Thanks for participating in my AMA!!! June 1st is a big day down here as it marks the beginning of Hurricane Season. Though the season typically doesn’t peak until August to October, it’s best to start preparing now, especially if you’ve got plans to travel to impacted areas. In addition to working in South Florida for the past 17 years, I served as an instructor at the National Hurricane Center’s International Hurricane Workshops, and I even used to be an avid tornado chaser. Ask me all your questions about hurricanes and severe weather!

For background, here’s CBS Miami’s hurricane section with the latest:


Comments: 355 • Responses: 83  • Date: 

dzemperzapedra101 karma

Do you see Sharknado scenario happening any time soon?

MiamiMeteorologist165 karma

Hmmm, Sharknado season is almost over so I think we are done for now.

uncertainusurper64 karma

That's what they thought before Sharknado 3

MiamiMeteorologist48 karma

That's a good point but there are always outliers. Can't forecast those....

jpawli92 karma

Have you ever feared for your life while on the job because of weather?

MiamiMeteorologist136 karma

When out in the weather, chasing or doing live shots I'm always worried about lightning. There is no warning, it just strikes. And usually I'm wired up to mic and earpiece so I feel like I'm a natural lightning conductor!

Newnewhuman71 karma

You might get super power tho.

MiamiMeteorologist84 karma

I think I'll pass on that chance, but super power would be awesome!

jacxy21 karma

What would your lighting related superpower be?

MiamiMeteorologist41 karma

I think I would like to be able to warp time. Basically slow it down while still moving normally. Kind of like a guy version of

JT99-FirstBallot22 karma

If you learn to do that, can you play RB for the Dolphins? Would really appreciate it.

MiamiMeteorologist3 karma

Haha, that WOULD be awesome!

zachmorris216911 karma

I thought hurricane season was over

MiamiMeteorologist20 karma

Hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin (Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf Of Mexico) runs from June 1 to November 30. Other basins have different seasonal lengths and start dates.

Thefireguyhere65 karma

How will budget cuts to NOAA hinder your job and public safety when predicting/tracking hurricanes?

MiamiMeteorologist115 karma

Well, this year there are no cuts so that's a good thing and we also have a new, super tech satellite (GOES-16) up there to use this year. My concern with budget cuts would be in the areas of hurricane research more than forecasting. The brilliant men and women that do research help advance the science of hurricane forecasting each year. It isn't sexy work but it is needed and well worth it. So any budget cuts, IMHO have a long term detrimental impact to us.

MiamiMeteorologist60 karma

Thanks everyone for your comments. This was a lot of fun, good questions. Hopefully we can do it again. I'm on twitter @CraigSetzer and I hope to see you there.

CTNewbie48 karma

How do you feel about the US potentially backing out of the climate change agreement?

MiamiMeteorologist45 karma

Hmmm, that's a good AMA question but I'm not sure I have an answer here in this hurricane forum. (Yes, I'm ducking the question). And I would answer but it would likely take me several paragraphs.....don't have the time right now.

CTNewbie20 karma

My apologies! I didn't realize it was in the hurricane forum!

MiamiMeteorologist19 karma

No worries, great question though....

samlazbennet44 karma

Why does NOAA think we're going to have an above average hurricane season? Didn't they first predict a below average one?

MiamiMeteorologist71 karma

So the hurricane season for the Atlantic is largely influenced by the state of El Niño and the early forecast was for a moderate to strong El Niño. In that case we would see few Atlantic storms. But now it looks like El Niño may not be strong, and other conditions in the Atlantic like slightly lower air pressure and slightly warmer water in the middle of the ocean could lead to an above normal season.

j_platypus32 karma

I live in Miami, I just moved here last year. What should I have to prepare for a hurricane? I already have a bin in my room with lots of water, more water in my garage, storage of food, extra cash, flashlights, batteries, and a hand cranked radio. Anything else I should add? It is for a family of 4.

MiamiMeteorologist69 karma

You sound pretty prepared. Make sure you have activities for the kids that don't require power or internet. Things like board games, cards, anything to keep them busy during and after a storm. Also, make sure you gas up your car(s) several days before a storm is expected and keep it topped off. Gas lines can be crazy down here.

drgradus51 karma

Shout-out to /r/boardgames for non-monoply games.

Because when your family is stranded in your home is the wrong time to find out first hand how terrible Monopoly is.

MiamiMeteorologist22 karma


Dontshoottherabbit3 karma

I suggest keeping old slip on shoes in the drawer next to each bed. you cant move fast in bare feet in the dark with broken stuff all over the floor. Get lots of babywipes as they are awesome for keeping fresh when the water isnt working. And put photocopies of your IDs in your food emergency kit. Always keep your car petrol above half a tank.

MiamiMeteorologist3 karma

Good suggestions!

samlazbennet13 karma

Does La Niña play any role?

MiamiMeteorologist30 karma

Yes, La Niña creates favorable conditions in the Atlantic for hurricanes by reducing wind shear that typically disrupts hurricanes. In fact, Florida sees about 40% more hurricane threats during La Niña years than El Niño years.

flotsamisaword9 karma

El Niño and La Niña are like two sides to the same coin. Together they are known as ENSO. When one is strong, the other is weak.

MiamiMeteorologist19 karma

Mostly correct. Both can be strong but they are basically opposites. They have a profound effect on the Atlantic hurricane season.

Oprahs_Mingie31 karma

Favorite kind of beer to drink on a hot summer day?

MiamiMeteorologist70 karma

Hmmmm, depends where I am. In the Bahamas Kalik! In the US I am more of a Hefeweizen snob.

thedudefromnc18 karma

I'd like to suggest Shotgun Betty Hefeweizen Ale from Lonerider Brewing Company.

MiamiMeteorologist17 karma

Thanks, I'll try it!

Tim54126 karma

Did you ever study weather near Bermuda Triangle ?

MiamiMeteorologist49 karma

I have been in the triangle, a lot of weird natural things going on there so it seems like it's not a good place to be lost (or stuck on a boat).

Tim54120 karma

Cool, Thanks for replying. I have one more question for you if you don't mind can i know what was the most difficult thing that you ever face in your job ?

MiamiMeteorologist53 karma

Seriously, losing my voice. I don't have a strong TV (deep anchorman) voice anyway so when it goes I feel like my thoughts are It may sound strange but when your job is to communicate, if you can't, it's frustrating.

Newnewhuman19 karma

deep anchorman voice you mean like all state commercial dude "Are you in good hand?" deep?

MiamiMeteorologist29 karma


Tim54111 karma

Well once again thanks for answering.

MiamiMeteorologist19 karma


ZBGT24 karma

How does El Niño work?

MiamiMeteorologist44 karma

It's a pretty complex process involving ocean forcing and wind surges and it's not completely understood or forecast well. Basically it is abnormally warm water in the east Pacific near the equator. It has profound influences on the weather patterns around the world and is the second highest weather signal (maker) over than the tilt of the earth/change of seasons.

icantpick52523 karma

Hi Craig. I've lived in South Florida my whole life. My dad has refused to get hurricane shutters for the last 15 years, and his house was fine after Wilma which just made him feel validated. What can I say to convince this stubborn man to take the plunge and buy shutters? He can afford them, he's just that stubborn.

Also, we work together and I'm wondering -- Were you planning to bring any of those tiny Misha's Cupcakes again anytime soon? They were delicious.

MiamiMeteorologist33 karma

Well, that is a tough one. Some people just are willing to take the risk of losing everything. In the end, the odds are in there favor but if the windows break, the whole house is compromised. Is your house a safe place? Make him stay with you when there is a threat, at least he will be safe. Sure, I'll get some more of those (product placement warning) Misha's cupcakes!

icantpick52514 karma

He's too stubborn to even stay at my house which does have shutters! Told him to during Matthew last year while we were all hunkered down at the station and he said no. But I suppose if it were bad enough he might.

And thank you! :D

MiamiMeteorologist21 karma

Of course! Unfortunately sometimes when people realize that it's going to be very bad it's too late for them to leave and then they have to ride it out. This is very true of evacuation zones. But South Florida has some of the strongest building codes in the country, so I'd rather be here in a storm than any place else.

icantpick5258 karma

Great points, thanks so much for the responses!

MiamiMeteorologist11 karma


Chtorrr22 karma

What is the very best cheese?

MiamiMeteorologist49 karma

I prefer Vermont Cheddar.

mgweir17 karma

Hi Craig! We miss you in Colorado Springs. Do you find it more challenging forecasting in Florida or Colorado?

MiamiMeteorologist29 karma

Awww, I miss you guys too. That was one of the best places I have ever lived. At least if I was going to move, I was able to trade the mountains for the ocean. Both places have unique forecast challenges but I miss having a forecast for snow and tornadoes all on the same day. Don't get that in Florida.

bolivar-shagnasty15 karma

Is the WFOR radar an in-house system? Or is it just the feed from KAMX?

MiamiMeteorologist19 karma

We get a feed from KAMX, KBYX (Key West), and the FAA terminal Dopplers TMIA, TFLL, TPBI. Because of the new NWS SAILS radar scanning strategy, we get updates about every minute and with five radars, we get them more frequently than that.

LoGSUD14 karma

What is the craziest thing you have seen on the job?

MiamiMeteorologist35 karma

Ha! In TV or in the weather field? In TV some crazy stuff happens behind the scenes. The craziest was when I first started and I was supposed to have maps behind me, instead I was in a farm field. Also once on a live shot the lawn sprinklers came on and I was soaked within seconds.....ON LIVE TV! With weather I used to chase tornadoes and I've seen some crazy weather stuff.

redfricker14 karma

Way to just tease the awesome part at the end. There aren't ad breaks! No cliffhangers!

MiamiMeteorologist13 karma


peimusicrocks13 karma storms and tornadoes for a living...and the craziest thing that's happened is getting soaked by a sprinkler?

MiamiMeteorologist33 karma

That's the craziest thing that has happened LIVE on TV. I have seen baseball sized hail, a flash flood of hail and rain washing cars off the road, lightning that struck near the road and created a steam geyser.

KeystrokeCowboy14 karma

What are some of the major improvements you have seen in the last 20 or so years that have helped improve Tornado forecasting? Is it primarily radar based or software modeling improvements etc?

MiamiMeteorologist18 karma

There are several fronts in tornado forecasting but surprisingly, tornado warning skill has decreased a little bit since there has been an effort not to make too many false alarms. So that means some storms are "underwarned". I think Dual Pole Doppler radar is really state of the art and now we are waiting for models and model ensembles to keep catching up.

almondparfitt11 karma

How do you prepare to chase a tornado?

MiamiMeteorologist22 karma

Wow, well the first thing you have to realize is you may not see anything but at the same time, you might get into very bad weather, very quickly. A lot of things happen very fast when you are close to a tornadic storm so you have to keep a level head. I start with knowing the weather set up and trying to think of all of the conceptual outcomes before I chase.

kixxaxxas17 karma

With a Hefeweizer.

MiamiMeteorologist12 karma


bpgigty10 karma

What actually happens at hurricane workshops? Also if you don't live in the area but happen to be stuck in a new place where there's a hurricane, what should you do?

MiamiMeteorologist14 karma

The workshops usually go over the latest research advances, new forecasting techniques, all kinds of things on communication. There is a lot of emphasis on messaging because even if the forecast is perfect, if no one gets the correct message, it doesn't matter.
In a new place it's important to listen to the messages from the local emergency managers, probably those on TV. I always try to live by "local knowledge is the best when you're new to an area"

OutOfBounds1110 karma

In recent years (it seems), more storm are moving further to the North and hitting the Mid-Atlantic and New England. Is this a trend or is it just an aberration?

MiamiMeteorologist14 karma

No, this is a good observation. Look at this map! Landfalls occur over periods, they come and go and those periods may last for decades. Right now they are mostly missing South Florida.

linfm8 karma

And thank God for that! Charlie was a nightmare for the west coast. I'm so grateful to be having a reprieve but always, always pay attention to what my meteorologist advises! Thanks for keeping us safe!!!

MiamiMeteorologist5 karma

You bet!!!!

akjkakjk10 karma

Climate-wise, what are you most concerned about for Miami?

What's your storm chasing gear?

MiamiMeteorologist17 karma

Hmmm, climate wise we are most sensitive to sea level so I guess that would be my greatest concern. Rising of course would be bad. When I started chasing I didn't have any gear except a car and a 35 mm camera. We would try to predict where to go and then just drive. It's amazing to think we got many tornadoes. That was before internet, cell phones, even the weather channel (I know, I'm very old). Now there is so much mobile tech out there, radar on your phone, all kinds of stuff. It's a different world chasing and you can see that be the number of chasers now out there.

Orphan_Babies7 karma

Is Twister your favorite movie?

MiamiMeteorologist9 karma

It is one of them. There was a lot in the movie that was not correct which makes me wonder what they do with other movies based on science

Andrea_D6 karma

Still better than Into the Storm, though.

MiamiMeteorologist5 karma

Good point!

BanSameRaceRelations7 karma

While out chasing storms, have you ever seen a hurricane victim in a near-death situation?

MiamiMeteorologist11 karma

I was on one tornado in northeast Missouri and came upon a house that looked like a bomb hit it. I stopped to make sure no one needed help. I have not been in many situations involving near-death....thankfully.

janeetcetc7 karma

What movie about anchormen/women do you think is most accurate? Also what's the craziest hurricane preparedness situation that you've seen? Like bunkers?

MiamiMeteorologist10 karma

I'm not sure what is most accurate. There seems to be a little truth in all of them and a lot of embellishment.
I think tape on windows is the craziest because it literally does nothing to protect a home.

YouCanPutItInMyVideo7 karma

I think it's less about protecting the home and more about making cleanup easier. If you have tape on windows when they shatter from being hit, at least your glass shattered onto a sticky surface, thus creating less work for you in the aftermath.

Source: being from southern Louisiana

pendletont10 karma

The only problem with that is if a hurricane blows your window out and it's taped, you now have a flying guillotine in your house/apartment.

drgradus2 karma

In this scenario I'm pretty sure that the family has evacuated and now they pick up one sticky shatter instead of many shards.

MiamiMeteorologist9 karma

The issue is, there are much better things you can be doing with your time like putting up shutters. If your windows blow in, tape only holds some of the pieces together. There will still be small pieces and just a few bigger ones with tape. So basically you would have to tape your entire window and that would leave nasty sticky tape back residue afterwards. And even then, if the window breaks and the wind and rain come in, you have big problems. Better to just take the time to put up shutters because you are protecting so much more by doing that.

stevethenewsguy7 karma

Does your prediction for hurricane season fall in line with the NWS? Or do you see other variables being more influential than what they've used to create their forecast? Also, how do you foresee climate change affecting hurricane season in the coming decade or two?

MiamiMeteorologist13 karma

So, to be honest, most of my meteorology experience is in operational or short term and nowcast forecasting. There are some brilliant people who can tell you about long wave patterns and global teleconnections in the atmosphere. I spend most of my time trying to improve the tools and messaging about hurricanes and threats to people from them. I do lots of work with the NWS and NHC in the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project working to make sure people understand risk and uncertainly and how to respond. So, I operate in the area of seeing the storm form, and planning for how it may affect us.

fbgoogletwitterlies7 karma

Back in the late 80's hurricane Hugo came very far inland, causing a lot of havoc and damage as far west as Charlotte, NC. I've not seen a hurricane do that since. What was so different about hurricane Hugo, why was it still so strong so far inland?

MiamiMeteorologist13 karma

Hugo was an amazing and horrible event. 1989 had a weather pattern that favored a major storm on a fast direction inland. It could happen again, let's hope not this year.

Felipe_Smith24697 karma

When a hurricane is coming, do you feel happy for being able to study and report it or do you feel sad for the potential damages and deaths caused by it?

MiamiMeteorologist11 karma

Good question. I feel conflicted. The atmosphere is so amazing and how it all comes together is incredible. But then there's the human impact side of it and that is truly frightening. I just hope at the end of the day I help a few people be safe and feel less worried than they normally would during a hurricane threat.

adam-bomb-866 karma

Is there any way (sites, apps, or otherwise) to predict hail (both location and size)?

MiamiMeteorologist9 karma

The SPC ( site has some pretty good tools in the analysis page. Other than that, the app RADARSCOPE has radar derived data that shows hail estimates.

Dannyfrommiami6 karma

What are your concerns about the record high temperatures we are having and the prediction of numerous hurricanes this season? Also go Canes!!

MiamiMeteorologist15 karma

Well, the heat was pretty bad recently. Fortunately local heat waves are not strong predictors of hurricane seasons. Go Canes!

smw896 karma

My mother just moved to Spring Hill, FL, which is right by the Gulf. I'm just curious, which section of FL is most and least likely to be hit by a hurricane? I don't really know a lot about hurricanes, though, so maybe they just sweep right through the entire state. I'm just a little worried about her living there; FL seems to get hit often by hurricanes.

MiamiMeteorologist9 karma

This map gives a good layout of the most likely parts of the state that could receive destructive winds.

smw893 karma

Are the blue/black dotted areas the second worst? The markings aren't labeled. Also, thanks for the map!

MiamiMeteorologist6 karma

The worst areas extend from south Florida in. The building codes are supposed to take into consideration how strong the winds could be in those areas.

TheNaughtyMonkey6 karma

Hey, Craig. I was a friend of yours back in Tampa, with the sailing.

So, do you think there is any relation between atmospheric CO2 and hurricanes?

MiamiMeteorologist8 karma

Hard to say. The research seems to keep changing from more hurricanes to fewer but stronger hurricanes. Doesn't seem settled yet. Hopefully soon

TheNaughtyMonkey8 karma

Do you still have those aviator goggles?

MiamiMeteorologist9 karma

Yes, and a hard hat!

okgasman6 karma

How does storm chasing in Miami differ from storm chas8ng in Oklahoma?

For thise who dont know, Oklahoma has an almost cult like mentality.

Some people go out with little or no training. Some people with lots of training and degrees have died storm chasing. We even have tour business that load people up in vans and take them out to look at tornados up close.

MiamiMeteorologist8 karma

Yes, crazy in Oklahoma. When I was at the U of Ok there were only a dozen chasers, now it is insane. In south Florida the road network is bad so chasing, when it's possible, is almost impossible.... unless you have an airboat??? ;-)

bethereinfive5 karma

What are your thoughts on storm chasers who are more thrill seekers less meteorologist?

MiamiMeteorologist10 karma

I worry more people will be hurt because of the crowds on roads from people distracted by bad weather. Since the movie Twister, the genie is out of the bottle and I don't know how you can put it back in. It's certainly exciting to see a tornado but I'm worried more people will be hurt or killed doing so.

Miamiweather7895 karma

Hi craig I meet you at boat show few year back I like know that you think going busy as forecaster are saying for hurr season? You think elnino not coming time for hurr season ?

MiamiMeteorologist6 karma

Hi, nice to hear from you. I'm not sure about this year. I always focus on August to October and always feel like there's going to be one out there that may head this way so I'm not caught off guard. Some people think I secretly hope for a hurricane but I live here too and you just have to take a look at a community that has been hit and you realize, you never hope for a hurricane.

Mydogsdad5 karma

Craig, how is the influx of fresh water from the north affecting hurricane season and predictability/severity?

MiamiMeteorologist5 karma

Well, that is part of the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) also know as the ocean thermohaline circulation. Over the period of decades the ocean conveyor belt flips. During one of the periods there is fresh (low salinity) water that spills in from the north. One of the results is believed to be a decrease in hurricane activity in the Atlantic because the north Atlantic into the tropics is cooler. The other impact is a slowing of the Gulf Stream current which results in higher sea levels along the Florida coast. We may be seeing some of that lately (past few years).

cbrian134 karma


MiamiMeteorologist8 karma

Fortunately it is built into the models and I don't have to deal with it on a daily basis. I'm thankful others were much smarter in math than me :-D

windjogger4 karma

How often are you wrong about the weather and what is your punishment when you are wrong? are you responsible for your calls?

MiamiMeteorologist12 karma

I take full responsibility for my forecasts because they are made by me based on data and models. I am wrong sometimes in tricky weather patterns involving timing of a weather system. Thankfully, I keep my job and don't get punished when wrong.

CrazyTillItHurts3 karma

Let's talk about the % chance of rain. Let's use 50% chance of rain as the focal point. If it was REALLY a 50% chance of rain every time they say it is a 50% chance of rain, then it should rain close to 1 out of 2 times that forecast is made. HOWEVER, I find that it only rains maybe 1 out of 10+ times with that forecast. Actually, if it is 50% or less chance, it is a pretty solid bet that it isn't going to rain. Really, I can only count on a chance of rain if the forecast says >= 80%. So what is the deal with this situation?

MiamiMeteorologist10 karma

True, and honestly I think saying 50% give the impression you either aren't sure or you could flip a coin. Technically the POP (prob of precip) is the forecasters confidence times the area of rain coverage. That's one reason I don't use POPs on TV. I don't think they are useful when you have 20% chance and it's raining only on you.

fckdafreeworld3 karma

Can any local Miami meteorologist live down the legend of Bryan Norcross?

MiamiMeteorologist4 karma

Bryan hired me in 2000 because I believe he saw some of the same qualities that he has. Hopefully I won't have to live down his legend but maybe I could live up to it. At least it's a worthy goal.

CurtisLeow2 karma

Do you think Louisiana is fully prepared for another category three hurricane to make landfall?

I've heard that Florida has a far stricter building code, requiring that new houses in low lying areas be built up on stilts. That's why all the new beach houses are so tall. Should other gulf states have a similar requirement?

MiamiMeteorologist4 karma

I don't know about Louisiana but many cities are doing the smart thing and forcing new construction in storm surge areas to build on stilts. I've seen this in the Keys, Pinellas (Tampa Bay) and other areas. That is to protect from surge. The South Florida (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach) building codes is to minimize failure of structures from wind. There are codes from securing roofs to having shutters that can withstand missiles and vibration/flexing. While it is more expensive, the goal is to only leave your home in a hurricane if you are in a storm surge evacuation zone.

SMB732 karma

'sup Craig! I have a sever weather question for you: Can you explain (layman's terms if you have them) what's going on with our Arizona summer this year?

Normally, we're well into the 110+ temps starting around March/April, but we're only now just scratching 100 this week and next. We had a couple days between where it got hot, but it's unusually cool this time of year. We're all going to die, aren't we?

MiamiMeteorologist2 karma

Hey there, I don't do much SW US forecasting but I believe it has a lot to do with the trough (jet stream dip) that has persisted over the western US. When there is colder air aloft, it's hard to heat up the surface too much before the atmosphere convects and mixes that warm surface heat out.

casualsax2 karma

Do you have a favorite spot to showcase a hurricane's weather conditions? It seems like whenever there's a storm I see Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard.

MiamiMeteorologist5 karma

Bayshore is so close to Old Tampa Bay and floods so easily. And yet you still see some people drive through that salty water. That's a good spot to see impacts.
I don't have a favorite spot but like a strong building on the coast with the waves breaking about 20 feet below me.

ImNotTheZodiacKiller2 karma

Hi Craig, I live in Pinellas County and hurricanes always seem to miss us. Any scientific explanation as to why? Also, hows this season looking? I'd really like to experience a hurricane before I'm a homeowner.

MiamiMeteorologist3 karma

Well, hurricanes make landfall in patterns that last many years. Typically during the summer, the steering currents make most storms move from east to west so a storm would have to cross Florida to hit you. In the late summer and during other unusual patterns the storms move more from south to north and that's the most likely time Pinellas would be hit. Unfortunately, I'm afraid Pinellas is a bit of a time bomb with so many trailer homes that aren't safe in a hurricane and so many elderly that don't or can't evacuate if needed. And the fact it has been so long, many don't even know what they would do if a real threat happened. Charlie in 2004 was a scare but there have been few real threats since then. I would suggest if you want to experience a hurricane you should go somewhere inland near where a hurricane is expected to make landfall. Unlike the people who live there, you will be happy you can leave and go home.

justlooking2502 karma

Orange you glad you don't live/work in orange county?

MiamiMeteorologist3 karma


Miamiweather7892 karma

What think people waiting for last hour before landfall you think people don't take get ready as tell us doing your tv speical?

MiamiMeteorologist7 karma

I don't know. I think people keep hoping it will change course or we will be wrong about it. There comes a time in every storm when there is no more time for hope, you must act.

iwas99x2 karma

Mr. Seltzer, how often do water spouts happen on the ocean during the summer? Are they rare or common?

MiamiMeteorologist3 karma

The Florida Keys have one of the highest frequencies of water spouts in the country. Tampa Bay is a close second. Typically water spouts are weak tornadoes except that they form from a swirl or wind shear line near the ocean surface that is then drawn up into a cumulus updraft. I want to buy a wave runner just to go water spout chasing......someday!

iwas99x2 karma

Mr. Seltzer, do you feel like there are way too many people who will "ride out" hurricanes when they blow over where they live? What if anything can be done to convince these people to evacuate?

MiamiMeteorologist3 karma

That's a hard one. The one lesson from bad hurricanes is, those who chose to ride it out say they will never do that again. So to me it says they really don't think it will be that bad or that scary, but it is. And then it is probably too late to leave.

Stopher2 karma

Are you related to Brian Setzer?

MiamiMeteorologist3 karma

Somehow, but I've never asked him for tickets to one of his shows. Also, I don't have that much musical talent....oh well.

burningshinobi1 karma

What is the most bizarre thing you've seen during hurricane season?

MiamiMeteorologist3 karma

I've got to say, it was pretty bizarre to see Matthew's forecast track last year looping back on itself looking like it would hit us twice. But what I thought was more bizarre is that everyone was freaking out about that loop back before they had even been hit once. Sometimes people pay more attention to the odd things far off in time than those right at your door.

iwas99x1 karma

Mr. Setzer, Yesterday I heard thunder and saw dark clouds yet lawn maintenance people were still working until it started raining, why does it seem people are not fearful of lightning strikes?

MiamiMeteorologist2 karma

That's a good question. I see it all the time and then hear every now and then about lawn or construction workers hit. I guess some people just have a higher tolerance to risk. Not me.... I hate close lightning.

ehnogi1 karma

Do you mount your toilet paper so that the sheets tear from under, or over the roll?

MiamiMeteorologist3 karma

Over. Doesn't everyone?

evilmail1 karma

Has there been a significant rise in surface water temperatures in the Atlantic in the last decade? What can we expect in terms of hurricane force if water temperatures rise an average of 5-10 degrees during hurricane season?

**Edit added word for clarification.

MiamiMeteorologist2 karma

Well, the temps were unusually warm in 2004 and 2005 and we saw what happened. Other ingredients were in play too for very active seasons. Warmer water usually supports higher and stronger hurricanes but other factors are also at play. 10 degrees of warming is a lot and there might be so much thunderstorm activity over that warm water that hurricanes might not be able to even form.

thatguyoverthere3451 karma

I know that NOAA puts out a prediction every year, but how active do you see this season being? Named storms? Landfall?

MiamiMeteorologist3 karma

Well, I don't do enough long term forecasting to really be able to answer, but based on what others are saying, a weak El Niño, warmer than normal temps in the tropical Atlantic and a few other things suggest the season will likely be at least normal with about 12 to 14 named storms. But forecasting landfall chances months away from a storm threat is something I don't think we have any skill with right now.

burgundybob1 karma

What is the biggest problem you have in your work?

MiamiMeteorologist2 karma

Actually, I don't have many problems at work. I'm very fortunate that my boss supports me completely. I've spoken to other Chief Meteorologists and many have to deal with consultants and news directors that are always telling them what to do and what not to do. My boss lets me run my weather department the way I want to and supports what we do and say during a hurricane threat.

g6g11 karma

When does tornado season officially start?

MiamiMeteorologist2 karma

Different parts of the country have different tornado seasons but the peak of the BIG tornado season in tornado alley is from late March to late May.

ur2dum1 karma

Why do some old Floridians pronounce it "hurra-kin"?

MiamiMeteorologist2 karma

I don't know. I've heard it from some in the Keys and also in the Panhandle.

JimmyReagan1 karma

Who is your favorite meteorologist? Like your inspiration/most respected/etc?

Also, do you know who Dr. Neil Frank is? He was the big hurricane guy when I lived in Houston a while back, he retired some years ago from regular weather broadcasts but they still bring him in when a hurricane is imminent...

MiamiMeteorologist2 karma

Yes, I know Neil Frank and respect him very much. He had a great way of explaining hurricanes and their threats. I believe he was Director at NHC when Allen barrelled toward south Texas. His interviews on the evening news were impressive. Another favorite of mine is Tom Skilling in Chicago. He showed more complex maps in three minutes than I've ever seen. Didn't seem to care that most of his graphics were so complex they needed a few minutes to explain but he would fly through them in seconds.

Lumpy210 karma

Who is crazier? Storm chasers or people on Fox news?

MiamiMeteorologist4 karma

I don't watch the news.....kidding. I have seen some crazy chasers. The issue is that they are not careful on the roads, puts other people's lives in danger.