Dr. Storms reviews the field and boldly makes his picks
April 03, 2009
By MARK LANE
Dr. Storms studied the legal pad one more time.
The annual hurricane pool is something he takes seriously, and the rules say participants must claim their dates months in advance of the storm season in June.
This time of year is the meteorological version of Hot Stove League baseball. The time when stats are reviewed and the season previewed.
There are a lot of hurricane forecasters out there who give hurricane estimates, followed by revised estimates, followed by revisions to the estimates, then capped by a midseason correction. Dr. Storms is not that kind of forecaster.
Any bookie who tried to be that flexible on the odds would be chased out of town. Besides, Dr. Storms has a reputation to keep up. He is Florida’s foremost unlicensed expert in hurricane-related mental health, the culture of preparedness and the science of writing believable home-insurance claims.
People look to him for certainty and guidance even though the cable-news industry seems to have forgotten about him since the 2004 storm season. His books, such as "100 Ready-to-Paint Storm Slogans and Designs for Your Window Plywood," "Bartending for Civil Emergencies" and "More Hilarious Tales from the Files of Citizens Property Insurance" are still popular sellers at hurricane expos and roofing contractors conventions.
That means it’s still a good idea to ask Dr. Storms.
Q. Just what are you predicting this year?
Dr. Storms is predicting a dozen named storms this year with six becoming hurricanes. Two will be whoppers. He also has a feeling he’ll be able to put off reroofing for just one more year.
The other week, AccuWeather announced its estimate of 13 named storms, seven of which would become hurricanes.
Last December, Colorado State University hurricane experts — who live safely out West and so have no particular stake in the outcome — held out for 14 storms with names, seven of which will become hurricanes and three of those will be intense hurricanes.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration won’t weigh in until late May, and believe me, all the good dates in this year’s pool will be taken by then.
Q. How did you come up with your storm number, anyway? And which hurricane days are you picking?
Dr. Storms uses his proprietary Dr. Storms Caribbean Basin Disruption Model to reach his conclusions.
Naturally, he’s not at liberty to disclose all the details that go into his prediction model. He would, however, wish to reassure people that he relocated his lucky quarter, vintage copy of "Aunt Sally’s Policy Players’ Dream Book" and his cedar Royal Jamaican Corona cigar box, all of which play vital roles in reaching his conclusions.
Last year, his predictions were so dead-on that he won $120 in his guess-the-dates-of-the-hurricane pool.
As for particular days, Dr. Storms favors the weeks around Labor Day. These are all taken, so he feels free to impart this.
Q. Are you a doctor of meteorology?
Dr. Storms is a doctor of holistic real estate. Sadly, the demand for his services is in a lull lately. He is also a media consultant, dream interpreter and freelance roofing inspector.