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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1388. Dodabear
4:46 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Wunderground on Okinawa

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1386. Patrap
3:43 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
NAha Obs

Observed at: Okinawa, JP
Elevation: 148 ft / 45 m
[Light Rain]
79 F / 26 C
Light Rain Mist
Humidity: 94%
Dew Point: 77 F / 25 C
Wind: 46 mph / 74 km/h / 20.6 m/s from the East
Wind Gust: 72 mph / 117 km/h / 32.4 m/s
Pressure: 28.61 in / 969 hPa (Falling)
Visibility: -
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds: Mostly Cloudy 1000 ft / 304 m
(Above Ground Level)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
1385. benirica
8:42 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
while were at it randommichael, when will it be an invest and td?
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1384. weathermanwannabe
3:41 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
The most reliable forecasts out there (not counting the short and long range models which often miss the mark) are probably the 3 day NHC track forecasts....You are correct Nash; after formation........
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1382. nash28
8:38 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
How can anyone possibly agree or make a statement on "landfall" when there is nothing even out there yet? Once you have a formed cyclone, and you wanna talk landfall possibilities, fine. But making whacky statement like that is just silly.
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1381. msphar
8:31 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Chris Parker of Caribbean Weather Center:


WAVEs:
WAVE 74W, mot significant.

WAVE 62W-67W, S of 25N, moving W@15. Not sure of exact axis, little wind-direction-shift associated with WAVE, but it's likely responsible for showers & squalls 61W-68W this morning, S of 12.5N, as detailed above.

WAVE 35W, S of 17N, moving W@20.

Synopsis: portion of Atlantic RIDGE along about 30N, N of E Caribbean weakens slightly tomorrow & Sat14, allowing Trades to moderate slightly, then RIDGE strengthens Sun15, followed by gradual weakening next week. Trades also increase Sun15 into Mon16 due to Tropical WAVE, and Trades remain elevated in a surge E of WAVE thru Tue17, then moderate.
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1380. groundman
8:36 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: randommichael at 8:34 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.
Cat 1 at FL landfall near the Miami area. Then the storm will cut across and exit around Sarasota as a TS. Once in the Gulf it will hit around Mobile AL as a Cat 2. You heard it here first folks.


I'm afraid you may be right or too close anyway. Got to get back to work mapping things from the LAST hurricane here. LOL, TWA kicking in again, we are having a nasty thunderstorm about 1/2 way up harrison county, red in the radar and I'm in a camper.
1379. CJ5
8:15 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Link

Another camera link that is working. Will be insteresting to watch as the day progresses.
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1378. wederwatcher555
8:34 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
I'm pretty much in agreement with that forecast, except I see a CAT 3 at landfall. FWIW.
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1377. melwerle
8:35 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
aw...gimme a break...
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1376. bobw999
4:35 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Ooops...... LOL

My bad
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1375. weathermanwannabe
3:34 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
If, the Gulf Eddy is in the right place?....
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1374. groundman
8:34 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: randommichael at 8:31 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.
..............The last things Floridians need is a hurricane...


How many years has the US been hit by a hurricane and FL not hit?? It's like tornadoes in the midwest, they are gonna come, just be ready and be aware.
1371. groundman
8:30 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: randommichael at 8:26 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.
I see the storm reaching hurricane status, Cat 1 at landfall.

Which landfall?? FL or Gulf coast?? as long as we are predicting category for something not even an invest (how bored we are!! LOL)
1370. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
8:31 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
SUPER TYPHOON 04W (MAN-YI) WARNING NR 022
01 ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONE IN NORTHWESTPAC
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS BASED ON ONE-MINUTE AVERAGE
---
WARNING POSITION:
121800Z --- NEAR 24.9N 127.4E
MOVEMENT PAST SIX HOURS - 335 DEGREES AT 14 KTS
POSITION ACCURATE TO WITHIN 030 NM
POSITION BASED ON EYE FIXED BY SATELLITE
PRESENT WIND DISTRIBUTION:
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 135 KT, GUSTS 165 KT


SUPER TYPHOON (STY) 04W (MAN-YI) LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 75 NM SOUTH
OF NAHA, OKINAWA, HAS TRACKED NORTH-NORTHWESTWARD AT 14 KNOTS
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1368. wederwatcher555
8:28 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
let's hope we have our first cane here. We're pushing into mid-July so things should be popping up all over the place any time now.
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1367. bobw999
4:29 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Man yi is a CAT 5

Not yet. Winds are 155 it has to have 156 for it to be a Cat 6.
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1366. weathermanwannabe
3:29 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Cool......
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1365. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
8:23 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
JMA is showing winds at 24 meters per second (m/s) or 45 knots.
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1363. weathermanwannabe
3:27 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
You have a crystal ball Random?
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1360. weathermanwannabe
3:23 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
You never know (too far out right now), but, it is pushing against a lot of dry air to the North and West; however, if the Wave remains intact into the Carib, there is plenty of moisture there right now, and the chances of development will increase....
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1359. groundman
8:20 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
MichaelSTL, thanks, that's what I was trying to say without knowing what I was trying to say. LOL
1357. groundman
8:17 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: gthsii at 8:13 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.
And it is definitely not the little wave we've been watching for a few days now...the 850mb Vort shows it coming out of about 11.5N and 38W...the little wave we've been watching ic further south and west of that position.

Going out on a limb here but last night and this morning it looked like it was trying to form (swirl) to the N of the actual "wave".
1356. groundman
8:17 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Posted By: gthsii at 8:13 PM GMT on July 12, 2007.
And it is definitely not the little wave we've been watching for a few days now...the 850mb Vort shows it coming out of about 11.5N and 38W...the little wave we've been watching ic further south and west of that position.

Going out on a limb here but last night and this morning it looked like it was trying to form (swirl) to the N of the actual "wave".
1355. weathermanwannabe
3:18 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
That Wave doesn't look like much right now...
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1351. SCwxwatch
4:13 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
I dont see it only thing I seen in your link nash was something toward the end in the Carr.

am I missing somthing?
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1349. gthsii
8:10 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
And it is definitely not the little wave we've been watching for a few days now...the 850mb Vort shows it coming out of about 11.5N and 38W...the little wave we've been watching ic further south and west of that position.
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1348. Melagoo
8:11 PM GMT on July 12, 2007


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1347. weathersp
4:10 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
Oh geez nash! Looks like a Katrina up to florida!
Member Since: January 14, 2007 Posts: 17 Comments: 4140
1345. nash28
8:06 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Not the Caribbean. You can follow it pretty well if you switch to 850MB Vort.
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1344. weathermanwannabe
3:05 PM CDT on July 12, 2007
Thanks...Potential bad news for Florida if a "strong" system does develop given the current position of the Bermuda High....
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1343. SCwxwatch
4:05 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
In the carr. nash?
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1342. nash28
8:03 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
CMC shows system forming from CATL wave.

Here is the 12z...

Link
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1341. CJ5
7:50 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
Plenty of webcams to choose from. Daylight should bring some good pictures...maybe.
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1340. Shrap
8:01 PM GMT on July 12, 2007
So does anyone else think the SAL graphic's usefulness surfers from its lack of color resolution between weak and strong reading?

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1339. SCwxwatch
4:02 PM EDT on July 12, 2007
I agree its not that big of a differance between weak and strong.
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1338. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
7:57 PM GMT on July 12, 2007

Issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency
At 4:50am 13th July

As of 4:00am...
Typhoon Man-yi (マンニイ T0704) has 10 min sustained winds of 95 knots with gusts up to 135 knots with a central pressure of 930 hPa.

5am
95 kts
135 kts (gusts)
930 hPa

9am
95 kts
135 kts (gusts)
930 hPa
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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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