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#286052 - 09/10/17 07:47 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: Russ]
airballrad Offline
Gear Junkie
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 244
Loc: Gulf Coast Florida, USA
Winds continuing to pick up in the Sarasota area. We're supposed to begin getting the hurricane-force windows between 5 and 6PM.

We're supposed to be through the worst of it by early tomorrow and in the clear by noon. We're just waiting to see how long we keep power. Preps in place, this house is at least as well prepared as a public shelter.
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#286063 - 09/10/17 09:41 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: Pete]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1134
Loc: Alaska
It appears that Irma has indeed made the hard right turn as predicted by the models. See: Maps: Where Is Hurricane Irma Over Florida? You can zoom the map out to see the past track.

Apparently the models have predicted the track about as well as can be hoped for with the present state of the art:
Irma Shifting Forecasts: It’s All a Matter of Probability


People should focus more on the "cone of uncertainty" rather than the line in the middle (which is just the average of many separate slightly different model runs).
Quote:
But the technical forecasting for the storm, he said, was better than average given the current state of the science. “The models did very well with this,” Dr. McNoldy said. As he explained, “A hundred miles is the difference between the east coast and the west coast — but a hundred miles in a three-day forecast is really good.” With such a skinny state, he said, small shifts in the storm track within the broad cone of probability meant the difference between running up the east coast or the west, with nothing in current technology capable of saying with more certainty which coast it would be.
---------snip-----
Many people trying to use forecasts like those provided by the National Hurricane Center, however, do not fully understand the cone of probability and focus instead on the line that runs down the middle, taking it as an accurate prediction of the storm’s path. J. Marshall Shepherd, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Georgia, explained the fallacy in a Facebook post. “Anywhere in that cone is a possibility,” Dr. Shepherd wrote, “and it has always been a challenge communicating what the cone ‘means’ versus what people ‘think’ it means.”
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#286065 - 09/10/17 09:58 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: Russ]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1361
AKSAR - I agree. It looks like the models did pretty well, all things considered.

That being said, I think that NHC and NOAA will get a little bit of "heat" from politicians. It's bad luck that the state of Florida is long and very narrow. Therefore a "small error" in the predicted ground track places the hurricane on the east coast or the west coast. It's a small error in terms of computational accuracy. But it's a big deal politically, because the authorities are not sure about which big city to evacuate. Evacuation is a super-expensive and difficult process.

It really looks like America needs high-accuracy storm predictions. And that will require much better super computer resources. I am a little surprised that in a major public emergency, NOAA cannot request "backup support" from other agencies with huge supercomputers e.g. the Energy Labs and the intelligence agencies. Other gov departments have huge computer resources. Someone in the GOV needs to look at re-assigning computer resources based on national emergency needs.

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#286067 - 09/10/17 10:18 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: Pete]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6859
Loc: southern Cal
I am pretty sure there will be complaints about the accuracy of the forecasts for Irma. However, as a certified geezer, I can assure anyone that what we have now is far better than what was available fifty or even forty years ago (maybe even ten years ago?.

If you want to look at really mistaken forecasting, or almost no forecasting at all, look at what happened to Galveston in 1900 - the death toll is undetermined, but was somewhere around 12,000, perhaps as many as 20,000. The local forecaster had argued against construction of a seawall, since a big hurricane could not occur in the city.

The forecasts I listened to (weather underground) were pretty clear about the probability cone and the uncertainties involved.
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#286068 - 09/10/17 10:22 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: Pete]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1134
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: Pete
It really looks like America needs high-accuracy storm predictions. And that will require much better super computer resources. I am a little surprised that in a major public emergency, NOAA cannot request "backup support" from other agencies with huge supercomputers e.g. the Energy Labs and the intelligence agencies. Other gov departments have huge computer resources. Someone in the GOV needs to look at re-assigning computer resources based on national emergency needs.
Unfortunately, the issue involves much more than just computer resources. The models themselves need to be improved, which in turn requires research and development. And model building, supercomputers, and R & D all require funding. And sometimes bureaucracy gets in the way too.

Cliff Mass has been highly critical of NOAA, the Weather Service, and the US effort in general. A few selected blog posts of his from the recent past:

Make U.S. Numerical Weather Prediction Great (Again) January 10, 2017

U.S. Operational Numerical Weather Prediction: What's Wrong and How it Can Be Fixed. October 23, 2016

To Become World Class, US Operational Numerical Weather Prediction Needs a Strategic Plan July 13, 2016

U.S. Numerical Weather Prediction is Fal... Fixed Quickly? June 21, 2016

The U.S. Weather Prediction Computer Gap February 11, 2013



Edited by AKSAR (09/10/17 10:23 PM)
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#286071 - 09/10/17 10:26 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: Russ]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1546
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
Hikermore... from Donna in 1962... "oh by the way, we're having a hurricane day after next"

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#286073 - 09/10/17 10:52 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: Russ]
Montanero Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1482
Loc: North Carolina
I am surprised they are as accurate as they are.

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#286074 - 09/11/17 12:39 AM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6859
Loc: southern Cal
Presumably the superior accuracy of the European prediction model explains the occasional references to the "European model" mentioned from time to time on weather reports. As long as the info is available, who cares about the source. Some of the other European models are pretty good, as well....
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#286076 - 09/11/17 12:53 AM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1134
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Some of the other European models are pretty good, as well....
smile hikermor you sly devil, it took me a minute to get that one!
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"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#286077 - 09/11/17 12:59 AM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: Russ]
Jeanette_Isabelle Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2028
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
As some of you may know, I have what is called a "General Anxiety Disorder." At about 7:00 PM I experienced a major anxiety attack. Even after taking 1 MG of Lorazepam, I was calm enough to get stuff done an hour later. Typically an anxiety attack lasts five minutes, ten at the most.

Mom and I moved my mattress into her room, which is more secure. That is where I will sleep tonight. I'll have my bag with me which has a MAG-LITE, first aid kit and medication.

Otherwise, this evening has been uneventful.

Jeanette Isabelle
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"Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble." -- Frederick Henry Royce

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