Here’s a photo I posted on Facebook a few days ago. It’s me during the manic days that lead up to a storm. I left work tonight exhausted even though we all know I don’t really do any physical labor (does map pointing count?).
The Hurricane Center’s forecast features the “Cone of Uncertainty.” The name describes it fittingly, but it’s still a dumb name because everyone immediately thinks of Get Smart.
The cone starts narrow and widens over time. The idea is the farther out a forecast goes the more fudge factor is necessary. With Hurricane Earl as close as it is we are now on the outside of the narrow end of the cone. There is nearly no chance of Earl hitting Connecticut directly.
My friend Ryan who forecasts for Channel 30 tweeted:
Tomorrow evening will look like any other “rainy night”. I don’t expect any damage or anything more than isolated power problems.
He very well could be right though he is a shade more optimistic than I am. A nasty rainy night sounds more reasonable to me, but we are separated by shades. I do expect there will be some gusty winds especially in Southeastern Connecticut. Isolated power problems? Absolutely.
In any event Ryan and I and every other meteorologist around has done their best to allay fears. There may be people at the TV stations who’d like the storm’s impact perceived larger than it is. None of them work in weather.
I got an email this evening from Bob, a writer friend in Guilford.
Your blog pics of that storm, and your awestruck description of it, seriously scare the hell out of me.
Is that the impression I left? Though most casual viewers only remember the big storms I look at them all–even those six hour wonders that get named then deteriorate in under a day! Hurricane Earl was (it isn’t anymore) an exceptional work of nature. It had everything you should fear from a hurricane except a threatening path.
Now the waiting begins. The forecast will hardly change unless Earl totally flies by without saying hello.
There is little as satisfying as nailing the forecast. You probably don’t remember the storms I downplay as much as the ones forecast to strike. You would if I was wrong!