Better satellites, smarter computer models and faster computers helped government forecasters correctly predict the devastation from Hurricane Sandy, scientists say.
It's unlikely the forecast would have been nearly as accurate just a couple of decades ago, they say.
"The National Hurricane Center did a fantastic job, particularly with the track forecast and the intensity forecast as it was moving toward the Northeast," says Sharan Majumdar, an associate professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami.
Lady Rhea is not the kind of witch you'll find in a pointy hat this Halloween. She is a real workaday witch, grinding out a living selling magic products in a booth at Original Products, a grocery store-sized botanica in the Bronx. She's been a practicing Wiccan for nearly four decades, making her one of the longest-serving high priestesses in New York City.
If you followed American media in recent years, you might have thought China was taking over the planet. Recent titles at the book store have included Becoming China's Bitch and When China Rules the World.
"They are the world's superpower or soon will be," Glenn Beck used to intone on Fox News. "They always thought America was just a blip."
And when the city of Philadelphia postponed an Eagles football game a couple of years ago because of a blizzard forecast, then-Gov. Ed Rendell said America — unlike China — was becoming a nation of "wussies."
In lower Manhattan, the New York Stock Exchange was closed yesterday. It's closed again today; slated to reopen tomorrow. More on that, coming up. But Wall Street is not the only industry in lower Manhattan facing trouble from the hurricane. Zoe Chace, of NPR's Planet Money team, has been getting a look around.