Tropical Cyclone Forecasting And Risk Analysis
We provide clients with tools that enable them to analyze all material aspects of hurricane risk at relevant time scales for decision makers. Our products and services include:
- Real-time forecasts of developing tropical cyclones anywhere in the world based on Numerical Weather Prediction and Superensemble™ technologies,
- Highly detailed computer simulations of historical and forecast tropical cyclone wind fields that explicitly account for the complex physical interactions between tropical cyclones, topography, bathymetry, tides, and land cover,
- Tens of thousands of years of synthetic Atlantic hurricane history,
- Forecasts of how natural climate variability, including the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and variations in Atlantic Sea-Surface-Temperature, will change hurricane frequency and severity during the next season or the next several seasons,
- Expert consultation from an experienced staff of highly trained tropical meteorologists and oceanographers.
Tropical Cyclone Forecasting
WeatherPredict Consulting provides industry leading tropical cyclone forecasts, for all global cyclone basins, to clients in the insurance, reinsurance, financial, and commodity markets. Further, WPC shares Superensemble™ hurricane forecasts with the US National Hurricane Center, in support of NOAA’s public safety mission. Our predictions are based upon three key ingredients: the Superensemble, proprietary versions of NOAA’s GFDL tropical cyclone model, and an experienced, highly trained staff of tropical meteorologists.
The Superensemble™ is an intelligent averaging technique that squeezes useful information from an ensemble of objective forecasts to produce optimal guidance for decision makers. The Superensemble™ has significant advantages over simple forecast averaging: it corrects for known biases in the individual objective forecasts, and it weights them to leverage the fact that objective forecasting tools often have regional skill variations.
The most efficient way to improve Superensemble™ forecasts is to improve the individual objective forecasts in the ensemble. These forecasts are derived from computer models, often referred to as Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, which simultaneously simulate the physics of the evolving storm, the surrounding atmosphere, and the ocean below. At WeatherPredict Consulting, we have developed in-house NWP forecasting tools based on NOAA’s GFDL hurricane model. We run these models four times daily to simulate the future of all tropical cyclones on the planet, and the resultant forecasts are key inputs into the Superensemble™ forecasting system.
WPC’s in-house version of the NOAA GFDL hurricane model produces forecasts for both the hurricane track and the maximum wind experienced at each location during the storm’s evolution.
Tropical Cyclone Wind Field Analysis
Accurate simulation of the tropical cyclone wind field is a key component in understanding and predicting the damage associated with land falling storms. At WeatherPredict, we have developed an innovative NWP based technology for simulating the winds associated with tropical cyclones. Our system combines the full three-dimensional physics of NOAA’s GFDL hurricane forecast system with thirty meter resolution land-cover and topography data to accurately simulate the evolution of the storm’s winds as it interacts with the unique features of the local land environment. This hurricane wind simulation system produces accurate, highly detailed wind estimates at high resolution for both forecasted and historic storms.
WPC’s proprietary hurricane footprint model uses numerical weather prediction technology to accurately simulate surface winds associated with tropical cyclones. The picture above shows the winds from Hurricane Ivan, 2004.
Synthetic Hurricane History
Businesses, communities, and emergency managers need to understand what will happen if a strong hurricane impacts their region. Fortunately, severe hurricanes are rare events, and many locations have not experienced a significant hurricane that current residents can remember. This sparse history means that people who need to prepare for the storm that will eventually arrive must rely on computer simulations of possible hurricane events to understand how a storm will affect them and their communities. At WeatherPredict, we employ the same NWP technology that we use to forecast hurricanes and create detailed wind field analyses to create tens of thousands of years of synthetic hurricane history. Our synthetic hurricane event set contains storms spanning the possible intensity, size, and movement speed spectrum for each location exposed to Atlantic hurricane risk and enables entities exposed to hurricane risk to develop a complete picture of the wind risk that they face.
Climate and Hurricane Activity
El Niño, the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation, and the North Atlantic Oscillation are three examples of climate variability that change hurricane frequency and severity with yearly to decadal time scales. At WeatherPredict, we apply powerful statistical techniques, including extreme-value analysis and generalized-linear modeling, to diagnose the relationship between climate variability and hurricane activity and to forecast how the climate variability expected for the next season, the next year, and the next decade will affect hurricane risk over the entire Atlantic and for specific regions of the US coast.