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Expect improved hurricane forecasts

The new weather computer forecasts will be able to more accurate predict a hurricane's path

The National Hurricane Center has a new tool: a faster and more accurate computer model.

The new model, Hurricane Analysis and Forecast System (HAFS), is now operational and will run in tandem with previous models this year. Next year, it will be forecasters’ main model for the 2024 season.

It has already proven its merit while under development. Over the past three hurricane seasons, it has been able to improve the track prediction of a tropical system by 10 to 15 percent over current models. It has also shown improvement in forecasting a hurricane’s rapid intensification versus previous systems.

Major upgrades are planned over the next several years, helping to improve its accuracy. Legislation passed in 2017 is pushing federal forecasters to cut forecast error in half by 2027.

This new supercomputer will help increase forecast accuracy this hurricane season. (General Dynamics IT via NOAA)

Driving the model’s improvement is the integration of the core computer model data used every day around the globe and a faster supercomputer that went online last summer.

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