Wednesday, October 28, 2020
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Washington Post slams Bill Nye ‘the science guy’ for ‘fumbling’ blizzard explanation: ‘One of the most flawed discussions of meteorology’ ever seen on a national network

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Chief Meteorologist Jason Samenow:

In likening the blizzard and hurricane Sandy, Nye implies both storms originated off the coast from Africa, which is wrong. Sandy formed in the Caribbean (not from an African wave) and the blizzard formed off the Mid-Atlantic coast (from the merger of two North American disturbances).

Nye then draws an absurd comparison between East Coast storms and West Coast storms in an attempt to equate them.

“If you live on the West Coast … that same type of storm is called a Sou’wester,” Nye says. “If you go to the sailboat store you can get a Nor’easter hat in New England but it’s a Sou’wester hat in Seattle.”

Big problem: storms typically hit Seattle from the west not from the south. They don’t form off the Pacific coast of Los Angeles or San Francisco and charge northward. In my entire life, (until watching Nye’s comments) I had never heard the term “Sou’wester” used in reference to a West Coast storm (a google search reveals there is an apartment complex and a lodge with such a name in the region – but I couldn’t find a meteorological reference).

Nye then makes a convoluted comment about spin in different parts of the storm that serves as a non-sensical transition into a discussion of climate change. The climate change discussion is somewhat more coherent than his early comments but overly simplistic.

Why MSNBC turned to Nye for weather wisdom is headscratching, considering it has access to a stable of competent meteorologists at the Weather Channel.

Nye has created some wonderful science educational programs for children, but a weather expert he is not.

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