Paper on the impact of using Hurricane Hunter data in the HWRF model released online in Monthly Weather Review

We studied how Hurricane Hunter aircraft observations can improve tropical cyclones forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast (HWRF) model.

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Important Conclusions:

  1. Hurricane Hunter aircraft data generally improve HWRF forecasts.
  2. These improved forecasts are mainly in weak storms, since, without the data, HWRF often forecast storms that are too strong.
  3. For stronger storms, Hurricane Hunter aircraft data sometimes make forecasts worse due to how well the model itself can predict hurricanes (what we call “model error”) and errors in how the reconnaissance data themselves are put into the model (by the process we call “data assimilation”).

Read the paper at