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First, a pitch for getting your local weather from the website for the National Weather Service. Once you do, you'll never visit that atrocity called weather.com ever again. The NWS (weather.gov) is just as easy to remember even if you are on a non-bookmarked computer.

I think weather.com is an awful site: it loads slowly, more than half of the real estate on the screen is filled with ads and useless graphics, and it takes a bunch of clicking and scrolling to get little bits of information. I think I hate weather.com more than any other site on the entire internet.

Anyways, there is a "Special Weather Statement" at the top of our local NWS page this morning, and usually that indicates that there is something especially nasty on the way. Not this time.

This morning's SWS )
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The KWTF Action News Storm Team prides itself on providing On-The-Spot coverage of tropical weather events. Last year we were located in central Florida, and had hurricanes blowing by us like cars buzzing a senile old man standing in the middle of an intersection.

We relocated from Florida this past summer, however, and we were concerned that our ability to cover tropical weather would be compromised. No worries: we moved to central coastal Louisiana.

Unfortunately, we are too far away to adequately cover a new storm that has formed in the western Pacific Ocean, but it is our duty to bring it to your attention:

Tropical Storm Longwang.

I expect that it will behave similarly to Hurricane Denis, which we covered earlier this year.

Thanks to KWTF Reporter [livejournal.com profile] dejaflynn for bringing us this story. I knew we could count on him to find Longwang.
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Hello world... we're still here guarding the KWTF Action News Storm Team Data Center (1) and maintaining internet connectivity for a set of extremely important clients (2). I have established Base F (3) and I am carefully monitoring the progress of the Natives (4). Although they have had their weapons clearly visible, to this point they have not done much with them (5).

I will soon engage upon a recon mission to Station K (6) to retrieve MREs (7) for my Assistant Commander (8) and myself. I expect that the mission will have a satisfactory result (9).

Heard a transformer blow a few minutes ago, and saw the flash from another. Storm is definitely starting to pick up, and I expect that we'll lose power soon. We're still about 6 hours away from the worst of it arriving. But our mission is vital (10). We will prevail. (11)

The Un-Interdictored version behind the cut )
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Dr. Jeff Masters runs the Weather Underground site, and we here at the KWTF Action News Storm Team know from reading his blog the past couple of years that the guy knows his stuff regarding hurricanes. An independent forecaster, he can make observations and analysis regarding storms without the pressures faced by the National Hurricane Center, who, like NASA, has to dance more to the beat of politicians and public opinion than to science. His work is solid. All hurricane forecasts are to be taken with a grain of salt, since there is a lot of imprecision in the forecasts, but we here at the KWTF Action News Storm Team generally take his with a smaller grain of salt than those of the NHC.

He's not tentative, nor is he opinionated or reckless, but he calls things like he sees them, admitting that there is a margin of error. We here at the KWTF Storm Team have long followed his forecasts. Government agencies can't honestly admit imperfection, since it provides ammunition to those who seek to cut their funding. It is safer for the agency to hem and haw and hedge than to be wrong. That hesitation and ineptness was a direct contributor to the situation we've had in New Orleans. No one had the balls to make a potentially unpopular (or "wrong") decision, and even if they had, a systematic head-in-the-sand approach to the NOLA-hurricane timebomb has long pre-emptively emasculated such a choice.

In his blog tonight, Dr. Masters pulled off the gloves and spoke his mind. It's good reading for those interested in the disconnect we've witnessed between bureaucracy and meteorology this past week.
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We here at the KWTF Action News Storm Team could not bring ourselves to ridicule the coverage of Hurricane Katrina. We knew early on that it was going to be bad.

Anyways, following is a long post (reposted from my friends-only personal LJ) about the lead-up to Katrina's landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi, and how a little foresight, attentiveness, and guts could have prevented some of the suffering.

Very long post, with lots of links and images. Only for those really interested in the Katrina story. )
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The WTF Action News Storm Team is rearin' and ready to have a go at another hurricane season! We're off to an early start this year, with Hurricane Dennis already the fourth named storm of the year, and it is only early in July yet! Unprecedented, and very dangerous. Let's take a look at Dennis. Except we're going to use the French version of the name, Denis, since we like it better.

Denis is a particularly well-endowed storm for this time of year, already a Category 3 as it grows and surges while parting the untamed tropical bush of Jamaica and Cuba. Satellite imagery shows the growing storm to be bulging with enthusiasm and desire, and Denis appears poised to bury himself to the hilt in the hot and moist conditions of the Gulf of Mexico. Following this initial penetration of the Gulf, Denis is expected to undergo a series of small expansions and contractions in intensity. We here at the WTF Action News Storm Team pride ourselves on educating the public, so here is your Weather Word™ for the day: the official term for this fluctuation of intensity is "throbbing".

The throbbing will continue as Denis moves with ever-greater intensity and rapidity through the warm and juicy Gulf, until he makes landfall and blows his gargantuan sloshing load onto the northern Gulf coast, likely near the spring break hotspot of Panama City Beach, FL. On satellite imagery, this explosion of cloudiness and precipitation will appear as a big white blob. After Denis comes deep inside the Florida panhandle, he will rapidly dissipate and become flaccid over the southeastern US, probably losing tropical characteristics, or as we in the business say, "go to sleep", somewhere over the mid-Atlantic states.

Below the cut is our forecast map for Denis. The pink shaft indicates the likely path of Denis, with a more intense red color used to indicate the area of greatest likelihood of penetration of the storm center.

Take a look at Denis! )
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Wow... too bad that the WTF Action News Storm Team does not get paid commission. We'd be rich from the relentless onslaught of Mother Nature's Fury, with one storm after another churning across the state of Florida, each leaving agony and despair in its wake.

Let's get to the report: )
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Has Florida's recent onslaught of hurricanes shown a political bias? Do the allegedly unbiased atmospheric forces show a lean to the left or the right?

Here at WTF Action News, we researched county-by-county results from the 2000 presidential appointment election in Florida, and then mapped the state in red and blue:

Map and analysis... )
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Our neighborhood just had a visit from the WTF News Storm Team. The following report was filed:

See a 3.44 MB Quicktime movie of this report.
Sorry for the lack of audio... the weather is creating technical difficulties

The WTF News Storm Team: We weather the storm... for YOU! )
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