AbstractThe Okubo–Weiss–Zeta (OWZ) tropical cyclone (TC) detection scheme, which has been used to detect TCs in climate, seasonal prediction, and weather forecast models, is assessed on its ability to produce a realistic TC track climatology in the ERA-Interim product over the 25-yr period 1989 to 2013. The analysis focuses on TCs that achieve gale-force (17 m s−1) sustained winds. Objective criteria were established to define TC tracks once they reach gale force for both observed and detected TCs. A lack of consistency between storm tracks preceding this level of intensity led these track segments to be removed from the analysis. A subtropical jet (STJ) diagnostic is used to terminate transitioning TCs and is found to be preferable to a fixed latitude cutoff point. TC tracks were analyzed across seven TC basins, using a probabilistic clustering technique that is based on regression mixture models. The technique grouped TC tracks together based on their geographical location and shape of trajectory in five separate “cluster regions” around the globe. A mean trajectory was then regressed for each cluster that showed good agreement between the detected and observed tracks. Other track measures such as interannual TC days and translational speeds were also replicated to a satisfactory level, with TC days showing limited sensitivity to different latitude cutoff points. Successful validation in reanalysis data allows this model- and grid-resolution-independent TC tracking scheme to be applied to climate models with confidence in its ability to identify TC tracks in coarse-resolution climate models.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 14, 2018
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