Tropical Prediction Center,
the NHC, and the Miami WFO, 1999
Part of the mission
of the National Weather Service (NWS) Tropical Prediction Center (TPC) is to
save lives and protect property by issuing watches, warnings, forecasts, and
analyses of hazardous weather conditions in the tropics. This section provides
information about the roles of those responsible for providing hurricane information
to emergency managers and decision makers.
The TPC is comprised
of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the Tropical Analysis and Forecast
Branch (TAFB), and the Technical Support Branch (TSB). During
hurricane season, the latter two provide support to the NHC.
The local NWS Weather
Forecast Offices (WFOs) in hurricane-prone areas are also important participants
in the forecast process.
The NHC and your
local WFO have various roles in the forecast process that are closely coordinated.
Their activities are summarized below.
Observations including satellites, buoys, reconnaissance aircraft, and radar
are the basis for all forecast and warning products issued by the NHC. Quality,
quantity, and timeliness of remote sensing observations are critical for
accurate and timely forecasts and warnings. Learn
The various observations are checked for quality, analyzed, and put into
a suite of computer models. Learn More
GUIDANCE AND INTERPRETATION
The computer models take in the observations and perform millions of calculations
to generate predictions of hurricane behavior and the general conditions
of the atmosphere in which the hurricane is embedded. The model results
are packaged as guidance for the appropriate national centers and local
offices and for evaluation and use in the NWS's forecast and warning process.
WITHIN THE NWS
Forecasts and warnings are coordinated between the national centers and
local forecast offices to provide consistency, which is critical during
severe weather episodes. Learn
Once the coordination and collaboration process reaches group consensus,
the issuing offices generate forecast and warning products for release to
the public. Learn More
Timely and reliable dissemination of forecasts and warnings is critical
to the protection of life and property. The types of products issued are
described on the Forecast Products page. Learn
The NHC and the local NWS forecast office work with your community leaders
to determine whether the forecast and warning products issued were useful
and how they can provide you even better service in the future. Learn
FORECAST PRODUCTS TEXT – GRAPHICAL
WATCH vs. WARNING
- KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
HURRICANE WATCH issued for your part of the coast indicates the possibility
that you could experience hurricane conditions within 36 hours.
This watch should trigger your family's disaster plan, and protective measures
should be initiated, especially those actions that require extra time such
as securing a boat, leaving a barrier island, etc.
issued for your part of the coast indicates that sustained
winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 24 hours or less.
this warning has been issued, your family should be in the process of completing
actions and deciding the safest location to be during the storm.