Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Friday, March 08, 2013

Trouble with Snow... & Broken Forecasts & TWC Naming Storms...

Visible Water Vapor - GOES East 12 hr Loop

The problem with Snow is it's very sneaky and hard to predict what it will do and yet the TWC wants to name Winter Storms as if they were hurricanes. And, oddly hurricanes are easier to predict than Snow Storms which form in real time.

They set up a scenario for Washington DC being ground zero for a Snow Attack that would shut the city down for hours and yet the only thing that shut down DC for hours was amusingly Rand Paul rather than a snow storm the size of Saturn.

A blown forecast left DC without the blizzard of the century and predictably dumped snow on New England and according to my very well trained storm spotter there.. it is still snowing..

Hurricanes are named as they develop in REAL time AFTER they develop and sustain a certain level of wind speed, barometer drops and when an eye develops we know they have the real thing. Yes, they name Subtropicals and Tropical Depressions get a number... but the name goes with the territory of being a known entity and then there is the RESPONSIBILITY for the FORECAST.

The people at the NHC have a fiduciary responsibility to back up their data and to carefully assess the possible tracks and issue the proper warnings for the correct areas. IF they mess it up by 50 miles at landfall all hell breaks loose in the media and the Twittersphere is lit up brighter than the Empire State Building at Christmas with tweets on how they prepared for the storm and spent a fortune and long, long rants on how the NHC blew it.

The people at the TWC have been blowing it ALL winter. If you name enough storms... some do become massive, deadly and have "societal effects" . . . it's called WINTER.

If you are going to name a storm... get it right is my point.

Snow storms are hard to get right. According to the storm specialist this morning on TWC he complained that it's hard because just a degree or two up or down can make all the difference. (Tell me something I don't know... ) And, that DC was just a degree or two above the snow differential and yet he didn't explain or elaborate on why the NC/VA border got the heaviest, fluffiest snow. He waxed poetic about the difficulty and the how one cold column of air four or five feet above the ground level can make all the difference. Does that mean Michael Jordan might smell snow ... but Snippy the Squirrel ain't getting any?

I was 18 and living up north for the first tine in my life. And, my room mate and I sat waiting for snow. She was from Brooklyn, she said when it snows in Central Park we will get snow soon. I waited listening to my trusty weather radio as the temperature in Central Park dropped and dropped and suddenly they said on the radio it was snowing in Central Park. This is not rocket science. Oh, and the girl from Coney Island was right and it snowed later that night in Brooklyn... big flakes coming down as the temperature dropped.

TWC has really added nothing new in forecasting. They package the weather up into nice mareketable segments and play up the "names of winter storms" as if they are the National Hurricane Center (which they are not) and then they bulk up on advertising revenue while people in another part of the country that "maybe get some snow from Saturn" are buried under 2 feet of snow which was supposed to bury DC.

Busted, broken forecast.

And, you know what their response is? Nothing. They up the hemline on the skirts of their on air weather girls and find a snowy shot of an island getting high surf and then cut to some news story that if I wanted to see I'd be watching CNN or FOX.

If you are going to name them... warn for them.. you have to take the responsibility for what is basically another snow storm that snowed on the wrong part of the country far from the estimated high totals that the media went GA GA on because it's name was Saturn or Neptune. They have already dumped Saturn and are trying to move on to the next snow storm hoping everyone will forget Saturn didn't snow where they said it would as they will remember snow in Hartford coming down heavy and to a good part of the viewers of TWC in Southern California or Florida snow is just snow and no one really knows where Hartford is.. it's up there past DC near New York but  not in Maine.

Geographical Ignorance is relied upon and either way people are watching.. because they are naming them and the advertising revenue is up so ... they are winning even though they are losing.

They lost the battle with Saturn, they will win the long term war with Winter as people will tune in and they will blame "Mother Nature" oddly that she did not cooperate.

Already forecasters in DC were heard to blame the storm itself not the  models, as they stand by their models no matter what happens in real time.

House just slid into sea on Mass. coast (NECN) 

I know it's a wild video, but to me it's not big news as it happens there all the time. If it was happening in Hilton Head with a rare blizzard in March THAT would be NEWS! I do love Jesse, don't get me wrong but it's weather... wild, winter weather not end of the world, larger than life winter. It's not the Winter of 1978..  it started late, came on strong and won't go away.Now that is the story of the year, not TWC naming storms that they can't forecast correctly.

Love this tweet that has been retweeted all morning by meteorologists laughing their you know what off..

Quote of the Week - blaming Nature for poor model performance


I never heard the NHC complain it was Debby's fault that the forecasts were wrong ... they blamed bad modeling back in

Debby was supposed to become a monster Intense Hurricane and eat the Keys for hors d-oeuvres and swallow South Beach whole for the main course. And, it didn't and the NHC took responsibility and the models have improved. 

You don't issue storm warnings when you aren't sure who is going to get the storm.

And, today... these days... the Weather Channel pulls the media strings and everyone has to up their ante to coincide or they look stupid I suppose. You can't have TWC crying WOLF and everyone else goes out on a limb and cries lamb...

From the link above:

"Still, I blame the storm more than I blame the computer models. The models are pretty good. It’s Nature that messed this up.
I hope he escapes from his alternate reality soon, people must be looking for him. snow from a cam on Rhode Island Avenue:

Hartford... lots of snow:

The trouble with snow is that is fickle and the NWS does a bang up job forecasting for the winter storms with or without names, but sadly they don't get the press that TWC gets as they are accurate and reliable and not a sexy weather organization with an edge that attracts the viewers with short skirts on the women and sexy suits on the guys. Shame the NWS is like that reliable, best friend guy who you never date and talk to after every break up with every cute, guy with an edge who does you wrong. Takes you years to wise up and realize that the sweet guy who was your best friend all along was the guy you should have gone to the prom with and gone home with...

As for me... I'm doing fine in Carolina. Got a few problems but they are not of the meteorological kind. And, what is in a name really? An old stalker friend of mine told me that years ago... a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose by any name ... you can tell it's scent even if it's pretending to be a daisy. As for me I've got cows in Wilmington that I am worried on... but it's not gonna scare me from going to see the azalea blooms that will burst forth really fast and make Carolina look really Southern really soon.

Got to love weather...

Besos Bobbi


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