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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1488. catastropheadjuster
11:46 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Groundman I went to your link you put up and kept hitting next and next and it shows it coming into the GOM close to Ala with 1001 reading. But i may be wrong.I am fairly new at looking at this stuff. I just usually read a lot.
Sheri
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1486. Drakoen
11:54 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: pottery2 at 11:53 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.

Thank you Drakoen.


No problem.
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1485. pottery2
7:51 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Thank you Drakoen.
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1484. pottery2
7:43 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Thank you Groundman.
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1483. Drakoen
11:49 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: JoshNHurricanes at 11:46 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.

Drak, you think the cmc model may be right?


Too far out to tell. We need more model agreement.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29939
1482. Drakoen
11:48 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
The convection in the Gulf is associaited with a trough. No development is anticipated with that.
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1481. Drakoen
11:45 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Oh and the models can't accurately predict the strength of a low pressure system a 1008 mb could be a 980mb system or a 1012mb system.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29939
1480. lowerbamagirl
11:43 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Hi There:

I have a question as a newbie. There is a group of storms just south of al/fl panhandle that came off last night. (I know this as I huddled in the hallway with five kids with tornadoes all around last night). What is to stop development of the system now in the gulf?
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1479. weathersp
7:39 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
The atlantic is HOT HOT HOT!
The Planet
Member Since: January 14, 2007 Posts: 17 Comments: 4140
1476. Drakoen
11:42 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: pottery2 at 11:31 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.

So, what have we got ??
A disorganised wave at about 38 w, that some models predict will become a hurricane in Florida. Thats cool. But what would realy be nice, is for one of the people reading the models that result in this prediction, to say what that forecast is based upon.

Surely, it would be possible to make a written synopsis of the information, so that others could at least see the reasoning ??

Where do we get this info ?


Only one model the CMC/GEM shows a system developing TS or Hurricane strength. The model base thing on the what they think the atomospheric conditions will be. The CMC shows the system 144 hours out. Which is a long way out. Usually we look for model agreement. Before we buy into this. THe GFS 18z does really show anything but moisture in Florida. I think there are a number of sites that provide a synopsis of the models. The TCHP, NWS, etc.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29939
1475. StormJunkie
11:43 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Welcome CRS ☺
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1474. CaicosRetiredSailor
11:36 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
RL3AO, pottery2
THANKS!... now set to 50 (duh.... I catch on fast no matter how long it takes) and sorrry about all the "whitespace" CRS
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1473. StormJunkie
11:38 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Sorry, franc, it has been a long week here and I have not really kept up with it, but with an eye that size, it will have a large wind field and a large surge for for some areas.

As for the models, that is a long way out and it is basically something to watch the models toy with for right now. If they hold on to the feature through the next 8 runs or so then I'll believe them a little more.
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1472. groundman
11:32 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: pottery2 at 11:31 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.
So, what have we got ??
A disorganised wave at about 38 w, that some models predict will become a hurricane in Florida. Thats cool. But what would realy be nice, is for one of the people reading the models that result in this prediction, to say what that forecast is based upon.

Surely, it would be possible to make a written synopsis of the information, so that others could at least see the reasoning ??

Where do we get this info ?


From CMC link 850mb vorticity

Which shows the little yellow blob @ 38W turning into a red blob with yellow on the edges which is probably a TS @ least.

Link on Vorticity

Or we have the graphical forecastLink which shows the pressure @ 1008 entering FL which doesn't seem like much but as someone mentioned earlier the low pressure in a hurricane is VERY close to the eye.

This is VERY simplified if you want more complicated ask StormyW, IKE, Nash, Drakoen, ect. etc.
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1471. pottery2
7:38 PM AST on July 12, 2007
Hi Drakoen.
Please see my post a few mins ago.
Any comment on this ??
thanks..........
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1470. Drakoen
11:36 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
The wave is no where near invest status. Its needs to get its act together.
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1469. franck
11:33 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Hello SJ..what are your thoughts about the super typhoon?
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1467. pottery2
7:31 PM AST on July 12, 2007
CRS, set your page to " show 50 posts "
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1466. weathersp
7:28 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Eyewall time!

Okinawa

okinawa
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1465. Drakoen
11:32 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29939
1464. StormJunkie
11:09 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
We were talking about CAPE or Convective Available Potential Energy values earlier. That reminded me of this. Which is from this site. I still have a lot to learn about using this site, but there are detailed readings from all over the Conus as well as the islands, Mexico and S America.

This site has also been added to the Quick Links page.
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1463. RL3AO
6:31 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Use the show 50 comments feature at the bottom of the comments.
1462. pottery2
7:22 PM AST on July 12, 2007
So, what have we got ??
A disorganised wave at about 38 w, that some models predict will become a hurricane in Florida. Thats cool. But what would realy be nice, is for one of the people reading the models that result in this prediction, to say what that forecast is based upon.

Surely, it would be possible to make a written synopsis of the information, so that others could at least see the reasoning ??

Where do we get this info ?
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1461. CaicosRetiredSailor
11:19 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
HurricaneGeek
Hey!!
Welcome CRS!!!

Tnx...

-----------------

HurricaneGeek
I heard tht the GEM and CMC were the same!!

See:

Posted By: MichaelSTL at 7:05 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.
So is that 2 models now venturing out 144 hours to stir up some media attention???

Actually only one model (the CMC and GEM are the same, just a different name; the GEM is the CMC's global model, just as the GFS is the NCEP's global model).

------------------

Reload time here VERY SLOW w/ 1400 posts & grafics...

CRS
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1460. RL3AO
6:28 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Storms usually lose their punch when they approach Japan.
1459. Drakoen
11:26 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Man yi loosing some of its punch. Looked better yesterday.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29939
1458. RL3AO
6:23 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Wow.

1
1457. Patrap
6:23 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
BarometerBob Show in 40minutes folks. NOAA interview ,check it out . Link

Join us in
Storm Chat during the show!

The Barometer Bob Show for July 12, 2007!

Bobs guest will be Dr Robert Atlas, Dr. Robert Atlas is the former Chief Meteorologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), and is currently the Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, Fla. Some of the areas he focuses his current research on include the prediction, movement and strengthening of hurricanes. Atlas has worked with both satellite data and computer models as a means to study these hurricane behaviors.
We will discuss the QuickScat Satelitte, what it is, what it does, and about the studies on it's performance.
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1456. rainmound
11:21 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Good point about the continental shelf. You can check out the difference at this link. Also this link from 11 hours ago mentions 35-foot waves. I wonder how it will play out. Am I alone in feeling the tension here? This looks like a really big'un.
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1455. Drakoen
11:21 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
seems to be associated with this disorganized tropical wave.
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1454. strangesights
11:13 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Praying for those in Man-yi's path...
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1453. pottery2
7:15 PM AST on July 12, 2007
hello, CRS, Welcome to the real world. I think...
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1452. Drakoen
11:16 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
the CMC is picking up on the wave that i mentioned earlier. The CMC did something like this yesterday morning so we may be seeing some consistency.
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1451. HurricaneGeek
7:16 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
I heard tht the GEM and CMC were the same!!
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1450. Stormchaser2007
7:14 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Man- Yi's is now a super typhoon with a minimum pressure of 910.1mbs with winds of 135knts......
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1449. HurricaneGeek
7:14 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Hey!!
Welcome CRS!!!
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1448. Drakoen
11:14 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
the CMC is not a bad model. I just saw the run and it spins something up near South FLorida simliar to what the GEM model does.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29939
1447. CaicosRetiredSailor
11:08 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
First post... been lurking "unregistered" for way too long... just "joined". I am located on Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, (100 Mi. N of Haiti), so I hope that CMC model is not correct. I will keep a watch and let you know what we have, if something comes.
CRS
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1446. Drakoen
11:12 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
hello everyone. Is the GEM global model still forecasting a tropical cyclone in South Florida?
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29939
1445. weathersp
7:10 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Basically the Red and Pink areas is where a hurricane can sustain itself.

GOM SST's
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1444. IKE
6:06 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Check out the pressure....


"Observed at: Naha City, JP
Elevation: 26 ft
[Heavy Rain Showers]
81 F
Heavy Showers Rain
Humidity: 89%
Dew Point: 77 F
Wind: 47 mph from the East
Wind Gust: 76 mph
Pressure: 27.94 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 87 F
Visibility: 0.3 miles
UV: 2 out of 16
Clouds: Scattered Clouds 600 ft
Scattered Clouds 1000 ft
Mostly Cloudy 1500 ft
Mostly Cloudy 2000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
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1443. IKE
5:57 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Are these near record GOM temps?
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1442. nash28
10:56 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
I just updated my blog on the 12z CMC development....

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1441. JLPR
10:55 PM GMT on Julio 12, 2007
The cmc models develops a storm and puts it on the bahamas going to florida
umm interesting

Link
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1440. nash28
10:53 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Hey SJ! Yeah, temps are boiling and rising...

I think we are ahead of TCHP from 2005 in this area...


Frightening if we have anything chugging up the coast.
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1439. Tazmanian
3:53 PM PDT on July 12, 2007
i have now her from TWC that man-yi now has winds of 175mph
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1438. IKE
5:53 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
At the buoy south of NO in the middle GOM...

89 degrees.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858

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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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