Which Hurricane Forecast Model Should You Trust?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:05 PM GMT on August 07, 2013

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) set a new record in 2012 for accuracy of their 1, 2, 3, and 4-day Atlantic tropical cyclone track forecasts, but had almost no skill making intensity forecasts, according to the 2012 National Hurricane Center Forecast Verification Report, issued in March 2013. The new records for track accuracy were set despite the fact that the season’s storms were harder than average to forecast. The average error in a 1-day forecast was 46 miles, and was 79 miles for 2 days, 116 miles for 3 days, 164 miles for 4 days, and 224 miles for 5 days. The official track forecast had a westward bias of 10 - 17 miles for 1 - 3 day forecasts (i.e., the official forecast tended to fall to the west of the verifying position), and was 38 and 75 miles too far to the northeast for the 4- and 5-day forecasts, respectively.


Figure 1. Verification of official NHC hurricane track forecasts for the Atlantic, 1990 - 2012. Over the past 15 - 20 years, 1 - 3 day track forecast errors have been reduced by about 60%. Track forecast error reductions of about 50% have occurred over the past ten years for 4- and 5-day forecasts. Image credit: 2012 National Hurricane Center Forecast Verification Report.

NHC Intensity Forecasts: Little Improvement Since 1990
Official NHC intensity forecasts did better than usual in 2012, and had errors lower than the 5-year average error for 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5-day forecasts. However, 2012's storms were easier to predict than usual, due to due to a lack of rapidly intensifying hurricanes. These rapid intensifiers are typically the source of the largest forecast errors. The skill of official NHC 24-hour intensity forecasts made in 2012 for the Atlantic basin were only about 15% better than a "no-skill" forecast; 2, 3, 4, and 5-day intensity forecasts had no skill.


Figure 2. Verification of official NHC hurricane intensity forecasts for the Atlantic, 1990 - 2012. Intensity forecasts have shown little to no improvement since 1990. Image credit: 2012 National Hurricane Center Forecast Verification Report.

Which Track Model Should You Trust?
As usual, in 2012 the official NHC forecast for Atlantic storms was almost as good as or better than any individual computer models--though NOAA's GFS model did slightly better than the NHC official forecast at 12, 24, and 48-hour periods, and the European model forecast was slightly better at 12-hour forecasts. Despite all the attention given to how the European Center (ECMWF) model outperformed the GFS model for Hurricane Sandy's track at long ranges, the GFS model actually outperformed the European model in 2012 when summing up all track forecasts made for all Atlantic named storms. This occurred, in part, because the European model made a few disastrously bad forecasts for Tropical Storm Debby when it was in the Gulf of Mexico and steering currents were weak. For several runs, the model predicted a Texas landfall, but Debby ended up moving east-northeast to make a Northwest Florida landfall, like the GFS model had predicted. However, the best-performing model averaged over the past three years has been the European Center model, with the GFS model a close second. Wunderground provides a web page with computer model forecasts for many of the best-performing track models used to predict hurricane tracks. The European Center does not permit public display of tropical storm positions from their hurricane tracking module of their model, so we are unable to put ECMWF forecasts on this page. Here are some of the better models NHC regularly looks at:

ECMWF: The European Center's global forecast model
GFS: NOAA's global forecast model
NOGAPS: The Navy's global forecast model (now defunct, replaced by the NAVGEM model in 2013)
UKMET: The United Kingdom Met Office's global forecast model
GFDL: The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory's hurricane model, initialized using GFS data
HWRF: The intended successor for the the GFDL hurricane model, also initialized using GFS data
CMC: The Canadian GEM model
BAMM: The very old Beta and Advection Model (Medium layer), which is still useful at longer ranges

If one averages together the track forecasts from the first six of these models, the NHC official forecast will rarely depart much from it. As seen in Figure 3, the HWRF and UKMET were well behind the ECMWF and GFS in forecast accuracy in 2012, but were still respectable. The simple BAMM model did well at 3, 4, and 5-day forecasts. The GFDL and CMC models did quite poorly compared to the ECMWF, GFS, UKMET, and HWRF. The Navy's NOGAPS model also did poorly in 2012, and has been retired. Its replacement for 2013 is called the NAVGEM model.


Figure 3. Skill of computer model forecasts of Atlantic named storms in 2012, compared to a "no skill" model called "CLIPER5" that uses just climatology and persistence to make a hurricane track forecast (persistence means that a storm will tend to keep going in the direction it's current going.) OFCL=Official NHC forecast; GFS=Global Forecast System model; GFDL=Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory model; HWRF=Hurricane Weather Research Forecasting model; UKMET=United Kingdom Met Office model; ECMWF=European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting model; TVCA=one of the consensus models that lends together several of the above models; CMC=Canadian Meteorological Center (GEM) model; BAMM=Beta Advection Model (Medium depth.) Image credit: National Hurricane Center 2012 verification report.

Which Intensity Model Should You Trust?
Don't trust any of them. NHC has two main statistical intensity models, LGEM and DSHP (the SHIPS model with inland decay of a storm factored in.) In addition, four dynamical models that are also use to track hurricanes--the GFS, ECMWF, HWRF, and GFDL models--all offer intensity forecasts. With the exception of the GFS model, which had a skill just 5% better than a "no-skill" intensity forecast for predictions going out 36 hours, all of these models had no skill in their intensity forecasts during 2012. The ECMWF and HWRF models were the worst models for intensity forecasts of 3, 4, and 5 days, with a skill of 20% - 60% lower than a "no-skill" forecast. The LGEM model, which was a decent intensity model in 2011, tanked badly in 2012 and had near-zero skill. The only model that was any good in 2012 was the IVCN "consensus" model, which averages together the intensity forecasts of two or more of the intensity models such as LGEM, GFDL, HWRF, and DSHP.

Some Promising Models From the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project (HFIP)
Last year was the fourth year of a ten-year project, called the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project (HFIP), aimed at reducing hurricane track and intensity errors by 50%. The new experimental models from HFIP generally performed poorly in 2012. However, the new FIM9 15-km global model was competitive with the ECMWF and GFS models for track, and the new CIRA Statistical Intensity Consensus (SPC3) model for intensity performed better than many of the traditional intensity models.

For those interested in learning more about the hurricane forecast models, NOAA has a 1-hour training video (updated for 2011.) Additional information about the guidance models used at the NHC can be found at NHC and the NOAA/HRD Hurricane FAQ.

Sources of Model Data
You can view 7-day ECMWF and 16-day GFS forecasts on wunderground's wundermap with the model layer turned on.
Longer ten-day ECMWF forecasts are available from the ECMWF web site.
FSU's experimental hurricane forecast page (CMC, ECMWF, GFDL, GFS, HWRF, and NAVGEM models)
NOAA's HFIP model comparison page (GFS, ECMWF, FIM, FIM9, UKMET, and CMC models.)
Experimental HFIP models

Quiet in the Atlantic
There are no tropical cyclone threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss today, and none of the reliable models for tropical cyclone formation is predicting development during the coming seven days. I plan on having a detailed update on Friday to discuss the latest long-range forecasts for the coming peak part of hurricane season.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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Quoting 1325. SouthernIllinois:
He brought me some BIG MUCH NEEDED drought relief rains. Love you Isaac.


Unfortunately there are some areas that didn't appreciate the direct hit they received form Isaac! Amazing how one area can benefit from a tropical system while the area directly on the coast receives a ton of damage!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1335. 62901IL
Quoting 1334. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Oh I see you are now having rain for lunch, did you enjoy the dust for breakfast? :P

LOL.
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Quoting 1332. CaribBoy:


XD
Oh I see you are now having rain for lunch, did you enjoy the dust for breakfast? :P
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Quoting 1326. Tropicsweatherpr:
Breaking News here as the ECMWF has changed it's forecast of higher pressures and now has neutral to lower pressures for ASO.

Here's a graphic from that website I posted on the previous page. I clicked "Individual Forecast" in the left frame and the "All Map" for the map. It plots all 12 model forecasts of mean sea level pressure anomaly for August-October. Blue = low pressure, red = higher pressure. CPTEC is the Brazil model. Exeter is the UK model. The individual models are listed on their "home" page. Any listing "ASO" have not updated since July. Euro is from July on that web site. the "Pretoria" model is from South Africa, it's quite bold with the low pressure forecast. The Melbourne model was the only one forecasting significantly higher pressure last month (with the Euro). Now the Euro has abandoned that idea.

Link

These are other global models like the Brazilian,Russian,South African (Pretoria) etc that have lower pressures for ASO.

Thanks for that Tropics I will take Moscow and Pretoria for 500 please and bring on the storms! :D
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XD
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1330. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)

2013 Storms




All

Active

Year




Atlantic



East Pacific


green ball92E.INVEST


green ball08E.HENRIETTE



Central Pacific



West Pacific


green ball96W.INVEST



Indian Ocean



Southern Hemisphere
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1326. Tropicsweatherpr:
Breaking News here as the ECMWF has changed it's forecast of higher pressures and now has neutral to lower pressures.

Here's a graphic from that website I posted on the previous page. I clicked "Individual Forecast" in the left frame and the "All Map" for the map. It plots all 12 model forecasts of mean sea level pressure anomaly for August-October. Blue = low pressure, red = higher pressure. CPTEC is the Brazil model. Exeter is the UK model. The individual models are listed on their "home" page. Any listing "ASO" have not updated since July. Euro is from July on that web site. the "Pretoria" model is from South Africa, it's quite bold with the low pressure forecast. The Melbourne model was the only one forecasting significantly higher pressure last month (with the Euro). Now the Euro has abandoned that idea.

Link

There are other global models like the Brazilian,Russian,South African (Pretoria) etc that have lower pressures for ASO.



VERY GOOD NEWS XD
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Or even better, something like Beulah shifted a couple hundred miles to the north.



Not sure there are any better areal rain champions than this one.
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1327. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)

No Active Atlantic Tropical Warnings
‎Today, ‎August ‎8, ‎2013, ‏‎5 minutes ago | CDO.FWC.NRFK.fct@navy.mil (FWC-N CDO)Go to full article
As of Thu, 08 Aug 2013 16:00:02 GMT
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Breaking News here as the ECMWF has changed it's forecast of higher pressures and now has neutral to lower pressures for ASO.

Here's a graphic from that website. I clicked "Individual Forecast" in the left frame and the "All Map" for the map. It plots all 12 model forecasts of mean sea level pressure anomaly for August-October. Blue = low pressure, red = higher pressure. CPTEC is the Brazil model. Exeter is the UK model. The individual models are listed on their "home" page. Any listing "ASO" have not updated since July. Euro is from July on that web site. the "Pretoria" model is from South Africa, it's quite bold with the low pressure forecast. The Melbourne model was the only one forecasting significantly higher pressure last month (with the Euro). Now the Euro has abandoned that idea.

Link

These are other global models like the Brazilian,Russian,South African (Pretoria) etc that have lower pressures for ASO.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1323. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 1320. HurricaneAndre:
so that's an invest right.
no there is no INV in the basin right now and AOI's don't get tagged

have to watch navy or NHC to see if they say somem
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Why do people keep mentioning El Niño???!?!? There is no El Niño and one is not forecast to form! If anything were to form it would be La Niña....I just don't get it.
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Quoting 1270. Grothar:
Gro, why don't you just post the picture instead of everything around it? No one can read the words anyway. Just a tip.
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Quoting 1316. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
30N/58W Aat the end of a front and ne of the ull you can see it on the bigger tap image I posted not sure if it will be anything but its looking like an area of interest to me for now
so that's an invest right.
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Quoting 1317. 1900hurricane:

That's actually from the upper low currently out near the Bahamas. It should track west underneath deep layer continental ridging over the next few days. Hopefully it'll bring some decent rains by the time it gets here.




Needs to be further up the coast
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more more more and more please!
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Quoting 1303. Sfloridacat5:


I posted this a little earlier. NAM likes to bring something (blog of rain or more?) into Texas.

That's actually from the upper low currently out near the Bahamas. It should track west underneath deep layer continental ridging over the next few days. Hopefully it'll bring some decent rains by the time it gets here.



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1316. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 1309. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Where is that located at KEEP?
30N/58W Aat the end of a front and ne of the ull you can see it on the bigger tap image I posted not sure if it will be anything but its looking like an area of interest to me for now
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On the 12z GFS, it appears that there is a large tropical depression off the coast of Africa, and another potentially large disturbance in the Caribbean.
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Quoting 1287. hurricanes2018:
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 AM PDT THU AUG 8 2013

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON HURRICANE
HENRIETTE...LOCATED FAR TO THE EAST OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.

A BROAD LOW PRESSURE AREA LOCATED ABOUT 650 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
MANZANILLO MEXICO IS PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE CONDUCIVE FOR
DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS AS IT
MOVES WESTWARD AT ABOUT 10 MPH. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM
CHANCE...40 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS AND A HIGH CHANCE...70 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS.

A TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE HAS FORMED ABOUT 1500 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE
FORECAST TO BE CONDUCIVE FOR GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM
DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS. THIS SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE...NEAR
0 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48
HOURS...AND A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD AROUND 10 MPH.

&&
this is getting crazy here!! we are going to get new names storms every three days here!
Is this indicative of what's to come in the Atlantic!? God I hope so!
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Quoting 1303. Sfloridacat5:


I posted this a little earlier. NAM likes to bring something (blog of rain or more?) into Texas.


any rain this time of year is good rain. its feast or famine for texas
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I'd totally dig something like this right now.

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1311. ncstorm
“Also, two of the four named storms to-date formed in the deep tropical Atlantic, which historically is an indicator of an active season.”
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Quoting 1301. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
XL/XX/XX
Where is this.
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Quoting 1301. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
XL/XX/XX
Where is that located at KEEP?
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1308. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1307. ncstorm
TA..boy you are FAST!!!!!!! LOL
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1287. hurricanes2018:
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 AM PDT THU AUG 8 2013

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON HURRICANE
HENRIETTE...LOCATED FAR TO THE EAST OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.

A BROAD LOW PRESSURE AREA LOCATED ABOUT 650 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
MANZANILLO MEXICO IS PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE CONDUCIVE FOR
DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS AS IT
MOVES WESTWARD AT ABOUT 10 MPH. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM
CHANCE...40 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS AND A HIGH CHANCE...70 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS.

A TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE HAS FORMED ABOUT 1500 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE
FORECAST TO BE CONDUCIVE FOR GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM
DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS. THIS SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE...NEAR
0 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48
HOURS...AND A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD AROUND 10 MPH.

&&
this is getting crazy here!! we are going to get new names storms every three days here!
I guess we are in an EL-NIÑO.
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1305. ncstorm
NOAA: Atlantic hurricane season on track to be above-normal

August 8, 2013

Image of Tropical Storm Dorian on July 24, 2013 from NOAA's GOES East satellite.

Image of Tropical Storm Dorian on July 24, 2013, from NOAA's GOES East satellite.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA issued its updated Atlantic hurricane season outlook today saying the season is shaping up to be above normal with the possibility that it could be very active. The season has already produced four named storms, with the peak of the season – mid-August through October – yet to come.

“Our confidence for an above-normal season is still high because the predicted atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are favorable for storm development have materialized,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. “Also, two of the four named storms to-date formed in the deep tropical Atlantic, which historically is an indicator of an active season.”

The conditions in place now are similar to those that have produced many active Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995, and include above-average Atlantic sea surface temperatures and a stronger rainy season in West Africa, which produces wind patterns that help turn storm systems there into tropical storms and hurricanes.

The updated outlook calls for a 70 percent chance of an above-normal season. Across the Atlantic Basin for the entire season – June 1 to November 30 – NOAA’s updated seasonal outlook (which includes the activity to date of tropical storms Andrea, Barry, Chantal, and Dorian) projects a 70 percent chance for each of the following ranges:

13 to 19 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including
6 to 9 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which
3 to 5 could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

These ranges are above the 30-year seasonal averages of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

The updated outlook is similar to the pre-season outlook issued in May, but with a reduced expectation for extreme levels of activity. Motivating this change is a decreased likelihood that La Niña will develop and bring its reduced wind shear that further strengthens the hurricane season. Other factors are the lack of hurricanes through July, more variability in the wind patterns across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and slightly lower hurricane season model predictions. In May, the outlook called for 13-20 named storms, 7-11 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes.

“The peak of the hurricane season is almost upon us and it’s important to remain prepared for hurricanes through November," said Joe Nimmich, FEMA Associate Administrator for Response and Recovery. "Make sure to review your family emergency plan, check that your emergency kit is stocked and consider insurance options. Learn more about how you can prepare for hurricanes at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.”

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
NOAA: Atlantic hurricane season on track to be above-normal

The updated outlook calls for a 70 percent chance of an above-normal season. Across the Atlantic Basin for the entire season - June 1 to November 30 - NOAA's updated seasonal outlook (which includes the activity to date of tropical storms Andrea, Barry, Chantal, and Dorian) projects a 70 percent chance for each of the following ranges:

13 to 19 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including
6 to 9 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which
3 to 5 could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)


...ICYMI
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1295. mcdsara1:
someone was talking about a system in the GOM next week. have the models hung on to that?


I posted this a little earlier. NAM likes to bring something (blog of rain or more?) into Texas.
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Quoting 1281. Skyepony:
Wisconsin storms packing high winds of more than 100 mph and two tornadoes caused at least one weather-related fatality, injured 3, destroyed a church, barns and other buildings and cut power to tens of thousands of people in central and northeastern Wisconsin on early Wednesday morning, on August 7, 2013.

There is some pics in there..manufactured homes didn't fair as well.

Hard not to repost the...we will rebuild, somehow..pic..




I had 19-10-3 back in maybe April...nice to see them getting closer to my numbers:P




Dang...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1301. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
XL/XX/XX
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Come on people think positive! First off the TX death ridge is breaking down and moving to the EASTERN US. Tx does have a chance of something...HOPEFULLY it will hit somewhere around Freeport so that the WHOLE coast and inland as well would get much needed rain. POSITIVE PEOPLE COME ON.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Texas weather - 30" of rain in 1 week or drought. Take you pick.
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Meanwhile ASCAT scatterometer caught Henreitte:

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Quoting 1291. Patrap:
Seems as though another ULL is trying to develop East of the Northern Leeward Islands. CaribBoy must be getting dust for breakfast over in St. Barths.
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1296. LargoFl
while discussing climate change,folks always think Heat and how hot it will get..but I am wondering..will the change also disrupt the moisture? and places now that get the rains..maybe will not?............texas for example..millions of years ago when the earth was much hotter..texas was tree covered and marshy....perhaps even the tropics could change positions?.........well we here now wont see it..but someday huh
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someone was talking about a system in the GOM next week. have the models hung on to that?
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1294. Patrap
Corrected, cool..

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1293. 62901IL
Quoting 1290. GTstormChaserCaleb:
While we have a lull in activity here is an image that TAwx13 sent me in Tropics Chat last night.

QuikSCAT pass of Hurricane Katrina on 8-25-05:



We will be getting a new one of its kind next year called RapidSCAT.

"The primary goal of this investigation is to provide a gap-filler ocean vector winds measurement capability to mitigate the loss of the NASA QuikSCAT scatterometer. Scatterometers are radar instruments that can measure near-surface wind speed and direction over the ocean, and have proved to be extremely valuable for weather forecasting, including hurricane monitoring, and for monitoring large-scale changes in the Earth%u2019s climate, such as El Ni�o. The ISS RapidScat instrument will provide wind measurements that will enhance the international scatterometer constellation, provide unique cross-calibration capabilities to extend the climate data record initiated by the QuikSCAT satellite. In addition, because of the unique orbit characteristics of the ISS, RapidSCAT will be enable the first measurements of the systematic diurnal changes of winds over the ocean."

That is awesome, GT!
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After what NOAA has in their August forecast it looks like all systems go for a big season so let's prepare for a wild ride starting shortly.
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1291. Patrap
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
While we have a lull in activity here is an image that TAwx13 sent me in Tropics Chat last night.

QuikSCAT pass of Hurricane Katrina on 8-28-05:



We will be getting a new one of its kind next year called RapidSCAT.

"The primary goal of this investigation is to provide a gap-filler ocean vector winds measurement capability to mitigate the loss of the NASA QuikSCAT scatterometer. Scatterometers are radar instruments that can measure near-surface wind speed and direction over the ocean, and have proved to be extremely valuable for weather forecasting, including hurricane monitoring, and for monitoring large-scale changes in the Earth%u2019s climate, such as El Ni%uFFFDo. The ISS RapidScat instrument will provide wind measurements that will enhance the international scatterometer constellation, provide unique cross-calibration capabilities to extend the climate data record initiated by the QuikSCAT satellite. In addition, because of the unique orbit characteristics of the ISS, RapidSCAT will be enable the first measurements of the systematic diurnal changes of winds over the ocean."
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Quoting 1288. RitaEvac:


Typical August


yup. stay indoors, watch tv!
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Quoting 1283. mcdsara1:


texas death ridge for ya. the first part of summer wasn't bad nothing like last summer. the heat this week is just oppressive.


Typical August
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TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 AM PDT THU AUG 8 2013

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON HURRICANE
HENRIETTE...LOCATED FAR TO THE EAST OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.

A BROAD LOW PRESSURE AREA LOCATED ABOUT 650 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
MANZANILLO MEXICO IS PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE CONDUCIVE FOR
DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS AS IT
MOVES WESTWARD AT ABOUT 10 MPH. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM
CHANCE...40 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS AND A HIGH CHANCE...70 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS.

A TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE HAS FORMED ABOUT 1500 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE
FORECAST TO BE CONDUCIVE FOR GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM
DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS. THIS SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE...NEAR
0 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48
HOURS...AND A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD AROUND 10 MPH.

&&
this is getting crazy here!! we are going to get new names storms every three days here!
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Quoting 1267. RitaEvac:
Everybody talkin' bout rain in the Gulf heading for TX,

There's a feast on the table, but nuttin on the plate.


No joke. Alanis Morissette could have written a song about our weather here.
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Category 6™

About

Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather