Wednesday, September 30, 2015

People Watching, Hurricane Joaquin, and Storm Activeness

I like to "people watch" at the mall. I like watching how people react to other people. Do they walk on the right side (like they do when they drive) or do they walk upstream (like trout). As I watch Hurricane Joaquin unfold, I find myself "people watching" on social media.

I'm watching how other meteorologists in the path of Hurricane Joaquin are handling the storm. Some meteorologists are poking fun of others for "hyping it up", while others are saying that it's being downplayed and people aren't going to be prepared. I'm not sure who is right in this battle, but I tend to be the type that wants people to prepare, just in case. 

I'm going to throw out a new phrase: Storm Activeness. Activeness is defined as "producing an intended action or effect". My job is to inform you of the weather each night so that you can actively do things in your life to prepare for the elements. The focus of our forecast this week has been the cooler weather, so I hope you make plans to dress a little warmer over the next few days. But, what if my forecast confidence was not that high? Would you still dig out the hoodie?

For those on the East Coast, it's more than just finding a hoodie to wear at the football game on Friday night. It's the possibility of a flooded home, hurricane force winds, evacuations, and stocking up. It involves a lot of money, time, and resources. Are the local meteorologists saying the things that make people actively prepare for the the storm? What level of "Storm Activeness" are they conveying?

At this hour, the NHC has Joaquin making landfall somewhere between North Carolina and New York. That's a wide swath. The center of the swath is near Virginia Beach. In my opinion, anyone in the shaded white area need to actively start the preparation process.

There's still some questions with this storm. Some data has it slamming the East Coast, like the GFS seen here:

But, some have Joaquin going back out to sea, like the Euro seen here:

It's easy for us in Arkansas to sit back and watch what happens, but if I were in the NHC "cone of uncertainty", I'd want to be prepared and nothing happen, than be hit blindsided. 

I wish all of my friends on the East Coast the best! I'll be praying for your forecasting, your families, and your sanity. 


1 comment:

'zigzag' Roberts said... are alright.