Monday, August 29, 2016

The Poor Quality of Media Reporting About Weather

Jason Samenow has a timely article here. I agree with Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr.'s addition:
The quality of climate reporting is terrible in many newspapers and on network news.

The Great TV Weather Debate

Boston has, traditionally, been a television market with excellent meteorologists and excellent coverage weather coverage.

Over the weekend, the Boston Globe had a debate about the future of TV weather.
  • The case against TV weather is here.
  • The case in favor of TV weather is here.
As both a meteorologist and a former television meteorologist 
Me doing the weather on WKY TV (now KFOR) in Oklahoma City in the prehistoric era. This was before character generators and we had to label the forecasts and maps by hand!
I believe there will be a need for television meteorologists for the foreseeable future if the meteorologists and their stations adapt. How?
  • Authoritative coverage of major weather events is absolutely essential. I am still shocked when I travel and see TV weathercasters who obviously cannot properly interpret weather radar. 
  • The coverage must be provided as the weather dictates, not "details at 11"!
  • TV stations need to provide what their viewers want to know, not be confined to the easy coverage made possible by their computer graphics system. This is why stations, for the most part, have the same weathercast format day in and day out. 
  • Finally, what they put on their station weather app must be consistent with the forecast they put on the air. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Great Book About How Storm Warnings Save Lives

As hurricanes threaten....

Three Tropical Systems Threatening the U.S.A.

One is headed for the Outer Banks of North Carolina and is not expected to intensity beyond tropical storm strength. However, boaters getting a start on the Labor Day weekend should be aware of the system the middle of this week.

Here is the system we've been watching for several days. It is finally a tropical depression. I am reasonably confident it will turn into a tropical storm and, maybe, a hurricane.

Next, we head into the Pacific. Tropical Storm Madeline is threatening Hawaii.

So, there is plenty to keep track of in the tropics. AccuWeather is tracking it all.

Nothing To Worry About

After briefly rallying yesterday, the tropical system between Florida and Cuba is still looking weak and disorganized. If things change, I'll let you know.

Sunday Fun: Parents of Teenagers? Consider This

Over their objections at the time, I made all three of our children work at McD's (we knew the owner of a chain of Wichita-area restaurants). Over time, each of them have come to agree with the sentiments expressed by the college student in this video.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Tropical System Looking Slightly Healthier

The weather system southeast of Miami is looking a little better organized this morning and it is moving into an area with both warm water and less wind shear. So, it may strengthen a bit, especially when it moves past Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico.

So, stay tuned.

"Home on the Range" -- The Movie

The state song of Kansas has quite a colorful history. It is being shot in Wichita or a made for TV movie. The story is here.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Little Change in Florida Advice

The disorganized weather system continues to head toward south Florida with no signs of better organization from what I can see.

I continue to suggest that people with special needs (see below) get special attention as the storm approaches. Otherwise, I don't believe the rest of the population in south Florida needs to take special precautions.

The storm may go into the Gulf and may intensify there, but there is time to wait and see for that region.

Mobilization Like WWII's to Fight...Global Warming??

Details of a terrible idea, here.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

No News on Tropical System

I really don't have anything to add with respect to the system in the tropics. Yes, I still think it will affect Florida south of I-4. Whether it is stronger than gusty winds and very heavy (with flooding quite possible) rains is still questionable.

Mocking "The Consensus"

I often mock the "consensus" on catastrophic global warming because "consensus" has no place in science. Here are some great examples.

Science is about what can be objectively proven. It is not decided by polls of scientists.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Mess in the Atlantic

The red "I", courtesy of the University of Wisconsin, is the meteorological center of the messy system in the Atlantic that has (relatively) strong winds (gusts to 60 mph) but no real organization.

So, should you change your plans if you live in Florida or are planning to visit? Go ahead and get frustrated with meteorologists: I don't blame you.

The problem is that our tropical storm and hurricane forecasting techniques are built around weather systems that have a well-defined center which this mess certainly does not. The problem is that the system is headed in the general direction of the Bahamas and then the United States. Water temperatures are extremely high and the system -- might -- strengthen rapidly when it gets over that water. Or, it might not do anything just as it has refused to organize the last couple of days.

I'd like to be able to tell you we'll have a lot better idea tomorrow but the weather system did not get better organized today as I had expected yesterday.

So, what to do?

If you live in Florida south of I-4: I repeat my advice of this morning. If someone with special needs is under your care (who needs continuous power or special medicine, for example) it is time to act now to insure those needs are met. Gusty winds and very heavy rains are possible even if the storm does not organize into a named tropical storm.

For everyone else, please keep an eye on the local weather forecasts and be prepared to take hurricane precautions if the forecast indicates. My personal opinion is that I would not plan a discretionary trip to Florida this weekend but would wait a week or so.

If you wish to tell your friends about this blog, it would be appreciated. I promise hype-free information, along with my colleagues at AccuWeather, that is aimed at being genuinely helpful rather than generating clicks.

A Superb, To-The-Point Article About Who the REAL Scientists Are

Please read the entire article, here. In the meantime here is what you need to now to tell the difference between a real scientist and an advocate masquerading as a scientist:
  • good scientist would rather live with an unpleasant truth than embrace a comfortable lie.
  • Good scientists do not suppress debate, they insist on it.
  • Good scientists with opposing views attack one another’s arguments, but not each other.
  • good scientist knows that skepticism, whether or not it is the sign of a heretic, is actually essential to the practice of good science.
  • good scientist would rather be right than be President.
  • good scientist knows that 2 + 2 = 4, always has, and always will, no matter who occupies the positions of power in politics or culture.
  • good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challengednot to be accepted without question.
Hat tip to Dr. Judy Curry. 

Tropical Threat?

If I were in Florida's Penninsula, I would now start paying attention to the developing tropical system. I would not do anything yet with one exception:
  • If you have a special needs person (i.e., must have an operable breathing device or special prescription drugs) living with you or under your care, I would be thinking about purchasing a generator, getting prescriptions renewed, etc. 
At this moment, a hurricane hunter aircraft is on the way to the low pressure area in the Atlantic and will report back. I suspect by early evening we'll have a much better idea as to the future of the storm. 

I'll try to provide no-hype/no-panic information alongside my colleagues at AccuWeather