New tools to track hurricanes, changes to cone - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

New tools to track hurricanes, changes to cone

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Beginning this (2017) hurricane season, the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service will make some changes to the graphics we see, and offer some new ones.

Here's a rundown of what to expect.

The graphic most people look at is the advisory that shows the map, the current storm stats, the forecast cone,  and watches and warnings.

The first thing you'll notice about the new graphic is its overall clean and modern look. Softening the colors and changing the fonts improve overall readability.  All the the maps will consistently have this look.

Added to the advisory graphic will be the extent of tropical storm and hurricane force winds currently around the hurricane. The size of the error cone shrinks once again, due to the accuracy improving over the years.  The NHC is also going to make the graphic interactive, where you can toggle off and on any of the elements.

Another important change will be to the wind speed probability graphic. Added to that will be arrival times of tropical storm or hurricane force winds.

The storm surge watch/warning graphic that was in it's test phase last year will become operational.

A controversial decision to issue watches/warnings and advisories for "potential" storms will be in a testing phase this year. That means even if a storm hasn't formed, there could be a watch or warning put up if it's close to land and expected to intensify quickly. 

For the entire list of changes and new products this year, check out the 2017 NHC Products and Services


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