Stormy weather

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 September, 2008, 12:00am

When Typhoon Nuri hit Hong Kong on August 22, there was much controversy over which signals should have been raised. It ended up being a No 9, but the day before that signal was hoisted the much derided Hong Kong Observatory had doubts it would need to put up the No 3.

What our beleaguered meteorologists need are incentives. Hongkongers being fond of gambling, it seems logical to permit the authorities to run a typhoon sweepstake. The weather forecasters could offer odds on the strength of the typhoon, the amount of rainfall and how large a surcharge cab drivers will demand for braving the elements.

If the forecasters lose money on the typhoon stakes, that will confirm a common suspicion - most meteorologists know less about weather prospects than a blind soothsayer who uses chicken bones to divine the future.