Chances are, you’ve seen a whole bunch of spaghetti models of the forthcoming Hurricane Irma, and, to be quite frank, they probably look like a mess of hair pulled from the shower drain. While it doesn’t take a meteorologist to know that storm forecasting is complicated, it did take one to point out just what the biggest issue is with these diagrams are and why you need to stop looking at them.
In an article for Ars Technica, meteorologist Eric Berger breaks down why it’s important to not take these maps at face value. Berger specifically called out this spaghetti chart shared on Twitter by FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver.
“Plots like this also often include forecasts that are 12 or more hours old, which is generally out of date when it comes to hurricanes,” Berger writes.
Instead of looking to aggregated forecasts, Berger urged readers to remember not all storm models are created equal.
The below graphics are up-to-date as of 5 a.m. Eastern on Thursday.
Expected arrival times of Hurricane Irma winds as of 5 a.m. Eastern:
Hurricane Irma potential track area as of 5 a.m. Eastern:
Hurricane Irma via the European forecasting model as of 2 a.m. Eastern:
A meteorologist-approved look at Hurricane Irma’s approaching Puerto Rico as of 7 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday: