National Hurricane Center Debuts New Look for Cone of Uncertainty

You know you’ve seen it. A hurricane is approaching and the National Hurricane Center issues a forecast cone in their report to indicate the possible path and impact area of the tropical cyclone. 

Maybe you have wondered about this “cone of uncertainty.” 

It turns out a lot of people have wondered about what exactly the cone means. The problem is that the public’s understanding of the its meaning is usually wrong. So forecasters are trying to improve the tool. 

But first, just what is the cone? 

Using Census Data

Social vulnerability refers to the risks people face as a result of their socioeconomic status. There are a lot of ways to define social vulnerability and multiple things that can affect it; education, job skills, family, childhood circumstances, etc.

But in general, it refers to the social circumstances that place an individual or a group of people at a heightened risk. Of course to calculate that risk, researchers need to know a lot of information about the people living in a community.