At 6:10am on August 29, 2005, the eye of Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Buras-Triumph, La., going on to devastate much of the Gulf Coast. In a report only a few months later, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) called it one of the strongest storms to hit the U.S. coast in the last 100 years.
Katrina didn't start out that way. After entering the Gulf of Mexico, it intensified rapidly, going from a Category 1 hurricane when it passed through southern Florida on August 25, 2005, then gaining momentum and jumping from a Category 3 all the way up to Category 5 status over the span of about a day later that weekend.
Thanks to evolving technology, including better satellite data and faster computers, as well as an increasing knowledge of what actually goes on inside a hurricane, the computational models we use to predict hurricanes have gotten much better. Meteorologists have gotten reasonably good at figuring out where a tropical cyclone is headed. What we're not so good at is figuring out how strong it's going to be when it gets there.
computer-generated models. Each is a little bit different, and has different strengths. "It's not a straight mass equation, where you say solve for x and that's the answer," explains John Cangialosi, a hurricane specialist at NOAA's National Hurricane Center. "There are a lot of assumptions being made. There is no exact answer."Hurricane prediction involves a number of different
Current models are fairly accurate at forecasting the track of a hurricane--that is, where it's going to go. For this, we can use global dynamical models, which take real-time atmospheric data from all over the world and solve physics equations to predict what will happen next.
"We can come within 80 miles or so. That's actually pretty good," says Cary Mock, a geography professor at the University of South Carolina.
These global models are good at figuring out where things are generally heading, but they don't have the resolution to tell you much about the hurricane itself. For instance, they can't predict very well when a storm like Katrina will suddenly intensify. "It can't really tell you how strong the hurricane is even at the current time," Cangialosi says.
When it comes to modeling the intensity of a particular storm, we tend to turn to less sophisticated statistical models. They compare basic information from the current storm, like location and time of year, to historic storm behavior, and spit out an averaged prediction. Cangialosi says a statistical model is "not trying to resolve and model what this storm is going to do, but it will tell us… a storm in this location and this environment, on average it will do this." They're quicker to run and don't require as much data or computational power.
forecast models, and they are generally more accurate than their simple counterparts. "I'm amazed we can shove a whole world's worth of weather data into a computer," Mock says. "We couldn't do that 15 years ago." One drawback: they can take hours to run on a supercomputer. So when storms pop up or change quickly, researchers have to rely on quicker statistical models that can crunch the numbers fast.There are more complex
Another reason we can't run more accurate, dynamic models on the intensity of hurricanes is that we don't entirely understand how hurricanes function. "It's still somewhat mysterious," Cangialosi says. "We observe them, but we don't actually understand them to a large factor."
For example, it was only recently that we learned that the wall around the hurricane's eye can deteriorate, and a new one will form around it. This can affect the intensity of the hurricane, but not always in the same way. Sometimes it makes the hurricane stronger, sometimes weaker. "Those are the things we can't quite model. We can't take into account all the dynamics of the eye wall," Mock says.
That's why hurricane forecasting still relies not just on a computer crunching numbers, but on human intervention--an actual forecaster who looks at the details of the storm and determines whether the model seems to be painting an accurate picture that makes sense based on the conditions. And that's why sometimes, a storm predicted to be a doozy barely seems like a blip in the radar, or vice versa.
We have begun to learn a little bit more about hurricane dynamics by flying planes into the eye of the storm. Besides sounding badass (INTO THE STORM, FOR SCIENCE!), sending aircraft straight to the source to drop weather balloons and sensors to collect data on aspects like wind direction, pressure, water vapor can help us learn more about how storms work.
This is kinda why I find the climate change predictions so ludicrous. We can observe a hurricane very frequently and, because we don't have all of the data, we can't make any predictions about when they will occur, how intense they will be or where they will go. How are we to believe that we can model the entire WORLD's climate and predict what's going to happen? It's insanity.
It also makes the art of being a meteorologist that much more impressive. It used to be that you could tell what the weather was going to be by listening to the forecast and expecting the exact opposite. Nowadays it is AMAZINGLY accurate to about 10 days.
Climate predictions are not the same thing as forecasting a hurricane. The physics of each are sensitive to different physical properties and the two different types of models are optimized in different resolutions, time steps, and even small scale physical parameterizations.
For example, in a climate model we may say: "Over 100 years we're going to slowly increase the carbon dioxide and we'll see how the long-term conditions respond to that." You don't need to understand exactly where a storm might go to answer this question.
That's a very very very different question than saying "In the next twelve hours, what's the wind speed and storm surge going to be off of Atlantic City, NJ" To answer this question you don't need to know what the temperature is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Climate and weather, and their representative models, are two very different things that should not be confused.
I compare guessing the direction of a hurricane to that of a toy spinning top and knowing which way it will follow too.
Roughly you might guess a direction, but specifically I believe you will never know.
Good luck, lol.
You don't have to predict every single wave to know when the tide will come in.
ppardee, bagpipe100, D49, ggenua, and lauren... are the trolls we have to deal with around here who don't understand the differences between "global warming" and "climate change". They don't understand why weather is harder to predict than climate. They prefer to SELECTIVELY quote sources that agree with their non-expert opinions while ignoring the expert opinions of the overwhelming community of climatologists who have concluded that man is accelerating global warming which is influencing climate change. They love to point at the scientists and say, "they're doing it for the money" while IGNORING the corporations who profit in the billions and use millions of those profits to protect their product by denying global warming. Who's doing it for the money in that scenario? Science denial is just something we have to deal with like moon hoaxers, birthers, and truthers. Treat the deniers as such until they have a valid argument and stop cherry picking data.
If you walk behind your car, then see the exhaust you could be told YOU are polluting the world.
If you are eating a sandwich and having a drink, you could be told you are polluting the world, with you food contained in plastic. You now have been politically influence and business will also cater to you to not be such a polluter of the environment.
If the world is warming up do a change in magnetic field of the Earth, then its not your fault and all there is for you do is to adapt and this changing world is out of human control or influence, per Earths changing magnetic field.
Keep in mind, our governments are hungry for their own power and when the opportunity comes to expanded, they will. Currently I read last night the annual funding for NSA is 52 billion dollars to stalk the people of the world for terrorist. Could 52 billion dollars be spent towards higher education, technical schools, trades and so forth, to keep USA productive and working yes. But the USA government focus is to keep and I on YOU and ME and grow their pyramid of power, instead.
Humans do have a minor, tiny influence on global warming, but is insignificant to the effects of a Earth changing magnetic field. All those media frenzy about human induce global warming.
And as for predicting where a hurrican will land, its all best scientific guess still. But we do what we can to protect lives and property.
Where's the support for your claim about the magnetic field influencing global warming, Starz? Where's the evidence?
"Minor, tiny influence." Ya think so, eh? You've clearly never seen the persistent brown haze we've created in the atmosphere. As a pilot, it's something I see often. If you were to take a school globe and wrap it with a sheet of paper, that's the scaled thickness of our atmosphere. We pump BILLIONS of tons of carbon into the air annually. This is carbon that does not exist in a natural cycle. We're taking it from well below the surface and putting it into the air. Some will be used for plants, but not the rest.
Frosttty, you talk about cherry picking data, but its the climate change fanatics who are doing so. Why look only at the last 100 some-odd years? Because that's the period that supports the claim. Our atmosphere is critically low on CO2 right now compared to almost every other period in the history of life on Earth. That's why our climate is so unstable that we are bouncing between glacial periods.
In addition to that, the increase in CO2 is both ridiculously minuscule compared to the total atmosphere. UN FAO official Henning Steinfeld stated that it was LIVESTOCK, not cars, that should be taking the blame. They contribute 9% of the CO2, 65% (!) of the nitrous oxide and 37% of all methane from human-related activities. Nitrous oxide is 263x more warming that CO2 and methane is 23x more warming. According to the EPA, N2O comprises 8% of our emissions and methane is 14%. Considering how powerful these greenhouse gasses are, they VASTLY offset CO2.
Why don't you know this? Why don't we have manure reclamation laws? Why don't cattle ranchers get the collective ire of the American people? Because it doesn't fit the agenda.
It was mandated that we eliminate CFCs. They've replaced these with hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are powerful greenhouse gases! Why do they allow this? Because climate change is a tool to control the people.
But go ahead. Only believe what your government and government funded scientists tell you. What could possibly go wrong?
If you read two article you will find the cycles of the sun effect global warming with the alignment of the planets
and the cycles of Earths polar flip, reduce magnetic field allowing more solar radiation to create cloud cover warms the planet.
Those links are long winded articles. Please be patient and read them both completely. I hope I provided you some proof.
If you read two article you will find the cycles of the sun effect global warming with the alignment of the planets and the cycles of Earths polar flip, reduce magnetic field allowing more solar radiation to create cloud cover warms the planet.
The Earth typically has 100k year cycles of global polar magnetic shift, but not always consistent throughout history. It has been noted too, of the Earth having some short times of polar magnetic polar shifts. Currently the Earth hasn't had an polar magnetic polar shift for 700k years and we are over do. When a polar magnetic shift occurs on average it takes about 1000 years to complete, but can be shorter too. During this time the Earth's magnetic field will drop in strength and at times be nothing. The Earth can also have many multiple poplars north and south around the Earth.
Currently the magnetic field of the Earth has been reducing for the last 300 years. The scientific vote is still out if this is really a magnetic polar shift. It correct itself too. Note we are 700k years past do our last magnetic polar shift.
Those links are long winded articles. Please be patient and read them both completely. I hope I provided you some proof.
They are just trolls like you said, so just treat them as they deserve, with silence. The ones who actually believe that malarkey are too dim to understand anyway, more silence.
You should follow you comment with stopping of feet, yelling and sticking your tongue out, claiming you are correct, because you said so and everyone is a troll.
So we don't have any firm understanding of the physical processes behind hurricanes, yet we know for a fact that human activity is making them occur more frequently and cause more devastation?
Perhaps vortexes of magma under the Earth crust are swirling about of the East coast of Africa, causing the solar cosmic radiation to make swirling vortexes and then affecting the atmosphere below with more cloud cover in a spinning vortex manner........ . I am brain storming, making a guess here.
The magma currents under the crust do affect the magnetism of the Earth, which in turn effect how much solar radiation effects our atmosphere, which effects cloud cover and global atmospheric weather.