Beware of the social media storm this hurricane season - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Beware of the social media storm this hurricane season

SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -

It's that time of year again: hurricane season is upon us.

Although technology has put up-to-the-minute storm tracking information at our fingertips, remember to be wary of the "storms" social media can cause.

As a meteorologist on the Gulf Coast, hurricane season is the time of year when I must be ready for anything and everything. It is the time of year when I keep a packed bag in the closet, ready for many sleepless nights in the 7Stormcenter. Most of all, it is the time of year when myself and other meteorologists have to accurately forecast big storms out over the Gulf and on social media sites.

Just like during the winter storm events earlier this year, social media sites can be great information highways, but they can also be a dangerous asset. Staying informed with the most up-to-date and accurate information is in the public's best interest so that they can make personal decisions to protect their lives and property. The key word in that statement is "accurate" and accuracy beyond three to five days in tropical terms is almost unattainable.

Let me fill you in on some weather wizard secrets to eliminate unwanted panic this hurricane season. I am sure you have seen spaghetti plots filled with model after model, creating varying tracks, being run four times a day, extended out between five to 16 days, and many times they are guessing at a storm center.

Numerous times this season, a model will suggest that a tropical system is headed for Louisiana. You will also likely see 10 or more model runs showing a very intense hurricane striking our coastline. The catch is that these models are extended predictions that try to look five to 16 days into the future.

It is when a random long-range model gets thrown on social media with no disclaimer that it creates unnecessary panic. Beyond five days, models will go from Brownsville, Texas, one day to New Orleans the next, eventually dissipating the storm altogether, and then there you are, losing sleep over one model run.

Meteorologists look for consistency with the various models and each daily version of the model not showing drastic changes in a forecast track. It is then we begin to monitor things closely.

As we start this hurricane season, the Stormteam will be on social media showing you those model runs, but instead of trying to cause a storm of our own, we will be keeping you informed on the potential storm at hand.

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • CPSB bond election coming up Saturday for areas of Lake Charles and Westlake

    CPSB bond election coming up Saturday for areas of Lake Charles and Westlake

    Friday, November 17 2017 6:12 AM EST2017-11-17 11:12:19 GMT
    CPSB logo (Source: CPSB)CPSB logo (Source: CPSB)

    Improvements to schools around Lake Charles and Westlake are in the hands of voters come Saturday.  The question is, are taxpayers willing to pay more to upgrade public schools?  Most school board members are for the bond election in their district, but there are some against it including those from the community who just don't want to pay more in property taxes for 20 years.  A bond election is coming up that if voted yes for, could provide capital improvements and ...

    More >>

    Improvements to schools around Lake Charles and Westlake are in the hands of voters come Saturday.  The question is, are taxpayers willing to pay more to upgrade public schools?  Most school board members are for the bond election in their district, but there are some against it including those from the community who just don't want to pay more in property taxes for 20 years.  A bond election is coming up that if voted yes for, could provide capital improvements and ...

    More >>
  • SPIRIT SCHOOL: Vinton High School

    SPIRIT SCHOOL: Vinton High School

    Friday, November 17 2017 5:12 AM EST2017-11-17 10:12:05 GMT
    (Source: Vinton High School)(Source: Vinton High School)
    This week our spirit school is Vinton High School in Calcasieu Parish. 'Spirit School' is an opportunity to showcase our high schools across Southwest Louisiana. From sports to student body organizations, to ace teachers that make a difference in a child's life -- KPLC's Candy Rodriguez will travel from school to school across the five-parish region to show the school's spirit. If you would like your high school to be featured -- contact Candy Rodriguez via email at crodriguez@kplc...More >>
    This week our spirit school is Vinton High School in Calcasieu Parish. 'Spirit School' is an opportunity to showcase our high schools across Southwest Louisiana. From sports to student body organizations, to ace teachers that make a difference in a child's life -- KPLC's Candy Rodriguez will travel from school to school across the five-parish region to show the school's spirit. If you would like your high school to be featured -- contact Candy Rodriguez via email at crodriguez@kplc...More >>
  • As Waitr expands, small restaurants see revenue boost

    As Waitr expands, small restaurants see revenue boost

    Thursday, November 16 2017 10:48 PM EST2017-11-17 03:48:43 GMT
    Source: Christian PiekosSource: Christian Piekos

    As Waitr continues to expand across state lines, smaller, less known restaurants in the Lake area are reaping the benefits. On Thursday, 7 News spoke with a number of small business owners to discuss how Waitr has helped their restaurants expand. "Once we got started with Waitr, our business blew up," said Paige Vidrine, a manager at Buffi's Peauxboys.  Vidrine said Waitr accounts for about 20 percent of the restaurant's profits. "That's 20 percent you wouldn't ...

    More >>

    As Waitr continues to expand across state lines, smaller, less known restaurants in the Lake area are reaping the benefits. On Thursday, 7 News spoke with a number of small business owners to discuss how Waitr has helped their restaurants expand. "Once we got started with Waitr, our business blew up," said Paige Vidrine, a manager at Buffi's Peauxboys.  Vidrine said Waitr accounts for about 20 percent of the restaurant's profits. "That's 20 percent you wouldn't ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly