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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188. Drakoen
5:07 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
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187. Drakoen
5:06 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
the GFS 12z run has a 1012mb low with the system.
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186. IKE
11:59 AM CDT on July 11, 2007
Agree benirica...

Good luck to folks dealing with Man-yi.
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184. nash28
4:59 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
12z CMC run has it further south and a little weaker.
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183. Drakoen
4:57 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Posted By: hurricane23 at 4:55 PM GMT on July 11, 2007.

Your looking at long range forcast at 144hrs with no significant model support.I tend not to put much stock on development this far out as the skill level of the model drops off significantly as you go out futher in time.Adrian


I don't put much faith in that either. I did say ealier that i need to see model consistency and if the models drop the system i won't think anything of it.
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182. benirica
4:56 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
well i totally agree on how 144hrs our is a long run and usually not an accurate thing to look at. BUT, being this the only point in the Atlantic to look at, we focus are attention on it and see what the odds may be of something actually happening here. We could talk about West Pac storms, but after some time interest is lost because there is not personal interest in a storm brewing over by Japan, be it or not a super typhoon, that personal effect adds to the interest factor.
so if to kill time we look at this little blip in the Atlantic... lets look at this little blip in the Atlantic
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181. hurricane23
12:52 PM EDT on July 11, 2007
Your looking at long range forcast at 144hrs with no significant model support.I tend not to put much stock on development this far out as the skill level of the model drops off significantly as you go out futher in time.Adrian
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180. kmanislander
4:51 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
weathersp

The black barbs are simply rain contaminated vectors. If you look at how the barbs are pointed you can see winds from just about every direction except due W and NW which means, to me anyway, that while there is low pressure evident there is not a closed low. If I am wrong then someone can correct me
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15748
179. sullivanweather
4:53 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Anyone check out the low northeast of Bermuda?

Possible 97L??
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178. benirica
4:52 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
scary how that late august looks like todays early july
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176. Drakoen
4:50 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
I am not talking about the Caribbean i am talking about the northern lesser Antilles and the Bahamas. Also the models don't have anything untill it gets to the eastern most bahamas.
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175. hurricane23
12:48 PM EDT on July 11, 2007
I dont see anything developing in the near term with all the SAL that is out across most of the eastern atlantic.Windshear looks to stay on the high side in the caribbean the next few days.
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174. Drakoen
4:47 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
modelsLink

Considering the models haven't shown anything in the past few days, this area deserves to be watched.
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173. kmanislander
4:47 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Hi res QS pass from this morning
Link
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172. IKE
11:46 AM CDT on July 11, 2007
I see a spin right where the quikscat pass had it at.
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171. Drakoen
4:46 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Both the NOGAPS and the CMC have lowering shear in the direction that the wave is heading within time.
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170. PensacolaDoug
4:42 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Anybody got a link to the Canadian Model out past 100 hours?
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169. Drakoen
4:44 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
weathersp read stormW's blog he is a met.
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168. benirica
4:44 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
wow look at that west carib
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167. weathersp
4:43 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Take a look at the quikscat pass..

I see a area of black but I dont see anything that would indicate devlopment.
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166. Drakoen
4:43 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Michael that is pretty scary. and the areas of high TCHP are growing.
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165. weathersp
4:41 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
It looks bad for a wave... I personally dont't think anything will form out of this.
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164. kmanislander
4:41 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Posted By: weathersp at 4:37 PM GMT on July 11, 2007.

I can find any sort of center or low pressure area and it looks really disorganized.

Take a look at the quikscat pass
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15748
162. Drakoen
4:39 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Posted By: ricderr at 4:38 PM GMT on July 11, 2007.

weathersp...could that be cus it's just a wave?


right it is just a wave. And the models do something with it in the long run not the short.
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161. ricderr
4:37 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
weathersp...could that be cus it's just a wave?
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160. sullivanweather
4:36 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
97L northeast of Bermuda??

97L??????

We could see a depression from the old low off Jacksonville a few days back...

Only about 24 hrs left before large trough swings off the coast and demolishes it.
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159. Drakoen
4:36 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
shear is lowering around the bahams and the ITCZ.
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158. weathersp
4:35 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
I can find any sort of center or low pressure area and it looks really disorganized.

Link
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156. weathersp
4:35 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
did any one see my post???*Big Breath Inhale*

No.
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155. Drakoen
4:31 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
we are looking at this. I only see 10kts of wind shear over it. The only reason i am acknowledging this system is because the GFS and the CMC show something interesting in the long run with it. If the models drop it i loose interest.
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154. IKE
11:34 AM CDT on July 11, 2007
"sounds like you guys were right, never doubted you guys, IKE you called it, lets wait and see".....

Thanks...but there were others talking about it too.

Thanks again though!
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153. benirica
4:34 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
where can i go and see forecasts for sheer? right now just west of the wave the sheer gets pretty bad... hmm what will happen with it as this blob moves west?
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152. Tazmanian
4:32 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
did any one see my post???
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151. benirica
4:28 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
well the news here in PR just mentioned the wave over at 33W, shes as pretty good met so i usually trust what she says.
she says that the wave has held its figure since it came off Africa (even though its basically two different spots of thunderstorms rather than one large one) but that the models have it holding together, not as a systems but as atleast a large rain event for PR by monday and it bares watching...
sounds like you guys were right, never doubted you guys, IKE you called it, lets wait and see
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150. Drakoen
4:29 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
as of now 96L at its best is more impressive than this system
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148. weathersp
4:27 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
I dont see what you guys are looking at?
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147. IKE
11:29 AM CDT on July 11, 2007
Posted By: randommichael at 11:29 AM CDT on July 11, 2007.
My news station said it was "something to keep an eye on"


I agree...it's about the only thing worth looking at in the Atlantic today....
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146. Tazmanian
4:27 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
are we talking about this little wave??? it dos look good



her is wind shear for the wave
Link
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145. Drakoen
4:28 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Posted By: benirica at 4:25 PM GMT on July 11, 2007.

do you expect a 96L type system? or do you think this may do better than 96 keeping in mind that its actually on models ..
do you all even think this will be in invest?



It has a chance of being an invest of course it would have to organize and sustain itself more. I felt that 96L was at least a depression at its best. I think it has a better chance than 96L seeing as though there is not as much dry air in its path.
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143. IKE
11:27 AM CDT on July 11, 2007
Posted By: benirica at 11:27 AM CDT on July 11, 2007.
the models look like it goes and clips the NE islands, just East of PR and over to near the Bahamas... am i wrong?


No.
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142. IKE
11:26 AM CDT on July 11, 2007
Posted By: benirica at 11:25 AM CDT on July 11, 2007.
do you expect a 96L type system? or do you think this may do better than 96 keeping in mind that its actually on models ..
do you all even think this will be in invest?


It could be an invest with time. It's got a chance to do something....I'm not a met though...don't take my word on it.

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141. benirica
4:26 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
the models look like it goes and clips the NE islands, just East of PR and over to near the Bahamas... am i wrong?
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140. benirica
4:23 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
do you expect a 96L type system? or do you think this may do better than 96 keeping in mind that its actually on models ..
do you all even think this will be in invest?
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139. IKE
11:23 AM CDT on July 11, 2007
Looks like it might go north of the islands....if what the 2 models have been saying holds true.

Now watch the CMC not even have it on their 12Z run! I just have a feeling they will.
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138. weathersp
4:23 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Man-Yi
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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.