Why Is the National Weather Service Yelling About Hurricane Sandy?

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Oct. 26 2012 11:28 AM

Why Is the National Weather Service Yelling About Hurricane Sandy?

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Hurricane Sandy looming in the Atlantic Ocean is genuinely alarming, but I wonder why the National Weather Service doubles down on alarmism with its typographical choices. Does this information need to be conveyed in capital letters?

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER (NHC) TRACK NOW BEST RESEMBLES THE 00 UTC ECMWF ENSEMBLE MEAN. THE EXTRATROPICAL TRANSITION OF SANDY MAY HAVE ALREADY BEGUN BASED UPON RECENT SATELLITE IMAGERY...A PROCESS EXPECTED TO COMPLETE TUESDAY PER NHC. THE DETERMINISTIC GUIDANCE (PARTICULARLY THE 00 UTC ECMWF) SHOW PRESSURE SOLUTIONS WELL BEYOND WHAT HAS EVER BEEN OBSERVED NEAR THE NEW JERSEY/NEW YORK COAST (EVEN EXCEEDING THE 1938 LONG ISLAND EXPRESS HURRICANE) EARLY IN THE MEDIUM RANGE PERIOD. THE DETERMINISTIC GUIDANCE (CANADIAN, GFS, AND ECMWF INCLUDED) HAS SHOWN A VERY STRONG BIAS WITH TROPICAL CYCLONES GAINING LATITUDE AND/OR TRANSITIONING INTO NON-TROPICAL STORMS OVER THE PAST COUPLE YEARS... INCLUDING (BUT NOT EXCLUSIVE TO) LESLIE 2012...ISAAC 2012...DEBBY 2012 IN THE WESTERN SUBTROPICAL ATLANTIC IRENE 2011 AND IGOR 2010. PLEASE REFER TO THE NHC FOR UPDATED INFORMATION ON SANDY.
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Stop yelling at me! They seem to be imitating the style of a telegram, but there's no reason to communicate in this way in the Internet age.

UPDATE: And here's the answer, thanks to my colleague Will Oremus.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.