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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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
1437. StormJunkie
10:46 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Hey nash and franc, good to see y'all

I think it was Stl that mentioned that a record high low temp was set overnight down there.

Just updated the SST year to year comparison maps in my blog. Looks to me like most of the temps water temps down there are over 87...
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1436. IKE
5:50 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
The GOM water temp at the buoy 262 miles south of Panama City,Fl. is....

90 degrees!!!!!!!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1435. nash28
10:44 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
I just checked the water temp at Clearwater Beach... It is 91 degrees!!! Unbelievably hot!
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
1434. franck
10:38 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Keys folks say it has gotten 'white hot' down there lately. Not sure exactly what that means.
I think it is combination of stillness, glare, heat, etc., not just temp. Anyway, Sis says it was 86 Fahrenheit at dawn this morning.. Summerland Key, 20 miles up from Key West.
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1433. nash28
10:41 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Evening everyone.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
1432. IKE
5:40 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
And Naha City...


"Observed at: Naha City, JP
Elevation: 26 ft
[Heavy Rain Showers]
81 F
Heavy Showers Rain
Humidity: 89%
Dew Point: 77 F
Wind: 43 mph from the East
Wind Gust: 77 mph
Pressure: 28.12 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 87 F
Visibility: 1.6 miles
UV: 1 out of 16
Clouds: Few 600 ft
Scattered Clouds 1000 ft
Mostly Cloudy 1500 ft
Mostly Cloudy 2000 ft
(Above Ground Level)"
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1431. IKE
5:38 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Hurricane force gusts at Okinawa...


"Observed at: Okinawa, JP
Elevation: 148 ft
[Rain]
81 F
Rain Mist
Humidity: 94%
Dew Point: 79 F
Wind: 47 mph from the East
Wind Gust: 81 mph
Pressure: 28.41 in (Falling)
Heat Index: 88 F
Visibility: 1.2 miles
UV: 2 out of 16
Clouds: Scattered Clouds 700 ft
(Above Ground Level)"
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1430. GainesvilleGator
10:35 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Dodabear, a Large cat 5 hurricane will have a very big storm surge. I don't know what the shelf looks like around the island though. A more shallow sea shelf will mean a bigger storm surge. Katrina had a very big storm surge because of the shallow shelf along the Central Gulf Coast.
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1429. IKE
5:36 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: DocBen at 5:24 PM CDT on July 12, 2007.
Can that little blob east of Nicaragua stay out over water? Maybe drift north?


Doesn't look like it...going mostly west.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1428. StormJunkie
10:31 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Evening all ☺

Good point Doda!! It looks to me like it will be huge.

avii, you don't want a hurricane no where near S Fla, the waters are hot down there. Sure hope the local guy was wrong.
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1427. Dodabear
6:20 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Has anything been said about storm surge for this typhoon? Will that be a problem for Okinawa?
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1426. aviifl
6:22 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Did someone say earlier that 1 of the computer models is showing a hurricane to develope and hit south florida next week?

Also on nbc6 the weather guy said that the bermuda high is statting to set up northwest of florida. He said this is where we do not want it to set up because this will stear hurricanes into south florida.
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1425. DocBen
10:23 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Can that little blob east of Nicaragua stay out over water? Maybe drift north?
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1424. aviifl
6:20 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Look at the waves lineing up on africa. Looks like we are going to have a busy season.
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1423. IKE
5:20 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Miami, Fl. extended discussion....


"Made no changes to the extended forecast. Guidance continues to
indicate near climatology probability of precipitation and temperatures through next week. By the
middle part of next week...the tropical wave over the central
tropical Atlantic will move west mainly across the Caribbean...but
axis could extend north near the area...and moisture could
increase behind this wave by middle week. For now though...expecting
mainly the normal diurnal pattern of convection next week."
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1422. franck
10:17 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
such dense population, such deficient watershed, so much water.
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1421. franck
10:14 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
not so much the wind with this one, the water.
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1420. CJ5
9:57 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
If ManYi takes its projected path Mt. Fuji should give it a pretty big wallop before it reaches Tokyo.
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
1417. Wundermobay
9:40 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
bye ...i,m out
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1416. Patchmedic
9:37 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
That Publix is on Platt not Bayshore
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1414. Wundermobay
9:36 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Pressures falling, wind increasing in Naha.


Naha



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1413. Wundermobay
9:25 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Man-yi is a huge typhoon eye 80 miles across.


http://www.jma.go.jp/en/radnowc/imgs/radar/217/200707130600-00.png


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1412. Patrap
4:18 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Got it now too...Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125476
1411. CJ5
9:01 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Link

Another good cam. More links cam links on this page. Check how fast the clouds are moving in relation to the waves.
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
1409. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
8:57 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
0500am JST

TY Man-yi
100km south of Naha city (25.3N 127.5E)
Traveling North 13kt
Central pressure 930hPa
Sustained winds 95 kt
Gustiness 135 kts
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1407. Blink
9:00 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Another cam from Okinawa.
Not a good day to be out over there.
Link
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1406. Dodabear
4:59 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Has anyone noticed that it is Friday the 13th in Okinawa now.
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1405. Tincup
4:54 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Thanks, Nash28. Prayer is awesome. She is 21 and teaching kids to swim on the base for the summer. Thanks for your help.
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1404. benirica
8:51 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
oh dont think i gont get scared. the worst hurricane that comes to my mind is georges and was extremely scary, we almost lost our window and once you loose one thats when it all goes.
thankfully they held and im thankful to live in a concrete house.
thats one thing iven ever really understood, in PR most all houses are concrete and stand hurricanes but in places like Florida you get more hurricanes then we do, plus you get tornadoes and your houses are wood or almost foam! (exagerating, but you get it)
i understand its quicker and cheaper to make, but still...
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1403. Tincup
4:54 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Thank You, Patrap!! You're the best!
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1402. nash28
8:53 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
I tried to Google Map where your daughter is... From what I could gather, she should be on the west side of the typhoon, which is much better than the east side.

I hope it helps.... I also pray for her safety.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
1401. Patrap
3:52 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
The Mainland of Japan..Yokohama included will be spared the kinda blow Okinawa is receiving ..the Storm will stay offshore of the Mainland and weaken after it passes Okinawa.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125476
1400. Patrap
3:49 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Itsa breaking dawn there soon..nice view on the Beach cam..can smell the Salt
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125476
1399. wederwatcher555
8:49 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
HONEST PREDICTION: Over the next 50 years, if this global warming theory is true, the saffir-simpson scale will be revised to add categories 6, 7, 8, 9, and possibly even 10.
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1398. weathermanwannabe
3:49 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Well, I live in a wooden house (Fully insured thank God) in the Big Bend and am terrified when a storm threatens......In any event, about to hit the road again in the Panhandle and will BBL.........Yall have a nice day!
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8262
1397. benirica
8:50 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
ok i wont get into it, i dont know both sides of the story, so never mind my comment
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1396. brazocane
8:49 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Benirica if you had read the dribble he was typing you would understand. And no house is hurricane proof.
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1395. Tincup
4:48 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Hi Everyone,

Just wondering....I have a daughter in Yokohama, Japan. How worried should I be? :-)
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1394. CJ5
8:46 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Link

Surfs Up! Wonder how long this cam will last?
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
1393. benirica
8:47 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
whats so bad about saying you live on the beach in a hurricane proof house?
i do
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1391. brazocane
8:46 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Please randommichael enlighten us on your hours of research.
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1389. brazocane
8:42 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Coming out of lurk mode to say this. Nash dont listen to Randommichael he is the same one last week going on and on about living on the beach in a hurricane proof house but didnt know what to do if a hurricane came. Personally I think he is someone here who got banned and is just trying to yank everybodies chain, I have not heard a sensible statement from him in the last two weeks. Everything he types is obviously a ploy to get some sort of reaction. Just ignore
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1388. Dodabear
4:46 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Wunderground on Okinawa

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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.