Hurricane Forecasts: From Computer Screen to Evacuation

June 23rd, 2004

Posted by: admin

Several US newspapers recently ran an Associated Press story on a new NOAA research initiative called the Joint Hurricane Testbed. The project aims to better facilitate pre-hurricane evacuation decisions by brining together “the academic, operational, and research communities in hurricane forecasting.” In other words, it gives everyone a seat at the hurricane forecasting table from the beginning. And as a result, it hopes to “transition research projects into operations faster and more efficiently” according to Max Mayfield, National Hurricane Center Director.

At a time when agencies are all abuzz with dreams of fast and efficient technology transfer, this program has definite potential. It coordinates the activities and goals of each community – the academic, the operational, and the research – from the outset, rather than relying on the often-flawed academy-to-research-to-operations information pathway.

Several other elements must be in place to ensure a successful transfer of research from operations, but this program is starting right so it’ll be worth checking back after the 2004 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

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