I have tracked the last four hurricanes that have impacted the US very closely. I notice a large discrepancy between the NOAA forecast winds and the observed and modeled winds.
I look at the real time buoys and the airport weather stations. These are available online in real time so you can track the storm passage. The data from these sources compare very reasonably to the NAM, Euro, and GFS models. But, they are significantly below the NOAA hurricane forecast center.
This morning, again with Florence - the data from the first buoy 41049, which is way out in the Atlantic matches the models, same direction, SE, wind gusts 33kns, etc. The models give SE 37kns Wind 140t. Okay all is good. NOAA says that the surface winds are 120-140 in the morning discussion and update. I have used the buoy gusts because the waves are 23' and the buoy is no doubt blanked in the bottom of the wave. The constant wind speed is 23kns. What gives??
BTW - this effect is constant and it shows up in buoys, measurements from wx stations, and the ship reports??