Our story begins in Kaneohe, Hawaii in the mid 1970s when the very young co-founder of Weather Trends (Bill, age 7) watched a week-long “Kona Low” bring 100″ of rain and non-stop 50 mph winds which nearly destroyed his Mom’s furniture business. The fascination and passion for weather had begun.
Bill was actually a high school bible and math scholar in Hawaii, but divine intervention, and a bit of luck, steered him in a different direction 5,000 miles away to Rutgers University where his weather hobby became a passionate career. After graduating as an Air Force Distinguished Graduate in 1989 with a bit more knowledge of Physics, way too much Calculus, Weather Modeling, and Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, the next stop in the journey was MacDill Air Force Base Tampa, Florida. While supporting F-16 fighter pilots, NASA space shuttles and troops headed for Desert Storm, Bill began to make a breakthrough in a better way to forecast the weather.
Inspiration for thinking differently came from 4-star General “Stormin” Norman Schwarzkopf, Commander of U.S. Forces Central Command, on the day the General was knighted by the Queen of England. Young Captain Kirk’s forecast called for sprinkles for the Queen’s arrival allowing the PROACTIVE General’s gentlemanly heroics, with umbrella in hand, make it into the Queen’s scrap book of the memorable day. Ask Bill later for the rest of the story as told by the General himself in 2007 some 17 years later. “Give me an answer, not a hedge Captain, and don’t change your mind, and never tell me there’s a 30% chance of thundershowers in Florida, the thunderstorm capital of North America” – these were the words that started our research 25 years ago.
We began analyzing 100+ years of weather history, 24 oceanic climate cycles (weather patterns that repeated over years) and statistics to find a better way to forecast the weather weeks and months ahead, and we didn’t change our minds once a forecast was issued. Since 70% of the Earth is covered in water, and water doesn’t change quickly, it made sense to start with oceanic cycles. Once a cycle starts (El Nino is one of the 24), it stays that way for an extended duration so knowledge of these cycles combined with advanced math, statistics, and probabilities make it possible to provide much more accurate year-ahead forecasts than the physics-based meteorological models that only work well a week out. After 25 years of research, let’s just say the process is now a Weather Trends TOP SECRET; we could tell you but then we’d have to kill’ya”, as we used to say in the military. Oh by the way, Captain Kirk was an expert marksman in the USAF.