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Publication Date
1 April 2018

On the Use of Ocean Dynamic Temperature for Hurricane Intensity Forecasting



Sea surface temperature (SST) and tropical cyclone heat potential (TCHP) are metrics used to incorporate the ocean’s influence on hurricane intensification into the National Hurricane Center’s Statistical Hurricane Intensity Prediction Scheme (SHIPS). While both SST and TCHP serve as useful measures of the upper-ocean heat content, they do not accurately represent ocean stratification effects. Here, it is shown that replacing SST within the SHIPS framework with a dynamic temperature Tdy, which accounts for the oceanic negative feedback to the hurricane’s intensity arising from storm-induced vertical mixing and sea surface cooling, improves the model performance. While the model with SST and TCHP explains about 41% of the variance in 36-h intensity changes, replacing SST with Tdy increases the variance explained to nearly 44%. These results suggest that representation of the oceanic feedback, even through relatively simple formulations such as Tdy, may improve the performance of statistical hurricane intensity prediction models such as SHIPS.
“On The Use Of Ocean Dynamic Temperature For Hurricane Intensity Forecasting”. 2018. Weather And Forecasting 33: 411-418. doi:10.1175/waf-d-17-0143.1.
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