Meteorologist working to improve hurricane forecasting, identify ‘worst-case’ intensity at landfall

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Researchers in Volusia County are working on a plan to improve hurricane forecasting.

While the National Hurricane Center’s forecasts have gotten more precise over the past 20 years, Hurricanes Ian and Nicole showed us we have room for improvement.

Channel 9 spoke with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University meteorology professor Rob Eicher, who may change the way we look at forecast data.


Eicher isn’t necessarily trying to change the cone but come up with a way to better show what a hurricane’s strength will be at landfall.

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

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

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Since storm strength can depend on track, hurricanes could be stronger or weaker based on where they make landfall.

Eicher’s project will not only show the forecast track, but 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 identify both a ‘most likely’ and ‘worst-case’ intensity at landfall.

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

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