As the Atlantic season begins in earnest, NOAA launches a new hurricane forecast model


NOAA’s National Hurricane Center – of National Weather Service – This season has a new model to help produce hurricane forecasts. of Hurricane Analysis and Forecasting System (HAFS) It went live on June 27 and will work alongside existing models for the 2023 season before replacing it as NOAA’s primary hurricane forecast model.

“The rapid deployment of HAFS is a major milestone in NOAA’s commitment to advancing our hurricane forecasting capabilities and improving our continued service to the American public,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spirad, Ph.D. “Development, tests and evaluations are carried out jointly between scientists. NOAA Research Marking the transition from development to operation is the National Weather Service.

Running a test version of HAFS from 2019 to 2022 showed a 10-15% improvement in track predictions compared to NOAA’s existing hurricane models. HAFS is expected to increase forecast accuracy, thus reducing damage to people and property from hurricanes.

HAFS is as good as NOAA’s existing hurricane models at predicting hurricane strength — but better at predicting rapid intensification. HAFS was the first model to accurately predict the rapid strengthening of Hurricane Ian as a second category last year as the storm moved off the coast of Cuba toward southwest Florida.

Over the next four years, HAFS will undergo several major improvements, ultimately increasing the accuracy of forecasting, warning and lifesaving information. Purpose of NOAA’s Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP) External link In the year By 2027, all model forecast errors are to be halved compared to the errors seen in 2017.

HAFS provides more accurate and high-quality forecast data over land and ocean and consists of five main components: high-resolution moving cage; High-quality physics; Multi-dimensional data integration allowing for vortex initiation and vortex cycling; 3-D ocean coordinates; and improved assimilation techniques that allow for assimilation of new observations. The base unit is a portable nest, which allows the model to zoom in on key storms with a resolution of 1.2 miles to improve wind strength and rainfall forecasts.

“By introducing the HAFS forecast model to our suite of tropical weather forecasting tools, our forecasters are better than ever to protect life and property with improved accuracy and timely warning,” said NOAA National Weather Service Director Ken Graham. “HAFS is the result of strong collaborative efforts across the scientific community and represents a significant advance in hurricane forecasting.”

HAFS, the first regional composite model in Integrated forecasting system External link (UFS), is built around community-based collaboration and streamlining the workflow process. As it uses HAFS FV3 – Same dynamic core as US International forecasting system – It has a uniform starting point for storm forecasting and integrates with ocean and wave models as basic inputs. The only existing regional hurricane models, HWRF and HMON, each have their own baseline for modeling the atmosphere. Using FV3 in HAFS reduces overlapping efforts, making NOAA’s modeling portfolio more consistent and efficient.

HAFS is the first implementation of a new major forecast model using NOAA’s updated weather and climate supercomputers installed last summer. HAFS would not be possible without the speed and power of these new supercomputers, called the Weather and Climate Operations Supercomputing System 2 (WCOSS2).

NOAA developed the HFS as a standard. Climate Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017The agency directed the agency to conduct ongoing research and development to improve hurricane forecasting and warning. Hurricane forecast update program External link. Specifically, the legislation calls for NOAA to improve rapid intensification and hurricane forecasting capabilities. HAFS development was enabled by the 2018 and 2019 Hurricane and Disaster Supplemental Funding and continues with support from the 2022 Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

HAFS was co-created by NOAA’s. National Weather Service Environmental Modeling Center, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory And NOAA Cooperative Institute for Oceanic and Atmospheric Studies External link.

More information

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