‘It’s time for a change’: A message from Matt Devitt on Florida weather

Reporter: Matt Devitt
Published: Updated:

It’s time for a change.

Starting this hurricane season I’ll be clearing the cone. Southwest Florida was devastated by Hurricane Ian and I felt that too many focused on the center line of the cone and not the other potential areas within it (Lee County landfall was on the far right of the cone).

The center line for a portion of time showed Tampa, leading to a false sense of security for some who maybe didn’t fully understand the cone. Also, keep in mind that destructive impacts can be felt outside of the cone too, including Naples with 100+ mph gusts and up to 8 feet of surge during Ian.

The link below includes the consistent warnings from WINK that a Southwest Florida landfall was always possible:

Ian was Florida’s deadliest hurricane since 1935, with the death toll’s highest percentage of seniors who stayed and drowned from storm surge. One life lost is one too many. Cone communication and how the public understands it has to improve.

We have to avoid focusing on just one fixed point in the center of the cone.

What would be the point of even having a cone if you just look at the line in the middle?

It’s too early to know if our cone adjustment is the answer, but I strongly believe it’s a step in the right direction.

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