On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
50°
Sunny
H 71° L 50°
  • cloudy-day
    50°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 71° L 50°
  • clear-day
    67°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 71° L 50°
  • cloudy-day
    63°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 71° L 50°
Listen
Pause
Error

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Local
Joaquin forecasting errors 'much larger than normal'
Close

Joaquin forecasting errors 'much larger than normal'

Joaquin forecasting errors 'much larger than normal'
The Coast Guard convened a Marine Board of Investigation in Jacksonville, FL on the sinking of El Faro. This slide from their exhibit shows the path of El Faro and the path of Hurricane Joaquin.

Joaquin forecasting errors 'much larger than normal'

“It was unusual in many, many ways.”

That’s how National Hurricane Center Hurricane Specialist Unit Branch Chief James Franklin described the storm that would eventually become Category 4 Joaquin- encountering El Faro and hampering efforts to save the sinking vessel and her 33 person crew.

AUDIO: El Faro Captain describes "marine emergency"

Franklin says they were off on projecting track and intensity by a wide margin- “much larger than normal” errors on both the 3-day forecast, which showed Joaquin’s track off by 536 miles, and intensity 80 knots too low. They initially expected the storm to weaken and move north, when in fact it strengthened and moved south.

“That’s an extraordinarily large error. That’s really about a one in one hundred type of track error,” Franklin says.

Part of the reason is Joaquin was “particularly resistant” to wind shear, which was expected to tear apart the storm. Franklin says it’s still unclear what led Joaquin to vary as it did.

When it comes to forecasting a storm with a high degree of uncertainty and outlier tracks, Franklin says they abide by a “consistency” mindset. They’ve learned over the years that making drastic changes in forecasting has a tendency to turn people away, so it takes something substantial for them to consider outlying tracks or make big changes in the forecast. That mindset played in to Joaquin, as well as blowback they’d received from forecasting for Erika earlier in the season. Franklin says it got an unwarranted amount of attention, and his Unit was criticized for “losing the message”. After that, they started issuing condensed information points to media sources to try to better focus, especially for uncertain tracks.

FULL COVERAGE: El Faro sinking

Overall, he says tracking has vastly improved, but as Joaquin shows, intensity forecasting is still in need of improvement, especially because it’s so intertwined with tracking.

“The two forecasts were linked- and failing to get one caused a problem for the other, and getting one would have helped us with the other,” Franklin says.

The Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation probing the El Faro’s sinking asked Franklin what, if anything, his unit would benefit from in order to improve forecasting. He says there are “tons of things”, including more opportunities to observe storms and collect more data, but he wouldn’t say whether something like that should be prioritized against the needs of other federal agencies.

WOKV will continue to follow the latest from the CGMBI. Get instant updates on Twitter.

Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • A man was found dead in a home in the Whitehouse area of Jacksonville’s westside.  Jacksonville Police say the victim was shot inside of a home on W. Beaver Street near Chaffee Road.  JSO is working to speak with people who were at the house and in the area at the time of this morning’s shooting. 
  • Coming off a chilly and mainly dreary weekend, some nice weather is ahead this week.  Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says we’ll start a warming trend with afternoon temperatures today in the mid and upper 60’s.  By Tuesday we’ll see more sunshine and warmer temps in the upper 60’s and low 70’s.  Our next cold front approaches and passes by the end of the weekend bringing our next best shot at some rain.  
  • A search is underway for an escaped work release inmate who was able to somehow remove his GPS ankle monitor.   The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says 36-year-old Victor Nash failed to return from work release on Sunday. He was last seen in the area of Hogans Creek near North Catherine Street.  Jail records show Nash was arrested in August for three counts of burglary and was due to be released in June.   JSO says Nash was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and black sneakers at the time he fled. Anyone who has seen or knows the whereabouts of Victor Nash is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500.  To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • Four people are dead and six hurt after gunfire erupted Sunday night at a backyard football watch party in Fresno, California, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  Here are the latest updates: Update 3:23 a.m. EST Nov. 18: According to the Fresno Bee, the shooting occurred shortly before 8 p.m. outside a home on East Lamona Avenue.  'Everyone was watching football this evening when unknown suspects approached the residence, snuck into the backyard and opened fire,' Fresno police Lt. Bill Dooley said late Sunday. The slain victims were all men in their mid-20s to mid-30s, the Bee reported. Five others who were shot are being treated at Community Regional Medical Center, while a sixth victim who suffered 'a graze wound' was taken to a different hospital, CNN reported. Police have not released any information about possible suspects or a getaway vehicle, the outlets reported. Original report:  A family gathering was disrupted by gunfire when a shooter opened fire, striking at least nine people during a backyard football watch party in California, police say.  An unknown suspect snuck into the backyard and started firing indiscriminately while multiple people were watching a football game around 7 p.m., KMPH reported.  Several people were taken to the hospital. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 
  • A missing Florida teen with autism has been found, Orlando police said. >> Read more trending news  Here are the latest updates: Update 12:37 a.m. EST Nov. 18: The Orlando Police Department said John Baker was located, WFTV is reporting. Original report: Authorities in Orlando, Florida, are searching for a missing 15-year-old boy.The Orlando Police Department said John Baker was last seen in the area of Colonial Plaza Mall in the 2400 block of East Colonial Drive. Officers said he was last seen wearing an Ohio State Buckeyes T-shirt. They said he is autistic and has the mental capacity of a 6-year-old. Baker stands 5 feet, 11 inches tall and is 150 pounds.  Anyone with information regarding Baker's location is urged to call law enforcement.

The Latest News Videos