05 May 2012

FA Cup Says Expect More Hurricane Damage this Year

UPDATE: The predictive power of the FA Cup is more extensive that I have thought -- British elections. H/T Steve Cook.

In 2009 academic paper, I documented a little-known but remarkable relationship (here in PDF):
Upon seeing efforts to establish relationships between various climate variables and NATL hurricane activity one is tempted to quote John von Neumann who said of fitting relationships with various parameters, ‘with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk’ (as related in Dyson, 2004). Indeed, my own research shows a correlation of 0.33 between the total score in the UK Football Association’s (FA’s) annual Cup Championship game and the subsequent hurricane season’s damage, without even controlling for SSTs, ENSO or the Premier League tables. Years in which the FA Cup championship game has a total of three or more goals have an average of 1.8 landfalling hurricanes and USD11.7 billion in damage, whereas championships with a total of one or two goals have had an average of only 1.3 storms and USD6.7 billion in damage.
Based on this relationship and the results of today's FA Cup final, we can expect an above-average damage year for hurricanes in the United States. Scoff at this, you may ... but it as as good a predictor (if not better) than any other. Let's plan on looking back in December and see how the FA Cup Hurricane Damage Prediction actually performed.

Caveat emptor.