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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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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1636. pottery2
10:47 PM AST on July 12, 2007
OK msphar.
I asked, because we get a big population of boats here in the season, hiding out !
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1635. outerband
2:47 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
calm before the storm? yet to be seen. in the meantime, the water feels great!
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1634. kmanislander
2:46 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
The tropical Atl is eerily quiet. hardly any t-storms even.


Typical for July but all this can change in a hurry in 3 weeks or so
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1633. msphar
2:45 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
East end of Puerto Rico near
Fajardo, Roosvelt Roads actually.
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1632. A4Guy
2:38 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
The tropical Atl is eerily quiet. hardly any t-storms even.
Member Since: June 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 658
1631. pottery2
10:44 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Is your boat in T&T ?
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1630. kmanislander
2:44 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Good news for swimming, bad news if anything "spinning" comes this way lol
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1629. pottery2
10:41 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Yeah kman, and the good news is, that all that hotsun has heated up the water around you too. heheh
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1628. msphar
2:39 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
More rain coming your way, Pottery in a couple of days.

With the "high amplitude" I hope my boat gets washed.
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1627. kmanislander
2:39 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Send some here Pottery. Its been bone dry for 3 weeks now. This is supposed to be our rainy season but until the waves start coming through here on a regular basis we are back to drought conditions. We have had the odd shower but not the typical summer downpours one would expect
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15776
1626. MelbourneTom
2:39 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Looks like they are getting the easten edge of the eye, probably the worst.

http://www.jma.go.jp/en/radnowc/index.html?areaCode=217
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1625. pottery2
10:36 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Indeed, Kman. Its been raining here all week too. My cistern are all overflowing noisily !
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1624. kmanislander
2:37 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Posted By: msphar at 2:37 AM GMT on July 13, 2007.

Without rotation its just another high amplitude summer wave.


Agreed. Maybe there is nothing else out there for them to use their close up floater on !
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1623. msphar
2:35 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Without rotation its just another high amplitude summer wave.
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1622. Patrap
9:25 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Typhoon a cranking . Those are some sweet views
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1621. kmanislander
2:35 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Hi Pottery

Looks like rain coming your way from the East
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1620. pottery2
10:30 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Evening, Kman.
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1619. kmanislander
2:33 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Posted By: randommichael at 2:31 AM GMT on July 13, 2007.

How so?


What do you mean ?
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1617. kmanislander
2:26 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
good evening all

Ramsdis is now taking an interest in the ATL wave

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1615. Thunderstorm2
10:24 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Hammered with a Capital H!!!
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1614. BoyntonBeach
2:22 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
The Live Feed from Okinawa, Japan is in the upper left hand corner. They are getting hammered ! Link
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1613. pottery2
10:20 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Well thanks, Anti. I was hoping for some sunshine actually. Has been raining here all week already.........
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1612. HurrMichaelOrl
2:19 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Could the winds in Naha be much higher than what's being officially reported?
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1608. pottery2
10:10 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Yes that shear is too much for that wave to deal with.. It may run out of steam by Saturday.
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1605. pottery2
10:07 PM AST on July 12, 2007


135 KNOTS !!!!
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1604. outerband
2:10 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
the wave at 38W seems to have a long way to go for this time of year. The shear out in front of the wave will make development difficult...

http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/archive/wg8shr-1.html
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1603. Miamiweather
2:07 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
i hope not
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1602. Blink
2:06 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Well, from the cam feeds, seems to me that they are getting hammered presently.
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1601. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
2:04 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
10:50am JST
10 am advisory

near Naha City (26.2N 127.5E)
95 kts (sustained winds 10 min average)
135 kts (gusts)
930 hPa

11am presumption location
30 km northwest of Naha
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1599. pottery2
10:00 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Miamiweather, there are some models showing that wave at 38 W ending up as a TS or more, in 5 days, in Florida or the Bahamas.

Not enough consensus yet though.
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1598. HurrMichaelOrl
1:54 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
There is something I couldn't figure out though about Man-Yi. I noticed that southern Okinawa(including Naha) has been experiencing the eyewall of this catagory 5 typhoon, yet the highest sustained winds in Naha have been 66 mph. I've noticed this in other storms as well. Why aren't the winds ALOT higher than they are? It's like they have the anemometer behind a wall or something.
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1597. pottery2
9:57 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Dont be sorry, people on here make predictions all the time dont they ??

And mostly, ther'e incorrect.........
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1596. Miamiweather
1:58 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
What are the thoughts of the wave in the central atlantic
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1595. BoyntonBeach
1:57 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Hi Dr. Masters ! Thanks for the update ! I hope our troops are prepared & safe over there !
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1594. pottery2
9:55 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Hello, Ori. Good to see new names all the time. Makes me wonder how many people are lurking out there at a given time.
Hello, all you lurkers !
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1592. pottery2
9:52 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Lots of energy in that wave, Story. You think it can survive the SAL ??
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1591. HurrMichaelOrl
1:48 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Hi everybody,
I've been lurking for a few months and decided to go ahead and join the blog. Thank you all for the in depth information about tropical cyclones, I've been tracking them since I was 10 but have learned so much in the last couple months just reading the blog.
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1590. StoryOfTheCane
1:40 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
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1589. hurricane91
1:38 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
ok thats what I thought
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1588. hurricane23
9:38 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Shot...

radar
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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.