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Scientists Admit They Can’t Predict Hurricanes

From Canada’s Ottawa Citizen:

Hurricane predictors admit they can’t predict hurricanes

By Tom Spears
Monday, December 12, 2011

Two top U.S. hurricane forecasters, revered like rock stars in Deep South hurricane country, are quitting the practice because it doesn’t work.

William Gray and Phil Klotzbach say a look back shows their past 20 years of forecasts had no value.

The two scientists from Colorado State University will still discuss different probabilities as hurricane seasons approach — a much more cautious approach. But the shift signals how far humans are, even with supercomputers, from truly knowing what our weather will do next.

Gray, recently joined by Klotzbach, has been known for decades for an annual forecast of how many hurricanes can be expected each official hurricane season (which runs from June to November.) Southerners hang on his words, as even a mid-sized hurricane can cause billions in damage.

Last week, the pair dropped this announcement out of a clear, blue sky:

“We are discontinuing our early December quantitative hurricane forecast for the next year … Our early December Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane forecasts of the last 20 years have not shown real-time forecast skill…"

In other words, these two famous hurricane forecasters have decided not to issue an early December forecast for the upcoming 2012 hurricane season.

It’s the first time that William Gray has not released a hurricane forecast in 20 years. And these scientists are quitting because they admit their predictions cannot be accurate at this time.

Anyway, you really have to commend Messrs Gray and Klotzbach for having the courage to admit the truth.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, December 13th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Scientists Admit They Can’t Predict Hurricanes”

  1. Mithrandir says:

    It’s like the Carny at the fair admitting in disgust that the games are rigged, and he is a fraud that shouldn’t be working anymore. A rare occurrence indeed!

    It’s time for all these people to come out of the closet.

  2. BigOil says:

    I have lived on the gulf coast as long as Gray has been putting out these predictions. I do not know anyone here that “hangs on his words”. It was obvious the predictions were wrong every year. My favorite was the annual mid-season correction. When you have to wait for an actual weather pattern to develop to change a prediction – the prediction is worthless.

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Scientists who admit they cannot predict hurricanes.

    And a president who couldn’t predict five-o’clock at four-thirty.

    What is the world coming to?

    I’m going to have to sell all my sci-fi DVD’s of “When Worlds Collide” and “From The Earth To The Moon” and all those prescient 1950’s classics that told us by now we would have it all figured out. But I’m keeping “Forbidden Planet”. At least that one has some truth in it.

  4. proreason says:

    If something like this happens a few million more times, telling the truth could catch on.

  5. canary says:

    No hurricanes here, but I do enjoy telling out of staters not to listen to the weather. One neighbor is catching on still thinks it’s better than Michigan.

    And I did enjoy telling a Hispanic woman with little or no English using my hands and moving body to illustrate weather we do get here. Some others calmly joined in to help me explain ( it’s ho hum yawn for locals), but sure scared the poor Mexican woman to pieces, in spite of our trying to calm her. Perhaps she came from a place of no education and television. If we could just meet them at the border and tell them go back or head West to California.

  6. nascarnation says:

    Did they EVER predict a “below average” season?

    All I remember is hype, hype, and more hype and “we’re all gonna die”.

    Which was immediately picked up and amplified by the MSM hypesters at NBCWeatherChannel.

  7. P. Aaron says:

    I predict the global warming press people will bury this story.

  8. Rusty Shackleford says:

    OK, from the possible dumb question file….

    The guy on the right…going back 20 years makes him…uh….what, two maybe?

    Not trying to pick…Just sayin’

    So, for the last 20 years, they have been predicting their hurricane numbers and now it’s “never mind”?

    Like Rush said this afternoon, “Do you realize the number of people who bought insurance policies based on their predictions? Do you realize the amount of money spent based on the people hanging on their every word?”

    This is the proof that such BS has an effect and that people’s lives and well-being are adversely affected. Not by the weather itself, but by the “sky-is-falling” implications. And, this admission has a huge impact, of course in the world of AGW that computer modeling, though a tool in the understanding of climate and weather, is just that. Just as a skyscraper cannot be built with one tool, weather and climate cannot be understood with one tool-of-study.

    The lack of humility and the resultant arrogance of scientists is the same arrogance that was displayed by the church when science was in its infancy. So, we’ve come full-circle, or, more accurately, 180 degrees so far to the moment where science has become the bully. The statists have co-opted it for their own purposes and because they have control over the money, can get the scientists to say what they want, much the way the church used to use taxation and financial control for the same reason.


    “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” (Jean-Bapsite Alphonse Karr) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Baptiste_Alphonse_Karr

  9. BillK says:

    Dr. Gray has long been willing to speak out against man-made global warming because he is a Professor Emeritus so he can say the data doesn’t support the conclusions. He readily admits that his colleagues could do no such thing because they’re dependent upon the Government funding that comes with the projects to determine how bad it is.

    He’s also long spoken against computer modeling, which always reflects the biases with which they are programmed – i.e. a computer model to show how bad global warming is will never show zero warming, regardless of what the data says. It’s like building a spreadsheet on the assumption that your salary will rise by a percentage per year, ignoring the fact that you may change careers or get laid off.

    True integrity at work.

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