The forecasters did a great job! Just a small course change for this hurricane could have caused a real serious situation for all in this area. Better to be safe than sorry!
The forecasters could not forecast a "wobble". If that storm had not wobbled we would have been devastated and what they said would have happened. Thank you forecasters for telling it like it is. I for one will do exactly the same thing next time. Prepare to the fullest.
The NWS hourly forecast warned of a very close hurricane lashing Winter Beach, FL are with sustained winds of 120 mph with gusts to 144 mph.
The actual storm passed by roughly 35 miles at sea with top sustained winds of 49 mph and maximum gust of 71 mph.
Was the storm over-hyped for this area? Of course it was.
Was that a bad idea? Probably not. But let's be honest about what happened.
As someone who has lived on this coast for 50+ years, I was thankful to have all the information that the forecasters were able to give us. You don't have to be a 'rocket scientist' to know that a few miles movement to the west could have brought this Cat 4 hurricane right in here. Remember Frances, Jeanne and Wilma and they were just Cat 2. Thank you forecasters.
And just to clarify, for our FL friends to the north, the damage is more than "minimal". However, it could've all been so much worse. and for those trying to figure out why Georgia and South Carolina were in worse shape, that is due to storm surge and the fact that they did see the worst part of the hurricane -- the NE eyewall.
As someone who has a degree in studying physics of weather, I can tell you this was not overplayed. Some of the news was confusing, with different paths being shown at times by the Westher Channel versus the locals. But the NHC was going by reliable models and they put this very near the shore. Those who don't fully understand the complexity of forecasting these types of storms from so far away can't understand why the track was so uncertain for so long. But if people noticed, the track became very accurate once the hurricane went north of the Bahamas. People need to understand that this was a situation where the entire East Coast of Florida could have a looked like Homestead did after hurricane Andrew. And that is not an exaggeration. I hope this doesn't make people think they can ride out/survive a Cat 4 Hurricane in the future. Because the fact is, the east coast of FL didn't ride one out this time. We were simply sideswiped. And that, along with the minimal damage, is a miracle.
Broadcast was too much drivel over long period. Should not have cut out national broadcast for listeners to hear why folks in trailer parks are staying put in the storm. Too much and it was every station:local affiliates of CBS, NBC and ABC
Our local forecasters get their information directly from the National Hurricane/NOAA government organization. They are professionals who monitor weather and fly into storms and hurricanes in order to gather data to help us prepare and deal with weather events. For anyone to suggest it was overplayed is not logical. Our local forecasters handled the communication to viewers very well, although a couple of them had voices that were excitable, which doesn't help us. And WPTV - please know there are more counties on the east coast other than Palm Beach and Indian River in your viewing area. We were extremely disappointed that your communications were so one sided to those two counties. Please make sure to always include equal time to report on St. Lucie County as well. Would have been nice to hear it but we relied on NHC/NOAA and local WQCS 88.9 FM Radio instead, since you were so focused on Palm Beach & Indian River counties.
Now I know for next time I'll have my broker buy shares for me in Lowes and Home Depot to help off set the losses these drama queen news casters cost myself and thousands of others.....
They did their jobs and they did it well. The threat to this area was eminent. At the last second it pulled back a little and went north. Everyone prepared for the worst and we got lucky. Just look at our neighbors in North Florida.
It is just by pure luck that we didn't get the force of the winds around the eye wall, when it wobbled a little farther east. I think the forecasting was fine.
Except for Steve Wrigley. That guy is gold!