Why the Projections Failed
07:05 AM EDT - 25 August 2000
Forecasting is a crap shoot. When things are going like usual, it's fairly easy to predict like something. But, all the forecasting models dropped the ball Debby for the same reasons the models are wrong when forecasting any weather.
o The atmosphere is very complex, and even though the models use high levels of numerical and mathematical know-how, it cannot possibly catch every cause and effect that the atmosphere can do.
o The data that goes into the models could be wrong, or woefully incomplete. This is especially a problem over the oceans. The recon planes like the Gulfstream Jet help this along, but it's still less than optimal.
o Mother Nature is Mother Nature. Things happen. What Debby did was unforseen by everyone until the day it happened. Forecasters are not "Besserweiser" or know it alls. They are human, and just watch and predict and have nearly unlimited pardons for bombed forecasts. The NHC did a stellar job despite what happened. (I bet Debby is one of those they would rather forget happened at all, though)
This is what makes storms interesting to track, when they do something unexpected. There was every reason to believe it would have affected South Florida, but it had other options in mind.
The Atlantic is unusually hostile right now for development most anywhere. The wave in the East Atlantic already has died to this, and Ex-Debby is still having troubles reorganizing. (It's trying though)
The season is not over. We have had 4 named storms so far, and last year we had two by this time. September is the peak month, so it's not even close do being done with.
Thanks for the many people who did visit this site when Debby was considered a threat. Our goal is to give you opinions and allow you to view the data yourself so that you can make your own informed decisions. I hope it worked out.
Comments or Questions? Everyone is invited to use it. Use the comment button by the story Headline.NRL Monterey Marine Meteorology Division Forecast Track of Debby (Good Forecast Track Graphic)
Satellite images at: [N.A. visible] (visible -- Daytime Only) [N.A. infrared] (infrared), and [N.A. water vapor] (water vapor)--Nasa source.Some Forecast models: (NGM, AVN, MRF, ECMWF, ETA)