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Friday, December 07, 2007

Forecasting 2008 hurricane season

Here we are, one week after the official ending of the 2007 hurricane season, the new prediction for the 2008 hurricane season, still 6 months away, is already issued. Here's from the report in Colorado's 9news.com:
DENVER (AP) - Using a simplified forecasting technique, researcher William Gray is predicting an above-average hurricane season in the Atlantic next year, with seven hurricanes, three of them major.

Gray's team at Colorado State University had called for above-average storm seasons the past two Decembers - and both turned out to be wrong. Gray said he believes this year's forecast will be better.

"We think we're finally onto a scheme that will be more accurate," he said Friday.

The new forecast calls for a total of 13 named storms in the Atlantic. It says there is a slightly higher-than-average chance that at least one major hurricane will hit the United States.

Gray's predictions, now in their 25th year, are watched closely by emergency responders and others in hurricane-prone areas. But officials routinely express concerns that residents might become apathetic if predictions prove overblown. Government forecasters also predicted an above-average season for 2007.

So the predictions were wrong for 2006 and 2007. But no one's complaining. It takes guts to issue a prediction 6 months in advance.
Gray said the active era is not likely to end for another two decades, even though the past two seasons were below average.

"We've been very lucky the past couple years," he said.
Yes, indeed we have been very lucky the past couple years. Not to contend with Dr. Gray's scientific judgement, and based purely on human's selfish nature, I hope our luck would continue and the Gray team will be wrong again next year.

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