Last October, NOAA, what Francis Menton calls our national weather bureaucracy, came out with the prediction as to the severity of the upcoming winter. According to Eric Niler at Wired, seasonal predictions rely on models using the same theories of “heat trapping” greenhouse gases as are used for the longer-term models.
What was the prediction?
Warmer-than-normal conditions are most likely across the southern two-thirds of the continental U.S., along the East Coast, across Hawaii and in western and northern Alaska.
Oops, writes The Manhattan Contrarian.
For those who haven’t checked up on the weather on the East Coast of the U.S. lately, it’s been record-breaking deep freeze around here for the last week, and expected to go even lower over the approaching weekend. It has snowed as far south as the Florida panhandle. Well, fortunately, the NOAA guys were ready with plenty of hedging language when Niler asked about their official prediction:
Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center [said], “There is a lot of natural climate variability in the system that can trump any kind of background signal.”
Or in other words, predictions are hard, especially about the future. At least when the predictions are for a short enough term that anybody might check up on them.
Read more here.