10 September 2017

Hurricane Sunday Is Coming To Florida. It Will be Long Remembered, but Will We Learn the Lesson?

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Check out the launch of the rawinsonde in Key West this afternoon. These are vital to the forecast and that data will go into the numerical models this evening.

Here is the data from that sounding. The wind speed in the bottom 1 kilometer of the atmosphere was already at 46 knots. The precipitable water was VERY high at 2.23″.

This sounding shows wind shear favourable for tornadoes and one was already reported in Broward County.

The Euro model shows a track up the west side of Florida and this puts the entire state either in the eye wall or on the dirty and windy side of the storm. The winds are already gusting to 60+ in the Keys and over 55 near Miami. This is not good since the eye is still well over 100 miles away. Irma has a large and powerful wind field.

The Euro continues to be BY FAR the most accurate, even out performing models NOAA developed specifically for hurricane tracking. This not a subjective opinion, the track error data is below.

Paying The Piper
Proposed budget cuts to NOAA modelling sure seems like a bad idea, and just ask those in Miami who evacuated to Tampa and are now likely to go through the eye. Maybe if we lied to congress and said that these models could not also be used for climate research??

The cost of science denial is clearly in view across Florida tonight, along with our failure to teach critical thinking skills and the scientific method to high school students.

One last note: Since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the sea level has risen about 5 inches in the Miami area, one of the greatest rise measurements in the Eastern U.S. My go to expert on this is Brian McNoldy and he published a really good primer on sea level rise in south Florida. If you read through Brian’s presentation you will understand why fall brings the highest tides of the year in Miami and that period is starting now.

Some Good News
Hurricane season in the Atlantic peaks tomorrow.