Following the 10-01-2015 sinking of the cargo ship El Faro
, the National Transportation Safety Board inquiry continues, but the board has taken the unusual step of making some preliminary recommendations to other agencies.
In brief, the NTSB is urging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Weather Service (NWS) and the US Coast Guard to "address, in the interest of mariner safety, the development of tropical cyclone information and its availability to mariners." In other words, the NTSB has become convinced that at least part of the reason the El Faro
was in the wrong place at the wrong time was inadequate weather information. The ship's skipper has been posthumously criticized for his route decisions, and maybe that criticism is fair. But it also seems clear that he was relying on bad data (that can also be read as the skipper's fault).
The NTSB has also issued a public safety alert, here: https://www.ntsb.gov/safety/safety-a...nts/SA-065.pdf
that basically reminds mariners where to go for the best data on tropical storm forecasts. Bottom line: if a developing or approaching storm affects your interests, pay close attention to the NWS's “Tropical Cyclone Discussion" page, which is unavailable anywhere else. It's what the name says it is, a recital of the facts and assumptions in play as forecasters practice their art. Each named or numbered tropical system has its own discussion page, and it always makes for interesting reading.