Florence news sends mixed messages


The middle of September is typically the time of the year when the Atlantic Basin is most active for producing tropical cyclones. This year looks to be living up to the norm.

Tropical Storm Florence is flourishing out in the Western Atlantic, several hundred miles southeast of Bermuda. Two other areas of disturbance are located several hundred miles off the coast of Africa. The National Hurricane Center expects both of these areas to be named storms, Helen and Issac, by the end of the weekend.

Florence is quietly sneaking up on the eastern seaboard, which is something many news outlets are simply not picking up on. USA Today wrote an excellent article Thursday outlining the high activity level of the tropics, along with an enticing headline (Florence expected to re-strengthen as it nears the East Coast) giving readers a heads-up.

NJ.com‘s headline is significantly different (Hurricane Florence weakens to tropical storm as New Jersey weekend weather cools considerably). They fail to recognize the point that their area could very well be in the path of this storm at this time next week but instead focus on the fact that Florence has briefly weakened to a tropical storm, which will certainly not last long.

Although it is understandable that news outlets do not want to scare their readers and induce panic and preparation at too early of a stage, it should still be imperative that the word is out there that they could be in the path of a major hurricane in a short amount of time.