Fri Sep 08 2017 05:56 PM
Re: HUR IRMA Lounge

Wanted to repost this from Mike Watkins

Don't be a wobble watcher!

The forecast for Irma has shifted subtly west over the last 24 hours.

If you're in Naples, the natural inclination is "this is bad news for us".

If you're in Miami, it's easy to believe this to be good news, and I've seen many posts that express relief.

The meteorological reality is this: neither are true.

Both sides of the coast are under a hurricane warning since last night, which means hurricane conditions are possible in either location.

In fact, I would bet every dollar I have that in 48 hours from now, Irma will not be exactly on the 2PM Sunday forecast position even though the forecast models are in tight agreement. Why? Agreement DOES NOT EQUAL accuracy.

At this time yesterday the forecast thinking was reversed. 2 days ago, west was bad, east was good.

Our ability to forecast exactly where the worst winds will be in 2 days is not 100% accurate. What happens if the model runs tonight shift back east? Then what?

We know that the odd shape of the Florida coast makes even a tiny shift in track huge for someplace. Remember Charley was supposed to go to Tampa, and it made a last second right turn?

This is a VERY complex situation, meteorologically speaking. The exact timing of the trough over the northeast, the short-wave diving in from the mid west, and the hurricane's inner mechanics all are unknown. Our models and forecasters can make predictions on what we know, but like always, we don't know what we don't know.

This is why it is extremely important that residents on both sides of the peninsula prepare for the worst. Do not let your guard down and do less tonight because it "doesn't look as bad for you". It's easy to think that way when you're tired, and we're all tired from preparing and watching every single update. Don't let the tired lead to a bad decision. This is not a sprint, it's a marathon.

Sooner than any of realize, the time to prepare safely will be out. It could be as early as Saturday afternoon. Don't watch the wobbles. Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. If it misses your house, be thankful afterwards, and sleep tonight knowing you've done everything you can to prepare.


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