Last Updated : February 16, 2007



(February 2007)



Highly accurate meteorological forecasts that can be used to ensure that credible hurricane warnings are issued in a timely manner are an essential factor in avoiding injury or loss of life and reducing property loss and economic disruption. The strategy presented here focuses on R&D and the transition of research to operations to meet the current and future operational needs of the forecast and warning centers. Equally important, all civilian and military operations in harm’s way must have confidence in these forecasts and warnings; they must understand them and take appropriate actions to protect people and property and, when necessary, evacuate to safer locations.

This plan also emphasizes research in the social sciences, aimed at improving the efficacy of the education and dissemination factors in the end-to-end system by which the ultimate users of forecasts and warnings, those in the path of a dangerous storm, can be better prepared to respond.

Entire Report
 PDF 4.3 MB


  • Cover
  • Foreword
  • Table of Contents
 PDF 158 KB

Executive Summary

 PDF 153 KB

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Why is More Hurricane R&D Needed?
  • 1.2 Tropical Cyclone Forecasts and Warnings: Recent Cases
  • 1.3 The Need for Hurricane R&D Priorities and Coordination
  • 1.4 Operational Tropical Cyclone Forecast and Warning Centers
  • 1.5 Introduction to the Tropical Cyclone R&D Community
  • 1.6 Formation of the JAG/TCR
  • 1.7 Structure of the R&D Plan
 PDF 626 KB

2.0 The Tropical Cyclone R&D community

  • 2.1 Tropical Cyclone Research as a Community Effort
  • 2.2 Federal Entities Conducting or Managing Tropical Cyclone R&D in the Physical Sciences
  • 2.3 Federal Entities Conducting or Managing Other R&D Activities Relevant to Tropical Cyclone Operations
  • 2.4 Federal Policy and Coordination Roles for Tropical Cyclone R&D
  • 2.5 Role of Academia in Tropical Cyclone Research
  • 2.6 International Contributions to Tropical Cyclone Research
  • 2.7 External Advisory and Advocacy Groups
  • 2.8 Prior Documentation of Tropical Cyclone Operational and Research Needs
 PDF 336 KB

3.0 Current Capabilities and Limitations

  • 3.1 Data Collection and Observations for Tropical Cyclone Fixing and Analysis
  • 3.2 Statistical Analysis and Prediction Techniques
  • 3.3 Numerical Models
  • 3.4 Forecasting and Warning
  • 3.5 Tropical Cyclone Field Experiments
  • 3.6 Current Procedures for Transitioning Tropical Cyclone Research into Forecast and Warning Operations
  • 3.7 Education, Training, and Outreach
  • 3.8 Summary

 PDF 1.3 MB

4.0 Future Capabilities to Meet Operational Needs

  • 4.1 Operational Needs of the Tropical Cyclone Forecast and Warning Centers
  • 4.2 Data Collection: Plans for Observation Platforms and Instruments
  • 4.3 Statistical Analysis and Prediction Techniques
  • 4.4 Advanced NWP Modeling Systems
  • 4.5 Transitioning Research Results to Operational Capability
  • 4.6 Summary
 PDF 1.1 MB

5.0 Research Priorities

  • 5.1 Research Priorities in Atmospheric and Ocean Science
  • 5.2 Climate Research Priorities—Intraseasonal, Interannual, and Longer-Term Variability of Tropical Cyclones
  • 5.3 Research Needs in the Social Sciences
  • 5.4 Oversight of the R&D Program for Tropical Cyclones
  • 5.5 Summary
 PDF 257 KB

6.0 Key Findings and Recommendations: The Way Ahead

  • 6.1 Introduction
  • 6.2 Summary of Key Findings
  • 6.3 Recommendations
  • 6.4 Resource Estimates Associated with Recommendations
  • 6.5 Summary
 PDF 395 KB


 PDF 51 KB


A. Summary of Satellite Data Used in NCEP’s Operational Data Assimilation Systems
B. Important Upgrades to Global Models and Operational Use of High-Resolution Regional Models
C. Research Models
D. 2005 Forecasts and Models Used at the TPC/NHC and CPHC
E. 2005 Forecasts and Models Used at the JTWC
F. Track Guidance Model Errors for 2005
G. Intensity Guidance Model Errors for 2005
H. Article from NOAA Magazine: “NOAA is Encouraging Everyone to Prepare for Hurricane Season”
I. NPOESS Satellite Data Pertinent to Tropical Cyclone Analysis and Forecasting
J. MetOp Satellite Data Pertinent to Tropical Cyclone Analysis and Forecasting
K. NCEP Data Assimilation Development
L. NCEP Global Model Development
M. Some Future Work Planned for the HWRF Air-Sea-Land-Hurricane Prediction System
N. Questions from the Air-Sea Interactions in Tropical Cyclones Workshop (Shay et al. 2005)
P. Social Science Research
Q. List of Acronyms

 PDF 345 KB