US Dreaded 'cone of uncertainty' will shrink for the coming hurricane season

05:25  17 april  2018
05:25  17 april  2018 Source:

FEMA faulted for failed contracts to deliver hurricane aid

  FEMA faulted for failed contracts to deliver hurricane aid <p>The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded contracts for hurricane supplies without adequately researching whether winning bidders could deliver what they promised, according to a new investigation by Democrats.</p>The investigation followed disclosures by The Associated Press in November that a newly created Florida company with an unproven record had won more than $30 million in FEMA contracts to provide 500,000 tarps and 60,000 rolls of plastic sheeting for repairs after Hurricane Maria damaged tens of thousands of homes in Puerto Rico. That vendor, Bronze Star LLC of St. Cloud, Florida, never delivered those urgently needed supplies.

The shrinking hurricane cone . Source: Brian McNoldy/University of Miami. the National Hurricane Center's ' cone of uncertainty ' shrinks again for the 2017 season and is significantly smaller than in 2008.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017. The DREADED Cone of Uncertainty . Especially those who lived through the seasons of 2004-05 when we were hit with multiple storms and faced wide-spread Hurricane Andrew, a monster Category 5 hurricane was coming right to the center of the state.

a christmas tree in a garden: Residential neighborhoods near the Interstate 10 sit in floodwater in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. © Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS Residential neighborhoods near the Interstate 10 sit in floodwater in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. MIAMI - The National Hurricane Center plans to shrink the dreaded "cone of uncertainty" during the upcoming season based on an improving forecast record.

The Miami-based center made the announcement Monday, along with a series of other changes intended to improve how hurricane forecasters convey warnings to the public. Along with the shrinking cone, forecasters will extend advisories, which include warnings and watches, to 72 hours in advance of a storm, providing a full additional day to prepare. Experimental graphics used last year to depict arrival times for dangerous winds will also become a permanent addition to forecasts.

US awards $18.5 billion in recovery grants for Puerto Rico

  US awards $18.5 billion in recovery grants for Puerto Rico The U.S. government is awarding $18.5 billion worth of disaster recovery grants to Puerto Rico to repair homes, businesses and its crumbling power grid after Hurricane Maria. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said Tuesday it is the largest single amount for such assistance ever awarded. The money will be issued through the agency's Community Development Block Grant program. Patenaude said that Puerto Rico planning officials will develop a disaster recovery plan in upcoming weeks.The announcement comes as 54,000 power customers remain in the dark more than six months after the Category 4 storm hit.

(MORE: What is an Invest?) 2. Storm Surge Watches and Warnings Are Coming . (MORE: What the Cone Means). For the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season , the NHC will use the In fact, since 2007, the size of the cone of uncertainty at 120 hours (or five days) has shrunk by more than 35 percent.

That familiar cone you see during hurricane season actually has some science to it. Brian McNoldy at the uni. of Miami RSMAS put together a great image showing the difference in the cone from 2008 compared to this coming season .

"The changes are to improve information contained in the hurricane center products and to provide it in maybe easier to understand formats," said Dan Brown, a senior hurricane specialist in charge of warning coordination.

The forecast cone has long been a fixture of the hurricane forecasts but frequently debated because the public tends to focus on the center track, ignoring dangerous winds and other hazards that can extend for many more miles.

The cone is calculated using the previous five-year record of forecast errors and drawn to reflect at least two-thirds of the inaccuracies. In other words, the cone provides a probable track about two-thirds of the time. Improved forecast tracks in recent years have allowed forecasters to narrow the cone, Brown said. Two years ago, they enlarged it to include 5-day forecasts and last year added tropical storm force wind projections.

Uncertainty surrounding Rob Gronkowski ‘isn’t even an issue’ for Robert Kraft

  Uncertainty surrounding Rob Gronkowski ‘isn’t even an issue’ for Robert Kraft The official start to offseason workouts is right around the corner for the Patriots, but tight end Rob Gronkowski still has yet to provide a firm indication about his plans for the upcoming season. Owner Robert Kraft, however, is not concerned. How To 10x Your Savings with These 2 New Accounts Learn More Sponsored by MyFinance “It’s not even an issue for me,” Kraft told The Athletic. “I didn’t know about it until I read about it in the paper.”Kraft also said he recently saw Gronkowski at Gillette Stadium.

The dreaded cone of uncertainty sure has shrunk in the past few years. If you want to see how much, check out the above graphic, plucked off the National Hurricane Center's Facebook page.

In your Hurricane Alert! mission, you will make predictions about where a hurricane may hit by using the Cone of Uncertainty tool. You may have seen these cone -shaped diagrams on weather maps during hurricane season .

But he warned the public should still consider the cone an imperfect estimate.

"A third of the time storms can still fall outside the cone," he said. "It doesn't provide you with any indication of potential impacts. It's only showing you where the center is likely to track."

Forecasters also felt improved forecast tracks allowed them to extend warnings and watches to provide more preparation time, Brown said. More people were also poring over forecast graphics that included five-day estimates, so it made sense to incorporate warnings, he said.

Last year the center also began tracking and warning about tropical systems even before they became full-blown tropical depressions or storms if they threatened land within 48 hours, a move made to improve warnings about storms that form in the Gulf of Mexico and provide little time to prepare.

The Weather Prediction Center, which tracks systems once they weaken below tropical depression intensity, will also begin issuing advisories to better warn the public about ongoing hazards such as heavy rain. Last year, the center compiled the information as Hurricane Harvey meandered off the Texas coast and concluded it helped better communicate the potential danger of the immense storm as it continued to do damage, Brown explained.

Powerful Atlas 5 rocket boosts military satellites into space

  Powerful Atlas 5 rocket boosts military satellites into space Taking advantage of near-ideal weather, the rocket's Russian-built RD-180 first stage engine roared to life at 7:13 p.m. ET , followed moments later by ignition of five strap-on solid-fuel boosters, almost instantly pushing the 20-story rocket skyward. Mounted in the rocket's nose cone were a military communications support satellite and another experimental spacecraft carrying multiple experiments, including a free-flying sub-satellite named Mycroft, presumably after Sherlock Holmes' older brother.

hurricane season . J.D. Crowe is the staff cartoonist for the Mobile Register. His darkly clever, provocative images have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, on CNN, and CBS Sports.

Maybe you have wondered about this “ cone of uncertainty .” And as the forecasts get better, the cone shrinks . Now, for the 2017 hurricane season , the NHC is making some changes to the iconic cone to improve communication of hurricane information.

The changes come following a record-breaking year for Atlantic hurricanes - 10 formed in a row including Irma, the most powerful ever recorded outside the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Last year put the warnings tools to the test, Brown said, but does not necessarily drive this year's changes, which were already being planned.

"Improving products is always on our minds," he said.

However, the storms did confirm some efforts, particularly a big push to improve warnings about storm surge.

"Despite the fact three Cat 4 hurricane landfalls occurred in the U.S., there were no known storm surge-related deaths. There may have been other factors, but (storm surge warnings) certainly played into it," he said. "The mapping is helping with better awareness."

The center is also in the midst of a longer-term look at how it issues warnings as part of a 10-year effort to improve intensity forecasts. While forecasters have improved track projections dramatically, rapidly intensifying storms like Irma and Maria remain difficult to forecast.

Visit Miami Herald at

Power largely restored across Puerto Rico after blackout .
Puerto Rico's power company says it has restored electricity to more than 80 percent of customers affected by an island-wide blackout that was caused by an excavator hitting a transmission line. Officials say that more than 1.1 million of its clients now have power.Officials said that power had been restored to more than 1.1 million of its clients following Wednesday's blackout, and that they expected to restore power to the remaining 326,000 customers by noon. The outage marked the first time Puerto Rico was hit by an island-wide blackout since Hurricane Maria struck on Sept. 20 and wiped out as much as 75 percent of the power distribution lines.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!