Restoring confidence in NHC

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:24 PM GMT on July 11, 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. 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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1738. plywoodstatenative
12:28 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.
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1737. plywoodstatenative
12:27 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
whats the latest out of Okinawa on Man-Yi. and what the wind speed up to on the storm?
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1736. nash28
12:15 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
Guys, the 00z run from the CMC dropped the hurricane it had in 12z.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
1735. Patrap
7:21 AM CDT on July 13, 2007
Man-yi impacts Okinawa

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 139984
1734. stoormfury
12:03 PM GMT on July 13, 2007
good morning

well there is nothing to shout about this morning in the Gmex, CARIB or the ALT. the only interest are the wave in CALT which looks lethargic and the CMC's threat of a hurricane hitting south Florida. apart from this it is tranquillity in the tropics.
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1733. IKE
6:27 AM CDT on July 13, 2007
but for now it is really a bunch of nothing.

LOL! I agree!!! But I did say it would be an invest at some point. The wave isn't helping my cred.

Day 43 of the 183 day hurricane season in the Atlantic.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37995
1732. rainmound
11:26 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Hm. Man-yi looks less manly today, and much weaker in its northwest quarter. But Okinawa has already had a hugely rainy season. Katrina was downgraded to a 3 and still did a lot of damage. And check this out from Reuters:
Some 240 flights to and from Okinawa were cancelled, NHK public television said.

The storm, classified as a category 4 typhoon by British-based Web site Tropical Storm Risk (, was expected to increase the activity of the annual rainy season front and pound much of Japan with heavy rain over an extended holiday weekend.

Kyushu, where one man died earlier this week when he was swept away by a flooded river, braced for more rain and flooding, and nearly 2,000 people were advised to evacuate.

"We had really heavy rain and thunderstorms at dawn," one woman told NHK at an evacuation centre in the Kyushu city of Saito, a rural area where swollen rivers flowed close to the top of their banks.

"I want to go home. I'm really worried about our greenhouses."
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1731. IKE
6:26 AM CDT on July 13, 2007
I see a spin...on that wave near 10.2N, near 45W...moving W-NW.

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1730. sporteguy03
11:14 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
I must caution though those of you who say well its only one model or its just the CMC that doesn't mean its right or wrong , but who is to say it can't go either way? It might see something other models don't. Models change from run to run guys the next run the CMC could show nothing or a Cat 3 hurricane. The fact that one model sugguests something is enough at least for me to keep any eye on the area since its close to home.
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1729. StormJunkie
11:07 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
awx, it is forecasting a weak, weak system at the 144hr time frame, and it is the only model doing so right now. No need to worry, or be on alert just yet. If something changes in the model guidance or the appearance of the wave over the next couple of days then it could be a little more concerning, but for now it is really a bunch of nothing.

As for the location of the wave, I have not been watching it, but read the Tropical Weather Outlook from the NHC, and browse through those imagery links on that link I posted a minute ago. That will help you determine the location.
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1727. amazinwxman
11:00 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Nobody told me yet what's the coordinates of the wave in the Atl and how is it looking this morning?
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1726. bobw999
6:58 AM EDT on July 13, 2007
so should we be on the alert now?

Even if it is forecasting the system, there is nothing official yet. And remember, always listen to your local authorities.
1725. amazinwxman
10:48 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Thanks alot StormyBil it looks like it still has a T.C. headed toward FL to me so I guess that makes a consistency so should we be on the alert now?
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1724. StormJunkie
10:50 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Morning all ☺

Yep, bob, looks like it may be forecasting a weak TD at best now.

awx, you can most of the model pages from here.
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1723. stormybil
10:50 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
my bad thanks sorry
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1722. bobw999
6:49 AM EDT on July 13, 2007
It is no longer forecasting the system.
1721. bobw999
6:48 AM EDT on July 13, 2007
stormybil- That is not the current run. This is Link
1720. stormybil
10:43 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
here you go amazing let us know what you think

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1719. amazinwxman
10:41 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Can I also get a link to the CMC so I can take a look for myself please? anyone who can give me a link I appreciate it and thanks.
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1718. amazinwxman
10:36 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
what location is the wave at? I want to mark it on my tracking map also how is the wave looking this morning? has it loss or gained convection and has it gotten any better organized?
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1717. stormybil
10:38 AM GMT on July 13, 2007

you can check it out here
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1716. stormybil
10:32 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
And is the CMC still forecasting something tropical coming through southern Fl?

as of today yes and somthing new is brewing at 13- 14 w is this the wave the cmc was thinking our local news is also metioning it this am . nothing serouis yet. but they are calling it a stong tropical wave at this time

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1715. apocalyps
12:00 PM CEST op 13 Juli, 2007
Even if we dont want a major hurricane it will not help.
Everything is setting up for hurricane landfalls.
It would surprise me if we not gone have 3 hurricane landfalls at least.
Conditions coming more favorable two weeks from now.
Ones there comes bigger waves from Africa on a more northern track,beware.
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1714. KoritheMan
5:01 AM CDT on July 13, 2007
Thanks Alex for the links. But can you or anyone else please try and answer my question about Man-Yi?
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1713. Alexpvf
13 07, 2007 09:57 GMT
Useful links for tracking Man-Yi approaching:
Kagoshima, southern Japan
Miyazaki, southern Japan
Tanegashima, southern Japan
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1712. KoritheMan
4:52 AM CDT on July 13, 2007
And no, I definitely don't want a major hurricane. But I would like for there to be (again, no offense, just my two cents, I seriously mean nothing by this) no wishcasting for a tropical cyclone not form, or for a tropical cyclone TO form. We can wishcast with weather, but it doesn't really work...
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1711. KoritheMan
4:51 AM CDT on July 13, 2007
apocalyps, everytime I say that (not trying to offend anyone here, so please, PLEASE don't get upset I'm just trying to comment that's all) to anyone, they find some way to deny development. Granted, conditions aren't typically favorable in June and July, they are becoming much more favorable, and quite rapidly. I've noticed this. It's only going to get worse.
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1710. KoritheMan
4:48 AM CDT on July 13, 2007
A question: If Man-Yi is now at 150 mph, which is 5 mph above the 145 mph it weakened to earlier, then why does it not really have a visible eye? I can see by the pic the Doc posted that the eye is easily less discernable, yet the tropical page of wunderground says 150 mph? Is this because of cooler water is running into, and thus it is becoming extratropical, or at least losing its tropical structure?
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1709. apocalyps
11:46 AM CEST op 13 Juli, 2007
Looks like serious business is going to start next week or two weeks from now.
Pattern looks ugly for Florida and GOM.
Gone be busy times end of july,august.
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1708. bobw999
5:37 AM EDT on July 13, 2007
And is the CMC still forecasting something tropical coming through southern Fl?

1706. sullivanweather
8:37 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Oklahoma getting pounded again
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1705. amazinwxman
8:30 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
So what's going on with this wave this early morning? is it looking worse, better, or the same? And is the CMC still forecasting something tropical coming through southern Fl?
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1704. KoritheMan
3:01 AM CDT on July 13, 2007
donot come here getting people worry go enjoy weekend no wishcasting please :)

I agree about the wishcasting part.

What's going to be everyone's excuse when August and September comes around, though? Shear will probably be 5-10 knots then, and the dry air will be gone by then, since dry air is CLEARLY going away right now as we speak. Oh wait, I forgot if shear isn't below 5 knots nothing will develop, and if there is one small patch of dry air, it won't develop either. I'd call that wishcasting.

I'm not directing this towards you who I copy/pasted, but to everyone in general. That always happens, and I'm betting my money on it it will during the peak months. That's pure wishcasting.

I apologize sincerely if this upsets anyone. But it gets annoying that people sometimes do this, when conditions are clearly there. I'm not trying to upset anyone, though. Sorry if I have.
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1703. stormwatcher247
7:57 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Where's this wave?
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1702. stormybil
6:50 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
good morning story whats your view hehe
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1701. StoryOfTheCane
6:48 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
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1700. stormybil
6:41 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
thanks us tropics

the word was could not would 0741
heres the lates pressure on the atl wave as per taz blog

Wind Direction (WDIR): E ( 90 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 19.4 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 23.3 kts
Wave Height (WVHT): 6.9 ft
Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 7 sec
Average Period (APD): 5.4 sec
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 30.01 in
Pressure Tendency (PTDY): +0.02 in ( Rising )
Air Temperature (ATMP): 83.8 ░F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 83.5 ░F
Dew Point (DEWP): 76.1 ░F
Heat Index (HEAT): 92.7 ░F
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1699. ustropics
6:23 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
ustropics on what date is it suppose to form im lost there thanks

The CMC begins to recognize it as it reaches the islands (around 78 hours). However this is the ONLY model thus far that projects this. More model consistency needs to be seen before this becomes a real area of interest. Also we need to see a consistent pattern of this system in future CMC runs as well. If you compare the 850 Vort 12Z run to the most recent one you'll notice a significant decrease in projected strength.
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1698. 0741
6:11 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
stormybil we wont see 97l for some time do donot come saying their going to be 97l in next 24to 48 hour because one their too much shear two if you look at atlantic wv loop you see their upper low coming down alot dryair and dust please donot come here getting people worry go enjoy weekend no wishcasting please :)
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1697. stormybil
6:15 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
us troics on what date is it suppose to form im lost there thanks is it 108 hours
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1696. ustropics
6:15 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Here is a model run of the cmc that shows were it first appears. Just found the link so I hope you find it worthy

Oh and if someone looks at this link, please let me know what the two graphs are in the beginning. Still hoping to learn

The two graphs in the beginning predict what type of core the system would be. In this case, we are looking for a symmetric warm core system. The second model predicts the intensity basically, with a deep warm core system being the healthiest.

Try the first link
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1695. stormybil
6:10 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
thanks jean guess i did get it right it forms south of the bahamas and track to fla thanks again what does the big z mean
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1694. jeanri2000
5:34 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
Here is a model run of the cmc that shows were it first appears. Just found the link so I hope you find it worthy

Oh and if someone looks at this link, please let me know what the two graphs are in the beginning. Still hoping to learn
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1693. KoritheMan
12:33 AM CDT on July 13, 2007
stormybil: Are you sure the mid-Atlantic tropical wave east of the islands is worth watching? Looks quite pitiful to me. I'm not going to wishcast though.

Well thats it for tonight. I am saving my strength for the long evenings when the season kicks into gear ( LOL ).

I hope that LOL wasn't you trying to say how slow this season has "supposedly" been. -_-
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1692. stormybil
4:51 AM GMT on July 13, 2007
thanks anti did it frame by frame it not the one the atl its stats forming east south of the bahammas right

by the way with the pressure reading tonight from taz the exsisting atl wave could be invest 97l in 24 to 48 hours another one to watch .
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1691. Tazmanian
9:49 PM PDT on July 12, 2007
how do you like the cimss new look?? e mail me or drop a commet by my blog be come i am saying good night now and wont see your commet

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Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog


Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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