On The Radio – UI research looks at the accuracy of current hurricane models

The forecast from the National Hurricane Center on Hurricane Matthew on Sept. 5, 2016. (National Hurricane Center)
Jake Slobe | November 14, 2016
This week’s On The Radio segment discusses research on hurricanes led by University of Iowa researchers.

Transcript: University of Iowa led research recently examined the accuracy of forecasting systems in predicting rainfall from hurricanes that reach the United States.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Comparing five state-of-the-art weather prediction models, researchers found current models can accurately forecast both where and how much rainfall a tropical hurricane will produce up to two days in advance. However, the forecast’s accuracy decreased drastically when the projection window increased to five days.

The research was published just weeks before Hurricane Matthew caused record flooding in North Carolina.

Gabriele Villarini,  UI associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and author on the paper, says the research focused on predicting the impacts of hurricanes because that information is more useful than conventional forecasts that predict how many storms are expected in a season.

The researchers’ findings were based on fifteen North Atlantic hurricanes that came within three-hundred miles of the U.S. coastline from 2007 to 2012.

For more information about the hurricane research, visit iowaenvironmentalfocus.org.

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Betsy Stone.

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