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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436. 789
I like looking around north africa
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Quoting 416. GTstormChaserCaleb:
12z ECMWF...Cape-Verde and Western Caribbean. Link


How did you get this? Isn't this a pay-model site?
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Quoting 416. GTstormChaserCaleb:
12z ECMWF...Cape-Verde and Western Caribbean. Link


Looks like somebody pirated Allan Huffman's pay-walled content.
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Arguing years after the fact whether any hurricane was a category 4 or 5 will not change whether it was, in fact, a cat 4 or 5.
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432. 789
Quoting 416. GTstormChaserCaleb:
12z ECMWF...Cape-Verde and Western Caribbean. Link
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Quoting 429. ncstorm:


LOL!!!!!!!!!


BTW I personally wouldn't know anything about this or at least what comes after level 92 ... snark snark :)
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Quoting 382. taco2me61:
I tell you this, If you lived here on the Gulf Coast in 69 you knew you just went through a very powerful Storm. I don't remember everything about Camille like I do with Fredrick. But none the Less it was like watching a Bomb go off for Hours..... Just Saying....

It will always be a Cat5 in my eyes....

Taco :o)


At work, just found this. Amen and amen, taco. After I went into shock as the storm neared its height, I remember becoming rather detached ... and a part of my brain got this mental image of the whole world having become a giant waterfall of wind. To me it was like the little ranch house we were in had been moved to the base of an immense waterfall, only instead of water it was wind that was falling on us.

And about every minute or two, a harder gust would hit and all the wood in the house frame would make these quick crunching and cracking noises.

I blacked out around midnight, though my grandparents said I stayed awake later, longer enough to ask them "what was that?" when the gable roof blew off. I remember absolutely none of that.

Frederic was enough to fill my "thrill-seeking" for the rest of my days.
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Quoting 428. calkevin77:


Yeah but on the contrary they have gotten really good at Candy Crush Saga in the meantime.


LOL!!!!!!!!!
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Quoting 414. sar2401:

Boredom has set in at the NHC also. I'm waiting for the storm that has a 0% chance in 2 days and 80% chance in five days. Presumably, at some point, that should happen.


Yeah but on the contrary they have gotten really good at Candy Crush Saga in the meantime.
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Quoting 426. Civicane49:


probably the first major of the season.
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Quoting 409. TropicalAnalystwx13:
New EPAC invest.

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_ep922013.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201308071735
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, EP, E, , , , , 92, 2013, DB, O, 2013080712, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , EP922013
EP, 92, 2013080712, , BEST, 0, 114N, 1020W, 20, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 400. moonlightcowboy:
Katrina was not officially a landfalling CAT 5, but tell that to someone who lived 200 miles and more inland in MS and you'd likely be shown the door.

The point is, the rating is far less important than the subsequent aftermath, but lends credence and confirms that awareness and preparedness is far more important. I didn't enjoy the discomfort with the presumed simple Isaac last season, not at all fun, and that just confirms that even the tropical storms and minimum-rated canes can cause pain and grief. And, not just on the shorelines, but several miles and several states inland.
I always liked the weak moderate intense cyclone approach when referencing a storm do away with the cat thing
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Quoting 414. sar2401:

Boredom has set in at the NHC also. I'm waiting for the storm that has a 0% chance in 2 days and 80% chance in five days. Presumably, at some point, that should happen.


I forget where the link is, but there is a PowerPoint presentation from the NHC about the 5 day TWO. One example shown when they were doing the in house testing was for Isaac after it made landfall and degenerated into a remnant low over the Central US. They had it at a 0% chance for 48 hours, but 50% chance in 5 days because they expected the remnants to drift back into the Gulf of Mexico.
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Quoting 365. SFLWeatherman:
LOL they say 30% chance of rain today


My friends dad works for SFWMD and says that they use the percentages to say for instance, "there will be rain in 30% of the area today." Which makes more sense to me.
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Link

A few years ago, we had a presentation that was similar to this in our environmental working group.... The presenter took some of this information and applied it to tropical cyclone damage as well....
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I'll be back later, and don't forget to be looking for a new blog post of mine on my experience with Tropical Storm Claudette in 2009!

69Viking: No worries (:
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Wu Glitch of the day..
Their is a storm in central china and Henrietta is already at Hawaii..
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here are the recorded winds of camille....now we've had this same topic of discussion many years ago on this very blog....and there's been talk among the experts that camille should be downgraded...however...this info below...shows...that while the windspeeds recorded were not nearly cat 5 speeds...but the pressure was that of a cat 5....it makes good ammo for a conspiracy theory



At the west end of the Bay St. Louis Bridge a pressure of 26.85 inches of mercury (909.3 millibars) was reported. This is the second lowest barometric pressure ever measured in the United States. Only the 1935 Hurricane produced a lower pressure in the middle Keys of 892 Mb (26.35). At Boothville, Louisiana, winds of 107 miles per hour were recorded before a power failure; at Pilottown, Louisiana, the S.S. Cristobal estimated winds at 160 miles per hour. Winds at Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Mississippi were measured at 81 miles per hour with gusts to 129 miles per hour. At Ingalls Shipyard, Pascagoula, Mississippi the highest sustained wind reached 81 miles per hour while a local radio station reported 104 miles per hour winds before power failure.
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Quoting 415. SuperStorm093:


It is at near 0 percent, so yes, yes it is still quiet.



Quiet means no yellow cirlces with no mention of anything in the NHC outlooks.
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Quoting 408. 69Viking:


I'm done, certain people will only believe what they want to believe regardless of what the experts say.


Yeah. We can definitely tell there's a lull in the tropics. When there's no storm to follow the blog is inherently either about global warming or pissing matches over whose storm was the most ferocious. ;)

Y'all have fun, play nice! The lull will pass all too soon.

MLC <---------------out for the afternoon! :)
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12z ECMWF...Cape-Verde and Western Caribbean. Link
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Quoting 411. RufusBaker:
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



UHH there is a yellow circle on the map. Not that quiet...


It is at near 0 percent, so yes, yes it is still quiet.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT WED AUG 7 2013

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS ASSOCIATED WITH A WEAK AREA OF LOW PRESSURE
ARE MOVING WESTWARD OVER PORTIONS OF THE LESSER ANTILLES AND INTO
THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST TO
BE UNFAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT OVER 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...NEAR 0
PERCENT...DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS.

&&

FIVE-DAY FORMATION PROBABILITIES ARE EXPERIMENTAL IN 2013. COMMENTS
ON THE EXPERIMENTAL FORECASTS CAN BE PROVIDED AT...

WWW.NWS.NOAA.GOV/SURVEY/NWS-SURVEY.PHP?CODE=ETWO

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN

Boredom has set in at the NHC also. I'm waiting for the storm that has a 0% chance in 2 days and 80% chance in five days. Presumably, at some point, that should happen.
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Quoting 409. TropicalAnalystwx13:
New EPAC invest.

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_ep922013.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201308071735
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, EP, E, , , , , 92, 2013, DB, O, 2013080712, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , EP922013
EP, 92, 2013080712, , BEST, 0, 114N, 1020W, 20, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,

I figured we'd have an invest today in the EPAC since the 5 day outlook says 50%
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Quoting 317. CaneHunter031472:


By the way. who says that a Cat 4 causes little wind damage? I was in Puerto Rico when Hugo hit the Island as a Cat 4. Culebra island which mountains protect it from the surge was decimate by the winds in that hurricane. And building codes in Puerto Rico are designed with hurricanes in their minds. You could not find a concrete structure standing.


The level of damage really is a matter of how well buildings are constructed. In the Bahamas very rarely do concrete structures suffer more than some shingle or other roof damage unless they are right on the coast and are low lying in which case they can be damaged by the storm surge rather than the winds. In a lot of the older settlements in Abaco and Eleuthera there are many old wooden homes that were constructed in the 1700's and 1800's and they have been through dozens of Hurricanes and a number of major hurricanes suffering little or no damage as most were constructed by people that had ship building experience and they used that knowledge to construct their homes.
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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



UHH there is a yellow circle on the map. Not that quiet...
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Quoting 408. 69Viking:


I'm done, certain people will only believe what they want to believe regardless of what the experts say.


I agree! One poster on here already mentioned that 170mph winds where measure on an Oil Rig 60 miles offshore before the anemometer gave out. Also once the storm surge came onshore that when the 200mph winds came in. Point is lots of structures were already underwater once the intense winds came in.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
New EPAC invest.

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_ep922013.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201308071735
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, EP, E, , , , , 92, 2013, DB, O, 2013080712, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , EP922013
EP, 92, 2013080712, , BEST, 0, 114N, 1020W, 20, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 403. StormTrackerScott:
Some people just need to Tapout.


I'm done, certain people will only believe what they want to believe regardless of what the experts say.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Henriette is intensifying again. A series of microwave passes from this morning reveal the system is no longer tilted due to wind shear, and an eye has become apparent on both it and visible (below) satellite imagery below. We'll see if it can reach Category 2 intensity before it crosses the 26°C isotherm.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 390. TimSoCal:


Totally agree. I mean, Sandy was "only" a Category 1, but look how much coastline she destroyed/damaged.


I feel like Sandy was more a meteotsunami than anything else.
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That what the GFS is doing
Quoting 394. GTstormChaserCaleb:
12z FIM-7 coming in now more east on this run looks like Eastern Gulf.

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Quoting 398. 69Viking:


So you're taking random people's opinions from an internet site and trusting them over what the experts have determined in regards to Camille. End of discussion, there seems to be a certain few that can't understand the information provided by experts. Camille had a fairly small circulation which is why some areas lucked out but the areas hit hardest were flattened, that is fact.

Believe me, I have read most information in regards to Camille's intensity at landfall, and that article just uses that information (with almost all of it from "the experts") to help discover that it probably wasn't a Category 5. The author cites his information on the data in the hurricane from NOAA, NHC, NWS, and other reliable sources.
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Some people just need to Tapout. "Rich Gang"
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Quoting 392. opal92nwf:


Trees with leaves doesnt mean nothin. There are dozens and dozens of trees around here that went through a tornado with winds around the minimal category 5 range (140-160mph) with lots of leaves still on them. Also, houses with only roof damage. Picking one picture to make a conclusion isnt smart.
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Quoting 252. MississippiWx:


Why do these things even matter? Camille was a monster that wiped out the Mississippi Coast similar to Katrina. There is no hard evidence to downgrade Camille to anything less than a Cat 5. Why change it some 44 years later?


I just read that article...sounds like it was written by some idiot full of denial, wanting to make money off of a 'big discovery'.
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Katrina was not officially a landfalling CAT 5, but tell that to someone who lived 200 miles and more inland in MS and you'd likely be shown the door.

The point is, the rating is far less important than the subsequent aftermath, but lends credence and confirms that awareness and preparedness is far more important. I didn't enjoy the discomfort with the presumed simple Isaac last season, not at all fun, and that just confirms that even the tropical storms and minimum-rated canes can cause pain and grief. And, not just on the shorelines, but several miles and several states inland.
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S.C. Researchers Unveil New Hurricane Model; Program to Offer Landfall Probability

Some interesting comments from James Franklin, NHC Branch Chief


Excerpts:

The Hurricane Center relies on seven main models and reviews various research models each year, Franklin said, adding there will never be a perfect model.

“We can’t measure temperature in the atmosphere everywhere. We can’t measure wind in the atmosphere everywhere. We’re never going to know with perfection what the current state of the atmosphere is right now,” he said.

“If we can’t know what the state of the atmosphere is right now, you can’t possibly have a perfect forecast. Your starting point will always be flawed, and those flaws will grow with time.”
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Quoting 364. opal92nwf:

Umm, I actually find it a very legitimate site, with very good commentary and analysis of various storms. The author sometimes states some opinions of his own, but they are all within good reason based on actual data recorded with a storm.

Another very good article is this one.

Detailed Analysis of Videos Taken Inside the EF5 Joplin Tornado




So you're taking random people's opinions from an internet site and trusting them over what the experts have determined in regards to Camille. End of discussion, there seems to be a certain few that can't understand the information provided by experts. Camille had a fairly small circulation which is why some areas lucked out but the areas hit hardest were flattened, that is fact.
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Winds well above Category 5 intensity were recorded along the Gulf Coast when Camille made landfall. It was without a doubt a Category 5 hurricane.

I actually know the people doing the reanalysis for Camille. It's not even being considered a downgradeable storm.
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watch the Eastern Atlantic!!!!!!!!!!!
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TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1100 AM PDT WED AUG 7 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-SOUTHEAST OF THE HAWAIIAN
ISLANDS.

AN AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER HAS FORMED SEVERAL HUNDRED MILES
SOUTHWEST OF ACAPULCO MEXICO. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE
CONDUCIVE FOR GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE DURING THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH. THIS
SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AND A MEDIUM CHANCE...50
PERCENT...DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS.

&&

FIVE-DAY FORMATION PROBABILITIES ARE EXPERIMENTAL IN 2013. COMMENTS
ON THE EXPERIMENTAL FORECASTS CAN BE PROVIDED AT...
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12z FIM-7 coming in now more east on this run looks like Eastern Gulf.

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Since the ATL is fairly quiet, in cosmic weather news:

Sun to Flip its Magnetic Field Soon During 11-Year Solar Peak

Not just another fish storm, a fried fish storm :)
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I was a little surprised about the reaction to the mention of Hurricane Camille not being a Category 5 at landfall.

I had always been puzzled at pictures of Camille damage showing albeit very heavy storm surge damage, and then in the background, trees with leaves still on them and such, or houses that didn't get hit with storm surge appearing to have only little shingle and window damage.

For someone to suggest that Camille wasn't a Category 5 doesn't make the death of people in that storm less respectable. One of the joys of this blog is to throw around different articles and give our own opinions in a non-obligatory way, and that is what I did.

I found none of the data to be false in the article posted and then the suppositions drawn by the author I found to be reasonable, and helped answer some of my wonderings about Camille.

What I didn't expect is the outpouring of emotion in this subject and the subsequent almost bashing I received when I had not acted in a sinister or demeaning manner to anyone on here.

I am not mad at anyone, and I actually like the healthy debate in situations like this, I just am stating where I stand.

Comparison of Camille and Andrew damage to mobile homes.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
The problem is that most of the things on the coast that could have been destroyed by Cat 5 winds were already under water and being destroyed by surge. The article even states that a rig about 60 miles offshore recorded 170mph+ winds at an elevation before anemometers failed. That's not very far offshore.....it's not very far at all....however....as storm speeds go....this distance equaled roughly 6 + hours...quite a significant time for a change in the storm.....the highest landfall wind gusts recorded were only 129MPH....so....there's a good chance camille was not a cat 5 at time of landfall
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Quoting 351. bappit:

Just shows that we pay too much attention to the Saffir-Simpson scale. Storm surge is the most destructive phenomenon created by hurricanes.


Totally agree. I mean, Sandy was "only" a Category 1, but look how much coastline she destroyed/damaged.
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Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 355. Jedkins01:


Yes but it was elevated and if the hurricane was weakening, it could easily have been a category 4 at landfall. Again, downgrading it from a category 5 doesn't make it drastically weaker. Charley was a very violent hurricane but it was a category 4 hurricane. Camille could have easily been at the strength Charley was when it hit the coastline.


Some may say does it make a difference? To scientists yes it should. Does it make it less important historically, of course not. It still goes down historically as one of the worst U.S. hurricane landfalls.


Evidence proves it was a 5, Patrap has already provided the evidence proving it. Wow, why do people have to argue against what experts in their field have proven???
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While we're all bored waiting for the next tropical storm, here's a way to keep your forecasting skills up.

Be an Elevator Weatherman



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