Weather Central Pegged Katrina Landfall


Broadcast weather service, Weather Central, sent out a release late Wednesday claiming that 72 hours before the event, its Hyper-local Super Microcast forecasting model had predicted the landfall of Hurricane Katrina within five minutes and a mile of the actual landfall.

"Recent Advances in the Proprietary Weather Central Forecast Model Yield Unprecedented Accuracy in Hurricane Prediction in this Busy Hurricane Season," the release said.

As to the timing of the release, Weather Central spokesman Steve Smedberg said the company had had concerns about putting the release out so quickly, but that it was not trying to capitalize on the devastating storm. Instead, he said, they were trying to inform clients of the increasing accuracy of Microcast, which also effectively predicted the landfall of hurricane Dennis last year, said Smedberg.

The company said it predicted Katrina would hit Aug. 29 at 6:05 a.m. at Triumph, La. The eye came ashore at 6:10 near Triumph.

Weather Central has 325-350 TV station clients in the U.S., but only a third or so now use the Microcast model.