The National Hurricane Center saw Hurricane Sandy coming from thousands of miles away, which is why authorities were able to effect evacuations before it devastated New York and New Jersey. Despite the storm's bizarre trajectory, NHC's track forecasts were off by average error of only 48 miles, a full two days ahead of time. Given the size and complexity of the hurricane, that's crazy. It's twice as accurate as the center's five-year-average.
The accuracy of these predictions is crucial, and the NHC is getting very good at it when it comes to where storms are going. The problem? Its record on predicting the intensity of storms hasn't improved at all over the last 15 years. [WaPo]