Quote: How can ANYONE say that the NHC was "right on" with their forecast? They did not have a grasp on this storm from the beginning right up through landfall. The storm was "supposed" to be a GOM Cat 3-4 hurricane affecting the upper Central Gulf Coast. That certainly didn't verify.
Unfortunately, intensity forecasts aren't necessarily a huge success in many storms. "Easy" forecasting would be great, but there are definitely things that forecasters can't foresee. For example, the SHIPS model doesn't take into account land interaction, so the experienced forecaster has to make adjustments to the official forecast. The dynamics are there, and to take a 120 hour intensity forecast seriously on your part wasn't the brightest idea.
Quote: Everytime the NHC predicted a particular course for Ernesto, the storm went in its own direction. Example: it was NEVER supposed to go over Haiti and emerge off the north coast of Cuba in the Atlantic. Granted, forecasts 3-5 days out have an expected error rate, but the NHC didn't even nail down directional nor intensity trends correctly within a 12-24 hour frame. When the storm moved into eastern Cuba, NHC forecast a fairly quick reemergence over water. Ernesto had other plans and turned West, staying over land almost a full 18-24 hours longer than expected. Once over water in the Florida Straits, intensification was forecast, which did not happen at all. Why was that second ULL over the Bahamas (that seemed to impede intensification after Ernesto emerged N of Cuba) not forseen? They forecasted nearly ideal environmental conditions once the original ULL moved off to the west over the Yucatan.
I find it quite amusing how one could assume that a storm is supposed to go anywhere. We've learned over many years that storms are unpredictable in many respects. The NHC nailed down within a 20-30 mile track error where the storm was going to go before it even hit Cuba on Monday — the southern coast of Florida, right where it did! This much is public record, and you can search many archives for the maps — even at the NHC archives already collected and ready to be seen.
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