Front view of the National Hurricane Center
|Jurisdiction||United States government|
|Headquarters|| University Park, Miami, Florida, U.S. |
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is the division of the United States' National Weather Service responsible for tracking and predicting tropical weather systems between the Prime Meridian and the 140th meridian west poleward to the 30th parallel north in the northeast Pacific Ocean and the 31st parallel north in the northern Atlantic Ocean. The agency, which is co-located with the Miami branch of the National Weather Service, is situated on the campus of Florida International University in University Park, Florida.
The National Weather Service (NWS) is an agency of the United States federal government that is tasked with providing weather forecasts, warnings of hazardous weather, and other weather-related products to organizations and the public for the purposes of protection, safety, and general information. It is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) branch of the Department of Commerce, and is headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, within the Washington metropolitan area. The agency was known as the United States Weather Bureau from 1890 until it adopted its current name in 1970.
The IERS Reference Meridian (IRM), also called the International Reference Meridian, is the prime meridian maintained by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS). It passes about 5.3 arcseconds east of George Biddell Airy's 1851 transit circle or 102 metres (335 ft) at the latitude of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. It is also the reference meridian of the Global Positioning System (GPS) operated by the United States Department of Defense, and of WGS84 and its two formal versions, the ideal International Terrestrial Reference System (ITRS) and its realization, the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF).
The meridian 140° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, North America, the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole.
The NHC's Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB) routinely issues marine forecasts, in the form of graphics and high seas forecasts year round, with the Ocean Prediction Center having backup responsibility for this unit. The Technology and Science Branch (TSB) provides technical support for the center, which includes new infusions of technology from abroad. The Chief, Aerial Reconnaissance Coordination, All Hurricanes (CARCAH) unit tasks planes, for research and operational purposes, to tropical cyclones during the Atlantic hurricane season and significant weather events, including snow storms, during winter and spring. Research to improve operational forecasts is done through the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project (HFIP) and Joint Hurricane Test Bed (JHT) initiatives.
The Ocean Prediction Center (OPC), established in 1995, is one of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction's (NCEP's) original six service centers. Until 2003, the name of the organization was the Marine Prediction Center. Its origins are traced back to the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912. The OPC issues forecasts up to five days in advance for ocean areas north of 31° north latitude and west of 35° west longitude in the Atlantic, and across the northeast Pacific north of 30° north latitude and east of 160° east longitude. Until recently, the OPC provided forecast points for tropical cyclones north of 20° north latitude and east of the 60° west longitude to the National Hurricane Center. OPC is composed of two branches: the Ocean Forecast Branch and the Ocean Applications Branch.
The Atlantic hurricane season is the period in a year when hurricanes usually form in the Atlantic Ocean. Tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic are called hurricanes, tropical storms, or tropical depressions. In addition, there have been several storms over the years that have not been fully tropical and are categorized as subtropical depressions and subtropical storms. Even though subtropical storms and subtropical depressions are not technically as strong as tropical cyclones, the damages can still be devastating.
During the Atlantic and northeast Pacific hurricane seasons, the Hurricane Specialists Unit (HSU) issues routine tropical weather outlooks for the northeast Pacific and northern Atlantic oceans. When tropical storm or hurricane conditions are expected within 48 hours, the center issues watches and warnings via the news media and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio.
NOAA Weather Radio is an automated 24-hour network of VHF FM weather radio stations in the United States that broadcast weather information directly from a nearby National Weather Service office. The routine programming cycle includes local or regional weather forecasts, synopsis, climate summaries, synopsis or zone/lake/coastal waters forecasts. During severe conditions the cycle is shortened into: hazardous weather outlooks, short-term forecasts, special weather statements or tropical weather summaries. It occasionally broadcasts other non-weather related events such as national security statements, natural disaster information, environmental and public safety statements sourced from the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Emergency Alert System. NOAA Weather Radio uses automated broadcast technology that allows for the recycling of segments featured in one broadcast cycle seamlessly into another and more regular updating of segments to each of the transmitters. It also speeds up the warning transmitting process.
Although the NHC is an agency of the United States, the World Meteorological Organization has designated it as the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center for the North Atlantic and eastern Pacific, making it the clearinghouse for tropical cyclone forecasts and observations occurring in these areas. If the NHC loses power or becomes incapacitated, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center backs tropical cyclone advisories and tropical weather outlooks for the northeast Pacific Ocean while the Weather Prediction Center backs up tropical cyclone advisories and tropical weather outlooks for the North Atlantic Ocean.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 192 Member States and Territories. Its current Secretary-General is Petteri Taalas and the President of the World Meteorological Congress, its supreme body, is David Grimes. The Organization is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
A Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre is responsible for the distribution of information, advisories, and warnings regarding the specific program they have a part of, agreed by consensus at the World Meteorological Organization as part of the World Weather Watch.
The Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) of the United States National Weather Service is the official body responsible for tracking and issuing tropical cyclone warnings, watches, advisories, discussions, and statements for the Central Pacific region: from the equator northward, 140°W–180°W, most significantly for Hawai‘i. It is the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) for tropical cyclones in this region, and in this capacity is known as RSMC Honolulu.
The first hurricane warning service was set up in the 1870s from Cuba with the work of Father Benito Viñes. After his death, hurricane warning services were assumed by the United States Signal Corps and United States Weather Bureau over the next decade, first based in Jamaica in 1898 and Cuba in 1899 before shifting to Washington, D.C. in 1902.
Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. The area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometers (42,800 sq mi). The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometers (40,543 sq mi), and the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants.
Benito Vines was a Jesuit cleric during the 19th and early 20th centuries in Havana, Cuba. He became well-known for his studies of hurricanes. He was the Director of the Magnetical and Meteorological Observatory of the Royal College of Belen in Havana, and the author of Practical Hints in Regard to the West Indian Hurricanes, a work which was translated into English by the US Navy and issued by the United States Hydrographic Office.
The United States Army Signal Corps (USASC) is a division of the Department of the Army that creates and manages communications and information systems for the command and control of combined arms forces. It was established in 1860, the brainchild of Major Albert J. Myer, and had an important role in the American Civil War. Over its history, it had the initial responsibility for portfolios and new technologies that were eventually transferred to other U.S. government entities. Such responsibilities included military intelligence, weather forecasting, and aviation.
The central office in Washington, which evolved into the National Meteorological Center and Weather Prediction Center (formerly known as the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center), assumed hurricane warning/advisory responsibility at that time. This responsibility passed to regional hurricane offices in 1935, and the concept of the Atlantic hurricane season was established to keep a vigilant lookout for tropical cyclones during certain times of the year. Hurricane advisories issued every six hours by the regional hurricane offices began at this time.
The Jacksonville hurricane warning office moved to Miami, Florida, in 1943. Tropical cyclone naming began for Atlantic tropical cyclones using the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet by 1947.In 1950, the Miami Hurricane Warning Office began to prepare the annual hurricane season summary articles. In the 1953 Atlantic season, the United States Weather Bureau began naming storms which reach tropical storm intensity with human names.
The National Hurricane Research Project, begun in the 1950s, used aircraft to study tropical cyclones and carry out experiments on mature hurricanes through its Project Stormfury. 4 miles (6.4 km) to the northwest on July 1, 1958. Forecasts within the hurricane advisories were issued one day into the future in 1954 before being extended to two days into the future in 1961, three days into the future in 1964, and five days into the future in 2001. The Miami HWO moved to the campus of the University of Miami in 1964, and was referred to as the NHC in 1965. The Miami HWO tropical cyclone reports were done regularly and took on their modern format in 1964.On July 1, 1956, a National Hurricane Information Center was established in Miami, Florida, which became a warehouse for all hurricane-related information from one United States Weather Bureau office. The Miami Hurricane Warning Office (HWO) moved from Lindsey Hopkins Hotel to the Aviation Building
|Kenneth Graham||2018 – Present|
Beginning in 1973, the National Meteorological Center duties (renamed the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center; renamed for a second time in 2013)gained advisory responsibility for tracking and publicizing inland tropical depressions. The World Meteorological Organization assumed control of the Atlantic hurricane naming list in 1977. In 1978, the NHC's offices moved off the campus of the University of Miami across U.S. Highway 1 to the IRE Financial Building. Male names were added into the hurricane list beginning in the 1979 season. The hurricane warning offices remained active past 1983.
In 1984, the NHC was separated from the Miami Weather Service Forecast Office, which meant the meteorologist in charge at Miami was no longer in a supervisory position over the hurricane center director.By 1988, the NHC gained responsibility for eastern Pacific tropical cyclones as the former Eastern Pacific Hurricane Center in San Francisco was decommissioned. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew blew the WSR-57 weather radar and the anemometer off the roof of NHC's/the Miami State Weather Forecast offices. The radar was replaced with a WSR-88D NEXRAD system in April 1993 installed near Metro Zoo, near where Hurricane Andrew made landfall.
In 1995, the NHC moved into a new hurricane-resistant facility on the campus of Florida International University, capable of withstanding 130 mph (210 km/h) winds. Its name was changed to the Tropical Prediction Center in 1995. After the name change to TPC, the Hurricane Specialists were grouped as a separate NHC unit under the Tropical Prediction Center, separating themselves from the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch. On October 1, 2010, the Tropical Prediction Center was renamed the NHC, and the group formerly known as the NHC became known as the Hurricane Specialists Unit (HSU).
Tropical cyclone forecasting uses statistical methods based on tropical cyclone climatology, as well as methods of numerical weather prediction where computers use mathematical equations of motion to determine their movement. 15, 2017. Rappaport was succeeded by Kenneth Graham on April 1, 2018.The World Meteorological Organization continues to create and maintain the annual hurricane naming lists. Naming lists use a six-year rotation, with the deadliest or most infamous storm names retired from the rotation. The current acting director of the National Hurricane Center is Edward Rappaport following the retirement of Richard Knabb on May
For the fiscal year of 2008, the budget for the NHC was $6.8 million. The NHC staff has 66 members including 12 managers. The NHC is one of nine national centers which compose the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).
Known as the NHC from 1995 through 2010, the hurricane specialists within the hurricane specialists unit (HSU) are the chief meteorologists that predict the actions of tropical storms. The specialists work rotating eight-hour shifts from May through November, monitoring weather patterns in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific oceans. Whenever a tropical or subtropical cyclone forms, they issue advisories every six hours until the storm is over. Public advisories are issued more often when the storm expected to be of tropical storm or hurricane intensity threatens land.The specialists coordinate with officials in each country likely to be affected. They forecast and recommend watches and warnings.
During the hurricane season, the HSU routinely issues their Tropical Weather Outlook product, which identifies areas of concern within the tropics which could develop into tropical cyclones. If systems occur outside the defined hurricane season, the HSU issues special Tropical Weather Outlooks.Backup responsibility for their northeast Pacific area resides at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC), and vice versa if CPHC were to have communication issues. North Atlantic responsibilities are backed up by the Weather Prediction Center (WPC). Routine coordination occurs at 1700 UTC each day between the Weather Prediction Center and National Hurricane Center to identify systems for the pressure maps three to seven days into the future within the tropics, and points for existing tropical cyclones six to seven days into the future. Outside of the hurricane season, the specialists concentrate on public education efforts.
|Hurricane Specialists Unit|
|Michael Brennan, Ph.D.||Lixion Avila, Ph.D.||Jack Beven, Ph.D.||Daniel Brown||Richard Pasch, Ph.D.||Stacy Stewart|
|John Cangialosi||Robbie Berg||Eric Blake||David Zelinsky||Andy Latto||Dave Roberts|
The Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB, formerly the Tropical Satellite Analysis and Forecast unit and the Tropical Analysis Center) is a part of the National Hurricane Center and was created in 1967.The TAFB is responsible for high seas analyses and forecasts for tropical portions of the Atlantic and Pacific between the Prime Meridian and the 140th meridian west poleward to the 30th parallel north in the northeast Pacific Ocean and the 31st parallel north in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Unlike the Hurricane Specialists Unit (HSU), TAFB is staffed full-time around the year. Other responsibilities of the TAFB include satellite-derived tropical cyclone position and intensity estimates, WSR-88D radar fixes for tropical cyclones, tropical cyclone forecast support, media support, and general operational support. The Ocean Prediction Center backs up TAFB in the event of a communications outage, and vice versa.
|Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch|
|Christopher Landsea||Eric Christenen||Andrew Levine||Jeffrey Lewitsky||Scott Stripling||Vacant||Jorge Aguirre-Echevarria||Carl McElroy|
|Dan Mundell||Gladys Rubio||Nelsie Ramos||Vacant||Mike Formosa||Mike Tichacek||Evelyn Rivera-Acevedo|
|Andrew Hagen||Maria Torres||Vacant||Vacant|
The Technology & Science Branch (TSB) develops and transitions new tools and techniques into operations for tropical weather prediction in conjunction with other government and academic entities. TSB created and continues development of the Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecasting (ATCF) system, used to incorporate various data and model outputs, create and update HURDAT, and to generate tropical cyclone forecasts. The TSB provides support for NHC computer and communications systems including its website. TSB maintains a number of statistical and dynamical models used in predicting both tropical cyclone behavior and associated weather conditions. The Storm Surge Unit, which develops and maintains software to forecast the storm surge of tropical cyclones, is part of this branch.The Techniques Development and Applications Unit (TDAU) is part of TSB.
The Chief, Aerial Reconnaissance Coordination, All Hurricanes (CARCAH) is a subunit of the 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Hurricane Hunters). CARCAH's mission is to provide a point-of-contact and to coordinate all tropical cyclone operational reconnaissance requirements at NHC and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center for the North Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and the North Pacific basin east of the International Date Line in accordance with the National Hurricane Operations Plan (NHOP). During the winter, CARCAH coordinates the Atlantic and Pacific winter storm requirements in support of the National Winter Storms Operations Plan (NWSOP). Missions are flown in advance of the high-impact weather events forecast to affect the U.S., such as heavy snowfall,and at times when there is significant uncertainty within/between numerical weather prediction output.
The Hurricane Liaison Team (HLT) supports hurricane response through information exchange between the NHC, the National Weather Service (NOAA/NWS), and the emergency management community. The HLT is composed of federal, state, and local emergency managers, as well as NWS meteorologists and hydrologists, who maintain open lines of communication about the progress and threat level of the storm with appropriate Federal, state, and local officials. The team establishes and facilitates video and/or teleconferences with the NHC, FEMA and other Federal agencies, state Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs), Weather Prediction Center (WPC), Storm Prediction Center (SPC), and River Forecast Centers (RFCs).During significant landfalling hurricanes, the President of the United States as well as affected city mayors and state governors join the daily briefing call, which occurs at noon Eastern Daylight Time.
As part of their annual tropical cyclone activity, the agency issues a tropical cyclone report on every tropical cyclone in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Ocean basins, which are available since 1958 and 1988, respectively. The report summarizes the synoptic history, meteorological statistics, casualties and damages, and the post-analysis best track of a storm.The reports were formally known as Preliminary Reports up until 1999. The agency maintains archives and climatological statistics on Atlantic and Pacific hurricane history, including annual reports on every tropical cyclone, a complete set of tropical cyclone advisories, digitized copies of related materials on older storms, season summaries published as the Monthly Weather Review, and HURDAT, which is the official tropical cyclone database.
Programs are dedicated to improving the accuracy of tropical cyclone forecasts from the center. The Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT) is a joint operation between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and United States Weather Research Program to speed up the transfer of tropical cyclone-related research into forecast operations. Since 2001, with its annual budget of between $1.0 and $1.5 million, the JHT has funded 62 initiatives, with most of them being implemented operationally. The projects have had varied success, ranging from minor to significant advances in the way the NHC operates. The Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program's (HFIP) five-year goal is to lead to a 20 percent improvement within the numerical weather prediction models provided by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction to NHC by 2015 and a 50 percent improvement within tropical cyclone track forecasting and intensity guidance by 2020.
Tropical cyclones and subtropical cyclones are named by various warning centers to provide ease of communication between forecasters and the general public regarding forecasts, watches, and warnings. The names are intended to reduce confusion in the event of concurrent storms in the same basin. Generally once storms produce sustained wind speeds of more than 33 knots, names are assigned in order from predetermined lists depending on which basin they originate. However, standards vary from basin to basin: some tropical depressions are named in the Western Pacific, while tropical cyclones must have a significant amount of gale-force winds occurring around the centre before they are named in the Southern Hemisphere.
Tropical cyclone warnings and watches are two levels of alert issued by national weather forecasting bodies to coastal areas threatened by the imminent approach of a tropical cyclone of tropical storm or hurricane intensity. They are notices to the local population and civil authorities to make appropriate preparation for the cyclone, including evacuation of vulnerable areas where necessary. It is important that interests throughout the area of an alert make preparations to protect life and property, and do not disregard it on the strength of the detailed forecast track. Tropical cyclones are not points, and forecasting their track remains an uncertain science.
The Weather Prediction Center (WPC), located in College Park, Maryland, is one of nine service centers under the umbrella of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), a part of the National Weather Service (NWS), which in turn is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the U.S. government. Until March 5, 2013 the Weather Prediction Center was known as the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC). The Weather Prediction Center serves as a center for quantitative precipitation forecasting, medium range forecasting, and the interpretation of numerical weather prediction computer models.
A Pacific hurricane is a mature tropical cyclone that develops within the eastern and central Pacific Ocean to the east of 180°W, north of the equator. For tropical cyclone warning purposes, the northern Pacific is divided into three regions: the eastern, central, and western, while the southern Pacific is divided into 2 sections, the Australian region and the southern Pacific basin between 160°E and 120°W. Identical phenomena in the western north Pacific are called typhoons. This separation between the two basins has a practical convenience, however, as tropical cyclones rarely form in the central north Pacific due to high vertical wind shear, and few cross the dateline.
Tropical Storm Arlene brought torrential rainfall to the western United States Gulf Coast, particularly to the U.S. state of Texas, in June 1993. The first named storm of the annual hurricane season, Arlene developed from an area of low pressure in the Bay of Campeche on June 18. The depression slowly strengthened as it tracked west-northwestward and later north-northwestward across the western Gulf of Mexico. Arlene was subsequently upgraded to a tropical storm on June 19, but failed to intensify further due to its proximity to land. The cyclone then made landfall on Padre Island, Texas, with winds of 40 mph (65 km/h) and degenerated into a remnant disturbance on June 21.
James Louis Franklin is a former weather forecaster encompassing a 35-year career with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He served as the first branch chief of the newly formed Hurricane Specialist Unit (HSU) before his retirement in 2017.
Tropical cyclone seasonal forecasting is the process of predicting the number of tropical cyclones in one of the world's seven tropical cyclone basins during a particular tropical cyclone season. In the north Atlantic Ocean, one of the most widely publicized annual predictions comes from the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University. These reports are written by Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray.
The Hurricane Databases (HURDAT), managed by the National Hurricane Center, are two separate databases that contain details on tropical cyclones, that have occurred within the Atlantic Ocean and Eastern Pacific Ocean since either 1851 or 1949.
An invest in meteorology is a designated area of disturbed weather that is being monitored for potential tropical cyclone development. Invests are designated by three separate United States forecast centers: the National Hurricane Center, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
The history of Atlantic tropical cyclone warnings details the progress of tropical cyclone warnings in the north Atlantic Ocean. The first service was set up in the 1870s from Cuba with the work of Father Benito Viñes. After his death, hurricane warning services were assumed by the United States Signal Corp and United States Weather Bureau over the next few decades, first based in Jamaica and Cuba before shifting to Washington, D.C.. The central office in Washington, which would evolve into the National Meteorological Center and the Weather Prediction Center, assumed the responsibilities by the early 20th century. This responsibility passed to regional hurricane offices in 1935, and the concept of the Atlantic hurricane season was established in order to keep a vigilant lookout for tropical cyclones during certain times of the year. Hurricane advisories issued every six hours by the regional hurricane offices began at this time.
Hurricane Genevieve, also referred to as Typhoon Genevieve, was the fourth-most intense tropical cyclone of the North Pacific Ocean in 2014. A long-lasting system, Genevieve was the first one to track across all three northern Pacific basins since Hurricane Dora in 1999. Genevieve developed from a tropical wave into the eighth tropical storm of the 2014 Pacific hurricane season well east-southeast of Hawaii on July 25. However, increased vertical wind shear caused it to weaken into a tropical depression by the following day and degenerate into a remnant low on July 28. Late on July 29, the system regenerated into a tropical depression, but it weakened into a remnant low again on July 31, owing to vertical wind shear and dry air.
A tropical cyclone tracking chart is used by those within hurricane-threatened areas to track tropical cyclones worldwide. In the north Atlantic basin, they are known as hurricane tracking charts. New tropical cyclone information is available at least every six hours in the Northern Hemisphere and at least every twelve hours in the Southern Hemisphere. Charts include maps of the areas where tropical cyclones form and track within the various basins, include name lists for the year, basin-specific tropical cyclone definitions, rules of thumb for hurricane preparedness, emergency contact information, and numbers for figuring out where tropical cyclone shelters are open.
The 2018 Pacific hurricane season produced the highest accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) value on record in the Eastern Pacific basin. With 23 named storms, it was the fourth-most active season on record, tied with 1982. The season officially began on May 15 in the eastern Pacific, and on June 1 in the central Pacific; they both ended on November 30. These dates conventionally delimit the period of each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Pacific basin, as illustrated when the first tropical depression formed on May 10.
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