Saturday, October 27, 2012

Unfortunate Decision by the National Weather Service

Update: 12:07pm Saturday. The National Weather Service has reversed its decision and will continue with hurricane and tropical storm warnings for Sandy.

NWS is NOT going to issue hurricane warnings after all. Final info here.



Two days ago, I wrote on this blog:

The Meteorology. Over the next few days, you may be hearing terms like "cold core, warm core, baroclinic, hybrid,"etc. This is important to meteorologists but not important to you. For the purposes of this blog, the storm is "Hurricane Sandy" regardless of its temperature structure aloft.

This morning, the National Hurricane Center stated,

NOTE THAT WIND HAZARDS FOR SANDY NORTH OF THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA ARE BEING HANDLED BY HIGH WIND...STORM...AND GALE WATCHS AND WARNINGS ISSUED BY LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICES. GALE CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY TO FIRST REACH THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST BY LATE SUNDAY. 

Translated: We aren't going to issue hurricane watches and warnings for Hurricane Sandy.

Meteorologists, as a group, get hung up on technicalities. Even though the storm, until dissipation, will always be the swirl of clouds known as Sandy at its center, over time the storm may transition from having a warm core (classic hurricane) to a cold core (hybrid) two miles above the ground. Other than meteorologists, who cares?

Everyone knows a hurricane is really bad -- and we believe this storm will be really bad. So, a hurricane warning would have told everyone what they needed to know.

Non-mariners don't know the definition of "gale force winds" (FYI: 39 to 54 mph). Disregarding that using hurricane warnings would be clearer, the NWS is going to get hung up on "gale, storm, high wind, inland high wind" and their alphabet soup of warning types with Sandy. Plus, with each individual NWS office having warning responsibility, rather than the National Hurricane Center, inconsistencies may develop. This occasionally occurs with Nor'easters and similar storms.

I believe this is an unfortunate decision by the NWS.

As stated two days ago, I will continue to refer to the storm as Hurricane Sandy when referring to the storm's center.  


3 comments:

  1. The climate alarmists want this to remain a hurricane for political purposes. Hurricane frequency is way below the prognostications of Al Gore etal so they need as many named storms to make landfall as possible in order to keep up the funding stream.

    Your reasons for retaining the hurricane label are oreiented to keeping people from assuming anything less than a hurricane isn't dangerous. That's an unfortunate statement on our collective intellignece but also unfortuantely a very accurate one.

    The NWS should only label it a hurricane if the storm qualifies based on actual wind speeds. It is an amazing coincidence that this stroms wind speeds are reported at exactly the minimum needed to qualify as a hurricane.

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  2. Sounds like the NHC and NWS are going off the deep end in the opposite direction from the Weather Channel's recently announced (and equally ludicrous) policy of attempting to name significant winter storms.

    Yes, keeping a hurricane/tropical storm designation for a system that becomes non-tropical in nature is unprecedented, but SO IS THIS STORM, so why not do something unprecedented to emphasize the threat if it's really that serious?

    Elaine

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  3. NWS has reversed its decision. I congratulate them and am revising the top of the blog.

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