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National Hurricane Center Changes Policy in Wake of Sandy

photo by NASA via Getty Images

Responding to criticism after Superstorm Sandy, the National Hurricane Center said recently it would change the way it warns people about tropical storms that morph into something else.

At the height of Sandy, as the hurricane knocked on the northeast coast, forecasters at the center stopped issuing advisories and warnings because the storm merged with two cold-weather systems, lost its tropical characteristics and mutated into a hybrid megastorm.

Sandy lost the hurricane part of its name and the prestige that comes with the Hurricane Center’s constant attention and reliable forecasts, and some people said that caused northeast residents to underestimate its danger.

Under the new policy, the Hurricane Center in Miami will continue to put out warnings and advisories if a storm threatens people and land, even if a hurricane or tropical storm becomes something different.

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