Sunday, September 10, 2017

Why the errors in United States storm tracking?

Look where the storm was predicted to go last Tuesday, September 5...
Given where the storm is today, that prediction on the 5th was almost perfect on location, just a couple of hours off...

Did you notice that the track of September 5 was actually almost spot on to the location of Hurricane Irma now.  So why all the false tracks over the intervening days showing Irma heading up the Atlantic coast?  

DaTechGuy: Unwoke Irma changes paths (leftists hardest hit)


  1. Having worked in a bureaucracy; I'm going to suggest this happens... When the storm first forms, the normal employees work the forecast and come up with a solution based on solid tools and training. Once the storm reaches a certain level of interest; the high level bureaucrats takeover. They "question the assumptions" and "challenge the results" to figure out why tracks don't match their "worst case scenario", which will gain more interest for their little bureaucracy. It works for NOAA, NWS, and the various media meteorologist teams. And they always have the fall back that "sounding the alarm" and "taking action now" is "erring on the side of caution"; therefore they are heroes saving lives.

  2. You also know the media was hoping for a turn 24 hours earlier, so not only could they cover the storm from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach; but then it would have brought in viewers on Saturday rather than competing with football on Sunday with reporters having to go to Ft. Meyers.

  3. The storm is tracking to the last prediction cone shown above. It's updated now as the storm is crossing the Florida/Georgia border. But's lets consider its track after Georgia as correct (which I suspect it is now that the hype is over). Let's say you control one of the many dams and lakes on the Mississippi watershed. Last week, the storm was predicted to go up the East coast, and pretty much stay east of the Appalachians. So there was little rain predicted west, and thus no need to start emptying reservoirs in anticipation of heavy rains.

    Now the storm is headed straight for the Tennessee and Mississippi River valleys (all the same watershed if you live in southern Louisiana. They now have 36 hours to release water downstream before heavy rains start filling their reservoirs. But that story won't evolve for another 48 hours, maybe even 72 hours. And its in areas that reporters don't like to go.

    The storm is likely to get weaker and have fewer steering currents. It will become less a wind event and much more a rain event. And many homes will flood from rising waters than damaged by storm surges along the east coast of Florida.

    1. The good news is given electricity demand and typical summer weather, dams are probably at their seasonal lows right now. But you are generally right.


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