DID IT MATTER WHETHER SANDY WAS A HURRICANE? Doyle Rice, in this article in USAToday (link via Instapundit), raises questions about whether it matters that Sandy was Superstorm Sandy rather than Hurricane Sandy. Rice points out that:

“Since Sandy wasn’t forecast to hit land as a hurricane, the hurricane center did not issue its usual hurricane watches and warnings as the storm approached the coast, instead relying on several local weather service offices to issue “high wind warnings,” “coastal flood warnings” and other watches and warnings.”

The concern is that the classification of a storm as a hurricane and the level of that hurricane is of interest to scientists, but the danger posed by a storm is not determined by the classification. There is still apparently a question whether Sandy was a hurricane when it made landfall, although the damage caused by Sandy was immense.

I have followed the approach of hurricanes in terms of what level they were and whether they were tropical storms or hurricanes. The problem is one of communication: the word “hurricane” has an impact on the public and on storm preparation. It may be that a new classification system that focused on danger would be more useful than the current use of scientific classifications.

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