As Hurricane Irma closes in on Florida and the effects of Harvey are still felt, one under-the-radar trend has been the improvement in tropical storm forecasts.
That's been part of a big effort for the federal government's National Weather Service. After the massive impact five years ago of Hurricane Sandy — which caused $70 billion in damage — Congress allocated more than $80 million in supplemental funding to help the meteorological agency.
That money has been spent on all kinds of new technology, according to David Novak, director of the agency's Weather Prediction Center. It has been invested in improved supercomputers, more observation data points and increasingly advanced scientific models. All that improved technology has decreased the average error in forecasting models.