Ever since last year, when I accurately predicted the hurricane season, people have been asking me these questions. I even put my money where my mouth is by placing our new office in Houston last June–before the hurricanes. Regarding my powers of prediction, it is better to be lucky than good. And, being in a Wizard’s lineage helps. Unfortunately, Chambers of Commerce are not hoping we pick their town for our next office.

The archrivals of my beloved Florida Gators have a new hurricane study that is surprisingly academic. Normally, the Seminoles of Florida State University have a level of thought more akin to my post, Psychic Predicts No Hurricanes On Florida’s Treasure Coast. Instead, Ryan Maue has an excellent discussion of this study on Steve McIntyre’s Climate Blog regarding the reasons why we have seen a decrease in worldwide tropical cyclone activity over the past several years and why hurricane prediction is more Wizardry than science:

"Under global warming scenarios, hurricane intensity is expected to increase…., but MANY questions remain as to how much, where, and when. This science is very far from settled….Many papers have suggested that these changes are already occurring especially in the strongest of hurricanes, e.g. this and that and here, due to warming sea-surface temperatures (the methodology and data issues with each of these papers has been discussed here at CA, and will be even more in the coming months). The notion that the overall global hurricane energy or ACE has collapsed does not contradict the above papers but provides an additional, perhaps less publicized piece of the puzzle. Indeed, the very strong interannual variability of global hurricane ACE (energy) highly correlated to ENSO, suggests that the role of tropical cyclones in climate is modulated very strongly by the big movers and shakers in large-scale, global climate. The perceptible (and perhaps measurable) impact of global warming on hurricanes in today’s climate is arguably a pittance compared to the reorganization and modulation of hurricane formation locations and preferred tracks/intensification corridors dominated by ENSO (and other natural climate factors). Moreover, our understanding of the complicated role of hurricanes with and role in climate is nebulous to be charitable. We must increase our understanding of the current climate’s hurricane activity."

(emphasis added)

A chart in Maue’s paper looks similar to my stock portfolio’s recent performance: