No Monkey Business: Primate Predicts Busy Hurricane Season | NBC 6 South Florida

No Monkey Business: Primate Predicts Busy Hurricane Season

Monkey predicts 6 to 8 named storms this year



    Hurricane Season is only a couple weeks away so Miamians are intently listening for any prediction that will say Florida will be spared the "Big One" this year.

    So does it matter if the prediction comes from a lesser primate?

    Dr. Hansimian's Hurricane Prediction

    Meet Dr. James Hansimian, the foremost expert in weather predictions among chimpanzees. He released his thoughts on the subject Tuesday, calculating that six to eight hurricanes would develop in the Atlantic Ocean this season.

    That's a relatively mild storm season compared to what some of the other prognosticators have said in recent years. Ironically, it's on par with Colorado State University's renowned storm predictors offered up last month.

    We just hope they didn't use the same methodology as Dr. Hansimian.

    Dr. Hansimian, who was hired by conservative think tank The National Center for Public Policy Research, simply rolled the dice. Literally.

    The trained monkey stood at a craps table in Vegas and rolled a 6 and then an 8. That's more scientific than that groundhog and his shadow.

    The exercise was likely a metaphor by the Public Policy Research folks, who claim hurricane forecasting is an inexact science and that the so-called experts are really no more knowledgeable about climate change than any other mammal with opposable thumbs.

    The center issued a challenge to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is the recognized authority on all things hurricane related. The NOAA is supposed to release its predictions later this week. They've been wrong seven out of the past 11 years.

    The think tank wagers if the monkey is closer to the number of hurricanes that form than NOAA, then the hurricane center must make Dr. Hansimian an honorary member of their group.

    If the gambling monkey comes up craps, then the think tank would prominently display a mea culpa on their website.

    The NOAA has been off in three of the last four years when predicting the number of storms that would threaten Florida so we'd say the monkey is getting even money at the bookies.

    "NOAA's May outlooks have been wrong three out of the last four years - or 75% of the time," said David Ridenour, vice president of The National Center for Public Policy Research. "We think our chimp can do better. He hasn't been wrong so far. Of course, this is his very first hurricane season forecast."