HOLLYWOOD, FL—The 2002 hurricane season will be packed with "big surprises, big windspeeds, and a big, big finish," God announced Monday at a press conference touting His fall schedule.
"Get ready for the biggest, wildest, most exciting hurricane season yet," God said. "You'll see all the 200 mph winds, all the flooding, all the overturned cars. As for what else you'll see—well, you'll just have to wait and see."
Though hurricane season officially began in June, God has not yet released any major storms in the Pacific or Atlantic theaters. A press release sent to the media by Benediction/Holmes-Morgan, the Lord's public-relations agency, did drop a few tidbits on what to expect in the coming months.
"As God enters His landmark 23,450,750th hurricane season, He finds Himself dealing with a larger and more diversified audience," the statement read in part. "With that in mind, He's promised that something new is 'in the wind' this year. Expect God to take the hurricane to places it's never been, bringing it to whole new audiences, making inroads further into the tornado-minded Gulf Coast states, and still delivering the goods to the hip, urban, coastal crowd that's traditionally so crazy about them."
Hurricanes form when God maketh ocean water in equatorial regions warmer than average, causing warm air to rise and spiral inward and upward in a counter-clockwise direction, an effect amplified by the Earth's Coriolis forces.
God promised not to forget longtime fans, noting that the Southeast would be the location of some of the season's biggest hits.
"I'm not naming names," said the Archangel Ioniel, Guide of the Change and co-producer of 1992's Hurricane Andrew, which did more than $20 billion in damage to South Florida. "It'd be a shame to ruin the Big Guy's party. But let's just say Florida is still number one, and the residents of a certain sleepy Georgia coastal town are in for the meteorological sequel of the summer."
God's announcement sparked strong buzz among meteorologists and other weather watchers.
"We're already lining up for this next one," said Col. Jeff Esser, commander of the 105th Battalion of the North Carolina National Guard. "We figure response will need to be huge, and we're traditionally the first in the Atlantic theater of operations. I have a feeling we're each going to be seeing this one a few times."
"Two thumbs up! I loved it!" said a soaking-wet Al Roker after God treated him to a special preview of the 2002 season. "Batten down the hatches, America. This one's gonna blow your whole family away!"
Roker was then rushed to a Miami hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia and water inhalation.
In addition to putting up significant domestic numbers, the hurricane season is expected to make a major impact in foreign markets.
"Japan is always big for us," Ioniel said. "Brazil, too. We even have a following in Canada. And this year, we're looking to gain a foothold in traditionally large tourist markets, including the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Jamaica. Add that to our not-inconsiderable Central American casualties, and we're making a killing almost as big as our domestic totals."
"This year, it's about more than just doing big numbers on the Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Damage Potential scale," God continued. "It's about more than 18-foot wave surges and 60-foot yachts being blown miles inland. This year, it's about the whole experience. We're going to be taking people directly into the eye of the storm. And when we're done, people will feel like they truly know hurricanes inside-out."
Asked whether the season would be more remarkable for the hurricanes' frequency or size, God was evasive.
"I don't have to tell you," God said. "But I will say this: Those weak, cerebral 'tropical depressions' are very five minutes ago. This season, it'll be devastating. Thus sayeth the Lord."