Last year we invited InFocus readers to enter the Hurricane Contest that AIR’s employees have enjoyed for the last seven years. We had a great response and a lot of fun along the way. Now it's mid-May, we are just a couple of weeks away from the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, and we’re running the contest for you once again!
It’s just like the internal version of the competition that Jonathan Kinghorn blogged about winning. All you have to do is answer four questions and submit your responses before the entry window closes on May 31, 2017:
- How many named tropical storms will form in the Atlantic this year?
- How many of those tropical storms will become hurricanes?
- How many will become major hurricanes (Saffir-Simpson Category 3 or higher)?
- How many hurricanes will make landfall in the mainland U.S.?
For example, in 2016 there were 15 named storms, seven hurricanes, three major hurricanes, and two mainland U.S. hurricane landfalls.
The winner, who will be announced at the end of the year, will receive an emergency preparedness kit.
In the (not unlikely) event of a tie occurring—even after we have applied our well-established (but still rather baffling) tie-breaking procedure using the error count outlined in the rules of the contest—a random drawing will determine the winner.
So, practice your belomancy, gastromancy, and gyromancy (look them up!), deal some Tarot cards, fire up your random numeral generator—or simply grab some coffee and set aside a few moments for productive thought. Do whatever you feel necessary to help you make an accurate prediction, and then submit your entry! We'll even give you a tip: Tropical Storm Arlene formed last month, so there has already been one named storm this year. Good luck!
Entries must be submitted by 4:59:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on May 31, 2017.
You must fill out the entire form using only non-negative integers and provide only one value for each field in the entry form (yes, in the past an AIR staffer included uncertainty in their entry).
It is recommended, though not required, that your entry follow these inequalities:
named storms ≥ hurricanes ≥ major hurricanes; hurricanes ≥ mainland U.S. hurricane landfalls
The winner will have the lowest combined error of total named storms in the Atlantic basin, total hurricanes, total major (category 3, 4, or 5) hurricanes, and mainland U.S. landfalling hurricanes.
The contest runs through December 31, 2017. In the event that a storm forms, becomes major, or makes landfall past that date, it will not count.
The National Hurricane Center's reanalysis by the end of the year will be the validation set, regardless of how the storm was named or categorized at the time.
Error count = |guessed named storms – actual named storms| + |guessed hurricanes – actual hurricanes| + |guessed major storms – actual major storms| + |guessed mainland U.S. landfalling hurricanes – actual mainland U.S. landfalling hurricanes
In the likely event of a tie occurring even after applying the error count outlined above, a random drawing will determine the winner.
All data used in determining storm count error will come from the National Hurricane Center, as of December 31, 2017.
The winner will be announced after December 31, 2017, and the prize will be delivered before the end of January 2018.
Interfering with the contest is not permitted. For example, you are not allowed to seed clouds in a storm to try to prevent it from gaining strength. Similarly, you may not put ice into the ocean beneath a storm to try cooling the sea surface temperature. In the event of interference, your entry will be disqualified.
If an issue comes up that is not addressed in these rules, a decision will be made by an appropriate subject matter expert within AIR.