Megastorm Aftermath Takes Prior Sandy Documentary Even Deeper

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

Superstorm Sandy. Megastorm Sandy.  Regardless of what one calls it, everybody can agree that when this monster storm made its way through New York and New Jersey in late 2012, it was an eye opener.  That’s because no one in either area expected the storm to hit the region.  The impact on both states was instant.  And it has also led to a number of important and necessary discussions.  Those discussions were tackled earlier this year in PBS’ hit science series NOVA.  The series tackled those issues in Hurricane Sandy: Inside The Megastorm.  That episode gave viewers an in-depth look at the storm from the days leading up to landfall straight through to the days that followed.  As interesting as that episode was, it still left viewers with some questions, which is not a bad thing.  Those questions have been tackled in a new episode, titled Megastorm Aftermath.  This episode of NOVA is a good companion piece to Hurricane Sandy: Inside The Megastorm first and foremost in that viewers don’t have to have seen the earlier episode in order to appreciate the latter of the pair.  In direct relation, it goes even deeper discussing not only weather related questions, but much deeper topics.  The video and graphics used throughout those discussions are just as important to the overall presentation as the topics discussed over the course of its near hour-long run time.  They help to illustrate the topics and resultant arguments that are raised in this episode.  All things considered, this episode of NOVA proves to be quite insightful for all viewers. Whether one is an average viewer or a professional in the worlds of weather and engineering, there is something for every viewer.  It’s yet more proof of why NOVA continues to be one of the best programs on television today.

Megastorm Aftermath is another impressive edition of NOVA first and foremost in that it works both as a stand-alone episode and as a companion to Hurricane Sandy: Inside the Megastorm.  Audiences don’t have to have seen the earlier of the pair in order to appreciate the latter.  The reason for that is that the latter of the two does in roughly fifteen minutes what the previous episode covered in nearly an hour.  This allows the show’s staff to address early on, the questions that were left unanswered by that previous episode.  The first of those questions was centered on statements made regarding the impact of global warming on Hurricane Sandy and hurricane strength in general.  It was tied directly to statements made in regards to global water temperatures and their potential effect on hurricane strength.  The two issues seemed to contradict one another when raised by certain individuals that contributed to said episode.  Both topics are explained and clarified expertly here, giving a much clearer view of how one or the other could play a role in hurricane development.  NOVA’s show runners are to be applauded for opening Megastorm Aftermath in this fashion.  They are just as worthy of applause for taking viewers beyond those issues in this episode and tackling even some even more pressing yet related issues.

NOVA’s show runners are to be applauded for Megastorm Aftermath because of the way in which the program opens.  The program’s first fifteen minutes alone serve to make it a solid stand-alone program since it sums up the material discussed in the aforementioned documentary about Hurricane Sandy.  They don’t stop there, though.  They take viewers even deeper here.  They do so first and foremost by questioning should humans begin to retreat from the world’s coastal region.  This unbiased discussion topic sets the stage for the discussion on the means to protect the world’s coastal and low-lying regions not just from hurricanes but from the world’s ever rising ocean levels.  More specifically, it compares methods used in Holland as models for what could be done to protect New York and New Jersey.  Both sides are argued here, just as with the topic of human population of coastal regions.  Academics, ecologists, and scientists argue the positives and negatives to the proposed methods.  This includes the economic and ecological impacts on given communities.  This is the real heart of the issue.  And it is certain to bring about even more questions and discussions within given communities.  They are questions that should be seriously considered by both American citizens and this nation’s government, considering the cost to benefit ratio.  While the methods discussed may not be cheap, the long term economic and ecological benefit may prove to be well worth the cost, especially considering the millions of dollars spent each year on disaster relief.  Here again, viewers have one more reason to check out this episode of NOVA.

The issues discussed in Megastorm Aftermath make for plenty of reason to watch this episode of NOVA.  As important as they are to the program, the visuals used to illustrate each topic are just as important to the program.  Throughout the course of this program, audiences see firsthand, the impact that Sandy had on New York and New Jersey when it made landfall.  The images are powerful to say the least.  Just as interesting to note are the video and illustrations used to explain methods used in Holland to protect against rising waters and storm surge.  They make the topics and arguments made all the more impactful for viewers.  And together with said topics and arguments, they make this program complete.  Whether one is a professional meteorologist, engineer, or just casual viewer, it all makes this episode one that will appeal to any audience.  It will be available on DVD next Tuesday, December 31st and can be ordered direct from the PBS online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=24534456&cp=&sr=1&kw=megastorm+aftermath&origkw=Megastorm+Aftermath&parentPage=search.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online at http://www.facebook.com/NOVAOnline and http://www.pbs.org/nova.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

NOVA Sure To Start Discussions With Inside The Megastorm

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS debuted earlier this Spring, a new episode of its hit science program, NOVA that is a good fit for the start of the annual hurricane season in Hurricane Sandy: Inside the Megastorm.  Being that this year’s hurricane season starts tomorrow, June 1st, what better time for audiences to check out this episode?  Hurricane Sandy: Inside the Megastorm is an interesting look into what was the single most destructive storm of the 2012 hurricane season.  It offers viewers a first-hand look at the destruction caused throughout New York and New Jersey through those that were affected by the storm.  It also uses interviews with professionals and academics to explain what exactly led to the creation of what would eventually be termed, “Frankenstorm” because it hit right around Halloween.  In connection, the discussions on whether or not global warming played a role in its power is certain to become a point of contention as they seem to counter one another.  Despite noting discussions on what can be done to better protect ourselves from megastorms, those discussions are in fact extremely brief.  Luckily, everything else that went into this program more than makes up for that lack, leading this episode to be another interesting feature from NOVA.

The majority of the roughly hour-long feature on Hurricane Sandy is spent telling the story of Sandy’s creation to its aftermath.  Most interesting to note here is how those in the Northeast largely played it off because of the ineffectiveness of Hurricane Irene, which hit the New York region in 2011.  This is the same mentality shared among so many throughout the East Coast and Gulf Coast to this day.  But obviously that view has changed as a result of Sandy.  The sights of flooding and the stories of the lives affected by the storm will move any viewer; sometimes even to the point of tears.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  The very brief discussion on the European hurricane models and how they, too were ignored makes the story of this originally unassuming storm even more interesting.  Viewers will take interest in the note that officials with NOAA had themselves ignored European models that had months prior predicted Sandy would in fact make its fateful Westerly turn and head straight into the heart of New York and New Jersey.  This adds interest in that Americans rarely—if ever—hear anything from forecasters in the U.S. about European models versus American models each year.  Perhaps this could be the point of discussion in a later episode of NOVA.

While this episode serves as a starting point for a deeper discussion on European hurricane models versus American “spaghetti models”, the discussions on whether or not global warming played a role in Sandy’s size and destructive power are sure to become even more of a point of contention among viewers, whether citizens or professional meteorologists.  Viewers should know that the program does in fact note that a Nor’easter did play a role in the storm’s size and strength.  That fact is not ignored here.  But later in the program, individuals are interviewed to discuss the role of global warming on Sandy and potential future storms.  Those that pay close attention will note that the discussions tend to contradict one another. At first, it is noted that there is no definitive link between global warming and the size and strength of storms, nor their frequency.  In almost the same breath though, those same individuals note that there is a connection between rising atmospheric temperatures and water temperatures, which are in turn, linked to the decrease in ice at the polar ice caps, rising ocean levels, and rising water temperatures thus causing an increase not so much in the quantity of storms, but in their power.  The discussions in question are even more in depth.  This is just a quick overview.  But from this alone, it certainly seems that the discussions included here are very contradictory and are certain to be a point of major contention.  Is this a good thing or a bad thing?  The answer to that is sure to be rather contentious in itself.  Because of that, it’s just one more factor that makes Hurricane Sandy: Inside the Megastorm a program that anyone will want to see, whether casual viewer or a professional within the “weather industry.”  Hurricane Sandy: Inside the Megastorm is available now.  It can be ordered online via the PBS store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=17355946&cp=&kw=inside+the+megastorm&origkw=Inside+The+Megastorm&sr=1

To keep up with the latest news from NOVA, fans can follow the show on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NOVAonline and at http://www.pbs.org/nova

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.