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(Tampa Bay Online)   National Hurricane Center finally realizes their storm track forecasts suck   (tampatrib.com) divider line 33
    More: Obvious  
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6935 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Oct 2004 at 10:30 AM (9 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



33 Comments   (+0 »)
   

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2004-10-22 09:06:13 AM
Better late than never...
 
2004-10-22 10:33:21 AM
Where is Nash when you need him. That guy could do it with a whiteboard and some dry erase markers, standing out at the lakefront.
 
2004-10-22 10:34:10 AM
``Don't focus on that skinny line,'' Mayfield said Thursday
``I'm sure we won't be able to please everybody,'' he said.
 
2004-10-22 10:35:38 AM


IT'S GONNA RAIN!
 
2004-10-22 10:36:05 AM
No matter what we think we know, we will always get pw3nd by Mother Nature.
 
2004-10-22 10:36:46 AM
Too bad the post office isn't as efficiant as the weather service.
 
2004-10-22 10:38:24 AM
.... and blow
 
2004-10-22 10:38:30 AM
Beware the dreaded "Cone of Error"
/see also Madonna's 'Vogue' outfit
 
2004-10-22 10:39:29 AM
A line? Isn't that kinda dumb? Why is there even a debate about this? Use the cone. The cone represents the feasibility of the hurricane passing directly over an area. The cone might not be perfect, but it's a hell of alot better than a line.
 
2004-10-22 10:39:50 AM
Why not just draw a red circle around the entire east coast and the gulf of mexico and say, "The hurricane will hit somwhere in there?" Then, all culpability is gone. God forbid they add some lines in there. Man, those lines are just too damn confusing. There's too many lines in this world. Now trapazoids! There's a shape worth drawing a line to...

/got nuthin'
 
2004-10-22 10:40:22 AM
Meteorology major graduates might as well just be given a coin instead of a diploma.
 
2004-10-22 10:49:49 AM
Basically, the article says that people are too stupid to read the forecast correctly, so naturally they are going to dumb it down.

a4dzac
Meteorology major graduates might as well just be given a coin instead of a diploma.


Do you have any idea what the curriculum is for meteorology? It's not a cakewalk. Do you have any idea how accurate meteorologists are aside from anecdotal evidence? Do you have any idea how many lives meteorologists save every year?

Didn't think so.
 
2004-10-22 10:50:50 AM
"I'm sure we won't be able to please everybody," he said.

Hey Capt. Obvious! Where've you been? But seriously- get rid of the line, you're saying we're too stupid to understand what the "cone of possiblility" means. Keep the line, and you're saying we're too stupid to figure out where the middle of the cone is.

I don't think anyone in Punta Gorda is going to pay any attention to the lines anymore. But for the sake of the public safety folks who have a hard enough time getting people on the line to evacuate, personally I think they should ditch it.

And while they're at it, they should put a "cone of possibility" around the selections on the touch screen voting machines.

/the only way this election could be any worse is if it were Bush/Kerry vs. Cheney/Edwards.
 
2004-10-22 10:54:05 AM
The "Dome of Silence" expected to make surprise reappearance.
 
2004-10-22 11:18:08 AM
tbase, you're a schmuck. The people in Punta Gorda weren't told to evacuate; instead, hundreds of thousands from St. Pete, Clearwater, and Tampa were told to evacuate (a dumb, dumb, DUMB idea).

Point the finger at weatheridiots who think they can't trust people to ride it out at home. If your home ain't got wheels and you're inland a bit, the macrodisaster picture is a lot better off if you STAY HOME.
 
2004-10-22 11:19:06 AM
Where is Nash when you need him. That guy could do it with a whiteboard and some dry erase markers, standing out at the lakefront.

Amen brotha.

All the supercomputers at Bob Brek's disposal couldn't outdo Nash with a whiteboard. He is sorely missed, and his expertise is desperately needed.
 
2004-10-22 11:20:13 AM
Idiots are wrongly blaming the forecasts themselves, when it's the media's ignorance and insistence upon hyping a singular point for landfall (combined with the public's lack of understanding of atmospheric processes). With each devastating hurricane, the public becomes a bit better "informed" ... a good thing if you ask me.

The NHC forecast products are outstanding, and have seen vast improvements made in just the past few years. Shoot the messengers, not the forecasters.

BTW, there will be a few tornadoes in northwestern Iowa later this afternoon ... but don't blame me or the National Weather Service for not telling you whose farmhouse will or won't be affected or exactly when. Heed the warnings, live another day. That is all.
 
2004-10-22 11:25:01 AM
Here's a cool moving-frame overview of hurricane Ivan's path

It shows quite clearly that cone is as good as you're going to get for a prediction.
 
2004-10-22 11:29:27 AM
i dunno,i live in florida and the "cone" is as big as the whole west coast,it doesnt really inform me of anything i dont know already except where the fark it is in a given time.not anything a native can't tell me.
 
2004-10-22 11:39:23 AM
It's not the NHC's fault. It's the media's and people's for not paying enough attention or bothering to understand even a little bit how these forecasts are made.

Maybe our high schools could teach a little more about weather science and a little less about, oh, plant biology or something.
 
2004-10-22 11:41:27 AM
Jesey Crisy, Can't get much better than this for cripes sake.

FORCAST: If you live in FLA, you are screwed.


 
2004-10-22 11:41:42 AM
Here's a cool moving-frame overview of hurricane Ivan's path

That makes me dizzy. Neat though.
 
2004-10-22 11:46:03 AM
My favorite is still hurricaine Gilbert back in 1988. It was in the Gulf of Mexico, and they kept saying "it's gonna turn north! it's gonna turn north!" Never did...
 
2004-10-22 12:37:59 PM
Old and busted = cone of possiblility
new hotness = cone of impending death and destruction
 
2004-10-22 12:56:25 PM
bubbaprog

Maybe our high schools could teach a little more about weather science and a little less about, oh, plant biology or something.


I think you could have just stopped after the 6th word.
 
2004-10-22 01:06:51 PM
First of all, talking about weather forecasts even 10 years ago as compared to today's forecasts -- different thing entirely. Technology moves extremely quickly, and each and every season gets better and more accurate.

Second of all, as with most things, there is better information available than the average joe is aware of. I am NOT a trained meteorologist (although as I've been considering going back to school, this is high on my interest list), but I do follow weather as a hobby. Even though I haven't done much actualy study -- I ran a list this season for some friends, using NHC information, focusing on the discussions issued by the forecasters. Based on most of the list member's feedback, I was able to give a drastically better picture of what was taking place than media weather forecasters, with one notable exception of one particular local station, who has some really fantastic weather folks.

The problem is that, even though we're [professionals, not me] getting much more accurate forecasting, it's still not good enough to tell specific cities they'll be hit or spared.

Take rain - simple rain. If you predict 50% chance of rain, and that really happens (i.e., it rains over 50% of the area) - what does that really mean? For about 50% of the people, they've seen a "100%" chance of rain, and for the other 50%, they've seen a "0%" chance.

I'm just saying, it's a lot more complicated than a line.

I think there are some things that can help:

1. Some advisories have more certainty than others. Sometimes the forecasters say "Strong steering should move the storm X", and sometimes they say "Weak steering means we have less certainty where the storm will go" -- so find some way to communicate that.

2. People need to understand the distance and strength of the storm and the certainty of the forecast as it relates to them. For instance, if a track shows a Cat 1 hurricane hitting me dead on in five days, I'm not so worried. As it gets closer, I begin to worry. With a Cat 4, there's a broader range of landfall that I worry, and further out it can be and cause me concern.

I mean, it'a really common sense, as long as you focus on how the "line" came to be.

If you reduce any complicated subject, you will introduce errors and innaccuracies and/or false conclusions.
 
2004-10-22 01:22:42 PM
I don't fault them. It's a tricky science, and definitely hard to communicate the subtleties to the public.

Now, what does annoy me is when they get excited in the middle of a hurricane! You're sitting there in the middle of hell, maybe no power, listening to them as they see new things and test their models and analysis. So you have a tree crashing through your roof and some guy on the radio is all excited, "Now you see, this is exactly what we were talking about earlier. Isn't that interesting!?"
 
2004-10-22 01:45:31 PM
Today's weather is a 100% chance of bowing down to Crocker.
 
2004-10-22 02:40:49 PM
The probability matrices they post are really the best indicator. The 'line' referenced usually represents around a 30% chance of accuracy, but its still the most probable path. Reading the probability matrix/using the cone is still the best estimator.
 
2004-10-22 02:55:44 PM
Isn't it common sense that the line is just an educated guess?
 
2004-10-22 03:17:33 PM
Isn't it common sense that the line is just an educated guess?

You would think.

But before Hurricane Jeanne came ashore, a week after 3 other hurricanes had proven the forecasters wrong, I overheard this at the grocery store, at work, everywhere:

"They say it's going north before it hits us." (I live in Tampa).

Next morning, everyone woke up to the storm coming right towards us, and acted surprised that the weathermen had gotten it wrong.

People just absorb the TV as pure gospel, despite their real-world experiences.
 
2004-10-22 03:41:44 PM
Amen Just Ignorant. Jeanne was supposed to nail me square and THANK GOD passed just below me. I would have been farked right out of my house. As it is my facade is coming off and I will be damned if I can get someone out here for an estimate. But hell ya, screw NOAA. They let you know your number is up, but what happens after is a crap shoot.

Our local weather dude is using the sphagetti model and has a penchant for NOGAPS and UKMET. They seem to be closer to what is up. But yeah, Jeanne was supposed to pass well north of you all and it ended up nailing you square.

And Port St. Lucie is just farked. I mean, they got so desperate at one point they had their local DJ call up and blast NOAA for not admitting Jeanne could come aground as a cat4. They blasted Max Mayfield until he admitted it was 'possible' (it didn't happen) but that the likelyhood of them getting nailed dead center was actually higher than the models suggested.

doinky

tbase, you're a schmuck. The people in Punta Gorda weren't told to evacuate; instead, hundreds of thousands from St. Pete, Clearwater, and Tampa were told to evacuate (a dumb, dumb, DUMB idea).


Yeah and they all came to Orlando to evacuate, because we were supposed to get a tropical goddamn storm. Gee, that didn;t work out very well did it? So the city was full and over when we got nailed. Talk about a cluster - they couldn't even get back out until late the next day because of all the debris and shiat and traffic. And tampa is only 60 miles from here.
 
2004-10-22 03:52:12 PM
doinky-

tbase, you're a schmuck. The people in Punta Gorda weren't told to evacuate; instead, hundreds of thousands from St. Pete, Clearwater, and Tampa were told to evacuate (a dumb, dumb, DUMB idea).

Jane you ignorant slut. I know what happened, and I know who evacuated. I was here. I was speaking in broad terms for those who aren't familiar with the area or evacuation proceedures. It's not just about whether people's homes will survive, it's about how safe it will be to get to those people afterwards, when they don't have power, might be under water, and probably aren't as prepared as they should be.

The evacuations in St. Pete, Clearwater and Tampa were totally warranted - up to the last minute, that's where it was going. And they were only evacuation people near the water or in mobile homes. If you had a farking clue you would realize that had it hit further north as expected, the storm surge would have done more damage and caused more casualties than any wind would have done. I don't care how new your house is, or how many wheels it doesn't have, if it's underwater and rescue crews can't get to you, you're farked. Much better to get people out while there's still passable roads.

There were plenty of houses "without wheels" inland that were severely damaged. Not everybody lives in a shiny new up-to-current-codes development with no large trees like you apparently do.

And my point when I said people in Punta Gorda aren't going to be looking at that line anymore, was that many people in mobile homes near the water in that area didn't evacuate when they were told to because of where the line was.

And, smart ass, there were evacuations in Punta Gorda exactly as you suggest- for people in mobile homes and on barrier islands. People who weren't told to evacuate were people who "ain't got wheels and you're inland a bit" as you so elloquently put. See this article.

Did you even read my post before calling me a schmuck, or do you just have a problem with comprehension?

By the way, the "weatheridiots" aren't the ones who order evacuations that you say didn't happen.

I was also at "ground zero" for hurricane Opal. When it jumped a category or two at the last minute, it was too late to evacuate. That doesn't mean people didn't try. People were trapped in their cars on evacuation routes when it hit. While they were far enough inland to avoid much hurricane damamge, I assume you've heard of tornados? (Big assumption, I know).
 
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