EDIT: That's all the time I have today. Thanks for all the questions! It was fun. Here is the latest on Hurricane Dorian, which is now a Category 3 "major" hurricane:


Every year when I write a story about how quiet the hurricane season is, I jinx it, and it happened again this year: Hurricane Dorian is coming and is expected to be a Category 4 storm when it nears Florida. How bad will it be? When will it hit? I'm Doyle Rice, the USA TODAY weather reporter who also covers climate change, space and science. For the past 15 years, when weather, or climate, or science makes news, I’ve written about it for USA TODAY. From blizzards and tornadoes to hurricanes and floods, the USA's wild weather keeps me busy. Twitter: @USATODAYWeather

Proof: https://i.redd.it/nwgflhwg2jj31.jpg

Ask me anything!

Comments: 1240 • Responses: 34  • Date: 

KarateKid19841060 karma

Question, in the book "The Picture of Dorian Gray” it is revealed at the end that Dorian stays young forever, as his picture ages. Eventually he looks at his aged picture, and he then ages and dies.

Is there a chance we can use this against hurricane Dorian? Have you tried showing it an aged picture of itself?

usatoday1156 karma

A co-worker asked if we could use black and white photos of the storm, so he could see Dorian Grey.

quikskier635 karma

How much more accurate are hurricane forecasts today than say 10 or 20 years ago? What is the biggest factor in the improved accuracy?

usatoday849 karma

From the period of 1990 through 2016, the three-day track error for tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico declined from 555 kilometers to 185 kilometers, dramatically reducing the size of hurricane warning and evacuation zone areas, according to NOAA.

BrazenBull453 karma

Do you get to wear sweet Hawaiian shirts to work because you are the weather guy, because USA Today is super chill, or because it's casual Friday?

usatoday506 karma

All of the above. I wear Hawaiian shirts whenever possible.

elRobRex446 karma

I live in Miami, 5 blocks from the coastline.

How screwed is my house?

(Edited to add a question mark. Because grammar matters.)

revisedusername248 karma

bruh... are you driving/flying away as we speak? Seriously, stay safe.

elRobRex207 karma

Finishing day at work -I work in insurance, so obviously we're super busy right now preparing. Flying out at 6pm to Puerto Rico until Wednesday of next week at least.

usatoday362 karma

The entire state of Florida is in the "cone of uncertainty" with Dorian. The storm could go anywhere in the state, so just prepare for the worst and hope for the best. https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at5+shtml/145103.shtml?cone#contents

thestudlife269 karma

Will Dorian also be one of the wettest we've ever seen, from the standpoint of water?

usatoday220 karma

It would be hard to top Harvey, which dumped colossal amounts of rain on Texas. Here's one forecast of rainfall from Dorian: https://twitter.com/RyanMaue/status/1167460055412854784

toxicdevastator207 karma

What's the most bizarre weather related story you've covered?

SquanchingOnPao190 karma

You ever get sick of the media hyping every hurricane to be Hurricane Andrew 2.0?

usatoday325 karma

It's better than no coverage at all, I'd say. Better to be over-informed than under-informed. Sandy, Katrina, Harvey, all more than lived up to the hype.

RubberKnuckleDuster140 karma

Is it possible to actually aim the hurricane to a particular property within a certain area in Florida?

usatoday89 karma


Malinhion137 karma

What quadrant of the hurricane is the worst for tornados?

usatoday201 karma

In the northern hemisphere, the right-front quadrant (relative to the motion of the hurricane) is strongly favored for tornado formation, NOAA says.

unDerwaTerLover111 karma

Do you actually answer questions?

usatoday140 karma


jaxmyraj074 karma

Why do you send people out in the hurricane to show us how windy it is? Isn’t that dangerous?

Calculonx52 karma

Well... not always

usatoday138 karma

That's what the TV folks do, not us.

yumyumcrabs74 karma

Is it really true that the frequency/size of hurricanes is increasing? If so, do you recommend a solid source of literature for further reading?

usatoday110 karma

https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/global-warming-and-hurricanes/ is a great, resource. This is another. https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2019/07/how-climate-change-is-making-hurricanes-more-dangerous/ With hurricanes, you have frequency, size, speed, intensity, surge, and rainfall, which are all separate issues.

darkjurai68 karma

Is Doyle a nickname or your given name? It’s neat and I don’t think I’ve ever heard it before.

usatoday151 karma

That's my real name, dude.

usatoday68 karma

Hello, this is our most updated Hurricane Dorian story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/weather/2019/08/30/hurricane-dorian-florida-forecast-category-4-labor-day-storm-surge/2161807001/I'll dive into the questions now!

sketchy_drifter35 karma

If you were in the Tampa area and had zero hurricane knowledge or experience how would you prepare? Is there much danger for people in the Tampa area?

MAK3AWiiSH91 karma

Not the AMA guy, but a Florida native with some friendly advice. (28 years of being Florida woman)

No one can tell you how much danger or damage you will experience at any location. Period. Even as the storm is making landfall we still won’t know where it will go or how it will affect your exact location. You won’t know the damage until after it’s happened.

You should always have a hurricane preparedness kit ready from July-December. The poster above made a great list.

Check your flood zone, google it. If you live on or near the water be prepared for serious flooding. I lived in St. Petersburg and we always got crazy flooding. Go get sand bags if you’re in a serious flood zone.

Most critically: don’t panic. Make a plan for yourself and any family members or pets. If you’re going to ride out the storm do not go outside and don’t drive during the storm.

The other comment didn’t really outline how much water you need, but it’s generally one gallon per person per day. Get your water now almost all of Jacksonville is out of water.

My final three piece of water advice:

  1. Fill plastic bags with water (as many as you can fit) and put them in your freezer. It will help things stay frozen in the event of power loss. Do not open the fridge or freezer unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  2. Fill up a clear cup with water, freeze it. Once it’s frozen solid put a penny on top. This will allow you to see how far your freezer thawed out when the power what’s out
  3. Fill your bathtub, sinks, and any available container with water from the tap. Use this water to flush the toilet and for hygiene

You’re gonna be alright don’t worry. Anyone who’s never done this before feel free to PM me with questions/concerns.

usatoday38 karma

Great advice from a long-time resident!

seajay627 karma

Please tell me, do you have a gambling alter ego named Royle Dice?

BayshoreCrew8 karma

God damn it

usatoday24 karma

Yes, that's my spoonerism.

catdragonrose15 karma

Why is it getting slower? Or atleast the prejections of landfall are getting later and later, why? Is it possible that it could get up to a 5 before landfall since its staying over al that warm water?

usatoday26 karma

One hurricane expert says that Category 5 is in play: https://twitter.com/RyanMaue/status/1167440533083631616 By the way, Ryan Maue is a great follow for hurricane updates.

sess1311 karma

I'm due to fly to Orlando on Thursday 5th. Will the hurricane still be a problem around then? Cheers!

usatoday32 karma

The hurricane will be gone by then but power outages might still be an issue.

solojones113811 karma

Honest question, will this affect people at Disney World? Or is it so far inland it won't matter?

usatoday24 karma

It easily could have a significant impact on Disney World, with heavy rain and strong winds the biggest threats.

nerdgirl378 karma

Is there an official guide that tells weathermen how far to roll their sleeves up depending on the severity of a storm?

I live in the south and it's common joke in this area that the higher the sleeves the worse the storm.

For a serious question, what caused you to want to get into weather reporting originally?

usatoday11 karma

I answered a newspaper help wanted ad for a job as assistant editor at Weatherwise magazine back in 1995.

ThomasRaith8 karma

Whenever one of these things comes around, the impression I get from the media is that they are practically salivating over it being as destructive as possible. There are reporters in raincoats running all over the place trying to get footage of any kind of damage to buildings. The more crying people they can put on camera the better. The media is excited about it.

Do you have the same impression from your producers/editors? Do you feel that the way these things are covered is appropriate?

usatoday11 karma

I get no pressure from editors to overhype anything.

gilligan545 karma

Would a wall along Florida’s East coast stop or divert hurricanes?

usatoday10 karma

No. Here are some suggestions for stopping or diverting hurricanes, none of which work: https://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/tcfaqC.html

reverseforsix3 karma

What would your advice be to those in the areas it is expected to hit?

usatoday4 karma

pianoboy83 karma

Isn't this a bit early for hurricanes, especially C4s, to start forming? It isn't even september yet.

usatoday8 karma

Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30. Storms can and do form any time within that time. We're entering prime time for hurricane formation, however,.

InGenNateKenny3 karma

What do you think of the name "Dorian"? I think it's awful.

usatoday15 karma

You're right, I would have preferred Doyle. Seriously, it was chosen years ago by the World Meteorological Organization, which chooses hurricane names years in advance.

trvp6od2 karma

Will the hurricane impact New Mexico?

usatoday5 karma


scottbomb1 karma

Have you noticed whether or not people take weather warnings in general less seriously than in years past due to over-hyped "doomsday" storms that keep turning out to be duds? I've heard of this happening in tornado alley, too. Tornado warnings issued without a funnel cloud report. There's a story called, "The boy who cried wolf" that should be told to these forecasters-turned-entertainers.

usatoday3 karma

Thank you for your commentary. It is true that 75% of all tornado warnings are false alarms.

izzytheman001 karma

Is climate change real?

usatoday2 karma


domino71 karma

What criteria would you use to develop a new hurricane classification system that takes into account more than just wind speed?

usatoday2 karma

Both storm surge and rainfall should be factored into a revised scale, if possible. Water typically is more devastating and deadly than wind.

chebezlcrow42121 karma

What's your favourite hurricane?

usatoday2 karma

I've only lived through one, Hurricane Bob, in Massachusetts in 1991. Gloria missed us in the early 1980s.

ilrasso1 karma

How probable is it that Dorian will be 10 times stronger than expected upon landfall?

usatoday2 karma

10 times stronger than expected? That's unlikely if not impossible.