Monday, November 27, 2006

Hurricane Season Ends and We're Still Alive!

The 2006 Hurricane Season, which will come to its unlamented end on Thursday, has been the quietest hurricane season in a decade. Hard to believe it was only a year ago they were predicting that we’d have hurricanes in Iowa and that everybody on the Gulf Coast was going to die. I feel sorry for all the TV reporters who have been waiting all Fall for their Great Windblown Moment of Fame.

Climate and weather prediction has come a long way since I was a kid, but it still has way too many unknowns and way too few equations to solve for them all. My local forecast is pretty darn good for a week to ten days; the regional forecast is fairly good for a month or two in terms of “hotter, colder, wetter, or drier than normal.” At the worldwide level for a year in the future, forget it. Global warming? Very likely. Caused by humans? Probably, at least in part. You’re gonna tell me when and how much? I’ll believe it when I see it.