Weather forecasters at the National Hurricane Center have really stuck their necks out this time, predicting an average hurricane season in 2009. On average.

WASHINGTON D.C.: Forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting that a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely for 2009. The NOAA’s initial outlook for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season calls for a 50 percent probability of a near-normal season, a 25 percent probability of an above-normal season and a 25 percent probability of a below-normal season. [emphasis added for dramatic impact]

Paraphrasing, for clarity: There is a 50-50% chance this year’s hurricane season will be typical, more or less. If not, there could be a lot more, or a lot fewer storms than usual; it’s a coin flip. All things being equal, this year should be par-for-the-course, on average.

Note that this bold scientific prediction is from the same people that want to gut the entire economy over concerns that the global average temperature will be 0.5 degrees higher in 2050. (Is that degrees C or F? Does it matter?)

You may now return to your previous panic du jour, already in progress.