Nop specific weather event can ever be conclusively “blamed” on climate change. The climate change argument is that in the context of an overall warming trend, the likelihood of extreme events outside of the the standard deviation dramatically increases. This is a “flattening of the curve” that you see as the most likely weather during a given month.
This storm was unprecedented and therefore a “black swan” event that was way off of the likely weather occurrence curve (which is another way of saying climate). If the probability of such an event has now increased due to climate change, then one might see a cause and effect. If it merely was a “royal flush” and the deck of cards is still the same then it was not.
Alas, what I just described is far beyond the comprehension of the average individual so we get massive stupidity on both sides of the debate.
The problem here is that most folks slept through science in high school, and if they were forced to take a class or two in college...it was just luck they passed. Nine out of ten Americans just don’t know much of anything related to science except Dinosaurs existed, volcanoes erupt, and softball sized hail hurts when it hits you.
So when some idiot says climate change....they don’t know what to think except the climate actually changed.
It was not unprecedented. The exact same situation happened last year with Irene, which was a stronger storm (Cat 3) and it even made more US landfalls. Bastardi has illustrated that in the past when the Pacific was cold and the Atlantic was warm, this same situation occurred. Hurricanes tend to move northward before striking the US south. It is quite easy to understand. When the Pacific is cold, it is more difficult for Hurricanes to travel to the western Atlantic/Caribbean and strike the US south. Now if the dominant air flow over the US was reversed and flowed east to west, the Pacific temperature would not be a factor.