jlauderdal wrote:typhoonty wrote:There is exactly 1 perfectly legitimate criticism to have with NHC and it’s not intensity or track. And I say this as someone who expected a landfall in southwest Florida since the storm passed closer than expected to the Isle of Youth and noticing how it was moving east of track Sunday because it looked like crap.
They should’ve put Charlotte and Lee County under a hurricane watch on Sunday Night and not left it from Englewood North. For a few reasons.
1) the Fort Myers market is Charlotte Lee and Collier counties. By not including any county in our DMA under a watch the media severely downplayed the risk potential even given our chances of getting storm surge we’re always higher than Tampa Bay since it was moving north of Marco island unlike Irma. Further 90% of all watches for Lee County in my lifetime start and end at Bonita beach because that’s where the NWS TBW CWA ends. It just didn’t seem worth the risk to not include them.
2) they issued hurricane watches and warnings at 11pm Tuesday and 5AM Wednesday for Charlotte and Lee respectively. Lee County in their infinite stupidity didn’t issue any voluntary or mandatory evacuations until 7AM Wednesday. That was too late for many people. Less than 18 hours before tropical storm force winds start. Not even for the barrier islands. They would have evacuated earlier if we were under a hurricane watch on Sunday as we should’ve been.
3) Irma happened and went east of populated Lee and Collier. So very few got the life threatening storm surge that was advertised. People thought this was another Irma.
I can’t tell you how many people stayed in zone A because they “have a steep driveway “ or evacuated from Zone A to Zone B. I am willing to bet every dollar I have that over 100 people died because very few evacuated. My godmother stayed 1 mile south of Cape Coral yacht club in zone A. I begged and pleaded her to come with me, but she said it was another Irma. I have yet to hear from her since 5pm and also know people who had to vertically evacuate to a second floor. Many did not have that luxury.
The NHC did a FANTASTIC job on the meteorology overall. They did not realize how catastrophic from a social science perspective not issuing a hurricane watch would be for the fort Myers media market Sunday night.
The NHC should never issue watches/warnings based on anything other than their criteria and it's really a very simple criteria. When you start making exceptions(like for DMA or anything else) then you lose consistency and then you lose trust. Your beef is with the government and that's fine. Complacency is always a concern but that's on the citizens. We live in a high-risk area for hurricanes, the media is very good about telling people not to focus on the line. If people stayed in an evacuation zone, tough. Even your grandmother had a warning and she decided to stay and that's ok, she makes her own decision. I have never evacuated but I also have the means to get to my roof and I am at 6.2 ft above sea level. We must stop blaming NHC, government, media and anyone else other than ourselves for preps and ultimately our actions. There is more than ample info when these storms come in.
Just because the media says don’t look at the center of the cone doesn’t mean that people don’t end up looking at the center of the cone. They do. Look at my post history. I brought it up before. The southwest Florida DMA has been hit by 3 major hurricanes before today in the last 18 years. None of them have produced a catastrophic surge event for anything other than barrier islands. This was the first storm where the populated mainland received any significant surge.
I agree that the NHC should be consistent but they were not if you look purely at wind probs graphics they waited until fort myers had over a 50% chance of hurricane conditions while they issued it for englewood when it was 30%.
Also if you are such a meteorological purist that you don’t believe that discretion should ever be used by someone making a watch for the Public for anything other than meteorology then that’s your perogative. Meteorology has been trying to work with social scientists to incorporate this into their messaging for years.
NHC is a government agency that works for the public and not meteorologists. I know my hometown, I know the triggers. They would’ve issued evacuation orders for Charlotte Lee and collier had they issued the watch. They did not and it cost two days of gradual ramp up in evacuations.
The decision cost lives. You cannot change my opinion. It is fact. Widely reported by many media that more Tampa residents were prepared than Fort Myers. We were always in the cone but again, despite everyone saying it a billion time to not focus on the dot, they focus on the dot. Even my mom focuses on the dot and her house got annihilated.