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National Hurricane Center's 5-day forecast from Sept. 8, 2018 for Hurricane Florence. Image: NHC

When it comes to hurricane track forecasts, the one that the National Hurricane Center issued for Hurricane Florence at 11 p.m. on September 8 may go down in history as the most accurate 5-day forecast they've ever issued — just 2 miles off target in the center of the "cone of uncertainty."

Why it matters: The average 5-day error is closer to 250 miles, to put that in perspective. The forecast provided residents of the Carolinas with 5 days of lead time to prepare for the storm, and alerted governors and emergency managers to start moving assets into position to respond to the storm.

Between the lines: Statistically, hurricane track forecasts have been steadily improving over time as more powerful computer models come online and hurricane forecasters utilize their research aircraft and other tools to determine where a storm is most likely to go. In the case of Hurricane Florence, even though the storm took a track unlike any other such storm in history, the NHC still accurately forecast it.

Yes, but: The fact that this prediction was off by just 2 miles doesn't mean that future track forecasts should be taken as gospel. Two-thirds of the time, the NHC's 5-day forecast for a hurricane's track is 198 nautical miles, or 227 miles, off target.

The bottom line: Hurricane Florence's forecast was a major success story that isn't likely to be replicated with every subsequent storm. However, the trend in track errors is downward with each passing year, so someday, perhaps every storm will be forecast this accurately.

Go deeper:

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Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. (Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images)

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.

Trump gives farewell address: "We did what we came here to do"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump will give a farewell video address on Tuesday, saying that his administration "did what we came here to do – and so much more."

Why it matters, via Axios' Alayna Treene: The address is very different from the Trump we've seen in his final weeks as president — one who has been refusing to accept his loss, who peddled conspiracy theories that fueled the attack on the Capitol, and who is boycotting his successor's inauguration.