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Jtm12180

Hurricane Dorian Banter Thread

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2 hours ago, TheDreamTraveler said:

For anyone complaining why everyone is making a big deal about this...if we sit idly by and say and do nothing then this will become the norm.

I'd definitely be double and triple checking any econ data between now and November 2020

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2 hours ago, cheese007 said:

I'd definitely be double and triple checking any econ data between now and November 2020

I still wonder why Dorian wasn't upgraded to a Cat. 5 sooner. Every single piece of data showed it being a Cat. 5 and the NHC refused to upgrade it until they could no longer wait. Very odd behavior.

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5 hours ago, TriPol said:

I still wonder why Dorian wasn't upgraded to a Cat. 5 sooner. Every single piece of data showed it being a Cat. 5 and the NHC refused to upgrade it until they could no longer wait. Very odd behavior.

I think realistically, there isn't much if any difference between a high-end CAT 4 and a low-end CAT 5, as these terms are nothing more than artificial constructs for data categorizing purposes, where in either case, the potential damage impact is the same - catastrophic.  Since "CAT 5" is the highest designation for the scale, it behooves balancing the "drama" of the term with the confirmation that it is truly sustained at that level, as there is no other category "officially" above that level. And when conditions are at the threshold of either designation and one is trying to communicate that to the public, it requires extra care to assess the risk of what might be confusing frequent category changes, while working around the media's propensity to exaggerate (for ratings). So there is a need to confirm, without doubt, that the category has truly been achieved and sustained, again with the knowledge that whether it is a high-end CAT 4 or a low-end CAT 5, the damage is the same.

I do expect like what was done with the "S word" storm in 2012, there will be a "Lessons Learned" activity as part of the full reanalysis of this storm.  NHC took a big hit because the existing criteria was correctly followed when that storm became post-tropical and was no longer considered a "hurricane" ("hurricane" being a term very recognizable by the lay public).  However public outrage ensued because anything less than the use of that term for a storm with equivalent winds/rain/surge and damage impact, became unnecessarily confusing to the public due to the focus on the technicality of "tropical" vs "post-tropical".  I.e., to the scientific met community, that storm's technical makeup and dynamics had changed ("quantitative"), but to the public, the "look" and "feel" and "impact" had not ("qualitative").  And now with climate change altering storm behavior, we are seeing storms maintain tropical characteristics further north in latitude than in the past, often due to a warmer ocean further north.

So in a similar fashion, they may look at ways to more quickly but definitively declare a storm as having achieved that highest category (outside of reported wind speed at the surface through dropsondes) without compromising the science behind the confirmation.  I think this would really be a good idea to do given the sudden increased frequency of such storms (and as we know here, this was the 5th one in 4 years, where in the past, this level of storm was more rare).  You might recall the same issue with Hurricane Michael and a decision, after a post-storm reanalysis, to upgrade it to a CAT 5 at landfall.

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2 hours ago, Hurricane Agnes said:

I do expect like what was done with the "S word" storm in 2012, there will be a "Lessons Learned" activity as part of the full reanalysis of this storm.  NHC took a big hit because the existing criteria was correctly followed when that storm became post-tropical and was no longer considered a "hurricane" ("hurricane" being a term very recognizable by the lay public).  However public outrage ensued because anything less than the use of that term for a storm with equivalent winds/rain/surge and damage impact, became unnecessarily confusing to the public due to the focus on the technicality of "tropical" vs "post-tropical".  I.e., to the scientific met community, that storm's technical makeup and dynamics had changed ("quantitative"), but to the public, the "look" and "feel" and "impact" had not ("qualitative"). 

Bryan Norcross discusses this specific communication problem in a 2017 writing. This is a less elegant piece than I'm accustomed seeing from him. He has a number of good pieces easily found with a Google search showing where improvements in communication and could be warranted.  

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7 minutes ago, f2tornado said:

Bryan Norcross discusses this specific communication problem in a 2017 writing. This is a less elegant piece than I'm accustomed seeing from him. 

The issue of "threat" (and "risk") will always be "mush".  And mainly because it becomes a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario when you attempt to definitively characterize something and you end up being "wrong" because of an outcome that went to the other side of the "wiggle room" spectrum (probability range) from what was expected. It's akin to teasing out the degrees of difference between near-synonymous words like "shall", "should", "will", and "must". The hope is to be able develop tools to help reduce the probability range.

There is a similar issue that goes on with the aftermath of an EFx tornado vs straight-line winds.  There has been tremendous damage done to infrastructure from straight-line winds akin to tornado damage, but the mechanisms (and debris patterns) behind either phenomena are different and this often triggers public frustration on what to call the "cause" of the damage they might experience or have experienced. I.e.,  the public is more familiar with the term "tornado", whereas "straight-line winds" is a more nebulous term and is often automatically considered as "less than a tornado", yet the damage can be the same or even worse.  This is not so much a scientific issue as it is a "perception" issue that happens with media reporting.  The implementation of the "key" things to know - notably the potential "impact", is a good step in the right direction (knowing however that the average person is not visiting the point-and-click maps on the NWS site for their locations to read the actual warning text and are usually getting their weather news filtered by the media on TV, radio, or even from a smart-device weather app).

I really don't think there is a good way to resolve this (at least off the top of my head and in a manner that doesn't introduce a dozen technical terms for damage-causing "storms" - not unlike differentiating hail from sleet... or snow from rimmed flakes or graupel... let alone explaining the ice caused by freezing rain when the air temperature is above freezing). 

One thing that I thought was pretty cool that NHC had done was the creation of an animation illustrating the type of damage a hurricane of "x" range of wind speed could generate.  Unfortunately it is a flash animation (and really should be converted to something like an animated gif or perhaps a HTML5 animation), but can be found here as a standalone - https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/animations/images/hurricane_winddamage.swf (and is also embedded here - https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php)

This type of illustration could actually apply to any type of system that produces extreme winds (whether hurricane or tornado or straight-line winds, etc).  The visualization pretty dramatically illustrates wind force and its potential impact (assuming the infrastructure wasn't already compromised by age or other factors). But it would also behoove the media to pass this type of thing along as well, perhaps as a public-private partnership/collaboration.  As it is, there is quite a bit of rancor that goes on between the private forecasters and the public ones and this sadly tends to cloud (pun intended) the issue of communicating hazards as well.

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12 minutes ago, Hurricane Agnes said:

 

Shades of Chernobyl. The State didn't want scientists to spread anything that in any way shape or form disagreed with the official position of the State. It's easy to see where Trump gets his behavior from.

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On 9/9/2019 at 5:35 PM, Jim Marusak said:

well, Dr. Neil Jacobs, current acting head of NOAA, will be speaking a keynote address tomorrow morning at 8am CT at the NWA Annual meeting in Huntsville. how do you think that will go? especially any Q&A after the speech?

Here is an article on the follow-up of that -

 

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58 minutes ago, Hurricane Agnes said:

 

This is disappointing, but not surprising. It was clear from the onset that the unattributed NOAA statement was a political statement. That the origins are being traced to the White House can be expected given how forcefully and persistently the President clung to his erroneous statement concerning Dorian and Alabama.

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