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Updated: 03/14/2014 08:00:02AM

The good and bad of 2013

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Capt. Ralph Allen

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Hurricane Season That Wasn’t

There are well-known meteorologists who each spring produce forecasts of the intensity of the upcoming hurricane season. Almost all of this year’s pre-season forecasts foretold that 2013 was going to be an especially active tropical season and the Atlantic Basin was predicted to have a higher than average number of named storms, a higher than average number of hurricanes and a higher than average number of major storms. The forecasters consider sea water temperatures, jet stream patterns, El Nino and a number of other environmental factors when producing their predictions. Well, it was proved once again in 2013 that crafting such predictions accurately is still beyond human ability. By mid-summer, when the early part of hurricane season was (thankfully) a dud, the forecasters were scrambling to revise their numbers. (This always seems to me like changing your Super Bowl pool numbers at halftime.) Towards the end of the season when it was clear that 2013 was going to end up as mostly a non-event, the forecasters were scrambling to blame “dry air aloft” and “African dust clouds.” Moral of the story: Pay attention to the forecasts, but take them with a grain of salt.

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