Amanda Ripley

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Hurricane Arthur and Other Known Knowns

24th May 2008 posted in Disaster Behavior

Imagine if your psychic told you you were going to get hit by a bus this summer. She wasn’t sure how fast the bus would be going, but she was pretty much sure it would hit you sometime between June 1 and November 30 (and probably in August or September, and certainly somewhere between Texas and Maine).

That’s what hurricane forecasters are telling Americans this year. The latest crystal ball reading just came out from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Like other predictions from other places this year, the forecast is not optimistic. This one calls for a 65% probability of above-normal activity.

We rock at hurricane forecasts in this country. We even have the name ready for the first storm! (Hurricane Arthur, just a glimmer in the doppler’s eye.) The challenge is learning what to do next. How do we stay out of the way of incoming buses? Do we pack it up and move to the hills? Do we build a suit of armor so that the bus can’t hurt us? Or do we cross our fingers and hope to live?