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HAltschule
11-30-2006, 10:00 AM
Today is the last day of the 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season. In accordance, I will await Dr. Gray and Joe Bastardi's updated Hurricane forecast for the 2006 season. I am fairly confident it will be another donward revisement. :)

Jim Leonard
11-30-2006, 05:31 PM
Today is the last day of the 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season. In accordance, I will await Dr. Gray and Joe Bastardi's updated Hurricane forecast for the 2006 season. I am fairly confident it will be another donward revisement. :)

A lot will depend on the status of the current EL-Nino episode and how much of it will exist toward late spring and early summer next year. EL-Nino models for what they are worth are showing a cooling trend toward late next spring.

HAltschule
11-30-2006, 05:59 PM
I was actually trying to make a joke. Today was the last day of hurricane season and I was saying that they would probably once again lower there outlook for the rest of the official hurricane season (which ends today) so that they would be more accurate with their predictions. They have been lowering there forecasts all season and botched the forecasts for the most part...especially Bastardi.

I guess my bad attemt at humor and sarcasm backfired again.

Pat Lawrence
11-30-2006, 06:40 PM
lol, Howie, I actually got that one, and I'm not known for having much of a sense of humor.

He probably remembered your typo in the election thread:)

Yep, a pathetic Atlantic season is now over. Bastardi can always blame that red face on weightlifting, however, so he has little to worry about. Dr. Gray, well, he's a bit too old to use that for an excuse:)

Pat

Margie Kieper
11-30-2006, 07:07 PM
Well, I got it. After all, you did type "2006." :-)

If you assign a weight to the -- what is it, six? -- hurricane predictions that ColoSt does during the course of the year, the Dec one, which will be out on the 8th, would get the lowest weight in my mind, followed by all the post-August ones (which are, frankly, a little asinine). The spring and the August 1st forecasts are the most pertinent ones to my way of thinking; the same dates as the NOAA predictions. This is when you can see how things are going to shape up.

As for AccuWeather's "forecast," it was actually a recycling of the same one they did the year before. It's kind of fun to keep track of things like that. Did you realize when it came out that they gave eastern Canada a higher chance of getting hit than the FL panhandle and upper peninsula? And where did Alberto make landfall? I think the "this is the year for the East Coast" refrain may have something to do with expanding their subscriber base every year. Since they don't do any kind of verification, and basically sweep last year's forecast under the rug before the next year comes along, you can't really lump their forecasts in with groups that provide some type of after-season accountability.

I recall there were only two groups last spring predicting an El Nino (I think BOM was one of the two). Like long-term hurricane forecasting, there is not a high level of confidence in the El Nino forecasts. Nothing wrong with trying, even if the state of the science is not quite there yet.

It looks to me, from the observations that are available online, like this El Nino will be a strong one, and the effects will last through the spring and into early summer.

Margie Kieper
11-30-2006, 07:32 PM
Actually, August 3rd (or something like that) is, I believe, Gray/Klotzbach's last forecast for the season. They do a monthly forecast at the beginning of Sept and Oct, but that doesn't correspond to their seasonal numbers. Their last seasonal forecast is in August (which is still kind of cheating, in my opinion). They then do individual months, and recompile the seasonal totals based on those numbers in each of those post-August reports. Their new tactic of doing individual months has raised a large amount of confusion, but I don't know if that is really well explained by the media.

(Yeah, I know, I've become the chief ST defense monitor of the CSU Gray forecasting squad (duo), which is strange, since I'm ambivalent about their forecasting methods as it is, and I most definitely disagree with Gray's view on global warming, but I still respect their efforts at seasonal forecasting.)


No, they change their total seasonal numbers after August. They call it an "adjusted" forecast. In other words, they change it. :-) It's what they do with every update, whether it is in the spring, or in the fall. Their seasonal summary notes this:


A forecast was initially issued for the 2006 season on 6 December 2005 with updates on 4 April, 31 May, 3 August, 1 September and 3 October of this year.

For instance, for named storms, they downgraded from 17 to 15 in the August 3rd forecast. They dropped that number to 13 on September 1st, and to 11 on October 3rd. But if you ask them what their seasonal forecast for named storms was for 2006, they'll tell you 11, not 17.

The only relevance of the monthly forecasts is that they divvy up the remaining storms into the months that are left, between the already-observed activity, and their "adjusted" forecast number.

An August forecast is absolutely necessary. Many of the key factors in determining seasonal activity set up in the second half of July.

B Ozanne
11-30-2006, 07:51 PM
I recall there were only two groups last spring predicting an El Nino (I think BOM was one of the two). Like long-term hurricane forecasting, there is not a high level of confidence in the El Nino forecasts. Nothing wrong with trying, even if the state of the science is not quite there yet.


I did a "speculative" forecast for an insurance company last winter regarding the 2006 hurricane season, and I mentioned the possibility of an El Nino creeping into the situation. I was seeing guidance last winter that led me to include this caveat. It seems crazy that so many people over looked this situation.

Don't get me wrong, I was all in for an active season, but I covered myself with some likely spoilers. Which included El Nino, but not the Saharan dust.

HAltschule
11-30-2006, 08:37 PM
I think it is OK to give a long range Hurricane Forecast as long as it is a general outlook and not too specific. Because...this is the result you get. The news media and public have been commenting on how inactive it was this season despite the outlooks for a busy year (including on today's news). It sure does not make Meteorologists, in general, look good.

I am especially referring to Bastardi who said the Northeast or NYC was going to get hit head on this season. There is now way to justify a ridiculous forecast like that. And right now he is eating his words. I basically think he and Accuweather were sensationalizing there product and company, tried to make the clear cut, pinpoint forecast to look like the heroes, but busted tremendously.

How many times have you seen SPC give an outlook on how many Severe Weather outbreaks were going to occur over the course of 1 season? Never. It is smart not too. Instead, provide the outlooks, advisories and statements as conditions warrant.

Now, I am totally FOR an enhancement outlook on the tropics when the models start converging or showing a possible development. At least there is some foundation to that outlook and it can be used for planning purposes. The seasonal Hurricane Outlook, I see few to none uses for it...except perhaps for Oil Rigs and financial traders.

HAltschule
11-30-2006, 08:59 PM
Here is Joe Bastardi's Hurricane Outlook from May. This was actually a 2006 release, not 2005 as the tex says. He mentions a heightened alert for the Northeast here...but I remember seeing a TV show where was almost positive that the NE was going to get it. Compare the numbers...WAY off.

http://www.accuweather.com/iwxpage/adc/pressroom/prs/wx/wx_250.htm

HAltschule
11-30-2006, 09:07 PM
PS: On a complete side note, I read on Accuweather's news archive that Mike Smith's (a ST contributor) company, WeatherData, was bought out and is now owned by AccuWeather. Interesting acquisition. Congrats Mike, I think.

Margie Kieper
11-30-2006, 10:18 PM
I think it is OK to give a long range Hurricane Forecast as long as it is a general outlook and not too specific.

This is one of the things I like about the NOAA seasonal forecast; they give a range.

However TSR takes it a little too far; they give their outlooks in decimal numbers with a plus or minus range which is not only difficult to read, but when you convert it the actual range it is so large that they could be right whatever type of season we have. An example is their named storm outlook for the first of August, which was 14.1 +- 3.6, yielding a range of 10.5 to 17.7 named storms -- that covers most of the likely possibilities. Depending on how they round off, they could claim they correctly forecasted the season if there were anywhere from 10 to 18 named storms. Plus, I think they do it on purpose to convey some false impression of more accuracy (!).


The seasonal Hurricane Outlook, I see few to none uses for it...except perhaps for Oil Rigs and financial traders.

These forecasts are used by the insurance industry and by investment firms. There was a news item earlier in the year about some firms that didn't do too well because they based their investment strategy on a busy hurricane season, because of the forecasts. And I recently blogged about RMS's update to their five-year outlook. They model insurance losses. There are a lot of companies that have a use for it, and there is a lot of money at stake.

HAltschule
11-30-2006, 10:37 PM
I am well aware of what the forecasts are used for. Investment firms=financial traders last I checked? My company is involved in these fields to an extent. There are many more uses in industries other than those you mentioned.

But I don't think we know what you are talking about when you refer to TSR and RMS. Did I miss your original message that spelled out what they stand for?

Margie Kieper
11-30-2006, 11:13 PM
I'm a little surprised you aren't familliar with TSR -- Tropical Storm Risk -- if you've been looking at seasonal hurricane forecasts. They get a lot of press.

RMS stands for Risk Management Solutions. If you Google "RMS" they come up #1 -- right after my friend Richard Stallman. :-)

Pat Lawrence
11-30-2006, 11:39 PM
http://tsr.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/

HAltschule
11-30-2006, 11:39 PM
I have been a Meteorologist for almost 12 years and have never heard of TSR. I, like most of us, make my own forecasts, do my own research and look at the models, so that would explain why I have never seen this website before. Quite frankly, at first glance, the TSR site looks pretty useless. Sorry. IMO, why would I go to this site when there is more information available at NHC's site and on all of the models we have available?

Now, I have heard of RMS but really don't follow any of there work or outlooks. Have you looked at NHC's site, the various models and the HPC outlooks yourself to see what the outlooks and guidance say? I'm pretty sure these are more useful.

Pat Lawrence
11-30-2006, 11:45 PM
I have been a Meteorologist for almost 12 years and have never heard of TSR. I, like most of us, make my own forecasts, do my own research and look at the models, so that would explain why I have never seen this website before. Quite frankly, at first glance, the TSR site looks pretty useless. Sorry. IMO, why would I go to this site when there is more information available at NHC's site and on all of the models we have available?

Now, I have heard of RMS but really don't follow any of there work or outlooks. Have you looked at NHC's site, the various models and the HPC outlooks yourself to see what the outlooks and guidance say? I'm pretty sure these are more useful.

Howie, I see that was post 666 for you :)

I wasn't sure if you had the link to the site being discussed so I posted it before this message from you.

Pat

Margie Kieper
12-01-2006, 12:03 AM
I, like most of us, make my own forecasts...the TSR site looks pretty useless. Sorry. IMO, why would I go to this site when there is more information available at NHC's site and on all of the models we have available?

Why would you assume that a company in business to provide both public and private tropical weather forecasts, and who is a major player in that arena, would also be providing free help to the general public on their web site, so that the public could use the information to develop their own competing forecasts? I don't follow that reasoning at all.

TSR along with NOAA and Colorado State are the well-known seasonal hurricane forecasts that are in the news. Next year, I also expect North Carolina State University to be in that group, because, after all, they were one of only two I know of that did accurately forecast the 2006 season (the other was WeatherInsite). Already a lot of the news articles are making sure to include a quote from Xie these days, because of that. I didn't mention UKMET and ECMWF simply because their forecasts are not public.

The second reason I'm surprised you haven't heard of TSR is because they provide regular updates on existing storms for Reuters, who characterizes TSR as: "Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), the leading resource for forecasting tropical storms worldwide."

HAltschule
12-01-2006, 08:52 AM
I didn't assume anything. I simply stated that "I, like most of us, make my own forecasts, do my own research and look at the models, so that would explain why I have never seen this website before. Quite frankly, at first glance, the TSR site looks pretty useless. Sorry. IMO, why would I go to this site when there is more information available at NHC's site and on all of the models we have available?".

These companies you mention, such as TSR, cannot be placed in the same category as NOAA or Colorado State as they are much less known than the longstanding institutions that have been in place, in the public eye and in media for many years. TSR is NOT well known at all compared to the main sources of long range forecasts. If you asked someone who they refer to regarding long range Hurricane forecasts, I can confidently say that Accuweather, NOAA and Colorado State are in a whole different category than TSR.


I didn't mention UKMET and ECMWF simply because their forecasts are not public.

UKMET and ECMWF are public. We have using these models to forecast for many years. For the North American and Tropical Atlantic basin, here is the link. There are many other links as well. Here you will find the ECMWF and UKMET (aka PUKE MET) models. http://weather.cod.edu/models/
http://www.wxcaster.com/ww_models.htm
http://weather.uwyo.edu/models/fcst/ukmet.html

and all of these tropical models, including the UKMET, that most of use during Hurricane Season. http://moe.met.fsu.edu/tcgengifs/

Ed Schoenborn
12-01-2006, 10:25 AM
Once a tropical cyclone reaches tropical storm status, I like to go to TSR to look at the forecasted wind field of the tropical storm or hurricane. For this reason alone I find TSR most useful. Ed

Margie Kieper
12-01-2006, 12:56 PM
"UKMET and ECMWF are public."

No, their seasonal hurricane forecasts are not public. I should add that not all of TSR's are public, either. Sometimes you can find the ones that are not in a press release, because their clients post it on their own web site! :)

Also, Accuweather does not provide the standard seasonal forecast, nor do they ever provide verification, and they are really not considered a player at all. They only discuss hurricane landfalls on the mainland US coastline.

The standard for providing a seasonal forecast is to provide a number or range for 1) named storms, i.e. tropical storms, 2) hurricanes, and 3) major hurricanes (ColoSt refers to these as "intense hurricanes").

Also forecast are a measure of the total energy for the season (each of the three use something a little different -- NHC and TSR use ACE, ColoSt uses NTC), and probability of landfalls at various locations (again, each uses a slightly different metric).

Currently the three "top guns" for hurricane forecasts are Colorado State, NOAA CPC (the team includes people from other areas of NOAA, including NHC), and TSR.

HAltschule
12-01-2006, 07:00 PM
Margie,

I'm not trying to pick an argument here but I respectfully disagree with much of what you have to say. Some others have contacted me and said the same. But to be fair and not to rush to judgement, please tell us your experience and education in the field of Meteorology/Tropical Meteorology which you base these opinions upon. Perhaps I have missed something if you have been a Tropical Specialist for 20 years or something. Having been studying this stuff for 12 years and not having heard of half of the things you're telling me, I figure I should find out who is giving me this information. Thanks in advance.

Margie Kieper
12-01-2006, 07:26 PM
Well your posts seem argumentative to me, but I have not responded in kind, and have taken the time to answer all of your questions. If you think that I have said something incorrect you should post exactly what it is that you have an issue with, or PM me.

HAltschule
12-01-2006, 07:52 PM
This will likely be my last post because nothing fruitful is coming of this conversation. And, you still haven't answered my question as to your Meteorological background, education and experience in the field of Tropical Meteorology. Several other people who are professional, Full time Meteorologists in the field of Tropical Meteorology have asked me similar questions as to your background and the companies you mention because they don't rely on them either.

So, if you'd care to answer the question, I'm sure everyone on this thread would be interested to know.