Sometimes we show selected model track forecasts, so called “spaghetti plots,” on TV or on our web page. Based on some emails that I have received, there is some confusion as to why we do this. My only reason in showing the various models is to show that there is a certain amount of uncertainty in the track forecast and there are various scenarios that could develop.
The above graphic shows a spaghetti plot of selected models on TS Danny from 8:00 am 28 Aug 2009 available to NHC forecasters when making their most recent forecast.
Numerous models for which the NHC has permission to share are available to all on various websites (the NHC also has a few other models that they don’t have permission to put online). There are “early” models (available when the NHC forecaster makes the forecast), “late” models (typically only available after the NHC forecast is made), simple “statistical” models, sophisticated “dynamical” models, “global” models, “regional” models, combinations of “statistical-dynamical” models, “ensemble” models, and “trajectory” models.
In addition, the NHC has made good use of “consensus” forecasts which are obtained by combining the forecasts from a collection of models.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) verifies these model forecasts along with their official forecasts. I only show the more credible models in the spaghetti plot along with the official NHC forecast on TV.
There is an excellent Technical Summary of the National Hurricane Center Track and Intensity Models on the NHC web site that has been recently updated.