For those of you who are rather upset or disappointed with the NHC's forecast accuracy for Ernesto, I'd like to ask that you take a look at this report from the NHC on forecast verifcation for the 2005 year:
In summary, you should take a look at these paragraphs from the top of the report:
"A verification of NHC official forecasts and model guidance for the 2005 hurricane seasons in the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific basins is presented. Forecast accuracy of official track forecasts was close to the record levels set in 2004 for the Atlantic and established new records for accuracy in the eastern Pacific. The official track forecasts consistently beat the dynamical guidance and also surpassed much of the consensus guidance. Intensity forecasts were of similar accuracy to those in previous years.
In both basins, the GUNA consensus provided the most accurate track guidance. Among the individual track guidance models, the GFDL provided the best shorter-range track forecasts in both basins. At the longer ranges, the UKMET and BAMM were strong performers in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific, respectively. For intensity, the statistical SHIPS and DSHP continue to lead the dynamical models, although even better results can be obtained from a DSHP/GFDI consensus."
I would like to point out here that, quite frankly, neither the UKMET or the BAMM were very accurate at long range (>= 72 hrs) with Ernesto. The error for these models was quite unsettling throughout the forecast period, to say the least! I believe there were several reasons for this, but we'll wait and see whether this comes to fruition from the NHC in the coming days/months. I'm sure the forecasters know what they may have done wrong this time, and are working to correct it for future, more potent storms.
Also, just in defense of the forecasters on this point: models are statistical and mathematical. They aren't human beings! They make mistakes. The forecasters, in many respects, correct some of the models discrepancies and make adjustments for them. I think, overall, later in the storms life thusfar the forecasters did a rather good job in predicting the path. Intensity is still a rather hard dynamic variable to forecast! Will it get better? Probably. This season? Possibly, but probably not.
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