Calling all hurricane forecasters!

After many late nights, we’ve finally released our human-consensus hurricane forecasting feature. To make this feature possible, we had to add quite a bit of functionality to the underbelly of the site, and while we were at it we took the time to insert a few more enhancements we think you’ll enjoy. Here’s the final list of fixes, updates, and enhancements:

  • Sign-up/registration. It’s the way to join the Forecasting Team here at You fill out a small form and presto, instant entry into our grand experiment: can a group of amateurs, weather enthusiasts, and professionals outperform the computer models in forecasting the path and intensity of tropical cyclones? We’ve also written a page explaining how this will work.
  • Create an identity at using a personalized profile. We’ve created some basic fields to allow you to flesh out who you are and what brings you to the site. From the server’s end, having a profile allows us to keep track of your forecasting performance over time, and also offer you geography-specific features in the future (read: localized hurricane forecasts).
  • We’re now processing and displaying Public and Intermediate Advisories. During the life of a storm, forecast advisories are the primary source of position and intensity observations from the National Hurricane Center. However, as a storm progresses, Public Advisories, with advisory numbers like ’19A’, can also contain this information. Our systems now process the data contained in these advisories as well, ensuring that you stay completely up-to-date on the life of the storm.
  • The National Hurricane Center’s Tropical Weather Outlook appears during active periods. For some reason it made sense to us to have the Tropical Weather Outlook only visible when the Atlantic Basin was quiet. We’ve realized the error of our ways and are now showing the Outlook during periods of activity as well.
  • You’ll probably never notice, but we’ve increased our response times and speed. I could list a bunch of nerdy acronyms, but suffice it to say that we’ve made the site a whole lot faster. My hat’s off to Brad.
  • We’ve added storm descriptions for storms in 2007. Now you can read the wikipedia entries alongside this year’s storms, like the soon-to-be-retired Dean.
  • Bug fixes by the gallon. Well, okay, maybe by the pint. There were a few annoyances in the tracking map and a handful of problems in our server code that got much-needed patches that you’ll probably never notice. I guess I don’t know why I’m telling you, except that if I didn’t, how could you appreciate it? ;-)

Once we have an active storm, it’ll be time to enter your forecasts. Then the real fun begins. Spaghetti model anyone?

Bon appetit!


2 comments so far

  1. moonlightcowboy on

    Hey, just registered and taking a good look at the site, which I like so far. I’ve already posted a forecast track and look forward to seeing how the site interacts.


  2. […] Human-consensus hurricane forecasting Posted August 19, 2007 UPDATE (8/28/07): We’ve launched the release. You can now register to become a forecaster at  Or read more about the release. […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: