The Tease of the 7 Day Forecast...aka New Wonderful World of Weather
There is a conference going on in the weather world and there has been a discussion on the NHC possibly changing over to a 7 day format in their predictions rather than a 5 day forecast. This is mainly due to the advances in modeling that show us earlier, further out where and when tropical cyclone activity will form. Long range models are getting better and they are more able to take that marble and tell us where it will be shot through the atmosphere further out.
Nice article with the incredible image above that I may print out and put on my wall.. Hurricane Art at it's best.
Note this new learned ability does NOT tell us whether a storm like Sandy will hit Edison NJ or Coney Island in a 5 Day Cone or even a 7 Day Cone. The devil is in the details and that is a more detailed forecast dependent upon ever changing parameters. Let's put it this way... we are now able to make a "call" a week out that in the area of ______________ a tropical cyclone WILL form and we are able to see it will be a threat to the Mid Atlantic vs the Houston Galveston area. We may be able to see now that it might look like storm P will threaten Palm Beach, but in fact move up along the Mid-Atlantic Coastline and possibly not go wide right at Long Island. The exact point of landfall changes in real time.
An example here would be check out the track of Sandy:
Then............go back and see how the models down in the Caribbean were showing us that she was most likely going to go up into the Atlantic. Indications WERE that she MIGHT against all odds turn back towards the left, but the NHC waited and watched every model run before jumping on that bandwagon and they did early on giving the area a heads up that such a set up COULD happen. I don't have to remind you of the TWC with their over use of the word "unprecedented" with regard to Sandy as she was far, far, far away from a landfall as the models played that possibility over and over on everyone's personal computer, cell phone and tablet.
October 22nd, 2012
October 30th, 2012 headline from the New York Times.
In truth many places do this already. Exactly how the NHC will handle this directly we will know soon.
In reality, Sandy was forecast a week out and many mets were screaming NY and NJ were in trouble when the storm had not yet formed. To be clear... any meteorologist be they an good amateur or one with the highest degrees is able to do this as the satellite products and modeling packages are available to everyone.
Note the image from my blog AS Sandy was forming... and I discussed a "Perfect Storm" scenario where things came together just so... see the list of blog headlines more than a week out...
However, the NHC is the bottom line and the one to take the heat when they make a mistake or the media does not properly convey their forecast discussion package. The heated debate over Sandy is still going on and will go on for years to come. In truth...the data was there and yet something in the translation went wrong or people like Mayor Bloomberg and others were listening to other data not the official one. OR...........in today's world of special effects and bright dramatic color charts people need to see the words RUN FOR YOUR LIFE FROM STORM SURGE like a crawl at the bottom of a screen much like the attention an Amber Alert gets.
That same ability to predict storms and the NWS and the NHC being able to adequately advise the public that a life threatening situation exists spills over to the world of Tornadoes as well yet it is harder to pinpoint exactly where and when they will hit. Storm chasers cover hundreds miles in real time on the Plains as Hurricane Chasers pick their spot out days in advance and rarely change that place more than 50 to a 100 miles. That is the beauty of long term tracking of hurricanes and why if I was going to choose a natural disaster it would be Hurricanes any day. Forewarned as forearmed. You can prepare. I lived in LA...trust me there is NO warning before an Earthquake unless perhaps you work at the Zoo you may have a little lead time ...maybe.
And, our lack of really freezing weather combined with good notification have given us a period of quiet in the world of Killer Tornadoes. We have had tornadoes and in odd places but we have been lucky or just better prepared perhaps? Time will tell on that ticking time bomb ...
The problem with really "nice" weather in the middle of winter is that when things change they do so fast and furiously and it hits you in the face when you have your guard down.
2012 was a somewhat quiet hurricane season filled with numerous weak storms... and then it wasn't.
In 1992 we got all the way to late August before having a real named storm....and then we had Andrew....
And, although the media goes on and on waxing poetically on how warm the Lower 98 has been, but tell that to Russia who has had one of the coldest winters in decades... possibly centuries as I don't focus on their details as much as I do ours... but our beautiful weather is at their expense.
Don't think there is no weather... it's just in the part of the forest where the trees are falling.
Stay tuned..tomorrow morning we will know the the Oscar Nominations for Best Films, Best Acting and Directing Jobs and that ever popular best cinematography ...
Ps... Be aware many places round the world DO issue forecasts further out than 5 days, but the NHC errs always on the side of caution and trying to be as precise as possible. It's possible, however the further out you go...the wider your margin for error is...
In the 2012 Hurricane Season everyone was all over Sandy when she was a west bound tropical wave going INTO the Caribbean and watching the upper atmospheric modeling packages showing a possible track that would threaten the Metro NY area.. we've come a long way baby in weather forecasting.