When storms are out of reach from direct measurement by hurricane hunter aircraft they can be difficult to predict but this hurricane season will see an upgrade to the way storms are assessed remotely from satellites.
The advancement will provide forecasters with a more detailed picture of the current strength of a tropical cyclone while feeding forecast computer modes with better data to make track and intensity predictions.
The method called the Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT) is a tool for determining tropical cyclone intensity based on the appearance of satellite cloud patterns.
This method was developed at the University of Wisconson-Madison and for decades has been the method forecasters use to estimate the degree to which a storm is organized.
Storms that have clear eyes and symmetry are stronger than ragged systems. Having the ability to analyze hurricanes occurring outside the realm of aircraft and buoys will improve forecasts and provide more reliable information to meteorologists and emergency planners.
Part of the upgrade to ADT includes better identification of the location of the center of circulation noted as the “eye,” with new software called Automated Rotational Center Hurricane Eye Retrieval (ARCHER).
Older versions relied on infrared (IR) imagery, but the new version has additional imagery to assist with forecasting.
The system is capable beyond the Atlantic basin for storms in other oceans.