• Judith Curry

CFAN takes the lead in the race to provide better forecasts of hurricane paths

(Reno, NV, 11 April 2018) Public and private sector scientists are racing to provide hurricane forecasts that provide better warnings. In 2017, Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN) provided more accurate Atlantic hurricane track forecasts than those of the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) and the official forecasts of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.

CFAN uses a proprietary tracking algorithm to improve upon the forecasts provided by the European model. At all forecast lead times beyond 2 days, CFAN's forecast was on average more accurate than those of the ECMWF and the NHC. At five days before landfall, the average track error for CFAN’s track forecasts was 131. That is 7 miles smaller than the EWMWF’s and 39 miles smaller than NHC’s.

The average track error for CFAN’s forecast was 287 miles at 10 days lead time, which is comparable to the NHC’s average track error for the 3-day forecast in the early 1990’s.

“Improved weather forecasting is an underappreciated success story” says Peter Webster, CFAN’s Chief Scientist. “The average track error of NHC forecasts in 2017 at 5 days lead time was 170 miles, the same as the 2-day error in the mid 1990’s.”

More accurate three- to ten-day hurricane forecasts help both public and private organizations. Governments can provide better emergency management. Utilities can restore service faster. Insurance companies can make payments faster. Reinsurance companies can better handle financial impacts.

“We are pleased with our hurricane forecasts in 2017 and the growth in our business, particularly in the energy, insurance and insurance-linked securities fields,” said Judith Curry, CFAN’s president. “For the 2018 season, we plan to offer real-time track verification as part of our TropiCast hurricane forecast product.”

Contact us for additional information or interviews. See CFAN’s Track Verification Analysis for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season: [link]

See CFAN’s forecast for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season: [link]

About CFAN

Businesses and governments around the world rely on tools from Climate Forecast Applications Network to manage weather and climate risks. CFAN was founded in 2006 by Judith Curry and Peter Webster. It was launched under the VentureLab program of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. CFAN’s scientists build the most advanced commercially available forecasting tools. CFAN’s research has been assisted by grants from NOAA, Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy.

CFAN provides a comprehensive suite of forecast products for Atlantic tropical cyclones, including forecasts of active systems, extended range forecasts, monthly outlooks and seasonal hurricane forecasts. See the CFAN website for more information about the firm, its research and forecast products:

Contact information

Dr. Judith Curry, President



Telephone: (404) 803-2012

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