In stark contrast to the global warming alarmists, hurricane forecasters have now become almost comically vague in their forecasts. The problem for the hurricane forecasters is that their predictions can be checked for accuracy just months after the initial forecast. While global warming alarmists feel free to predict disaster years into the future, hurricane forecasters are now forced to be very very cautious, especially in light of their highly inaccurate 2006 hurricane season predictions.
On the heels of the very active 2005 hurricane season which many blamed on global warming, forecasters didn't even wait for 2006 to begin before issuing a forecast in early December 2005 which predicted a very active hurricane season:
Just days after the official close of the busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record and with one hurricane still churning in the Atlantic, the first 2006 forecast is out already. To the surprise of no one it predicts an active season.
The 2006 forecast calls for:
- 17 named tropical storms; an average season has 9.6.
- 9 hurricanes compared to the average of 5.9.
- 5 major hurricanes with winds exceeding 110 mph; average is 2.3.
The reality? Here is the description of the rather lame 2006 hurricane season in Wikipedia which was something of a disappointment to many in the media who eagerly accepted the "inevitability" of global warming causing worse hurricane seasons in the future:
The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season was a fairly inactive Atlantic hurricane season compared to the 2005 season. It was also unusual in that no hurricanes made landfall in the United States of America, something which had not happened since 2001.
So now that the hurricane forecasters ended up with egg on their faces, their predictions have become exceedingly cautious. In fact you could read almost anything into their deliberately vague 2008 hurricane season forecast (emphasis mine):
...Conceding such long-term outlooks can be off the mark, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the first time hedged its bets when issuing a seasonal projection. There is a 65 percent probability of an above normal season, but also a 25 percent chance of a near normal one, NOAA said.
...The rather cautious forecast follows mounting criticism that such seasonal predictions don't hold much value. Notably, hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center in Miami-Dade County have warned such outlooks can confuse and frighten people and, if the numbers are low, lull them into unwarranted complacency.
And how about dire global warming forecasts many years into the future? How much value do they hold? Of course, many of the global warming alarmists won't even be around if their doom and gloom forecasts fail to materialize. They can feel free now to toss around predictions without worrying about looking as foolish as the hurricane forecasters whose prognostications can be double-checked for accuracy just months after their initial forecasts. Meanwhile the hurricane forecasters are now showing proper humility after Mother Nature has proved much more difficult to forecast than they expected:
Bill Read, the center's new director, had recommended NOAA issue its seasonal forecast with little fanfare.
If only the global warming alarmists would show such humility over their ability to predict the planetary climate many years, not just months, into the future.