FORECASTS CAN CHANGE WITH TIME

National Hurricane Center's 3-Day Sunday forecast for ALEX

Hurricane locations are designated by the center position, or the eye, of the storm. These points are useful in observing the track of storms over the open oceans away from land. However, it is important to remember not to focus on just the center point that is forecast a few days in the future. There is a “cone of uncertainty” that is displayed.

There are several reasons for this. Weather patterns in advance of the storm are usually not brutally shoved away by the force of a hurricane. The hurricane’s future course involves interactions with various wind and pressure fields in a dynamic atmosphere that are carefully monitored by NOAA and the National Hurricane Center. Great strides have been made with computer models to show probable tracks of these storms, but the weather has shown us time and time again that the unexpected can happen.

There have been several instances over the years of tropical storms and hurricanes in the western Gulf stalling or shifting course near the coast. That’s why I’ve emphasized the cone of uncertainty for Wednesday as we keep track of this hurricane threat from ALEX.

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