Hurricane Patricia: So why did the world’s ‘most powerful tropical cyclone ever recorded’ inflict so little damage?

Guest post by Jaime Jessop of the ClimateContrarian blog.

It was billed as the megastorm of the millennium; the most powerful storm ever recorded according to the barometric pressure measured at the eye and the measured sustained windspeeds around that eye of 200mph upwards. It intensified very quickly and as it headed towards the Mexican Pacific coastline it prompted the National Hurricane Centre to issue warnings of an “extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane” about to make landfall with a potentially catastrophic storm surge “near and to the east of where the centre makes landfall”. Tweet here:

It did indeed make landfall, supposedly as a Category 5 and @metofficestorms tweeted:

This was based on NOAA’s report, which seems to have been subtly altered since I first went to the link and I wish I had archived the original. However, it confirms the figure of 165mph sustained windspeed with an unconfirmed report of 185mph and 211mph gust.

So there is little doubt that, officially, Patricia made landfall as a Category 5 with very high windspeeds, even though these very destructive winds were confined to the eye perimeter, which measured a compact 15 miles across. Even so, one would expect such extreme winds to cause extreme damage, even if such damage was confined to a relatively small area. Not only did Patricia fail to inflict widespread damage in Mexico (including the predicted ‘potentially catastrophic’ flooding and landslides) but it seems there is no evidence whatsoever of the severe impacts one would expect from such a storm in the (sparsely populated) exact area where the storm made landfall. A few downed trees and power lines, wrecked (not flattened) houses, destroyed crops etc. is hardly evidence of 165mph/185mph sustained winds. See photos here.

Where did it all go wrong? Why did a supposedly global-warming induced, monster El Nino augmented Category 5 superstorm – the most intense ever – make landfall and effectively vanish before our very eyes into firstly a Cat 2, then 1, then tropical storm, then finally tropical depression, within the space of a few short hours? The explanations for this and the fact that it caused so little damage have been patchy and not entirely convincing, consisting basically of the following list:

1. The mountains ate our monster storm
2. The eye was so small it didn’t have much of an impact
3. There was no storm surge because it didn’t have time to form
4. There was no storm surge because of the shape of the seabed
5. The storm was moving too fast to cause much damage
6. It hit a sparsely populated area, therefore damage was minimal
7. Warnings were heeded, therefore no fatalities
8. The eye ‘grazed’ along the coast instead of heading directly inland

Those interested can read the lowdown on the ‘science’ and social reasoning behind Patricia’s vanishing act on these links:
http://www.vox.com/2015/10/26/9615274/hurricane-patricia-aftermath
http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/10/economist-explains-22
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/hurricane-patricia-damage-34705520

The failure of Patricia to leave her mark on the people and landscape of Mexico is made all the more perplexing when we examine the top 5 most powerful hurricanes ever recorded and their impacts. The four storms ranked below Patricia in terms of intensity all caused significant loss of life and widespread destruction.

Furthermore, by way of direct comparison, the only previous east Pacific hurricane to make landfall at Category 5 was responsible for between 1,000 and 2,000 deaths in Mexico – in October 1959.
Patricia is apparently unique. So is this the future? In the age of global warming, are we to expect more frequent such ephemeral monster storms which intensify rapidly, then effectively vaporise as they make landfall?
A more rational explanation might be that Patricia was not in fact a Category 5 when it made landfall. Ryan Maue of Weatherbell doubts that it was:

https://twitter.com/RyanMaue/status/658401165961482240

Which suggests the possibility that Patricia intensified very rapidly as it fed off very warm surface waters in the extreme east Pacific (contributed to via the Warm Blob and El Nino, no doubt), but then just as rapidly weakened immediately prior to the eye making landfall. The total time then spent as a category 5 may have been very brief indeed. I’m just guessing, but the lack of extreme wind damage and more particularly the lack of a storm surge, require explanations rather more detailed and convincing than those given above.

The final word on this matter arises via one of the deepest and most basic instincts of our species: the irrational compulsion to attribute seemingly ‘miraculous’ events to divine providence:

https://twitter.com/Hvaugha1/status/657943319138320385

Perhaps, in the final analysis, such ‘explanations’ for why the world’s most powerful storm failed completely to show its teeth, are no better or no worse than the supposedly more ‘rational’ explanations currently on offer in the media. One thing is for sure: the ‘climate change is happening now’ pundits who eagerly leapt upon Patricia as proof of claim and who (arguably) eagerly anticipated widespread destruction in its wake, have now gone quiet, no doubt waiting for the next opportunity to try and advance their agenda. We all live – and some of us learn.

12 thoughts on “Hurricane Patricia: So why did the world’s ‘most powerful tropical cyclone ever recorded’ inflict so little damage?

  1. HURRICANE PATRICIA SPECIAL DISCUSSION NUMBER 13
    NWS National Hurricane Center MIAMI FL EP202015
    1230 AM CDT FRI OCT 23 2015

    Quote:
    The purpose of this special advisory is to update for a significant
    increase in the intensity of the hurricane. Reports from the Air
    Force Hurricane Hunters indicate that Patricia has intensified at an
    incredible rate since yesterday. The plane measured peak 700-mb
    flight level winds of 179 kt in the northeastern eyewall, and this
    may be an unprecedented value for a tropical cyclone. Using the 90
    percent adjustment value to convert this to a surface wind speed
    yields an intensity estimate of 160 kt, which is tied with eastern
    north Pacific Hurricane Linda of 1997 for the strongest on record.

    A dropsonde released into the eye measured a sea-level pressure of
    894 mb with 25 kt of wind. Adjusting this pressure for the surface
    winds (i.e. the drop did not land into the actual center of the eye)
    gives an estimated minimum central pressure of 892 mb, which breaks
    the record for the lowest pressure of an east Pacific hurricane.
    Some fluctuations in intensity are likely today due to eyewall
    replacements, but Patricia should maintain category 5 status through
    landfall this afternoon or evening…

    FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

    INIT 23/0530Z 16.5N 105.3W 160 KT 185 MPH
    12H 23/1200Z 17.4N 105.7W 160 KT 185 MPH
    24H 24/0000Z 19.7N 105.3W 160 KT 185 MPH…INLAND

    http://flhurricane.com/cyclone/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=96082&page=0&fpart=all&vc=1&nt=2

    Scroll down to #96092

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  2. President Obama, on his recent trip to Alaska, referred to two receding glaciers as examples of “climate change”. His (and his cohort’s) use of the term “climate change” means significant global warming due to human activity, mostly involving fossil fuel usage.) However, one of those glaciers, “Exit”, has been receding since 1750, a century before co2 began increasing and two centuries before co2 could have had any noticeable impact on temperature. Neither he nor the major news media mentioned several other Alaskan glaciers, including “Hubbard” and “Taku”, which have been advancing. Obviously both phenomenon cannot be attributed to global warming. (it is true that some alarmists seriously claim that co2 increase can simultaneously bring on both warming and cooling events!)

    Consider the serious implication if no glaciers were receding. That would imply that our current warm period has ended and the next ice age was underway! The average duration over the past 1.3 million years for ice ages is 90,000 years. The warmer intervals between ice ages (interglacial periods, one of which we are now enjoying) average just 10,000 years. We are likely near the end of our current warming period. Instead of concern about some floodiing in NY City, try wrapping your mind around what actually happened not very long ago, on a geologic basis – a mile high glacier parked on the Big Apple!

    The claims of a “97% consensus” have been thoroughly debunked. Among other problems these unprofessional “surveys” counted many skeptics as part of their supposed consensus. These “surveyors” posed ambiguous questions and made no distinction between the IPCC cabal, which claims human activity is the PRINCIPLE cause of global warming, and other respondents (mostly skeptics) who merely acknowledged that increasing co2 MIGHT have SOME impact on global warming. Had those surveys been designed (and handled) by unbiased professionals the result may well have shown that skeptics were actually in the majority, but it matters not, since scientific truths are not dependent on vote counts.

    When you strike a match that action should have some impact on global warming (unlikely measurable). The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect is well known, but also turns out to have no measurable impact on global temperature. That’s because urban areas represent only a very small portion of the earth’s surface area and even the rural areas immediately surrounding an UHI show no measurable temperature impact from that UHI. Nevertheless, no credible skeptic is likely to flatly declare that human activity is having NO impact on global warming. The issues to be resolved are that the IPCC, and its supporters, claim that (1) co2 increase causes global warming and (2) human activity, which appears to be responsible for most of the co2 increase, is therefore the principle cause of the warming. There is no empirical evidence that co2 level has ever, even over geologic periods when it was much higher than now, had any impact on global temperature. This renders (1) questionable and makes (2) moot until (1) is resolved.

    The term “climate change”, until recently, referred to 4 billion years of natural climate events and included such things as ice ages. Now, and with full cooperation of the major news media, “climate change” instead means “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” (CAGW), and skeptics are accused of being “climate change” deniers. (“catastrophic” because it seems clear that a steadily increasing co2 level at some point would surely lead to that outcome.) Assuming we are causing this increase, how much time do we have to resolve this issue? Will it perhaps be naturally resolved “naturally”, if nothing else, perhaps by our next ice age?

    Well, it turns out that during most of our planet’s history the co2 level has been several times higher than now, and yet, even over geologic periods, there is no empirical evidence showing that co2 has EVER had any impact on the global temperature. In fact, over geologic periods there is a strong correlation showing the opposite – that temperature variation occurs FIRST and only 800 to 2800 years LATER do similar variations show up in the co2 level. While correlation does not imply causation this one obviously rules out the possibility of a similar correlation satisfying the alarmist claims. There are also no claims that co2 level has any direct impact on climate other than via warming.

    Dr. Craig Idso (co2science.org) states that a comparison of our current interglacial with the four immediately prior interglacials (a span of about 340,000 years) shows that, while co2 level is now 40% higher, our current temperature is about two degrees cooler. Obviously co2, even at its now higher level, is having little, if any, impact on global temperature. Since both co2 level and UHI appear to be ruled out insofar as having any impact on global temperature, what is the basis for the IPCC claim that human activity is the PRINCIPLE cause of our warming?

    Monckton’s analysis demonstrates conclusively that our two weather satellites show no additional temperature increase for the past 18+ years and it is clear that the computer models did not expect, nor can they account for what happened to that missing heat. Monckton’s analysis can be found here: http://www.climatedepot.com/2015/09/02/a-new-record-pause-length-satellite-data-no-global-warming-for-18-years-8-months/

    There is no physical basis for claiming that the “missing heat” could disappear into the ocean, sink unnoticed past 3,600 ARGO buoys, subsequently hide in the deep ocean, and somehow later re-surface and escape back into the atmosphere. Neither is the small increase in recent ocean temperature sufficient to explain the “missing heat”. The speculation brought on by this hiatus in temperature increase has, in a relatively short period, evolved into dozens of different excuses, but the usual suspects invariably continue to insist the science is “settled”.

    It’s also well known that the capability of co2 to influence warming diminishes as its level increases. A greenhouse is hardly an adequate model for our open atmosphere because there is no convection from within a real greenhouse, and satellites detect heat escaping to space. Neither are greenhouses subject to ocean or other planetary-level feedbacks. Also, computer models cannot deal with ongoing chaotic and unpredictable events (volcano eruptions, earthquakes, bombardment by asteroids and comets, plate tectonics, continental shift) which all influence climate.

    The computer models have consistently projected higher temperature increases than were subsequently recorded, and this discrepancy has continued even after several rounds of revisions to the models. What’s more, the spread between actual temperature and computer projected temperatures has continued to WIDEN. Climate model results are not evidence of anything apart from the author(s) limited understanding and possible confirmation biases. All these models ASSUME that water vapor is the real culprit, creating 2 to 3 times the temperature increase as supposedly brought on directly by co2 increase. Feedbacks are not well understood, yet modelers assume not only that water vapor feedback is positive, but that its impact on temperature is 2 to 3 times that of the co2 impact (which itself is in question.) Cloud cover, one aspect of water vapor, clearly appears to have a cooling rather than a warming effect. Without the water vapor feedback assumption, the threat of increasing co2 impacting temperature drops by 75%.

    Our current co2 level is 400 ppmv, (parts per million by volume) clearly a trace gas, which can also be stated as 4/100 of one percent of the atmosphere, by volume. (4/100 of one percent of a mile is about 2 feet). The annual rate of increase in co2 is about 2 ppmv, so co2 level is estimated to reach 600 ppmv by 2100. That still represents a trace gas. A crowded gym with poor ventilation may reach 1,000 ppmv. Submarine crews survive for months in a 5,000 to 8,000 + ppmv environment. Plants, grow faster, healthier, produce more oxygen, and need less water in higher co2 environments. Our earth is greening even as this controversy continues.

    The proponents of CAGW base their entire hypothesis on less than 30 years of climate history. Even the most rabid CAGW scientists recognize that any temperature impact brought on by increasing co2 would have taken (at 2ppmv per year) until about 1950 before having any possible measurable impact on global temperature. While co2 began rising in the mid 1800s our current warming (such as it is) began, by definition, (Dr. David Evans, Aussie climatologist) at the bottom of the Little Ice Age, in the mid 1600s. That implies 300 years (1650 to 1950) of natural warming. There was also some serious warming during the 1930s, and a mild cooling from the 1940s to the 1970s, followed by THE warming, from the mid 1970s to about 1998. Although it remains warm there has been no additional warming since about 1998 according to both weather satellites. (The satellite data also agrees well with weather balloon data.)

    It is actual data which brings out all these conflicts with alarmist claims, so what about their greenhouse gas theory? A necessary condition to be satisfied by the theory is that greenhouse gases must generate a “hotspot” warming pattern in our troposphere. However, no such hotspot has been found, and not for lack of searching. The theory is therefore completely compromised. The preponderance of conflicting data should therefore not be surprising. For a robust discussion on the hotspot signature see: http://joannenova.com.au/2012/04/so-is-the-hotspot-a-fingerprint-or-signature-is-it-unique/

    There are 5 global temperature datasets, 3 terrestrial and 2 satellite. However, according to Phil Jones (2003) the three terrestrial datasets all utilize 90 to 95% of the same raw data. There are three sets of terrestrial temperature datasets only because three separate organizations are involved and each makes its own revisions to the raw data. With regard to satellites, as of September 2015, UAH shows no additional warming for the past 18 years and 5 months and RSS shows no additional warming for the past 18 years and 8 months. (However, as Monckton points out, this could change because the upcoming el Nino, a natural warming event, may bring on some additional temporary warming.) Neither is this 18+ year duration of no additional warming cherry picked. That result depends solely on the data itself and answers a relevant question, namely – for how long has there been no additional warming? If the same analysis used on the two satellites is instead applied to the mean of all 5 datasets, there has been no additional warming for the past 13+ years. (However, since all three terrestrial datasets are basically derived from the same raw data, the 3/5 weighting for terrestrial data in that calculation is overly generous. Acknowledgement of that would further increase the 13 years.)

    The three terrestrial datasets have other problems. Even the current raw data must be continually revised because many stations are located within or near UHIs and that effect, which often changes over time, must be re-ESTIMATED and eliminated. (Why the historic terrestrial data also needs revision and invariably such “corrections” produce more warming is not so obvious.) The distance between some land stations may be as much as 1200km, and there are even fewer stations in remote (jungles, mountains, deserts, plains, grasslands, etc.) areas. Finally, many land based temperature stations do not satisfy even the basic requirements laid down by the government. (Why have NOAA and NASA not at least included a separate analysis, for comparison purposes, using only raw data from rural locations? This subset should require few, if any ongoing revisions. Both NASA and NOAA strictly base their claims on the terrestrial data. Why? And never bother to provide that caveat in their public declarations. Why?)

    Some alarmists, and that also includes many liberal politicians, continue even now to claim severe weather events and sea level rise are “evidence” of CAGW. Sea level has been rising for the past 15,000 years, ever since the last ice age BEGAN melting, and sea level is now up 400+ feet. The overall rate of sea level increase has been steadily dropping for the past several thousand years. Sea level rise is now at a miniscule 1 to 2 mm per YEAR, (1 mm = 4/100 of one inch. In 25 years, the level would be up one inch, probably less because the rate continues to drop.) Claims of higher increases in sea level in some areas are clearly not taking into account the effects of wind, erosion, or subsidence. A graph showing sea level over the past 12-15 thousand years should be sufficient to assuage any rational person as to what is happening. In the case of severe weather events various statistical analysis have demonstrated conclusively that, for the past several decades, these events have all remained within natural climate variation (so no measurable effect attributable to co2 level or warming). Hurricanes, typhoons, tornados, floods, rain, and droughts have been no more severe nor more frequent during the past several decades. Tthe costs incurred by severe weather have generally increased because of growing populations in those areas.

    At least one well known member of the IPCC cabal, Phil Jones, stated that if the Medieval Warming Period (MWP) was global and as warm as now, then “that’s another ballgame”. The Climate Gate email conversations showed concern about the MWP. (In fact, at least one email made clear that they had to get rid of the MWP !) The IPCC and its cohort also continue to insist that the MWP was only a regional phenomenon, and not as warm as now. This completely unjustifiable claim is apparently an attempt to avoid having to deal with an embarrassing question — “If the MWP, a natural event 1,000 years ago, was as warm (probably warmer) than now, why do you think humans are the cause of our current warming?” Certainly any credible scientist who was a proponent of CAGW should have demanded that a global investigation be undertaken to confirm whether the MWP was global. But this alarmist group chose instead to ignore the evidence and cling to their belief. They instead demand that the skeptics provide evidence that the MWP was global and as warm or warmer than now. Think about that. If even one region remote from Europe shows the same warming trend, their claim that the MWP was merely regional begins to crumble. As it turns out, higher temperatures during the MWP and the MWP trend show up in numerous remote locations.

    Ironically, there were numerous peer-reviewed studies available showing the MWP to be global and as warm, likely warmer, long before the alarmist position became public, even before their cries reverted from claims of oncoming ice age to global warming. (Holdren, science adviser to Obama, was an alarmist for cooling before becoming an alarmist for warming.) The alarmist denials continue even now, in spite of new confirming studies continuing to show up regularly, as often as weekly. The website co2science.org has links to all the MWP peer reviewed studies. These confirming studies have employed various temperature proxies, including some newer methods not available during earlier studies. And then there are the results from 6,000 boreholes around the globe which independently confirm that the MWP trend was indeed global.

    The Alaskan Mendenhall Glacier, recently retreated sufficiently to expose some splintered tree trunks (dated 1000+ years old) preserved in their original upright positions. Receding Swiss glaciers have revealed 4,000 year-old trees which indicate that forests were present earlier at that latitude. (It is also apparent that the glaciers had retreated considerably further north from there!) Antique vineyards dating back to the MWP have also been exposed in Scandinavia and the Alps at latitudes where grapes cannot be grown even today. Burial sites have been found beneath the permafrost. Attempts to brush off that aggregation of information as “anecdotal evidence” is ludicrous. Claiming that the dating of these recently exposed splintered tree trunks may be inaccurate is hardly relevant because that in no way eliminates the fact that there were warmer durations than now, when co2 level was lower, and this took place at latitudes where trees can no longer grow.

    What’s more, there were several earlier warm durations during this interglacial before the MWP, all warmer than the MWP. Even the IPCC only claims that our current warming is a record for the past 800 years, and with less likelihood, (but no justification provided) for the past 1200 years. Lord Monckton points out that while the IPCC has finally admitted in its latest report that the current RATE of warming is now lower than published earlier, their committee (which reviews every word of their public report multiple times) has still somehow managed to avoid correcting their erroneous out-years high temperature estimate.

    In late 2014 both NASA and NOAA claimed that 2014 was the “hottest” year, but both backed down after skeptics pointed out that, if their same analysis had been applied to satellite data, then 2014 ranking would have been either 3rd or 6th hottest. (Both results imply at least a short term cooling is underway.) Also, neither agency felt the need to include in their initial press release that the difference amongst recent annual global temperatures was miniscule, (a few hundredths of one degree) so well within the uncertainty error, which renders their contrived comparison across recent years meaningless. The major news media, as usual, jumped on their original news (2014 “hottest”) release, but overlooked the NOAA/NASA subsequent retreat. These two agencies are apparently still at it, recently claiming that June 2015 was the “hottest” month. There has also been no accompanying acknowledgement that sea ice extent in the Arctic recently increased considerably and sea ice extent in the southern hemisphere continues to break records. Neither was it noted that new weather trends begin at the two poles. Has everyone forgotten that in summers of 1959-1962 the North Pole was visited by the Coast Guard cutter Storis, (along with submarines and other ships) in open water? Eisenhower’s concern about the ”military/industrial” complex has obviously evolved into something else — the “government/science” complex ??

    Quite recently the two agencies (now evidently desperate) decided to revise the sea surface temperatures in an apparent effort to do away with the temperature “hiatus”. But, as CFACT points out “…NOAA “adjusted” sea-surface temperature (SST) data from buoys upward by .12 degrees C, to make them ‘homogeneous’ with lengthier records from past engine intake systems in ships. However, engine intake data are ‘clearly contaminated by heat conduction from the ships, and that data were never intended for scientific use – whereas the global buoy network was designed for environmental monitoring”. These agencies also recently declared that their three terrestrial datasets are “independent”, which, as discussed earlier, is dubious, at best.

    To summarize: It’s been known for several years that the greenhouse gas theory does not satisfy even the basic NECESSARY condition to be valid – no “hotspot”. The analysis is clear that severe weather and our current warming are within natural climate variation. In fact, it’s obviously been much warmer than now earlier in this interglacial. There is no empirical evidence showing co2 increase has ever had any impact on the planet’s temperature. We therefore face only one issue, a rising co2 level which appears to be at least partly brought on by human activity. It is clear that the current rate of increase in co2 level permits us time to proceed cautiously. This is a longer term problem, certainly not an immediate crisis. Certainly the current larger threat is politicians’ rush to implement costly non-solutions.

    Then there is our government’s current “solution” for this doubtful problem. Obama wants to reduce electrical power emissions by 32% by 2030. The following is quoted directly from Joanne Nova’ website which merely confirms what the EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, recently admitted:

    This “ambitious” goal is purely symbolic. Here’s why. Electrical power plants make 37% of US emissions, which are about one-fifth of global human emissions, which are 4% of total CO2 emissions globally. So a 32% cut in US electrical emissions will result in a 0.1% cut in total global CO2 emissions (at best)*. If the Obama/EPA plan is “successful” and if the IPCC are right, Paul Knappenberger and Pat Michaels estimate that Obama’s new plan will cool the world by an unmeasurable 0.02°C by 2100.

    The mission of the UN’s well-funded IPCC was to identify human impact on climate. Would anyone expect the IPCC (or any such bureaucracy) to report back to its funding sources that “it’s apparently just Mother Nature at work?” Would the UN even permit the IPCC to reach such a conclusion? Large western governments all view this issue as an opportunity, to (among other things) gain more control over the fossil fuel industry, and to introduce new taxes. Small countries are also onboard because they have been promised remuneration for the “climate change” pain supposedly imposed on them by the larger countries. (You can be sure any UN document on the subject will include issues related to “remuneration”.)

    Whether these alarmists are “useful idiots”, or willing to lie because they believe in some higher principle (one-world government, abhor the fossil fuel industry, or want to transfer western resources to third world countries) hardly matters. The road to hell is paved with “good” intentions. 10/27

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  3. Hey, don’t knock it – it might seem to be somewhat off-topic, but it also seemed to be a very rational and factual précis of the absurdity of CAGW – and the nonsense of alarmists hoping and predicting world “extreme” weather events to be catastrophic and due to GW etc. is just one aspect of that absurdity.
    “The sky is falling down, and you’ll be sorry you didn’t listen to me and pay a skyfall-deferment-tax when it does!” sort of thing.
    The précis stands on its own two feet. Whoever wrote that knows his/her stuff pretty well. I don’t think I saw any flaws in the reasoning or information referred to, having independently studied most of the matters for myself and/or with my students, and having come up with the same/similar conclusions. For example, the comments about the MWP and its scale were spot-on – as far as my original research goes at any rate – and I haven’t seen them negated, though I have seen them confirmed by more recent observations (data) following my research, and that data is referred to by the author.

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  4. Pingback: If All You See… » Pirate's Cove

  5. As we speak, another tropical cyclone, Chapala, has intensified to Category 4 in the Indian Ocean and is expected to make landfall in Yemen, bringing “8 years of rainfall in 48 hours” according to Eric Holthaus, the very same who pointed the finger of blame at climate change for the genesis of Patricia. We shall see what becomes of this latest superstorm attracting numerous superlatives on social media.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/10/29/cyclone_chapala_to_bring_record_breaking_rain_to_yemen_and_oman.html

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  6. Re : suspicious editing on NOAA page
    “This was based on NOAA’s report, which seems to have been subtly altered since I first went to the link and I wish I had archived the original”
    – WaybackMachine has no copy
    – However you’ll see from the URL that it is a series of discussions. Yours is page 17 from 10pm and talks about 145 kt/165 mph SUSTAINED winds
    The previous page 16 from 4pm (ie before landfall) talks about higher winds “The aircraft measured
    192 kt flight-level winds” & “with a 166 kt surface wind estimate from the Stepped Frequency
    Microwave radiometer”
    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2015/ep20/ep202015.discus.016.shtml

    2 observations from page 16 show they predicted it wasn’t going to be as big as the previous hype.
    #1 ” All of these indicate that the hurricane is weakening. The initial intensity is reduced to 165 kt,
    and this could be generous.”
    “After landfall, a combination of the mountainous terrain of Mexico and increasing shear should cause the cyclone to rapidly weaken, with the system likely to dissipate completely after 36 hours, if not sooner.”
    #2 “The NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft reports that at this time, the Category 5 winds are occurring over a VERY SMALL area near the center – about 15 miles across.”

    Now Commenter Kev just posted page 13
    It shows they were getting excited about something being a record, but that record was a guess from adjusting the data :
    “Adjusting this pressure for the surface winds (i.e. the drop did not land into the actual center of the eye)
    gives an estimated minimum central pressure of 892 mb, which breaks the record for the lowest pressure of an east Pacific hurricane.” ..yes but it was an estimate.

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  7. Is this your altered NOAA page ? if you google site:www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2015/ep20/ 200
    It shows you that the docs are not just numbered 017,018
    but come also public.017 and public_a.017 etc.
    and those page 17s are 3 hours apart and so completely different in text

    That google list shows the times 200mph is mentioned
    like “Reports from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum
    sustained winds remain near 200 mph (325 km/h) with higher gusts.”

    So can anyone explain why in their newspaper columns Tom Harris and Tim Ball are emphatic ?
    “Patricia’s supposed 200-mph wind speed over the ocean was not actually measured. It was merely predicted by computer models based on the measured speeds thousands of feet above the surface”
    http://westmorelandtimes.com/news/17304/30/opinion-hurricane-patricia-records-not-real/#sthash.EraLDUJK.ojMug5Xx.dpuf

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  8. Hi Stewgreen,

    Thanks for the comments. The web address for the report I quoted is p17, marked ‘discus’. The ‘public’ page 17 is totally different, as is p16, (public, public_a, and discus) – as you rightly point out, they are three hours apart – so maybe I was just mistaken in thinking that the page had been subtly altered if there is no record on the wayback machine.

    The ‘record’ central pressure apparaently was estimated via dropsonde:

    “The central pressure estimated from an eye dropsonde was 879 mb.”

    But after that, the hurricane began to weaken, even before the eye made landfall.

    “Since that time, the eye has become cloud-filled, and data from the plane suggest the formation of an
    outer wind maximum, with decreasing winds in the eyewall, and an increasing central pressure. All of these indicate that the hurricane is weakening.”

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2015/ep20/ep202015.discus.016.shtml

    So Patricia’s record breaking status appears to rely upon just one dropsonde estimate of central pressure. If the estimate was indeed correct, we are still left to speculate on just how long Patricia actually maintained its status as a record-breaking Category 5 hurricane.

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  9. Living in Texas, where the remnants of the Patricia system passed through last week, we were introduced to the new tactic in climate indoctrination: “Unprecedented”. To sustain the narrative, each and every weather system must be reported on as “Historic”, “unprecedented” and “dangerous”.
    That Patricia was just another storm demonstrating the ability of tropical cyclones to quickly “blossom” when conditions are right is now presented as a new and scary weather manifestation.
    That Patricia has been hyped as some sort of worst ever storm is disrespectful of those who were impacted by storms like Camille (1969) with 200 mph measured on land at Biloxi, Miss , the 1938 hurricane (unnamed), the 1935 labor Day storm (unnamed) to name a few.
    The pernicious impact of climate obsession’s need to make facts fit the apocalyptic narrative is hurting all areas effected.

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  10. I would hazard a guess as to how long Patricia stayed Cat5 as the length of time it took the hurricane hunter to fly from one side of the eye to the other. Once it left, “Patty” sighed a sigh of relief, let its belt out and allowed her pressure to rise. Sort of like the chubby guy on the beach when the pretty girl in the bikini walks by. He can suck that gut in for the few moments necessary to “look” tough.

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