Joe Bastardi

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Joe Bastardi
BornJuly 18, 1955
Providence, Rhode Island
ResidenceBoalsburg, PA
CitizenshipUnited States
InstitutionsAccuweather, WeatherBELL
Alma materPenn State University
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Joe Bastardi
BornJuly 18, 1955
Providence, Rhode Island
ResidenceBoalsburg, PA
CitizenshipUnited States
InstitutionsAccuweather, WeatherBELL
Alma materPenn State University

Joe Bastardi is a weather forecaster known for the plain-speaking style of his forecasts and 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.[1]

Bastardi worked for AccuWeather from 1978[1] until February, 2011.[2] He joined WeatherBell Analytics LLC in March, 2011.[3]

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. He also served corporate clients such as oil companies, who depend on the weather for their revenue streams.[4]

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 hadn't taken a day off since 2002, including "Christmas and Easter.".[5]

Bastardi is currently a Chief Forecaster at WeatherBell Analytics LLC.[6]

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."[7] 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, 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.[8]

In 2005, Bastardi forecasted hurricane Rita to make landfall as a category 5 storm in Texas but it was only a category 3 storm at landfall. In August 2011, Bastardi forecasted hurricane Irene to make landfall as a category 4 storm on the outer banks of North Carolina and a category 2 storm in New England, which also did not precipitate. Instead, Irene made landfall as a category 1 storm in North Carolina and as a tropical storm in New England.

In 2012, Bastardi invoked the Madden-Julian Oscillation to predict that "drought-busting rains" would occur in the midwest/Ohio valley in June. That was the exact opposite of what actually occurred.

Stance on Global Warming

Bastardi is skeptical of human-induced global warming.[9][10] 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.[11] He frequently argues in his columns that extreme weather events occur occasionally and that there is not enough evidence to state that such events are unusual. For example, commenting on major storms and flooding in 2006 Bastardi stated:

I have no doubt this may be some value to human-induced global warming, but there are a lot of things that are happening now that have happened before.
—Joe Bastardi, Larry King Live[12]

Bastardi has also argued that carbon dioxide cannot cause global warming, because this would violate the first law of thermodynamics,[11] despite the fact that carbon dioxide traps atmospheric heat through the greenhouse effect and is not claimed to heat the atmosphere directly.[13] He 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.[9]

Bastardi frequently comments on global warming during guest appearances on Fox News and Fox Business Network.[13]

Bastardi's employer, Weatherbell Analytics, provides long range weather forecasting for energy companies.[13]

There is much more skepticism of global warming among meteorologists (such as Bastardi) than among climate scientists. This is attributed to different training and experience. Weather models are quite different than climate models, and many meteorologists have not studied climate science. Nevertheless, the American Meteorological Society has affirmed the science of global warming.[14]

Bastardi believes in the cyclical theory of climate and uses this in his long-range forecasts. He predicts two major hurricanes to hit the Northeastern United States by 2015. He also predicts that with the PDO cold and the AMO turning colder, the global temperature will fall to 1970 levels within the next 20-30 years.

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.


  1. ^ a b "Joe Bastardi (biography)". Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ "AccuWeather Congratulates Paul Pastelok as New Leader of Long-Range Forecasting Team" (Press release). AccuWeather Incorporated. February 21, 2011. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ Samenow, Jason (March 11, 2011). "Joe Bastardi hired by start-up firm WeatherBell". Capital Weather Gang. Washington Post. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  4. ^ Smith, Geoffrey (2006-10-18). "Natural Gas Gains on Expectations Early Cold Will Boost Demand". Bloomberg News. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  5. ^ Scott, Anna (November 11, 2007). "Hurricane forecasts are hard. Bad ones are even harder". Herald Tribune. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Team Bio". WeatherBELL Analytics. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  7. ^ Campbell, Robert (Jan 22, 2007). "Muscled meteorologist sees Mother Nature as a foe". Reuters. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  8. ^ Lott, John (August 22, 2007). "Does Government Weather Forecasting Endanger Lives?". Fox News.,2933,293844,00.html. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Bastardi, Joe (June 28, 2011). "Can America Last? Only If We Use the Lessons of the Past". Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  10. ^ Shaffer, Matthew (January 14, 2011). "Bastardi’s Wager: A meteorologist has a challenge for climate scientists". National Review Online. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  11. ^ a b "Climate Change Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction". Fox & Friends Weekend. August 6, 2011. Fox News Channel. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  12. ^ "Massive Floods Hit the Northeast; Interview with Judge Chuck Weller". Larry King Live. June 28, 2006. CNN. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  13. ^ a b c "Why Is Fox Going To Joe Bastardi For Climate Change Analysis?". Media Matters for America. August 17, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  14. ^ Kaufman, Leslie (March 29, 2010). "Among Weathercasters, Doubt on Warming". New York Times: pp. A1. Retrieved January 27, 2012.