SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - The process of forecasting a tropical system starts just like forecast for any other systems, with figuring out the state of the atmosphere in the here in now.
The National Weather Service uses all the tools in its observation arsenal. Satellites, buoys, aircraft, radar and model data are all important tools used for tracking and prediction. While over the open waters, indirect measurements from satellites give an idea of intensity and behavior before the storm comes into aircraft range. Once that happens, more direct measurements are take by reconnaissance aircraft. All of this data funnels into the computer models that simulate where these storms are going to head.
The computer models take all of the various observations and perform millions of calculations to generate the guidance of the tropical system's behavior. The solutions from the models are evaluated by meteorologists to make the forecasts. Sometimes, the model guidance will disagree, that when forecasts must use experience and judgment to decide which model is performing the best under the current situation.
After getting all of the information needed to generate the forecast, meteorologist begin to disseminate it. The official information on intensity and track will come from the National Hurricane Center. They are also responsible for issuing tropical watches and warnings.