Paper on improvements to hurricane forecasts using data nearest the ocean surface published in Monthly Weather Review

The National Hurricane Center uses the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model to forecast where a hurricane will go, how strong it will be, how large it will be, and where the strongest winds are. This paper looks at changes in what is happening in the atmosphere closest to the ocean surface and how that can change these forecasts. NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft observations are compared to the HWRF forecasts. When differences between the model and the observations are found, the model is changed to greatly improve the forecasts. This technique can be used to make future versions of the model even better.

Important conclusions:

1. The differences between HWRF and NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft observations have been used to upgrade the model.

2. These upgrades led to large improvements in forecasts of where the hurricane will go and how strong it will be.

3. This technique can be used to make future forecast models even better.

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The paper can be accessed at http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/MWR-D-14-00339.1.