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Coastal Watches/Warnings and Forecast Cone for Storm Center
must be enabled to view other versions of this maps.
* If the storm is forecast to dissipate within 3 days, the “Full Forecast” and “3 day” graphic will be identical
Click Here for a 5-day Cone Printer Friendly Graphic
How to use the cone graphic (video):
About this product:
This graphic shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink),
tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow). The orange circle indicates the current position of the
center of the tropical cyclone. The black line, when selected, and dots show the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast track of the center
at the times indicated. The dot indicating the forecast center location will be black if the cyclone is forecast to be
tropical and will be white with a black outline if the cyclone is forecast to be extratropical. If only an L is displayed,
then the system is forecast to be a remnant low. The letter inside the dot indicates the NHC’s forecast intensity for that time:
D: Tropical Depression – wind speed less than 39 MPH
S: Tropical Storm – wind speed between 39 MPH and 73 MPH
H: Hurricane – wind speed between 74 MPH and 110 MPH
M: Major Hurricane – wind speed greater than 110 MPH
NHC tropical cyclone forecast tracks can be in error. This forecast
uncertainty is conveyed by the track forecast “cone”, the solid white
and stippled white areas in the graphic. The solid white area depicts
the track forecast uncertainty for days 1-3 of the forecast, while the
stippled area depicts the uncertainty on days 4-5. Historical data
indicate that the entire 5-day path of the center of the tropical
cyclone will remain within the cone about 60-70% of the time. To
form the cone, a set of imaginary circles are placed along the
forecast track at the 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h positions,
where the size of each circle is set so that it encloses 67% of the
previous five years official forecast errors. The cone is then formed
by smoothly connecting the area swept out by the set of circles.
It is also important to realize that a tropical cyclone is not a point. Their
effects can span many hundreds of miles from the center. The area
experiencing hurricane force (one-minute average wind speeds of at least
74 mph) and tropical storm force (one-minute average wind speeds of
39-73 mph) winds can extend well beyond the white areas shown enclosing
the most likely track area of the center. The distribution of hurricane
and tropical storm force winds in this tropical cyclone can be seen in
the Wind History graphic linked above.
Considering the combined forecast uncertainties in track, intensity, and size, the
chances that any particular location will experience winds of 34 kt (tropical storm force),
50 kt, or 64 kt (hurricane force) from this tropical cyclone are presented in
tabular form for selected locations and forecast positions. This information is also presented in
graphical form for the 34 kt, 50 kt,
and 64 kt thresholds.
Note: A detailed definition of the NHC track forecast cone is also available.
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