Restoring confidence in NHC

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:24 PM GMT on July 11, 2007

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There are no threat areas in the tropical Atlantic to discuss, and none of the computer models are forecasting tropical storm formation over the coming week. In the Pacific, an exceptionally large Category 4 typhoon, Man-Yi, will pass close to Okinawa on Friday, and hit Japan on Saturday. Winds at Okinawa have been as high as 50 mph with gusts to 70 mph.

Some links on Man-Yi, sent to me by Jim Edds:

Live camera feed from Southern Okinawa:

click on the pic arrow on the bottom right.

Okinawa radar.
click on Okinawa to zoom in - awesome shot

Camera feed with some audio.
click on the first "no image" box then select "report 17/66"


Latest satellite image of Typhoon Man-Yi, courtesy of NOAA.

Restoring confidence in the NHC
Interim National Hurricane Director Dr. Ed Rappaport has two immediate tasks--restoring morale fractured by Bill Proenza's turbulent 6-month tenure, and restoring public confidence in the Hurricane Center's ability to do their job. With the steadying influence of Dr. Rappaport, a highly respected and talented hurricane scientist, I expect that the staff of NHC will put out their best hurricane forecasts ever this season. Aiding in this endeavor will be the availability of a new hurricane tracking, intensity, and storm surge model called the HWRF--Hurricane Weather and Research Forecast Model. In addition, several of the other reliable models used by the forecasters, such as the GFS and GFDL, have had upgrades since last hurricane season. Furthermore, the Air Force Hurricane Hunters will be carrying the SFMR instrument for the first time, which can measure winds speeds at the ocean surface everywhere the aircraft fly.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center made their best track forecasts ever for storms in the Atlantic in 2006. The mean track errors for 12 to 72 hour forecasts were 15% - 20% lower than during 2001-2005. Track errors for Atlantic storms have improved about 50% in the past 15 years (Figure 1), a remarkable achievement that has undoubtedly saved lives and hundreds of millions of dollars. The track error in 2006 for a 24 hour forecast was 58 miles; 112 miles for a 48 hour forecast; and 171 miles for a 72 hour forecast. Track errors for 96 and 120 hour forecasts were 236 miles and 305 miles--the second best on record (2003 set the record). NHC's long-range 120 hour forecasts had a significant bias to the west of 94 miles--about double the bias of what the computer models were forecasting. Thus, when the models correctly called for systems to recurve out to sea, NHC human forecasters tended to resist following what the models were saying.



Figure 1. Track forecast skill since 1990 in the Atlantic for the official NHC forecasts. Track errors are given in nautical miles (100 n mi = 115 miles). Skill is rated compared to a "zero skill" forecast using NHC's CLIPER5 model. The CLIPER model (short for CLImatology and PERsistence) is a model that makes a forecast based on historical paths hurricane have taken, along with the fact that hurricanes tend to keep moving in the direction they are going (i.e., their current motion persists).

Intensity forecasts
Intensity forecasts since 1990 have shown little or no improvement, and 2006 was no exception (Figure 2). One encouraging result was the emergence of the GFDL's intensity model as the best intensity model for 2006. This is the first time that a non-statistical model has made the best intensity forecasts. With the major improvements that were added for the 2007 version of the GFDL, plus the availability of the HWRF model, I am hopeful that this year will see the first noticeable improvement in intensity forecasts since 1990.



Figure 2. Intensity forecast skill since 1990 of the official NHC Atlantic forecasts. Intensity errors are given in knots (10 knots = 11.5 mph).

Jeff Masters

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1138. IKE
1:12 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: Altestic97L at 1:11 PM CDT on July 12, 2007.
Says nash, the most controversial user on the board...


You need to be banned...what Nash said is true. Do you have any compassion for people?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1136. stormybil
6:12 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
taz posted the pressure is falling might get a spin soon
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1133. sonofagunn
6:07 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Internet Rule #873: If you don't like what people are discussing in blog comments, contact the blog administrator or find another blog. In no circumstance should you act like a self-proclaimed blog policeman.
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1130. stormybil
6:08 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
if the atl wave fires up tonight it will be true that it will form stay tuned
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1129. nash28
6:05 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
I cannot believe anyone would have the nuggets on here to say that no one cares about Typhoon Man-Yi or the people it is going to affect.
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1128. bobw999
2:08 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Fail!!! Wrong wave!!

When did we start grading people?
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1127. NormalGuy
6:06 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Okay, IKE.. I didn't know that, thanks...I will stick around and learn more.
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1126. Tazmanian
6:08 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
her is wind shear

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1125. wederwatcher555
6:06 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
now dont get me wrong. if you want to talk about the pacific that is fine with me. free country. just pointing out that it is more interesting when the atlantic starts up.
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1122. NormalGuy
6:02 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Altestic, ummm, i looked everywhere and I didn't see anything that said this blog was only for the AB, and by the way, I have friends in Okinawa right now, (Marines) that I care about a great deal, and if you want to ignore them, and whats going on please just ignore the posts, and don't try to run this blog, until it is re-named Altestic's Blog, then help yourself. When that happens you can talk all you want to, it will be a very boring conversation though, because you will be the only one on it.
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1121. IKE
1:05 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: NormalGuy at 1:02 PM CDT on July 12, 2007.
very interesting with the pressure falling out there. Conditions are pretty ripe for some developement correct??? ANYONE ??


It's normal for them to fall in the afternoon.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1119. IKE
1:03 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: Altestic97L at 1:01 PM CDT on July 12, 2007.
THIS IS AN ATLANTIC BASIN BLOG LET'S TALK ABOUT THE ATLANTIC BASIN


Wrong...check out what Dr. Masters talked about above.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1116. benirica
6:02 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
this wave should gain some latitude soon, theres supposed to be a weakness up ahead of it that itll follow in to, but as it gains latitude, how will the humidity and shear be in that area?
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1143
1115. IKE
1:02 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: vortextrance at 1:00 PM CDT on July 12, 2007.
Yes Ike I have also seen a model predict a storm would form. So basically we know what we knew before the cmc model came out. A storm could possibly form in the next week. Where it would go and how strong it would get are complete unknowns. My original comments where directed at those worried about travel plans and individual cities in FL.


Agree..I wouldn't change any traffic plans.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1112. Patrap
1:01 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
MAn-yi 1500Z updated Position JTWC Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
1111. wederwatcher555
6:01 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
i really hope this cane/ts comes to fruition and hits us in florida. we could use the rain and it kick starts the active part of the season. 2 birds with 1 stone.
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1110. NormalGuy
6:00 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
very interesting with the pressure falling out there. Conditions are pretty ripe for some developement correct??? ANYONE ??
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1108. IKE
1:00 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: NormalGuy at 12:59 PM CDT on July 12, 2007.
Okay, WOW, did someone send out a memo or something, this blog got so busy about 20 minutes ago. This 6 day forecast is so un-reliable


The GFS accurately predicted the low days in advance that became Barry. It does happen. No one here is boarding up windows...we all know 144 hours is 6 days. It probably won't materialize, but it could.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1105. benirica
6:00 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
you can talk your little heart out about the wave... go ahead
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1143
1104. Tazmanian
5:59 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Pressure are falling with are wave neare by the Stations so it seen like there is some kind of low or some in trying to spin up her
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1103. Patrap
1:00 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
The winds will only increase faster now..the eyewall will be upon the island in a Few Hours..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
1101. vortextrance
5:56 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Yes Ike I have also seen a model predict a storm would form. So basically we know what we knew before the cmc model came out. A storm could possibly form in the next week. Where it would go and how strong it would get are complete unknowns. My original comments where directed at those worried about travel plans and individual cities in FL.
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1100. IKE
12:59 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
The pressures dropping like crazy....

"Observed at: Naha City, JP
Elevation: 26 ft
[Rain Showers]
79 F
Showers Rain
Humidity: 83%
Dew Point: 73 F
Wind: 33 mph from the East
Wind Gust: 53 mph
Pressure: 28.77 in (Falling)
Visibility: 2.5 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds: Few 600 ft
Scattered Clouds 900 ft
Mostly Cloudy 1500 ft
Few 2000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1098. NormalGuy
5:50 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Okay, WOW, did someone send out a memo or something, this blog got so busy about 20 minutes ago. This 6 day forecast is so un-reliable, i think it should not be allowed out to the public. I think 48 hours is questionable enough. Come on guys, lets keep things in perspective please. anyway, happy wishcasting...
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1097. benirica
5:58 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
are those inhabited islands that are near the eye?? if so, any reports?
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1143
1095. benirica
5:57 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
thanks bob
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1093. bobw999
1:56 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
where can i see radar images for the places in japan awaiting man yi?

Link
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1092. benirica
5:55 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
where can i see radar images for the places in japan awaiting man yi?
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1143
1090. CJ5
5:49 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Convection on ManYi has started to consolidate again. Japan is in for a ride the next few days. Be safe!

Interesting development on the cmc models.
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1089. benirica
5:52 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
ill judge the model by if anything forms in the E. Pac... lol
i mean they have three storms forming there before anything even becomes interesting with whatever comes into Florida... if the E. Pac comes true then ill look into maybe predicting 144hrs into the future not being so crazy after all..
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1143
1088. bobw999
1:52 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Basically, I won't think too much of it until news people in Miami start telling everyone to panic because they will all surely die if this hits as a T.S. or Cat 1.

Katrina was a cat 1 when it hit Miami and that did some damage but lots of flooding. Thats the problem with south Florida is its all flat.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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