92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 9:00 AM
How Far We Have Come!
Room 235/236 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Max Mayfield, WPLG-TV/Former National Hurricane Center Director, Miami, FL

Tremendous strides have been made in hurricane forecasting thanks, in large part, to the dedicated efforts of those involved in numerous facets of the hurricane program. Getting the best possible forecast and the desired response to a hurricane threat is very much a team effort. Closer workings between the research and operational communities have paid dividends. During my 34 year career at the National Hurricane Center, I saw remarkable advances in observations, numerical modeling, and communications.

I have seen hurricane forecasters go from agonizing over sparse or no data in and near a hurricane to having, at times, too many observations to view; from using analog and climatology/persistence models to sophisticated dynamical and consensus models; from studying low-quality facsimile charts to the use of incredibly fast and versatile workstations; and from communicating warnings via teletype to using social media such as Twitter.

I'll share my perspective on some of these advances and how they have changed the nation's hurricane program.

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