Katrina-level storm forecast by blogger prompts concern by NWS

A private weather blogger claims there's the possibility of a Katrina-level storm headed for the Gulf Coast next week.

The forecast map published by WeatherAlertCentral.com on its website and Facebook page showed a "projected path" of a hurricane leading into the Gulf of Mexico and making landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast next week.

"Weather Alert Central.com – Guidance is suggesting a Major Hurricane into the Gulf of Mexico by next week, which is during the time-frame Hurricane Katrina hit.  All residents on the Gulf Coast need to keep an eye on this system as the guidance is suggesting a major event coming," the website said.

The National Weather Service was quick to respond, pointing out their forecasts only track out to five days -- also pointing out that there currently is not a tropical disturbance to form into a hurricane.

"Nearly every [tropical] disturbance poses some potential to become a dangerous hurricane. Folks in hurricane-prone areas should always be keeping an eye on the tropics and be prepared to respond when a true threat develops, but also remember the limitations in the science. NHC’s forecasts of tropical cyclone formation and track extend out only to 5 days – because the science hasn’t advanced enough to reliably forecast beyond that time frame. (We’re working on internal forecasts out to 7 days, but we’re a ways away from feeling comfortable making them public because the errors can be quite large.)  The bottom line really is: be alert, be prepared, but also be wary of long-range projections that go beyond what the science can offer."

Weather Alert Central.com doubled down after the National Weather Service and Weather Channel downplayed the private forecast.

"I am a national forecaster. That means I know what is going on nationally and can forecast nationally. I issue custom products and of course by the first amendment in this great country (LIKE FOR AMERICA) we are able to do that. I do not wait for government sources to warn my viewers. I will do it myself if I feel the need to," he posted on his newest Facebook page. 

According to Gawker.com, the man behind the website is "California-based weather enthusiast Kevin Martin." Gawker stated that Martin "sues and threatens and bullies people who challenge his particularly ugly form of internet bull. He made his name on writing fake weather stories in order to get them to spread virally on social media, and sadly he's pretty successful." 

Three years ago, the National Weather Service took the unusual step of officially distancing itself from Martin, sending out a Public Information Statement about him.

"NWS, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has no association with the Southern California Weather Authority or with Mr. Kevin Martin or any other staff of the Southern California Weather Authority.

"Weather forecast and warning products developed and distributed by Mr. Martin or the Southern California Weather Authority may have formatting or contain content that could visually be confused with that of the National Weather Service. Regardless of formatting or content, Mr. Martin's weather products have no connection with nor are they the products of the National Weather Service.

"NWS is the sole official voice of the U.S. Government for warnings of hazardous weather, including tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, floods and others. NWS encourages the media and others to distribute NWS warnings and other hazardous weather products widely to aid public safety."

After the NWS statement, Martin filed a handwritten lawsuit against the National Weather Service claiming a civil rights violation.  Martin also claims The Weather Channel "stole" his idea to give storms names.

Wednesday night, a post we made asking about Martin's weather credentials was removed from his Facebook page.  As part of an update on the "storm," Martin stated he did not allow "bashing" on his Facebook page. 

Print this article Back to Top