Southwest Florida Yachts


New Weather Satellites. Yah!
By Barb Hansen

More than once I have used this soapbox to rail at the way the TV networks cover our storms (or, as they call them -- events.) It was always be-afraid, be-very-afraid coverage.

Remember CBS broadcast star Dan Rather reporting on Hurricane Andrew on the East Coast from the West Coast of Florida? Rather stood on a bridge overlooking blue skies and placid water in beautiful Fort Myers and told the world this was ground zero for hurricane trouble.

Now, as you may know, Andrew hit Miami-Homestead on the East Coast of Florida, not Fort Myers on the West Coast of Florida. So isn't a charter yacht proprietor on the West Coast of Florida allowed to wonder how much Florida business was lost because of those rather loose lips?

Well, that was 20 years ago and I have to say that the TV storm coverage is getting better. A little, anyway.

Today superior satellite technology lets the networks show us where the storm is and where rain and wind are causing trouble. And experts say it will get even better. I just read where new weather satellites are in place and before long will be delivering 30 times more data than the ones we have now.

When Tropical Storm Isaac started across the Florida Keys I was expecting more wall-to-wall excitement telling everybody to be afraid, be very afraid. But, all in all, I thought the media were fair. Oh, of course, some on the scene reporters still overhype the rain and wind (or, as they call them --impacts) and I guess this makes good TV. But I don't fall for it.

Actually, I think the TV audience back home is getting a little smarter, too. A little voice talks to me when I'm watching TV and basically it tells me what's hype and what's not.

As TS Isaac approached our area we got some rain but it wasn't much different from a normal afternoon thunderstorm. Our teams overseeing our fleets at Marinatown Marina and Burnt Store Marina know what to do to secure our sail and power yachts. Just in case. Taking precautions just in case -- is what boaters do, you know. Like Boy Scouts, we prepare.

Today, as I write this, Isaac is now a hurricane and is dumping rain on Louisiana. I hope, like boaters, they prepared for flooding and power outages. I also hope the new weather satellites I've been reading about will be good enough to let us know if an approaching storm, like Isaac, is going to stall and dump 25 inches of rain where I live.

Meanwhile my organization -- the Academy of Boob Tube Hurricane Coverage is accepting nominations for an award ceremony at the end of the hurricane season. All eyes will be on who wins the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. It is also known as the Be-Very-Afraid Award. Some refer to it as the Dan Rather Award.

If we don't have a winner this year, that's a good thing.

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Southwest Florida Yachts
3444 Marinatown Lane N.W. • North Fort Myers • Florida 33903
(239) 656-1339 (800) 262-7939 Fax (239) 656-2628

Marinatown Marina 26° 38.5'N 81° 53.0'W
Burnt Store Marina 26° 45.71' N 82° 04.20'W

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