The Google-hurricane connection

Morgan Downey has found a nice correlation between Google searches on the term ‘hurricane’ and actual hurricanes. He’s made this chart:

Whether it’s predictive or not is yet to be seen: as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration points out, the last few years have skewed towards seeing storms earlier in the season – June and July – whereas typically August to October are the worst months.  Last year there were four storms by the end of July, and in 2005 – the year of Katrina – there were seven by that date. This year, Mexico is certainly not out of the woods.

Related links:

On the predictability of search trends (Official Google Research Blog, 17/08/09)
Speculators driving up prices? Use the SPR! (FT Energy Source, 28/08/09)

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