Hurricane intensity forecasting at NOAA using Envisat altimetry

John Lillibridge, Nick Shay, Mark DeMaria, Gustavo Goni, Michelle Mainelli, Remko Scharroo, Lamar Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC) has a number of skillful track guidance models, but only a limited number of intensity prediction schemes. The relatively low skill of intensity forecasts is due to the complexity of the problem, which involves a very wide range of scales, and interaction with the underlying ocean. The empirical Statistical Hurricane Intensity Prediction Scheme (SHIPS) provides intensity predictions with accuracy comparable to those from the coupled threedimensional GFDL hurricane model [1]. SHIPS was implemented at the NHC in 1996, and upgraded in 2004 to include upper ocean heat content (OHC) estimated from satellite altimetry. It is believed that hurricane intensification can occur over regions where OHC values exceed 50 kJ/cm 2, not just in regions of high sea surface temperature [2]. The OHC analysis presently incorporates sea surface height from Jason-1 and Geosat Follow-On. Envisat altimetry is expected to be included in the OHC analysis for the 2007 hurricane season. Efforts are underway to reduce the latency of Envisat data by including the FastDelivery Marine Abridged Record (FDMAR) products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
Issue numberSP-636
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007
EventEnvisat Symposium 2007 - Montreux, Switzerland
Duration: Apr 23 2007Apr 27 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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