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Thursday, June 28, 2012

You can't trust a hurricane forecast

The National Hurricane Center does its best, but here's a simple indication of why forecasts can't be trusted.

See this track for Tropical Storm Debby that shows it going west and becoming a hurricane.

Just 21 hours later, the NHC forecasts Debby to head north -- but not as a hurricane.

After an overnight reassessment, Debby is going east.

I wouldn't want to have all my work products published on the Internet for everyone to criticize, and perhaps the NHC is pressured to publish graphics that it knows have a low probability of accuracy. Whatever the situation, can't we do better than this? What is required to do better?