Tuesday, April 03, 2007

If at first you don't succeed...

...try, try again.

The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season should be "very active," with nine hurricanes and a good chance that at least one major hurricane will hit the U.S. coast, a top researcher said Tuesday.

Forecaster William Gray said he expects 17 named storms in all this year, five of them major hurricanes with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater. The probability of a major hurricane making landfall on the U.S. coast this year: 74 percent, compared with the average of 52 percent over the past century, he said.

Last year, Gray's forecast and government forecasts were higher than what the Atlantic hurricane season produced.

There were 10 named Atlantic storms in 2006 and five hurricanes, two of them major, in what was considered a "near normal" season. None of those hurricanes hit the U.S. Atlantic coast — only the 11th time that has occurred since 1945. The National Hurricane Center in Miami originally reported nine storms, but upgraded one storm after a post-season review.

It looks to me like they learned three lessons. First, don't boastfully predict extremes-it makes you look pretty bad when you are wrong. Second, when predicting extremes, use vague, meaningless, wiggle-room words like "very active." Third, if you continue to make the same prediction (more or less), then eventually the law of averages will make you a prophet.

No comments: