What Katrina’s Forecasters Are Thinking

I’m writing this from the Mohegan Sun Hotel in Eastern Connecticut. Tomorrow I’ll be emceeing a program for Norwich Free Academy. It starts so early, the only way to make it work was to stay on site.

What a spectacular hotel. It is attached to a spectacular casino, which would be a great place for me to go… but they don’t have poker anymore.

More on all of this tomorrow. Tonight there are bigger fish to fry in the form of Hurricane Katrina.

I’ve got WWL-TV streaming here on the computer. This is much better than watching coverage on the cable networks.

The cable networks are more polished and hard hitting. This local New Orleans station is providing the kind of news people there need.

Carl Arredondo, who I remember from The Weather Channel, is their chief meteorologist. He’s pretty solid.

I just watched another met do a fascinating explanation of the radar display. There’s no time for this except on New Orleans TV where tonight, there’s nothing but time!

I know what the forecasters are thinking… the local guys and the PhD’s at the Hurricane Center. Am I right? Did I miss anything?

Forecasters have spent the last few days scaring the living… well, you know… scaring people. Now they have a moral dilemma.

If the forecast comes true, people get hurt (maybe die) and property loss is great. If they’re wrong, they become the goat. “Why did you make us leave? For this?”

Snow forecasts are similar, but the downside to this is so much greater. This really is a life and death forecast. And, accuracy of track to the degree people want and a good intensity forecast are beyond the current state of the art.

We can be close. We cannot get it exactly right – ever, except maybe by accident.

Tonight I spoke with a friend in the Miami area. She had been through Hurricane Katrina last week when Katrina was a ‘minimal hurricane’. She only got her power back today. She still has no phone service.

New Orleans will be hit so much harder.

She also said, fill up the car tonight. Gasoline prices will skyrocket tomorrow. I’m afraid she’s right on that forecast.