Metrics for appraising tropical cyclones in climate data

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 13:40
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With modeling and analysis techniques growing increasingly sophisticated, stakeholder demand for weather and climate data at regional scales continues to grow, particularly with respect to extreme and societally-impactful events. One such atmospheric phenomena that plays an important role in regional hydroclimatology is the tropical cyclone (TC). Evaluating the capacity of climate products to simulate these storms is important for assessing both the credibility of a dataset as well as its applicability for decision-making.

In this presentation we describe a new suite of metrics that can be used to evaluate gridded data products. These include skill in simulating storm occurrence, intensity, structure, spatiotemporal climatology, and landfall frequency and allow for a simple "report card" to be produced on a model-by-model basis. We employ this package to evaluate the skill of reanalysis products, such as ERA5, CFSR, MERRA2, and JRA55 at resolving TCs. Further, we describe an example development application, where evaluating basin-wide metrics can inform the required regional refinement extent in variable-resolution global climate models used for extremes research.

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