Hurricane 'cone of uncertainty' shrinks slightly

Published On: Mar 22 2014 10:23:36 AM EDT
Updated On: Mar 22 2014 11:57:56 AM EDT

MIAMI, Fla. -

The National Hurricane Center says its storm track forecasts keep improving, helping to shrink the so-called "cone of uncertainty" a bit in forecasts this year.

Coastal residents won't notice much of a change in the forecasts showing the probable path of the center of a tropical storm or hurricane.  In fact, forecasters worry that people mistakenly believe that the cone shows all the areas at risk for storm damage.

A storm's winds and storm surge can extend well beyond the forecast track.  This year, forecasters are trying color-coded maps to show people where storm surge could happen during storms.

Hurricane forecast operations chief James Franklin says forecasters also are considering making the cone much bigger in future hurricane seasons to help people understand how far a storm's winds can reach.

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