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NOAA Changes Its Hurricane Computer Prediction Service

Hurricane season has just begun and for the first time in 40 years, the National Weather service has given its computer prediction service a major makeover they say will make it more timely and more accurate.

The system relies on new satellites, new weather modules and a more powerful computer to update its Global Forecast System.

“It’s more dynamic and should allow for more accurate predictions as we go out into the future,” said Jeff Orrock, Meteorologist in Charge of the National Weather Service in Richmond. “This will be pretty exciting for the upcoming hurricane season. It should be better able to assimilate what is actually happening around the core of a hurricane which should improve some of the intensity-based forecasting.”

A report presented to Gov. Northam before the start of Atlantic Hurricane season, said a storm like Florence in 2018, that turned south at the last minute, could have cost Virginia up to $50 billion in damages, and when and where it was going is critical to know.

Orrock says the new system will not only track hurricanes better, but also the kind of afternoon storms the area has been getting on an almost daily basis.

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