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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Weather ... or not

William M. Gray – the Colorado State University professor emeritus who, for reasons that defy logic, is commonly referred to as a “hurricane expert” – has, for the second time, downgraded his forecast for the long-underway 2007 hurricane season.

Before the six-month season began on June 1, Dr. Gray predicted there would be 17 named storms this year, including nine hurricanes. In August, realizing Mother Nature wasn’t cooperating, he trimmed his forecast to 15 named storms, with eight hurricanes among them. Then on Tuesday, realizing the clock was ticking and not enough storms were churning, he changed his forecast again, this time saying we should expect five more hurricanes (in addition to the two that already have occurred) but making no prediction about how many more “named storms” -- a classification that includes both tropical storms and hurricanes – might occur before Nov. 30.

This guy is considered an authority in his field? All he does is take a guess before the hurricane season starts and then changes it several times during the season to conform with what’s actually happening, apparently believing we won’t notice. (He did the same thing last year, by the way.)

I assume that on the final day of the 2007 hurricane season, if we’ve had, say, 10 named storms and five hurricanes, Dr. Gray will issue a final prediction that states: “I expect there to be 10 named storms this year, including five hurricanes.”

What’s next, Bill? Predicting last night’s winning lottery numbers?



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