You owe us stormage

The National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank, has called for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to give up the hurricane-forecasting business, on the basis that, well, NOAA’s not been very good at it of late:

In May, the agency predicted an “active or extremely active” hurricane season, forecasting that there would be 7-11 hurricanes, 3-6 major hurricanes, and 13-20 named storms.

The year’s final tally: 2 hurricanes, no major hurricanes, and 13 named storms… not even “close enough for government work.”

This marked the 7th time in the past ten years that NOAA’s hurricane forecast has been wrong and its epic failure this year rivals even its disastrous forecast in 2005, when it predicted there would be 7-9 hurricanes and there ended up being 15.

There is, of course, a “climate change” angle:

NOAA isn’t alone in undermining [its] credibility by suggesting a greater level of certainty than it possesses.

For years now, we’ve been told that there is a scientific consensus that our burning of fossil fuels is creating dangerous warming of the planet.

Now the public has learned that we’re in the midst of a 17-year “pause” in global warming that not one of the 73 climate models used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Climate on Climate Change in its Fifth Assessment Report predicted.

Now I see this as more of a hierarchical problem: the higher up you go, the more likely your results are going to be somewhat politicized. The National Weather Service, down a level from NOAA, works hard not to become emotionally involved with its models.

Still, if the National Center is so upset with dubious government-approved numbers, they should be going after the major Washington dissemblers like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, whose books have been cooked for so long they’re downright mushy.


  1. McGehee »

    4 December 2013 · 7:50 am

    Even the CCCP Channel seems to have toned down the Catastrophic Climate-Change Propaganda since its recent reboot — though admittedly I’m seeing less of it since discovering that WeatherNationTV is available in the Atlanta market.

    Not sure why it doesn’t seem to be available in the Alley…

  2. fillyjonk »

    4 December 2013 · 7:52 am

    I’m not sure devolving the duty of predicting hurricanes onto the “Reality Channel formerly known as The Weather Channel” or most of the local so-called meterologists would be an improvement.

    It seems of late, people have realized they can make bucks by hyping the weather, which makes it devilishly hard to get a non-hyperbolic forecast.

  3. McGehee »

    5 December 2013 · 6:50 am

    The National Hurricane Center is, in fact, a National Weather Service facility, but their mission is to deal with hurricanes as they’re actually developing and churning away.

    The idea of issuing a season forecast before the season even begins, which is what this is about, is hype of real use only to whatever outfit is reaping the publicity, and whatever media outlets are shilling for them.

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