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Breakdowns in equipment thwart forecasts

Debbie Cenziper of The Miami Herald used forecast verification reports to show that breakdowns in crucial weather-observing equipment are foiling forecasters at the National Hurricane Center — the nation's first line of defense against tropical weather. "Buoys, weather balloons, radars, ground sensors and hurricane hunter planes, all part of a multibillion-dollar weather-tracking system run by the federal government, have failed forecasters during nearly half of the 45 hurricanes that struck land since 1992." Records show that forecasters have predicted tracks hundreds of miles off course, anticipated weak storms that grew all powerful, and powerful storms that eventually grew weak. The story includes information on how this story was researched and reported.

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