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YCQM: November 4, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: November 4, 2012

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>> Announcer: FROM VERMONT'S MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS. THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. I'M GINA BULLARD. THANK FOR JOINING US TODAY ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME." IT'S BEEN A HECTIC WEEK WITH SUPERSTORM SANDY WREAKING HAVOC ACROSS THE NORTHEAST. OUR METEOROLOGISTS HERE AT CHANNEL 3 HAVE ALSO BEEN VERY BUSY TRACKING THE STORM. JOINING ME THIS MORNING IS MOST OF THE TEAM. DAN DOWLING, GARY SADOWSKY, AND NICK BORELLI. THANK FOR COMING ON AND CHATTING WITH US ABOUT SANDY.

>> THANKS TO LETTING US BE HERE.

>> LET'S FIRST START WITH HOW IT ALL STARTED. HOW DID IT START AND WRR?

>> IT ALL STARTED, OF COURSE, WE USE THESE AND I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BECOME VERY FAMILIAR WITH THESE COMPUTER FORECAST MODELS, WHICH ARE, YOU KNOW, LITTLE CHARTS THAT WE CHECK ALL THE TIME EVERY DAY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THE WEATHER IS GOING TO BE, AND THEY GO OUT ABOUT TWO WEEKS AND USUALLY THEY'RE NOT VERY ACCURATE. YOU GET TO ABOUT TEN DAYS OUT AND THEN YOU START GETTING AN IDEA OF WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN, BUT REALLY ABOUT A WEEK AHEAD OF THIS, WE STARTED GETTING SOME PRETTY GOOD INDICATIONS THAT THERE WAS GOING TO BE A MASSIVE STORM ALONG THE EAST COAST. I CAME IN LAST MONDAY MORNING BECAUSE I'M THE MONDAY -- OR THE MORNING METEOROLOGIST AND I GET THE BALL ROLLING FOR THE REST OF THE DAY, AND THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS A CHATROOM WHERE WE'RE ALL KIND OF INVOLVED IN AND ONE OF THE LEAD FORECASTERS THERE WAS TAKING A LOOK AT IT AND ON HIS LITTLE CHAT, SAID THAT IN MY 20 YEARS OF FORECASTING, I HAVE NEVER SEEN A SCENARIO THIS BAD. THIS LOOKS LIKE JUST THE WORST-CASE SCENARIO FOR NEW YORK IF THIS PANS OUT AND RIGHT AWAY, THAT GETS YOUR ATTENTION.

>> RIGHT.

>> AND THAT'S HOW IT STARTED. USUALLY, SOMETIMES THAT CAN CHANGE, SO WAIT FOR FURTHER MODEL RUNS TO COME IN, BUT THE NEXT DAY, IT WAS STILL THERE AND IN FACT, A LITTLE STRONGER, AND HE PUT OUT A LITTLE STRONGER STATEMENT SAYING THIS COULD BE HISTORIC. AND IT KIND OF WENT FROM THERE.

>> RIGHT. AND YOU ALL WERE SENDING OUT EMAILS WITH UPDATES AND THEY SEEMED TO BE GETTING LONGER AND LONGER AND MADE US FEEL LIKE, OKAY, THIS IS SERIOUS. WHAT MADE THIS STORM SO BIG?

>> WHAT MADE IT SO BIG WAS IT WAS REALLY A COMBINATION OF TWO DIFFERENT STORMS. OF COURSE, YOU HAD HURRICANE SANDY WHICH FORMED IN THE CARIBBEAN SOUTH OF JAMAICA AND STRENGTHENED BEFORE IT HIT JAMAICA AS A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE AND PUSHED NORTH AND WAS COMING IN OUR DIRECTION, BUT WE ALSO HAD A VERY STRONG DISTUSH BANS COMING DOWN OUT OF CANADA, A COLD FRONT WITH LOW PRESSURE FORMING ON IT, WHICH WOULD HAVE TURNED INTO A NOR'EASTER, A PRETTY STRONG NOR EASTER ALL BY ITSELF, BUT THESE TWO ARE GOING TO COME TOGETHER AT EXACTLY THE SAME POINT IN TIME AND JUST TURN INTO ONE SUPERSTORM, AND IT DID.

>> VERMONT DEFINITELY MISSED A LOT OF THAT SUPERSTORM. LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT SPECIFICALLY HAPPENED HERE.

>> WELL, I THINK IT WAS JUST A SITUATION, BECAUSE FROM A FORECASTING STANDPOINT, EARLY IN THE GAME YOU HAD A COUPLE FORECAST MODELS MAKING IT THIS SUPERSTORM AND YOU STILL HAD SOME OF THEM SWINGING IT OUT TO SEA EARLY IN THE PROCESS. I THINK ONCE WE SAW SANDY FORM, I THINK IT WAS A WEEK BEFORE THE STORM ON TUESDAY BEFORE THE STORM, WE KNEW THIS WOULD HAVE SORT OF AN EFFECT. THERE WAS A LOT OF STORMS MOVING OUT TO SEA AND A COUPLE OF TRACKS BRINGING IT RIGHT ON TO THE EAST COAST AND I THINK EARLY IN THE PROCESS, I THINK IT WAS MAYBE TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY BEFORE THE STORM, SOME OF IT ACTUALLY HAD IT COMING INTO NEW ENGLAND FOR A BRIEF PERIOD OF TIME BEFORE THE TRACK FINALLY STARTED TO BRING IT SOUTH INTO THE NEW JERSEY COAST, WHICH IS WHERE IT EVENTUALLY HIT, AND I THINK TRYING TO ALERT THE PUBLIC, AS TO SAY, HEY, THIS IS SOMETHING YOU NEED TO WATCH OUT FOR, BUT, YOU KNOW, STILL IT'S A LONG WAYS AWAY, I THINK MADE IT AN INTERESTING THING TO FORECAST AND REALLY BEGAN TO SAY, OKAY, THIS COULD BE A SERIOUS STORM FOR VERMONT.

>> THE DAY OF, I MEAN IT WAS 3:00 AND I WAS ASKING YOU GUYS, OKAY, WHERE SHOULD WE GO, WHERE IS THE WIND GOING TO BE THE STRONGEST, AND WE REALLY DIDN'T GET THAT STRONG A WINDS. WHY DIDN'T THAT HAPPEN?

>> WE DID GET SOME OF THOSE STRONGER WINDS. THEY JUST HAPPENED IN MORE LOCALIZED AREAS. THE WIND TRAJECTORY WAS ACTUALLY FROM THE SOUTHEAST AND EVENTUALLY THE EAST, AND WITH A FLOW LIKE THAT, WE HAVE THE MOUNTAINS TO CONTEND WITH AS WELL OBVIOUSLY, AND WHAT HAPPENS IS YOU WILL GET THE WIND TO RISE OVER THE MOUNTAINS, BUT ON THE BACK SIDE, THE WESTERN SLOPES, IT HAS A TENDENCY TO GO DOWN THE MOUNTAIN AND SPEED UP, WHICH IS WHAT WE CALL A DOWNSLOPING EFFECT, SO IN THOSE AREAS, THE WESTERN SLOPES, THEY STILL DID GET THE 50 TO 60-MILE-AN-HOUR WIND GUSTS WHERE THE VALLEY DIDN'T AND PART OF THE REASON FOR THAT WAS THE STORM WAS JUST A LITTLE TOO FAR SOUTH. WE HAD WHAT WE CALL A TIGHT PRESSURE GRADIENT, WHICH BASICALLY MEANS THE TIGHTER THE PRESSURE GRADIENT, THE FASTER THE WIND, BUT WE WERE JUST OUT OF IT ENOUGH SO THE VALLEY AREAS DIDN'T GET THE STRONG WINDS ALOFT TO MIX DOWN TO THE SURFACE, SO WE ESCAPED IT THANKFULLY AND WE REALLY DODGED A BULLET ON THIS ONE BECAUSE THERE WAS A LOT OF DAMAGE TO THE SOUTH.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE DOWNGRADE. IT WENT FROM A HURRICANE TO A TROPICAL STORM. HOW DOES THAT WORK, EXACTLY?

>> A HURRICANE, THEY HAVE DIFFERENT STRUCTURES. A HURRICANE IS AN ENTITY IN ITSELF. IT'S AN AREA OF VERY STRONG LOW PRESSURE, BUT IN THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE, IT ACTUALLY HAS A BUBBLE OF HIGH PRESSURE OVER IT AND KIND OF PUSHES DOWN AND THAT'S WHY YOU GET THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE WHICH IS, YOU KNOW, KIND OF A CLEAR AREA IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT. YOU'VE HEARD OF THAT, YOU'RE IN THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE, IT'S SUNNY AND CALM AND THERE'S ACTUALLY HIGH PRESSURE PUSHING DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS STORM, WHAT THEY CALL A WARM CORE LOW. THE OTHER TYPE OF LOW PRESSURE IS THE KIND THAT WE USUALLY GET, NOR'EASTERS ARE A COLD CORE LOW AND THAT'S A LOW PRESSURE THAT'S LOW PRESSURE ALL THE WAY UP TO THE TOP OF THE ATMOSPHERE, SO STRUCTURALLY, IT'S A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT AND THEN WEATHER SERVICE FOLKS HAD TROUBLE WITH THIS BECAUSE IF IT'S A HURRICANE, IT'S COMING AT YOU. THEY PUT UP HURRICANE WARNINGS ALONG THE COAST. WHAT HAPPENED HERE, THE TWO JOINED UP AND IT BASICALLY BECAME A GIANT NOR'EASTER, IT WAS NO LONGER A HURRICANE, BUT STILL HURRICANE FORCE WINDS AND THAT'S WHERE THEY PUT UP A HIGH WIND WARNING IN THAT AREA, LIKE NEW YORK CITY TO NEW JERSEY, A HIGH WIND WARNING OF HURRICANE FORCE WINDS BUT DIDN'T CALL IT A HURRICANE WARNING.

>> RIGHT. YOU POOR WEATHER PEOPLE. [ LAUGHTER ]

>> IT WAS A MASSIVE STORM. IT AFFECTED EVERYONE FROM BOSTON ALL THE WAY OVER TO WEST VIRGINIA AND KENTUCKY AND YOU HAD A VARIETY OF WEATHER ON ALL SIDES OF THIS STORM. YOU HAD THE WIND GUSTS AND THE FLOODING ALONG THE NEW ENGLAND COAST AND YOU HAD TWO OR THREE FEET OF SNOW FALLING IN WEST VIRGINIA, SO A MASSIVE WEATHER EFFECT ON A LOT OF PEOPLE AND CERTAINLY CREATED QUITE A BIT OF DAMAGE FOR MOST FOLKS.

>> THAT DEFINITELY STRUCK ME, THE FACT IT WAS 70 DEGREES HERE, WEST VIRGINIA, THEY'RE GETTING DUMPED ON WITH SNOW. HOW EXACTLY DOES THAT WORK? HOW CAN IT BE SO DIFFERENT?

>> IT'S A VERY USUALLY SET-UP AS GARY AND DAN ALLUDED TO. WE HAVE TWO SYSTEMS COMBINING WHERE YOU HAVE A VERY STRONG COLD FRONT TO THE WEST AND WE HAVE THIS TROPICAL SYSTEM COMING TOGETHER AND BASICALLY WE HAVE THE SYSTEMS IN THE NORTHERN HEM MISS ATMOSPHERE ROTATING COUNTERCLOCKWISE LOW PRESSURE AREAS, SO YOU HAVE IMAGINE THE WINDS GOING AROUND THIS LOW AND THE COLD AIR GETTING WRAPPED INTO THE SOUTH AND WEST. MEANWHILE TO THE NORTH OF THE STORM, YOU HAVE WARM AIR GETTING WRAPPED IN, SO TEMPERATURES WERE ACTUALLY PRETTY WARM INTO THE 60s WHERE SOUTHERN AREAS WERE WRAPPING THIS COLD AIR THAT ORIGINATED IN CANADA AND WE SAW THE CRAZY SNOWFALL AMOUNTS. IN FACT, THERE'S ACTUALLY ONE SKI AREA IN NORTH CAROLINA THAT OPENED ON HALLOWEEN. THAT'S INCREDIBLE.

>> YOU'RE SUCH A SKIER.

>> I CAN'T WAIT TO SKI.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE WHOLE IDEA OF, YOU KNOW, IRENE VERSUS SANDY. PEOPLE KEPT BRINGING THIS UP AND COMPARING IRENE AND SANDY. THERE IS A COMPARISON TO BE MADE THERE?

>> WELL, THIS WAS ONE OF THE REASONS THAT WE STARTED PUTTING OUT WARNINGS SO QUICKLY IS BECAUSE IRENE IS SO FRESH ON EVERYBODY'S MIND AND YOU CAN REMEMBER THE DEVASTATION THAT IT CAUSED HERE, AND WE WORRIED THAT THIS WOULD HAVE SIMILAR EFFECTS, ESPECIALLY WHEN WE WEREN'T SURE OF THE EXACT TRACK OF THE STORM YET. WOULD WE GET A LOT OF RAIN WITH THIS, WOULD WE GET MORE WIND. AND AS WE GOT CLOSER TO THE DAY THAT THE STORM WAS GOING TO FORM, WE COULD KIND OF TELL THAT WIND WAS GOING TO BE MORE OF A PROBLEM THAN THE RAIN. RAIN WAS GOING TO BE A LITTLE BIT FARTHER TO THE SOUTH, BUT WE STILL WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYBODY KNEW ABOUT IT. EVEN WITH IRENE, EVEN THOUGH WE HAD PLENTY OF WARNING WITH THAT, I THINK A LOT OF FOLKS REALLY DIDN'T BELIEVE THAT SUCH A THING WOULD HAPPEN AND THEY WERE CAUGHT BY SURPRISE AND WE DIDN'T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN AGAIN IN THIS CASE.

>> THURSDAY AND FRIDAY BEFORE THE STORM, WE HAD A PRETTY GOOD IDEA AT THAT POINT THAT THERE WAS NOT GOING TO BE IRENE, AT LEAST FOR US. WE WERE GOING TO EXPECT WINDS AROUND THE REGION, BUT NOT THE FIND OF FLASH FLOODING RAIN. WE KNEW IT WOULD BE A SYSTEM THAT WAS GOING TO BE AROUND FOR A WHILE LONGER AND WIN WAS GOING TO BE THE MAJOR PLAYER FOR US AT LEAST IN VERMONT RATHER THAN THE KIND OF RAIN. NOW, IN NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY, IT WAS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SITUATION FOR THEM. IRENE REALLY SKIRTED THEM BY LAST YEAR AND AFFECTED US MORE DIRECTLY, BUT IT WAS A MUCH BIGGER STORM, SANDY, FOR THEM BECAUSE THEY HAD A MUCH BIGGER DIRECT HIT AND THEY HAD THE FLOOD AND SURGE AND WIND AND DAMAGE FROM THAT. SO TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SYSTEMS. THEY GOT THE BRUNT OF IT THIS TIME WHEREAS WE PRETTY MUCH GOT THE BRUNT OF IRENE LAST YEAR.

>> HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO FORECAST SOMETHING LIKE THIS? WERE YOU SURPRISED DAY OF THAT SANDY WASN'T AS BIG AS MAYBE YOU THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE OR DID YOU KNOW ALL ALONG THAT IT WASN'T GOING TO BE THAT BAD IN VERMONT?

>> THAT'S JUST THE THING. IT WAS AS BIG AS WE THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE, JUST NOT EXACTLY HERE AND THAT'S MORE BECAUSE WE WERE ON THE FRINGES OF THE STORM RATHER THAN DEAD CENTER OF THIS THING, WHICH THE DAMAGE, TERRIBLE DAMAGE THAT'S HAPPENED DOWN IN NEW YORK CITY AND NEW JERSEY AND PLACES DOWN THERE, AND SO, YEAH, THAT'S KIND OF A TOUGH ONE. YOU KNOW, WE GET NUMBERS IN ON THESE FORECAST MODELS AND WE TRY TO DO OUR BEST WITH WHAT WE THINK IS GOING TO HAPPEN. THERE WERE SOME STRONG WIND GUSTS, BUT THEY WERE JUST A LITTLE BIT LOWER THAN WHAT WE EXPECTED, AND THAT'S A GOOD THING. WE WOULD RATHER OVERWARN AND GET PEOPLE PREPARED FOR THE WORST.

>> RIGHT.

>> AND THEN HAVE IT TURN OUT BETTER THAN THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

>> CERTAINLY THE POTENTIAL WAS THERE FOR DAMAGING WINDS STATEWIDE ACROSS VERMONT AND I THINK WE GOT LUCKY MORE THAN ANYTHING AND DIDN'T GET THE KIND OF DAMAGE THAT WE COULD HAVE GOTTEN, AND LIKE GARY SAID, BETTER TO AT LEAST LET PEOPLE KNOW THERE'S THE POTENTIAL FOR GUSTS 60, 70 MILES PER HOUR, THAN TO SAY LET'S BE ON THE SAFE SIDE AND HAVE THINGS WORK OUT DIFFERENTLY.

>> LAST YEAR WE HAD FLOODING IN THE SPRING, WE ALSO HAD IRENE. WHAT'S 2012 LOOKING LIKE?

>> 2012, UP TO NOW?

>> YEAH, UP TO NOW, AND 2013. CAN YOU PREDICT THAT WITH WHAT'S BEEN GOING ON OR IS IT --

>> IT'S TOUGH TO SAY. WE DO GET SOME INDICATIONS OF WHAT'S GOING ON, YOU KNOW, LONG-RANGE. WE GET SOME LONG-RANGE, WE DON'T LIKE TO CALL THEM FORECASTS, BUT OUTLOOKS, AND BASICALLY IT'S JUST DO YOU HAVE A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF BEING ABOVE R ABOVE AVERAGE WITH THE TEMPERATURES OR BELOW AVERAGE WITH THE TEMPERATURES, ABOVE AVERAGE PRECIPITATION OR BELOW AVERAGE. WE TAKE A LOOK AT THOSE AND, YOU KNOW, THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER PUTS OUT THESE OUTLOOKS. THEY DO IT FOR THE MONTH, THEY DO IT FOR THE SEASON. SO, YOU KNOW, WE ALREADY HAVE A LOOK AT WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE FOR THE WINTER SEASON AND FOR US, IT'S GOING TO BE ABOUT AVERAGE UP HERE IN THE NORTHEAST ACCORDING TO THEM.

>> WHAT ABOUT THE FARMERS ALMANAC?

>> I DON'T THINK I LOOK AT THAT.

>> THEY'RE PREDICTING A PRETTY SNOWY WINTER.

>> THEY PREDICTED A VERY SNOWY AND COLD WINTER LAST WINTER.

>> OH, OKAY.

>> WHAT I'LL TELL YOU, THOUGH, IS PART OF THE REASON THAT SANDY ACTUALLY MADE THIS ONSHORE TRACK IS BECAUSE WHEF WHAT WE CALL -- WE HAVE WHAT A CALL A BLOCKING PATTERN WHERE THERE'S A BIG AREA OF HIGH PRESSURE UP AROUND GREEN LAND AND IF WE SEE THIS PERSIST THROUGH THE WINTER MONTHS IT'S CONDUCIVE TO LARGE COASTAL STORMS AND THAT WOULD LEAD TO ABOVE AVERAGE SNOWFALL BUT IT'S A MATTER OF HOW LONG WE GET THIS BLOCKING PATTERN TO SET UP AND WE DON'T KNOW THAT.

>> DID SANDY SET RECORDS AS TO WEATHER?

>> IT DID SET A RECORD OF PRESSURE IT.

>> WAS ONE OF THE STRONGEST STORMS LOW PRESSURE WISE. SANDY WAS MASSIVE, AT TIMED IS TO TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXCEEDING AN AREA 500 MILES FROM THE CENTER OF THE STORM. THAT'S A HUGE AMOUNTS REAM ESTATE AND WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, THIS STORM IS GOING TO BE ANONG ONE OF THE LARGEST EXPERIENCED IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC.

>> I FEEL LIKE LOW PRESSURE WAS A BUZZ WORD FOR THIS STORM. PEOPLE KEPT SAYING IT. FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE A WEATHER BACKGROUND, WHAT EXACTLY DOES THAT MEAN AND WHAT DOES IT DO?

>> PRESSURE IS THE WEIGHT OF THE AREA, BASICALLY, AND TELLS YOU, YOU KNOW, WHEN THE AIR MOLECULES ARE KIND OF PUSHING DOWN ON THE GROUND. IF IT'S LOW, IT MEANS THEY'RE VERY FEW AIR MOLECULES WHERE IF IT'S HIGH, THEY'RE HEADED UP AND THAT'S WHY YOU GET LOW PRESSURE AND THE FASTER THE AIR RISES, THE WORTH THE WEATHER IS GOING TO BE -- WORST THE WEATHER IS GOING TO BE. THAT'S A SIMPLE WAY OF PUTTING IT. YEAH, METEOROLOGISTS USE DIFFERENT UNITS FOR -- LIKE MILLIBARS AND THIS STORM WAS DOWN TO 940 MILLIBARS. USUALLY WE GIVE IT TO FOLKS IN TERMS OF INCHES, YOU KNOW.

>> RIGHT.

>> 30.01 INCHES AND FALLING. THIS WAS 27.76 INCHES, JUST TO COMPARE IT TO A NUMBER THAT MOST PEOPLE ARE KIND OF FAMILIAR WITH, WHICH IS VERY LOW. AND IT STRENGTHENED QUITE A BIT WHEN THE HURRICANE CAME AND JOINED UP WITH THE OTHER STORM, THAT PRESSURE FELL LIKE A ROCK. AND THAT THING JUST BLEW UP RIGHT BEFORE IT CAME ONSHORE AND THAT'S WHAT WE WERE LOOKING AT ALL WEEK LONG AND THAT'S WHAT HAD US SO CONCERNED AND IT DID HAPPEN RIGHT TO THE EPICENTER OF THAT STORM.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE OVERALL, AS METEOROLOGISTS, HAS IT BEEN CHANGING? ESPECIALLY WITH SOCIAL MEDIA COMING IN TO THE PICTURE?

>> I THINK IT'S BEEN A GREAT THING FOR US IN THE WEATHER DEPARTMENT. YOU REMEMBER TEN YEARS AGO, WE HAD A 6:00 NEWS AND A 10:00 NEWS AND THAT'S PRETTY MUCH IT. IT'S AMAZING TO SEE HOW MUCH HAS BEEN ADDED FOR US IN THE LAST DECADE OR SO. WE HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA AND APPS AND WEBSITES AND EVERYTHING ELSE. INSTEAD OF JUST A ONE-WAY CONVERSATION OF US TALKING TO THE VIEWER, I FEEL LIKE THERE'S A MUCH BETTER DIALOGUE NOW WE HAVE BETWEEN THEM AND US AND OUR VIEWERS PROVIDE US WITH SO MUCH VALUABLE INFORMATION. WE GET SPOTTERS, WE GET PHOTOS, ACCOUNTS OF WHAT'S HAPPENING THERE ON THE GROUND. WE CAN'T SEE EVERYTHING THAT'S GOING ON ACROSS OUR VIEWING AREA, SO TO HAVE VIEWERS IN SUCH CLOSE CONTACT WITH US, I THINK, IS AN INVALUABLE TOOL THAT ALLOWS US TO GET EVEN BETTER WEATHER DATA IN AND HOPEFULLY I WOULD THINK CREATE BETTER FORECASTS AND I THINK IT'S BEEN GREAT AND I THINK YOU WILL SEE THAT CONTINUING AS FAR AS THAT ENGAGEMENT BETWEEN US AND OUR VIEWERS.

>> AND IT JUST SO HAPPENED THAT THE CHANNEL 3 WEATHER APP ROLLED OUT THE SAME DAY AS SANDY.

>> RIGHT.

>> HOW CAN THAT KIND OF APP BE HELPFUL TO A VIEWER?

>> WELL, I THINK WHAT IT WAS WE WANTED WHEN WE WERE CREATING AN APP WAS SOMETHING THE VIEWERS COULD ACCESS INSTANTLY AND GET THE LATEST RADAR. I THINK HAVING GOOD RADAR ON A MOBILE DEVICE IS INVALUABLE AND I THINK IF YOU GO TO THE APP STORE AND GO TO THE GOOGLE PLAY STORE AND DOWNLOAD THE WCAX WEATHER APP, YOU MEAN SEE THAT RIGHT AWAY. YOU CAN ACCESS RADAR, YOU CAN MOVE IT AROUND, AND IT ALSO GIVES YOU WARNINGS WHEN THEY COME OUT. YOU ALSO HAVE THE LATEST WEATHER FORECASTS, HOURLY FORECASTS, AND, YOU KNOW, TO HAVE A TOOL LIKE THAT IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND I THINK IS GREAT AND SHOWS YOU HOW FAR TECHNOLOGY HAS COME AND GREAT FOR US TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THAT AVAILABLE TO OUR VIEWERS.

>> HAS IT CHANGED THE WAY -- OR HAS YOUR ROLE CHANGED AT ALL WHEN IT COMES TO FORECASTING AND HOW YOU DO IT?

>> YEAH, DEFINITELY. WE'RE MORE ON TOP OF THINGS. THAT'S NOT A GOOD WAY TO PUT IT. [ LAUGHTER ] WE HAVE TO BE AT IT CONSTANTLY. LET'S PUT IT TO YOU THAT WAY. BECAUSE IT USED TO BE PEOPLE HAD TO WAIT UNTIL THE NEWSCAST WAS ON TO SEE WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH THE WEATHER AND NOW THEY CAN GET IT INSTANTLY OFF THE WEB, OFF THEIR PHONES, AND WE'RE THE ONES THAT HAVE TO UPDATE THINGS, SO WHEN THINGS CHANGE, WE'RE RIGHT THERE AND IT IMMEDIATELY CHANGES, WHEREAS BEFORE IT WAS LIKE, WELL, THE SHOW DOESN'T START UNTIL 6:00, WE HAVE A WHILE BEFORE WE CAN UPDATE THINGS. BUT WE ARE AT IT 24/7 THESE DAYS.

>> AND WHAT'S NICE TOO IS WITH ALL THESE VIEWER REPORTS COMING IN, WE CAN SEE IF WE HAVE TO TWEAK THE FORECAST A LITTLE BIT. WE GET A LOT BETTER SENSE OF WHAT'S GOING ON ACROSS THE AREA AND IF WIND SPEEDS AREN'T QUITE LIVING UP TO THE POTENTIAL, WE HAVE TO TAPER BACK THE FORECAST AND SAYING IT WASN'T QUITE RIGHT, AND WE OVERDID THINGS A LITTLE BIT. WE HAVE TO UPDATE 24/7 AND IT WORKS GREAT BECAUSE WE HAVE THE VIEWERS GIVING US A LOT MORE FEEDBACK IN FORECASTS UP TO DATE.

>> AND WITH STORMS LIKE IRENE AND SANDY, WALK US THROUGH HOW YOU FORECAST AND HOW YOU GET THAT INFORMATION TO TELL US.

>> EVERYTHING STARTS WITH OUR MODELS. WE TALK ABOUT EARLY IN THE FORECAST PROCESS, WE HAVE A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT ROAD MAPS, SO TO SPEAK. IMAGINE HAVING A SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM ON A MAP AND SAYING OKAY, THIS IS WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN IN SEVEN DAYS. WE HAVE SEVEN SOLUTIONS AND DIFFERENT THINGS AND THE KEY FOR METEOROLOGISTS IS TRY TO PICK ONE OF THOSE IS RIGHT AND AS YOU GET CLOSER TO THE STORM, HOPEFULLY THOSE, ALL THOSE DIFFERENT ROAD MAPS FOR THAT STORM ALL KIND OF COME TOGETHER AND SAY, OKAY, NOW WE'RE CONVERGING ON A SOLUTION THAT IS THE MOST LIKELY TO BE AND I THINK THAT'S WHERE IT STARTS AND WE CONTINUE TO DEVELOP THE PROCESS AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE STORM DATE.

>> I LIKE TO MAKE AN ANALOGY OF GOLF, IF YOU PLAY GOLF.

>> OKAY.

>> IF YOU'RE PUTTING AND YOU HAVE YOUR CADDY GIVING YOU ADVICE, HE'S OVER HERE AND HE'S GOING, "IT'S GOING TO BREAK FROM THE LEFT TO THE RIGHT," BUT YOU HAVE ANOTHER CADDY OVER HERE LOOKING AT IT FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. "NO, YOU KNOW WHAT? IT'S GOING TO BREAK FROM THE RIGHT TO THE LEFT." YOU'RE THE GUY WITH THE MONEY AND WHO DO YOU LISTEN TO? AND THE LONGER THE PUTT, THE HARDER IT IS TO GET AT AND THAT'S KIND OF LIKE WHAT THE MODELS ARE. THE MODELS ARE LIKE YOUR CADDIES GIVING YOU ADVICE AND YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT, MAYBE THIS CADDY HAS BEEN MORE RELIABLE IN THE PAST AND YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO HIM OR HER.

>> I KNOW IN NEWS, WE'RE CONSTANTLY LEARNING HOW TO DO SOMETHING BETTER OR TWEAK THINGS. DO STORMS LIKE THIS CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT HOW YOU FORECAST? DO YOU LEARN ANYTHING AND MOVE FORWARD IN ANY WAY?

>> ABSOLUTELY. I THINK, FOR EXAMPLE, THIS PARTICULAR STORM, PART OF THE PROBLEM FORECASTING IT INITIALLY WAS THAT WHEN YOU HAVE THESE BIG EVENTS, OFTEN WE'LL LIKE HISTORICALLY AT WHAT HAPPENS, BUT WE DIDN'T REALLY HAVE A MODEL FOR THIS PARTICULAR STORM BECAUSE IT WAS A USUAL SET-UP GETTING THIS COLD AIR COME LIEDING WITH THE HURRICANE SO WHEN YOU SEE HOW THE EVENTS EVOLVE AND THE ULTIMATE OUTCOME, YOU LEARN MORE IN THE FUTURE TO LOOK BACK ON IF THIS HAPPENS AGAIN, AND AT THE SAME TIME, AT THE SEASON CHANGES, MODELS WE LOOK AT HAVE A TENDENCY TO OUTPERFORM ONE ANOTHER, YOU HAVE A BETTER CADDY AS GARY LIKES TO PUT IT, SO YOU GET A BETTER SENSE OF HOW THE MODELS ARE DOING AND YOU HAVE A SENSE TO FAVOR THAT MODEL AS IT STARTS TO PERFORM BETTER AND THINGS CHANGE THROUGH THE SEASON. SO YOU BASICALLY USE YOUR EXPERIENCE OVER THE YEARS TO DEVELOP YOUR FORECASTING SKILLS AND THE FORECASTING MODELS THEMSELVES ARE BEING IMPROVED KNEW THE YEARS TOO WITH MORE TECHNOLOGY AND WHAT NOT, SO WE'VE COME A LONG WAYS AND EVEN THE RELATIVELY SHORT TIME THAT I'VE BEEN FORECASTING, TEN YEARS OR SO, I'VE SEEN A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE MODELS AND I'M SURE THESE GUYS CAN ATTEST TO THAT AS WELL.

>> FOR SURE.

>> AND ONE OTHER THING IS THAT THIS STORM, ACTUALLY THERE WAS A STORM LIKE IT AND I THINK WE OFTEN HEAR THE PERFECT STORM, AND THAT WAS ALSO A STORM WHERE AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW COLLIDED WITH A HURRICANE NAMED GRACE AND THEY FORMED INTO A GIANT PERFECT STORM, BUT THAT ONE WAS OVER THE OCEAN AND AFFECTED SOME FISHING BOATS AND KILLED GEORGE CLOONEY IN A MOVIE, BUT THIS ONE ARRIVED IN THE MOST POPULATED PART OF THE UNITED STATES AND THAT WAS A BIG DIFFERENCE.

>> I THINK WE WERE TALKING ABOUT IMPACTS EARLIER AND IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THIS STORM IS INCREDIBLE. MILLIONS OF PEOPLE LIVING IN THAT AREA FROM CONNECTICUT ALL THE WAY DOWN TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND THEY SAY IT'S GOING STOCK ONE OF THE TOP TEN MOST EXPENSIVE STORMS WE'VE EVER HAD, AND TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN THE DAMAGE THAT IT CAUSED.

>> IS THERE A WAY TO GENERICALLY GO THROUGH EACH OF THOSE STATES AND WHAT HAPPENED IN NEW YORK SEEMED TO BE THE HARDEST HIT.

>> PART OF THE REASON OR THE MAIN REASON NEW YORK WAS HARDEST HIT AND REALLY MUCH OF THE COASTLINE HAD TO DO WITH THE TRACK AND ALSO A COMBINATION OF OTHER FACTORS. WE HAVE THIS AREA OF LOW PRESSURE, SUPERSTORM, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO INDICATE, AND IT TRACKED RIGHT INTO THE COAST ON NEW JERSEY AT THE VERY SOUTHERN POINT. NORTH OF THAT, WE HAVE THIS FLOW THAT IS ONSHORE. NOW, THE SIZE OF THIS STORM WAS MASSIVE. WE HAD THOSE WINDS EXTENDING AROUND 500 MILES OUTSIDE OF THE CENTER, 39 MILES PER HOUR OR GREATER. SO IMAGINE YOU HAVE THIS MASSIVE WINDS BLOWING ALL THIS OCEAN WATER TOWARDS THE SHORE, SO YOU'RE GETTING ALL THIS ENERGY AND COUPLED WITH THE HIGH TIDE, ASTRONOMICALLY HIGH WITH THE FULL MOON, SO YOU HAVE ALL THESE FACTORS COMING TOGETHER AND THE OCEAN LEVEL JUST WAS RECORD LEVELS, RECORD STORM SURGE AND THAT'S REALLY WHAT THE BIG PROBLEM WAS. WHY YOU SAW THE SUBWAYS GO UNDER WATER, PARTS OF MANHATTAN, ALL THAT DAMAGE ALONG THE JERSEY SHORE, THE WATER PILING ON WITH THE STORM TRACK.

>> WHAT WERE THE HIGHEST WINDS.

>> I BELIEVE IT WAS ON LONG ISLAND SOMEWHERE, 94 MILES PER HOUR.

>> WAS THERE AN AVERAGE WIND SPEED IN THE OTHER STATES? I MEAN, HERE IT WAS AROUND 30, RIGHT? OR DID WE HIT 50?

>> WE ACTUALLY -- TALKING ABOUT MANSFIELD, WE HAD A 72-MILE-AN-HOUR WIND GUST.

>> WE DID GET SOME. WASHINGTON HAD SOMETHING LIKE 140.

>> THEY THINK THAT WAS THE TOP SPEED.

>> MOUNT WASHINGTON.

>> BUT EVEN PLACES LIKE LONDON CENTER RECORD ADD 61-MILE-AN-HOUR WIND GUST, UNDERHILL DID, RIGHT AROUND THERE. THERE WAS SOME 53.

>> SOME PRETTY HIGH GUSTS THEN.

>> YES.

>> WHAT MAKES A GUST VERSUS JUST STRAIGHT 50-MILE-AN-HOUR WINDS THE WHOLE TIME?

>> THERE'S, YOU KNOW, SOME OF OUR WEATHER MAPS, WE SHOW A LOW PRESSURE AND HIGH PRESSURE, BUT IN REALITY, THOSE ARE THE MAJOR AREAS OF LOW PRESSURE, HIGH PRESSURE. LITTLE ONES ARE ALWAYS FORMING AND THEY POP UP AND THEY DIE. AND THEY'RE DOING THAT ALL THE TIME. SO YOU'RE GETTING THESE LIKE MINI-LOWS COMING ON BY AND THAT JUST INTENSIFIES THE WIND FROM TIME TO TIME. IF YOU'VE EVER SEEN ONE OF THESE DUST DEVILS BLOWING DOWN THE STREET, ACROSS A FIELD, HERE YOU ARE ON A CALM DAY AND THERE'S LIKE THIS MINI TORNADO THAT COMES ALONG AND BLOWS YOUR LAUNDRY OFF THE LINE OR WHATEVER, BLOWS YOUR PILES OF LEAVES AWAY. THERE ARE ALL THESE SMALL-SCALE SYSTEMS THAT ARE ALSO GOING ON, SO THAT CREATES EXTRA WIND GUSTS.

>> AND OBVIOUSLY, YOU CAN'T REALLY PREDICT WHETHER FLOODING OR WINDS ARE GOING TO BE WORSE OR CAN YOU?

>> THAT'S A TOUGH ONE. NO, NOT REALLY. YOU KNOW, WE CAN DO THE MAJOR SYSTEMS AND THAT'S WHERE OUR COMPUTER MODELS, YOU KNOW, TRY TO TRACK WHERE THEY'RE GOING TO GO AND YOU REALLY CAN'T TRACK THEM, THEY POP UP IN THE LAST TWO MINUTES AND THEN DIE DOWN AGAIN, SO THAT'S THE CHAOTIC PART OF WEATHER FORECASTING.

>> AND IS SANDY A TASTE OF WHAT'S TO COME?

>> WE JUST REALLY CAN'T SAY YES OR NO ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. IT JUST -- ULTIMATELY, IT DEPENDS ON THESE BIG FACTORS IN THE ATMOSPHERE, LIKE WE HAVE SOMETHING CALLED AN NAR, THE NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION AND WHEN THAT GOES NEGATIVE, IT LEADS TO THAT HIGH PRESSURE AREA OVER GREEN LAND AND THAT LEADS TO THAT BLOCKING PATTERN WHERE STORMS GET STUCK AND WE'LL HAVE NOR'EASTERS AND WE HAVE EL NINO THAT HAS A FACTOR AS WELL, SO IT'S JUST A MATTER OF ALL THESE FACTORS COMING TOGETHER, BUT NO ONE CAN SAY JUST WHAT THE WINTER WILL HOLD. WE HAVE EQUAL CHANCES BEING PUT OUT BY NASA AND WE'RE WAITING TO SEE WHAT TRENDS LOOK LIKE IN THE NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS.

>> AND HOW WAS SANDY COMPARED TO IRENE FOR YOU ALL IN THE WEATHER DEPARTMENT?

>> IT WAS A BIG DIFFERENCE FOR SURE. DIFFERENCE IN THE TRACK, FIRST OF ALL. IRENE CAME UP FROM THE SOUTH, CAME RIGHT UP THE COAST AND STAYED A TROPICAL SYSTEM THE WHOLE TIME. IT WAS A HURRICANE AND BY THE TIME IT GOT INTO OUR NECK OF THE WOODS, IT HAD WEAKENED TO TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS AND THAT'S HOW THEY MEASURE THE STORMS, BY WIND SPEED, SO IT HAD DROPPED BELOW THE 75-MILE-AN-HOUR THRESHOLD WHICH YOU NEED FOR A HURRICANE, BUT STILL HAD ALL THE WATER WITH IT. SO THAT WAS THE PROBLEM WITH IRENE WAS IT CAME THROUGH HERE AND DUMPED, WELL, FROM 7 TO 12 INCHES OF RAIN IN JUST A FEW HOURS IN SOME OF OUR SOUTHERN AREAS. BUT IT WAS ALSO A FAST MOVER. IT DID THAT AND AWAY IT WENT AND THAT WAS IT AND THEN THE SUN CAME OUT, BUT IT DID A LOT OF DAMAGE QUICKLY. THIS THING TOOK A DIFFERENT PATH, CAME IN FROM THE EAST, AND LIKE NICK WAS TALKING, THE BLOCKING PATTERN. THIS THING HAD NOWHERE TO GO, AND JOINING UP WITH THE OTHER STORM, IT WAS A DIFFERENT BEAST ALTOGETHER. IT HAD A LOT OF WATER, BUT IT WAS ALL TO OUR SOUTH, SO WE GOT THE WINDY PART OF IT AND LUCKILY DIDN'T GET AS MUCH WIND AND, IN FACT, IT'S STILL OUT THERE. IT'S NOT THAT FAR AWAY. IT'S IN WESTERN NEW YORK, WEAKENING, BUT STILL AFFECTING OUR WEATHER NOW.

>> AND YOU WERE ALL THERE THE WHOLE TIME. SEEMED LIKE EVERY TIME WE LOOKED OVER, YOU ALL WERE THERE AND NORMALLY YOU COME IN SHIFTS. IS IT PRETTY CHAOTIC WHEN A STORM LIKE THAT STARTS?

>> I THINK WE HAVE THE SYSTEM DOWN. WHEN IRENE CAME, THINGS GOT BUSIER.

>> WE APPRECIATE YOUR WORK AS ALWAYS.

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