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Hurricane path projection and mathematics

  1. Aug 22, 2011 #1
    I imagine differential equations and statistics are used. What type of math is used to predict the path of hurricanes?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 23, 2011 #2
    Virtually all major hurricane path predictions are based on computer models. Most of these models differ in their basic assumptions (algorithms), the values given to various parameters, and in the size and complexity of the geographic and temporal grids. Calculus is certainly used, but statistics have only a limited use. We simply don't have the detailed statistics necessary on water temperature, air temperatures, humidity and the like for all ocean areas that support hurricanes.

    Meteorological stations (both marine and terrestrial) cost money. We actually have fewer first order meteorological stations today (2011) than we did in 1950.
  4. Aug 23, 2011 #3
    Thanks so much klimatos...I can only imagine the models are complex with various assumptions, parameters, variables and constants which is why I figured differential equations are used.

    And forgive my ignorance as I am an expert in nothing yet, but are weather buoys also considered marine meteorological stations?
  5. Aug 23, 2011 #4


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    Probably numerical solutions to coupled nonlinear PDEs, i.e., CFD.

    Here - http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/basics/models.shtml


    Kaplan, J., DeMaria, M., 1995: A Simple Empirical Model for Predicting the Decay of Tropical Cyclone Winds After Landfall. J. App. Meteor., 34, No. 11, 2499-2512.

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ssd/nwpmodel/html/nhcmodel.htm [Broken]


    Fitting Statistical Distributions to Data in Hurricane Modeling
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  6. Aug 23, 2011 #5
    Thanks Astronuc :biggrin: :biggrin::biggrin:
  7. Aug 23, 2011 #6
    One storm and its projection which has always stood out in my mind is hurricane Jeanne in 2004. I remember the projected path kept changing and one day the meteorologist said, "Frankly, we have no idea where this storm is going to go."
    It made a full circle. Very impressive!
  8. Aug 23, 2011 #7
    Found this in one of the links you provided. Pretty cool stuff :D:D:D:D:D
    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/modelsummary.shtml" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  9. Aug 23, 2011 #8
    Yes, they are. There are, however, many types of so-called weather bouys. They suffer from all of the ills that remotely-operated stations are heir to. There are observation errors, transcription errors, compilation errors, transmission errors, reception errors, and transcription errors on the receiving end. What you end up with is a string of numbers some millions of characters long. Some of these number are valid and some are not.

    Some poor meteorologist has to decide one by one which are valid and which are not. Sometimes you throw out individual measurements, sometimes you throw out whole hours, sometimes you throw out days and sometimes you throw out entire months.

    Remote stations are never as reliable as all-day, every-day stations manned by professional meteorologists. They are, however, much much cheaper.
  10. Aug 23, 2011 #9
    Wow months! That's terrible. One would think there would be a way for the buoys to operate more effectively. Thanks so much for the info klimatos.
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