Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Storm Surge From Hurricane Michael

click to enlarge
There was a 19' storm surge with Hurricane Michael that both exceeded official forecasts and set a record for the State of Florida. A storm surge of that nature is incredibly destructive.

This is important not just because of the record but because some stated in the media that the actual storm surge was below the forecast levels.

It is important to remember that you can't believe what you first read about natural disasters. This isn't because the reporters are bad people but because:
  • Few reporters are science majors and so don't understand the complexities of storm surges and hurricanes.
  • Politicians (which reporters believe far too often in cases involving weather) can sometimes want to play things down (not saying this happened in this case) for what I call "chamber of commerce" reasons. 
  • It takes time for these surveys to occur. By the time the surveys are done, the reporters are often  gone. 

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