes such another?