04 Apr 2007

2007 Hurricane Predictions

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William Gray and his associate Phillip J. Klotzbach, the Colorado State University weather forecasters are forecasting a “very active hurricane season” this year, with 17 named storms and a 74% chance that a major hurricane (category three or higher) will hit the U.S. coast.

2007 Forecast

The Wall Street Journal notes that:

If that 17 number sounds familiar, that happened to be their initial prediction for the number of named storms last year, too. That didn’t work out so well for them; they cut their forecast twice last summer and were still off the mark, as just nine named storms formed.

USA Today’s “Weather Blog” guys come to Colorado State’s defense, sort of, pointing out that in five of the past seven years, Colorado State’s April hurricane forecasts “have actually been less than what actually happened.” And in four of the past seven years, their predictions were fairly close to the mark, at least when it came to the number of named storms.

But their numbers have been pretty wildly off the mark, too. For example, Colorado State predicted 11 storms in 2005, when a record 26 formed. They predicted nine in 2001, when 15 formed.

It seems obvious that if a “very active hurricane season” is predicted annually, sooner or later that prediction will be proven right.

Ironically, the left blogosphere will be jumping with joy today over this good (bad) news, but the chief predictor, William Gray, is a Global Warming Skeptic.

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