Sixteen years ago, Hurricane Fran made landfall near Southport and moved across eastern and central North Carolina, leaving almost half of the state in tatters and defining the inland hurricane experience for a generation. Since then, advances in meteorology, oceanography, and computer modeling have cut hurricane forecast track error in half, but we are still no better at forecasting their intensity today than we were in 1996. Understanding how people react to, prepare for, and communicate about hurricanes only adds to the challenges the storms present on their own— but may present the best opportunity to reduce injuries, deaths, and damage due to hurricanes in the future. We will talk about how meteorologists forecast hurricanes, how researchers are working to improve our understanding of hurricanes in order to improve those forecasts, and what we know—and don't know—about the intersection between hurricanes and us.
About our Speaker:
Nate Johnson is a Meteorologist and Executive Producer at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, where he is responsible for coordinating weather coverage and content across TV, radio, online, and mobile platforms; a Lecturer with the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences at NC State University, where he teaches an advanced-level course in Broadcast Meteorology with an emphasis on societal impacts of weather; and a graduate student in Communication, also at NC State. He graduated with degrees in meteorology and computer science from NC State. Prior to returning to Raleigh, Nate was a Data Services Meteorologist with Baron Services in Huntsville, Alabama, a leading provider of severe weather data and dual-polarization radar systems, and before that, the Chief Meteorologist at KTXS-TV in Abilene, TX.
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