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#286193 - 09/13/17 07:02 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: Russ]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4577
Loc: SOCAL
Rather than start a new thread, Hurricane Jose continues to spin in the Atlantic and is forecast to track north into open water and degrade to a tropical storm.

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#286196 - 09/13/17 07:49 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: Russ]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1308
Russ - yes I was watching Jose too. The computer models did exceptionally well with that storm.

We are roughly halfway through Hurricane Season.
I wonder if we will see any more serious hurricanes? I am sure that the people living in the French islands in the Caribbean and also the British Virgin Islands ... don't want to see another storm for a long time. They might get lucky.


Edited by Pete (09/13/17 07:49 PM)

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#286200 - 09/13/17 08:27 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: Tjin]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5964
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: Tjin
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Here are questions to ponder at some time when the definitive data are available:

What was the fatality/injury rate among those who elected to stay on the keys during Irma? How does that compare with those who evacuated?

So far, I have not seen anything about large numbers of fatalities among those who remained, nor, for that matter, anything about incidents among the evacuees. Indeed, the number of fatalities (somewhere in the mid-50s) seems quite low considering the population at risk in this storm.

Presumably one would leave because remaining would expose one to a significant chance of dying. If that is not the case, there is a significant advantage to sheltering in place - nothing works like home field advantage...



This is always hard to say as the group that stays has a very different make up than those who choose to leave. So you cannot compare the different groups directly.



As a starting point, you can measure the outcomes of these decisions, roughly, to be sure, since the figures will be somewhat inexact. I agree with you completely that there is more to the analysis than just that gross figure - but it is a starting point.

I would hope that procedures followed during Harvey and Irma will be studied carefully and will provide useful guidance for future disasters affecting very large populations. Certainly we would all bet a higher grade for these recent hurricanes than for Katrina and Ike...
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#286201 - 09/13/17 08:36 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
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Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5964
Loc: southern Cal
Reading the WaPo article, it reinforces my suspicion that substandard care may be the real culprit here. Having recently treated a heat exhaustion victim successfully with only wet rags , I can't imagine how a better equipped facility can't keep patients from dying (unless they were terminal or near terminal anyway. It will be worthwhile to keep an eye on this investigation.
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#286204 - 09/13/17 10:31 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1045
Loc: Alaska
Yes, clearly substandard care. Police are investigating it as a criminal matter. Death toll is now up to 8: Eight Dead After Florida Nursing Home Goes Without Air Conditioning After Irma

Note that the nursing home is right across the street from a major hospital (not affiliated). Fortunately, after several emergency patients came in from the nursing home, hospital staff checked for themselves. What they found was a classic MCI (Mass Casualty Incident).
Quote:
The first evacuee was rushed into Memorial Regional Hospital’s emergency room around 3 a.m. on Wednesday, escaping a nursing home that had lost air conditioning in the muggy days after Hurricane Irma splintered power lines across the state. Another arrived at 4 a.m. After a third rescue call, at 5 a.m., hospital staff were concerned enough to walk down the street to see the facility for themselves. What they found was an oven. The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills needed to be evacuated immediately. Fire and rescue units were hurrying the nursing home’s more than 100 residents out. Dozens of hospital staff converged on the area, establishing a command center outside, where workers set up equipment designed for a multi-casualty incident like a bus crash. Red wristbands went to patients with life-threatening conditions, yellow and green for those in better shape.
------snip------
The police and state authorities were conducting a criminal investigation into the deaths, according to Chief Sanchez and the governor’s office. Witness accounts suggested that the heat had caused problems inside the nursing home at least since Tuesday afternoon. When Eli Pina went to visit her mother, Mirelle Pina, 96, on Tuesday at noon, it was sweltering inside, she said.
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#286213 - 09/14/17 09:31 AM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: AKSAR]
adam2 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 388
Loc: Somerset UK
Pictures in UK media of the nursing home tragedy suggest that some patients had been moved to the outside air, which was probably a bit cooler than indoors without air conditioning.

In hot and humid places like Florida, such facilities really ought to have generators able to supply air conditioning.

Media reports are seldom accurate about anything technical, but reading between the lines, I suspect that the nursing home had no utility service for some days, as would be expected in the aftermath of a major hurricane.
It seems that a generator WAS available but not for air conditioning.
It might of course be that power WAS available but that the air conditioning was damaged by the storm. A tree landing on an external chiller or condensing unit would do it.

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#286233 - 09/14/17 09:50 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: AKSAR]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1045
Loc: Alaska
Cliff Mass has a new blog post, comparing the performance of various models for Irma: The Hurricane Irma Forecast: Triumph or Disappointment?

First the good news. Overall, the predictions were very good, far surpassing anything that could have been done even a few years ago.
Quote:
In many ways, the extended forecast of Hurricane Irma was an extraordinary triumph for weather prediction technology, with major global modeling systems (e.g., US GFS, European Center, Canadian, UKMET) suggesting a major threat to Florida a week or more out. Even a decade ago, we could not have done this well.
------snip-------
Although the European Center solution was clearly superior, both U.S. and EC forecasts are very good....showing the threat to the U.S. more than a week ahead of time and predicting a sharp right turn days before. Other major modeling systems, such as the United Kingdom and Canadian models, did the same thing. Predicting the exact location of the right turn days ahead is simply beyond the science at this time and may always be, but the models were all excellent in predicting that such a turn would occur in the vicinity of Florida.

The bad news is that the US models, while improved, are still clearly inferior to the European model, which has improved at about the same rate.
Quote:
•The ability of the U.S. to forecast hurricanes has clearly improved. Congratulations.
•Five years after Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. has not caught up to the European Center, with both improving at roughly the same rate. We need to do better.
•The European Center does a better job at assimilating a wide variety of observations and their model has better physics (e.g., descriptions of moist processes) than the U.S. models--we need to up our game. The proposed new U.S. modeling system (FV-3) is not going to fix these areas.
•The U.S. has spent large amounts of money on hurricane models (e.g., HWRF and now HMON), but in many ways they are inferior to a coarser global model (EC), particularly for track forecasts.
•A clearly deficient hurricane model has recently been developed (for reasons that are not clear)...HMON. It is not ready for prime time, so why show it?
•There was a lot of confusion about which side of Florida would be hit by Irma. Much of this confusion can be traced to inadequate communication by the National Weather Service and the media, with substantial misunderstanding of ensemble prediction by the lay community. We need to do much better in this domain (more in a future blog).
•National Weather Service verification of model quality and hurricane forecast skill is very poor. Why do we have to depend on an innovative professor (Brian Tang), and unofficial web sites (e.g., weathernerds) to supply such information?




Edited by AKSAR (09/14/17 09:51 PM)
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#286235 - 09/14/17 10:24 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5964
Loc: southern Cal
I am not knowledgeable in weather forecasting, but is weather modeling an Olympic event? If the results of the European model are available, why are there competing models? Is hemispheric pride at stake? If money is spent on refining models, why not more collaboration? (granted that competition is often healthy...)

If you ask me, all these models look pretty good, but more refined models will always be appreciated.....
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#286243 - 09/15/17 04:37 AM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: hikermor]
Tjin Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1690
Originally Posted By: hikermor
I am not knowledgeable in weather forecasting, but is weather modeling an Olympic event? If the results of the European model are available, why are there competing models? Is hemispheric pride at stake? If money is spent on refining models, why not more collaboration? (granted that competition is often healthy...)

If you ask me, all these models look pretty good, but more refined models will always be appreciated.....


Different models; different preditions. I actually like weather reports that compares different models and show there margin of error.

There are also different resolutions for different weathermodels.
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#286249 - 09/15/17 05:48 PM Re: Florida - Here comes Irma [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1045
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: hikermor
I am not knowledgeable in weather forecasting, but is weather modeling an Olympic event? If the results of the European model are available, why are there competing models? Is hemispheric pride at stake? If money is spent on refining models, why not more collaboration? (granted that competition is often healthy...)

I think the issue that Dr. Mass is calling attention to involves much more than just hurricane forecasts. I think his point is that US weather modeling in general is falling behind.

There is a whole range of models, of varying scales in time and distance. Some, like the "European Model" (ECMWF), are global scale models for forecasting major weather systems for the next week or so. Other smaller regional models are for more local weather. Still other long term models are for long term climate change issues. If hikermor is worried about hurricanes interfering with his trip next week to Disneyworld, the ECMWF is a good one. On the other hand, if hikermor wants to know if Santa Anna winds will mess with this afternoon's bike ride, the ECMWF is probably of limited help.

The ECMWF is produced (and funded) by a consortium of European countries. While it is global in scale (to predict large scale weather systems), the consortium is naturally most interested in weather systems that will impact Europe. Also, there are restrictions on what is made available to the public, and to non member nations.
Quote:
The IFS is a global model that runs every twelve hours. Its output runs out to fifteen days in one-day intervals (although output is only made available to most members of the public out to 7 to 10 days, depending on the variable).
-------------snip------------
Because the IFS only offers output on a day-by-day interval, each individual ECMWF member country typically runs its own synoptic-scale forecast for the shorter ranges of 5 days or less, separate from the IFS, with smaller time intervals (examples include the French ARPEGE, British Unified Model and German GME/ICON).
In contrast to the GEM/GDPS (which is copyrighted but freely licensed) and the GFS (which is public domain), the ECMWF's proprietary data and forecasts are heavily restricted and require a licence for most output. A limited amount of the IFS's output is released freely to the public and licensed under a Creative Commons licence that prohibits commercial usage or derivative works.

I think that Mass's point is that the US could be leading the world in this area, with much better forecasts for both large scale regional events like hurricanes, and also smaller scale but still important local events like thunderstorms and tornados. We are capable of doing much better than we currently are.
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"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
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