Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13-09-2017, 16:02   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Boat: Leopard 39
Posts: 221
NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

I know that I'll take a lot of flack for this thread from people who feel all is as it should be with hurricane forecasting, but I have a problem with it. 48 hours before Irma made landfall, NOAA was predicting disaster for the East Coast of Florida. The media ran with the ball, and many thousands of East Coast Floridians evacuated to points north. Then, two days before landfall, NOAA changed its prediction, and said that Irma would track the WEST Coast, and residents there were left with limited options. In each case, the media played it up with lurid headlines predicting massive death and destruction on BOTH coasts. The fact is, NOAA's "cone" for East Coast tracking did not encompass the actual West Coast track of Irma. IMHO, if NOAA cannot reliably predict the track of tropical cyclones even 48 hours in advance, it should widen the "cones" of its track predictions. As presently structured, they are imparting a false sense of security to some, and a false sense of certain danger to others. Why not just be honest and say "We have theories, but we really don't know WHERE it's going, even 48 hours in advance?" That's the obvious truth, why not tell it? And please don't tell me "They do," with their fine print disclaimers. People take the graphics they serve up as gospel.
__________________

__________________
danielamartindm is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2017, 16:36   #2
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,574
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

you need to read the fine print on the nhc page. huge paragraph
it is all right there.
__________________

zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2017, 16:50   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Boat: Leopard 39
Posts: 221
Re: NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
you need to read the fine print on the nhc page. huge paragraph
it is all right there.
You need to read the last two sentences of my post. No one reads the fine print. We're talking about the predicting of weather that has implications for millions of people. No one is looking at the cones and saying to themselves "Oh, well, they did say in the fine print that it might be wrong." The whole point of having a cone is the implicit contention that the event will lie within the margin of its borders. If that is not a reasonable expectation, as with Irma, then the cone by definition needs to be wider, or shorter, or both.
__________________
danielamartindm is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2017, 16:54   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SW Florida
Boat: FP Belize, 43' - Dot Dun
Posts: 3,386
Re: NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielamartindm View Post
I know that I'll take a lot of flack for this thread from people who feel all is as it should be with hurricane forecasting, but I have a problem with it. 48 hours before Irma made landfall, NOAA was predicting disaster for the East Coast of Florida. The media ran with the ball, and many thousands of East Coast Floridians evacuated to points north. Then, two days before landfall, NOAA changed its prediction, and said that Irma would track the WEST Coast, and residents there were left with limited options. In each case, the media played it up with lurid headlines predicting massive death and destruction on BOTH coasts. The fact is, NOAA's "cone" for East Coast tracking did not encompass the actual West Coast track of Irma. IMHO, if NOAA cannot reliably predict the track of tropical cyclones even 48 hours in advance, it should widen the "cones" of its track predictions. As presently structured, they are imparting a false sense of security to some, and a false sense of certain danger to others. Why not just be honest and say "We have theories, but we really don't know WHERE it's going, even 48 hours in advance?" That's the obvious truth, why not tell it? And please don't tell me "They do," with their fine print disclaimers. People take the graphics they serve up as gospel.
The west coast of FL was never out of the cone 48-120 hours before landfall!
__________________
DotDun is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2017, 17:09   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 33
Re: NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

Although I don't live in Florida I have relatives that live in the Tampa area so I was following this storm pretty closely. I would agree with Dot Dun about the NWS forecasts that I observed. Plus I frequently heard that no matter what the actual track of this storm, Irma was so large that both coasts of Florida would be affected with potentially severe weather. Certainly NWS and the National Hurricane Center cannot control what people may editorialize about the consequences of this storm. That is why it is important to check the original source of all warnings and watches that are issued, in this case NWS/National Hurricane Center.

Having said this, I hope that you and your family are safe.
__________________
desertsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2017, 17:09   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
atoll's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: gettin naughty on the beach in cornwall
Boat: 63 custom alloy sloop,macwester26,prout snowgoose 37 elite catamaran!
Posts: 9,019
Images: 75
Re: NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielamartindm View Post
I know that I'll take a lot of flack for this thread from people who feel all is as it should be with hurricane forecasting, but I have a problem with it. 48 hours before Irma made landfall, NOAA was predicting disaster for the East Coast of Florida. The media ran with the ball, and many thousands of East Coast Floridians evacuated to points north. Then, two days before landfall, NOAA changed its prediction, and said that Irma would track the WEST Coast, and residents there were left with limited options. In each case, the media played it up with lurid headlines predicting massive death and destruction on BOTH coasts. The fact is, NOAA's "cone" for East Coast tracking did not encompass the actual West Coast track of Irma. IMHO, if NOAA cannot reliably predict the track of tropical cyclones even 48 hours in advance, it should widen the "cones" of its track predictions. As presently structured, they are imparting a false sense of security to some, and a false sense of certain danger to others. Why not just be honest and say "We have theories, but we really don't know WHERE it's going, even 48 hours in advance?" That's the obvious truth, why not tell it? And please don't tell me "They do," with their fine print disclaimers. People take the graphics they serve up as gospel.
the problem is with newswcasters is they work office hour,so generally weather info is prepared 24 hours in advance of broadcast,then basiccally once the recording is made in the studio it is rebroadcast for the nex 24 hour perioud,making it almost 48 hours out of date by the end of the day.

if you want real live predictions on a very fluid powerful weather systems you need to go on you tube for live broadcasts from noaa forcasters here is one guy that deserves some serious kudo's for his almost constant 3hourly 24/7 dissemination of noaa info

Joe Cioffi
__________________
Reccomended donations for IRMA,MARIA
www.shelterbox.org
atoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2017, 17:48   #7
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 3,799
Re: NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

I don't think you will get a lot of flack, this is a friendly site. But I think you are wrong to criticize the NHC forecasters. Florida is a very narrow strip of land. And if Irma had been a few miles east of her actual track the damage would be been several times worse and it is pretty bad as it is.

I think the NHC have to err on the side of explaining to people the worst that can happen. If they did not do that and the worst happened there would be no end of hearings and media editorials calling for heads to roll.

Take the recent event with Harvey. NHC predicted 4 feet of rain in the Houston area. The local government decided not to evacuate based on what happened with a previous hurricane (Ivan?) when they listened to NHC and evacuated many people. Several lives were lost in the evacuation including a good friend of mine. But that hurricane did not live up to the worst case scenario.

So Harvey comes along and the city mayor told people in Houston not to listen to the NHC and Texas governor. He told citizens to shelter in place. The result was a disaster. The mayor has gotten a lot of flack.
__________________
transmitterdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2017, 18:32   #8
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 16,244
Re: NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

They do the best they can with what they have.
Then it gets into the Politicians and News people's hands.
The Politician knows they had better play it up, cause if they don't and they are wrong, there will be Hell to pay, think aftermath of New Orleans.

News people will make money if they overblow it.
Glynn County Ga had a mandatory evacuation Monday morning 8 AM.
Three days before the storm? Blocked my Son from showing up with his truck and trailer so that I could pack away all the valuable stuff and send the dinghy into hiding.
I evacuated My Wife, who I have heard will be allowed back tomorrow, but is of course costing us $100+ a day while they won't let her return.

Point being is there are layers to this, each layer has a stake in overreacting so that you end up being ridiculously conservative, so much so that people learn to ignore the warnings.

I believe that is why many people didn't do a decent job of preparing their boat, cause they have been through this before.
And you know what, this time in Ga they were right, no damage to unprepared boats here.
Next time I won't be so quick to evacuate the Wife, not if they don't allow her back for a week, how long would it have been if there really was significant damage?
__________________
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2017, 18:46   #9
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Colorado Springs, Co but the boat is in Corpus Christi, TX
Boat: 1982 Cape Dory 36 Hull #78
Posts: 341
Re: NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

The predictions are not an exact science. Windy.com and Predict Wind give you 4 scenarios to choose from. Both of these had Irma going up the East coast of Florida, the West coast, right down the middle and then NAM had it going West off the coast. As the hurricane got closer, the predictions all migrated closer together,
Watching the story unfold on national media you need to understand what sells. Fire and Brimstone sells well, so that's what they give us.
If you watch any of the "Reality TV" shows, you are the target.
__________________
SSgtPitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2017, 18:53   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
DeepFrz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Boat: None at this time
Posts: 7,854
Re: NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielamartindm View Post
I know that I'll take a lot of flack for this thread from people who feel all is as it should be with hurricane forecasting, but I have a problem with it. 48 hours before Irma made landfall, NOAA was predicting disaster for the East Coast of Florida. The media ran with the ball, and many thousands of East Coast Floridians evacuated to points north. Then, two days before landfall, NOAA changed its prediction, and said that Irma would track the WEST Coast, and residents there were left with limited options. In each case, the media played it up with lurid headlines predicting massive death and destruction on BOTH coasts. The fact is, NOAA's "cone" for East Coast tracking did not encompass the actual West Coast track of Irma. IMHO, if NOAA cannot reliably predict the track of tropical cyclones even 48 hours in advance, it should widen the "cones" of its track predictions. As presently structured, they are imparting a false sense of security to some, and a false sense of certain danger to others. Why not just be honest and say "We have theories, but we really don't know WHERE it's going, even 48 hours in advance?" That's the obvious truth, why not tell it? And please don't tell me "They do," with their fine print disclaimers. People take the graphics they serve up as gospel.
So, where did you think she was going to go? Maybe you are one of the people that think we should fire all scientists and just rely on POTUS to tell us where hurricanes are going to go or even if one is coming. Get real with your expectations.

Thank the gods for NOAA.
__________________
The Blue Dot Campaign. This Changes Everything.
DeepFrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2017, 19:04   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: PWS/SWF
Boat: T33, Nexus dory
Posts: 16
Re: NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

The people who were inconvienced by the inaccuracies of forecasting have my sympathy as do all those who suffered loss.

The National Hurricane Center offers a product called forecast discussion.
This product detailed the fact that increasing wind sheer was expected within 6-12 hours of Irma's turn North. From images of the storm, the actual turn
North seemed to be slightly delayed in relation to forecast movement toward the Keys. The next forecast discussion, and aircraft reports, noted that the storm appeared to weaken slightly. Of course at this point the warm Gulf Stream waters were just ahead, and this could easily erase the slight decrease in speed noted as Irma turned North.

At this point the storm was forecast to rake just offshore of the Florida West coast. This would put the destructive semi circle along the coast. As the storm crossed the Keys a good satellite image of the eye, observed over several hours,
illustrated a straight track for landfall between Everglades City and Naples. The forecast still called for a raking pass just offshore. When I saw the track pass Cape Sable, holding North, I knew my boat, stored in Charlotte County, would likely survive.

A forecast is just a best guess prediction. Observation of the forecast by the mariner, or the aviator, allows a validation, or invalidation, of this "best guess."
If under way this revised information allows us to modify our plans.

It is regrettable that the public sometimes thinks meteorologist are without error.
For those of us who boat, the NHC forecast discussion is a valuable source of information. The meteorologist do a better job than I would standing with my back to the wind and holding out my left arm to track the low. That, and the presence of a high filtered haze, are the sort of thing the old mariners had to work with. Give me satellite please!
__________________
Tom-- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2017, 19:12   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Panama City FL
Boat: Island Packet 32 Cbreeze
Posts: 326
Re: NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

When a Major hurricane is on the way try following:

(1) Turn off the TV (Cable Channels are all about ratings).

(2) If you are in a likely evacuation zone then call a friend that is not (for a refuge place) or locate a shelter.

(3) Gather up and secure all the loose things around your house.

(4) Put up storm shutters.

(5) Make sure you have enough gas to run a small generator for at least three days. You do have a small generator <3KVA.

(6) Freeze as much water as you can and fill up the tub and all your gallon jugs with water. Use a rubber overflap to back up the tub drain (don't want water to slowly leave)

(7) Check ammo supply (You do have a firearm).

(8) Secure the Yacht

When ordered to evacuate take important papers, pictures, firearm(s) with all vehicles and head for friend/shelter (no more than 5 to 10 miles) except in Fla Keys.

After the blow head home to clean up the mess.

Staying close by You may die because some really bad luck, but more likely to die in the traffic jams that form on the highways (certainly a lot more inconvenient).

I have spent 75 years living in Coastal Areas (except for 2 years at NC State), 53 actually on the water and have never relocated more than 5 miles.

All that panic crap is just to increase ad revenue. Resilience is what we need as a society not the fragility this over newsed country has produced.

Learn to think for yourself, it will come in handy in life.

IMO the Hurricane Forecasters do an unbelievable great job. Weather is a very non linear process.
__________________
Frankly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2017, 19:30   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Boat: Shopping
Posts: 425
Re: NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielamartindm View Post
I know that I'll take a lot of flack for this thread from people who feel all is as it should be with hurricane forecasting, but I have a problem with it. 48 hours before Irma made landfall, NOAA was predicting disaster for the East Coast of Florida. The media ran with the ball, and many thousands of East Coast Floridians evacuated to points north. Then, two days before landfall, NOAA changed its prediction, and said that Irma would track the WEST Coast, and residents there were left with limited options. In each case, the media played it up with lurid headlines predicting massive death and destruction on BOTH coasts. The fact is, NOAA's "cone" for East Coast tracking did not encompass the actual West Coast track of Irma. IMHO, if NOAA cannot reliably predict the track of tropical cyclones even 48 hours in advance, it should widen the "cones" of its track predictions. As presently structured, they are imparting a false sense of security to some, and a false sense of certain danger to others. Why not just be honest and say "We have theories, but we really don't know WHERE it's going, even 48 hours in advance?" That's the obvious truth, why not tell it? And please don't tell me "They do," with their fine print disclaimers. People take the graphics they serve up as gospel.
You will get a lot of flack, because your recollection is incorrect. Five days before Irma impacted the Florida mainland, the cone covered both coasts, and it never stopped covering both coasts. Yes, the predicted path of the eye started on the east coast, and moved west, but the cone always covered both coasts. NOAA did refer to Irma as a potentially catastrophic storm for Florida, and for many it was. Thank goodness Florida did not experience the devastation visited on the islands (although the Keys may have). I think NOAA's predictions for Irma were uncanny. And for Harvey, as well. And for Katia. And now for Jose, doing a loop. NOAA's ability to predict the movements of these storms has improved so much in the last 30 years it almost forces me to admit that the government can do some things right.

And by the way, what I am saying is easily verified. Just go to the archive files on the NOAA site.
__________________
Cottontop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2017, 20:05   #14
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Astoria, NY
Boat: Sabre 38
Posts: 430
Re: NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
The west coast of FL was never out of the cone 48-120 hours before landfall!

NOAA has a neat graphic of the 5 day forecasts in a timeline format. Play the loop and you can see Irma form and travel across the ocean.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2017...cone_with_line

Once the 5-day forecast included the state within the cone of probability (Sept 4, before even making landfall in the islands) the west coast of Florida was never out. That is, there was always a significant chance Irma would follow the path it did.

If you watch the loop of forecasts, to me at least, it seems NOAA nailed the prediction for the most part. Heck, the eye of Irma hit the Keys right where it was predicted to do so 5 days before.

But more to the OP's point, maybe NOAA should not forecast (or graphically display) the eye of the hurricane or do so only for a day or two out. Or make the eye symbol larger as the forecast goes out. If a small eye for 12 hours out reflects 80% probability, then at 5 days out a huge symbol is required to also reflect an 80% probability.

I doubt NOAA wants that little 'M' symbol to be interpreted as precisely as the graphic appears. Sure the news can get better at telling the true story, but so can NOAA.
__________________
Stephen

s/v Carpe Ventum
1983 Sabre 38
My Intro
fallingeggs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13-09-2017, 20:27   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
maxingout's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fort Pierce, Phoenix
Boat: Privilege 39 Catamaran, Exit Only
Posts: 2,512
Re: NOAA Hurricane Forecasts

I never rely on NOAA predictions of storm path. I am sure there must be some politics involved in predicting worse case scenarios so they don't get blamed if things get really bad.

When I lived through hurricanes and tropical storms for five years in Puerto Rico, I took the predictions with a grain of salt. Time and again the storms did not do what was predicted.

My modus operandi was that if there was a hurricane in the area, I would treat it as if it was a real threat, because until it passed by, it was a threat. The prediction models are only as good as the data that they feed into the model.

When I was sailing south of New Caledonia, there was a cyclone north of New Caledonia. Australia was predicting the cyclone was heading for OZ, and New Zealand was predicting that the cyclone was heading for New Zealand. Two different weather predictions on the same storm.

Part of the problem telling actual storm movement relates to the fact that sometimes the eye is poorly formed, and when it reorganizes/reforms, the weather service says that the storm, moved in the direction of the new eye. Maybe so and maybe not. Certainly the New Zealand and Australian weather services were not in agreement on what was happening. I just sailed back and forth south of New Caledonia until there was a clear consensus about which way the storm was headed.

If there is a hurricane anywhere in the vicinity, I prepare for it as if it was aiming just for me in my anchorage, because there is no way that I can be sure about the accuracy of the predictions.
__________________

__________________
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only

http://SailingUNI.com
http://maxingout.com
http://PositiveThinkingSailor.com
maxingout is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
forecast, hurricane

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Does NOAA Pull Their Marine Forecasts Out of Thier *** ? off-the-grid Weather | Gear, Reports and Resources 4 27-09-2010 07:44
NOAA Hurricane URL for Batch Download from a Sat Phone barrett bondon Navigation 0 11-09-2010 19:03
NOAA Recent Hurricane Prediction for Eastern Pacific jackiepitts Pacific & South China Sea 4 31-05-2010 22:47
how accurate are NOAA forecasts? jackiepitts General Sailing Forum 8 14-12-2007 07:55
Forecasts: Northeast Due for Big Hurricane CaptainK Atlantic & the Caribbean 2 28-03-2006 04:47


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:58.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.