Tropical Storm Irene poses a potential threat to our weather this weekend! Now is the time to brush up on your tropical knowledge.
We were curious to see what the average person knew about weather. We stopped random people walking around Lake Ella, showed them two maps of hurricane tracks, and asked them what they thought about the cone of uncertainty shown on the map.
When we asked Gene Jenkins what he thought was happening to the storm when the cone of uncertainty got larger, he answered, "I believe that it's getting wider because it's gonna hit somebody."
Craig Jackson said he thought it meant..."This hurricane's gonna pick up...wind velocity."
Contrary to what people thought, the cone does not get wider because the storm gets bigger or speeds up. Here is what they do mean. You can go on our hurricane headquarters page to find a spaghetti chart. These are derived from various computer models that each give an idea of where they think a storm will end up. Each individual line on the spaghetti chart represents a different computer model. The National Hurricane Center will look at this and they will come up with their own track. Keep in mind that there is a cone of uncertainty so that means the hurricane could end up anywhere within the yellow cone.
Go to the weather section on wctv.tv and click the hurricane headquarters box. There you can find these maps, and forecast discussions from the National Hurricane Center. Weather enthusiast Stewart Chandler finds these helpful when checking in on the tropics. He says, "In that discussion they expand on these areas and help you have a better understanding of number one, the level of potential for becoming a tropical storm, and number two, what general direction they feel that that area of disturbed weather may continue to be."
The knowledge is important, but don't forget to take action! It's also important to prepare yourself NOW by stashing away items in your hurricane kit.