276 Comparing Forecast Potential Intensity to the Observed Intensity of 2017 Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Thursday, 19 April 2018
Champions DEFGH (Sawgrass Marriott)
Catherine Lynn Stauffer, Risk Management Solutions, Tallahassee, FL

Forecasting and modeling can be improved when the products are verified against observed values. This study seeks to compare objective observation-based analyses to the potential intensities calculated for each day.

The observation-based analyses of the three most destructive hurricanes of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season - Harvey, Irma, and Maria - will include real-time and post-analyses created by the RMS-HWind Application. Observations utilized will include reconnaissance aircraft, buoys, satellite, ships, and surface stations such as the Coastal-Marine Automated Network and the Automated Surface Observing System. These analyses will contain values for the lowest central pressure, maximum wind speed and its radius, and Integrated Kinetic Energy for both the tropical storm and hurricane force wind fields, as well as displaying the wind field of the individual storms.

The analyzed minimum pressure and maximum wind speed will then be compared to the National Hurricane Center’s forecasted wind probabilities and the maximum potential hurricane intensity of the environment conditions computed by the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA) of George Mason University. COLA utilizes a method created by Dr. Kerry Emmanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to calculate the potential minimum pressure and maximum wind speeds based on climatological characteristics of the boundary layer and the tropopause in the context of a Carnot heat engine.

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