Tropical Cyclone Winds: Forecasting and Communication

Tropical Cyclone Winds
    • Enrollment Information:

Description

Tropical cyclone winds present a significant threat to life and property for communities in the path of these storms. During tropical cyclone events, the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center forecasters share information with local decision-makers regarding possible wind scenarios, uncertainties, potential threats and impacts.

This course will introduce decision-makers, forecasters, and others interested in tropical cyclone wind impacts to:

  • the uncertainties and errors in forecasting tropical cyclone track, timing, and intensity
  • the onset, incremental and cumulative probabilities used to describe wind speed forecasts
  • the probabilistic guidance products used by the NWS to forecast wind speeds and their appropriate interpretation
  • the probabilistic guidance products used by the NWS to assess local wind threats and impacts and their appropriate interpretation
  • the crafting of clear and concise communications for decision support

The lessons in the course provide practice in:

  • determining the right probabilistic products to use for risk assessment and messaging
  • correctly interpreting probabilistic wind guidance
  • creating messages that appropriately describe the potential wind threat at different lead times

Goals and Objectives

The main goal of the course is to introduce decision-makers, forecasters, and others interested in tropical cyclone winds to the uncertainties in forecasting tropical cyclone track, timing, and intensity, as well as the probabilistic products used to forecast tropical cyclone winds and how to communicate the guidance in them.

    Learners who complete the course will be able to:

    • Describe the errors in forecasting tropical cyclone track, timing, and intensity
    • Explain the onset, incremental, and cumulative probabilities used to describe wind speed forecasts
    • Interpret the probabilistic guidance products used by the NHC to forecast wind speeds
    • Interpret the probabilistic guidance products used by the NWS to assess local winds threats and impacts
    • Craft clear and concise communications for decision support based on probabilistic guidance

The knowledge and skills covered in the course will assist forecasters to provide better decision support. Emergency managers and others will become familiar with the probabilistic products and forecast uncertainty associated with tropical cyclone guidance.

In addition, all lessons offer their own specific objectives which can be found on their respective description pages.

Overview

This course consists of three short lessons. The first lesson introduces learners to the probabilistic guidance used by the NHC to forecast tropical cyclone winds. The second lesson discusses the scale of errors that exist in forecasting the track, timing, and intensity of tropical cyclones, and the influence of these errors on potential impacts. The third lesson covers the probabilistic guidance products used by the NWS to forecast local tropical cyclone winds. It also offers practice in how to interpret and communicate the probabilistic guidance to emergency managers, other decision-makers, and the public.

Each lesson has an accompanying assessment that learners must pass in order to receive credit for the particular lesson. The course includes between 2 and 2.5 hrs of instructional time (not including the assessments).

Course Outline

Additional Resources

Course Outline