The Hurricane Sweepstakes

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June through November, peaking from August to mid October.  Before the season begins, several organizations, including the National Weather Service, the Weather Channel and Colorado State University, release predictions regarding the number of named storms, the number of hurricanes and the number of severe hurricanes that will occur that year.

As if to emphasize the folly of such long term predictions, they all revise forecasts in mid summer, increasing or decreasing their numbers in response to what happened early in the season and what current oceanic conditions appear to indicate for the coming months.  I would be surprised if many cities or businesses pay much attention to these educated guesses; what they want is advanced warning for any given storm, not a long term projection for the season, the validity of which won't be known until December.

While the Weather Channel and the National Weather Service provide valuable education regarding the nature of these storms and the preparations that should be made by those living in hurricane prone regions, they undermine their own authority by entering the hurricane projection sweepstakes.  If they would concentrate on reporting current conditions and projecting active hurricane or tropical storm paths, the public would be more likely to respect and heed their warnings.