(*Chip Merlin’s Note–Rocco Calaci has been a noted meteorology expert witness in the Katrina Legal Wars. After meeting him at a recent FAPIA Convention, I invited him to write a series of guest blogs. Click here to read his previous guest blogs)

Rocco Calaci

Why do people forget that the atmosphere reacts to weather changes at all levels besides the standard heights of 1000, 925, 850, 700, 500, 300, 250 and 200 millibars? If someone doesn’t evaluate the entire column of air at all levels, how can an accurate analysis be performed? How can you trust algorithmic results from incomplete data?

Why do some meteorologists believe they can perform an accurate analysis of what occurred at a specific location from hundreds of miles away using only available data? Aren’t such things as local topography, microscale effects, elevation, and other environmental aspects as important as the macroscale situation in determining what happened at a specific address?

Why do trees blow down with winds between 50 to 55 miles per hour with the Beaufort Wind Scale, yet aren’t affected by wind until 104 miles per hour in the Saffir-Simpson Scale? Are trees stronger in hurricane-prone areas?

Why do we use statistics to determine what occurred at a specific address? Aren’t statistics a bit over-blown?

Why did Dr. Robert Simpson (yes, he is that Dr. Simpson) state that the release of the Saffir-Simpson Scale was “premature” during a radio interview in 1991?

Why does the public continually blame the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center for “missed forecasts”, yet deny these same agencies the funds and manpower to do the job? If you want better weather information, write to your congress person and demand more funding for the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center.

Why aren’t realistic wind flows and characteristics used in evaluating hurricane damage? Each situation is different, so each evaluation must be different.

Why do we make something simple into such a complicated process?