With Hurricane Irma bearing down on the southeastern United States this weekend, cue another round of economic illiteracy from pundits and officials who will try to argue that all those flooded homes, torn-off roofs, and broken windows are actually a good thing for the economy.
Enlarge (credit: Weather Bell) We have written a fair amount at Ars recently about the superiority of the European forecast model, suggesting to readers that they focus on the ensemble runs of this system to get a good handle on track forecasts for Hurricane Irma.
” Irma is the kind of storm where you get thousands of lives lost. This is not going to be the big slow-motion flood like Harvey – this is a real, honest-to-God hurricane.” – Chuck Watson, disaster modeler with Enki Research Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic storm on record according to the NHC, raced across northern Caribbean islands on Wednesday with a “catastrophic mix of fierce winds, surf and rain”, ahead of what appears a virtually guaranteed Florida landfall at the weekend.
Enlarge / Which model did the best job of forecasting Harvey has a hurricane? The European model, of course. (credit: NOAA) As a resident of Houston and a meteorologist, I closely tracked the development or Hurricane Harvey for much of the month of August.
Irma has strengthened to an “extremely dangerous” Category 5 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said in its advisory at 7:45am AST. According to the Hurricane center, NOAA and Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft data indicate Hurricane Irma has intensified into an “extremely dangerous” Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum winds of 175 mph (280 km/h) with higher gusts.
According to the latest warning from the National Hurricane Service (NHS), Harvey looks to be the first hurricane to strike the Texas coast since 2008 . According to NHS models, the storm is expected to gain hurricane-force winds by tomorrow afternoon and make landfall in Texas at 1AM on Saturday.