Reliability of weather forecast models

Even though Hurricane Joaquin turned away from the United States, it still caused disruption across the tri-state area. The disparity between weather computer models caused much confusion and pretty soon spaghetti charts started to look like kids' drawings. Folks didn't know whether to just go about their business or prepare for the worst.

Once again, the debate began on which weather model had the best prediction: the American model, known as the GFS, or the European model.  Michael Schlacter of Weather 2000 says our friends across the pond are ahead of the game.

"The European Modeling Center, along with the UK Modeling Center, really put a ton of money into upgrading their models over the last few years," Schlacter said. "And their physics, their equations -- everything is just light years ahead of what our modeling system was a couple of years ago."

Recently, Sen. Chuck Schumer said that the miscalculations of Hurricane Joaquin's path were due to the underfunding of our national tracking system.

"We have to ensure that satellites like these are funded so that we can know how hard, where, and when superstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other weather hazards will hit," Schumer said.

While President Obama has proposed $380 million to build new weather satellites, Congress wants to slash two thirds of that money. And the House of Representatives wants to eliminate all of it.

According to a 2011 study published by the American Meteorological Society, New York is the most vulnerable of the 50 states to the negative economic effects of weather variability. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is attempting to keep New Yorkers safe with a new weather detection system. The New York State Early Warning Weather Detection System is a network of 125 weather stations across the state. Each station will collect a variety of data that will be used in forecasting and decision-making.