The Forecast is Cloudy Download PDF
Hurricanes like Matthew have laid bare the dirty secret of the National Weather Service: its technologies and methods are woefully behind the times.
At 11 o’clock on the night of Sept. 29, the National Hurricane Center in Miami posted an updated prediction for Hurricane Matthew. Using the latest data from a reconnaissance aircraft, the center’s computerized models led meteorologists there to conclude, in a post on the center’s website, that “only a slight strengthening is forecast during the next 12 to 24 hours.” Their prediction proved to be astonishingly amiss: The following day, Matthew exploded from a Category 1 into a Category 5 hurricane, with winds gusting to 160 miles per hour, strong enough to flatten even the sturdiest homes. Continue reading