Behind the scenes at the National Hurricane Center

WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - With Hurricane Matthew battering the Caribbean and heading towards the eastern coast of South Florida, the meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center are working around the clock to provide forecasts and warnings to those who could be affected.

The Hurricane Center, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, stays open 24 hours a day. Together, meteorologists and staffers at the NHC try to accurately predict the direction and strength of large storms like Hurricane Matthew.

“Everybody on a desk has their responsibility, whether it’s aviation forecast, handling briefings, watching the weather balloon. You know, we have our different responsibilities,” Warning Coordination Meteorologist Robert Molleda said, “looking at satellite data, looking at the Doppler radar data. We look at the the computer model data and really just using our expertise to blend all that information and use it to come up with a forecast.”

The center takes all that information and communicates it to the public by issuing advisories every three hours and working with local governments.

“The other important part is the communication part,” Molleda said. “We have to communicate the message, communicate the information properly so that people understand what weather they may expect and what they should do to prepare themselves.”

The center is open 24 hours a day, constantly keeping track of any storms that could affect the U.S., including another storm in the Atlantic Ocean not named Matthew but named Tropical Storm Nicole. With a major storm like Hurricane Matthew approaching Florida, the center has extra staff working.

“When they’re on shift, they’re there, someone is here, someone is in the room all the time,” Molleda said. “They have to monitor the entire Tropical Atlantic and even the East Pacific so when other storms going on they have to be watching those too.”

The center provides forecasts, advisories, educational resources and more on its website:

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