Suing Over Weather Forecasts

The Drudge Report has a link to a Orlando Florida television news story that tells of Central Florida's most famous hotel owner, Harris Rosen, who is threatening to sue hurricane expert Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University for his hurricane storm predictions saying they have damaged state tourism.

According to the story, Rosen rhetorically asks Gray:

"Look, doctor, you've made these forecasts and you were wrong once. You made the forecast and you were wrong twice. Are you going to continue to make these forecasts?"

Rosen said he believes Florida lost billions of dollars in business because of Gray's outlook, and claims that surveys show 70 percent of guests not returning to his hotels cited hurricane fears as the reason why.

I don't know why Rosen focused on Gray alone, and not the others who also had less than accurate forecasts the last two years. I also doubt Rosen is going to have much luck in filing a lawsuit, and his real target should probably be the media for over-hyping the accuracy of the forecasts which as one commentator points out "are experimental works in progress." If one could sue for inaccurate weather predictions based on computer generated models, the court system would grind to a halt in about three days.

As a side note, Herbert Saffir, who co-created with Robert Simpson the five-category hurricane-scale, passed away about a week ago.


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Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City