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Don't be alarmed by "social media-rologists" this hurricane season

Know the difference between alarmist forecast posts and legitimate outlooks
Posted: 6:34 PM, May 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-05 10:57:37-04
beware of alarmist posts

MIDWAY, Fla. (WTXL) -- — It's natural for curiosity and concern to increase as hurricane season begins.

Along with the season comes social media chatter, with weather hobbyists accessing forecast model maps and posting anything that resembles a "threat" in the tropical waters, honing in on a sole worst-case depiction from one single model for a date far beyond any reasonable reliability.

True meteorologists with knowledge and experience know that:

  • An extended forecast is prone to wide day-to-day variability and is generally unreliable
  • There are many more models available to analyze, which likely show a vastly different depiction of the pattern that far ahead in time
  • Some long-range models in the early part of the season often give "false alarms" showing organized or strong tropical systems at an extended range, which eventually disappear as data gets refined and that time frame gets closer

If there's a legitimate threat, it's not going to slip by the First Alert Weather team. We monitor trends on a daily basis and have the experience and know-how to detect actual tropical cyclone development, not just showing freeze-frame images that can be left to incorrect interpretation and lack proper context.

In the season ahead, please follow trusted sources of tropical weather information, including First Alert Weather, the National Hurricane Center, and similar established forecasting organizations to prevent unnecessary shock and alarm from limited-perspective digital postings.