Inconvenient data points: Scientists debunk Al Gore claim on Hurricane Florence

by WorldTribune Staff, September 17, 2018

As Hurricane Florence was bearing in on the East Coast, Al Gore on Sept. 14 asserted that two major storms from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans had, until last week, never made landfall at the same time.

Gore was referring to Florence, which struck North Carolina on Sept. 14, and Super Typhoon Mangkhut, which hit the Philippines on Sept. 15.

Al Gore speaks at the Global Action Climate Summit on, Sept. 14. / AP

“This is the first time in history that two major storms are making landfall from the Atlantic and the Pacific simultaneously,” Gore told the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

In a tweet, Gore added: “We’re using the sky as an open sewer. This is literal madness…We have to wake up!”

Scientists did a quick fact check on the former vice president.

“Al Gore just (fraudulently) claimed without any evidence that we’ve never had hurricanes in both the Atlantic and Pacific making landfall at the same time,” tweeted meteorologist Ryan Maue, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.

One twitter user responded to Maue’s tweet by saying: “I picked a year at random (1998) and came up with Hurricane Georges (Cat 4 peak) made continuous landfalls in the Caribbean from 21-24 Sep and hit the US 25 (Fla Keys) and 28 (LA). Typhoon 11 (Cat 2) made landfalls Sep 19 (Phil) and Sep 22 (Japan). Different TS hit Japan Sep 21.”

University of Colorado Boulder meteorologist Roger A. Pielke Sr. told The Washington Times that Gore’s statement shows “that he is not familiar with the history of tropical cyclone landfalls.”

Maue said Gore’s “first time in history” claim likely originated from an NBC News report last week headlined, “In rare event, Atlantic, Pacific storms churn at the same time.”

The NBC report cited Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach, who said the development of major storms in the Pacific and Atlantic at the same time was uncommon but made no note of the event being unprecedented.

“The thing that’s interesting now is the Pacific is still active, but the Atlantic is very active, which isn’t normal,” Klotzbach told NBC. “I’m surprised to see the Pacific and Atlantic active at the same time.”

Maue said the NBC article “completely missed the mark on ongoing hurricanes and their rarity.”

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