Weather Experts Gather at Hurricane Conference at SPI

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SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – Hurricane season officially begins next month. And every year weather experts get together for the hurricane conference at South Padre Island.

The conference is put together by CHANNEL 5 NEWS Chief Meteorologist Tim Smith and KABB-TV’s Chief Meteorologist Alex Garcia.

All the attendees will learn for the first time the forecast for the upcoming hurricane season. Weather forecasters from around the country and their camera crews attend the event.

“We’re forecasting a below normal hurricane season of 11 named storms. Of those 11 named storms, four becoming hurricanes and of those four, two becoming major category three, four, five hurricanes,” Dr. Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist with Colorado State University said.

“We got people from all over the United States. We got speakers and attendees from New England, all the way to Los Angeles. One of our speakers from Los Angeles, Josh Borgerman, he’s a hurricane chaser,” Smith said.

There was even a delegation from the Bahamas. They all share a passion for weather.

“Weather for me is a challenge because every day is different. It’s not the same. Even every minute is different,” Garcia said.

Smith coordinates with KRGV so they can report back to their own television stations.

“Tim gave me the time, more or less, when people were going live,” KRGV’s Israel Alfaro said. “So I’m going to have to call Atlanta and say, ‘Hey, I’m ready to power up.’ And then we go through all the steps and we should be ready to rock and roll.”

Weather experts come to conference to learn about what to expect and prepare, but there are times when weather can still be unpredictable.

“When you come in and you think it’s going to be an easy day. We had a recent example where we had a slight chance of a thunderstorm in the forecast and we had baseball hail in Rio Hondo. And that’s tough. That’s tough and you want to be right. You want to be right every time. When you see developing, that 20 percent is coming true,” Smith said.

And it isn’t just the experts preparing. Hurricane Preparedness Week begins next week. To learn about supplies and evacuation plans visit Weather.gov.

You can catch Con Mi Gente segments Tuesdays and Thursdays on CHANNEL 5 NEWS THIS MORNING and CHANNEL 5 NEWS at 5.  

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