For those on the Northeast coast, hurricane Matthew has been of some concern, since we don't get hurricanes all that often, and when we do they tend to wreak a bit of havoc. So, knowing the future path is a frequent concern; some of us watch the weatherperson religiously. These weatherpeople display the official Hurricane Center path, and some show long term (in hurricane life terms) paths. The two most watched are referred to as GFS, which is US made, and the European, which is from Europe. For many days, the GFS had the storm skirting the coast to the Carolinas, and thence someplace in the genral vicinity of New England. The European had it making a hard right turn, somewhere between the Bahamas and the Carolinas. As of last night's news, the hurricane center path was a bit farther south of Cape Cod than previously, tracking the GFS. The European still had that hard right.
Just checked the 8 AM NOAA update, and behold, Matthew gets to pulverise Florida and thence Bermuda; well, may be. Offshore money launders; one of the deeper rings in Dante's Hell.
Amongst the quant crowd meteorology is up there with nuclear bomb design: lots of number crunching and such. The two models under consideration are considered the equation solving type: input the initial conditions in the environment, then calculate step by step based on the equations.
The best hurricane forecasting models we have are "global" models that solve the mathematical equations governing the behavior of the atmosphere at every point on the globe. Models that solve these equations are called "dynamical" models. The four best hurricane forecast models--ECMWF, GFDL, GFS, and UKMET--are all global dynamical models. These models take several hours to run on the world's most advanced supercomputers.
Other types of models are more or less pure data, time series analysis on steroids.
Our quants keep getting bested by their European forebears.