Dale Link was born in West Palm Beach, Florida. His first memory, at the age of two, was awakening in the middle of the night to a howling wind, very black sky, and rain hitting his face right after a category 4 hurricane had ripped off the roof of his family's house. Before his fifth birthday, seven tropical cyclones passed over his head.
Education: B.S. in engineering, North Carolina State University
As a corporate engineer in Charlotte, NC, Dale approached the planting of a vegetable garden with an engineer's rigor. The advice from an 'old farmer' to use the almanac for the timing of planting, introduced the idea of long range weather forecasting. Five years later, he was studying and predicting long-range weather one year in advance in Wilmington, NC. In another five years in Nags Head, NC, before hurricane season, he was studying and predicting hurricane landfalls for the U.S. Atlantic coastline from Virginia Beach, VA, to Miami Beach, FL. Hurricane Gloria (category 4) landed in his first personal prediction of a landfall zone, in 1985. Hurricane Hugo (category 5) was his second, in 1989. He missed Hurricane Charley (category 1), in 1986.
After contracting chronic fatigue syndrome and moving back to West Palm Beach, FL, in 1986, he returned to forecasting the following regions:
---Atlantic coastline from Key West, FL, to Lubec, ME (a 2,000-mile range), in 1995. His prediction that year was a successful forecast, of zero hurricane landfalls.
---Gulf of Mexico coastline from Brownsville, Texas, to Key West, FL (a 1,600-mile range), in 1998. Hurricanes Earl (category 1) and Georges (category 4) landed in his predicted zone that year.
---Atlantic-Basin Islands: Greater Antilles - Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands, in 2000. Bermuda and the Bahamas, in 2007.
---Eastern Asian coastline (NW Pacific) from Nam Can, Vietnam, to Nem Uro, Japan (a 5,500-mile range), in 2008. This coastline includes Vietnam, China, Taiwan, North and South Korea, and Japan.
---Mexican, Central American and Hawaiian Island coastlines, in 2012: the East Pacific from Tijuana, Mexico, to Jaque, Panama plus the Hawaiian Islands (a 5,000-mile range) and the Atlantic (Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico) from Zapzurro, Panama, to Matamoros, Mexico (a 3,000-mile range). These coastlines include the Hawaiian Islands, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.
---Philippines coastline (NW Pacific) from Tandalola to Sana Ana, Philippines (a 1,500-mile range), in 2013. This coastline has the most category 1-5 strength landfalls per coastline-mile per year.
These four regions---U.S., Mexico/CENTAM, E. Asia, and Philippines---consist of 16 countries, 18,000 miles of coastline, and 1.1 billion people (15% of the world population). These regions are fairly consistent in the proportion of category 1-5 storms that have passed through Dale's zones: about 71 percent, or, with the close calls and oversights included, about 89 percent. What is not consistent is how often category 1-5 storms pass through zones. In Mexico/CENTAM Atlantic, it is about 20 percent of the time; in U.S. Atlantic and Mexico/CENTAM Pacific, 50 percent; in E. Asia NW Pacific, 76 percent; and in the Philippines NW Pacific, 67 percent. The frequency with which typhoon strength storms occur is much higher in the NW Pacific zones of E. Asia and the Philippines, thus the likelihood of a storm passing through those predicted zones is much higher.