Wednesday, May 23, 2007

HECKUVA JOB, WEATHERMAN

Well, let's see what we've got here. Seems that Conrad Lautenbacher, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is predicting that the "2007 Atlantic hurricane season will be more active than normal."

Not to make light about hurricanes or anything, but what the hell does he know? These clowns can't even predict whether or not it'll rain on Saturday, and now they're making forecasts of the number of hurricanes we'll see over an entire summer! For instance, he says that this season could see "as many as ten hurricanes, and three to five of them could be major."

Not eleven? Maybe four to six of them major?

And lest it seem I'm picking on these guys merely for their ugly combination of ass-covering and propensity to get a meteorological hard-on when they think of all the horrible Cat-5's that are coming, let me say that ain't it.

No, I'm crackin' wise because year-after-year they make these idiotic shot-in-the-dark predictions, which the media pick up on it as if God himself inscribed radar maps on Willard Scott's teleprompter, despite the fact that these forecasts are always wrong. Dreadfully, comically wrong!

For instance, last May I "reported" on the very same pages of this here blog that "Willard Gray . . . a noted U.S. storm forecaster" predicted that the 2006 hurricane season would bring "nine hurricanes." Being the un-reverential yuckster that I am, I also pointed out that the same article made note of the unfortunate fact that in 2005 "Gray's prediction and those of other forecasters were wildly off the mark."

(Uhhh, in case you don't remember, 2005 was the hurricane season it may actually have been worthwhile to have been correct about.)

And how'd Mr. Gray do in 2006? Well, we actually had 5 hurricanes, 2 of them major, none of which made landfall in the U.S.

So he missed by 4, or 80%. I guess that means he was "wildly off the mark" two years in a row. There's some statistical significance in his consistent inconsistency.

(Say that 5 times, really fast.)

You know, I can make the same hilariously inaccurate hurricane season predictions that Mr. Gray can make, and I don't even need enormous grants from the University of Colorado. Hell, unlike Mr. Lautenbacher, I don't need taxpayer-funded boondoggles to make a blindfolded dart toss. Nope, I can make idiotic predictions just by pulling numbers out of my ass.

And I will, but I'm also different in that I don't have to change my pants when I think of destructive forces of nature like hurricanes. Instead, I get nervous and hope they don't happen. So I will predict zero hurricanes for this, and all hurricane seasons.

I'll be just as wrong as the experts, but at least I won't have to feel bad karma's pull when some ass-kicker of a storm makes landfall.

Your predictions? And please, include a brief abstract of your methodology.

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12 Comments:

Blogger Comandante AgĂ­ said...

Better stock up on Pat's protein mix - gotta keep strong amidst the coming storms.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

I saw Roker doing the same thing this morning. None of these guys are worth a grain of salt. The Farmer's Almanac does it best.

Excuse me while I invest in future beachfront property in Tennessee...

11:05 AM  
Anonymous John Royal said...

Don't go making fun of the weather people. Don't push fate. And, as someone who's residence will be destroyed if one of these monsters hits the Texas coast at the right spot, I hope that they're wrong.

But I'm sure that as long as Pat Robertson is still alive, he'll probably keep steering the major storms to New Orleans, Miami, and Orlando to get rid of all of the evil people.

11:34 AM  
Blogger DCup said...

I'll put my money (okay, I have no money) on five named major storms. Two will make landfall on the east coast of the United States.

Since I'm planning a delightful trip to New Orleans in mid-August, N.O. will be untouched, I predict.

One of the two storms will hit the Gulf side of Florida, hitting the Tampa area particularly hard.

Miami will be spared this year, but the Jacksonville/Savannah will be hit, but not devastated. They need to test those traffic gates in South Coastal Georgia sometimes.

What's my methodology? Besides just pulling it out of my.....it's reverse weather psychology. I was in Tampa when the 2005 storm hit the Miami area, then Katrina wiped out the Gulf Coast. Since I'll be in New Orleans, it only stands to reason that Tampa will be the target this year.

It's all about me, you see.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Otto Man said...

I'm predicting eleventeen.

My methodology? Classified.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

After communing with nature (mowing the lawn, turning over the gardens), checking my Magic 8 Ball, speaking with the animals (my cats), and drinking the nectar (beer, beer and more beer) I have determined that there will be more than 1 and less than 15 named storms this year.

One of them will hit the Outer Banks in NC the last week of August, because I am going to be there then. The remnants will move up to the NYC area, leading to mass hysteria as the media overhypes the storm, which winds up dropping 2 inches of rain.

Three storms will strike Florida. Alas, they are due.

Two will hit Texas (but spare John Royal) because the Oil companies need to have this happen to justify $5 gallon gasoline.

The rest will peter out over the sea.

3:11 PM  
Blogger George said...

It will be Colonel Mustard in the Library with Global Warming. I can't tell you my sources or Sy Hersh would have to kill you.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Edwardo said...

That guy you mentioned from the NOAA, I think I saw him at the NBA draft lottery last night. I heard he had his money on the Grizzlies getting the No. 1 pick. He and Danny Ainge aren't long for their jobs.

12:55 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Pat's protein mix

My sophmoric mind snickers & chortles.

Excuse me while I invest in future beachfront property in Tennessee...

Rickey wants to be the king of the real estate speculators, huh?

as someone who's residence will be destroyed if one of these monsters hits the Texas coast at the right spot, I hope that they're wrong.

Good point. Heres to you, Dwilkers, WFTA & my other Houston readers getting through another season unscathed.

As to the Houston offices of a certain NYC-based business, however . . . let fate decide.

DCup -

Your methodology is infallable.

As opposed to OM's, whose methodology is so infallable he needs to hide it from the world.

Ed - You and DCup can cancel each other out, I think.

George - Professor Peacock, I tells ya. Professor Peacock.

Edwardo - Maybe Pat Robertson is a Celtic fan. It would fit in with my general sense of him.

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Toast said...

I think you're being a little harsh here. Last year was a fluke, in that the high activity season everyone was predicting was scuttled by a late-blooming and sustained el Nino effect combined with extraordinarily persistent levels of African dust over the mid Atlantic. Based on the Jet stream measurements and SST's they had to go on at the outset, they were justified.

Frankly, I think the whole "What do meteorologist know? They said it was going to rain today and it didn't!" schtick is pretty tired. It's equivalent to the old "Global Warming?! Then what's with all this snow we're getting??" in terms of analytical depth. On the whole, given the chaotic nature of the Earth's weather systems, I think meteorologists do an outstanding job.

And yes, I'm a huge weather nerd.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I'm being harsh? I thought trips to Key West were supposed to mellow people out? ;-)

I hear what you're saying, but I just can't agree on two points:

1. These "Hurricane experts" get wayyyyyy too jacked when they talk about storms. I've watched these dudes on TV and they seem to be nearly panting in expectation of the next Ct 5 monster making landfall.

2. This is the one that really gets me: they can analyze all the El Nonos they want and look at this gradient and that. And they can certainly say something like, "This season looks to be heavier than usual" or "more of a risk," etc.

If they did that I would mind, or mock or anything. But they don;t do that. They make precise prediction, which is ludicrous. So ludicrous they deserve to be mocked without mercy of they miss as badly as they did.

It's one thing to make an educated prediction of a rough season, and then, as you said, see a fluke mess up their predictions. But if someone says there'll be X number of storms, they're just trying to earn undeserved credit if they're lucky enough to get it on the nose.

It's like someone doing football predictions with the exact score . . . and the NY Times does. And Gregg Eastrebrook is totally justified in mocking them because they've only gotton one correct score in 15 years or whatever it is.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Ugh: El Nino, not Nono.

Must proofread, must proofread . . .

12:49 PM  

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