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tv   2019 Hurricane Season Outlook  CSPAN  May 25, 2019 11:10pm-11:45pm EDT

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leader stacey abrams. president donald trump and supreme court associate justice sonia sotomayor. our commencement coverage starts memorial day at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span. watch online any time at c-span.org and listen on the free c-span radio app. >> the national oceanic and atmospheric administration made its prediction for this year's hurricane season which runs from june 1 to november 30. noaa's outlook predicts a near normal hurricane season. here's their news conference. >>
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dr. jacobs, i welcome you to the podium. >> at this time it's a distinct honor and pleasure to introduce the secretary of commerce, mr. wilber ross. >> you can see how efficient noaa is with their introductions and the rest of their activities. thank you for those words. and especially thank you for your leadership of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration. welcome, everybody, and thank you for joining us today for noaa's annual outlook on the 2019 hurricane season. the united states is fortunate to have such dedicated experts at noaa's forecasting offices and at the national hurricane
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center, including the pilots and staff who fly the g-4 hurricane hunter aircraft that you see here. noaa's hurricane hunter aircraft were aloft for 580 hours last year. while they were on the ground, i've had the privilege of meeting many of these men and women. they are consummate professionals. they generate heaps of data used to determine a storm's intensity and direction. it's not just the center of a bar metric low that is measured an analyzed, but the air for thousands of miles on all sides of it, including the sheer above and the seas below. our noaa professionals work tirelessly to issue alerts to
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the public and emergency officials about the potential for hazardous weather. in fact, they work even harder during the offseason, preparing new products they will use the following season. they learn from every storm and apply that knowledge to future forecasts. i'm proud to note that their predictions are far more accurate than they have been in the past. noaa has invested heavily in technology and in personnel. it has more powerful supercomputers, better software and algorithms and more precise observational systems such as the microwave sounder. it has state-of-the-art and polar orbiting satellites and it has the trained people needed to
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operate these systems and interpret the hundreds of terabytes of data it generates every day. noaa has improved the forecasting of hurricane tracks by 30% over the past decade. it has improved the lead time of its forecast by three days, meaning its five day in advance forecast now has the same accuracy as its former two-day forecast. and its seven-day track now is what its four-day track used to be. that's really important because advanced warning saves lives and gives people a better chance to protect property. the system is even getting better. starting in june, it will transition to a forecasting
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model with a new dynamic core, with the marvelous name of the finite volume on a cube sphere or, they call it, fv-3. it will be the first upgrade to the dynamic core of its global model since 1982. it will vastly improve the current version which, if you can imagine, was originally written on the archaic punch code. for these successes, we owe everyone at noaa a debt of gratitude. [applause] as a florida resident, i'm acutely aware of the tremendous impact that hurricanes can have on lives,
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properties and businesses. we just had an extremely busy hurricane season. as you may remember, at one point last year, four named storms were active simultaneously. like hamlet slings in arrows of outrageous fortune, the storms that impacted the u.s. in 2018 caused $50 billion in damages. and we retired two notorious names. michael and florence. bottom line with the 2019 outlook is really about being prepared as much as it is about the number of storms. with many strong tropical storms, especially those that persist and stall, the greatest destruction occurs beyond the coast. the impact of long duration deluge is severe and life-threatening. we urge everyone who can be impacted by deep tropical
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depressions to stay informed and be ready to heed the warnings of noaa and your emergency management community. commerce department stands ready to sembt nation before, during and after any storm. so, again, thank you for being here and congratulations to noaa for all of your worthy activities. [applause] >> thank you, mr. secretary, for joining us today. and for your continued support of noaa. the primary goal of today's outlook is to encourage the public to take steps to prepare before the hurricane season, which begins on june 1. preparing means reviewing and creating your emergency evacuation plans and gathering your supplies now in case your area is hit by a hurricane.
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we will hear more about preparedness from fema shortly. before i announce the 2019 hurricane season outlook, i would like to discuss how noaa's prepared to keep the public informed and safe this season. at noaa we strive to deliver timely and accurate forecasts supported by sophisticated weather models which are fed incredible amounts of data from sources such as noaa's satellites, as well as drops deployed. the king air turbo prop, which is over here, is vital to noaa's posthurricane response assistance, it's used to conduct low-altitude aerial surveys of coast line damage, helpful to emergency management -- managers and homeowners, who have evacuated. noaa vessels and rapid response teams deploy after storms pass to survey waterways to ensure they are free of debris and safe for shipping. noaa operates a fleet of earth-owning -- earth-observing
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satellites, including stationary gos east and west and advanced polar orbiting satellites which provide vital microwave sounder data that drive our forecast models used to predict hurricane track and intensity. the season -- this season the national weather service will upgrade the dynamic core to the g.f.s. known as the american model. this will mark the first revolutionary upgrade to the dynamic core in decades and represents a first step in re-engineering noaa's global forecast system to provide the best possible science-based predictions to the nation. and of course there are noaa's hurricane hunters. these planes collect data from above, around and inside tropical systems. this season the plane will collect higher resolution data from an upgraded onboard radar system. these enhanced observations will be transmitted to forecasters across noaa and into our computer models, providing essential input to improve track
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and intensity forecasts. collectively, noaa's sophisticated technologies and services enable decision makers and the public to take action before, during and after hurricanes, increasing community resilience and helping build a more weather-ready nation. now, on to the 2019 atlantic hurricane season outlook. this includes all activity in the atlantic ocean, gulf of mexico, and caribbean from june 1 to november 30. atmospheric and ocean conditions that factored into this outlook include competing signals. on one hand, the ongoing el nino is expected to persist and suppress activity in the atlantic hurricane season. on the other hand, a combination of warmer than average sea surface temperatures and the tropical atlantic and caribbean, combined with an enhanced west african monsoon favor increased activity. overall, the atlantic hurricane
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season outlook calls for a near normal season with a 70% chance of nine to 15 named storms with top winds at least 39 miles per hour. of those, four to eight will become hurricanes, with top winds of at least 74 miles per hour, and two to four major hurricanes reaching category 3, 4 or 5. this outlook is made possible by the work of dr. jerry bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at noaa's climate prediction center. his team, as well as him, are here today to answer any questions you may have about the outlook during the q&a session. please keep in mind that this outlook does not suggest how many of these storms strike land. that is beyond the forecast ability of the seasonal outlook, but when a storm does form, we can count on noaa's national weather service, including the national hurricane center, to provide details on the storm track and potential impacts.
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throughout this season, be sure to stay up to date at weather.gov and hurricanes.gov. speaking of the weather service, i would like to acknowledge doctor the director of noaa's national weather service who is here today. in addition to his normal duties as the weather service director, he is also campaigning to be the next president of the world meteorological organization. i wish him best of luck and my strongest endorsement as we are now a month away from the election in geneva. back to the hurricane outlook. to summarize, a near normal atlantic season is expected, with noaa taking great strides to deliver the best forecast to keep you informed ahead of approaching storms. while we cannot prevent the storms, we can take action to be prepared for such severe weather and impacts on our communities. i would now like to invite fema's dr. daniel to discuss what people
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can do this upcoming season. >> thank you, dr. jacobs. thank you to the secretary as well. my message today, it only takes one. it only takes one landfalling hurricane to cause great destruction to a community. thus we need to prepare now. now, of course that includes our state and local and federal partners, but it also means you. it means you as individuals, families, communities, you need to come together and take action now to protect yourselves, your property and your financial future. now, of course there's a few easy steps to take here. build a kit. make sure the kit has food and water, medications, for at least 72 hours, to make sure that you can take care of yourselves and your families. also realize you need a plan to
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communicate with your friends and family. communication networks may be down following a disaster. you need to know your evacuation routes. you need to practice evacuating before the emergency. you also need to follow the advice of local officials. they know best about what you should be doing as a hurricane approaches. to receive those messages, you need to make sure you is a battery-powered radio and you should also download the fema app. finally, you need to be financially prepared. you need to make sure that you have cash on hand. a.t.m.'s, credit card swipe machines, those rely on electricity and communications networks, both of which could be down following a hurricane. you also need to have insurance. your homeowners insurance, make sure it's up to date. speak to your local insurance
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agent. and make sure you have flood insurance. flood insurance is not included in your homeowners policy. you need to request it separately. why must you have flood insurance? let's look at hurricane harvey. 2017, hurricane harvey struck texas. caused mass devastation, we're all aware of that. but do you know what the financial impact was to individuals who were uninsured? the uninsured disaster survivor received about $3,000 from fema. and i'm proud that we put that $3,000 in the hands of disaster survivors immediately following that hurricane. but $3,000 isn't going to make you whole. insurance makes you whole. on average the average payment for flood insurance following hurricane harvey was not $3,000, it was $117,000. so, please go to floodsmart.
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gov, check out the insurance options today. also i encourage you to visit ready. gov for more information on everything i just discussed. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you to our speakers and we will now have the q&a portion of the program. i would like to welcome dr. gerry bell to the stage to help address questions and, operator, please provide instructions to those dialing in on how they may get into the queue. we'll first start with questions in the hangar for any media. if you have any questions please raise your hand and state your name and afalyigs before your question. yes, in the front -- affiliation before your question. yes, in the front. we have a microphone. >> hi, tom frank from e&e news. the secretary talked about how the short-term forecasts are getting more accurate.
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how accurate is this forecast and given that you're talking about a pretty wide range of the potential number of storms, what's its value to the public? >> we issue our ranges of activity, name storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes, with a 70% likelihood. they're not the entire ranges of activity we've seen during past years with similar climate conditions and uncertainties to this year, but given that we issue the ranges with a 70% likelihood, that means we expect them to verify about 70% of the time. or about seven in 10 seasons. that's what we see. that those numbers really locked in in 2008, 2009 period, and have been sustained since we started getting very sophisticated climate models like the global forecast system, climate forecast system from noaa. we now have significant modeling efforts from the dynamics lab at
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noaa. so the bottom line is, we verify each of those ranges we expect to be accurate in seven out of 10 seasons. and they are. >> hi, there. natalie brand from cbs news. what did you learn from last season and how does that inform your preparation for this season? >> i think in terms of the preparation, i would actually go to hurricane -- not from a meteorological perspective but from a preparedness perspective. we really saw two completely different types or sets of impacts from hurricanes michael and florence last year. florence was approaching the carolinas. it weakened. and then it stalled. so it produced record rainfall and massive flooding throughout the carolinas. so in that case, flooding was the big issue and the biggest impacts were not near the coast, they were much, much farther inland.
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michael was a completely different scenario, where it was a strengthening, very strong storm, became a category 5 storm at landfall, and basically decimated everything in its path. in that case, there was relatively short time to evacuate or finalize your preparedness plans. so both of these different hurricanes really highlight the myriad types of impacts you can see with these hurricanes and they point to, hey, hurricanes impact different people in different ways, so i need to make sure my preparedness plans are in place for the ways myself, my family, my area could be impacted. >> hi, cbs news. noaa recently addressed lawmakers about the f.c.c. spectrum auction. what are the concerns about the potential effect on forecasting capabilities? dr. jacobs: the concerns would
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be out of bounds emissions with microwave sounders. i would just like to take this opportunity to state that noaa is a huge supporter of 5-g. it would be dependent on 5-g for our dissemination of watches and warnings to better inform the public. but we also want to protect our forecasting capabilities and right now we're the subject matter experts at noaa and nasa are working with the subject matter experts at the f.c.c. to try to come to an optimal solution where we can have both 5g deployment as well as accurate forecasts. any other questions in the room? yeah. >> just had a quick question with the new fv-3. i know in the winter there were a few issues with the fv-3. we held it back as far as winter forecasting and now utilizing this for the hurricane modeling,
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are there any apprehensions? we feel like we worked out those kinks and bugs and do you run the current system as well at the same time? >> we are continuing to run the g.f.s. and fv-3 in was aye mode mode forsi production a couple of years. there were two different bugs. those have been addressed. we've gone through retesting and verification which is in the process right now. we have a date set mid-june to operationalize it, assuming we don't discover any more issues. but i'm confident that it's going to be more skillful than the current g.f.s. the back testing and verification process on previous storm seasons have proven that. so i'm very optimistic that we're going to have an upgraded forecast scale this year. >> tom frank again of e&e.
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a question about fema. the 2018 report, after action report, the fema released in 2018 on the 2017 hurricane talked about, among other things, the problem fema had with having its staff dispersed at the beginning of the hurricane to so many other disasters. i think it said that 30% of the staff was attending to other disasters. there was a conclusion about fema wanting to try to focus at least its personnel more on the catastrophic disasters and building up local ability to handle that. what is fema doing to that end for this hurricane season and as it starts, how many people do you have out in the field at these other disasters? >> we have over 50 open disasters right now. there are disasters all over the country right now are fema personnel are staffing those. as the lesson learned, as you correctly pointed out, from the 2017 hurricane season, we took
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at least two actions. one is, making sure that we can rapidly redeploy those personnel to other disaster areas. disaster areas that may emerge with no notice. not just hurricanes. if a disaster happened today, we are confident we could redeploy personnel and resources as required. two, as a result of the very busy 2017 and 2018 hurricane seasons, those personnel, they're now predeployed to those areas that would likely be impacted. so in other words, we have prepositioned, quite unintentionally, our personnel to the atlantic and gulf coasts. so we have personnel that are there, that are nearby, wherever, quite frankly, a hurricane might strike. >> operator, please remind the callers on the phone on how to get into the queue to ask a
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question. any final questions in the room before we go to the phones? we'll come back to the room afterwards. but operator, can you please send us the first question and provide the name and affiliation? >> this is for gerry. in terms of -- first off, almost all the other private and c.s.u. and all those are calling for more of a below normal season. especially because of the el nino. can you explain a little more detail why you're more closer to normal than below normal? is it more the warm sea waters which is always the case and is that climate change oriented or is it more the west african monsoon and can you explain how that would effect it? thank you. >> sure. this year there are competing
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climate factors. there's a weak el nino in place. an el nino acts to increase the wind sheer and suppress activity. competing with el nino is the ongoing patterns that we've seen since 1995 in association with the ongoing atlantic high activity era where the tropical atlantic ocean temperatures will be -- expected to be warmer than average. with that we're expecting a stronger west african monsoon. so that's warmer temperatures, stronger west african monsoon, they favor more activity. so, again, it's these competing factors. there's some uncertainty based on model predictions as to how strong each of those factors will be. most models at this point are predicting a weak el nino with limited impacts and most models at this point are predicting warmer atlantic temperatures but not too warm. so it looks at this time that a near normal season is most likely. but mind you, that's still a lot of activity.
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nine to 15 named storms is a lot. four to eight hurricanes is a lot. two to four major hurricanes is a lot. so the key message is, we're expecting a near normal season, but regardless, that's a lot of activity, you need to start getting prepared for the hurricane season now. >> and the climate change facter? >> i mentioned the main factors going into this season's outlook. the el nino and the conditions over the tropical atlantic. just to hit this from major climate patterns, the el nino/la nina cycle is a major factor that influences hurricane activity from one year to the next. there's longer-term patterns for the atlantic. the main one is called the atlantic multidecatels tolation -- oscilation or a.m.o. for people who know this word. this is a pattern that lasts
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anywhere from 25 to 40 years, historically. and that pattern, since 1995, has been -- associated with warmer atlantic temperatures, stronger west african monsoon. which has really been giving us the increased activity since 1995. there's no indication that we're out of this high activity era or this warm phase of the a.m.o. so those are really the two main climate factors for this year's hurricane outlook. thank you. >> next question? >> toni wood, philadelphia inquirier. you just addressed the question that i had basically. so we're still in this active period. do you see any indication at all that the cycle is in any transition or is this basically impossible to know? it's one of those things that you know you're out of it when you're out of it?
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>> we're not seeing any indication that we're getting out of this high activity period yet. as far as predicting when it will end, there's no way to know. this cycle goes way back, we see it way back into the late 1800's when we started getting kind of decent ocean data to even be able to monitor these patterns. but, no, there's no way to know. thank you. >> our next question comes from brian sullivan, bloomberg news. your line is open. >> gerry, the last five years there's been more and more -- [inaudible] -- before the official start of the season. instead, long-term trend you're expecting there? >> we can't hear you very clearly. that didn't help either. [laughter] brian? operator, can we get the next
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question? >> all right. our next question comes from josh solomon, tampa bay. your line is now open. >> dr. bell, i've heard that the circulation in the northern atlantic is starting to turn down. what role does that play in the a.m.o. cycle? >> let me back up for a little bit. there's what's called the atlantic thurmo hailing circulation. it's a deep ocean circulation in the atlantic basin. it's a clock-wise rotation and that -- the changes in that circulation are associated with these a.m.o. so they're part and parcel of the same thing. the thermo halean circulation. various studies are indicating that that may be changing. but what we've seen in the last -- you know, still through the
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last several seasons, is the atlantic ocean temperatures remaining warmer than average. the west african monsoon is remaining stronger than average. last year was a very strong west african monsoon. and helped to strengthen last year's season. we're not out of this high activity area yet. >> operator, next question, please. >> our next question comes from stephanie, standard & poors. your line is open. >> hi, just wanted to -- i don't know if you have anything more to say here, but did your modeling show you any changes in the level of rainfall? they stall like florence but we have been seeing a lot of rain and flooding so i wanted to check there. >> no. i'm mainly looking at the models as far as predicting the strength of the hurricane season. so i'm not sure how to really answer that question.
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>> ok. thank you. >> our next question comes from mary landers, the savannah morning news. your line is open. >> thank you. i'm wondering if the named storm we already had is included in that nine to 15 range? >> yes, it is. the numbers we give are for the entire hurricane season. >> i think what the caller who got cut off was asking was are you seeing any pattern in preseason activity? >> no. the preseason or early season, meaning june, july, activity is typically minimal. on average you might see one or two named storms during june and july. you might see a hurricane. very rarely would you see a major hurricane during june and july. by far the peak of the hurricane season is august, september and october. that's when most of the major
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hurricanes and hurricanes form. so back to the early part of the season, if we do get a storm like -- a preseason storm or some of these that do form in june and july, typically they form from a trailing frontal boundary or upper level depression in the jet stream, they tend to be short lived and that's it. as we just saw. now, in contrast, during the peak months of the hurricane season, those are the systems that come from cloud systems moving westward from africa. those are the storms that very often can strengthen into hurricanes, major hurricanes, and really control the overall hurricane season. early season activity is typically is not a signal of what to expect for the rest of the hurricane season. >> thanks. >> thank you again for all the questions on the phone. are there any other questions in the room?
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with that, we'll conclude this press conference. if you have any follow-up questions, contact laura. i thank the speakers and thank you all for joining, thanks. [applause] [captions copyright [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> sunday night on q&a>>, yale university historian joanne freeman on her book" the field of blood, violence in congress men." >> scores of congressman in a mass brawl. dramatic,itself it's a. massive encounter what was interesting to me is
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that people at the time looked a groupat they saw was of northerners and southerners a lot of them armed running at each other and the house of representatives. this doesn' look like a normal congressionalt fight. this looks like north against south. this looks like a battle and that is really striking. it means it certainly did look like a battle. it is not that long before the civil war. >> sunday night and 8 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. was simply three giant networks at a government supported service called pbs. then in 1979, a small network with an unusual name rolled out a big idea. let viewers decide all on their own what was important to them. cspan opened the doors to washington policymaking for all to see. bringing you unfiltered content for congress and beyond. in the age of power to the people this is true people power. in the 40 years since the
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landscape has clearly changed. there's no monolithic media, broadcasting has given way to narrowcasting. stars are thing but c-span's big idea is more relevant today than ever. no government money support c-span. it is nonpartisan coverage of washington is funded as a public service by your cable or satellite providers. on television and online, c-span is your unfiltered view of government, so you can look up -- make up your own mind. >> senator bernie sanders held a campaign rally in h home state of vermont. his first event there since announcing his presidential candidacy in march. from the statehouse grounds in montpelier, this is a little less than an hour. [cheers & applause] ♪

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