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Publication Date
1 May 2021

Metrics for Evaluating Tropical Cyclones in Climate Data

New tools for quantifying the fidelity of extreme storms in high-resolution Earth system models.
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Global TC spatial correlation metrics (relative to observations) for various reanalysis products.

Higher-order metrics that can be used to quantify tropical cyclone (TC) climatology in climate data are standardized in an easy-to-use Python suite called the Cyclone Metrics Package (CyMeP). As an example of the utility of this software, CyMeP shows variable-resolution domains for simulating TCs need to cover the entire basin—not just regions of landfall—with further refinement upstream being important for storm genesis and intensity.


The Cyclone Metrics Package (CyMeP) is a simple, automated tool offering a detailed evaluation of TCs in high-resolution Earth system models. It has a wide range of potential uses and offers key insights for model developers and climate scientists in addition to stakeholders seeking to define and apply credible data for decision-making purposes.


The Cyclone Metrics Package defined a standardized suite capable of rapidly evaluating the credibility of climate data and its suitability for stakeholder applications. Starting from raw model output, the package can track tropical cyclones, extract their trajectories, and compile a wide range of statistics of varying complexity to produce easy-to-digest scorecards and visualizations. Three example applications are highlighted: high-resolution models and systems with cyclone-specific data assimilation lead to more skillful reanalyses, variable-resolution models targeting hurricanes should ensure sufficient extent of the high-resolution domain, and different microphysical parameterization leads to large changes in TC climatology in the same model.

Point of Contact
Colin Zarzycki
Pennsylvania State University
Funding Program Area(s)