Operational Forecasting of Tropical Cyclone Rapid Intensification at the National Hurricane Center
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Operational Forecasting of Tropical Cyclone Rapid Intensification at the National Hurricane Center
  • Published Date:

    2021

  • Source:
    Atmosphere, 12(6)
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Operational Forecasting of Tropical Cyclone Rapid Intensification at the National Hurricane Center
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  • Alternative Title:
    Although some recent progress has been made in operational tropical cyclone (TC) intensity forecasting, the prediction of rapid intensification (RI) remains a challenging problem. To document RI forecast progress, deterministic and probabilistic operational intensity models used by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) are briefly reviewed. Results show that none of the deterministic models had RI utility from 1991 to about 2015 due to very low probability of detection, very high false alarm ratio, or both. Some ability to forecast RI has emerged since 2015, with dynamical models being the best guidance for the Atlantic and statistical models the best RI guidance for the eastern North Pacific. The first probabilistic RI guidance became available in 2001, with several upgrades since then leading to modest skill in recent years. A tool introduced in 2018 (DTOPS) is currently the most skillful among NHC’s probabilistic RI guidance. To measure programmatic progress in forecasting RI, the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program has introduced a new RI metric that uses the traditional mean absolute error but restricts the sample to only those cases where RI occurred in the verifying best track or was forecast. By this metric, RI forecasts have improved by ~20–25% since the 2015–2017 baseline period
  • Description:
    Although some recent progress has been made in operational tropical cyclone (TC) intensity forecasting, the prediction of rapid intensification (RI) remains a challenging problem. To document RI forecast progress, deterministic and probabilistic operational intensity models used by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) are briefly reviewed. Results show that none of the deterministic models had RI utility from 1991 to about 2015 due to very low probability of detection, very high false alarm ratio, or both. Some ability to forecast RI has emerged since 2015, with dynamical models being the best guidance for the Atlantic and statistical models the best RI guidance for the eastern North Pacific. The first probabilistic RI guidance became available in 2001, with several upgrades since then leading to modest skill in recent years. A tool introduced in 2018 (DTOPS) is currently the most skillful among NHC’s probabilistic RI guidance. To measure programmatic progress in forecasting RI, the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program has introduced a new RI metric that uses the traditional mean absolute error but restricts the sample to only those cases where RI occurred in the verifying best track or was forecast. By this metric, RI forecasts have improved by ~20–25% since the 2015–2017 baseline period
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