News Weather

Find posts by keyword
Find posts by date

Print
Email
|

Weather Blog: 0% Chance Of Development?

Weather Blog: 0% Chance Of Development?

by Gene Norman / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on July 23, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Part of my daily routine from June to late October is to check the National Hurricane Center's (NHC)Tropical Weather Outlook.  You can too at www.nhc.noaa.gov/.  Earlier today, it showed the curious picture above.  An area of cloudiness is circled in the far eastern Gulf with the symbol "0%".  What exactly does that mean?

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to meet the NHC forecasters at a gathering of other broadcast meteorologists.  It was June 2010 and the NHC forecasters announced plans to begin quantifying the chances that a swirl of clouds might develop into a tropical cyclone.  At the meeting, I raised the question of why they would assign 0% chance to any cloud mass.  Their response was that kind of information was just as important as any non-zero chance.  The reasoning was even though a swirl might look like it could develop, the forecaster might not find accompanying atmospheric conditions.  It was to be a way of communicating that the forecaster believed that nothing would happen.

Of course, just because a swirl is assigned a 0% chance of developing doesn't mean it will stay that way.  Earlier this year, the system that later became Tropical Storm Beryl began as a swirl of clouds off the Florida coast that had been given a 0% chance of development.

As it turns out, today's swirl is no longer being tracked by the hurricane center.  But of course, we have a long season yet to go...

Print
Email
|