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Wind-blown reporters

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:46 PM GMT on December 23, 2005

It's an ingrained part of the media-presented spectacle of hurricane coverage: a wind-blown reporter struggles against stinging rain and buffeting winds to breathlessly deliver his or her dramatic story. It's been an integral part of hurricane reporting ever since Dan Rather first made a name for himself with his dramatic reporting from Galveston's seawall during Hurricane Carla in 1961--the first time that television news did live hurricane coverage. But with several reporters narrowly escaping serious injury during coverage of this year's hurricanes, a backlash against this type of reporting is starting to emerge. I, for one, am tired of seeing reporters foolishly risking their lives for a breathless sound bite. I would far prefer that they do their story from safe shelter. They could stick a long pole with a telephone book on it out into the wind and watch it get shredded for drama! Or chuck frisbees into the wind, or have wind up toys march into the tempest and get blown away, or a host of other creative things. Reporters need not be put at risk!

A December 18 article in the Miami Herald reported on the first case I've heard of where a complaint was filed to OSHA over reporters' safety during hurricane coverage:

WSVN staffers wonder who filed an anonymous complaint against the station with the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) over reporters' safety during hurricane coverage. Luis Santiago, OSHA's area director, confirms the complaint came in Sept. 20 -- a few weeks after Hurricane Katrina.

The allegation: field reporters were exposed to possible injury because they were not provided with safety glasses, face shields, gloves, respiratory protection from flying sand, hard hats and personal flotation devices.

The station's business manager, Diane Jaramillo-Guard, responded "satisfactorily" to OSHA and the case is closed, Santiago says. But, he adds, workers' safety is always of utmost concern. "Management should make very clear to all employees -- no job is so important that you would put yourself in harm's way."

At the upcoming annual meeting of the American Meteorology Society in Atlanta in early February, a special 3-hour communication workshop has been set up to explore this issue, which I hope to attend. Here's the workshop announcement:

Media coverage of land-falling hurricanes has been scrutinized and debated, and even been the subject of humor columns and the op-ed pages. Why are reporters strapped to trees in order to bring viewers images of roofs and street signs hurling through the air or standing ankle deep on the beach talking about dangerous surf and storm surge? Is this just sensational journalism or proving valuable news coverage?

The Fifth Communication Workshop will take a closer look at hurricane coverage from several different perspectives: the broadcast meteorologist who covers the storms from the stations weather studio, the reporter standing on the beach during 75 mph winds, and the executive decision maker who sends the reporter to the beach. If you have a gripe about media coverage during hurricanes or severe weather and want to see better science coverage, this is the time to share your thoughts and insights.

Speakers include Peter Dykstra, executive producer for Science, Technology, Space, Environment, and Weather at CNN; Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center; Bob Breck, chief meteorologist at WVUE-TV in New Orleans, LA; Greg Agvent, director of planning at CNN; and Terry Connelly, senior vice president/general manager, The Weather Channel Network.

I'll be back next week with some observations on this winter's weather. The climate change blogs will resume after January 1.

Have a great Christmas, everyone!

Jeff Masters

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments


Yeah, I think that reporters are putting themselves in way too much danger. I'm surprised to hear of an OSHA complaint, though. Thanks again for another wonderful blog entry, Dr. Masters!

Dr Masters,
Merry Christmas to you also... Have you seen the blog that all of the WUBAs have signed that wanted to thank you and your staff for all you do for us?
It is SWFLSurvivor's blog...A lot of people are very grateful to you and your staff..Can't tell you how helpful they have been to me when I was trying to post pictures on my blog and learning how to do new things.

You are all the best and we appreciate you very much.

Also, continue to enjoy your update. Love them.
Thank you very much.
RATINGS, RATINGS, RATINGS !!!! Dr. Jeff, I do not want to see or hear Jim Cantore next year. I want him banned from the state of Florida. Have a wonderful Christmas holiday. Hail, Hail to Ole Purdue. I guess we will have to hope OSU does a great job of making the Big Ten proud, oh, Penn State too!!
Well this is something that has driven me crazy from day one. Like we wouldn't be able to understand that it's windy and rainy by simply having the camera look out the window? What is that old saying about someone who stands out in the rain?
hi all,just wanted to take the time to thank everyone for the wonderful learning lab that you have provided this year.because of you all,i have driven my wife insane with all the techno facts about hurricanes this year.merry christmas to all of you and thanks.
I hope to not see any more "wind-whipped" reporters in their loose fitting rain suits again. And if I do, I hope it is when they are bring blown down the street into a tree
Hey! MERRY CHRISTMAS!! You rock.
I have always worried about the safety of the reporters as it seemed they were becoming 'braver' as the years progressed....in the name of ratings and drama of course.

Then I saw a video production (comic) spoof on this and knew I wasn't the only one. I wish I could remember who did it. It was hillarious showing how (stupid and) extreme the stations were getting in their requirements on their reporters during these storms.

My favorite CNN moment prior to Katrina was the reporter dressed in foul weather gear with his hood up, drawn tight, who was interviewing two college students who chose to stay in their dorms rather than return home. The two students were both dressed in shorts and teeshirts. I nearly fell over laughing and so have filed a complaint with OSHA for having been put at risk. :-)
10. Inyo
Something even more disturbing about this is the way that reporters acting this way distract and get in the way of emergency personell. It may not be that much of an issue in hurricanes... however, during the major wildfires in California a few years back, a reporter lost his van, and almost his life, to a fast moving fire. The firefighters had to spend their valuable time rescuing the stupid reporter and in addition to the enormous forest fire they now also had to worry about a dangerous burning film van blocking the road. It is extremely irresponsible to act this way, and the reporter, or whoever told him to go into thta fire, should be charged for the rescue.
I like the idea of sending out wind-up toys into the hurricane. Maybe even make them look real, like George Bush for instance. He would be a good demonstrator for the winds in a cat 4 hurricane.
Dr. Masters, you make a good point about the reporters doing live coverage, out in dangerous conditions. My beef with them, is that local TV stations are urging citizens to evacuate, or stay inside, be safe, don't be going out in those hazardous conditions, and the next thing you see, is some reporter doing the exact opposite. This is not only dangerous for the reporter doing the story, it gives others the idea, that "Hey, it can't be all that bad; he/she is out there. That looks cool! Let's go try it, too!" I actually emailed the Weather Channel in 2004, and told them that I thought it was highly irresponsible for them to have their people out there, in high winds, on the waterfront, with huge waves crashing overhead, debris flying past, etc., because it encourages others to try it, too. There's always going to be some idiot that will, if they see someone else doing it. I'm suprised that I haven't heard of someone getting killed, because they tried to copy what some reporter was doing, while trying to get that sound bite.
All of your Bloggers out there, especially if you do not visit the other blogs going on. I want to thank all of you for the times we had together this summer & fall and wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and/or Very Happy Hanukkah with Peace, Health, and No Hurricanes in the New Year 2006!!

Thank you all.
Be Safe.


Your comments on the wind blown reporter were well taken..

I think the war correspondents with their helmets and military clothing are also funny looking. I think they look phoney. Do others share the same view?
i love new york i love la but most of all i love sonora ca loool

happy new year ever one and by the way there is a new show come on the weather ch on jan 15 2006
I'm in the industry, and even I think the windblown reporter hurricane stand-up is cliche. Not only that, it shows the public it's exciting to move out-of-doors in hurricane winds. Nothing could be more stupid. Never mind OSHA complaints -- most reporters I know are adrenaline junkies and couldn't be kept out of the rain, anyway -- someone is going to get killed on live TV.

Look: there's the wet, windblown report babe in her logo jacket. Look: there's a piece of galvanized roofing moving at 100 mph. Look: there's the reporter in two pieces. Yuck. Let's go to commercials.

We see him too often around here, but Jim Cantore is a great guy. I just wish he'd set a better example for the public by staying under cover when things get windy.
Inyo thank you for opening our eyes to other aspects of the geographical dangers that this world brings us. I had totally forgot about the fires (even though I evacuated from Cally because of them!) and the news reporters who risked thier lives to cover them. This was a year for tears, and I never want to watch a reporter be afraid...I never want to worry about someone's life again.
Wanted to wish evryone a Merry Christmas or whatever holiday u celebrate & a Very Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!
Thanx for everyones thoughts & views over this EXTREMELY
active 2005.May we all have LOTS of peace through the new year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey everyone,

Once again, another excellent and informative blog by Dr. Masters. I agree with everything he had to say about reporters putting their lives at risk simply to compete with others doing the same. If they are being pressured to do so, that's another matter entirely. That being said, I can certainly empathize with them taking a calculated risk that is very dangerous to say the least.

As most probable know by now or can simply determine the obvious by my screen name, I intercept hurricanes myself. Therefore, I believe it is most important to understand each persons invidual motive before we collectively pass judgement on those doing such things we deem inappropriate and foolish. Naturally, I can only speak for myself and I would like to take this opportunity to explain why I personally do something most others call me crazy for doing.

First and foremost, one has to have a fascination for extreme weather such as hurricanes for example. Actually, Hurricanes are the only severe weather other than winter storms that truly interest me as far as documenting them first hand. I have been studying meteorology with an emphasis on tropical weather since I was 14 (21 years ago)and am certified as a forecaster as many may already know as I am just short of completing my full degree in Atmospheric Sciences from N.C. State. Through my studies, I have become far more aware of how truly dangerous weather can be such as lightning for one example. I see so many casually walking to their cares during incredible lightning storms in a wide open parking lot holding umbrellaa with no regard for the realization that they may be the target of the next strike at a moments notice. Yet,very few of us stop to realize how truly dangerous that is because we have become desensitized by how often we see people do without that catstrophic scenario which occurs somewhere in the U.S. everyday.

Secondly, my fascination for hurricanes was the catalyst which encouraged my interest in pursuing a career in meteorology. After numerous hurricane landfalls in my area(Wilmington, N.C.)between 1996 and 1999, I decided to intially intercept these storms because I wanted to simply experience these historic events. Therefore, I began my first chase so to speak on August 3, 2004 as I found myself driving my car along a road known as hwy. 12
which is the only access to Cedar Island along the Outer Banks of N.C. I was eager to get as close to the eyewall of Hurricane Alex as possible since it wasn't going to make an actual landfall as it was just passing offshore. As a result, I eventually found myself less than 4 miles away from my destination on this 8 mile road that has water on both sides of the road. At this time, I was already experiencing hurricane force winds, blinding rain and began noticing rising water on both sides of the road. Suddenly, the water covered the road in front of me and began to surround my vehiclee as I came to an abrupt stop. I immediately backed out of the rapidly rising storm surge and hastily rushed back in the direction in which I had come not knowing where the storm was located, whether I would get washed away at any moment as I still had a full 4 long miles to go before I got off this single road out in the open with noone else around. Fortunately, I escaped without the surge overlapping the road ahead of me as I got back off hwy. 12 and found safe shelter. I almost lost my life that day because of my own foolishness.

After that interception, a weakened category one hurricane Charley made a direct hit in my area and I filmed the action at Wrightsville beach in 90 mph wind gusts. In other words, I still hadn't learned my lesson.

Then came my fateful interception of Katrina. I had initially planned to stay either at a hotel in Gulfport, MS., Diamondhead, MS., or Picayune,MS. depending upon the intensity of the storm closer to landfall. My disappointment of getting a very bad cold which prevented me from leaving a day earlier quite possibly saved my life. As a result, I made the 16 hour drive into deteriorating conditions as far south into Mississippi on I-59 as I could get. About 1015 an CDT August 29th, I was dodging falling trees and flying debris and pulled off into a huge paved lot adjacent to a kangeroo store. From here, I would witness some of the most amazing things I had ever seen and captured it live on film. During the 4 hours that would follow, I would witness the kangaroo being systematically destroyed as huge pieces of flying debris would continiously pass by my car and I had nowhere else I could go. I would also observe falling tress, roofs being disintegrated after being ripped off buildings no more than 20 yards away from where I was filming. These roaring winds would become an ear piercing sceal as that reached speeds officially estimated at 120 mph. This location was a full 60 miles inland from the coast. Once again, I was fortunate enough to survive. The following day, I would tour the areas around Hattiesburg, MS. and was astonished at the inland wind damage I saw. It was heartbreaking to see so many with destroyed homes, missing roofs, damaged cars,and their living conditions set back a hundred years in time. Therefore, I realized how screwed up my priorities had been and I chose to stay another couple of days volunteering to help those suffering so much by a storm I had initially viewed as a spectacle of natures power.

I decided that I would not do it again until I was approached by a Fox news crew who was interested in the video I had taken and they dubbed the footage of the dramatic roof scene which would appear on Fox News and CNN later that evening along with a brief interview that had conducted. They asked if I would consider do freelance work for their national news based out of New York and I told them I would think abnout it. Consequently, I decided to use more common sense and intercept these storms for a totally different purpose. Therefore, I created my huricane intercept business devoted to capturing footage for Fox News and creating live action documentaries of the event and for each video I sell, I would donate a full 10-20% opf the purchase price to the American Red Cross or Salvation Army in the name of the person who purchased my video. Through this effort, I realized I could help those most affected by these very destructive storms. It has become a job and no longer carries the excitement that it once did prior to Katrina. I would intercept both hurricanes Ophelia and Wilma with a new found purpose and perspective with helping those most affected as my motivation.

In short, I am in no position to judge another person for anything they might do that I find completely absurd such as reporting on a major hurricane too close to the ocean because I have no way of knowing whether that individual is motivated by job security, making a name for themselves, or believes that they are taking a calculated for the benefit of others. I can speak from personal experience that I have been motivated by each of those examples with the latter being my only focus for the future.

I apologize for this lengthy post but I felt compelled to share my experiences in hopes of helping others better understand that some of these reporters and the like may be doing it for a reason that pesonally feel is self sacrificing rather than for personal gain.

Regardless, I hope each one of you have a safe and very Merry Christmas.:)

Your friend,

Wow, I'm sorry I didn't proof read that post. Please excuse all the many typos and the like.:)

Please allow me to clarify in case of any misunderstandings. Regardless of the motive, intercepting a hurricane or choosing to ride one out for that matter, is a very dangerous proposition and one that could very well be life threatening. In other words, there is no such thing as a weak hurricane for each has the potential to take your life.

I thought I would make one more observation before I call it a night. I personally consider jumping out of a plane from extraordinary heights and placing complete trust in a parachute that could very well malfunction, is just as dangerous as intercepting a hurricane and possibly moreso. However, it is that individuals right to do so and just because they do it doesn't mean I am going to, which I certainly am not. In that scenario, how does this activity benefit others? Even though I personally feel it's not the most profound thing I could envision someone doing, I am not going to judge them for it nor do I feel it's appropriate to mock them with various derogatory comments. In reality, each one of us engages in some activity that another most likely thinks is foolish. Although I agree that reporters who are placing themselves in extreme danger are most likely encouraging others to do so, doesn't take away from the fact that the person who follows their example is ultimately responsible for their own actions. Like the old saying goes, "just because he jumps off of a building, are you going to do it?" or something to that effect.

Thanks again,
Interesting stuff about Dan Rather, I would like to see that footage from 1961's Carla...We almost had a repeat here in Hurricane Rita, close call...Interesting stuff HurricaneChaser
Anyhow, everyone have a Merry, Merry Christmas...and a Happy New Year...
I just wanted to add one more little tidbit to this blog before Christmas if you guys don't mind...My wife is from New Orleans...for some reason she just had to go home and visit before school started before our daughter went back to school this past fall...(arriving on the night of August 11th to be exact, this would be a short trip of two days)...but she just insisted that we make this trip...cool...we make the trip...nothing out of the ordinary, just a typical trip to New Orleans only much shorter than normal...me being me, I am constantly monitoring the tropics, along with this blog, all the while since the season had been busy up to that point...After going back and reviewing the timeline of the tropics during this period of time, little did I know at that time the system I was monitoring in the middle of the Atlantic would eventually be indirectly responsible in the formation of Tropical Depression #12, a.k.a. Tropical Storm Katrina...Little did I know at the time this would be our last trip to New Orleans for a long time and how so many there would so adversely affected by this system...my wife's family and friends are still recovering from the aftermath...me being me, I can't help but to wonder if there is anything I could have possibly foresaw that far out in the development of TD #10 at that time in which I could have at least forewarned my inlaws of the forthcoming danger...of course the answer is no...no one could have ever imagined that TD#10 would become what it eventually became...I reviewed this blog during this stretch of the season for the first time since the summer and I found many of the entry's kinda of interesting...here's a few...

TD 10?
The system that might have a greater chance of developing into a serious threat lies in the middle tropical Atlantic near 12N 43W. A closed low pressure with central pressure of 1012 mb has developed here from a tropical wave, and although convection has declined a bit this afternoon, this system has an excellent chance of becoming TD 10 this weekend. Buoys in the vicinity already report winds of 20-25 knots, and the low lies in an area of light wind shear and warm waters (28 - 29C), with plenty of warm water in front of it as it moves WNW at 10-15 mph. The low is far enough south to avoid entraining in some dry Saharan air that lies to the north.

Jeff Masters

1130 AM EDT SAT AUG 13 2005






TD 10 is dead, and will rise no more!

The Air Force Hurricane Hunters flew into the remnants of TD 10 east of Puerto Rico this afternoon, and found that the system no longer had a closed circulation. Satellite images show that the system has deteriorated significantly this afternoon, with very little deep convection occurring. Surface winds measured by the Quikscat satellite are under 20 knots and TD 10's remains have become a tropical wave over the Atlantic. Regeneration into a tropical depression is very unlikely, as this would take several days, and the system will be experiencing increasing shear by Sunday.

I can't see any obvious reason why the system fell apart today; vertical wind shear values have continued to decrease, and are now down to 5-10 knots. Water vapor satellite imagery shows no dry air around the system. Situtations like this emphasize how little we understand about the formation process of tropical storms.

Jeff Masters

I've been reluctant to pay much heed to the remains of TD 10 after declaring the system dead forever and seeing it struggle to maintain its identity as a tropical wave the past few days. However, recent visible satellite images (as of 3pm EDT) indicate the remains of TD 10 may have developed a surface circulation centered just north of Haiti.

Jeff Masters

Will TD 10 rise again?
Posted By: JeffMasters at 3:38 PM GMT on August 23, 2005
Updated: 3:47 PM GMT on August 23, 2005
The remains of TD 10 continue to fester over the Bahama Islands, and the clouds have taken on that decidedly messy pattern associated with a tropical depression in the formative stages.

Posted By: STORMTOP at 5:14 PM GMT on August 23, 2005.
OK YOU GUYS HAVE MY FORECAST A TROPICAL DEPRESSION WHEN THE RECON PLANE GETS DOWN THERE A WNW movement then a turn to the nw after it gets in the gulf...explosive development into a cat 5 hitting west of grand isle...i think thats the way it looks right now...ill be back after they upgrade it to a depression ..i need to read my new info coming in right now...

Posted By: tornadoty at 6:02 PM GMT on August 23, 2005.
I would normally say that STORMTOP is on something since he thinks that this may become a cat. 5. But, I am concerned that this COULD become a very dangerous feature IF it passes S of Florida and it is strengthening as it enters the Gulf. If it strikes Florida and is weakening as it enters the Gulf, I do not believe it would become a major threat.

Posted By: LADobeLady at 6:14 PM GMT on August 23, 2005.
Stormtop- no disrespect intended but I hate you forecast! I live W of Grand Isle ugh. To early to tell about this one, to many variables so I won't go into panic mode yet and run around like chicken little screaming "The sea is swelling the sea is swelling." But I really do hate that forecast and hope your wrong. : )

Posted By: Dragoon at 6:16 PM GMT on August 23, 2005.
Scarily enough, I must agree that most of what StormTop is predicting is entirely possible.

Considering the fact that only three category 5 storms have hit the US in the last century +.. I'm not going to jump the gun right now.. but this thing does have a chance to become a fairly strong storm in the gulf.

Posted By: LADobeLady at 6:43 PM GMT on August 23, 2005.
I posted on another blog about the Ants...

Yesterday, at my son's football practice the field was literally infested with ants. I had to move 3 times to find an ant free zone. In 30 years of living here I have never seen ants like this before.

Maybe there was some truth in the old mans saying about the ants and hurricanes...

5 PM EDT TUE AUG 23 2005




Anyhow, again, everyone have a Merry, Merry Christmas and spend quality time with your loved ones this holiday season while being grateful for all that you do have.

Randy M.

1. Hope those reporters or their boss have all their insurance paid up....and they have a Storm Rider... LOL... in their policy.

2. Maybe the panel coming up in Atlanta needs to add a good ole tort attorney who will sue anyone, even their own mother, for enough money.

3.Let them sign a clear statement acknowledging that the rest of the world does not owe them an ounce of risk, effort or spending, toward recovering their body, for emergency transport, hospitalization, medical or burial expenses, etc., for such behavior.

4. Maybe the head honcho of the reporter's network or station would be willing to give a multi-million $ personal guarantee for their safety.
FWIW, I hope that the workshop will disuss the impact of reporters in hurricanes on the viewing public.

I know firsthand of a case where a young man, age 17, exposed himself to great danger in a hurricane last year in an attempt to get video because he wanted to emulate the folks on TWC. Yes, he got hurt. Thankfully it was not life threatening. I can't believe it was an isolated case. The reporters who do these hurricane stunts contribute nothing to understanding the storm or its impact on the people who actually have to live in the affected area.

Worse than that, I have many times heard the field reporters giving *wrong* information on the air - whether due to stress, miscommunication with the home studio or what -- the fact remains that it is wrong information and it is broadcast under the impression that it is first hand truth from someone who "knows", a dangerous situation.

These juvenile efforts to get ratings at huge cost, great danger and an incredibly bad message to the viewing public need to be seriously reconsidered.
Chaser, you made some very good points in your post. I understand that individuals, like yourself, know what you're going into, when you chase or report, storms. You are experienced and knowledgeble, and are taking a calculated risk for yourself, only. You know what you're getting into. You definitely do not encourage the general public to do what you do. What concerns me, is the ones that don't know what they're getting into, when they go out in a hurricane, only because they've seen reporters on network or cable out there, and just want to do it because they think it might be fun or cool. Those are the ones that are not taking a calculated risk. And yes, that is their decision to make, but I know that the ones that would try this are probably not mature enough to think it through, and realize what the consequences of their behavior could be. Yes, we do have a fascination with seeing what those conditions are and I'm as glued to those broadcasts as anyone else. I'd just like to see the weather reporters being a little more responsible in their actions and reporting, with regards to the general public, rather than just doing it for the ratings. To encourage the public to be safe, and not risk their lives trying to copy what they're doing. I finally saw one female weather person from the Weather Channel this year (it may have been Abrams, I don't really remember, now) have her cameraman back up, so that the viewers could see that she had another person, out of normal camera range, hanging on to her feet and legs, to keep her from blowing away. But that was the only instance that I can recall, and I'd like to see and hear them dissuading the public more from getting out in those conditions.
Hi Dr.Masters

I live in tampa and have of course followed the hurricanes,I have wondered how wise it is to stand out in high winds like that as it seems a piece of flying metal or glass could take off a limb or perhaps their head! Not very smart.
Hey Palmetto,

That was an excellent post and I couldn't agree more with what you wrote. I am afraid that others who place themselves into increasingly hazardous conditions to deliever the most dramatic action may very well lead themselves to risk their lives unnecessarily for inappropriae reasons. I was just such an individual until I almost got washed away in hurricane Alex of 2004 and almost became a human pin cushion in hurricane Katrina this past seson. However, it was the realization that I had the wrong motves for placing myself in such unnecessary life threatening conditions simply to experience the worst when I saw how adversly so many people were affected as I was documenting the aftermath that it truly made me think about what I was doing.

One thing I've learned is that it doesn't require a hurricane force wind to create a life threatening situation. During the interceptions of both hurricanes Dennis and Katrina, I foolishly was trying to readjust my location and found myself dodging falling trees and flying debris not knowing if I was going to make it to relative safety. In other words, some of my most friegtening moments were in conditions that had yet to reach hurricane force. It only takes one miscalucation to place themselves into a situation they may not be able to get out of. I for one had to stubbornly learn that the hard way. Now, I take far fewer risks but am very concerned if I will actually make it through the event without serious injury nonetheless. Regardless of the motive, it is still placing oneself in a life threatening position that that could've been avoided.

I hope you and everyone else has a safe and very Merry Christmas with those closest to you.:)

Your friend,

Hi Tony (hurricanechaser)! Merry Christmas!
hey hurricanechaser you got e mail
I'm still waiting for the climate change stuff.

Merry Christmas. Many thanks to the Weather Underground staff for all they accomplished this past year and for their dedication to meet the challenges of next year. Many thanks for the set of weather stations, like my local hardware store, that provide local data. Many thanks for the day by day predictions for local weather. Nice. Keep it coming.

happy new year it is 2006
tornadoty e mail for you

hurricanechaser e mail for you
Hey Tony (Tornadoty), David, and Paul (Weatherboyfsu),

Thanks so much for the sentiments and I want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas as well!!:)


Your friend,
One last quick post (that might be a first right?)lol:)

I have very little faith that any discussion of the Global warming issue won't be skewed by ones personal political views nor should anyone expect much different. Regardless, who can dispute that the Earth is indeed warmer than it was a few centuries ago? What is that called? Global Warming? How can anyone truly prove this natural warming trend directly related to natural climate variability would have been any cooler without human activities? Simple answer, no one can.

Therefore, everything else about human induced global warming is speculation which will continue to be debated for centuries to come as our planet continues to warm as a natural function of climate variability. That's a long time for people who want to believe in it to continue to fuel the debate before we see an eventual return of natural climate variability that will reverse this warming trend.

In the meantime, thousands will freeze to death in this Country as a result of natural climate variabilty known as the Winter season. That is because they don't have the means to enjoy the comforts of real human induced warming in our homes. Just think about how many homeless shelters could be built with all the money being poured into the propaganda machine fueling the debate of a completely unsubstantiated theory. I wonder how mant blankets that would provide. In reality, there are far more serious and factual concerns for the welfare of the human race than any insignificant and truly undetectable consequence of any human impact on the natural global warming trend that will continue despite a persons personal thoughts on the subject.

Ok, I will try to make my next post the shorter one.:)

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas.:)

Your friend,

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Happy Holidays! God bless us all for the next hurricane season!
KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta, mail for you!

Posted By: Randyman at 11:29 AM GMT on December 24, 2005.

I can't help but to wonder if there is anything I could have possibly foresaw that far out in the development of TD #10 at that time in which I could have at least forewarned my inlaws of the forthcoming danger...of course the answer is no...

Randy, the answer is "YES". STORMTOP had this storm NAILED before it even formed. This (edited) post is from when it was moving north in the Atlantic, before it became TD12. Note that he was already calling the move SW to interact with S. Florida, plus development to Cat 5 with Louisiana as the target:

Posted By: STORMTOP at 04:20 PM GMT die 23o August, anno 2005.

i want to see what the recon plane finds but i dont think it will be classified as a storm ..maybe a depression you can clearly see the center by ir and wv loops..in the last 15 minutes it looks like its back on a wnw heading paralellling the coast of cuba and it looks like it has picked up some speed...this might let s fla off the hook with just a strong tropical storm but after that the northern gulf will have to deal with the rapid strengthing this storm will then have a chance for explosive development by the weekend....it looks like la is going to be under the gun here...a cat 5 coming in from the se bad bad news...

He quickly changed his prediction to Cat 1 - Cat 2 strength over Miami, including the fast SW move, and hitting the gulf quickly without losing significant strength.

He made hundreds of posts during the course of the storm and it was obvious very early that he knew what he was talking about.

There were some who posted that they left New Orleans because of his predictions, and it is likely that he may have saved some lives.

He was accurate because he didn't rely solely on computer models, but rather he looked at what was currently happening in the weather charts. He not only made his predictions, but he gave the reasoning behind them and why the NHC and others were not seeing the correct picture.

In addition, there were others who made numerous posts regarding the scenarios of New Orleans flooding completely if the levees failed, which was becoming an expectation for some.

Many here were upset as the storm progressed that the local authorities were not giving the mandatory evacuation orders at an early enough time for people to get out. Unfortunately all the authorities had to guide them was the NHC - they didn't have the benefit of following STORMTOP'S analysis from the beginning like we did.

Look at the following post from STORMTOP, which was posted HOURS BEFORE she even became a hurricane. He was already calling for second landfall to be at Pass Christian, MS, which eventually did became the location of the highest storm surge (cat 5 storm surge intensity) on landfall.

Posted By: STORMTOP at 4:05 AM GMT on August 25, 2005.


Had I lived in New Orleans, I would have started my preparations while Katrina was still over South Florida, and I would have been driving out (or bicycling, hitchiking or walking) before Katrina was halfway across the gulf.

Califonia: Unfortunately, it seems that if you listened to STORMTOP for other storms, you would have thought every hurricane would be a Katrina.
To: AySz88

True. But you could tell when he was "hooked up". If he said for 3 days a storm was going to turn north and it kept going west, you didn't pay much attention.

But mostly, even when his predictions were off, he had solid meteorological reasoning behind them, and it was often info that no one else was considering.

With Katrina it was obvious very early on that if you were going to bet against his predictions, you were going to lose money.

It's just too bad the local goverment officials in New Orleans weren't reading STORMTOP'S posts...
Hey Califonia,

No offense intended, but it is quite obvious STORMTOP was not as precise on his Katrina prediction as you appear to think. Anyone can predict a storm forming that moves acrossed South Florida will most likely climatilogically move into the Northern Gulf coast.

To say that his other predictions that were way off had sound meteoroligical reasoning behind it is a contradiction in itself. Anyone on here from those with a meteorological degree to a teenager with very litle knowledge can guess correctly on events and possible landfall locations etc. This is especially true when a person is watching every single radar loop, etc. minute by minute and adjusting their predictions accordingly.

You are bragging on how accurate his predictions were like 5 days out...lets review it inn detail...

"this might let s fla off the hook with just a strong tropical storm but after that the northern gulf will have to deal with the rapid strengthing this storm will then have a chance for explosive development by the weekend....it looks like la is going to be under the gun here...a cat 5 coming in from the se bad bad news..."

He is suggesting only a strong tropical storm hit here for south Fl. and saying that La. could be hit by a category five.

Which one of these predictions became a reality?

And you state that he changed his predictions to a category one or two hurrcane for South Fl. later...of course, after it was obvious to anyone with any background in it.

I am not belittling this persons ability but simply pointing out the obvious that NOONE in this community including Dr. Masters or the NHC gets even half their projections right a few days out regarding intensity and landfall prediction. So, why do so many people critisize the NHC who certainly has a far better track record this season apparently that this person STORMTOP, yet..you suggest the public would be better of with this ametur forecaster who obviously could've cause many lives o be lost with his other incorrect predictions as noted by AYS and even admittedly by yourself that he ws wrong on the other storms.

It is always best to listen t the NHC first.

Anyways, I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas.:)


Sorry..please explain the logic in ths comment for incorrect forecasts?

"But mostly, even when his predictions were off, he had solid meteorological reasoning behind them, and it was often info that no one else was considering."

Exactly info he was considering that led to the incorrect forecasts..ever think it was a good idea others weren't considering the obvious flawed info?

Muy point is that meteorology is a totally inexact science and we ALL are going to get some right once in awhile, with alot (if not most) being wrong, especially the further you go out in time. Please listen foremost to the profesionals like the NHC.:)It is very irresponsible to suggest others listen to ametuers regardless of how knowledable they may appear.

Chaser, it doesnt matter if a 10 year old or a meteorological genius predicted what Katrina was going to do. Its the fact that STORMTOP was able to predict her path and actually do it which makes him deservable of credit. At the time he was making them, I dont think many were predicting her to pass over florida and explode into the gulf. I would add that many of the storms this year were very unpredictable at times and all you can do is tip your cap sometimes. Good call STORMTOP.
hurricanechaser e mail for you
tornadoty mail for you!

To: hurricanechaser

That one post I referenced was not meant to justify my entire argument.

Here - STORMTOP'S KATRINA PREDICTIONS - I set up a website for you to take a look at what he posted, and a few other related posts. It's way too much to put in this blog, of course.

Everyone is welcome to take a look.

Many of his predictions were contrary to "main-line" thinking; for example, many believed Katrina would stall over Florida for 24 to 36 hours and have difficulty re-forming into a hurricane on re-entry in the Gulf.

You said:
Please listen foremost to the profesionals like the NHC.:)It is very irresponsible to suggest others listen to ametuers regardless of how knowledable they may appear.

In most cases I would agree with you, but not here. Some people who listened to the NHC are dead today, and there are some people who believe they are still alive because they paid attention specifically to STORMTOP's warnings.

STORMTOP consistently called for landfall at LA - Miss even when NHC had it aiming at the Florida panhandle.

Anyway, take a look at the site. It's very interesting reading.

Bad link - sorry. This should work:


Posted By: hurricanechaser at 8:39 PM GMT on December 24, 2005.

Sorry..please explain the logic in ths comment for incorrect forecasts?

But mostly, even when his predictions were off, he had solid meteorological reasoning behind them, and it was often info that no one else was considering.

Exactly info he was considering that led to the incorrect forecasts..ever think it was a good idea others weren't considering the obvious flawed info?

Here's my logic, Tony -

One example: ham operators on Caribbean islands gave him realtime data on windspeed. Whether or not this information led to a correct prediction, it was factual meteorological info that others weren't considering.

It was not flawed info. No fact can be flawed, by definition - otherwise it would not be a fact.

I was always interested in his analysis - he didn't just make the predictions, he also said why, and it always made me think, whether or not I agreed.
Hey Trouper and Califonia,

Firt of all, I have no idea who STORMTOP is nor am I trying to discredit him in anyway shape or form. The issue that concerned me based upon Califonias post was that it would been better if STORMTOPS predictions were a replacement in a sense to the professional meteorologists and the NHC. The reason thousands died was not the fault of the NHC who did predict a landfall where it came ashore roughly 3 days out. It wasn't their fault that many chose to not evacuate, nor is it their fault that local and state officiald didn't do all that could to heed the warnings which have been predicted for decades relative to the New Orleans area.

The biggest problem in this Country regarding huricanes isn't reporters too close to the oceans or more major hurricane landfalls which are secondary issues to the fact more people live in areas that have historically been underwater from previous hurricanes and be so again. This wat be the last time because the city of New Orleans which is below sea level of all things will be "rebuilt bigger and better" as local, state, and even the president says. The same is true for those who needlessly died living to close to the gulf waters as well. Yet, the casinos are being rebuilt back in harms way guarenteeing the next Katrina will be far more costly.

Honestly, i heard rumors and that's all it is to me but who can say its not a fact either that STORMTOP was simply one of many different handles used by someone who had conversations with people using their other handles who were supposedly in harms way trapped in New Orleans. This was a prevailing sentiment from many who left me plenty of emails saying such when I first joined this community saying their are a few people on here manipulating the blogs. Naturally, it makes no difference to me if that is true except for the fact that the NHC is getting blamed for thousands of deaths as you suggest Califonia and this person, STORMTOP is being credited with saving thousands supposedly.

Have you considered what AYS and even yourself noted about this persons other wildly inaccurate forecasts with other storms that if they were truly the person others put all their faith in, I can rest assured ..far more people would die than be saved by his forecasts overall than the job that the NHC has done and continues to do. I am not a huge fan of the NHC as many know regarding the Katrina downgrade amongst other things, however, it's absurd to suggest anyone could do better or has overall this season. Once again, the NHC by no means misforecasted Katrina within roughly 72 hours or so of landfall which should've been plenty of time to get people out of areas that honestly shouldn't have been populated in the first place.

It's too bad I hadn't joined this community sooner becuase you can ask my wife for the prediction I thought as well was a category four landfall in SE La. or as far east of Psagoula Mississippi before it made landfall in South Fl.

Climatilogically, that is by far the most logical track as history suggests. I even commented to wife that Katrina reminded me of Betsy from 1965 as she was also moving SW into South Florida before ultimately moving into Eastern La. I have been tracking and predicting hurricane landfalls since I was 15 back in 1985. I record all of them in a journal. Now, I can post a daily blog and leave a record for others to critique. Regardless of the fact I work as a certified forecaster gives me absolutely no means to suggest anyone listen to my predictions above anything that the NHC puts out not should be anyone else. From what you and Ays appear to be saying, STORMTOOPS accuracy for all hurricanes combined this season was very poor with the exception of Katrina...is that the kind of record that should replace the NHC when there will be many more catastrophies waiting to happen if people don't evacuate such vulnerable areas such as Tampa or Galveston when the next big one comes ashore. It's not a matter of if but simply when. I knmow I for one don't want my loved ones trusting an ametuer who had a poor record overall in forecast consistency throughout the season in comparison to the professionals who didn't even do a bad job on Katrina...go back and look at their 48 hour graph....is that worse than STORMTOPS 48 hour forecast..compare them side by side..whose was more accurate and if the same. The fact is 48 hurs is more than enough time to evacuate people out of harms way if people will listen and the state and local officials do their job.

I have to reiterate that this kind of death toll is mostly the result of development in areas that shouldn't be inhabited in the first place...read my latest blog and draw your own conclusions with objectivity. Why is this being about STORMTOP. To me its an issue about you saying the public would be better off listening to him than the professionals who are getting a bad rap unjustly in my humble opinion.

Regardless, I hpe you and everyone else has a very Merry Christmas.:)

Your friend,

hey hurricanechaser how are you today did you get my e mail?
Hey Califonia,

I am surprised that you misinterpreted my reply to your broad comment of STORMTOP using data others didn't consider as you stated even when he was wrong which suggested it was flawed data. Naturally, I had no idea what kind of data you were talkng about since you didn't mention it. Then your next post tells me its data like Ham operators giving wind speeds in real time from the Carribean for example and then educating me on how that isn't not flawed data because it's fact. Did I say that that kind of data was specifically flawed? Of course not.

I don't like to bring up my education and real experience as a certified forecaster because to me it's irrelevent in that I don't consider myself more important than another especially when a 10 year old as Trouper mentioned could make a guess and end up being more correct regarding one particular forecast which goes to suggest just how difficult and inexact the science of meteorology especially ropical meteorology truly is. However, I have to mention that I can't believe you or anyone could seriously think STORMTOP, myself or anyone else could get information on a specific storm that isn't available to the NHC. I worked as a volunteer at the NHC during the summer of 1996 and theres's no way anyone can fathom the incredible amount of data that the NHC gets from ships, Ham operators,.buoys, recon, and the like unless you have actually see it first hand which I have.

Do you honestly think STORMTOP could do a better job forecasting thses storms than Dr. Masters? If not, do you think Dr. Masters would suggest yu ignore the NHC forecasts and focuses on his instead?

One other thing to consider, you have those such as STORMTOP making minute by minute observations adjusting his predictions as he goes while you the professionals like the NHC and DR. Masters making predictings and updates 3 and 6 hours apart. The biggest difference is you for example have this focus on this persons good forecast on one particular storm which is easy to remember because sucesses on here are easy to remember while their failures are easily forgotten in comparison to the NHC who is under extraordinary scrunity with forecasts that are bound to ne incorrect from time to time. However, it is absurd to think STORMTOP, DR. Masters, myself or anyone else should be a replacement for the experts so to speak if there is such a thing in tropical meteorology, who have access to data that we could never hope to see. There's a reason why they are working at the NHC and the rest of us are posting our forecasts in these blogs. I find it completely inappropriate to blame the NHC for even one death especially when they provided an excellent 48 hour forecast to the best of my recollection and NOONE predicted a 30 foot surge at that time. However, everyone has been aware that New Orleans was a disaste waiting to happen for decades and no one should have been surprised by the devastation that occured there.

I for one am thankful for the hard work that the NHC has done over the decades preventing lives lost with their forecast and thankful those like STORMTOP isn't working in their place. Once again, this is not an implication of STORMTOP for he is no different than anyone else including myself on here.

Once again, I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas Eve and will have an even better Christmas day.:)

Your friend,

Hey everyone,

One last post for tonight. I am at My Mothers celebrating time with family so I'm using a very small keyboard and my fingers are too big for this keyboard and I am not correcting typos so I apologize for those.:)

Hey David,

I hope you are having a great Christmas eve with your Family and I will be getting those videos done for you by the first weekend in January.:)

I hope you and everyone else has a very "Merry Christmas!"

Your friend,

To Hurricanechaser

Tony, go read what I put up in that website. I created it specifically for you to read. It's quite interesting - I think you will enjoy it. :)

95% of the time I will rely on the NHC over other sources, but they have no monopoly on truth. As we have seen this season, weather prediction is still a lot of theory rather than proven science.

Look at epsilon. For days, every few hours the NHC discussion would say the storm was going to begin dissipating - water temperatures too low, wind shear too high. After a while they quit believing it themselves, yet they kept saying it.

Obviously the NHC does not understand the science behind why epsilon survived and even strengthened under those conditions.

That doesn't mean that nobody knows. Perhaps there are people out there somewhere whose theories account for epsilon's success. Had they been posting predictions and explaining their reasoning, and their predictions were correct at nearly every step while the NHC was wrong at nearly every step, I would have chosen to believe them over the NHC, in that particular case.

That doesn't mean I am going to ignore the NHC's predictions in the next storm.

Once in a while if someone has a better handle on a storm, and is calling the shots with great accuracy at every turn, while the NHC is consistently getting it wrong, it would be foolish (and is some cases downright life-threatening) to blindly follow them just because of the initials in their name.

That being said, they do have the best resources on the planet, and most of the time it would be best to follow their advice.

Merry Christmas everyone. I'm done lobstering till spring, got the last of my traps out of the water today. A present to myself.
As I recall, Stormtop also predicted that Dennis and Emily would also hit Louisiana as Cat 5 hurricanes.
Hi Guys I just wanted to say have a happy holiday everyone. I hope everyone has a great day. It will be great to see what mother nature will throw at us this year weather wise.
any one like to come to my blog!
There might be a way to make more accurate forecasts than the NHC. A sufficiently powerful distributed computing project ("hurricane@home") could presumably run more detailed models than any single organization resulting in more accurate predictions. I would GUESS that this would work if public interest was high (i. e., if a major storm was on the way, which is exactly when a better forecast would be most wanted).
This should be done in collaboration, rather than competition, with the NHC. Does anyone have any idea how feasible this would be?
i think cat 5 hurricans are cool when they are not makeing landfall you no why we get to have fun with them and would one no what that may be we play how low the mb will go when the huuricane gets to cat 5 and if any one on the k storm and why they down it to a cat 3 and not a cat 4 come to my blog and post a comment on it if any has not done so yet
if any one have a commet for the nhc in why the have down it to a cat 3 and not a cat 4 at land fall come to my blog and make you commet on if you have not yet done so
A few things about reporting reporters to OSHA.

1. We typically aren't shown the context of wherever the reporter is standing/sitting.

2. Reporters regularly go into some pretty bad places that rival a hurricane. I am thinking of Iraq presently and those guys who go into the opposition's territory and take pictures of them firing mortars and rockets at our guys.

3. Reporters typically have a team behind them that includes, one would hope, someone experienced in maintaining what ever could be called safety in a hurricane.

4. For some reason reporters in bad places seem to be able to get information out that the authorities can use when no one else can.

5. Perhaps someday when a reporter gets skewered or blown away on national TV people will decide to leave for safety when asked to.

6. The safest place to be during a bad storm is in a safe place watching somebody else look around outside on TV.

7. What exactly does Occupational Safety look like when you are in a area where nature is reconfiguring itself?
I remember a Jay Leno joke years ago. He said "You know they go out to report it is a hurricane outside. We KNOW!"
I guess Mr. Masters speaks about "ordinary" TV reporters, not trained and have no clue how dangerous it can be going out with a water resistant camera.

I don't think he speaks about people who makes living with documenting them. (not many!) They really know the dangers.
Merry Christmas guys! After Christmas sometime, I need 9 more signatures on my blog before I send the petition to the NHC. Please check it out.
Hey Califonia,

I just read your listing of all of STORMTOPS predictions in great detail for Katrina. He was all over the place with his predictions...started out saying category five with 170 mph winds making landfall west of Grand Isle...then changed it to a category five for Gulfport, MS. and points east of there to Florida Panhandle with 180 mph winds at landfall, then direct hit on New Orleans as a 180 mph category five with 18 feet of water in New Orleans, etc. He said he lived in New Orleans and would take some great pics for everyone...anyone see his pics?
He not once got it right in location and was WAY OFF on the intensity! He also said he had been forecasting hurricanes for 30 years and had been through Camille, Betsy, and Andrew which I assume he meant all in La.
He also said he had been in two category five hurricanes already but he was too young to remember them. Since he wasn't in Miami for Andrew obviously. I guess he meant hurricane Camille which wasn't much more than category one in New Orleans, La. which leaves only one other possible category five ...the Great Labor Day hurricane of 1935 in the Fl. keys which is obviously not the case..so that's obviously an untruth! He kept talking about waiting for his sources like he all these contacts...including ham operators in the Bahamas etc. He also called people idiots and other things when someone else made a prediction of their own. I don't understand why anyone would admire his forecasts which were way off! and he was not only arrogant but rude to others and lied about going through 2 category fives and I can tell he most likely was making up other things as well. One area where I am gifted is discernment..I can read people very well..and this guy is definately not believable.

Heres the link if you want to see his predictions and rude attitude toward others for yourself..don't forget to notice his going out into the category five hurricane when it hits New Orleans with 180 mph winds and will have plenty of pics.

And this is the person you said should replace the NHC? That's a very scary thought.

He reminds me of someone else who acts like that...could they possibly be the same person with different handles as suggested by many others? Could be Regardless, I certainly wouldn't trust this persons predictions. I think I will stick to my own.:)

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas.:)

Your friend,

STORMTOPS Katrina link.

I'm sorry..really tired..gave you this blogs link.:) Here is the link to STORMTOPS ridulous predictions and stories..lol:)

Hurricane field reporters are idiots. What would really impress me is a live report from a skydiving reporter jumping into the middle of an eye and walking away from it before the latter part of the storm arrives.
The ulitmate live report would be from the NOAA aircraft themselves. After all, isn't that what we really all want to know? That's where the 'beef' is.
Merry Christmas ever one and a hppy new year 7 days to go in tell 2006
good by 2005 good by 2005 good by 2005 get out of her 2005 you did the lool of a 2005 huuricane year this year 2005 now it is time to see you go 2005 and what hop that we have no hurricane makeing landfall in 2006 hurricane year so goood by 2005 good by 2005 and say hi to 2006 lool
jnovikoff Hurricane field reporters are idiots are not idiots they no what they are doing and they do a very good job and when it get to bad they go find a safe lol in tell the winds get to where they can go back out and do some more so next time when you look at a tv and a hurricane is come to you i am this saying if a hurricane come to you and you see jim cantor out there or cnn so do not say Hurricane field reporters are idiots they no what they are doing and i see them on tv a lot and i love it when they are out there in the hurricane doing there live updat so next time when you see them out there you look at them and see if they are idiots well they are not
Merry Christmas David (KRWZ)!
hey tornadoty do you think Hurricane field reporters are idiots ? i think they do a very good job when they are out there do you
I think that if they are safe about it, like The Weather Channel (with the exception of Jeff Morrow getting blown over in Wilma) and not like Fox News (Geraldo saying that he is going to stay on the seawall in Galveston for Rita and "run for it" when the surge comes, then I don't have a problem with it.
Just want to wish you a Merry Christmas, Dr. Masters :) I no longer live on the East Coast, so the threat of tropical storms and nor'easters only applies when I visit...but I still read all of your entries and appreciate your expertise. Wishing you the best in 2006 :)

hey tornadoty mail for you i like Jeff Morrow and jim cantor but it look like to me that Jeff Morrow was out there a lot this year i think he was in the D storm some where in fl
Damon85013 mail for you

tornadoty mail for you
To: Hurricanechaser

Hey Tony, I sent you an email - please go check it out.

Hurricanechaser mail for you!
Hey everyone,

Please let me begin by saying that I hope everyone is having the best Christmas possible.:)

Secondly, I am imperfect naturally like everyone else and I have to admit that my rebuttals regarding someone I have never met (STORMTOP) should stick to the issue that Califonia and I were discudssing regarding the accuracy of his predictions versus the NHC and not at any point allow my interpretation of ones personal demeanor toward others that I don't like to be part of the discussion. As a result, I want to ask all who have read those inappropriste and unnecessary remarks to please forgive me and relay as much to STORMTOP if you see him.:)


I got your email and I wil respond to you via that process.:)

I may have misunderstood you and I will have to take the time to reread our posts for I thought you were implying it would have been better to have STORMTOP forecasting hurricanes rather than the professionals which to me is absurd if anyone were to think such a thing. It was by no means to be a personal issue regarding one person although I made it one unnecessarily with some personal things I noticed in the link I though were both totally unnecessary and belittling to others who have a right to their personal forecasts as well. It's like saying its ok for him to call others views idiotic, etc. which I believe is very unjustified. Noone on here should refer to anyone in that manner when they have the guts to post a prediction. Secondly, would anyone think its ok for people to refer to STORMTOP as an idiot for some of his truly bizaree forecasts this season for other storms. Although, I don't think the record shows he outperformed the NHC in this case either. It is entirely possible for anyone to guess that a storm moving into South Fl. with a weakening High retreating to the west late in the forecast period five days out to make a landfall somewhere along the Northern Gulf coast specifically not going to either Texas nor Florida which leaves the small area of Alabama which is hard to hit from such a trajectory and strong high in lace and focuses on eastern La. and Mississippi based on odds alone. The fact is he forecasts a 180 mph category five LANDFALL...did not happen. and the devastation that resulted was not the result of 180 mph winds as he was predicting. Less than 2 days out he was saying New Orleans is off the hook..and predicting the 180 mph category five landfall in Gulfport, MS. and not saying a SE la. landfal first followed by a Gulfport, MS. landfall either at a time the NHC had it going right over NEW ORLEANS, La. and not as a category five 180 mph landfall.

Just because someone predicts the extreme event for each storm like St. Simonsguy noted with Emily and Dennis as category fives in La. as well. He is bound to get one somewhat right once in awhile but nowhere close to the NHC.

Simply my opinions and not to be directly representative of my personal opinions of him as an individual. The issue was about him being more capable from the outset than profesionals like the NHC.

I will discuss the rest with you Califonia strictly on the record via email and once again I ask that you accept my sincerest apologies for including my personal opnion of his actions topward others.


Hey everyone,

I have to go eat dinner with family and friends tonight so I want to say I feel very blessed to have so many new friends to be thankful for from this wonderful community this Christmas season and I hope each of you have a great rest of the Christmas day.:)

Your friend,

KWRZ, you got mail.
If I see a reporter on tv doing a live shot from a hurricane, I just turn it off or change the channel. The sad thing is, people (tv watchers) get a thrill from it and they (tv producers) know it.
Maybe they are starved for attention. Maybe they got too much, and now need it all the time. "Look what I can do!"
In that respect, a storm chaser is no different then a reporter doing a live shot, thet both get paid for it.
I'd rather trap Muskrats for a living. I might get bit one day, but it's not likely that a tree or a building will fall on me. Besides, they are warm and furry and they smell good.
Hey everyone,

Since Dudeboy made a comparison between tv reports and STORMCHASERS which would have to include me...I will simply reiderate why I do it. I NOW do it to help those who suffer from these destructive storms by selling my footage to various media outlets and make Live action hurricane documentaries so prople can see how dangerous hurricanes truly are so that they will not have to experience the life threatening event themselves and will choose to evacuate. This is NOW the reason I do it...to help others...it's now a job rather than the exciting thrill it used to be for me. Please read my original post about what changed my perspective in this blog. I can only speak to my own motivations and it's truly unfair forANYONE to group every reporter and storm chaser into one category because I am sure I am not the only one who looks at it from a self sacrificing perspective where I'm risking my life so someone else may choose to leave based on my footage and theirs may be saved. Regardless, I hope everyone is enjoying the rest of this most special of holidays...Christmas...the celebration of Jesus Christs birth for me personally for the purpose of eternal life for all who believe in Him as their Lord and Savior.:)

Your friend,
Hey everyone,

I forgot to mention that I also donate between 10 and 20% of the price from the sale of each documentary to the consumers choice of either the American Red Cross or Salvation Army in their name with a gift receipt for their tax records.

Thanks again,
Sorry, didn't mean to offend. Merry Christmas! Say, here's an idea. Donate 50%! Then you'd be mak'in a real sacrifice.
I used to smoke because I thought it was cool. Now I smoke because I'm addicted. BUT I STILL SMOKE.
quit smoking dudeboy. make it your new years resolutions and go cold turkey.

And just for the record, has any reporter with an organization died covering a hurricane? I dont see why you all dont like it so much.
hey tornadoty i got you e mail

hey hurricanechaser you got mail

I didn't get offended just clarifying in case there might be any misconceptions. In regards to donating 50%, I don't charge shipping which costs me about $4.00 per video, donate 20% to the organizations for relief ($4.00) and give 10% off most videos I sell ($2.00)plus the cost of a DVD ($2.00) which means I make $7.95 off the 19.95 purchase price which doesn't include the fact it costs me roughly $500 to complete a hurricane interception and the risk to my own life in the process. Therefore, I don't think it's appropriate for you to make such a statement that I am not donating enough when most donate nothing.

I make very little profit and there's no guarentee I can make up the cost it takes to do the interception in the first place but I am not doing it because it's financially feasiable. Since you critique my actual donations from each video I sell, how much money do you donate to these v
ictims for each hurricane landfall? I would greatly appreciate you being a little more appreciative of my sacrifice which is genuine.

What does your analogy regarding smoking mean? I'm not addicted to hurricanes and I don't appreciate your sarcasm.

Now that I think about it, this blog is totally unnecessary for who is Dr. Masters, you , or myself to make assumptions regarding the motives of those placing their lives in danger to educate and show people what the conditions are like as the storm closing in on the coastline. I agree each one of us should you comon sense and clearly explain the reasoning each is doing it. However, noone should be critisizing another when you don't know the personal motives of each reporter. I am sure there are many more important subjects we could be discussing than critisizing ones right to cover a storm. Just my own personal perspective.


Hey hurricanechaser, if you're still there, I was looking over the discussions from early 10/24 regarding Wilma, and considering the level of wind damage, I think there is a 5-15% chance it may have been 135 MPH at FL landfall. What do you think?
if any one has not yet post a comment for the K storm come to my blog or tornadoty to post you comment we need 6 more so we can send it and it was no caat 3 at fris land fall this to tell you so if you have not done so yet come on by and post your commment thank you
Hi all, been busy, but lurking...

On this matter i think back most recently to Wilma, when i think on Fox, a most exciting moment, a reporter hurdles a piece of 4'X4' tin, flying along at foot level. Yeah, it makes for some exciting tv & i'm sure a few of those reporters feel like they're getting payed to play in the 'canes, but yeah guess the example isn't good for our unknowing tourists, risk of life on live tv & it does lack creativity. i still wonder if the flying tin wasn't staged. pier cams are good (is it gonna fall), how about crash dumbies out there strapped to a tree? ...oh those shingles are really pelting him hard. according to our computers, his readings are critical, multible contusions to the dummy, particularly his head.

Christmas was good to me, got a home weather station. My quandry is mounting the wind sensor, preferably at 33', on a "mast .63"-1.3" in diamater". My 1st thought~ metal rod, my 2nd~ i live in a most severe lightning area. what to do...
A metal rod, if properly grounded (consult a professional), would be a lightning rod & would actually protect the surrounding area. Just mount the wind sensor a few feet below the top of the rod.

I think automatic cameras are the best way to cover hurricane landfalls. Put one right at the coast & let the storm surge destroy it. The video should be useful to the meteorologists as well as interesting to the general public.
Hey Tony (tornadoty),

I can appreciate your logic in considering Wilma as possibly being a category four at south Fl. landfall. However, I can confidently say that I don't think there should be any modification to her intensity on the SW coast. On the other hand, I do believe the intensity should be readjusted for the Eastern Fl. coastline up to 110-115 mph which would have her as at least a minimal category three for all of the most affected areas of South Florida.

The reason I don't believe there is much reason for classifying her as a category four comes from various thoughts. First of all, I was there for Wilmas first half about 5-10 miles inland of Marco Island and in Everglades City for the stronger second half. I would estimate winds in the 85-90 mph range for the first half in the NW quadrant, and there were recorded winds between 105-116 mph in Everglades City for the second half.

Secondly, Wilma had entrained a little dry air on her SE side as she was coming ashore which caused her to be listed as a 120 mph category three about 30 minutes after official landfall. The strongest portion of the storm which of course was the NE quadrant, came ashore in the Everglades. As a result, there were no observations in the uninhabited swampland. If you look at the NWS radar from the Miami site as it moved inland through the Everglades, her eyewall not only remained well intacted, but also filled back in on the SE side. Consequently, she didn't weaken much moving acrossed South Florida as she was over the swampy low lying everglades. Even though the NE quadrant wasn't observable for the SW region, this wasn't the case for the East coast as she roared out of the Everglades with minimal category three force in my opinion. The peak wind gusts were in the 120 mph range throughout a broad area of east central and SE Fl. There was quite a bit of wind damage, but that should be expected for a category three storm, especially one hitting a very populated metropoltian area like areas From Palm Beach to Miami Beach. Not to mention that winds are usually enhanced in such ares by a funneling of the winds between high rise buildings. Likewise, these highrise buildings are more exposed to stronger winds above the ground as well which led to countless windows being blown out of these buildings. Much of the damage was to mobile homes, roofs, and over a large portion of metropoltian areas in Naples on the SW coast through Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, and other built up areas where there is alot to be battered by these powerful category three winds. Therefore, the damage is very consistent with a category three storm for such areas but not for a 135 mph category four. If we would have had a category four on the same track, it would have been extremely disastrous. We would have most likely seen 135-145 mph gusts in the large metropolitian areas of Eastern Fl. which would've caused twice as much damage than the incredible wind damage that already occurred.

I hope you have a great night and also had a very Merry Christmas as well.:)

Your friend,

To: Hurricanechaser

Tony, you were certainly right on at least 2 counts.

1. Katrina was not 170 to 180 mph at landfall.
2. STORMTOP could be agressive and abrasive with those who berated him for his predictions. I think anyone who was on the blog at that time would agree with that statement, friend or foe.

Still, I'm impressed with his predictions on Katrina, and I'm looking forward to your thoughts concerning the NHC predictions on it.

Thanks for your input on this blog, on your own blog and on other blogs. You have spent a lot of time and given us lots of valuable information - I'm sure I speak for others in expressing my/our appreciation.

Sorry Califonia and HurricaneChaser I didn't mean to spark another debate over StormTop...
Yes HurricaneChaser I agree with you regarding StormTop's attitude:

Posted By: Randyman at 7:35 PM GMT on August 10, 2005.

...As a footnote: let's try to be a little more professional on this blog without the personal attacks. I enjoy talking about the weather everyday, all day so it is a great pleasure to me to have these type of discussions. So if everyone would please be more mindful of this for the remainder of this hurricane season. Let's keep this fun and informative. And yes StormTop this refers to you as well. As you see I have just gave you credit for many things you have said recently so you do indeed know quite a bit about hurricanes. However, try to remain courteous to others without all of the condescending comments. You never know, you may actually hurt someone's feelings in the process.

May God bless you guys and I'll be back later on.

Posted By: Randyman at 1:11 AM GMT on August 11, 2005.

...Oh and by the way, thanks everyone for the kind words from earlier. You see the way I see it some people write poems for a hobby; some play sports for fun; others make music as that thing that fulfills them the most...well, obviously our fulfillment comes from observing and discussing the weather on a daily basis...we are unique group of people with a common interest so let's make it an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

...Also, everyone needs to understand that the NHC has entities that will always influence and skew the information put forth within its post-storm reports. There indeed exists political/special interest groups that will indirectly determine what the NHC will conclude within its reports. The NHC and others will deny this fact, but we should no better. ie. Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Katrina.

Posted By: Califonia at 7:37 PM GMT on December 24, 2005.

Randy, the answer is "YES". STORMTOP had this storm NAILED before it even formed. This (edited) post is from when it was moving north in the Atlantic, before it became TD12. Note that he was already calling the move SW to interact with S. Florida, plus development to Cat 5 with Louisiana as the target:

And no Califonia, not even StormTop could have given me a heads-up...when I mentioned "Little did I know at the time this would be our last trip to New Orleans for a long time and how so many there would so adversely affected by this system...my wife's family and friends are still recovering from the aftermath...me being me, I can't help but to wonder if there is anything I could have possibly foresaw that far out in the development of TD #10 at that time in which I could have at least forewarned my inlaws of the forthcoming danger...of course the answer is no...no one could have ever imagined that TD#10 would become what it eventually became..."I meant for that particular weekend I was in New Orleans. At that particular, no one had any idea what was to come at the end of the month...not even the infamous StormTop who seem to bring every storm toward LA as a CAT 5.

Anyhow, it just goes to show we have a long ways to go when it comes to hurricane forecasting.

Everyone take care and have a Happy New Year.

...Excuse me Califonia I meant:At that particular time...
So happy today we got 0.01 inches of rain. Man what a storm it was. There are 2-3 more storms lined up in the parade of week storms that will move near or into Southern California. I want more rain.

I will sign that pention by the way.
lightning10 how are you today to make your comment for the nhc you come to my blog or tornadoty blog to make your commet and thank you so march
I gues nobody thought my idea of a live webcam in the NOAA reconnaisance aircraft was a good idea because nobody here commented on it. When they get the money, I'm sure the dropsondes will come with cameras as well.

A journalist should always wear goggles and a flak jacket in a storm and show the viewer he is out their voluntarily in writing.

TV should start getting some basic ethics and quit doing it just because there is an audience waiting. PBS rules and is the future of all television.
Ok I signed it.
Also there is know 0.08 inches of rain in the bucket. I think thats going to be it cause the cold front is going to pass over real soon and behind it is nothing but cool dry air. The New years day storm looks like the tail end is falling apart. Then after that another weak little weather system shouldnt bring more then a chance of drizzle into the foothills of Southern California. If anything we will get more drizzle and overcast weather then rain.
Thank you lightning10!!!!!!
jnovicoff~ i'd love to see live cam on the hurricane hunter's planes.

gippgig ~the idea of the cams watchin the surge come in was great too. I was quite disappointed when the burbon street crew took the cams with them to higher ground before Katrina. I guess it would be up to the media to lose cams for advertising money though. ~ thanks for the lightnin rod grounding idea for hanging the wind sensor. i'm pretty excited about getting to measure the gusts on our farm.

Hey everyone,

I can let you guys know that Mark Sudduth with hurricanetrack.com began setting up live webcams to capture the surge and peak conditions for each hurricane landfall beginning with hurricane Ivan in 2004. In Katrina, these webcams located in the Waveland and Gulfport areas that were housed in waterproof casing were each lost and never retreived. hE even offered a huge reward for anyone who found one and made a second trip to he Gulf coast to hopefully found them. Unfortunately, they were lost for good as a result of the enormous surge. He is currently attempting to modify this project with the aforementioned being the goal. There is noone else who is doing this.

I hope everyone is having a great night.:)


Hey everyone,

I simply wanted to take a moment to encourage anyone and everyone who feels that hurricane Katrina was unjustly downgraded from category four to category three status even though the NHC states in their report that category four sustained winds likely occurred in extreme La. to please vist the blog of tornadoty and sign a petition that He is organizing and will send to the NHC. Please feel free to state your own personal reasons why you believe it should be reinstated as a category four landfall or simply post a comment in tornadoty's blog saying, "sign me up".:)

Thanks so much,

Here's the link to tornadoty's blog to sign the petition for the NHC to reinstate Katrina to category four status.:)



I got to thinking more about the live cams on the planes~ of course there is the lack of money, but the media could fund these. It would give NWS something to adhear to the partnership policy. That unique thing public industy could produce & NWS not duplicate, to further the nation's weather industy enterprise. Of course we'd need to adhear to the policy of the gov't deciding the final approval on what the NWS passes on to the media.
Hey Skepony,

Thank you for signing up and leaving an excellent comment regarding the Katrina categorization in Tonys (tornadoty) blog.:)
112. Inyo
lightning10, i think the jetstream is finally sagging south and we will be getting some good rain after this week, like i was thinking earlier. i dont think you can really say much about the new years storm yet since it is out towards Japan.. the one offshore is a storm that is expected Wednesday in largely Northern california (it was expected to weaken in its southern portion and not impact so-cal). However, those of you in northern california are going to get a lot more rain.

im some ways, this weather pattern is like the one last year, a little less southerly trajectory if anything... it is just a bit further north. all we need is for the high to shift slightly east or south (as predicted) and we will be getting a string of strong storms.

of course, its a ways off and you could be right about it being just drizzle.. but my 'gut feeling' is that the rainy season is goin to start for real after Friday.
dos any one no how march rian has ca see i the last 2 weeks or so my storms keep going and going and going i am thikung that the valley saw 2-8inch of rain in the last 2 weeks andthe foothills a foot or more of rain in the last 2 week and i think the % for sac ca is at %110 up to %150 or higher then that so if any one no this ? let me no and thank you
wow forgive the oops in my typing so sorry about that
Good morning to all of you here in Dr Master's Blog....
Have a great day...thanks for all of you input!

I think the storm chasers have served their purpose and this should no longer continue. Every year they try to get more and more dramatic shots and eventually some one is going to be killed.
117. Inyo

Rainfall Map (click on CA)
Well, all I can do is scratch my head and ponder...
Here we are, about to begin a new year. Lets hope it's good for all of us.
After reading many of the comments, opinions, bioigraphies, and other submissions to this blog, I have concluded the following:
Rain is good,but not too much or too little. In moderation. Hurricanes are not entirely bad, just bad for people and some other animals. There is no volume control. They cause damage and death. I have no fascination wih that. I feel sorry for the families who lost loved ones.
The fury and power that mother nature can bring forth is what sculpts the land features of our planet, we just happen to be in the way sometimes.
You could be drowning thousands of ants by turning your lawn sprinklers on.
I've felt the effects of hurricanes, but never a direct hit. I remember a Belle, and a Gloria. Others with names long forgotten.
If I was living below sea level, I would expect a flood someday. That may sound crass, but think about it. Even Ducks know enough to make the nest higher then the water.