The cost of damage caused by hurricanes in 2017 is estimated to be over 200 billion dollars. Quick and accurate prediction of the path of a hurricane and its strength would be very valuable in alleviating these losses. Machine learning based prediction models, in contrast to
models based on physics, have been developed successfully in many problem domains. A machine learning system infers the modeling function from a training dataset. This project developed machine learning based prediction models to forecast the path and strength of
hurricanes in the North Atlantic basin. Feature analysis was performed on the HURDAT2 dataset, which contains paths and strengths of past hurricanes. Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) and Generalized Linear Model (GLM) approaches such as Tikhonov regularization were investigated to develop nine hurricane prediction models. Prediction accuracy of these models was compared using a testing dataset, disjoint from the training dataset. The coefficient of determination and the mean squared error were used as performance metrics. Post-processing metrics, such as geodesic error in path prediction and the mean wind speed error, were also used to compare different models. TLS linear regression model performed the best of out the nine models for one and two time steps, while the ANNs made more accurate predictions for longer periods. All models predicted location and strength with greater than .95 coefficient of determination for up to two days. My models predicted hurricane path in under a second with accuracy comparable to that of current models.