• What you must know about hurricane hype, rumor control

    By: Irene Sans


    As we watch where storms ignite every afternoon in Central Florida during the summer months, we must also stay aware of any tropical development.


    The Atlantic basin is currently under a deep layer of Saharan dust, which inhibits tropical cyclone formation. This often occurs at this time of the year. Also, during the first few months of the year, the typical area for tropical formation is near the Bahamas, the Western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.






    On Monday, a tropical wave located just north of Colombia was forecast to continue moving north. Within two days, there is only a 10 percent chance for this tropical wave to develop into something fully tropical, such as a tropical depression, tropical storm or hurricane. With so much wind shear currently in the southwestern Caribbean, it is simply unlikely for a system to develop in the short term.


    What's the forecast? 2018 Hurricane forecast: NOAA Predicts near- or above-average season


    As with anything dealing with weather, the scenery and conditions will continue to change. As the tropical wave moves to the north during the week, conditions could --and I mean could -- become more favorable by the end of this week.





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    Due to the variation of atmospheric conditions, and if it develops, its possible track will also vary. So, to pinpoint a possible landing area of a system that has not even developed yet is totally unethical in the meteorology and communications world.


    Hurricane season brings anxiety to many, especially after the 2017 season, and it is only natural to want to know more, but as often occurs in any science, the unknowns outweigh the knowns at this point.



    Read more: Hurricane season: must-haves for disaster kit ahead of storm threat




    There might be a lot of noise going on across social platforms about a potential system making landfall in a certain area of the Gulf of Mexico. When you see posts with only one model or potential outcome over a certain region, either with this system or with other systems, ask yourself:


    1. Is this coming from a known source? Are you sure? Double-check on sources. At times, people who are looking for likes and shares copy logos and write unscientific analysis just to gain popularity.
    2. Why are they showing only one weather model? Just because a certain model got it right last time doesn’t necessarily mean that it will get it right this time. Again, the atmosphere is constantly changing. Until several models -- such as GFS, Euro and ensembles, and their different outputs -- start to show similar outcomes, there is nothing to worry about.
    3. How far is this so-called forecast? Showing a model that is five or more days out is simply wrong. See list item No. 2.
    4. Is there a developed low-pressure area? Models -- some more than others -- often tend to spin off systems at the beginning of the season. The truth is that, if there is no developed area, models can’t get a good grasp of any system.


    Spaghetti plots also are useless for a system that has not developed. Invest areas are, at best, very broad areas of circulation, but are not defined. Just like models, if there is not a well-defined low, then there is nothing concrete to grasp.




    Through social platforms where information is quickly spread, many times the information spread is the wrong information. Please stay aware of scams and trust your local meteorologists and official agencies.


    The spread of false weather information hurt us all. Authorities waste time "putting out fires" when this time could be used for planning or preparing for a storm. Residents worry about systems that don't even exist causing stress to themselves, families and their friends.


    Our team of six meteorologists at Channel 9 works around the clock to keep our viewers and followers informed. We are all here to answer any questions you may have.




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