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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1788. CJ5
2:48 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Thanks again, Drak. I didn't even check the date. I assumed it was current and you know what happens when you assume.....
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
1786. Drakoen
2:38 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
CJ5 theres a new blog and the MM5FSU model run if you are using it from the link i posted dates back to last year. old run.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1785. CJ5
2:35 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
I did not see any of the other models developing this wave but, do you guys see anything significant about the "blob" developing at 80/10 around 80hrs from the mm5FSU model?
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
1784. Drakoen
2:29 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
new blog guys..
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1783. IKE
2:24 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
If the CMC models stays, does the math/distance work out to identify this as the wave they may be projecting?

Yes.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1782. CJ5
2:21 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
If you look at the computer model forecast all the model have that high shear area moving to the north and disspating somewhat as it does so.
If you look at the SAL movie you can see the SAL weakening.


Thanks, Drak. I have noticed the SAL weaking. It certainly has decreased alot since 96L. I have a hard time reading the shear maps but you seem to have a very good handle on that aspect.

If the CMC models stays, does the math/distance work out to identify this as the wave they may be projecting?
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
1781. thisisfurious
2:14 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
cycloneOz - I know that there are many image loops to choose from (a dime a dozen?), but I do want to commend you on the quality of your work. They were smooth and well done and very interesting to watch. A bit of an art form in itself.

Keep it up!
1780. Drakoen
2:11 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Guess we will have to wait for the 12z runs.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1779. cchsweatherman
2:10 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
It is looking very interesting now in the tropics as an arriving MJO and a developing La Nina are arriving at the perfect time to potentially have a breakout of tropical activity right in the heart of hurricane season. The CMC model from yesterday caught my eye yet alone my attention as it appears as if a tropical system was forecasted to target So. Fla. in 144 hours and that these tropical waves are continually coming off Africa at a higher frequency and appear to be stronger every time. I have a "gut feeling" as Michael Chertoff would say, that we are now in the calm before the storm as the ingredients are now just setting into place. Buckle your seatbelts boys. We are in for a bumpy ride.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
1778. Drakoen
2:09 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Posted By: CJ5 at 2:05 PM GMT on July 13, 2007.

The wave at 45/13 may be one to watch. It is moving WNW and this track would seem to jive with the CMC model. Current shear in the path increases to 20,30 and 40 and there is still plenty of dry air ahead of it. I do not see any spin with it but my eyes are slow to pick up on that lol


If you look at the computer model forecast all the model have that high shear area moving to the north and disspating somewhat as it does so.
If you look at the SAL movie you can see the SAL weakening.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1777. Jedkins
2:07 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
oh ya 105 mph can do some significant at damage persistent levels, esspecially when added to hours and hours of hurricane force winds like theyve had.
1776. CJ5
2:05 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
The wave at 45/13 may be one to watch. It is moving WNW and this track would seem to jive with the CMC model. Current shear in the path increases to 20,30 and 40 and there is still plenty of dry air ahead of it. I do not see any spin with it but my eyes are slow to pick up on that lol
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
1775. Drakoen
2:02 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
the max wind gust was 105 mph easily knock out power, trees, etc.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1774. Jedkins
2:01 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
10.57 inches of rain fell in an hour reported at Okinowa!


Link
1773. Drakoen
2:00 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
heres the Quicksat from this morning. Look around 10N 45W.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1772. CycloneOz
1:59 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Hey WhirlWind!

I think I just got the images. Had to place an ftp order with a university. The images I requested are the GOES East Infrared Hurricane Sector for June 1, 2005 - November 1, 2005...

They estimate the size of the order is 907MB...which is about right!

Oooo Oooo! :)
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3753
1771. Drakoen
1:58 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Yea Taz. I saw that too. i had to look at the loops alot to confirm it though. Looks to be at the wave axis, makes sense.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1770. Jedkins
1:57 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Okinowa has had over 25 inches of rain from Man-yi since yesterday, thats pretty impressive.
1769. Drakoen
1:56 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1768. Tazmanian
1:56 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
we now have a low with are wave i can see the spin vary well on this loop

Link
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
1767. Patrap
1:35 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
One early report from a News Source

Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
1766. Patrap
1:32 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Im trying to get some NIPPON news this am ..But the Island has power Im seeing on the southern Webcams..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
1765. CycloneOz
1:28 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
The Katrina / Rita animation was better, but still not up to my standards.

You'll notice that images spaced 1 hour apart were used.

I like using 2 images per hour.

Unfortunately, I'll have to go to 1 image per hour when I create my full season animation in November of this year because of the space limitations on YouTube.

However, I will create full image count June - August and September - November animations as well as any special ones.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3753
1764. weathermanwannabe
1:27 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Good Morning All (or should I day the few?)...I'll be lurking today due to busy work issues but all is clear in the Atlantic (although the Northern component of the wave is starting to pulse and looks interesting if it can hold over the next 3-4 days). Seems to me, as historically proven, that August & September will be the months to watch in the Atlantic, so, I plan to "chill" a little bit with the family over the next few weeks.....Enjoy some quiet Summer time folks!
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9231
1763. NormalGuy
1:24 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Good morning Patrap, how did our boys make it through last night and has the brunt of the storm passes Oki? Can you update me on anything worth watching this morning? Semper Fi
1762. whirlwind
1:23 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
nice...thx

cyclone.. here is a directory of inimations of canes from 95 to present. maybe you can play with these?

Link
1761. Patrap
1:22 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Try NOAA contact page for the info,They usually respond
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
1760. CycloneOz
1:21 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
The quality of that video is not very good.

I know that the images are public domain...but 2005 images are no longer available. At least...I can't get to them.

If I could get them, I'd create some animations that would be of a quality higher in price than a dime a dozen...
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3753
1759. Patrap
1:19 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
CLoser view of 05 from the previous

Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
1758. Patrap
1:18 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
1757. Patrap
1:17 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Anyone can get them.Its public domain material
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
1756. Patrap
1:16 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Heres the 2005 H season .Just go to YouTube and use the searcxh engine.There a dime a dozen



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
1755. CycloneOz
1:15 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
If Dr. Masters can get me the entire bank of images from the GOES East Infrared Hurricane Sector FROM JUNE 1, 2005 - NOVEMBER 1, 2005 , I'll be more than happy to make some very very cool animations for everyone!!!!

ARE YOU THERE, DOCTOR?

ozman_rebel@yahoo.com
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3753
1754. Drakoen
1:15 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1753. CycloneOz
1:12 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Sorry, WhirlWind...

My service for humanity creating these animations began on 6/1/2007.

So the next time there's a big outbreak like '05...I'll have 'em...but then...so will you too. I'm going to do this work every year from now on. It's hard...but it's fun.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3753
1752. whirlwind
1:07 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Hey Cyclone... do you have an animation like that for the whole '05 season???
Im still looking for that, just so far have found individual anims.
thanks....
1751. CycloneOz
1:04 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
BRAND NEW & CURRENT TO JULY 12, 2007

THE GOES EAST INFRARED HURRICANE SECTOR IMAGERY TIME LAPSE ANIMATION!


Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3753
1750. Patrap
1:04 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Have a good weekend folks.
Zooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
1749. Patrap
1:03 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
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.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
1748. Drakoen
1:02 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
blog is empty today..
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1747. Drakoen
12:58 PM GMT on July 13, 2007

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1746. Drakoen
12:53 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
you can see what i am talking about if you look at the RGB loop and the Quicksat.

Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1745. Drakoen
12:52 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Posted By: IKE at 12:49 PM GMT on July 13, 2007.

The convection in that wave has split in two. The bottom...more westerly portion, appears headed for South America. The top and further east portion has a spin and is heading west..to west-NW.


some of the moisture between 55w-50W is associated with the ITCZ. the convection to the north is not.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1744. IKE
12:49 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
The convection in that wave has split in two. The bottom...more westerly portion, appears headed for South America. The top and further east portion has a spin and is heading west..to west-NW.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1743. Drakoen
12:48 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
might be developing a llc south of the heavy convection.
>
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1742. IKE
12:45 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Posted By: Drakoen at 7:31 AM CDT on July 13, 2007.
it didn't exactly drop the system. One thing i have noticed is that it spins something up on the 12z runs. Yesterdays 0z run did that same thing as the current 0z run.
Right now a strong wave is shown on the CMC possibly a TD.


I've seen models do that. They have a storm...drop it...add it back...drop it again....

Makes it hard to believe the model.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1741. Drakoen
12:43 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1740. Drakoen
12:41 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1739. Drakoen
12:31 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
it didn't exactly drop the system. One thing i have noticed is that it spins something up on the 12z runs. Yesterdays 0z run did that same thing as the current 0z run.
Right now a strong wave is shown on the CMC possibly a TD.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
1738. plywoodstatenative
12:30 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
amazin, like it was said earlier. The time for south florida should be august/september. Do not really look for anything until the shear drops out and the water temps reach max in the carib/Atl.
Member Since: November 15, 2005 Posts: 16 Comments: 4189

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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.