The authors thank the former and current NHC Hurricane Specialists that contributed their uncertainty estimates to this study: Lixion Avila, Robbie Berg, Jack Beven, Eric Blake, Mike Brennan, Dan Brown, John Cangialosi, Jerry Jarrell, Todd Kimberlain, Miles Lawrence, Max Mayfield, Richard Pasch, Ed Rappaport, and Stacy Stewart. Thanks also go out to Richard Pasch for his extensive review of an earlier version of this paper. The paper was improved by thorough and thoughtful comments of two anonymous reviewers. This work was partially supported by funding through the NOAA Climate Program Office for the project “Atlantic Basin Tropical Cyclone Database Reanalysis and Impact of Incomplete Sampling.”
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Maximum 1-min-average wind associated with the tropical cyclone at an elevation of 10 m with an unobstructed exposure (Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research 2012).
Cyclone size is described by the maximum extent of winds of 34, 50, and 64 kt in each of four quadrants about the center.
There are some objective methodologies available for weighting various observations to assist in providing best tracks. (e.g., the Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecast system; Sampson and Schrader 2000). The current procedure at NHC is for the NHC Hurricane Specialists to use their knowledge and experience to subjectively weight the various observations available and determine the best tracks manually.
Three NHC Hurricane Specialists—Avila, Beven, and Pasch—participated in both the 1999 and 2010 surveys, allowing for a more homogeneous comparison of the results based just upon their responses. These showed quite similar changes in the estimates of uncertainty compared with the whole sample that is reported here.