Hurricane Earl forecast contest

The hurricane season is in full swing, with three active storms.  Danielle is scooting off to oblivion in the North Atlantic, but Earl is gearing up to take a run at the east coast…somewhere.  As of this writing, the forecast track is such that landfall could be anywhere from the Outer Banks to Nova Scotia, or perhaps it may yet turn out to sea.  Of course that means there’s a Funnel Fiasco tropical contest underway. You can enter by clicking the link on the tropical weather page (or go directly to it here).  The deadline for entry is Tuesday at 8 PM EDT (Wednesday 0000 UTC).  Just a reminder to make sure you enter valid numbers, I won’t check them for you.

Stay tuned for more on Hurricane Earl, and also for a potential repeat when Tropical Storm Fiona get closer.

Tropical Storm Ida results

Well, the results are in for the TS Ida forecast contest.  I’m glad to say that yours truly finally won. Of course, there will be plenty of argument about the faults of the scoring equation.  You’ll get over it.  I don’t know who Dr. Free Beer is, but next time, try to get your forecast in the right hemisphere at least.  Which brings up a good point… I think I’ll edit the game code to have a field for e-mail address (it will be hidden from the public, but available to me so that I can contact players/verify edited forecasts).

Fortunately for interests along the Gulf of Mexico, Ida has been mostly nuisance.  This is not a bad way to end what has been another rather tepid hurricane season.  Ida went extratropical very shortly after making landfall (much to the chagrin of my friend Kevin).  I wonder if it set a record for quickest tropical to extratropical conversion.  Not that Ida was all that tropical at landfall.

In other news, thanks to Perl’s Math::Trig module, I can now trivially calculate the Great Circle distances, which has long been the sticking point.  At this point, all that remains to automate the scoring is some parsing and simple arithmetic.  That’ll make it easier to get results out quickly.  I haven’t yet decided if I should stop producing static results pages and let the CGI generate the results page on the fly, or if I should continue having separate, static pages for the results.  I might go with the former in order to conserve disk space.  I have no limit on cycles, so long as I don’t take down my provider’s server.  We shall see.  The first step is to actually write the code like I said I would two years ago.

Hurricane Gustav forecast contest

It may only be at 45 mph right now, but Gustav will make a stab at the United States in the next few days.  So the tradition of taking random stabs at the forecast begins.  See the tropical weather page or go directly to the game at http://funnelfiasco.com/cgi-bin/hurricane.cgi?cmd=view&year=2008&name=gustav.  Remember, the forecast is for the first mainland North American landfall.  Check back here to find out when the results are posted.  If you have suggestions on how the scoring should be done, leave a comment below.  Happy forecasting!

P.S.  If you’re reading this and you’ve never done something like this before, do it anyway.  One time, a Denny’s waitress won the snowfall contest.  You don’t have to be good to be lucky.