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Richard J. Pasch, Lixion A. Avila, and Jiann-Gwo Jiing

Abstract

Totals of 70 and 63 tropical waves (also known as African or easterly waves) were counted in the Atlantic basin during the 1994 and 1995 hurricane seasons. These waves led to the formation of 9 of the 12 total number of tropical cyclones in 1994 and 19 of the 21 total number of tropical cyclones in 1995. Tropical waves contributed to the formation of 75% of the eastern Pacific tropical cyclones in 1994 and 73% in 1995. Upper- and lower-level prevailing wind patterns observed during the below-normal season of 1994 and the very active one of 1995 are discussed. Tropical wave characteristics between the two years are compared.

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Lixion A. Avila, Richard J. Pasch, and Jiann-Gwo Jiing

Abstract

A total of 62 and 63 tropical waves were counted in the Atlantic from May to November during 1996 and 1997, respectively. These waves led to the formation of 12 of the 13 total number of tropical cyclones in 1996 and only 3 of 7 tropical cyclones in 1997. All of the tropical depressions became tropical storms in 1996 and only one failed to become a named storm in 1997. On average, 62% of the Atlantic tropical depressions develop from tropical waves. These waves contributed to the formation of 92% of the eastern Pacific tropical cyclones in 1996 and 83% in 1997. Tropical waves and their environment during the 1996 and 1997 seasons are discussed.

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Edward N. Rappaport, Jiann-Gwo Jiing, Christopher W. Landsea, Shirley T. Murillo, and James L. Franklin

The Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT) is reviewed at the completion of its first decade. Views of the program by hurricane forecasters at the National Hurricane Center, the test bed's impact on forecast accuracy, and highlights of the top-rated projects are presented. Key concerns encountered by the test bed are identified as possible “lessons learned” for future research-to-operations efforts. The paper concludes with thoughts on the potential changing role of the JHT.

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Lixion A. Avila, Richard J. Pasch, Jack L. Beven, James L. Franklin, Miles B. Lawrence, Stacy R. Stewart, and Jiann-Gwo Jiing

Abstract

The 2001 eastern North Pacific hurricane season is reviewed. It was a near-average season in terms of the number of systems, with 15 named tropical cyclones of which 8 became hurricanes. One tropical cyclone made landfall in Mexico and two reached category 3 or higher on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale. A description of each named cyclone is provided, and track and intensity forecasts for the season are evaluated.

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F. Martin Ralph, Janet Intrieri, David Andra Jr., Robert Atlas, Sid Boukabara, David Bright, Paula Davidson, Bruce Entwistle, John Gaynor, Steve Goodman, Jiann-Gwo Jiing, Amy Harless, Jin Huang, Gary Jedlovec, John Kain, Steven Koch, Bill Kuo, Jason Levit, Shirley Murillo, Lars Peter Riishojgaard, Timothy Schneider, Russell Schneider, Travis Smith, and Steven Weiss

Test beds have emerged as a critical mechanism linking weather research with forecasting operations. The U.S. Weather Research Program (USWRP) was formed in the 1990s to help identify key gaps in research related to major weather prediction problems and the role of observations and numerical models. This planning effort ultimately revealed the need for greater capacity and new approaches to improve the connectivity between the research and forecasting enterprise.

Out of this developed the seeds for what is now termed “test beds.” While many individual projects, and even more broadly the NOAA/National Weather Service (NWS) Modernization, were successful in advancing weather prediction services, it was recognized that specific forecast problems warranted a more focused and elevated level of effort. The USWRP helped develop these concepts with science teams and provided seed funding for several of the test beds described.

Based on the varying NOAA mission requirements for forecasting, differences in the organizational structure and methods used to provide those services, and differences in the state of the science related to those forecast challenges, test beds have taken on differing characteristics, strategies, and priorities. Current test bed efforts described have all emerged between 2000 and 2011 and focus on hurricanes (Joint Hurricane Testbed), precipitation (Hydrometeorology Testbed), satellite data assimilation (Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation), severe weather (Hazardous Weather Testbed), satellite data support for severe weather prediction (Short-Term Prediction Research and Transition Center), mesoscale modeling (Developmental Testbed Center), climate forecast products (Climate Testbed), testing and evaluation of satellite capabilities [Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series (GOES-R) Proving Ground], aviation applications (Aviation Weather Testbed), and observing system experiments (OSSE Testbed).

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Edward N. Rappaport, James L. Franklin, Lixion A. Avila, Stephen R. Baig, John L. Beven II, Eric S. Blake, Christopher A. Burr, Jiann-Gwo Jiing, Christopher A. Juckins, Richard D. Knabb, Christopher W. Landsea, Michelle Mainelli, Max Mayfield, Colin J. McAdie, Richard J. Pasch, Christopher Sisko, Stacy R. Stewart, and Ahsha N. Tribble

Abstract

The National Hurricane Center issues analyses, forecasts, and warnings over large parts of the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and in support of many nearby countries. Advances in observational capabilities, operational numerical weather prediction, and forecaster tools and support systems over the past 15–20 yr have enabled the center to make more accurate forecasts, extend forecast lead times, and provide new products and services. Important limitations, however, persist. This paper discusses the current workings and state of the nation’s hurricane warning program, and highlights recent improvements and the enabling science and technology. It concludes with a look ahead at opportunities to address challenges.

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