Thursday/ Dorian and its ‘cone of uncertainty’

We are in the peak of the hurricane season here in the States (mid August through end of October), and hurricane Dorian is projected to reach Florida on Monday.

We are seeing the familiar ‘cone of uncertainty’ graphic on TV screens, but research by Hurakan, a University of Miami team, revealed that many people do not understand these maps.
Some 40% of people do not feel threatened if they live just outside the cone. (Actually, the path of the hurricane is inside the cone only 60-70% of the time).
Some people think the cone shows the hurricane ‘gets bigger’ over time. (No. The cone is bigger because the more days into the future, the more uncertain the projections of the path of the hurricane become).
People who are inside the cone, but far from the center, tend to prepare less than those closer to the central line. (As pointed out earlier, the path of the hurricane can be anywhere inside the cone, or even outside of it).

Hurricane Dorian’s projected path (from NOAA’s website). Floridians would do well to understand that the hurricane can make landfall anywhere on the east coast of the panhandle and that heavy rain, storm surges, flooding, wind and other hazards may affect areas outside of the cone (as noted in the black box at the top).

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