Tue Jun 26 2007 04:14 AM
What am I Missing? / Katrina QuikScat Image

(Please Note: I promise to keep this brief, and will also serve as a 'summary' of my above post)

Aloha Robert,

Thank you for your reply. Apologies for making you cranky with my excessive post.
I hereby resolve to keep my posts much shorter in the future.

I understand and totally agree with what you said about QuikScat in your reply. I have no 'issues' with any of that.

I *do* have an issue, however, and it is this:

The News Articles state, rather 'factually' that if QuikScat *were* to fail tomorrow the NHC would have to widen the watch/warning area of the effected coastline by up to 16% for a 3-day forecast.

And one public official even said that "We would go blind. It would be significantly hazardous ... " without QuikScat.

Very briefly, my summary of QuikScat's 'limitations':

1) QuikScat shows only tropical storm force winds; only up to 60 Kts.
2) There are often *many* hours elapsed between passes over any given storm.
3) The scan is often 'incomplete', depicting only a portion of the entire circulation.
4) Sometimes, the scan will miss the center of circulation entirely.

The main point I am trying to make here is that, if a 'significant' hurricane were to threaten a US coastline, even 3 days away, we'd have non-stop recon missions (or at least 6-hourly fixes) flying into it, which then provides a plethora of 'real-time' data to crank into the models used as a forecast aid, as you mentioned.

And that any 'contribution' of QuikScat in that situation is not very significant, in view of the *huge* amount of date coming in from the hurricane hunters.

In view of this, I just fail to realize or understand *WHY*, with the lack of QuikScat in this situation, NHC would have to widen it's watches/warnings for a coastline by as much as 16%? And the 'blind' statement just makes no sense to me at all.

Yes, QuikScat *is* very important for the reasons you mentioned, and for the ones I laid out in my long post.

BUT! In the context of the news articles above and what they state ... Why? Why? Why? I just don't 'get it'.

WHAT AM I MISSING ?? Help me out here, folks.

That's it! Told you I'd keep this brief.

- Norm in Honolulu

PS: I've attached a spectacular QuikScat image of Katrina at CAT5 a day before landfall.
Note that it's late afternoon, with the eastern eyewall lit up by the setting sun towards the west.

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