315328 Joint Typhoon Warning Center: Tropical Cyclone Forecasting in the Pacific and Indian Oceans

Tuesday, 24 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Owen H. Shieh, JTWC, Pearl Harbor, HI

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) is a joint U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force organization located in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii that is tasked with tropical cyclone analysis and forecasting responsibilities for U.S. government assets across the Pacific and Indian Ocean Basins. Since its inception in 1959, JTWC has evolved operationally and scientifically to provide skillful forecasts and decision support services across a vast area of responsibility that includes over 80% of global annual tropical cyclone activity. In addition to maintaining 24/7 forecast operations, JTWC actively collaborates with researchers throughout the meteorological and oceanographic science communities to continually improve the development and implementation of new forecast aids, techniques, and products. The results of these efforts are reflected in the 2015 Western North Pacific mean tropical cyclone track errors, which at all forecast lead times were the lowest in the command’s 56-year history.  JTWC also performs post-analysis of tropical cyclone track and intensity and makes these best track data publicly available to researchers around the world. This paper begins with a brief history of JTWC, followed by an overview of JTWC forecast philosophy, warning products, and decision support services. We describe our efforts to confront the unique challenges of tropical cyclone forecasting across both hemispheres through rigorous in-house meteorological training, operational techniques, collaborative research, and effective transfer of research to operations. Current as well as future research needs are described, and the utility of satellite reconnaissance tools and numerical model guidance are established from the perspective of a multi-basin tropical cyclone forecasting mission. Finally, this paper establishes a baseline from which future research may advance the science of tropical cyclone forecasting as operational needs and concerns evolve into the future.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner