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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938. Patrap
10:40 AM CDT on July 12, 2007
Man-yi 3 Hour Position Update Graphic Valid 12/0900Z

Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127381
937. kmanislander
3:40 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Its called tropical weather addiction ( TWA : a well known affliction of anyone who ventures on this blog ! )
LOL
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936. K8eCane
3:39 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
yes but why?
you have the models that will tel you what is what
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935. Hellsniper223
3:37 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
K8eCane, to put it simply we wait... And we watch... Wait.. And watch... Then as soon as we see something that looks like a tropical formation we jump right on it, analyzing its every move.
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934. K8eCane
3:34 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
seems to me there is no forecasting left to be done
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932. K8eCane
3:33 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
why do you guys spend so much time mulling over theses waves?
i mean everyone seems to practically worship the models.
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930. bobshurricane
3:23 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Jeff:

One comment on the GFDL Hurricane Model. It is not a global model, but a regional model spanning 75x75 deg. The east-west positioning is changed from one forecast time to another based on the initial storm position. HWRF also works in a similar fashion so a storm does not move through the lateral boundaries.
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929. hcubed
10:26 AM CDT on July 12, 2007
To all of you who like to post sat pictures, and draw circles, the NHC must have heard you:

Atlantic Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook

When activated on July 15th, this page will contain NHC's Experimental Atlantic Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook.

1. Overview

The graphical Tropical Weather Outlook (TWO) is an experimental graphic that the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is testing and evaluating during the 2007 hurricane season. The experimental Graphical TWO is intended to be a visual companion product to the text TWO. The NHC intends to produce, experimentally during 2007, a graphical TWO twice daily in both the Atlantic and Pacific basins. However, due to the experimental status of these products, the experimental graphic may not always be timely or even available. While the experimental graphical TWO is expected to be available shortly after the operational text TWO, the experimental graphic may take 30 minutes longer (or more) to update following the issuance of the official text TWO. Given its status as an experimental product, users should not rely solely on the graphical TWO for important decisions. Rather, users are urged to continue using the operational text TWO during the 2007 season.

2. Explanation of the Graphical TWO

The graphical TWO is a web-based graphic superimposed on the most recently available geostationary satellite mosaic of the GOES-East, GOES-West, and Meteosat 9 satellites. The graphic indicates the locations of areas of disturbed weather discussed in the TWO by encircling them. Each encircled area is numbered, with textual descriptions of each numbered system given beneath the graphic. The text descriptions are also presented in the form of a pop up whenever a user moves the computer's mouse pointer over an encircled area. The content of the text descriptions is identical to the content of the latest text TWO. The areas depicted in the Graphical TWO indicate only the current location of the weather systems. Information pertaining to genesis potential, movement, and possible impacts is conveyed in the text TWO but not in the graphic.

Active tropical cyclones are also shown on the Graphical TWO in the form of a cyclone symbol (i.e. "L" for tropical depressions, a tropical storm symbol for cyclones of tropical storm strength, and a hurricane symbol for cyclone of hurricane strength). Text descriptions of the cyclone, such as name and intensity, are presented in the form of a pop up whenever a user moves the computer's mouse pointer over a cyclone symbol. In addition, clicking on the cyclone symbol will take the users to a new web location that contains all advisories and products for that cyclone.

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928. ryang
11:24 AM AST on July 12, 2007
The CMC model is showing development off south florida next thursday, not enough to but this yet.
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927. MrNiceville
3:22 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Only a keg?

I worked for A/CS Comptroller, MFR (as a contractor, not a legitimate, bonafide Marine) and saw stuff that makes a keg "decimal dust".

Of course, this year, it's not G2, it's IB. Never understood why we had to change the BEA/BESAs almost every year...
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926. Hellsniper223
3:20 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Hello everyone, I see not much has changed since I last checked the tropics about a week ago.

Though, I'm sure if a low pressure system were to develop it would have ample conditions to spin up into a decent sized storm. All we are lacking at this moment is convective activity.

Oh, and forget SAL maps... They're useless. Look at a WV loop. It's the dry air that inhibits, not the dust.
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925. MrNiceville
3:17 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
NormalGuy:

Can appreciate that! At NSA NOLA, the Navy Gym serves three squares a day and snacks in-between. In the meantime, the DevilDogs are out in the 95+ weather working "I'm up, you see me, I'm down" with no shade anywhere...
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924. ryang
11:12 AM AST on July 12, 2007
Morning Everyone...

Look's like the CATL wave is consilidating...

Is has to beat SAL though...
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923. Patrap
10:14 AM CDT on July 12, 2007
Last duty station was MCAS Cherry Point in 84, 3rd LAMMB. Was 9th engineers at Hansen...in Oki.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127381
922. kmanislander
3:07 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
good morning all

Another quiet day in the Atl and Caribbean. The wave in the ATL looks far less impressive than it did yesterday. Although the quikscat pass missed the system this morning there is no indication of any rotation with it and no suggestion of any surface low pressure associated with the wave at this time. It has gained about 1 or 2 degrees of latitude overall but this has not translated into any improvement in organisation. It is not a candidate for invest status at this time IMO.
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921. NormalGuy
3:03 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
PatRap, Well, it would have been S-2 if i was at a Squadron. but I was at the HQ level (briefing the CO everyday) I was in the G-2. MWHS-2 Wing HQ. Cherry Point NC. I apologize for the trouble...LOL, I had my fair share as well.. I had to stand up and explain why I charged a keg on my Govt. Visa one time and the CO asked me if I got laid and said okay, it was worth it, then dismissed me. Damn I miss those days...
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919. melwerle
3:06 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Thank you!
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918. groundman
2:59 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: melwerle at 2:53 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.
so stupid question here - where is this thing located?


Man-yi is @ about 22N 130E I guess? SE of Japan.

The CAL is 7N and 36W or was
917. Patrap
9:59 AM CDT on July 12, 2007
Oooh-Rah there,NormalGuy.. what was Intel ?,S-3..S-2 ?..Those Battalion Guys gave me tough time usually. NIS/CID..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127381
916. franck
2:56 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
You guys with your ghost Atlantic systems are killing me. Posting visuals which show hardly any convection or high cloud tops. I don't see even the beginnings of any counterclockwise motion to anything in the entire hemisphere.
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915. IKE
9:58 AM CDT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: melwerle at 9:53 AM CDT on July 12, 2007.
so stupid question here - where is this thing located?


Around 8N,38W.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
914. NormalGuy
2:51 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Well Patrap, First and for-most Semper Fi. And with that I hope your right. I got out in 2004. MOS-0231. Intelligence, I know come on with the comments. Marines go along with Intelligence like, um the Navy does with combat.
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913. melwerle
2:48 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
so stupid question here - where is this thing located?
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912. Patrap
9:47 AM CDT on July 12, 2007
As one who rode out 2 typhoons at Camp Hansen from Sept 82 to 83. I can assure you no one will be grab-azzing during the TCE-1 conditions. THe NCO's and Senior Officers will have the ranks in Good order for the storm. No one wants to go in front the MAn explaining how one lil pink body got wacked in a TYphoon .
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127381
911. NormalGuy
2:43 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Niceville, thats right, Marines are bred to believe they are bullet-proof, and um, when facing mother nature that can be bad. 5 marines and a few cases of beer, some of them want to test things out, like how far you can fly holding a blanket and jumping off the 2nd floor.. Not dumb, per say, just curious... I wish them the best with this monster..
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910. hurricane23
10:43 AM EDT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: Drakoen at 10:41 AM EDT on July 12, 2007.

huricane23 do you have the link for the requirements to be named an invest?

NRL is the place to look for systems under investigation.For now in my opinion this wave looks rather disorganized and i dont see it being an invest atleast in the near term.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13621
909. IKE
9:44 AM CDT on July 12, 2007
Pressure just keeps falling....


"Observed at: Naha City, JP
Elevation: 26 ft
[Light Rain Showers]
82 F
Light Showers Rain
Humidity: 84%
Dew Point: 77 F
Wind: 22 mph from the ENE
Wind Gust: 36 mph
Pressure: 29.09 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 91 F
Visibility: 3.1 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds: Few 600 ft
Scattered Clouds 1000 ft
Mostly Cloudy 2000 ft
(Above Ground Level)"
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
908. Patrap
9:43 AM CDT on July 12, 2007
NORTH ATLANTIC IMAGERY



Northwest Atlantic Infrared Satellite Image
(From GOES-EAST Satellite)
Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127381
907. cajunkid
9:41 AM CDT on July 12, 2007
Anyone know what StormW thinks of that wave and the extended forcast?
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906. NormalGuy
2:33 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Well, I just want to take a minute to ask everyone on here to keep the service-men and women in mind the next few days. I did 5 years in the Marines and was stationed everywhere but Okinawa, I have heard about the barracks parties and all that during typhoons, I hope they are taking the proper precautions this time.
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905. Drakoen
2:40 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
huricane23 do you have the link for the requirements to be named an invest?
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29864
904. hurricane91
2:37 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
h23, the temps are all around 88-93 on the national buyo site (mostly west coast of fl and sw and central gulf) i know off the naples pier its at 92, idk why that map has it in the mid 80's for the whole gulf
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903. MrNiceville
2:38 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
From a friend (and retired Marine) formerly stationed on Okinawa...

"The good thing about Okinawa is that everything is typhoon-proof. The cars are so small you could almost fit them in your closet. The bad thing about Okinawa is that it is an island! They don't ask "Are you going to evacuate?" But instead, "Are you up-to-date with your swim qualification?""
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902. IKE
9:39 AM CDT on July 12, 2007
The buoy 262 miles from Panama City is at 87.

The buoy south of NO is at 87.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
901. CJ5
2:39 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: IKE at 2:34 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.
The SAL isn't near it like it was yesterday(around the wave), when someone posted a visual on it.


That I agree with. Is it time for the SAL to start a permanent retreat?
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
900. groundman
2:36 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: stoormfury at 2:32 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.
IKE i totally agree with you . that system is graduelly get organised, a bit slow i must admit.It is only a matter of time before it is called an invest.


Have to leave for a while but I've been watching Navy page just in case although it doesn't quite look like an invest yet.
899. hurricane23
2:35 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Dont see any 90 degree temps in the gulf or the caribbean at the moment.Todays map has not yet been posted.

Everything for the most part is in the mid 80's which is plenty warm and will probably get warmer as we move deeper into the season.

sst's
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13621
898. IKE
2:34 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
The SAL isn't near it like it was yesterday(around the wave), when someone posted a visual on it.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
897. Drakoen
2:33 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
the dry air isn't as strong as when 96L was there. You can even see moisture to the north of the system
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29864
896. IKE
2:33 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
You have been quite fond of the wave for several days nows...lets see how it plays out. It doesn't look near as good as it did last evening, though.

Actually it looks better.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
895. stoormfury
2:32 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
IKE i totally agree with you . that system is graduelly get organised, a bit slow i must admit.It is only a matter of time before it is called an invest.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2574
894. Drakoen
2:32 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
hurricane23 the SAL isn't that strong. You can see blue around it.
here are the stering currents
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29864
893. CJ5
2:31 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: IKE at 2:26 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.
I'm going out on a limb. Call me an idiot if you want...I think that will be an invest...


You have been quite fond of the wave for several days nows...lets see how it plays out. It doesn't look near as good as it did last evening, though.
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
892. weathers4me
2:29 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Water tmeps in parts of the GOM 90 degrees. SST below average??? Hmmm
Member Since: May 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 118
891. hurricane23
2:29 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Its in a looseing battle.

wave
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13621
890. IKE
2:28 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
I didn't say when. LOL!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
889. Drakoen
2:27 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: IKE at 2:26 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.

I'm going out on a limb. Call me an idiot if you want...I think that will be an invest...



LOL. first it has to look like 96L.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29864
888. Patrap
2:27 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
West-PAc Full Disk IR..Man-yi

Link

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127381

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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.