The CBLAST-Hurricane Program and the Next-Generation Fully Coupled Atmosphere–Wave–Ocean Models for Hurricane Research and Prediction Academic Article uri icon


  • The record-setting 2005 hurricane season has highlighted the urgent need for a better understanding of the factors that contribute to hurricane intensity, and for the development of corresponding advanced hurricane prediction models to improve intensity forecasts. The lack of skill in present forecasts of hurricane intensity may be attributed, in part, to deficiencies in the current prediction models—insufficient grid resolution, inadequate surface and boundary-layer formulations, and the lack of full coupling to a dynamic ocean. The extreme high winds, intense rainfall, large ocean waves, and copious sea spray in hurricanes push the surface-exchange parameters for temperature, water vapor, and momentum into untested regimes. The Coupled Boundary Layer Air–Sea Transfer (CBLAST)-Hurricane program is aimed at developing improved parameterizations using observations from the CBLAST-Hurricane field program that will be suitable for the next generation of hurricane-prediction models. The most innovative aspect of the CBLAST-Hurricane modeling effort is the development and testing of a fully coupled atmosphere–wave–ocean modeling system that is capable of resolving the eye and eyewall at ~1-km grid resolution, which is consistent with a key recommendation for the next-generation hurricane-prediction models by the NOAA Science Advisor Board Hurricane Intensity Research Working Group. It is also the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) plan for the new Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model to be implemented operationally in 2007–08.

publication date

  • March 2007