There is a limit to our collective skill as forecasters. Tropical Storm Debby in the Gulf of Mexico is proof of that! The image at the top of this entry is a compilation of different computer models. Maps like this are commonly referred to as spaghetti plots though there’s little spaghetti-like here.
The idea is by overlaying multiple computer projections forecasters can get a better idea of consensus. It’s not working here. There is no consensus with Debby!
Steering currents are weak. There are multiple potential weak influences. It’s a worst case scenario for forecasters and the people who depend on our forecasts.
The rule-of-thumb is the slower a storm moves the more difficult it is to accurately forecast. Debby is stationary! The Hurricane Center has issued a forecast, but there’s more guess in it than usual.
It seems unfair to the people of the Gulf we can’t be more helpful. We are up against the limits of scientific skill. I’m not sure what will change that.
All the low hanging fruit of forecasting has already been gathered. The next breakthroughs will come from less obvious or more expensive additions to the forecasting suite of tools.
Don’t hold your breath. None of that seems likely in the short term.