Super computer leads the way in hurricane forecasting

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Hurricane super computer (WTVD)

Technology continues to surge ahead in the world of hurricane forecasting, and this year it's all about the super computer.

"We are starting to see details of the storm, the eye structure, the convective features of the eye. The types of things I have seen for 30 years flying in the storms are now evident in the numerical model," said Frank Marks, director of Hurricane Forecasting for NOAA.

Hurricanes are coming to life on a computer screen so you can track them no matter where you are.

"Just as with TV, with the weather with the global model you're in the 1080p range, but with the hurricane WRF or HWRF you are in the ultra-high def," Marks explained.

The advancements are largely in part to powerful computers, which are capable of running high definition models, like the new Global Forecasting System model. Another big upgrade? The new Hurricane Weather and Research Forecast model which is currently the most accurate model at predicting intensity.

"It's been the best guidance that the hurricane center has had over the last 3 years," Marks said.

While storm tracking will continue to improve even more over time, Marks says we have come a long way in quality control and precision of forecasts.

"When I started 35 years ago we would walk off the plane with an armload of tapes and it would take us 2 years to do that, and now we do that on the plane," he explained.

He says that in the coming years, the goal is to strengthen the HWRF model to be able to track multiple storms at a time in the Atlantic Ocean.

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