Weather Geeks host goes on mini-rant against cruise industry’s claims

The host of the popular Weather Channel show “Weather Geeks” went on a “mini-rant” this morning against the cruise industry’s claims the storm that struck Sunday along the east coast was unexpected.

Marshall Shepherd, director of the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia, said the forecast for Sunday’s storm, which packed hurricane-force winds, was very well predicted and Royal Caribbean should have been aware of what it was sailing into.

He appeared on the morning the Weather Channel’s AMHQ with Jim Cantore and Stephanie Abrams.

“Here’s the deal,” Shepherd said. “Four days out they were talking about hurricane-force winds. I am not going to continue to let these private companies throw our community under the bus.”

The luxury cruise liner Anthem of the Seas is expected to dock today in New Jersey after a harrowing day in the grip of Sunday’s monster storm.

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This image made available by Flavio Cadegiani shows damage to Royal Caribbean’s ship Anthem of the Seas, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. The ship ran into high winds and rough seas in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday, forcing passengers into their cabins overnight. (Flavio Cadegiani via AP)

In a statement from Royal Caribbean, the storm was called “unexpected” with wind speeds “higher than what was forecast.”

According to National Weather Service spokeswoman Susan Buchanan, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ocean Prediction Center was alerting to a strong storm four days in advance of its formation and issued a graphical alert Friday at 1 p.m. for “developing hurricane-force winds.”

The 18-deck, 1,142-foot ship, sailed on Saturday.

For  more on the incident that left the ship battered and passengers shaken read the full story here.

 

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