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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38. V26R
1:19 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Nash is it coming in from the Atlantic or gonna form there?
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37. Patrap
8:19 AM CDT on July 11, 2007
Yvw V26R
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
36. V26R
1:18 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Thanks Cyclone
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35. V26R
1:18 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Thanks for the link Adrian
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34. V26R
1:16 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Thanks Pat
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33. nash28
1:16 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
00z CMC shows developing system approaching the Bahamas at 144hrs.
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32. V26R
1:13 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
"I know how you feel it was 92-93 across miami yesterday and looks about the same for the rest of the week before a trof of low pressure brings us an increase in rain into the weekend.

Dont work to hard but OT is always a plus."


Its not so bad yesterday and today, We're on Storm Alert, had some Big Boomers move close
to us yesterday, but nothing panned out,
We're supposed to get a sharp cold front
move through today with Big Boomers
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31. cajunkid
8:10 AM CDT on July 11, 2007
WOW!! That thing is huge! Has to be, as big or bigger than Gilbert ayy?
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30. Patrap
8:16 AM CDT on July 11, 2007
Man-yi, MIMIC Vmax 95 knts

Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
29. hurricane23
9:13 AM EDT on July 11, 2007
Posted By: V26R at 9:11 AM EDT on July 11, 2007.

Anyone have the link for MIMIC?
I don't have it on the computer
in the station Im in today

Here you go buddy.
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28. CycloneQld
11:13 PM EST on July 11, 2007
MIMIC: Link
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27. hurricane23
9:10 AM EDT on July 11, 2007
Posted By: V26R at 9:08 AM EDT on July 11, 2007.

Busy time of year for me, with my Job,
especially since its so hot and humid
up here Love the OT!!!

I know how you feel it was 92-93 across miami yesterday and looks about the same for the rest of the week before a trof of low pressure brings us an increase in rain into the weekend.

Dont work to hard but OT is always a plus.
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26. nash28
1:09 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
It will most likely be a weak La Nina event for the meat of the tropical season. It typically takes a while for the affects to be felt.

With the MJO shifting into the ATL basin, we can expect an increase in activity.
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25. V26R
1:10 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Anyone have the link for MIMIC?
I don't have it on the computer
in the station Im in today
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24. CycloneQld
10:54 PM EST on July 11, 2007
Is anyone else here aware of any other storms that have dropped in pressure so much in such a short amount of time?

Man-Yi (according to Dvorak readings) dropped from 974mb to 948mb in just 3.5 hours.

The only other storm I can find that has a similar rapid drop is for TC Monica (again from Dvorak readings) when she fell from 908mb down to 876mb in a mere three hours.

For comparison Wilma dropped from 953mb to 934mb over a four hour period.

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23. hurricane23
9:09 AM EDT on July 11, 2007
Watching this powerful typhoon in the pacific which may threaten japan in the next couple of days.

Large eye on microwave imagery.

nice
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22. V26R
1:06 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Busy time of year for me, with my Job,
especially since its so hot and humid
up here Love the OT!!!
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21. Tazmanian
6:05 AM PDT on July 11, 2007
.
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114049
20. hurricane23
9:05 AM EDT on July 11, 2007
Hey V26R whats up?

Have not seen you here for a while hopefully things are good.
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19. V26R
1:03 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Morning Adrian
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18. V26R
1:02 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Looks like the Blob off the Carolinas is holding its own, Only a threat to the Fish right now
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17. hurricane23
9:02 AM EDT on July 11, 2007
Good morning...

On the lastest ENSO update they indicate futher strengthing of la nina has slowed.

Personaly i expect neutral conditions during the peak months of activity.

Weakening Trade Winds in the western Pacific and a drop in the SOI, has stopped the recent strengthening of La Niņa indicators. However, the eastern Pacific remains cooler than average and there has been a renewal of a cool sub-surface layer in the central Pacific, both of which provide the potential for a La Niņa development.

The fact that all major international coupled models, including the POAMA model run daily at the Bureau of Meteorology, forecast further cooling of the equatorial Pacific Ocean over the coming months, indicates there is a distinct possibility of a La Niņa event occurring in 2007. Cooler than average waters in the central to eastern Pacific, normally accompanied by positive SOI values, are usually associated with wetter than average seasons over eastern and northern Australia, even if La Niņa thresholds are not reached.

More Here
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16. therockhound
12:59 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Dr. M, please move on to weather related items. Leave the politics for the politicians and do what you do best and that is weather system discussions. I am getting real tired of you devoting so much of your discussions to the NHC, please move on, Thank you
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15. nash28
1:02 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
Morning all.
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14. sunshineandshowers
12:50 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
thanks for the links. Certainly a scary storm.
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13. CycloneQld
10:48 PM EST on July 11, 2007
Main Site for Dvorak Info: Link
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12. CycloneQld
10:47 PM EST on July 11, 2007
You can find it on this link;

04W Man-Yi Dvorak History File Listing: Link
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11. sunshineandshowers
12:42 PM GMT on July 11, 2007
CyconeQld, where can i see dvorak numbers?
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10. Patrap
7:34 AM CDT on July 11, 2007
Confidence Shaken..is not easily restored.

3 Directors..in 7 months. Seems more was amiss and is..at the NHC than was reported.And the whole affair was like watching grammar school kids sparring during recess.
We will do what we do every year down here. Watch the NHC and listen to the forecast. But to be sure. We always go to real time observations and make the assessment as to when to react locally. It all trickles down to local reaction. And the Gulf states and regional Emergency Managers all are scratching their heads this Weds morning,.Saying,..man that was a funny, weird week for NOAA and the NHC. And they go back to their local affairs.With that thought,..in the back of their minds. This as we lean into the season proper.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
9. CycloneQld
10:40 PM EST on July 11, 2007
If Japan thought that Gozilla was big then they better watch out for this:

Man-Yi Eyewall


Man-Yi Dvorak Current


The beast in the Pacific is waking up...
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7. Rainman32
8:39 AM EDT on July 11, 2007
RAMMB: WP042007 - Hurricane MAN-YI

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5. CycloneQld
10:31 PM EST on July 11, 2007
Only a Category 2 storm?

Dvorak readings are reporting wind speeds nearing 100kts and a central pressure of 947mb.

That would place it as a definate Cat 3 already (indeed the pressure readings are getting close to levels for Cat 4), and this is still intensifying very rapidly...
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4. eaglesrock
8:34 AM EDT on July 11, 2007
Great blog as usual. I made a map of what I think are the greatest threat areas for hurricanes and tropical storms this year. Dark green is the lowest, while red is the highest.

threats
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2. IKE
7:28 AM CDT on July 11, 2007
Dr. Masters...what about the system at 8N,33W? Shows some promise, plus the CMC/GFS models have picked up on it.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1. IKE
7:27 AM CDT on July 11, 2007
Thanks for the update!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858

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About JeffMasters

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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