National Weather Service forecasters currently use a Smart Tool in the Graphical Forecast Editor called TCMWindTool that takes the 6-hourly four quadrant highest wind forecast and interpolates it to a 5 km x 5 km hourly grid. The Smart Tool then allows forecasters to increase/decrease velocities, multiply/divide by factors, adjust the wind direction, and smooth the wind speed and direction. The flexibility of the Smart Tools when combined with limited scientific framework can result in wide ranging adjustments to the initial NHC guidance, many of which are not necessarily leading to improvements in the forecast.
The purpose of this project is to improve the currently used methodology for operational forecasts of wind speed and wind gusts associated with tropical cyclones affecting the Southeast region. This will be accomplished through a systematic analysis of observations as well as several numerical simulations of select landfalling tropical cyclones. A detailed verification of past forecasts will also be conducted.
The principal investigator for the project is Dr. Anantha Aiyyer, and the student involved in the study is Bryce Tyner. There are several key collaborators from local National Weather Service WFOs, the National Hurricane Center, and the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. As results are completed, they will be posted here.