Are Forecasters Liable?

Drudge has linked to an article from a Central Florida TV station that’s interesting and worrisome.

Hotel Mogul Threatens Lawsuit Over Hurricane Expert’s Gloomy Forecasts

Rosen: Fla. Lost Billions Of Dollars Because Of Incorrect Storm Outlook

I’m a non-believer in seasonal forecasts because I think, by and large, they’re awful – aka, inaccurate. By the way, the same goes for all the Global Warming hype.

Here’s what I wrote to a viewer earlier tdoay:

Viewer: I’m just wondering what the outlook is for the 2007-08 winter season. A lot of snow, not much but colder. I heard we arent’ going to get much snow. Please advise. Thanks.

Geoff: I don’t believe in them. We don’t currently have the skill. Most long range forecasts end in embarrassment for the forecaster.

Should there be a monetary downside to a bad prediction? Neither Gray nor anyone other forecaster claims divine insight and 100% accuracy. He used the best techniques known to science.

More importantly, I don’t think anyone expects 100% accuracy.

I tend to think Harris Rosen’s rhetoric is bluster and no more… but who knows? Maybe he does have a case. I’m sure there’s a lawyer willing to help him.

But why go after Dr. Gray? There are other seasonal hurricane forecasts from forecasters with deeper pockets. AccuWeather comes to mind, though there are probably others.

I’ve got a dollar that says the attorney won’t forecast the outcome nor guarantee it.

Continue reading “Are Forecasters Liable?”

Another Day in Birmingham

I didn’t know what to expect. I’m in Birmingham, AL for the conference that concludes my Mississippi State University education.

I’ll go over this in more detail later, but much of what I’ve heard has been interesting. I’m not totally sure it wasn’t covered in my classes for the most part.

We heard from a local meteorologist, Air Force Reserve “Hurricane Hunter” meteorologist and one of the MSU professors today.

He was actually the surprise of the bunch. His case study on a severe weather outbreak in the Southern Plains was interesting to follow and predict (even though it’s already happened).

The meetings start early (for me) at 8:30 and continues to 7:00 PM or later. That’s a long day.

Each session ends with a tape swap. Everyone brought an aircheck of their work and we all watch together.

I brought a broadcast from Monday. It was an evening with thunderstorms passing through the state and a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Northwest Connecticut.

It’s funny. I’m on TV every day, yet I’m spooked by the idea of my fellow students seeing my presentation.

I’ve dodged that bullet the last two afternoons, but tomorrow’s the last chance and I’m certain it will be shown.

Not that it will get me an easier audience, but I’m here with a bunch of mostly nice people. There are a few spectacular looking women.