Tropical Storm Chris has apparently lost its punch and continues to weaken in the Eastern Caribbean. The storm isn’t expected to reach hurricane status and will likely be downgraded to a tropical depression soon. Forecasters had thought the storm would reach Florida by this weekend as a hurricane. But now they say that’s not the case. National Hurricane Center forecaster Jaime Rhome says it’s not easy to calculate a storm’s intensity or path.
“Some storms seem to be just very, very resilient for whatever reason. You could impart strong shear across a storm and it just wouldn’t respond. Others you could just put a little bit of shear across it and it falls apart. So it’s a complicated interplay between the storm itself and the environment in which it’s embedded in.”
Rhome says forecasters have gotten better at predicting a storm’s likely path. But the intensity is much harder to zero in on.
Forecasters say Tropical Storm Chris is no longer a threat to turn in to a hurricane and it will likely continue to weaken. The system is more than a thousand miles from the United States and meteorologists say it’s no easy task to predict a storm’s track or intensity.
Chris has vexed meteorologists with its slow track and yo-yo intensity over the past few days. The National Hurricane Center’s Jaime Rhome says predicting a storm’s strength is the most difficult aspect of forecasting. He says plotting the track is easier but still difficult. Rhome says as hurricane season continues, people might see rapidly changing forecasts.
“We want to be upfront with the public. We want the public to know that we’re not perfect. We don’t want to claim to be perfect and we want them to know that there’s still a lot of mysteries in hurricanes that science has yet to discover.”
Rhome says every storm responds differently to atmospheric conditions like wind shear, air currents and cold fronts. He says forecasters have to walk a tightrope by not downplaying a storm or crying wolf.
Friday, 04 August 2006 01:00
Forcasting ChrisWritten by WGCU Newsroom