Is the government exaggerating hurricane threats?

Rush has pushed himself into the middle of this controversy, accusing NOAA, NASA, FEMA and the National Weather Service of hyping the danger of hurricanes in part to further the narrative about “global climate change”

This definitely has some truth to it – whether it is for the reason Rush states is less clear. When I was a child of the 1960s, there were no weather satellites, no doppler radars. The primary way the power of a hurricane was measured was to send a slow moving propeller driven airplane through the eye wall of the storm to measure it. The plane only measured the one spot and only several times a day. Secondary data was reports from ships and launching helium balloons to measure barometric pressure.

Now we have second by second measurement of the storm and categorize the storm by the tiniest spot seen in the radar. We start tracking pre-hurricanes weeks before they may arrive and give them names for storms that will never approach within 1000 miles of land.

Do you agree with Rush?

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3 Responses to Is the government exaggerating hurricane threats?

  1. Fred Stiening says:

    Here is a story Drudge linked to – making similar points

    The same issues apply to winter storms. There is no punishment for exaggerating danger like stating the maximum theoretical limit (“we might get up to 45 inches of snow!”) rather than the likely (“we’ll likely see 3 to 6 inches”). TV and funding of government agencies to buy toys is a big part of the problem.

    One of the TV stations was reporting with glee “We have our first storm related fatality!” – a woman who died of cardiac arrest. Not someone washed away by storm surge, electrocuted when a transformer blew up, crushed by a falling tree. People die of heart attacks every day. For all we know, she died from trying to flee from something unlikely to kill her. So maybe the ambulance couldn’t come in the storm. That doesn’t mean the outcome would have been any different. People die. Every day.

    “WOLF!” This time there really is a wolf!

    Governor McCrory particularly overreacted. We still may get some damage on the Outer Banks, but he could have held off several days, just calmly urging people to pay attention and think about their options if the storm did hit NC. Folks like Lowe’s don’t need the government to tell them to fill up their stores with plywood. The profit motive is a wonderful thing.

  2. briand75 says:

    Fred has a great point on the desire of weather folks for more and more toys. I always thought they cried “wolf” for ratings, but the doomsday screeching may truly be to generate interest in funding the newest radar, computers or whatever technology would be nice to have. Too bad the global warming idea is such a loser. That could generate even more funding for weather-centric people.

  3. JayMar says:

    This is one of the few things I can objectively look from both sides. I heard Rush today and he has a solid point. I do believe the government is in fact dramatizing and magnifying the dangers of hurricanes. I believe, as he states, that from now on every “act of god” will be aggrandized to prove global warming. I find it dirty that the media is in cahoots with the government to push this agenda.

    On the other side of the coin, if they were to minimize the threat and something BIG hits then whatever lives are lost will be blamed on their inability to project the dangers. We would regress to Bush and the Katrina response.

    This is a catch 22 anyway you slice it.

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