Monday, October 17, 2016


The precursor

Modern Weather forecasting is simply amazing.  100 years ago, we would have had absolutely no warning.  Zero.  Yet in today's world, days ahead of time the forecasting models predicted that this amorphous blob of clouds (that happened to be a remnant of the western pacific typhoon, Songda), thousands of miles away, would morph into a tight little low with a central pressure of only 950-960 mb, and come very, very near to us.  Perhaps even directly over Seattle.

As the days wore on, the forecast sharpened and the storm track became better known ( a phenomenon well-known to our East Coast brethren and sisteren). 

The reality

In the final day or so, the storm tightened up - so much so that a difference of 25 miles in its track would make the difference between catastrophic hurricane force winds pummeling the Salish Sea, and only damaging winds.

As it turned out we got those 25 miles; we were spared.  But now some in the news media are having a field day criticizing the predictions (which, by the way,  they were happy to use to produce panic-inducing headlines...  and sales).  Given the difficulty of predicting the path and strength of this storm, and the disastrous consequences of not giving adequate warning, I for one was happy to be warned.  Warned enough to add extra docklines and fenders and to make sure that everything loose was tied down.

The reality was bad enough:

New record low measured aboard Eolian: 984 mb

New record wind speed measured aboard Eolian: 47 kt

We were warned that a bullet was heading our way, and as it turned out, we dodged it.




Rick said...

Glad to hear you were spared. We dodged the bullet too, here on the Chesapeake, when Matthew turned right at NC and circled back around to the South. Still, we got a day and a half of continuous rain with winds gusting to 40 mph up here in the middle part of the bay. South bay got gusts up to 65mph. said...

Right? I would much rather be overly prepared than be taken by surprise. People who are criticizing weather forecasters for 'getting it wrong' need to put this in perspective. Mother nature always has a few tricks up her sleeve. Best to be prepared.

Robert Salnick said...

Rick -

Glad you were spared too - 65 mph winds do real damage - 40 mph is bad enough. And thank God the hurricane did an about face!

Robert Salnick said...

I'm with you Melissa!

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