From Hurricane Harvey to Irma now knocking on our door steps, there has been no down time National Hurricane Center in Miami, especially now that these forecasters are having to think about their own families this time around.
The center is located in west Miami-Dade County. It’s the facility surrounded by satellites.
And its the headquarters for the folks keeping the closest eye on what is now the strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin outside the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.
“This is where we actually work and monitor the storm,” said Michael Brennan, the branch chief the Hurricane Specialist Unit at the NHC. “Make the forecast, coordiante all the watches and warnings."
Right now the center is putting out “products” every three hours on Hurricane Irma. However, that could soon be hourly updates at the Category 5 hurricane nears Puerto Rico and Florida.
“We’re staffing up to deal with the increased work load that comes with a storm like Irma, so well have more people on as we get later into the week,” said Brennan.
It was no different with Hurricane Harvey.
This same center was monitoring that devastating system up until late last week, and with very little down time in between.
The difference with Irma, this one is personal.
“Not only are you dealing with the stress of doing your job, but your dealing with the stress of how you think about your family, your personal situation, what types of preparations you might have to make. So it’s an extra level of stress."