Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hurricanes and Tropical storms

The National Weather Service's Hurricane Center provides loads of useful information. Storm track forecasts, strength forecasts, historical information, disaster kit recommendations, etc. But the one "forecast/model" I find they are missing a model I use my self, basically I assume the storm is heading straight for me (for planning purposes). I take the storm's current position, and speed, then I use a latitude/longitude calculator to get the distance to where I am.

The July 6th 11am forecast puts the storm at 17.4N 45.1W Moving West at 21MPH(note sometimes this is releases as knots)
Picking a lat long close to my location 27.0N 80.5W
Using a latitude/longitude calculator I find the storm is about 2349 miles away.
Now I simply divide the distance (2349 mi) by it's current speed (21MPH) to get 111.9 Hours or about 4.5 Days away.

I use my "worst case" number to start evaluating the need to work on the phase(s) of the emergency plan that should be started. I compare my "forecast" with the forecast that the NHC has released. At this time my number is way off of the NHC's number, in about 4.5 days they show the storm still well east of the Bahamas. I use my "forecast" mostly as a buffer against the unpredictibility of these storms.

For planning purposes I assume the "worst", I assume the storm will hit me, and I will assume it will be the stonger of possibilities. I will start preparing (especially for the 1st storm) a bit further out, making sure I pick things up out of my yard, and starting purchasing the supplies I need for the storm. By implementing portions of my plan well in advnavce of a storm, I beat many people who wait till the last minute.

--Tim Krabec

1 comment:

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