2:45 p.m. Thursday:
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, questions have been raised about the National Weather Service's handling of hurricane warnings in life-threatening situations.
Now, differing statements have emerged from the National Weather Service and one of their branches, the National Hurricane Center, regarding what changes will be made to hurricane policies moving forward.
After Chris Landsea, Science and Operations Officer at the National Hurricane Center, released exclusive information to AccuWeather.com Wednesday regarding a change in the NHC's advisory policy and hurricane warning definition, the National Weather Service released a statement clarifying that the change has not been finalized.
"I'm not contesting that [Landsea] said that. He misspoke, or it was inaccurate information," National Weather Service Spokesman Chris Vacarro said, reiterating that the NWS statement contains the correct information.
"The Hurricane Center is aware of this. [The National Weather Service statement] is correcting an incorrect statement," Vacarro said.
Vacarro confirmed that NHC Director Rick Knabb is in agreement with the NWS statement, though calls to Knabb and requests for comment have not been returned as of this time Thursday afternoon.
9:21 p.m. Wednesday:
National Weather Service Spokesman Chris Vaccaro released a statement to AccuWeather.com:
A proposal was raised during the NOAA Hurricane Conference last week for NWS to have the option to issue hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings for post-tropical cyclones that threaten life and property. This is one step in the process required before any proposed change to operational products becomes final. As part of our review of the 2012 hurricane season, including the Sandy service assessment, we will review all policies and changes through the existing and established process.
Nearly two months after Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast, the National Hurricane Center has revealed the thought process behind the decision not to issue hurricane warnings north of North Carolina, which resulted in much miscommunication and confusion for the government and public alike.
Chris Landsea, the Science and Operations Officer at the National Hurricane Center told AccuWeather.com there were three ruled-out options leading up to the final actions made by Branch Chief of the Hurricane Specialist Unit, James Franklin, Deputy Director of the NHC, Ed Rappaport and Director of the NHC, Rick Knabb.
If the National Hurricane Center had continued to issue advisories after the system had transitioned into a post-tropical phase, it may have resulted in a total system failure, according to the NHC.
"We would have risked completely breaking our dissemination system," Landsea said. "The system is not set up for us to continue to write advisories once the system becomes post-tropical. So, we could have tried that, but we could have broken our way to get the information out and that would have been a humongous disaster."