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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1687. sporteguy03
4:33 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
It might hit somewhere else in FL too
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1686. stormybil
4:30 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
thats what i was saying josh it looks like its going to form by the bahamas like katrina did the make its way to so fla . i think it hasnt formed yet thanks for pointing that out but everyone thinks it the wave in atl. now thats why i was confused
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1685. benirica
4:31 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
besides, time is about to run out on this thins to do anything... isnt the shear climbing?
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1683. sporteguy03
4:24 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
CMC Model
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1682. spiceymonster
4:22 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Is it me or is the dry air that choked 96L, about gone.
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1680. stormybil
4:22 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
thanks anti but it really dosent look that healthy now i guess we have to wait .
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1678. stormybil
4:05 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
in still confuse is it the wave in the atl. thats suppose to become the ts or is a new wave that develops in the bahammas this week
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1676. hurricane91
4:02 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
not as of right now, its just a wait ans see game
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1675. MrNiceville
3:53 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Wow - that's awfully far out in the future for any degree of confidence - any of the other models in agreement with CMC??
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1674. stormybil
3:49 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
if you want too see here is the link for the model that says this Link
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1673. stormybil
3:47 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
right now its the atl the models are saying a ts or ca1 hur. in the bahmmas and so fla . thats the one to keep a eye on stay tuned . right here to get all the info as this comes into play
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1671. hurricane91
3:45 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
it might not, dry air is suppose to lift up to the north and bring in moisture
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1670. stormybil
3:42 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
big wave coming off above 10 is dry air going to kill it too
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1669. hurricane91
3:41 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
computer model ts or maybe cat 1 hurricane in the eastern bahamas and bring it into to south FL
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1668. MrNiceville
3:31 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Evenin' all -

I understand that we have a couple of models actually agreeing on development of a closed circulation in the Carribean or GOM?
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1667. TayTay
3:10 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
I know, I think it was due to its massive size. Man-Yi was too big and didn't really organise as fast.
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1665. BoyntonBeach
3:17 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
The Live Feed from Okinawa,Japan is in the upper left hand corner Link
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1664. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
3:15 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
oops wrong blog
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1663. kmanislander
3:14 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
amd

Man-Yi always had a N to S "stretched" look, as if it was being sheared from the W. I guess that was the dry air influence. Still, a pretty dangerous system, regardless of how it looks

C U all tomorrow
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1662. pottery2
11:15 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Later, Kman.
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1661. pottery2
11:11 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Yeah, and it would have had barnacles on it by then too, I guess. I must ask daughter if she remembers the name.......
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1660. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
3:11 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Nago is northeast of Naha still in the Okinawa Prefecture
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1659. amd
3:13 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
the main reason, IMHO, that Man-Yi didn't quite reach cat 5 was because of some dry air near the nw edge of the circulation.

Only for a short while did Man-Yi get close to that classical circular hurricane look.

If the dry air on the nw side was a bit less, Man-Yi could have come close to Typhoon Tip strength.
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1658. kmanislander
3:11 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Well thats it for tonight. I am saving my strength for the long evenings when the season kicks into gear ( LOL ).

Good night all

Will chat tomorrow
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1657. kmanislander
3:10 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Pottery

I guess the trade winds brought that bottle all the way across the Caribbean
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1656. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
3:10 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
11am JST
Naha in Okiwana

Temperature 27.0C
Precipitation 3.5mm
wind direction SSW
wind speed 31 m/s (60 knots)
Humidity 90 percent
Pressure 947 hPa
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1655. kmanislander
3:07 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
TayTay

Man-Yi always seemed to have a somewhat ragged look. It never managed to develop the symmetry of the truly classical hurricnaes
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1654. pottery2
11:02 PM AST on July 12, 2007
The Grenadines are indeed fabulous. Spent 2 weeks drifting through there in the 80's. My daughter dropped a note in a bottle over the side near Mayreau ( she was 10 then ). 3 months later came this package from the Cayman Isles, with brochures, tee shirt etc. Turns out this lady was on the beach with her young daughter,who says " Look, I found a note in a bottle " Amazing.

My daughter could not have had a better day...........
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1653. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
3:05 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
11am JST
Nago in Okiwana

Temperature 27.0C
Precipitation 15.0mm
wind direction SE
wind speed 27 m/s (55 knots)
Humidity 89 percent
Pressure 953.2 hPa
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1652. kmanislander
3:05 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
msphar

Everyone gets their turn to panic. The important thing is to learn something from it
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1651. TayTay
3:03 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
That wave never stood a chance. I'm still shocked that Man-Yi didn't hit Cat. 5.
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1650. kmanislander
3:03 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Looks like the big ATL high wants to stay in place. Not a good sign as it has been this way for quite some time now

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1649. CaicosRetiredSailor
2:59 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Not sure if this link for Okinawa webcams been posted again here recently:
Link
CRS
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1648. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
3:02 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Issued 11:50am JST
Japan Meteorological Agency

1100am advisory
near Naha city (26.4N 127.6E)
95 knots (sustained winds using 10 min average)
135 knots (gusts)
930 hPa

12pm presumption location
40 km west of Nago
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1647. msphar
3:00 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Kman, timing is everything. I recall Ivan, I was panicking in Coconut Grove wondering if it was coming my way.
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1646. pottery2
11:00 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Exellent timing !
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1645. hurricane91
2:56 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
the gauge is broken, it says the pressure is a 1048 mb
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1644. kmanislander
2:59 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Pottery

They had the boat in Antigua recently and are back in the UK for now but will keep you in mind when I touch base with them
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1643. msphar
2:59 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
I hear the Grenadines are beautiful too.
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1642. kmanislander
2:57 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
When Ivan hit us in 2004 I had just sold my boat and was about to buy another. I went to look for the dock I had leased at the yacht club and it was a half mile inland !.
In life, timing is everything
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1641. pottery2
10:55 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Kman, tell them to give me a call.

Msphar . Those Virgins, what can I say ??
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1640. msphar
2:54 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Insurance, inside the box - big problem.
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1639. msphar
2:50 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Yes, many friends went down there last year! I ran out of time and didn't want to rush the trip. We'll be down that way in a year or so. For now PR is just fine. getting familiar with the Virgins while up there. Too many islands to visit.
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1638. kmanislander
2:50 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
yea Pottery. I have friends who take their boat down your way this time of year otherwise their insurance cover is voided
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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.