The authors thank Ryan Truchelut, who provided some of the initial ideas for this research. We are also indebted to Julian Heming of the Met Office for providing some of the model output and upgrade information that was necessary to carry out this research. ECMWF output was obtained from the TIGGE archive (ECMWF portal). We thank the anonymous reviewers, as well as Chris Landsea and Dave Zelinsky, who conducted the NHC internal review. Thanks to Ron McTaggart-Cowan and Dave Ryglicki for providing references for model upgrades. The authors also benefited from discussions with Pat Harr at NPS and Mike Fiorino at ESRL regarding this research topic and from the suggestion by Sim Aberson at HRD to display some of our results using the performance diagrams. Finally, this research was supported by NOAA/COMET Partner's Project Z12-93225, NASA GRIP Grant NNX09AC43G, and a Florida State University fellowship.
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ATCF system is a software package used by NHC and other operational centers to improve operational efficiency. The ATCF system provides TC “fix” observations and updates to the “working” best track, among other tasks (Rappaport et al. 2009). CARQ entries in the A-deck dataset are the hurricane specialists' operational initial best estimates of the location, intensity, and other parameters (e.g., initial motion) of a tropical disturbance or cyclone that are used as input to forecast models.