||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2010)|
July 18, 1955 |
Providence, Rhode Island
|Alma mater||Penn State University|
Joe Bastardi is a weather forecaster known for his controversial opinions on weather and climate change. He is a frequent expert guest on TV news shows.
Bastardi was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He spent his childhood moving frequently, first to Texas in 1960, then to Somers Point, New Jersey in 1965. His fascination with weather dates to his childhood; he reportedly carried an anemometer around with him as a teenager to measure wind speed. He enrolled at Penn State University, where he was a member of the varsity wrestling team. He graduated with a degree in meteorology on March 4, 1978. In 1992 at age 37, Bastardi married Jessica Jane Strunck, age 26, also a Penn State graduate. They have a son Garrett (born 1996) and a daughter Jessica (born 1998). In his free time, Bastardi enjoys bodybuilding, and has won the NABBA American Bodybuilding Championships.
His work 
Bastardi's forecasts were previously offered free to the public on Accuweather's main site. However, in the early-2000s, AccuWeather launched its "professional site," and his forecasts were made available to paying subscribers only. He also forecasts for corporate clients. Despite his recent focus on private forecasting, Bastardi frequently appears on cable news channels, such as CNN and Fox News during storms.
Bastardi produced several weather analysis videos most weekdays and some weekend days including "Bastardi's Big Dog", and "Long Ranger". His Long Ranger video features his thoughts on long-range trends, Bastardi rarely touched upon short-range topics in these videos, even ignoring an impending storm in favor of the next one that may still be several days off. In addition to his videos, Bastardi contributed to official AccuWeather press releases, such as annual winter forecasts.
Bastardi wrote a column that generally summarized his views in the videos. Bastardi sometimes contributed columns several times a day when a storm is approaching. He maintains that he has not taken a day off since 2002, including "Christmas and Easter.".
Bastardi is currently a Chief Forecaster at WeatherBell Analytics LLC. At WeatherBell Analytics, he provides frequently updated blog postings and videos on the weather through WeatherBell Premium, as well as services for commercial clients.
Forecasting style and accuracy 
Bastardi prefers definite, rather than probabilistic, predictions: "The weather [is] an opponent that never quits, and the best you really can get is a tie with it." He is critical of National Weather Service forecasts:
Look at this: TONIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY. SNOW LIKELY THIS EVENING...THEN A CHANCE OF SNOW AFTER MIDNIGHT. TOTAL ACCUMULATION AROUND AN INCH. BRISK WITH LOWS IN THE MID 20S. NORTH WINDS 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH. CHANCE OF SNOW 70 PERCENT. I continue to marvel at NOAA forecasts. Does anyone in the NWSFO understand they put out forecasts that make no sense? Why not at least make sense? Now I do have a disagreement with them as to snow totals, for instance at the Jersey Shore where I think they wind up closer to 3 than 1, but that is not my problem. My problem is the darn forecast says they will get an inch, that it is a fact that there will be an inch, but then has SNOW LIKELY THIS EVENING. How the heck can it only be likely? It has to snow to accumulate an inch, doesn't it? How is there a 70% chance of snow, but you say it will accumulate an inch? How can it accumulate an inch, if there is a chance it doesn't fall (30%)?—Joe Bastardi, Accuweather.com Professional, December 5, 2007
He thinks private companies make more accurate forecasts than the government, and he bases this on reports he and his associates have prepared.
Bastardi and colleague Joe D'Aleo were among the first meteorologists to correctly forecast the Halloween nor'easter of 2011, with Bastardi making an early forecast of the storm as early as October 25
In October 2012, Bastardi correctly predicted as early as October 22 that Hurricane Sandy would form in the western Caribbean and make landfall on the Jersey Shore, over a full week before Sandy made landfall on October 30. He was consistent with his forecast despite the constant changes in forecasts from weather models and other meteorologists claiming that his idea of a Jersey landfall would fail to come to fruition.
Stance on Global Warming 
Bastardi is skeptical of human-induced global warming. He asserts that the world was likely warmer in the 1930s than today, that human contribution of carbon dioxide is too small to have any effect, and warming is caused by sun spots and exchange with warmer oceans. He frequently argues in his columns that extreme weather events occur naturally and that there is not enough evidence to state that such events are unusual. Bastardi expects that over the next 30 years, the global average temperature will return to levels seen in the late-1970s due to a so-called "triple-crown of cooling" comprising oceanic temperature cycles, solar radiation cycles, and volcanism.
He has also argued that carbon dioxide cannot cause global warming because this would violate the first law of thermodynamics, a misunderstanding of that gas's role in causing warming, and because CO2 is heavier than other gases in the air.
CO2 cannot cause global warming. I'll tell you why. It doesn't mix well with the atmosphere, for one. For two, its specific gravity is 1 1/2 times that of the rest of the atmosphere. It heats and cools much quicker. Its radiative processes are much different. So it cannot -- it literally cannot cause global warming.
Physicist Richard A. Muller says Bastardi's explanation of CO2 is "completely wrong" and "even skeptics of global warming, if they know physics, would disagree with him." These and other views of climate change propounded by Bastardi are at odds with analyses by working scientists in the field.
Studies released in 2010-2012 by the Center for Climate Change Communication found there was more scepticism of global warming among meteorologists and especially among weathercasters (such as Bastardi is) than among climate scientists. Only about half the 571 television weathercasters surveyed believed that global warming was occurring and fewer than a third believed that climate change was “caused mostly by human activities.” More than a quarter of the weathercasters in the survey agreed with the statement “Global warming is a scam,” the researchers found.
Zones and reporting 
Bastardi publishes his forecasts in "zones," and later reports "scorecards" of each zone. He maintains that he attempts to evaluate his accuracy as completely as possible. Since much of his forecasting is for long-term weather events, Bastardi frequently publishes his scorecards at the end of the seasons or after a major event, such as a hurricane landfall, has occurred.
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- "American Meteorological Society Member Survey on Global Warming: Preliminary Findings, February 2012" (Press release). George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. Feb, 2012. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
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