Hurricane Sandy will be studied for years to come. No storm of its like has been registered in the past 300 years of history in the region (at least since the first Europeans appeared on the shores of New York and New Jersey in the mid 17th century). It is a testament to the accuracy of forecasting techniques since there was no precedent to base forecasts on: the NWS fell back on its models. They were dead on accurate and their forecasts saved hundreds if not thousands of lives.
This gives us hope for future events of this magnitude. Let’s not forget that the climate models employed to forecast Sandy do not really differ in a significant way from those now used to forecast future climate change. The same science is behind them. It is simply a matter of magnitude vs. short-term versus long-term forecasts.
Christopher C. Burt
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