If you happen to be a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the National Hurricane Center, from a job-performance perspective, the good news is: You were right. Early last August, forecasters at both organizations agreed that the outlook for the 2003 Atlantic hurricane season indicated "a high likelihood (60 percent)" of an above-normal season. A NOAA
press release issued at the time predicted "a seasonal total of 12 to 15 tropical storms, with seven to nine becoming hurricanes and three to four becoming major hurricanes." At this writing in late October, there have thus far been 14 named tropical storms, almost half of which became full-fledged hurricanes. I'm not exactly sure what constitutes a "major" hurricane, but at least four have packed sustained winds of over 100 miles per hour, which puts them on my own short list of blows to be avoided at all costs.