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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1686. LargoFl
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1684. 62901IL
Quoting 1683. Grothar:


I posted it last night and this morning. As far as I know, there is no interest in it yet.


Have you designated a blobcon?
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1683. Grothar
Quoting 1629. RascalNag:
So, is there anything to this big blob in the front at 61.5W, 27N?

Link

Sorry if someone has already pointed this out.


I posted it last night and this morning. As far as I know, there is no interest in it yet.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
First JTWC advisory on TD 11W. Peaks at 120kts.



WTPN31 PGTW 082100
MSGID/GENADMIN/JOINT TYPHOON WRNCEN PEARL HARBOR HI//
SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING//
REF/A/JOINT TYPHOON WRNCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/081621Z AUG 13//
AMPN/REF A IS A TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION ALERT//
RMKS/
1. TROPICAL DEPRESSION 11W (ELEVEN) WARNING NR 001
01 ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONE IN NORTHWESTPAC
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS BASED ON ONE-MINUTE AVERAGE
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
---
WARNING POSITION:
081800Z --- NEAR 12.3N 135.9E
MOVEMENT PAST SIX HOURS - 285 DEGREES AT 08 KTS
POSITION ACCURATE TO WITHIN 060 NM
POSITION BASED ON CENTER LOCATED BY SATELLITE
PRESENT WIND DISTRIBUTION:
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 025 KT, GUSTS 035 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
REPEAT POSIT: 12.3N 135.9E
---
FORECASTS:
12 HRS, VALID AT:
090600Z --- 13.1N 134.7E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 035 KT, GUSTS 045 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
VECTOR TO 24 HR POSIT: 295 DEG/ 10 KTS
---
24 HRS, VALID AT:
091800Z --- 13.9N 132.9E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 045 KT, GUSTS 055 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 055 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
045 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
045 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
055 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 36 HR POSIT: 290 DEG/ 10 KTS
---
36 HRS, VALID AT:
100600Z --- 14.6N 130.9E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 060 KT, GUSTS 075 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS - 030 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
030 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
030 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
035 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 095 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
085 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
085 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
095 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 48 HR POSIT: 285 DEG/ 11 KTS
---
EXTENDED OUTLOOK:
48 HRS, VALID AT:
101800Z --- 15.2N 128.8E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 080 KT, GUSTS 100 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 064 KT WINDS - 030 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
030 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
030 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
030 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS - 055 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
050 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
050 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
055 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 120 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
110 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
115 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
125 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 72 HR POSIT: 290 DEG/ 11 KTS
---
72 HRS, VALID AT:
111800Z --- 16.8N 124.5E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 110 KT, GUSTS 135 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 064 KT WINDS - 040 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
040 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
040 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
040 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS - 070 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
065 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
065 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
070 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 130 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
125 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
125 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
135 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 96 HR POSIT: 295 DEG/ 14 KTS
---
LONG RANGE OUTLOOK:
---
96 HRS, VALID AT:
121800Z --- 19.2N 119.4E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 100 KT, GUSTS 125 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
VECTOR TO 120 HR POSIT: 310 DEG/ 08 KTS
---
120 HRS, VALID AT:
131800Z --- 21.2N 116.7E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 120 KT, GUSTS 145 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
---
REMARKS:
082100Z POSITION NEAR 12.5N 135.6E.
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 11W (ELEVEN), LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 313 NM
NORTH-NORTHEASTWARD OF KOROR, HAS TRACKED WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT
08 KNOTS OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS. MAXIMUM SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT AT
081800Z IS 10 FEET. NEXT WARNINGS AT 090300Z, 090900Z, 091500Z AND
092100Z. THIS WARNING SUPERSEDES AND CANCELS REF A, JOINT TYPHOON
WRNCEN PEARL HARBOR HI 081621Z AUG 13 TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION
ALERT (WTPN21 PGTW 081630).//
NNNN

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Quoting 1674. rmbjoe1954:


Lake O is already at 16 feet. 16.5 ft is labedled as 'dangerous'by the Army Corp of Engineers.
This may be the year that we may see unprecedented flood damage in and around the lake; specifically Palm Beach ,Hendry and Glades counties.


Lots of water draining down the Kissimmee River from Orlando as well. If we do get another tropical system hitting FL next week then we would see serious flooding all across the Penisula the like of which we haven't seen since the 1960's.
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1680. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting 1675. JLPR2:


Noticed that, seems that weak system is the one that creates a strong enough break in the ridge to make the ghostly CV system recurve.


this is system from the gulf position at the end of the run

not we need to see if it keeps showing it and move it up in time with each new run


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Quoting 1676. Levi32:
CMC ensembles are starting to see a more focused area of precipitation with the disturbance I've been talking about that should enter the Gulf of Mexico near the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula in about a week. No models developed this earlier this week, but some are now hinting at it. The environment will favor development of some kind.


Hopefully TX bound
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Quoting 1671. washingtonian115:
2009 was the best when it came to a race against a name..The T.D that became Anna was suffering from dry air and shear while the the T.D that became Bill took forever to come together.
Bill was a huge hurricane! In an El-Nino season which also featured Major Hurricane Ida in the Western Caribbean. Just goes to show you every season has their moments, except for 1914. :P

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Quoting 1614. StormWx:


Here we go again Jeff9641, RastaSteve, Stormtracker2k!!!! Everything is coming to central florida right? Florida is getting lots of rain too! Every year, we can count on you for DOOM :-)


First off I am not who you think I am and secondly yes I do live in C FL as do many others on this blog do. So go troll another blog. Anyways what do you have to offer to the blog other than trolling?

Looks as if our seed for Caribbean developement is sitting on the North Coast of South America.
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1676. Levi32
CMC ensembles are starting to see a more focused area of precipitation with the disturbance I've been talking about that should enter the Gulf of Mexico near the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula in about a week. No models developed this earlier this week, but some are now hinting at it. The environment will favor development of some kind.

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1675. JLPR2
Quoting 1661. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:






Noticed that, seems that weak system is the one that creates a strong enough break in the ridge to make the ghostly CV system recurve.
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Quoting 1661. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:






Lake O is already at 16 feet. 16.5 ft is labeled as 'dangerous'by the Army Corp of Engineers.
This may be the year that we may see unprecedented flood damage in and around the lake; specifically Palm Beach ,Hendry and Glades counties.
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1672. barbamz
Good evening with some weather news:

1 dead as flooding washes over 12 Midwestern, Eastern states
Posted on: 2:12 pm, August 8, 2013, by CNN Wire, updated on: 02:31pm, August 8, 2013

As rescue teams were performing 18 “swift water rescues” in McDonald County, Missouri, Thursday morning, the woman — thought to be in her 60s — was driving over a bridge when she was caught up in “rapidly rising waters,” said Gregg Sweeten, the county’s emergency management director.

Sweeten said he was hopeful the Elk River, which runs through this county on the Arkansas state line, about 80 miles southwest of Springfield, Missouri, would crest late Thursday night.

South of the capital, Jefferson City, Interstate 44 was shut down because of high water. It’s since been reopened.

Forecasters warn that areas along the Gasconade River could see record water levels, and widespread flooding is expected to continue in Missouri and Kansas into the weekend.

Southern Missouri has witnessed widespread flash flooding as parts of 12 Midwestern and Eastern states experienced some sort of flood watch or warning Thursday.

Nashville, Tennessee, was one of the hardest hit, as parts of the city saw as many as 8 inches of rain overnight and in the morning. Another 1 to 3 inches were expected Thursday afternoon and evening, according to forecasters. ...



Hundreds forced to evacuate their homes as killer floods and out-of-control wildfires wreak havoc across the country
Daily Mail, by Helen Collis, PUBLISHED: 09:36 GMT, 8 August 2013 | UPDATED: 12:49 GMT, 8 August 2013

Raging wildfire in San Jacinto Mountains near Banning, California, has evacuated 1,500 residents, destroyed homes

Three people injured by the out-of-control blaze, including two firefighters and a resident who was airlifted to hospital

In Missouri, heavy rain has caused the banks of the Gasconade River and Little Piney Creek to burst, closing roads

A child has died and a woman believed to be the mother is missing after flooding in the area this week....

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2009 was the best when it came to a race against a name..The T.D that became Anna was suffering from dry air and shear while the the T.D that became Bill took forever to come together.
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Interesting what the GFS model is hinting for next week a strong tropical storm or hurricane making landfall on the west coast of Florida. Tampa is an overdue city for a landfalling trop. system and storm surge would be severe for the tampa bay area. A city with a higher pop. than New Orleans.Something to keep our eyes on as a possible disaster brewing.
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Quoting 1652. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Waiting for the FIM-8 that one had Texas on the last run.


When does that one come out?
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1668. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #1
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 12
3:00 AM JST August 9 2013
===================================

SUBJECT: Tropical Depression In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression (1006 hPa) located at 12.3N 135.9E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots. The depression is reported as moving west at 7 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.0

Forecast and Intensity
=========================
24 HRS: 13.1N 131.8E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm) Sea East Of The Philippines
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1667. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting 1665. hurricanes2018:
1003 mb low!!


old news it becomes a hurricane and recurves.
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1003 mb low!!
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Quoting 1660. prcane4you:
And the biggest and historical TURN ever seen.Lol

*grabs drum set* ba dum dum tiss! LOL!
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1663. nigel20
Quoting SLU:


Yo Nigel

The entire Caribbean has had very dry air all season long which is quite strange. The fast trades have also torn apart the waves which would usually bring some rain. With the pressures lowering, the winds will decrease leading to healthier waves and more rain in the Caribbean this month.

We're seeing an increase in rainfall activity over the past couple of days...rain is in the forecast up to August 14.

How are you enjoying the CPL?
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1661. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)




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Check this out if you're bored:



This one is even worse:

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1658. SLU
Quoting 1612. nigel20:

Hi SLU! July is usually the driest month here in Jamaica though may have had below normal rainfall.


Yo Nigel

The entire Caribbean has had very dry air all season long which is quite strange. The fast trades have also torn apart the waves which would usually bring some rain. With the pressures lowering, the winds will decrease leading to healthier waves and more rain in the Caribbean this month.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1486. JLPR2:
Impressive TCHP in the Western Caribbean, it's actually the highest in the area at this date since the record of the images start on 2005.



Decent TCHP in the NE Carib as well XD
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1656. 62901IL
Quoting 1619. prcane4you:
Is this gonna make landfall here in P.R.?

LOL. No it will not.
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1655. LargoFl
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For a Category 2, Henriette probably has the smallest core of them all. Hurricane-force winds cannot extend out more than 15 miles from the center.

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Quoting 1649. Stormchaser121:

Dead gummit.
Waiting for the FIM-8 that one had Texas on the last run.

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1651. LargoFl
TAMPA --
A small fire in a silo at the Port of Tampa briefly released chemical fumes in the area near southern downtown Tampa Thursday morning.

According to Tampa Police, firefighters put out the fire and the situation was quickly under control.

Officials had advised people to stay indoors near Harbour Island due to chemical fumes coming from the port.


Officials with Tampa Fire Rescue said Sulfur dioxide was causing the odor during the fire.

There were no injuries reported.
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Quoting 1619. prcane4you:
Is this gonna make landfall here in P.R.?

the most intense troll question i`ve seen!
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Quoting 1596. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Hot off the press! 12z FIM-7:


Dead gummit.
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Western Pacific has a developing tropical cyclone east of the Philippines, could become a super typhoon sometime in the next five days as it treks westward.
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Quoting 1636. nigel20:

Hurricane Michael (2012) was quite impressive as well.


It too was a small hurricane.

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1646. ncstorm
Quoting 1590. Tropicsweatherpr:


So it does not have the hurricane GFS has at same timeframe.


No..
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1644. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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1642. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
ALERT ATCF MIL 96X XXX 130808120000
2013080812
12.0 137.4
13.6 133.3
140
12.1 136.7
081630
1308081621
1
SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION ALERT//
WTPN21 PGTW 081630
RMKS/
1. FORMATION OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE IS POSSIBLE WITHIN
140 NM EITHER SIDE OF A LINE FROM 12.0N 137.4E TO 13.6N 133.3E
WITHIN THE NEXT 06 TO 24 HOURS. AVAILABLE DATA DOES NOT JUSTIFY
ISSUANCE OF NUMBERED TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNINGS AT THIS TIME.
WINDS IN THE AREA ARE ESTIMATED TO BE 15 TO 20 KNOTS. METSAT
IMAGERY AT 081200Z INDICATES THAT A CIRCULATION CENTER IS LOCATED
NEAR 12.1N 136.7E. THE SYSTEM IS MOVING WESTWARD AT 05 KNOTS.
2. REMARKS:
3. THIS ALERT WILL BE REISSUED, UPGRADED TO WARNING OR CANCELLED BY 091630Z.
//
9613080712 121N1379E 15
9613080718 121N1376E 15
9613080800 121N1374E 15
9613080806 121N1372E 15
9613080812 121N1367E 20
NNNN

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1641. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)

2013 Storms




All

Active

Year




Atlantic



East Pacific


green ball93E.INVEST


green ball92E.INVEST


green ball08E.HENRIETTE



Central Pacific



West Pacific


green ball11W.INVEST



Indian Ocean



Southern Hemisphere
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Quoting 1629. RascalNag:
So, is there anything to this big blob in the front at 61.5W, 27N?

Link

Sorry if someone has already pointed this out.


Not sure but it is sitting over 84 degree water so anything is possible!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Run this loop and you will see the 850 vort. start to show up at 90 hrs. on the north coast of Venezuela track it as it moves wnw into the caribbean and breaks off a piece of energy from the Columbian Heat Low. MJO upward motion would be the cause for something like that?

Link
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big storm coming if this shear is right!!! Next week look out!!
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1637. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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1636. nigel20
Quoting Civicane49:
Despite being situated over marginal sea surface temperatures, Henriette has managed to intensify significantly over the last several hours. Small hurricanes, like Henriette, tend to organize and strengthen rapidly than other larger tropical cyclones. We'll see if this becomes the first major in the eastern Pacific.


Hurricane Michael (2012) was quite impressive as well.
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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