Tropical Prediction Center/

    National Hurricane Center

                                  11691 SW 17th Street

                                  Miami, Florida 33165-2149

                                  July 16, 2002

Hebert S. Saffir

350 Sevilla Ave.

Coral Gables, FL 33134-6617

Dear Mr. Saffir,

I believe you received a call recently from Max Mayfield concerning your participation as an observer in TPC’s deliberations on the intensity of Hurricane Andrew at the time of landfall. TPC’s ‘Best-track’ committee will consider the matter, and on behalf of the committee I would like to thank you for accepting this request.

As a bit of background, several years ago TPC set up the committee to consider any proposed changes to the best-track file (current members are indicated below). Recently, most of the work before the committee has concerned the extension of the track file back from 1886 to 1851, and some re-analysis of the period 1886-1910. This has come about through a multi-year contract received by Chris Landsea of the AOML/Hurricane Research Division. Chris has drawn on the work of the late Jose Partagas, and incorporated other sources, to present us with revised tracks and intensities during this period. The committee evaluates these findings, and accepts, rejects, or modifies, the proposed changes. At some point, we will resume with consideration of 1911, and proceed forward.

The coming 10-year anniversary of H. Andrew has sparked renewed debate on the intensity at the time of landfall, and as a result the committee has been asked to reconsider Andrew somewhat ‘out of sequence.’ In addition, because there will likely be considerable interest in the outcome, it was decided that an outside (i.e. non-NOAA) observer be present during considerations. Your name was chosen from a list of possible candidates provided by the committee.

Our goal is to fairly consider the evidence for changing the intensity of H. Andrew, principally at the time of landfall in south Florida. I can tell you that the committee will approach the matter objectively, with no desired or preconceived result. A number of outcomes

are possible.

We have requested presentations from James Franklin of our office, and Chris Landsea, Mark Powell, and Pete Black of HRD, each of whom has experience in storm re-analysis. Ed Rappaport, who wrote the ‘preliminary report’ and was the forecaster on duty during the Florida landfall, has also offered to provide the committee with his thoughts and observations at that time. We are planning for presentations on the morning of August 1, to begin at 9 a.m., at TPC. Please let me know if this presents any problems for you. Our intention is to hear presentations in the morning, and reconvene the committee that afternoon to weigh the issues and make a decision. If more time is necessary, we will meet again on the morning of August 8.

We have also requested short written summaries from Franklin, Landsea, Powell, and Black, to be received by July 25. I will forward these to you as soon as they are available. If you do not have a copy of the original preliminary report, I will be happy to provide one.

Again, I would like to thank you for agreeing to observe our work. Please do not hesitate to call me if you wish at (305) 229 4447.




                                  Colin J. McAdie


                                  Chair, Best-track committee *


Jack Beven *

Peter Black

James Franklin

Jim Gross *

Brian Jarvinen *

Jiann-Gwo Jiing

Chris Landsea

Max Mayfield

Richard Pasch *

Mark Powell

Edward Rappaport *

Hugh Willoughby

* committee members