NORFOLK, Va. — June 1 marks the official start of hurricane season, and it’s a time when our team of 13News Now meteorologists is hard at work tracking the tropics.
But our attention to the weather and the changing climate around us wasn’t as prevalent four decades ago.
In 1980, it took a 13News Now special called "Focus" to bring our attention closer to home.
The late Jane Gardner led our coverage in the 30-minute special that featured one of the country’s top meteorologists, Dr. Neil Frank.
Back then, Frank was considered the voice of doom because a lot of people just didn’t have the time or patience to listen to his warnings.
Today, he would be known as the voice of reason, considering what we learned about sea-level rise and our vulnerability here in Hampton Roads.
“For the most part, people are not being told the seriousness of the hurricane problem,” said Dr. Frank in 1980. “We are in for what I fear may be a tremendous disaster one of these days.”
We’ve learned a lot since then. Technology, for one, has helped us get well ahead of most hurricanes.
In 1980, meteorologists could only predict an accurate path of a hurricane 10 to 12 hours out. Today, our scientists can predict the path of a hurricane three to five days in advance.
The threat of mother nature is also accepted widely, and as Dr. Frank preached four decades ago, we’re making efforts to adapt and live in harmony with changing conditions.