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Dumbing down the weather news
Old 09-08-2017, 07:53 PM   #1
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Dumbing down the weather news

Whaat?

But it's been 24/7... what don't you understand?

Well, for one thing, less than 10% of Floridians live within a mile of the coast.

So How does the storm surge affect the people who live 2 miles from the coast?

Harvey had rain predictions well in advance of the storm... What do we know about rain predictions for Central Florida?

Does the damage come from rain and storm surge?... Mainly from surge? How long will it last?

What is the effect of rivers and places like the Everglades on inland homes?

Besides the coast, What have you heard about places like Orlando, or the Villages? Evacuations? Flooding? Wind?

So... two main weather channels, 6 major TV news channels, broadcasting 24/7 on one subject... Guys on the coastline with rain jackets, hoodies and umbrellas and girls talking about the idiots who are still surfing on Miami Beach... and the same multicolored picture of a skewed circle or lines of spaghetti on a nonspecific map of Florida... and what do we actually know about what might happen in the other 90% of Florida.

If you have a home in the Villages, what do you think is going to happen? Does anyone know how high above sea level their home is? Will rivers rise with the storm surge or just with rain? How much rain is predicted? Where?
For Harvey, the predictions were within inches. How much for Irma?Are ALL the highways blocked the way the news channel show?

Evacuate!!! to Where? To What? ... and are ALL of the people who have decided to "ride it out" STUPID? Will they all die?

Dozens of other questions about the kind of damage to be expected because of wind, surge, or rain. Who and where will these effects take place.

Dunno... How do you handle this? ...But... at the same time aren't there any journalists who have the nerve to address the 90% of the people who haven't received logical, sensible guidance?

Am all in favor of warnings, and not underplaying the dangers, but why aren't the concerns of the vast majority of residents being addressed? Are Florida residents unable to understand?

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Old 09-08-2017, 08:10 PM   #2
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try this report on Irma- the best weather report I've ever watched.

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Old 09-08-2017, 08:42 PM   #3
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Someone posted in the Harvey thread.
Wherever Jim Cantore (wether reporter for the weather channel) is reporting from you don't want to be near.
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:54 PM   #4
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So I take it, you are not worried about your park model anymore ?

A couple of years ago, DW & I looked at your community and wondered about insurance rates and if a hurricane swept through would it survive ?
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfudtuckerpucker View Post
try this report on Irma- the best weather report I've ever watched.

Yes, that was good - the guy knows what he's talking about.

For those that say the National Hurricane Center doesn't do a good job with their forecasts, look at the "cone" from that Wednesday 9/6 broadcast (about 1:20 in) and compare it Friday afternoon's. Those folks do a very good job with with the available data and an imperfect understanding of how everything interacts on these storms.
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:35 PM   #6
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"Dunno... How do you handle this?"

I haven't watched any weather reports since I think they repeat what the NWS and NHC say, but with feeling. So just go to the source.

Many of your questions about rainfall, surge level are explicitly answered. Here is verbatim from
Quote:
999
WTNT31 KNHC 090258
TCPAT1

BULLETIN
Hurricane Irma Advisory Number 40
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL112017
1100 PM EDT Fri Sep 08 2017
Quote:
RAINFALL: Irma is expected to produce the following rain
accumulations through Tuesday night:

Southern Bahamas and northern Cuba...10 to 15 inches, isolated 20
inches
Southern Cuba...5 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches
Jamaica...1 to 2 inches
The Florida Keys, much of the Florida peninsula, and southeast
Georgia...8 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches
The Florida Panhandle...3 to 6 inches, isolated 8 inches
Rest of Eastern Georgia, western South Carolina, and Western North
Carolina...4 to 8 inches
Western Georgia, eastern and northern Alabama, and southern
Tennessee...2 to 5 inches


Heights above land are given for storm surge by location, too. Key West and Everglades will be under 10 feet or so of water.
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:46 PM   #7
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And another note, the Florida peninsula is about 100 to 140 miles wide. Houston [Harris County] is half that in width or 60 to 70 miles.
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Whaat?

But it's been 24/7... what don't you understand?

Well, for one thing, less than 10% of Floridians live within a mile of the coast.

So How does the storm surge affect the people who live 2 miles from the coast?

Harvey had rain predictions well in advance of the storm... What do we know about rain predictions for Central Florida?

Does the damage come from rain and storm surge?... Mainly from surge? How long will it last?

What is the effect of rivers and places like the Everglades on inland homes?

Besides the coast, What have you heard about places like Orlando, or the Villages? Evacuations? Flooding? Wind?

So... two main weather channels, 6 major TV news channels, broadcasting 24/7 on one subject... Guys on the coastline with rain jackets, hoodies and umbrellas and girls talking about the idiots who are still surfing on Miami Beach... and the same multicolored picture of a skewed circle or lines of spaghetti on a nonspecific map of Florida... and what do we actually know about what might happen in the other 90% of Florida.

If you have a home in the Villages, what do you think is going to happen? Does anyone know how high above sea level their home is? Will rivers rise with the storm surge or just with rain? How much rain is predicted? Where?
For Harvey, the predictions were within inches. How much for Irma?Are ALL the highways blocked the way the news channel show?

Evacuate!!! to Where? To What? ... and are ALL of the people who have decided to "ride it out" STUPID? Will they all die?

Dozens of other questions about the kind of damage to be expected because of wind, surge, or rain. Who and where will these effects take place.

Dunno... How do you handle this? ...But... at the same time aren't there any journalists who have the nerve to address the 90% of the people who haven't received logical, sensible guidance?

Am all in favor of warnings, and not underplaying the dangers, but why aren't the concerns of the vast majority of residents being addressed? Are Florida residents unable to understand?
I lived in S.FL for many years and went through the 2004-5 seasons including several near misses, the first landfall of Katrina, and Wilma in October 2005. Was also responsible for disaster planning and response for my employer in that area.

I strongly disagree that 90% of people in FL haven't gotten "logical, sensible guidance". They may have ignored it, reacted to it in a panicked fashion, or completely processed it and dealt with it in a way that is not apparent to you. The guidance-and it's sound-has been there at least since I moved here in 1998

My take on TV weather is if you live in a vulnerable area, the TV weather people are good - they can explain the major factors that drive the forecasts and are clear about the limitations of those forecasts.

That said, IME, making decisions in these circumstances based solely on TV weather reports will result in taking the most conservative/safe course of action in advance of the storm. It's the aftermath that gets really inconvenient......

As to FL residents, yes, some choose to be poorly informed. Was surprised by how many people I talked to today who were supremely confident we would be heavily impacted-even though we have NEVER been in the forecast cone for Irma. Better to be anxious and prepared than unprepared, though.

Other FL residents have been scarred by experience and are going to hit the road. If I were still living 10 miles inland from Ft. Lauderdale, I would have flown my kids out Monday or Tuesday just to have two fewer people to care for, and stayed for the storm.

Evacuation from the coastal areas always made sense to me and you don't have to go far inland to be substantially safer. IMO, inland residents in modern, properly maintained homes shouldn't evacuate. Your only way out is north, and with the expected path of this storm, who knows how long it will take to get the roads cleared and reopened and fuel and food re-supplied? Florida is good at that, but still going to be 1-2 days after it passes before supplies can start moving in volume again.

As for traffic, select the traffic overlay on google maps and see for yourself. Yes, earlier today there were sections of the turnpike, I-75 North and I-10 West that we as depicted on TV. At 1:30 a.m ET, that map is showing slow sections on parts of I-75 and I-10 west of Tallahassee.

Many of your questions about local impacts can be answered with some research. Here's a local office briefing from Friday.
http://www.weather.gov/media/tae/bri...e-briefing.pdf

Your FL place is in a different NWS region, maybe they have something similar.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:15 AM   #9
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The surge, flooding and wind are one thing. But for many the real issue is loss of power!

I forget the hurricane's name but back in the late 80's we had a big one sweep through and parts of Fort Lauderdale didn't have power for a much as 6 weeks. At the time we had several friends who decided that they'd had enough and moved north for good.

Just hoping our place (directly on FLL beach) makes it ok but won't know for a while.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:38 AM   #10
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I agree that most of the reporting is shrill and shallow but, some is quite good. I saw a guy from the National Hurricane Center who gave an excellent summary of where the winds would be the highest and lowest, how much rain to expect, etc. People in the interior (Villages, Orlando, etc) need to consult their local news and need to understand their individual situation. If they live in hurricane resistant houses that is one thing. If they are in trailer parks that's another. I wouldn't turn to 24 hour national news if I lived anywhere in FL.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfudtuckerpucker View Post
try this report on Irma- the best weather report I've ever watched.

He works for a local channel in Mobile, AL. I've watched him for years when coming to the coast. Does a good job. The same channel has another guy on in the morning that is a real goof ball. I guess they needed someone to balance it all out. Ha.
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:31 AM   #12
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So I take it, you are not worried about your park model anymore ?

A couple of years ago, DW & I looked at your community and wondered about insurance rates and if a hurricane swept through would it survive ?
About the park model... I have a park model in Woodhaven 400sf... our Fl place is classified as a manufactured home `about 1000 sf w/o the add-a-room. We decided to stop with the insurance about 7 years ago, when the only way to buy insurance was to value the place @ 300% of the assessed value. The park was established 1986 and though there have been several hurricanes since, with almost no damage except for several trees. Andrew barely touched us.

I guess it's a matter of playing the odds. Worst case scenario for us is to remove the home from the park... between $10K and $15K. It owes us nothing, so the world will not end. It was a great run, and we'd do it again in a heartbeat.

My relatives have a bike tour business in Cuba, and a newer home outside of Havana... I'm worried about them, as there has been virtually no information about the hurricane there. 11 million people in Cuba... 2 million+ in Havana. Not worthy of news.

I'm more concerned about our kids, and their new home(one month old now) inland a bit in Sarasota. Their home is 30 feet above sea level, so I doubt a storm surge will harm them. Their home is now buttoned up except for the front and rear doors.

It's only been for the past 24 hours that national news has begun to predict rainfall, mostly 6 to 12 inches. whereas w/Harvey, the 50 inch rainfalls were predicted days in advance.

I think we're supposed to know what kind of damage different wind velocities would cause. Shingles @ 70 mph? Windows @ 90 mph? siding damage @ mph?

The multi colored "weather bands" that are permanently on the TV screen.. What do the colors mean? When the weather line is drawn horizontally across the state for hurricane progress, is there no differentiation between coastal or central cities? Little discussion about the comparative safety of concrete homes versus stick-built... or about the types of roofing.

Obviously there is no certainty as to what will happen. To be honest, the weather channel reports are beginning to get more deeply into details, providing more clarity. Kudos to the weather news management for their more attention to detail, as the major news stations continue to roll over the exact same information time after time.

My irritation stems from what I've heard from my Central Florida neighbors, who are glued to their TV's, but with little or no information that details their expectations versus coastal communities.

Off comes the curmudgeon hat, and am now putting on my Captain Nice cape.
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:52 AM   #13
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Most floridians (except maybe brand new residents) have a good knowledge of whether they are in a flood/evac zone, how high their home is above sea level, and what the colors mean.

We know what a TS warning means vs. a Hurricane Watch. We know that all mobile homes are the first evac order, and that's issued by the state. Key's, barrier islands right after that.

If someone arrived brand new in florida on June 1 and was relying only on TV news then OK maybe they'd have a good excuse to be confused. But everyone else had a least a dry run with Matthew warnings last year, or has been through this cycle up to a dozen times.

It can also be very random. I was a county north of Andrew in 1992. It toppled a palm tree but left a fully in-bloom rose untouched only 6 feet away.
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:03 AM   #14
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So in the interest of full disclosure let me say, I'm a natural coward. my favorite character in the wizard of Oz.... Cowardly Lion (I mean come on, why was Dorothy messing witches anyway)??

Anyhoo, If I'm new to Florida or just visiting is the quality of the weatherman important?? not to me, I'm heading for the hills. ok so I lose a few hundred bucks, what you won't see is me having to be rescued.

Basically I don't mess with mother Nature. (anyone remember that old commercial?? lol)
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:15 AM   #15
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... Basically I don't mess with mother Nature. (anyone remember that old commercial?? lol)
Indeed, mother Nature is not nice. She gives us all kinds of catastrophes. Why do people keep using phrases like "back to nature"?

If nature were so nice, we would not spend so much money and effort on man-made stuff like housing and infrastructure to make our life more comfortable.
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:37 AM   #16
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So in the interest of full disclosure let me say, I'm a natural coward. my favorite character in the wizard of Oz.... Cowardly Lion (I mean come on, why was Dorothy messing witches anyway)??

Anyhoo, If I'm new to Florida or just visiting is the quality of the weatherman important?? not to me, I'm heading for the hills. ok so I lose a few hundred bucks, what you won't see is me having to be rescued.

Basically I don't mess with mother Nature. (anyone remember that old commercial?? lol)
In my experience, the strongest force on Earth is an angry sea.*


*Followed closely by an angry wife.
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:41 AM   #17
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A simple fix to knowing ones elevation above sea level I am surprised has not been mentioned is to look up your home on google earth, if you set the mouse on the front yard it will tell you the elevation. In fact it is better that topographic maps as their minimum contour interval if flat areas is 5 feet whereas google earth is 1 foot. In Houston (and Miami which is just as flat) a foot or two can make a big difference between flooded and not flooded. (Actually I think folks considering a house purchase should routinely look up the house there to also get an idea for the neighborhood.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:27 AM   #18
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It's only been for the past 24 hours that national news has begun to predict rainfall, mostly 6 to 12 inches. whereas w/Harvey, the 50 inch rainfalls were predicted days in advance.
Only a very small location got 50 inches, maybe 3 square blocks just south of Houston. Houston itself got between 30 and 40 inches. The NWS said 35 inches in isolated spots when Harvey was going ashore by Corpus, then they upped it to 50 inches in isolated spots. And those numbers were for accumulated-over-5-days rainfall. Their report was quite accurate in the end, but they didn't scare the Beaumont / Port Arthur area enough. 10 to 15 inches of rain over 24 hours is not big deal around us, but 3 inches an hour over a couple hours is huge.

As for Floridians, they should have in their memory or at least the locals should tell folks what 6 to 12 inches of rain will do in their particular location. At least in Houston, rainfalls are a matter of historical record, so one can see what happened with 30 inches of rain in the past and use that to help extrapolate what that amount of rain would do. And now people can see what happened with the amount of rain they got during Harvey and extrapolate or interpolate from that.

Indeed, that's what people are doing when they say something like "Matthew didn't hurt us." Or "We had no damage from Charley." Or any of those other comparisons. But one has to understand the differences between then and current circumstances.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:30 AM   #19
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(Actually I think folks considering a house purchase should routinely look up the house there to also get an idea for the neighborhood.
In my wife's consulting engineering firm, none of the civil engineers had their homes get water in them during Harvey. The same cannot be said of their employees working in the marketing department.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:00 AM   #20
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I remember the Tsunami that hit Thailand on our Christmas morning. It was a dreamlike feeling, was I seeing reality? The absolutely clueless vacationers and residents was astonishing. Afterwards, they talked about the animals that ran for the high ground way before it happened. Their sense of something crazy going on.

The weather reports are already wrong in where IRMA is going to hit hardest. My brother lives in FT. Lauderdale and stayed. He filmed the desolate beached and frantic grocery stores of people in long lines buying food and water. Sent them Via text. He loves storms. I think he would chase tornadoes if he lived in the midwest. Loved the movie Twister. I think he'll be fine.
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