Towards a Statistical Model of Tropical Cyclone Genesis

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 08:00
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Tropical Cyclones (TCs) are important extreme weather phenomena that have a strong impact on humans. TC forecasts are largely based on global numerical models that produce TC-like features. Aspects of Tropical Cyclones such as their formation/genesis, evolution, intensification and dissipation over land are important and challenging problems in climate science. This study investigates the environmental conditions associated with Tropical Cyclone Genesis (TCG) by testing how accurately a statistical model can predict TCG in the CAM5.1 climate model. TCG events are defined using TECA software @inproceedings{Prabhat2015teca, title={TECA: Petascale Pattern Recognition for Climate Science}, author={Prabhat and Byna, Surendra and Vishwanath, Venkatram and Dart, Eli and Wehner, Michael and Collins, William D}, booktitle={Computer Analysis of Images and Patterns}, pages={426--436}, year={2015}, organization={Springer}} to extract TC trajectories from CAM5.1. L1-regularized logistic regression (L1LR) is applied to the CAM5.1 output. The predictions have nearly perfect accuracy for data not associated with TC tracks and high accuracy differentiating between high vorticity and low vorticity systems. The model’s active variables largely correspond to current hypotheses about important factors for TCG, such as wind field patterns and local pressure minima, and suggests new routes for investigation. Furthermore, our model’s predictions of TC activity are competitive with the output of an instantaneous version of Emanuel and Nolan’s Genesis Potential Index (GPI) @inproceedings{eman04, title = "Tropical cyclone activity and the global climate system", author = "Kerry Emanuel and Nolan, {David S.}", year = "2004", pages = "240--241", booktitle = "26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology"}.

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