Sunday, November 20, 2005

Piers Corbyn's latest "forecast"

I seem to have got on numerologist Piers Corbyn's spam mail list, which I should emphasise I have absolutely no objection to. It's amusing to see some of his "press releases" and I can always block his mail as and when i get bored :-)

Recently, he sent round a new press release proudly boasting about his success in predicting "Storm 27" in the Caribbean/Gulf area in the time window 13th-16th November. And indeed, on the surface, it looked like there could have been some substance to his claim.

The only problem is that his actual prediction was for "a major Tropical Storm or hurricane", and in fact what he optimistically called "Storm 27" was not a storm at all, let alone a major one or a hurricane, but in fact only a very weak tropical depression which died a few days later. Look here for its history, including wind speed ("DEP" in the type column is a bit of a giveaway).

Here's a picture of its track, with colour-coded wind speed:

For the picky, his original forecast actually said "around the 13-16", and you can be sure that he would have allowed himself a day or two either side if that had been necessary to score a "hit". But since he's already claimed "storm 27" as his validation, I don't think even he could have the chutzpah to claim Tropical Storm Gamma (born on the 18th) instead. I'll email him with the link to this post and maybe he will grace me with a comment.


CapitalistImperialistPig said...

Well, TD-27 did manage to reincarnate itself as Tropical Storm Gamma (now back to TD level) - so it did at least make a name for itself.

James Annan said...

Well, Gamma seemed to be born a long way from where 27 died - and I believe the depressions existed simultaneously, although I don't have a pic - so I don't think it can really be called the same thing. In any case, it barely scraped into the Tropical Storm category and can in no way be regarded as a major one.

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

James - Here is Weather Undergrounds track for TD-27/TS Gamma. Gamma did not make the big time but it did kill twenty or so people and devastate some villages.

James Annan said...


Note the big 2 day gap in that record (16-18 Nov) where reports clearly stated that there was was no tropical cyclone at all in the Atlantic at that time. AIUI, Gamma was born in the rain bands of the dead depression some way away from the remains of its core. It's odd that the authorities appear to say that Gamma was a continuation of TD27, but all a bit academic given that it barely scraped into the TS category anyway. By any reasonable analysis, PC's forecast was a bust.

Catch this in google's cache, and compare with this

William M. Connolley said...

I don't know what you've done, but I'm now on PC's list too...

He also takes the chance to align himself with Timo Hämeranta.