How do tropical computer models work in meteorology?

The cone of uncertainty is nothing new for those keeping close watch when tropical systems develop in the Gulf.

But have you ever wondered where those spaghetti-like computer models come from that you see during the weather forecast?

These tools help the National Hurricane Center and ABC13 meteorologists predict where tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes are headed.

There are literally hundreds of such computer models the further out in time we get, and these help create a better prediction of the storm's path.

Sometimes you may notice stray computer models that fall well outside the cone of uncertainty.

Because of these outliers, the National Hurricane Center uses the five best performing models historically to help create what is known as their "consensus computer model tracks."

These clusters are found close to the center of the cone of uncertainty.

With better data from the hurricane hunters, the National Hurricane Center is able to converge on their best guess as to where landfall will occur.

But even the best computer can be outsmarted by nature, which is why it's always a good idea to stay weather aware and to keep your eye on the tropics.

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