Meteorologist working to improve hurricane forecasting and identify “worst case” intensity upon landfall

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Volusia County researchers are working on a plan to improve hurricane forecasting.

As National Hurricane Center forecasts have become more accurate over the past 20 years, Hurricanes Ian and Nicole showed us that we could do better.

Channel 9 spoke to Rob Eicher, professor of meteorology at Embry Riddle University, who could change the way we look at forecast data.

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Eicher isn’t necessarily trying to change the cone, but offers a way to better show how strong a hurricane will be when it makes landfall.

He’s working on prototype charts that will communicate the range of possible intensities and identify worst-case scenarios when hurricanes hit, so we know how best to prepare.

Eicher began working on the project after Hurricane Laura in 2020.

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Since the strength of storms can depend on the track, hurricanes can be stronger or weaker depending on where they make landfall.

Eicher’s project will not only show the predicted trajectory, but will also show the probabilities of different intensities.

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The prototype shows a range of wind speeds, rather than just one, along the forecast cone and identifies both a “most likely” and a “worst” intensity upon landing.

The goal of this project is to create this type of forecast product and deliver it to the National Hurricane Center for testing in 2024.

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