Improvements in computer models were intrumental in the accurate forecast of Sandy's track and intensity. However, models are far from perfect and it takes the knowledge and skill of a human forecaster to interpret the computer forecasts and make the final forecast and issue the appropriate warnings. Those models also require accurate data to initialize correctly. NWS offices across the U.S. launched two extra upper-air soundings each day for three days prior to Sandy's arrival to provide more up to date and accurate data for the models. Normally there are two soundings per day.
|This graphic was prepared by the Huntsville, AL NWS office and shows|
the forecast tracks for Sandy three and five days prior to landfall
A press release from the World Meteorological Organization also gave a thumb's up to the National Weather Service.
"WMO’s Director of Weather and Disaster Risk Reduction Services, Geoff Love, said there is virtually no difference between the analysis of likely events and the forecast. He said the 48-hour forecast was spot-on.
“The environmental conditions were perfect. The forecasts were very, very, very good and, of course, we have seen on the media the U.S. emergency authorities all responded exceedingly well," said Love. "So, from the WMO perspective, it is a disaster. But, boy, all our systems worked really well - the U.S. forecast, the U.S. Emergency Management systems. And, it will be seen as, probably, a text-book case in how well you can do.”
So, a tip of the hat and pat on the back for a job well done to the men and women who monitor and forecast our weather for the purpose of protecting lives and property.