How Far Have We Come?

I came across this figure in a Weather Bureau report from 1963. (D.L. Harris, “Characteristics of the Hurricane Storm Surge,” Technical Paper No. 48, U.S. Weather Bureau, Washington, DC, 1963, pg. 10.) You can predict the hurricane storm surge using nothing but this figure! All you do is find the shape factor on the map, match it and the minimum pressure from your hurricane on the graph, and then read off the storm surge.

It makes me wonder why we’re wasting our time with math and equations and computers and what-not.