Annual Guess from CSU

Almost two months in advance of the 2011 hurricane season, the soothsayers from Colorado State University have released their annual guess regarding the number and severity of Atlantic storms. Their current prediction is close to the average data for Atlantic hurricanes but, as usual, their forecast will be updated over time.

While it is both interesting and educational to learn how hurricane incidence and intensity is dependent upon ocean temperatures, wind patterns and climate change, such folly from CSU degrades the legitimate science of oceanic meteorology. In my limited experience, their forecast accuracy approaches that of the Farmers' Almanac and they might as well switch their attention to NCAA bracketology. Perhaps other universities will begin to offer their own hurricane predictions and a lottery could be established; profits might be directed to mental health facilities that must deal with anxiety induced by such forecasts.

Despite the fact that their "educated guess" is a shot in the dark, CSU's annual hurricane prediction will be splashed across the media for public consumption. Should their crystal ball prove to be inaccurate, as has often been the case, public trust in critical scientific forecasts, such as global warming or the effects of environmental pollution, will be further eroded.