In the Wake of the Sandy Mess, NWS Changes "Hurricane" Warning Definition

Hurricane warnings should have been issued for Hurricane Sandy but the National Weather Service got hung up on technicalities and did not issue them. They have now changed their definitions to make sure this does not happen again.


  1. I understand your point, but how can you say the NWS got "hung up on technicalities" when a Hurricane is, by definition, a warm core storm that meets certain technical/objective criteria? We also use 'technical' criteria to differentiate between a blizzard and a snow storm.

  2. Brian: There are tropical weather experts who believe Sandy was a hurricane at landfall. The NWS says it made the transition to "post-tropical" (which means nothing to the general public) two hours before landfall that Monday evening.

    Regardless of who is correct, there was no way to know it would transition from "hurricane" to "post-tropical" two hours before landfall on FRIDAY when the decision not to issue hurricane warnings was made. That decision, as has been covered extensively on this blog and elsewhere, lead Mayor Bloomberg and others to downplay the risk on Saturday when people should have been preparing.


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