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Charles R. Sampson and Ann J. Schrader

The Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecasting System (ATCF) is software intended to automate and optimize much of the tropical cyclone forecasting process. The system features global tracking capability, a suite of objective aids, and a user interface that allows simultaneous tracking of multiple tropical cyclones. The version discussed in this article, ATCF 3.2, runs on UNIX workstations. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Guam, the Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Pearl Harbor, and the Naval Atlantic Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Norfolk successfully used ATCF 3.2 during the 1998 tropical cyclone season.

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Ronald J. Miller, Ann J. Schrader, Charles R. Sampson, and Ted L. Tsui

Abstract

The U.S. Navy Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecasting System (ATCF) is an IBM-AT compatible software package developed for the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), Guam. ATCF is designed to assist forecasters with the process of making tropical cyclone forecasts. The system graphically displays tropical cyclone track, fix, and forecast information, as well as synoptic fields and rawinsonde observations. Using the data base, ATCF also generates menages such as the tropical cyclone warning message. The computing power of the personal computer allows ATCF to produce products such as western North Pacific CLIPER and objective best track guidance. ATCF automatically saves all tropical cyclone data, computes real-time and post-storm forecast error statistics, and allows forecasters access to any past track data since 1945. ATCF standardizes the tropical cyclone forecasting procedure, ensuring that forecasters will not neglect consideration of important decisional steps. It also automates consuming tasks such as manual plotting of forecasts and logging data on clipboards. The system, while designed specifically for JTWC, is extremely flexible and has been distributed outside the U.S. Navy.

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