I just read an AP article, via Yahoo!– http://news.yahoo.com/irene-fo… — that congratulates NOAA for getting the track of Hurricane Irene exactly right, then points out at length that they got the strength of the storm wrong:
..WASHINGTON (AP) – Hurricane Irene was no mystery to forecasters. They knew where it was going. But what it would do when it got there was another matter.
Predicting a storm’s strength still baffles meteorologists. Every giant step in figuring out the path highlights how little progress they’ve made on another crucial question: How strong?
Irene made landfall Saturday morning at Cape Lookout, N.C. – a bull’s-eye in the field of weather forecasts. It hit where forecasters said it would and followed the track they had been warning about for days.
“People see that and assume we can predict everything,” National Hurricane Center senior forecaster Richard Pasch said.
But when Irene struck, the storm did not stick with the forecast’s predicted major hurricane strength winds.
NOAA probably didn’t get the strength projections wrong at all. Nor they did get it wrong last year or the year before that. They simply had no way to predict or account for my interventions.