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Hurricane Idalia in review: What went right, what went wrong, where do we go from here?

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Hurricane Idalia became the eighth major hurricane to make landfall on the Gulf Coast in the last six years, leaving behind a trail of destruction in its path. On this week's episode, the Lee Weather Team looks back on the storm to discuss what stood out to them the most.

How good was the forecast? Was the forecast communicated effectively? Why did some people choose not to evacuate? What can we learn from this storm before the next hurricane strikes the United States?

Get the meteorologists' perspective in our in-depth review of Hurricane Idalia.

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About the Across the Sky podcast

The weekly weather podcast is hosted on a rotation by the Lee Weather team:

Matt Holiner of Lee Enterprises' Midwest group in Chicago, Kirsten Lang of the Tulsa World in Oklahoma, Joe Martucci of the Press of Atlantic City, N.J., and Sean Sublette of the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia.

Episode transcript

Note: The following transcript was created by Adobe Premiere and may contain misspellings and other inaccuracies as it was generated automatically:


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of Across the Sky, our National Lee Enterprises Weather podcast. I'm Matt Holiner in Chicago. One quarter of the lead weather team, but the whole game here today, meteorologist Joe Martucci based in Atlantic City. Sean Sublette in Richmond, Virginia and Kirsten Lang in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Together the four of us cover weather across the country.

Yes, not just across the sky, but across the country. And this national weather coverage is new. So if you're listening to this podcast on a Lee Enterprise's website or app, you're probably going to be seeing more forecast videos from us, especially when bad weather is expected. But I think it's safe to say this podcast, this is the first thing that went national and I think it's the favorite part of our jobs.

And nothing is changing here. In fact, each week we continue to see our number of listeners go up. So really, we can't thank you enough for tuning in and subscribing and this week, just like the national weather story for the last week. This episode is all about Hurricane Idalia. The damage is still being assessed, but it is clear that this was another devastating storm for parts of the southeast.

And of course, right off the bat, our thoughts and prayers are with all the people trying to recover from this storm. Now, obviously, lots to discuss here. But to start, guys, let's just go around the horn and talk about the first thing that stood out to you about Dahlia. Sean, let's start with you, because you were doing a lot of updates on this storm for our Carolina properties.

Yeah, I think for me, one of the things that I take home from Idalia is actually how well it was forecast. You know, we are we are in an environment you know, we've been talking about this for a few months now. We've got very high ocean heat content, high sea surface temperatures, basically warm water. But we've had the El Nino going on and there's this whole battle back and forth between the two.

Which one of these impacts is going to be larger? And we kind of said, well, once things get started, they can really, really go. And that's kind of what happened. I mean, the Gulf of Mexico was especially warm, and it is not common for the National Hurricane Center to to talk about rapid intensification in their discussions and their technical discussions as this environment is primed for rapid intensification.

And and by that, we mean something very specific, effectively going up two categories in 24 hours. I mean, technically, it's 35 miles per hour and 24 hours, but two categories, right? So for them to be talking about rapid intensification, which such high confidence, then it comes to fruition pretty much as forecast. I mean, their track was spot on.

But, you know, it's tough. You know, you're looking at just this blob of clouds in the Yucatan Channel and you're thinking 36 hours. This is going to be a major hurricane. That is not a forecast you can make 15 or 20 years ago with any kind of confidence. So for me, I'm especially happy with how far we have come in intensity forecasting in the last five or ten years.

You're on the coast, You know, I know this is not your storm, obviously, but what kind of things were you thinking about? I was thinking about this is another instance where the surge was the bit was the biggest deal with this. And kind of I've been thinking about this for the past month, like the sapphire system scale. Is that the best way of categorizing hurricanes?

I'm not trying to like open a can of worms on the podcast, but you know, you got something that and I just read a tweet by Greg Purcell from the Weather Channel about how there really was nothing more than tropical storm force sustained winds on any land, on land observing site with this storm. Even though it was a hurricane.

So, you know, if that were to be true, well, it wasn't a Category three at landfall by technicality, because it would you would have to have something that was over 74 miles an hour sustained winds. But the impacts of the storm are, you know, like a Category three. I guess what I'm trying to say is, you know, is there is there a better way to categorize hurricanes that take into account the surge, you know, the flooding, the pressure maybe or even the, you know, taking went into account to because it's all comes back know, again, just being at the Jersey Shore comes back to Superstorm Sandy, which was a category one, you know, at landfall.

But, you know the damage did not feel like a category one at the Jersey Shore. So it's just more of a broader picture for me. You know, with this, you know, can we get to a place, you know, is a safer symptom scale the best way to do this weather bell, which is known for their weather models, has put out a criteria by proprietary criteria to model these kind of storms with categories.

I think the snapper system is great in the sense that we've been using it for such a long time that it makes it easy to compare storm the storm, But sometimes when you got your storm surge, it's like a category five, but your winds are like a category one. What you know, you're going to see category one, but wasn't really a category one.

That's my thought. And Sean, going off your point about the the forecast accuracy, I mean, this time in particular, the track forecast was pretty incredible. I looked back and the first forecasts that the National Hurricane Center issued, now, the intensity was off there only at the time of forecasting, I think it was a category one hurricane at landfall.

And that was the one thing that did change in this forecast was the intensity. And it looked like, oh, wait a minute, this is going to be stronger and stronger and stronger. So intensely. Forecasts getting better, but has room for improved. But there was very little improvement for the track forecast because actually the national Hurricane Center's first forecast five days out was only ten miles off.

And where landfall actually happened, landfall happened at Keeton Beach. And the first forecast was picked to make landfall just ten miles west of Keaton Beach. And that is remarkable how good that track forecast was five days out. And there wasn't a whole lot of shifting. One thing, if you're comparing Italia to Ian, we did see that shift in the track forecast from north to south.

With time. This forecast didn't really shift that much. Again, the cone was wider five days out and it got narrow, narrower, but it didn't shift much. You know, if you look at all the different forecasts, it kind of bounced back and forth a little bit west to east. But there was no dramatic shift. Like the focus was always on the big bend for the worse impacts, and that's where the worst impacts was.

And the track forecasts just continue to get better and better. The intensity forecast is lagging behind some, but that's getting better as well. But there's definitely a difference between the track forecasts and the intensity forecast. And I think when it comes to intensity forecasts, I mean, we just keep seeing this happening over and over again where the models tend to under do how quickly these things can intensify when all other conditions are right, when you don't have any wind shear, when there's no dry air, when those waters, as they are in the Gulf, just keep getting warmer.

Warmer and you have above average sea surface temperatures, which they always are. Now, every year we're talking about above average sea surface temperatures in the Gulf. When the conditions are ripe for intensifying, the models continue to reduce under do it. And so a lot of these models were peaking at category three, but it ended up reaching Category four.

Now ultimately making landfall because it went through an eyewall replacement cycle right before landfall as a Category three to reach Category four, which is higher than what the models were indicating. So I think, you know, from a forecasting perspective, since we're still useful as meteorologists, the models are just a tool. I think being more aggressive in the intensity forecast going a little bit higher than what the models are saying is probably the best track when you know that the wind shear is going away, there's no dry air, the water is really warm.

Go ahead and be a little bit more aggressive in that intensity forecast. Maybe think about you know, if the models are saying 110 mile per hour winds, go ahead and forecast 120 mile per hour winds because this keeps happening, these intensification events and these storms overachieving. So I think that's a good strategy moving forward for intensity forecast. So speaking of intensity, I'll kind of Segway next to I think the stat that stood out to me was that there have been 11 named storms that have been retired.

And a lot of that has to do with the time of year that they usually happen, right? I mean, when you start going down through the alphabet, usually get to an eye around peak season. But it's since 2001, there's been 11 of them. And so in Ian, of course, was the last one last season Of course this won't they will come out with whether or not this one is retired until the end of the season but I'm sure that it'll probably be put on that list as well, given the intensity of it, but I don't have thoughts on that.

Yeah, there's something about the ice storms. You got to watch out for these ice storms. It is getting a little bit ridiculous. Like how many times the ice storms have been bad. I mean, you got Ida and Irene and Ian and how many. We have retired and let's be honest, there's just not a lot of names. We have to come up with a new name every time we retire.

Name? Like what name are we going to come up with next? I think like we're scraping the bottom of the barrel here. It's like, Well, I mean, fortunately it's an international name with the World Meteorological Organization comes out these nameless. And so it's not just English names. I believe it's English, Spanish, French. Are those are the three. Those are the big three.

There's my understanding is that, you know, the WMO World Meteorological Organization kind of does this. You know, those are the three languages that are spoken the most in this part of the world, English, Spanish and French, especially for for the folks in Haiti and Martinique in the in the Lesser Antilles. So that's why those names are dominant. But you're right, man.

It's going to run out of names. You are along the coast and you start creeping up and it's like getting up there in the alphabet and you've got an eye coming at you. I feel like the chances of you having a stronger storm freaked me out. But, you know, that's just that's just being nervous about it, I guess.

Better watch out for the next ice storm now. Well, and I think, you know, if you're wondering, like, why ice storms, I think it's just because of the placement. You know, we tend to get our strongest storms this time of year, late August through September into early October. That's tend to be when the major hurricanes occur. And so we usually get some small storms that aren't much of an issue.

Of course, there are certainly been exceptions. Andrew certainly stands out as a major hurricane. That was the first storm of the season. But it just seems like oftentimes we get a lot of little baby storms. If you want to call them that. Storms that are out in middle Atlantic don't hurt anyone. And so we it just so happens that we often hit the ice storm when hurricane season is peaking.

And so, sure enough, these ice storms tend to be stronger ones, that the stronger storms tend to occur near the peak of the hurricane season. So I just think it's EIS placement on the list. We just work through the names one by one and it just so happens that we tend to get our strongest storms and we hit the name.

And looking ahead to 2024, if you're wondering what the name is in 2020 for this year it was a female name. So next year it's going to be a male name. It is Isaac. Isaac It was a storm as a C Isaac in 2024. And then we've got again, there are actually six nameless that we do so again in 2025.

It's Imelda 2026. It's it's a year which I remember that one being that one has come up before it was not retired. So it's still on the list. Then in 2027 it's Imani, and then in 2028, that's as far out as we go. It's Idris. And so then theoretically it's Aliya would come up again in 2029 unless it's retired.

And I think there's a pretty good chance that it's going to be retired, not as devastating a storm as in overall the economic impact, the number of lives lost. Fortunately, it looks like it going to be lower. But still, I mean, the images coming out just still overwhelming. You can just see like, you know, there's again, average we see after every major hurricane landfall.

But the images of devastation that come out, it's really, really saddening. You know, it was pretty interesting. I was watching the Weather Channel on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Jim CHANATRY, the legend at the University of Florida Research Station in Cedar Key. And you just saw the water just moving ashore. And I'm looking at it and I'm like, yeah, Moore is moving to shore and it's bad.

But then like, kind of like, put yourself like you have a house there and you're seeing like, imagine your street. Like even if you don't live at the coast, imagine your street. You got three feet of water just moving down the street. It's not going away, Right. Like, that's pretty terrifying to see, really. You know, it's such a hard this comes back to like something I think we've talked about in the past, like it's so hard to conceptualize something you haven't seen before.

Yeah. And if you're in Cedar Key and that's an area that hasn't had a direct hit from a hurricane, I don't think ever in recorded history. Going back to the 1800s. Yeah, it's tough to put yourself in that spot, but to see like three feet of water or four feet of water or whatever it was is is towering.

I had a friend of mine who lives in Saint Petersburg, and he had he says he's lived there since 2017. He says the worst flooding he saw on his street in Saint Petersburg. And one of his neighbors said they lived there for like 23 years and that was the worst they had. And they had the whole street was covered and it was about anywhere between 6 to 18 inches, which isn't you know, six inches isn't going to get to your house, but 18 inches good.

So that's another takeaway from this storm. Also a question for you guys. Have you guys ever read the book Isaac's Storm, speaking of Isaac? Yes, I have. And it's a fantastic book. If you are a meteorologist or anybody who's interested in whether that is a must read, a must read, a young Joe read that book back. Back in the year 2000, it was about the 1900 Galveston hurricane.

It was a nonfiction book by Erik Larson. So good read. It just shows you, you know, if you have any doubts about, oh, those meteorologists there, they're always wrong. It's like when you read that book, you realize how far we've come and the fact that, you know, the death toll looks like it's going be as low as it is from this storm tells you how far we have come, because in that Galveston storm, over 8000 people died when a Category four made landfall and this time almost a Category four made landfall.

You know, granted not right over a highly populated area. That obviously helps. But the fact that death toll may end up being less than a dozen people, It tells you that we so far in being able to forecast these things because that's what happened in Galveston. They basically had no idea it was they were about to get slammed by a Category four hurricane.

There were a few reports like there's a storm in the Gulf that was it was like ship reports and they didn't know exactly where it was going. So the fact that we can track these things with satellites, keep an eye on we have planes flying out and getting the latest conditions, the the computer models that we have now gotten so good at forecasting where these things are go.

The science in meteorology has advanced so much so that hopefully we will never see a death toll like that from a hurricane again. You know, I, I think it will be tough to do because we've gotten you know, there's always room for improvement. The forecast can definitely get better. The communication get better. I think we've reached a point where we can communicate it well enough that we can get the vast majority of people to a safe place and avoid the worst of the storm.

So on that note, I'll take a short break, but don't go anywhere. And we're going to continue talking about this storm and look ahead to the future. What can we learn from Dallas or better prepared for the next hurricane? We'll talk about that right after this break. And welcome back to Across the Sky. Continuing our discussion and recap of Hurricane Italia, I really want to dive into the community ocean now and how can we better communicate?

We always come back to that. We talk about how the forecasts keep getting better and better, especially the track forecasting. The intensity forecasts are showing improvement to, but it's useless if we can't properly communicate and talk about how people outside the cone are going to feel impacts as well. And what are those conditions going to be like, where the worst occurs and so on.

You're watching the Weather Channel and something stood out to you. Yeah. So, you know, I've got on another screen, I've got the Weather Channel on and I've been watching Cantera do this thing ever since I was an undergrad back in the and the day when I said in, in the 19 something something and look I can talk. He is great.

I love his passion. I love what he brings. He is very real and and I love the way he covers stuff. And he's he's obviously been around the block more than once, but he was talking to a guy who owned a condo there at Cedar Key and and wondering why he didn't evacuate. And and he made the comment.

CANTOR He made the comment right there on on camera that we need to do a better job of communicating what the risk is. This guy didn't leave even though the forecast storm surge was on the order of 10 to 14 feet. And I think it came up to about seven or eight feet. So the guy was his condo was elevated.

So obviously the water rushed underneath of the condo and he was okay because the thing made landfall at low tide. If it had come in at high tide, well, now we have a much different issue. Right. And that dude might not have made it. So how can we do a better job of communicating that risk to encourage these homeowners to leave?

I mean, and to look to his credit, Cantor, he didn't say a bad thing about this guy because this guy, it was fine, right? He was fine. And he did what he thought was right. But he was only two or three feet of water away from probably not still being with us. So I think we've done a very good job at timing and intensity of the storm.

But now I guess the next frontier of this is, yes, communication. But then what we in the business called the mesoscale impacts. Right. How how high what time is that? How far inland is that surge going to go? How how good can we make that part of the forecast? It's it's admittedly not not awfully difficult to say, okay, in the big bend area, there's going to be a 10 to 14 storm surge.

I think any one of us can do that without a lot of fuss. But then it takes more time to say, okay, this point on the big bend at this time, we'll have six or eight or ten feet of storm surge because the tide level is going to be this at this time, because a full moon and all of that other stuff.

That's another whole thing to do. Right. Of course, that's also and I'm going to give credit here to the local weather service officers. That's what they do. Right. And they do that especially well. So, you know, we could sit back, the hurricane center can sit back and give those larger scale things. But man, we a lot of what needs to be done is communication and understanding of what these smaller scale impacts are going to me, you know, where precisely is the eyewall going that's going to bring that 100 mile an hour gust because of all of y'all have done this.

You've talked about hurricanes with the public and the people say, well, I've been through a hurricane and they might have, but they didn't go through the eyewall. So they don't think it's that bad. You know, obviously, we all know that area around the eye, the eyewall is where it's the worst. And if you go through that, you're not going to forget it.

Those kinds of things. What Cantore was talking about earlier today there on the big bend of Florida is what kind of sticks with me going forward. Yes, Sean, I saw that interview as well. And the one thing that stood out to me, one of the reasons the guy said that he decided to stay is that initially Cedar Key was in the cone, but ultimately Cedar Key was removed from the cone.

And so once he wasn't in the cone anymore, he had that sense of, oh, it's going to be okay. Even though they were still communicated. When you saw the forecast slide, Cedar Key is still going to have huge impacts. There's still going to be the landfall is not going to be a Cedar Key. Okay. There are absolutely impacts.

Cedar Key, a tremendous storm surge, tremendous winds. Still not the worst of the wind. No, but still very strong winds and a life threatening storm surge situation in particular. So that was still communicated. But because Cedar Key was not in the cone in his mind, he was safe, even though it wasn't as safe as he really thought. And so I think, again, it comes back to how much focus people put on the cone.

And this storm was a great example of how there are impacts well beyond the cone. Look at what happened in Clearwater Beach in Tampa and San Pete. You know, everybody, you know, at first there was the possibility that, yes, maybe it would hit there. But pretty early on they were removed from the cone. It's like, okay, look, Tampa and Clearwater, they get lucky again.

But there were impacts. In fact, record storm surge in Clearwater Beach, four feet of storm surge. It actually still flooded homes and they were not in the cone, but they absolutely felt impacts from this storm. I think this was a good wakeup call for the Tampa Saint Pete area because we saw what happened when a storm made landfall 100 miles away.

Can you imagine what it had been like if this storm actually made landfall and Tampa and Saint Pete and how much worse it would have been? We just got a preview of this record storm surge for Clearwater Beach. But imagine if that storm had been a lot closer, how bad it would have been. So I think this is a wakeup call for the Tampa Bay area about get ready.

This was another close call. One day your luck is going to run out, though, and things are going to be worse. And again, but coming back to the original message, they weren't in the cone, but they absolutely felt impacts. And how do we communicate to people outside the cone what it's going to be like, Don't let your guard down.

This is what you need to be prepared for. That still seems to be the big challenge. You know, we've been talking about communication forever, really, and I think Katrina was the maybe the genesis of a concentrated effort for those in the weather community to really hunker down on the messaging, you know, as far as evacuating and people not evacuating.

I mean, you know, it has to do with one, you know, you think your home is invincible, you're in it all the time. Nothing usually happens to your house. So that's part of it. It's also the oh, that won't happen to me mentality, too, you know, And a lot of this has been studied by by, you know, psychologists and sociologists over time, you know, and it's hard when, you know, you do evacuate and then not much happens at your place.

You're not as likely to evacuate, you know, in the future. I'm assuming the area in the big bend of Florida, I know it's not very populated, but there's probably a good amount of people who live there, you know, seasonally. And, you know, if they are there in August for whatever reason, and they live in, let's say, Kentucky or Pennsylvania or whatever, you know, they don't have to deal with this.

So this is a new experience for them, too. I think also some people just like, you know, it's a thrill, right? Your you against man against nature and people just like that. Right. That's that's that's probably how we invented fire in some ways more so you know there is that human element to it but but you know where we have fire now, you know we have fire.

We've done all that. You know, we're advanced enough where we can evacuate, you know, when we're told to. But it is a tough choice. It's a personal choice. I mean, it is. It's it is it's tough for for a number of people. I understand that. Yeah. The other thing with me thinking about Katrina, think of the the economic situation in a lot of those areas.

Some of those people just couldn't leave and they did not have the means to leave. And that's one of the things that I wasn't even cognizant of, you know, many years ago, is to understand that there's a lot of people who can't they just can't they don't have the means, much less some place to go. And that's another thing that I think a lot of us doing.

Weather communications have had to come to terms with. But what stands out to me is that nowadays it used to be an issue is like, do the people know this storm is coming? Were they notified? Did they have any idea? And now most of the people who do stay behind and survive, like this guy in Cedar Key, he knew what was coming.

He knew the storm was going. It wasn't like he didn't have any way. He had not read it in the paper. I mean, now there's so many ways you can get the information if you're on the Internet, your local newspaper, TV. I mean, it is hard not to be notified about the storm. So very rarely do you encounter someone who is literally off the grid and has no idea that storm is coming.

They know the storm is coming, but they don't have a good idea of exactly what's going to happen. And then we get into the other reasons of why people even another reason that comes up is people. You know, there are shelters that open up for these storms, but they're concerns about what's available in those shelters. What if they have a family member with special medical needs and are they going to have the equipment in case they have a medical emergency at that shelter to be taken care of?

And is it a shelter that allows pets or not? Because a lot of people do not. They consider the pet a member of the family and they do not want to leave their pets behind. They want to bring the pets with them. But there's concerns about, well, are they going to accept pets at the shelter? And so then that might be a hesitation.

And then finally, it's getting the information. I think that maybe the what needs to happen is like the shelters being very clear about where the shelters are, what we have available, what we are going to allow and not allow. That might help if there's some communication, like maybe, you know, we're getting better at the forecast communication, people being aware of the storm, but maybe giving telling people, well, what should I do?

Maybe that's where the breakdown is, like, where can I go? Because some people may not have a family member. They can go to, you know, just a couple of hours away. There's some people it's like, I don't have any family anywhere close or friends anywhere close. I have nowhere to go, so I'm just going to stay. So maybe getting the word out about where people can go to be safe from the storm.

Maybe that's what we need to do better off. Yeah, I agree. I think the I think the communication of a storm approaching is obviously not what we're lacking on any of this. I think everybody's well aware of that. I think it's just as you all touched on, I think it's just people thinking they can ride it out and just the unknown.

And I hate to say that that, you know, it just it takes having to go through something like that to realize it. That's, you know, maybe next time I'd be a little bit more cautious or thoughtful on on my actions and whether or not I, I evacuate or not. But yeah, it's just something we're probably going to continue to battle, I guess, is meteorologist and then emergency management is going to have to you know, it's something they have to battle as well.

And I think also, you know, where there still can be continued improvement is places that are in the cone, but not at the coast. So much focus is what's going to happen at the coast, and rightfully so, because of the storm surge. Right. You have that added threat in addition to the rain, in addition to the wind. I think sometimes we may just get too carried away.

It's like where's the worst going to be? Which is always like, where is it going to be on the coast? And we saw big impacts in Georgia and South Carolina and North Carolina as well. And though those were covered and I think they were communicated, there was still not as much focus. A lot of people being and back again.

So many more people feel secondary impacts. Not the worst of the storm. They're still building impact from the storm, but not the worst. And sometimes we get so caught up in how bad is it going to be at this one specific spot we forget to like keep remembering, especially in the national conversation. I think, you know, at the local levels, there's a little bit different conversation.

You know, the local meteorologist talking about how it's going to impact this local area. But from the national media perspective, I think there's sometimes a little too much focus on where is the worst going to be. I don't think there was enough in the national conversation about what the impacts were going to be in Georgia and South Carolina and the tremendous amount of rain they were going to see of so many places just seeing six, seven, eight.

I think the the the the highest total so far, just a little over nine and a half inches of rain and is absolutely going to cause flooded roads. And this where this occurred was an inland area, nowhere near the coast, but there was absolutely flooding, inland flooding away from the coast. So many flooded roads that impacted travel. And the tornado threat.

The most incredible video I saw from this storm so far. Oh, yeah, video out of South Carolina of a tornado crossing an interstate, picking up a car and flipping. I mean, just Google, South Carolina, Italia, tornado, and you will come across that video and it is absolutely incredible. It's amazing those people did not die. I mean, the way that car flipped was literally picked up and partially landed on another car.

It is amazing. Those people were not even seriously injured. From what I gather. They were injured, but not seriously. And the fact that they even survived is remarkable. So we sometimes forget about the tornado threat with these hurricanes, too. Again, so much focus on the storm surge, on those strong winds with these hurricanes. But don't forget, usually these hurricanes generate tornadoes as well.

And no, they're not yet. Four EF five tornadoes still, you have zero. You have one tornadoes, 100 mile per hour winds, especially when it's just a tropical storm. And so the winds are coming down. It's like, oh, the wind threat's going down. You still got to watch out for tornadoes because those can be deadly as well. If you get hit by the F0, if one tornado crossing a highway, those people got extremely lucky.

So we can't forget about the tornado threat as well. The tornado, you know, that we did have across the area, you know, we've seen this a couple of times. You know, where, you know, on it's always on the east side, the storm with the tornadoes, you know, that we do see. And then in terms of the impacts, you know, with the you know, you have the surge and you have the tornadoes and you have the flooding and you have the wind, you know, it's a multi impact storm.

I know. We'll I know again, go back to Sam, for instance. Yeah. We talk about the winds alone. But in terms of the storm, it's really a multi impact event. And again, it's when you have a tornado, it just adds to the complexity because sometimes, you know, sometimes you get storm surge and a tornado warning at the same time and you need to figure out where the best place to shelter is.

And sometimes being low isn't good and sometimes being high isn't good either. You know, if you have balls going on at the same time. So it's a game, like I said, sometimes a multi impact event. Otherwise, that's all I have here for, for the storm. Yeah, I think this is just a great conversation to have, like getting a group of meteorologists together after a storm like this and just having a conversation and bouncing ideas off of each other.

You know, what went right, what went wrong, What can we do better? You know, what did we see with how the models performed? Another thing that stood out to me, the good old battle between the European in the GFC is another example. There is this is another example of the European beat out the GFC. Now again, the GFC has gotten better and this is not does not happen every time, but a so many times during these high impact forecasts it gets so much attention.

Oftentimes the European keeps beating the GFC that keeps coming up. And I just got to wonder, it's like, why have we made the GFC model better? The European is not a perfect model. It's not right every time. And there there are still examples where the GFC beats the European. That's why we look at all the models. But it, it just continuously comes up in European versus the GFC.

And once again the European has a tendency to wind out, it says what can we do to make the GFC better? It is absolutely fair to say that the European model was able to latch on to this signal that there would be something a good 24, almost 48 hours before before the GFC was able to to lock on to that signal and my understanding, I'm not a numerical weather prediction, dude, but my understanding is that, you know, the data assimilation is just simply better.

There. First, gas field is just better because they they put more resources into it because the European Center only has to do one kind of market. Whereas here in the states, you know, we have the global forecast system, we run the triple R, there are all these different resolution models for air dispersion and pollution dispersion. So I don't want to be one of these people.

I don't want this to devolve into like bashing Noel because that's not fair at all. They have they are much more on their proverbial plates than than the Europeans do. But yeah, you would want to. Your point is exceedingly well taken. We still need to do better in our in our modeling system, especially for these high impact tropical events for sure.

Yeah. I mean, that's what we're always striving for in meteorology. We want to be as accurate as possible. I feel like, you know, some people are always the butt of jokes. It's like, Oh, you can just be right 50% time, but we're not. We're much more accurate that and we're always striving to be better. We realize there's room for improvement.

We're always trying to improve. And I think it's conversations like that where we get that improvement. What went right, what went wrong, how can we do better? And so that's why we're having the conversation. It was a great conversation. Obviously, this is a story that's not going away any time soon. And with that in mind, we want to reach out to you, our listeners.

Were you impacted by Dalia? Do you have friends or family who were impacted? If you have a story about this storm or just a comment or thought, share it with us. Send us an email at podcasts at Lee Dot Net or leave us a voicemail by calling 6092727099. Again, that email is podcasts at Lee dot net and the phone number is 6092727099.

We'd love to hear from you. And finally, before we wrap up, you know, looking ahead, a lot of good episodes lined up. We're going to be talking about how weather impacts fantasy football. Phone companies, Bounce houses. Yes, bounce houses. Those things that kids jump in at birthday parties. You would be shocked how many times the wind has blown those things over.

So we're going to do a whole episode about that. But next week we're sticking with hurricanes and we've got an interesting topic lined up. Joe, do you want to tell folks more about this one? Yeah, we're talking about how hurricanes, after they pass through an area in the ocean, they actually warmed a deep part of the ocean. It's common knowledge in the weather world that when a hurricane passes through an area, the surface water temperatures cooler.

But we never really looked at what happened deep in the oceans. And yes, the warming in the deeper oceans does have an impact on what happens throughout the rest of hurricane season. So We're talking about that with Sally Water from Brandeis University in Massachusetts. And we also have Noel Gutierrez as well from UC San Diego. You guys won't be able to actually you know, we're an audio only podcast, but Noel, I think, had the best, most awesome looking backdrop in Across the Sky podcast history because he's just shown in San Diego.

But we will be chatting with them and that will be our episode coming out on Monday September the 11th. Yes, it was a great background and a fascinating conversation, so looking forward to it and I think that's going to do it for this week's episode of Across the Sky. But if you enjoy the show, please like great share subscribe.

I know you hear it from everyone producing digital content, but it really does help us out. So thank you for taking the time to do it for LA Enterprise and my fellow meteorologist Joe Martucci in Atlantic City, Sean Sublette in Richmond, Kirsten Lang in Tulsa, I'm Matt Holiner in Chicago. Thanks again for listening, everyone. And we'll talk to you again soon.

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Across the Sky

The Lee Weather Team hosts a fast-paced weekly podcast that tackles hot topics (and cold!) plus what 
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