Latest forecast spaghetti plots for Hurricane #Matthew

For those that have an interest, here are the 18Z model runs for track positions, plotted on Google Earth. Data from National Hurricane Center. Click image for a full size view (Update, versions with satellite image added).



Here is a zoom of the Florida coast and southeast US coast, click for large images.


sphaghetti-plots-sezoomLink to .kmz file is here if you want to look at it in Google Earth yourself.

Do a right click and “save as”, complete download, double click it and it will open Google Earth. See the model output in “temporary places” folder in the left sidebar pane. Loads of data available that you can enable and disable with checkboxes.


88 thoughts on “Latest forecast spaghetti plots for Hurricane #Matthew

    • The readings are one hour apart. It would be interesting to see higher resolution data.
      In Australia we have seen a number of recent cyclones where the theoretical speed from models or high-altitude observations greatly exceeded any ground measurements. The media, however, only quotes the more sensational claims.

      • Don’t think so Brad….it took three readings in the eye
        If Matthew was traveling that slowly….it would have caught the peak wind too

      • The media ignore the inconvenient truth about Matthew: it’s a very compact storm. As of 1200 UTC 05Oct16, the band of hurricane winds is only 40 miles wide, and 150 miles out, winds are under 50 knots. The 100+ wind band may be only a few miles wide. The storm may bisect the Bahamas, but even there, most folks will likely experience winds that are sub-hurricane strength. (Still, the holding is poor, and my sympathies to anyone anchored out during this event. Been there, been done by that.) …. This is only the Armageddon of the Week, of course, but p-u-h-l-e-e-z.

    • Latitude,
      Excellent point.
      I have been wondering about the same thing. I have seen others report buoy data much less than reported wind velocities per NOAA. The planes are flying well above ground and everyone knows that the velocity increases with elevation. How do they transpose data at higher elevations to ground level. Also from an engineering viewpoint we know that wind speeds are reported as the fastest measured mile as well a 3-5 second gusts which are higher. As an engineer, I am well aware the design wind velocities have been raised by various codes over the years. For example I know of one location in NJ that has raised the design wind velocity to 100 mph from 88 mph for new structures. There are very few structures designed for 145 mph.
      From NOAA
      Maximum Sustained Surface Wind:
      The standard measure of a tropical cyclone’s intensity. When the term is applied to a particular weather system, it refers to the highest one-minute average wind (at an elevation of 10 meters with an unobstructed exposure) associated with that weather system at a particular point in time.

    • The question would be how wide is the buoy. Since it can only record winds that hit it directly within that width perhaps it doesn’t record enough of a sample.

      • I am sure the width of the buoy is not a factor for equipment measuring wind speed since the max is measured over a long period of time.
        Buoy data is widely used and trusted by Mariners.

      • Latitude,
        Check the coordinates on that Buoy (14.923N 74.918W)…250 miles +/- south south west of Haiti – The storm took a right turn just as it got there and was only called a cat 2 when it was down there. It didn’t really start blowing up until it started drifting north.
        Unless someone is adjusting the data, the drop sondes do a pretty good job on pressure, temperature, dew point and wind speed. (or at least they did in the 80’s when I worked with them.) The AFR reported the wind speed at the highest point in the forward right hand eye wall as per protocol. It is possible for the eye to pass a ground station in a weaker area of the wall and not be anywhere near the peak quadrant wind speed. It is also possible to catch the hurricane during an eye wall regeneration phase where speeds collapse then rebuild. hurricanes are extremely chaotic environments. (It is also possible someone is monkeying with the data, but I have seen no evidence of that in the NHC reporting.)

    • It’s funny that you mentioned that. I noticed that Matthew’s pressure did not really match the Cat 5 levels that you would expect. The lowest pressure that Matthew has seen is 934 hPA. That’s pretty low, but most Cat 5 hurricanes get lower than that.
      There have been 31 Category 5 hurricanes since they’ve started tracking them. In that time, only two had the lowest pressure reading above Matthew. (Felix in 2007 peaked at 929 hPa.)
      It makes me wonder if they have calibrated some of their standards to make Matthew a higher rating than it would have been in the past.

    • Latitude, buoy 42058 only has a 5 m (16 ft) wind mast and reported steep waves to 10.3 m (34 ft) at the time of the highest wind report of 33 m/s gusting to 41 m/s (74 mph gusting to 92 mph). I can imagine that little buoy was being tossed around badly by the waves and was measuring the wind while tilted much of the time and with the anemometer well below the top of the waves most of the time. The high waves should greatly reduce the wind speed at the buoy measurement height. Chances are the winds were much higher at 10 m above the wave tops.
      Trying to measure winds near the surface in an intense hurricane is quite a challenge. Kudos to NOAA that the rugged buoy made it through the storm with no indication of any damage. A photo of the buoy and latest data are here:
      Last 5 days of hourly data here:
      NOAA has another smaller buoy 42T58 that was located not far to the east of 42058 that did not fare so well in the storm with the wind data going missing around the height of the storm:

      • +++++ and there is your best answer.
        Now if any of these proposed offshore wind farms get built & are allowed to report wind speed from their onboard anemometer (not the generator blades!), since they have a rigid pole to stand on, it would be interesting what winds they report…just before they are destroyed by the wind/waves 😉

    • The same say that the El Reno tornado became the biggest tornado evah, why measure it when you can simply “guess” based on radar.

    • The 10 meter wind as Matthew crossed the buoy was 70kts, the same both sides of the eye:
      At 0900 UTC Matthew was 17 nautical miles north of the buoy. Here is an extract from HURRICANE MATTHEW FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 21:

      64 KT……. 25NE 25SE 20SW 25NW

      There would appear to be a 45kt error between the measured value and the NHC estimate.

  1. Cyclone Marcia was claimed at Cat 5 by the Australian BOM but many believe it was a weak Cat 3 at landfall. I wonder I wonder.

    • From the BoM’s report on TC Marcia.
      ‘Yeppoon also received significant damage with the automatic weather station recording a maximum sustained wind speed (10 minute average) of 65 knots (120 km/h), or the equivalent of a category 3 system, as the category 4 centre of Marcia passed to the west.’
      Since when are 120km/h winds a Cat 3 – the wind speed is a Cat 1 only. I remember the highest wind gust was 132km/h on Middle Percy Is. The higher winds etc were based on computer estimates only.
      Back in the day, all cyclones speeds were based on weather station data only.

  2. The warmunists will be wetting themselves with excitment at the prospect of major damage to an American city.

    • You know there probably some sicko climate scientists praying for this to hit the US as a major category storm so that they can blame it on climate change…..

  3. The eye will dance up the coast just off the mainland until the outer banks of North Carolina which always gets hit by these types of hurricane tracks. (just a hunch, after seeing these since the early 1950’s).

  4. The spread in “spagetti” plots is symptomatic of the “challenge” in modeling coupled non-linear chaotic systems by Navier Stokes equations with very limited inaccurate (“uncertain”) data. That is compounded by poorly understood physics, especially of clouds. Predicting temperature into the next century will be about as “accurate”. Claiming otherwise is the height of hubris or political persuasion.

    • See Chaos & Climate – Part 3: Chaos & Models by Kip Hansen / September 4, 2016

      “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

      – IPCC TAR WG1, Working Group I: The Scientific Basis
      For details see scientific papers

    • Apples and oranges David.
      I can predict next month’s average maximum temp pretty accurately – about 27C, no hubris involved, but the maximum temp for Nov13th? Where I live it could be anywhere between about 20 and 35 (C).

      • Climate is the average of 30 year weather. When you know the weather of the next 30 years, you know the climate. If you don’t know the next 30 year weather, you don’t know the future climate.

      • No one “knows” anything about the future Wim, there are only probabilities. I stand by my “pretty accurate” prediction of “about 27C”.
        Given the trend of the last few decades I can guess that next northern summer will see another very small patch of ice left in the Arctic. My guess is about 3.5 million Wadhams, second only to 2012 and below 3 not long after that. Do I “know” that? Of course not.
        What would be your your guess for next year out of curiosity?

      • Tony, I agree that no one knows. Me neither. The Earth’ temperature has always been fluctuating widely – without any influence of man. Knowing that fluctuation – and being able to predict the future of the behaviour of nature – should be the base for every prediction. And we don’t know. We don’t know enough about cycles in the behaviour of nature, but even if we should know, there always remain unknown and unpredictable factors. For us, weather has a ‘chaotic’ character. We cannot predict weather more than 3 days – look at the predictions for hurricane Matthew. Knowing about the future behaviour of the Earth is far out of our reach.
        For the Arctic I don’t know whether last years cold or warm Arctic and Pacific subsurface waters have flown in. That would give an indication of the speed of the freezing to expect and an indication for the expected melt from below. I don’t know about the surface waters (currents) that will influence future freezing / melt. I don’t know about the behaviour of the many layers of the atmosphere that we can expect. What drives the fluctuating temperature of the stratosphere and what are the consequences? Etc. etc.
        We passed the Holocene Optimum but also the Little Ice Age. We seem to be in a warming phase on the Northern Hemisphere (NH), but in the South the sea ice was growing in the same time. What, when we will get a switch next years? The subsurface Northern Atlantic Water seems to be cooling. But what will be the effect of all other influences?
        It is a bit like predicting the future level of the Dow Jones Index. You can have studied economics, can have all the dates of the firms represented in the Dow Jones Index (DJI), you can have acces to all economic data there are and you can make models about everything inclusive the expected behaviour of man, but can any one of us predict the DJI at let’s say May 15 2017, two hours 15 minutes after opening? Exactly? And if there is one of our 7 billion, will he/she be able to do the an equal accurate prediction for May 24 2017? No, we simply can’t, we simply don’t know, not for 2017 and absolutely not for the year 2100. We only know that the DJI goes up and goes down and a bit more up than down in the last century. But that’s it. We know that last century temperatures went a bit more up than down especially on the NH, but that is it too.
        Of course I could make a guess about future ice in the Arctic. But a guess is but a guess. I like the present warming and so far this warming has been very benificial to mankind. I love the extra CO2 – nature is flourishing and our famines are becoming less and less, at least partly because of our CO2 fertilisation. And I am not worried about the present gradual rise in temperatures as measured by our satellites. I even will not be worried when somewhere in the future the Arctic would be completely ice free for some weeks or more. Water looses more heat than ice, Earth will have an extra possibility to ‘transpirate’ it’s extra heat and so stabilize her temperature.
        But I won’t be surprised as well when we should see, let’s say five years from now, a certain recovery of ice in the Arctic and a certain diminishing sea ice on the Antarctic side. That could be part of one of the cycles.
        And because I don’t know and because for now I am not worried about the Earth and our climate, I will wait and watch. And try to understand, because it is after all a very interesting puzzle, our ever changing climate.

      • Thank you for your considered response. Look, I agree with almost everything you say there, except I am probably a little more concerned than you if the temps continue rise too much. I agree a little warming wont hurt but there is a chance that more warming has already been ‘baked in’. I hope I am wrong.

      • Tony, before I started checking the facts, I was worried too. UAH and RSS satellite data give no reason to worry. No model predicts well. When there should be dangerous warming we could see that because land margins everywhere would inundate – which is predicted to happen right now. But check on the aqua monitor: nothing is happening in the last thirty years: For example, the sparsely populated area’s south east of the mouth of the Amazone (the current is heading north-west) are gaining land. Not what is predicted. Always predictions fail completely or are extremely exaggerated. A GOVERNMENT FUNDED fear machine is working, but, checking the facts, nothing dangerous remains.
        (the dangerous things for now, like failing coast protection, are not in the picture. We have to look at 2100, while ‘models’ when we change the input of the model with one trillionth of a degree – really, one trillionth – give completely contrary results after 50 year or less. So no one can look forward to 2100, the Earth does what it does)

    • Those are 10 second windspeeds (= gusts) not the 1 minute sustained speed which fix the category of the storm.

    • GFS now has this hurricane looping back and basically staying next to Florida for a whole week. Wow, that would be a bad day.

  5. I have lived through a fair number of bad really bad hurricanes including right on the edge of the continent, less than 500 feet from high tide. Hurricanes are extremely erratic since they make their own weather ‘bed’ and can brush aside even cold waves, etc. They are highly dangerous and dangers are many.
    In one major hurricane, a huge tree in my backyard was literally yanked out of the ground and dropped between the carriage house and my grand ‘mansion’ house I was renovating. It was a very close call indeed.
    One hurricane dropped over 20 inches of rain and all the rivers and streams and everything was overflowing and we couldn’t travel anywhere for days (hurricane Sandy, everyone!). Bad storm. Hurricanes are no joke, prepare for the worse and pray for the best.

  6. Call me a cynic, but the press turned Sandy into a Major hurricane !!! Eleventy!… for politics. I have no faith in the NOAA, or anyone else not to fudge the numbers higher… because there will be some damage… but cameras will show the worst… states (FLORIDA, cough cough ) will demand and receive massive federal aid…. all a month before the election. Then about Thanksgiving, NOAA will put out a press release saying it really wasn’t that bad of a Hurricane afterall. But don’t doubt global warming caused by deniers!

  7. Joe B. on Twitter is saying Matthew is not looking like a cat. 4.
    And that a non-tropical system off NC will move west/onshore with unkindness.

  8. What if the worry is misplaced?
    2:07 PM ADT Tuesday 04 October 2016
    Tropical cyclone information statement for:
    New Brunswick
    Nova Scotia
    Prince Edward Island
    Québec - south:
    For Hurricane Matthew.
    The next information statement will be issued by 3:00 p.m. ADT Wednesday 5 October.
    The public is strongly encouraged to pay close attention to the weather forecasts this week as Hurricane Matthew moves northward.
    Matthew is expected to move northward along the eastern seaboard approaching the Maritimes this Thanksgiving weekend. At this time, it is too early to be specific regarding the precise track of the storm. We encourage the public to closely monitor the evolution of the forecast over the next few days. As the weekend approaches there will be greater confidence in the specifics of the storm.

    • Interesting though Matthew would be a long lived storm if it took until Thanksgiving weekend to reach the Maritimes as that is about 7 weeks away

      • The Canadian thanksgiving is this weekend. It is a little cooler up here so we harvest early.

    • Robert, I’m going to ask the question in this thread also.
      Do sprites and related phenomena represent energy exiting the storm or a “charging system to the storm, or are they static in their energy relationship to the wind velocities?

  9. Is anybody else watching the models at on this? They don’t support the surface velocity claims. The claimed wind speeds match the 860 hPa model.

      • Pop..
        Thanks for the link, I found it to be fascinating. Is that displaying at a fixed time or is it always current? What elevation does it represent, or just the maximum.
        I notice that the wind speed on the west side of the hurricane has a much lower velocity, and according to Joe Bastardi, he predicted that would happen because of the high elevation of the land mass disrupting the hurricane winds on the west side. I need to check again, I thought this difference in velocity would steer the track to the west when it leaves Cuba. If Joe is around, maybe he can correct me.
        I wish someone could explain the difference betwee this data and the 140 mph claimed by NOAA. It is misleading if the ground wind velocities are less.

    • @Catcracking, you can also move the cursor to various spots on the plot and get different “reads” the deeper the red color the higher the wind speed, yes it is fascinating but I am not sure how up to date the readings are, at one time there was a three hour lag. Not sure if that has changed but you are right, fascinating and the menu gives you lots of options, click on EARTH and it opens.

      • Thanks, yes I did click on a number of locations and that really impressed me that such data is available. I will use it as a boater to get a better understanding than is available elsewhere for winds. I will now try “earth” per your suggestion.

  10. The winds on the west side in the NH are less because the forward motion of the Hurricane wind speed is subtracted on the left (west) and added to the wind speed on the right (east).
    So (if the wind speed of the hurricane is 100 mph) at 10 mph the west side would be 90 mph and the east side would be 110 mph…I shouldn’t even have to post this…

    • J Philip..
      Yes you are correct, I guess I did not explain well what I understood from Bastardi. At the time I was looking at it the western side of the storm was being degraded by the land mass of Cuba which is exactly what Joe predicted. He also accurately predicted the western movement as the storm as it moved off Cuba’s coast because the west side of the storm was no longer being degraded.
      What you said is also true, but the difference was greater than the actual forward motion of the Hurricane which was small at that time so Bastardi’s point was 100% correct.
      Go here if you want some of the nuances Bastardi provides not obvious to most.

  11. Nobel price winners i physics talk about one and two holes in a sheet. Ok now Matthew has a twin further north-east. That may alter the strength and path.

  12. Read the latest official NHC 5:00AM EST discussion for Oct. 5, 2016. Again, not one word about actual surface level wind speeds. Surely by now NHC has real live data showing actual recorded surface wind speeds which it will not make public. It relies on conclusory estimates from models. This doesn’t seem to make sense. Why not use the best data available to report storm intensity to the public?

  13. The strange thing I’ve noticed, and I live near the Space center, is the models move west each night and east during the day. If anyone has an answer for that I’d love to hear it.

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