Just ahead of the 2018 Hurricane Season the National Hurricane Center has announced three major enhancements that will improve our understanding of what is most likely to happen in the event a tropical system threatens our coast.

I believe these improvements will help us weather what is expected to be an above average season by offering easier to understand forecasts and information that better defines the most dangerous aspects of a tropical storm system.

1. The Hurricane Center will expand the watch and warning time frame by as much as five days. Typically watches and warnings were only issued 48 hours in advance of an approaching storm system. The new forecast will expand that window to as much as five days if necessary. The forecast will include the predicted track, storm surge, and wind speed.

2. The "Cone of Uncertainty" will shrink. The "error cone" is the one we all look at when we check out a tropical forecast online or on television. By tightening the cone, which is usually based on a storms forecast position every 12  hours, forecasters will be able to better illustrate the most likely path of the storm system.

3.The forecast will now include projected arrival time of damaging winds. This information will give a timeline of when winds of over 35 miles per hour are expected to arrive at a particular area. This will give emergency planners and those securing property a better of perspective on when conditions will no longer be safe in that area.

Basically, the Hurricane Center is hoping to provide you and me with easier to understand information about these deadly storms. By providing a more accurate narrative of how strong a storm will be and where the storm will go it should help all of us along the coast be better prepared.


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