Heeding Hurricane Forecasts

The long-range forecasts for next year’s Atlantic hurricane season are out and come with a slew of caveats re their forecast accuracy. Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project team calls for an above-average Atlantic basin tropical cyclone season in 2010 with above-average probability of U.S. and Caribbean major hurricane landfall, but cautions: “Although these early December forecasts have not shown recent-year real-time forecast skill, we believe our new early December forecast scheme will begin to demonstrate forecast skill in the coming years.†   Meanwhile, London-based consortium Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) predicts an active Atlantic hurricane season in 2010, but warns: “Users should note that the precision of TSR’s extended range outlooks for Atlantic hurricane activity between 1980 and 2009 is low.† All this leads to the obvious question of how useful these forecasts can be this far out. Over at bnet.com’s finance blog Ed Leefeldt makes the case that insurers should still pay attention, even though hurricane predictors have been wrong most years since 2005 when making predictions way ahead of the season. For one thing, Leefeldt notes that a Category 4 hurricane could do some serious damage, especially if it were to hit a city like Miami. Secondly, hurricane predicting is getting better. As a result, any storm warning should be heeded. We couldn’t have said it any better. Check out I.I.I. hurricane facts and stats.

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