Friday, September 2, 2016

What Did We Learn?

As with every Tropical system, after further review, I like to recap what we learned.  1)  Computer models do NOT handle weak systems very well.  None of the models picked up on TD 9 stalling down over the southern Gulf.  Once TD 9 became better organized and was upgraded to TS Hermine, the models did better though they were not perfect.   What bothers me is seeing weathercasters showing the NHC track forecast and talking about it like it will be reality without stressing UNCERTAINTY.   IF the models haven’t been right in the past, why should one believe the future track will be correct?   2)  Upgrading to a hurricane does NOT mean everyone will see hurricane force winds.   In fact, I haven’t found one land station that recorded sustained winds above 65 mph.   We need to be more careful in using graphics that broad brush areas that will see hurricane force winds.   3)   Social media can be useful (one of my posts generated over 100K hits!), however, too many folks post uneducated opinions that are flat out wrong and contribute to the overhyping of these storms.  4)  The Weather Channel , by far, is the best media source during these tropical events.  The major networks are more interested in elevating their viewership at the expense of the viewer.  TWC has some really knowledgeable and experienced people plus they have the resources to be in multiple locations.   Once a storm threatens us, you then should shift your attention to our local stations as  TWC does not know local like we do.    5)  If your location is near water, expect tropical threats to be part of your life.   Hermine was the 1st hurricane in 11 years to cross the Florida coastline.    That’s over a decade when many people from other parts of the country moved into harm’s way.   That lack of experience can be deadly.  If I hear another sound bite saying” this is as bad as I’ve ever seen”,  I’ll scream.  What it tells me is the person is young and hasn’t been in a real (Cat. 3+) hurricane yet.  Hermine was barely a Cat. 1.   


The peak of Hurricane activity, historically, is September 10th.  I feel we will have many more opportunities to come in the next several weeks.  I did enjoy working with David Bernard and sharing my ideas with his.  I think we provided that additional information that viewers crave during these events.  Our late news numbers clearly had FOX 8 # 1.   We are YOUR WEATHER AUTHORITY and we will continue to earn your trust.  Thank you until we meet again.

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