Unfortunately, the Oct. 13 book review Superstorm: Nine days inside hurricane Sandy, took at face value the accuracy of the narrative provided by author Kathryn Miles, and also inaccurately represented the state of tropical cyclone forecasting. History actually shows that Sandy’s complexities — from its size and unusual track to its range of threats from storm surge to snowfall — made it a historic storm, but one that forecasters accurately predicted.
Nearly a week before Sandy struck, the National Weather Service was issuing targeted forecasts while engaging the public, media, and emergency management officials in a forthright, transparent, and decisive manner.
The result was that actions were taken and lives were saved. Further investments in research, along with new products that better communicate hazards, as well as enhanced modeling and supercomputing that have been applied since Sandy, have only strengthened the nation’s hurricane forecasting abilities.
One may not know that, however, given the omissions and sensationalism that run throughout Superstorm.
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Chris Vaccaro, director, Public Affairs, National Weather Service, Silver Spring, Md.