Monday, August 22, 2016

Hurricane Hype On Internet Is Blowing At Catagory Five Now

The two X's on the Natonal Hurricane Center map
show where two tropical disturbances are
that could develop into tropical storms or hurricanes
Despite some hype on the internet, it's
impossible now to determine whether these
will pose any threat to the United States.  
Anybody with a passing interest in the weather, and the Atlantic hurricane season might be forgiven for being horrified and scared.

For the past couple of days, people have been posting pictures of computer forecast models that show, variously, major hurricanes eight to 14 days from now destroying Miami, New Orleans, Houston, North Carolina, New York  and/or New England.

Why all the scares?

They are coming right on schedule. We're entering the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season and there indeed some tropical systems out there to watch.

There's three of them at the moment. One is struggling Fiona, which was downgraded to a tropical depression from a tropical storm overnight, and two other disturbances way out over the eastern Atlantic that might develop.

It's impossible to tell whether any of these systems will affect the United States.. Even the sad remnants of Fiona might or might not affect the United States. Plus Fiona could regenerate or stay just a cluster of thunderstorms, who knows? 

There are many computer models that try to hit at where these tropical disturbances will go and whether they will grow into hurricanes.

But data for the computer models is scant. Garbage in, garbage out, which means the models are all over the place as to what will happened to these storms a week or two or more down the road.

So you get the hype. One computer model this weekend had a major hurricane moving up the East Coast a couple weeks from now, then, Poof! The next run of that same computer model that came out 12 hours later had no sign of a hurricane near us.

The computer models, understandably, don't have any idea what these systems will do toward Labor Day weekend. Neither does any human.  So just chill.

You get views and Internet clicks if you show the computer models with major hurricanes along the coast of the United States. If you show a photo of a computer model with no threats, then, sorry, no clicks for you!

The way to handle things this time of year is, yeah, keep track of advisories from the National Hurricane Center and other reputable weather forecasting organizations. If a hurricane does threaten the United States, we'll get three or four days warning of possible impending trouble, and you'll hear about it.

Otherwise, ignore the clickbait.

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