The 2006 hurricane season ends today, November 30. With a whimper, thankfully.
After the record-breaking 2005 season, the one bringing us Wilma, Katrina, Rita, and several of their siblings, we welcomed the peace and quiet of this year. The experts, you might recall, had predicted 2006 would bring us from 13 to 16 named storms (we had 9), with 8 to 10 of these being full-blown hurricanes (we had 5). They–that is, the National Weather Service–had said we should expect 4 to 6 major hurricanes. We had 2.
One forecaster had warned that the probability of a major hurricane hitting somewhere along Katrina-land’s Gulf Coast this year was a whopping 47 percent. Wonder what new line of work he is considering.
Now, compare all of that with the predictions of the same government bureau for the year 2005. They called for 11-15 named storms; we had 28. They predicted 6 to 9 hurricanes; we had 15. And they said we should expect from 2 to 4 major hurricanes. We had 7.
Some years ago, after the forecasters badly missed a call on a hurricane–I forget the details–I had the custodian at our Kenner church post this message on the giant sign fronting Williams Boulevard: “My son is a weather forecaster. Pray he will find honest work.”
Is it all right if we say the obvious here? They don’t have a clue.