Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why Online Message Boards and Websites Are Valuable

Re current synoptics... I will weigh in after 5pm.

Ana is out there, not totally dead and worth watching if you live in Florida or even the Bahamas... wondering if it is possible that Ana could merge with the weather to her nw, have seen it happen but rare and maybe she really is about to die off but she looks pretty lively for a ghost.

Rains from Claudette are still pounding certain beaches while other areas are dry. Check your local radar:

Bill is big and is growing though I still think he has some serious problems regarding his core development. This is most likely a mute point as he should become a Major Hurricane. As for his fast track out to sea, I don't buy it. I do think he will begin to pull north but where and when is the question. IF Bill is forecast to be as strong as he is he will develop a massive high aloft and storms like that can produce their own steering currents in effect, they can continue to go in one direction when they should make a rapid turn and catch a doorway out to sea and they can also stall out, stop and miss the timing of the door... they are just tricky, as tricky as they get and need to be watched carefully. And, all the big models have been pulling a bit more to the west than earlier ...though this trend may not continue. Keep watching. Also, he has great bands developing however his north side seems really weak and the dry air that ate away at Ana is still there, nothing changes that fast in the tropics... time will tell with Bill.

Below... is something I have wanted to say for a while and the interviews on air with people riding bikes on the rainy streets in Claudette seeming to be surprised made me write this. It could have been worse, Claudette could have spun up stronger and caused real damage and there could have been loss of life and property that should have been protected but was not because someone left home on Sunday morning and went to bed with Saturday Night's update and didn't think there would be a problem. And, on Friday Night on August 21st, 1992 the 6pm Weather Update on Andrew had Andrew moving towards a date with a trough and when we turned on the TV after the Jewish Sabbath on Saturday evening August 22nd, just 24 hours later most of the food was sold off the shelves in Publix and Miami was in Panic mode. Only those watching Brian Norcross knew the models seemed not to make sense and that the strength of the trough was not that weak and the high might build in... had there been the Internet then, people reading message boards would not have been caught unaware out on a sailboat on Saturday somewhere expecting to have a great weekend and were told by Channel 10 to check back on Sunday evening for updates of Andrew's progress towards the Carolinas.

Why Online Message Boards and Websites are Valuable.

First off, you learn a tremendous amount on a subject and you learn in real time, as you go, as they develop. Joining a message board or reading blogs and weather websites will teach you more than a few classes in tropical meteorology. Of course you do need to check out a few good weather glossaries and you may need to brush up on your math.

But, you learn a lot and you get advanced notice of possible changes in the weather that are not always mentioned in the official forecast until they are more set in stone.

Example being Claudette. I have seen so many interviews on TV with people who were shocked that she formed and came onshore that fast. They did hear there was something out there but no warnings were raised until the official warning. Of course, may were probably watching Comedy Central or FX during their local news but no one was screaming Claudette except online where those in the know..knew something was coming together quickly.

Knowledge is power.

Of course, you do need to take a lot of posters with a grain of salt and stay away from "wishcasting" but you do learn a lot and you stay on top of what is happening for yourself.

Never again can you complain that you didn't know Charley was going to make landfall the way it did or as strong as it did and never again will you complain Claudette made landfall on the day you decided to stay a little while longer at the beach thinking the coast is clear.

You meet a lot of people across America who are probably more interesting and a whole lot smarter than someone you sat next to at the beauty parlor or car wash. Seriously, no one on a message board was surprised by Claudette or Charley and that is why they are valuable.

Local on air weather people often know there are possibilities out there that are not the party line given by the National Hurricane Center. But, they will rarely point them out because just as often those possibilities don't pan out. Which is why the NHC does not bring them up. They are as reliable as it gets but they update frequently and their discussion is way better than their advisories which is all you get if you are listening to a weather radio or checking out the update online.

What you get for an advisory is:

Hurricane Cleopatra is moving wnw at 20 mph and is located at... fill in the blank.

The discussion at the NHC explains why and how certain they are that this will continue or if there is a chance Cleopatra may not follow the forecast package.

This is a link to the last discussion on Bill:

Now, why would you need my blog or Jim's site or even Hardcore Weather? Because you learn a bit about what they are talking about in the discussion. Seeing as the NHC does not have a message board or chat room, Jack Bevan and Lixion Avila are a little hard to talk to at the height of the hurricane season..and Steve Lyons is a bit busy but there are many with degrees and without but with a wealth of knowledge on many good message boards and again.... Knowledge is Power.

And, THAT is why Online Message Boards and Weather Websites and Blogs are a valuable asset in understanding and learning more about possible tropical weather threats.

And, they are fun!! Entertaining and educating!!

And, I trust my readers to know the difference between someone screaming "WOW BILL IS GONNA COME GET ME" when they live in Nova Scotia when a storm is going to hit Galveston.. this is not rocket science and people are smart and do not need dumbed down weather.

Or, you can Wake Up With Al and hope he mentions the weather while letting two of the better weather journalists around hold up cards judging weather pics viewers have sent in rather than showing the weather!!

You are smart, take control and learn what is going on for yourself and that is my two cents.

Some great sites are listed below in no specific order and there are many I am missing. Use them, enjoy them... get to know them. There aren't many Brian Norcross types out there doing weather showing possibilities like he did when the forecast was for Andrew to catch the trough and he was worried the trough was weak and it wouldn't go to the Carolinas and that it could..and did ..continue west.

Great thunderstorm going on here right now...

Keep in touch by checking me out at

And, check out some great sites listed below!!
(no best and brightest and sweetest and nicest people work there and spend their lives trying to give you the best forecast to protect you... me!)

And, last but not least... Drudge has one of the best weather pages out there and he is at heart a true weather ummmm aficionado ;) Really ;)

PS.... BILL is beautiful!! Developing....


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