AUSTIN (KXAN) — The National Hurricane Center has implemented a new forecast model called HAFS, or Hurricane Analysis and Forecast Systems.
Rich Segal spoke with Vijay Tallapragada, Senior Scientist at NOAA, about HAFS and what it is capable of doing.
He says the update is needed because of the increasing number of tropical storms and hurricanes not only in the Atlantic Basin (which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico) but also the Eastern Pacific.
An experimental version of HAFS ran from 2019 to 2022. It showed a 10% to 15% improvement in the path a tropical storm would take as opposed to what NOAA’s existing models were showing.
One of the chief goals of HAFS is to provide more analysis in forecasting a tropical storm going out seven days. This includes a higher reliance on the storm’s strength, include rapid intensity. It also will do a better job of predicting how much rain will accumulate along with the storm surge. It will even be able to predict tornadoes often associated with hurricanes.
He also speaks about how well 2022 Hurricane Ian predicted this hurricane’s second rapid intensification when the storm left Cuba and headed to southwest Florida.
The increase in forecast accuracy will help reduce the impacts of hurricanes/tropical storms on both lives and property.