A view of Hurricane Katrina with early 21st century technology



Observing, modeling, and forecasting systems have been undergoing rapid development in the past two to three decades. For example, Atlantic hurricanes are closely monitored by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service through a significantly improved upper-air and ground-based observational network supplemented by aircraft, ship, and ocean buoy data. Given initial conditions and lateral boundary conditions provided by larger-scale model analyses, regional models have been widely utilized to predict hurricane track and intensity.

Nowadays, satellite observations are playing an increasingly important role in providing global estimations of precipitation, radiative fluxes, clouds, and winds, with unprecedented temporal and spatial coverage. Global atmospheric models and global operational analyses are moving toward providing forecasts and products at resolutions ranging from 0.1° to 0.5° (10–50 kilometers).There is evidence that improved hurricane structure and track forecasts could result in part from such increases in model resolution.