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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638. Tropicnerd13
1:13 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
i dunno. i just googled it and i thought vance... i cant find anything about millibars.
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636. groundman
1:15 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: NHCDirector at 1:12 AM GMT on July 12, 2007.
this blog gone nuts


An understatement, oh my little blogger formerly known as Taz, like the entertainer formerly known as Prince??
LOL

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635. stoormfury
1:05 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
the axis of the wave is at 31W. there is little rotation at the moment It is in an area of low wind shesr. the wave looks impressive at the moment and it is a few days away from the ielands. this is sufficient time to watch it





href="http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/catl/loop-avn.html" target="_blank">LinkLink
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634. TayTay
1:16 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
We'll never know the true intensity of Monica.
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633. TayTay
1:13 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
Tracy?
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629. IKE
8:12 PM CDT on July 11, 2007
Posted By: Tropicnerd13 at 8:12 PM CDT on July 11, 2007.
stumped yet? ill give you a hint. it starts either with a d or a j or s or p or n or t or.....

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
628. Tropicnerd13
1:12 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
strongest or biggest. either one.
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627. KoritheMan
8:11 PM CDT on July 11, 2007
I was under the assumption he meant "strongest", in which case it would be Monica. I don't think Zoe was as intense as Monica.
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626. NHCDirector
6:11 PM PDT on July 11, 2007
this blog gone nuts
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625. Tropicnerd13
1:10 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
stumped yet? ill give you a hint. it starts either with a d or a j or s or a p or a n or a t or.....
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623. TayTay
1:07 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
Cyclone Zoe?
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622. KoritheMan
8:08 PM CDT on July 11, 2007
It's the middle of July and it's extremely lacking in convection, moisture, latitude and has minimal SSTs. The only thing going for it at the moment is low shear which might not last.

This is true. However, I do disagree (in a civil way, of course) that there is no need to turn your back on the wave. Even if it doesn't develop, if anyone (not trying to offend anyone here, just making a statement) tries to deny tropical storm formation in the future when conditions are all there for strengthening, that's just plain stupid.
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620. philliesrock
9:06 PM EDT on July 11, 2007
The worst SPAC storm was Cyclone Monica. Maybe I should be the director...LOL.
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619. MisterPerfect
1:04 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
Do I need to activate the lane guards on the alley for you guys?


BOWL!!
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618. TayTay
1:02 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
It's the middle of July and it's extremely lacking in convection, moisture, latitude and has minimal SSTs. The only thing going for it at the moment is low shear which might not last.
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616. Tropicnerd13
1:00 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
what about who is the smartest person on this blog? and to make it easier on everyone it is a trick question. there may be 5 answers!
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615. KoritheMan
8:00 PM CDT on July 11, 2007
He asked if it was worth watching for development.

It isn't.


Oh, did he? My bad.

But I still don't see why people always turn their backs on impressive looking waves. Even if 90% of the time waves don't develop, they still can sometimes. How else do records get broken? Unusual things happen. The tropics aren't going to stay shut forever, just accept that...

1999 didn't have Bret until around the time Andrew formed.... Look what happened.
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614. IKE
7:55 PM CDT on July 11, 2007
Posted By: JoshNHurricanes at 7:54 PM CDT on July 11, 2007.
IKE do you think it has a chance, at the moment it looks rather impressive.


Odds are against it. Shear is low if it stays south of about 10 to 12 north. There's a high to the west of it around 50W according to the goes-east shear map. Maybe that high will knock the shear out of the way.

Like others have posted, the SAL is around.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
613. Tropicnerd13
12:54 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
since you are the "director" of the "national" hurricane center, can you name the worst southern pacific storm?
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612. EllistonVA
12:44 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
On the subject of dust, the dust flowing off the Saharan desert actually has a huge impact on hurricanes and their ability to form. Hurricanes need the energy from warm water to build. Dusty air is dry air and that dry air can sap the energy right out of a hurricane.

The fact that last year's well published prediction of a highly active season did not come to be reality was due to two things: the jet stream remained in a pattern that brought high wind shear to the Atlantic and because the dry, dusty air from the Sahara continually got sucked into the forming hurricanes and kept them from building.
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611. peterj
12:51 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
I usually come on here and see what everyone has to say regarding hurricane season. I don't post much but I just read something that is false.

MisterPerfect you stated that after Hurricane Andrew there were riots for weeks. I dont know where you got that from. At first there were people looting yes, but riots I don't recall responding to riots. I was attached to a National Guard unit for three weeks and we caught people looting. Also the worst part affected by Andrew was South Dade. My parents home in Flagami was out of electricity for only two weeks and little damage was done. Also there were no riots around my parents neighborhood.
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610. TayTay
12:59 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
That wave we are watching IS a wave to speak of. Just because something might not develop, doesn't mean it isn't worth watching.

I am with everyone here when I doubt it will develop. Not wishcasting, I just really don't think it will.


He asked if it was worth watching for development.

It isn't.
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608. 99lsfm2
12:55 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
this is the best ID i evere had and there is no way i am droping this ID no way

Until you get the banned. It won't fly long.
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607. KoritheMan
7:55 PM CDT on July 11, 2007
Josh, I'm no expert, I'm no wishcaster for good or for bad, but I'm just going to tell you my two cents.

Unless convection can hold tonight and into tommorow, then back to tommorow night, then it probably won't have a chance. Until a wave can hold its convection for 2 days and nights straight, then I am not really concerned with development.
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606. bobw999
8:54 PM EDT on July 11, 2007
So taz I mean NHC, when do you plan on moving to Miami? I can't wait to see you on the hurricane preparedness commercial.
605. Dakster
12:53 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
NHCDirector = Proenza?
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604. NHCDirector
5:55 PM PDT on July 11, 2007
: Tropicnerd13 LOL
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603. KoritheMan
7:54 PM CDT on July 11, 2007
yeah 23, I noticed that as well. However, I have noticed that SAL is becoming progessively less widespread than it was. It has mainly been concentrated near the African coast and towards the Leeward Islands for a week now. Slowly but surely, dust is eroding.
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602. NHCDirector
5:53 PM PDT on July 11, 2007
this is the best ID i evere had and there is no way i am droping this ID no way
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600. KoritheMan
7:53 PM CDT on July 11, 2007
No waves to speak of.

That wave we are watching IS a wave to speak of. Just because something might not develop, doesn't mean it isn't worth watching.

I am with everyone here when I doubt it will develop. Not wishcasting, I just really don't think it will.
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599. Tropicnerd13
12:51 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
hey director dude, do you tell twc what to say?
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598. hurricane23
8:53 PM EDT on July 11, 2007
SAL is very significant out in the eastern atlantic which will likely keep things at bay for the next week or so.

wave
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597. sporteguy03
12:51 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
Taz,
I know everyone loves it but not every blogger knows its you and some might really think you are the NHC Director? If the Admin its cool with it then its ok
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596. IKE
7:51 PM CDT on July 11, 2007
Here's a wave out in the eastern Atlantic.....

Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
595. Tropicnerd13
12:47 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
tru dat 23. (he he he....)
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594. Patrap
7:48 PM CDT on July 11, 2007
Your learning 23. Stay out of things you not well versed in that bring very deep emotions to the surface.
We been kicked enough here.
We Dont need you misleading the greater public on what occurred HERE.

Theres enough BS and wrong info on that to create a whole Bible.As MP so eloquently showed...LOL


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129315
593. TayTay
12:50 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
No waves to speak of.
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590. Patrap
7:47 PM CDT on July 11, 2007
And we will be here lot longer as one too. COme spend a weekend.. Ill give you a tour. The Good,bad ..and the uglIf you dare. LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129315
589. Tropicnerd13
12:45 AM GMT on July 12, 2007
oh thats taz? change your name back. it makes you look stupid (jk)
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588. hurricane23
8:46 PM EDT on July 11, 2007
Posted By: Patrap at 8:37 PM EDT on July 11, 2007. (hide)
Many forget.or dont plain know that Andrew also struck Louisiana and claimed Lives here as well. So dont go throwing around like it was a single states Storm. It wasnt. Just as many storms take lives in Multiple States..as we saw in 05..and years past.Those of us with a Living memory..that goes back decades before Andrew, know that.

I was talking about my personal experience and yes i remember what andrew did through its lifetime.

Sometimes i feel like this blog is like competition to see how can we can bash each other and criticize one another on every level.As time has gone by ive learned its very hard to actually make friends and just talk about anything without someone making a rude comment or just being disrespectful.As far as myself ive always respected eveyone on this blog since day one and put 100 percent effort in trying to get along with everyone but that has become very hard.Adrian
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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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