An Examination of Situation-Specific Uncertainty Statements in Tropical Cyclone Forecast Products

Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Plaza Grand Ballroom (The Condado Hilton Plaza)
Andrea B. Schumacher, CIRA/Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO; and E. L. Dagg

Past research has shown that the public not only wants uncertainty information with weather forecasts but also may make better decisions with that extra information. Climatology-based uncertainty estimates provide a consistent message regarding forecast uncertainty, but these approaches do not always accurately depict the forecast uncertainty for a given situation (e.g., Erika and Joaquin, 2015). In this study, we examine the situation-specific track and intensity forecast uncertainty statements provided in a two-year sample of Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Discussions (TCD). First, a quantitative description of the frequency and types of uncertainty statements will be presented. Then, an analysis of uncertainty and confidence statements in the context of actual forecast errors is provided. It turns out that most of the cases with the largest track and intensity forecast errors in our sample did not have uncertainty statements in their TCDs. The last part of this talk will present a detailed look at these extreme cases, including an examination of model spread, quantitative uncertainty guidance, storm characteristics, and synoptic conditions. These case analyses will demonstrate conditions that may be common to large-error cases that could be used to enhance or complement current quantitative uncertainty guidance products.
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