Submitted as: methods for assessment of models
12 Dec 2022
Submitted as: methods for assessment of models | 12 Dec 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Parallel use of threshold parameter variation for tropical cyclone tracking

Bernhard Markus Enz1,, Jan Paul Engelmann1,2,, and Ulrike Lohmann1 Bernhard Markus Enz et al.
  • 1Institute for Atmosphere and Climate Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Computational Biology, Helmholtz Center Munich, Munich, Germany
  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. Assessing the capacity of numerical models to produce viable tropical cyclones, as well as assessing the climatological behavior of simulated tropical cyclones, requires an objective tracking method. These make use of parameter thresholds to determine whether a detected feature, such as a vorticity maximum or a warm core, is sufficiently strong to indicate a tropical cyclone. The choice of parameter thresholds is generally subjective. This study proposes and assesses the parallel use of many threshold parameter combinations, combining a number of weaker and stronger values. The tracking algorithm succeeds in tracking tropical cyclones within the model data, beginning at their aggregation stage or shortly thereafter, and ending when they interact strongly with extratropical flow and transition into extratropical cyclones, or when their warm core decays. The sensitivity of accumulated cyclone energy to tracking errors is assessed. Tracking errors include faulty initial detection and termination of valid tropical cyclones and systems falsely identified as tropical cyclones. They are found to not significantly impact the accumulated cyclone energy. The tracking algorithm thus produces an adequate estimate of the accumulated cyclone energy within the underlying data.

Bernhard Markus Enz et al.

Status: open (until 06 Feb 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Bernhard Markus Enz et al.

Model code and software

TC Tracking Algorithm for Use with ICON Bernhard Enz, Jan Engelmann

Bernhard Markus Enz et al.


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Short summary
An algorithm to track tropical cyclones in model simulation data has been developed. The algorithm uses many combinations of varying parameter thresholds to detect weaker phases of tropical cyclones while still being resilient to false positives. It is shown that the algorithm performs well, and adequately represents the tropical cyclone activity of the underlying simulation data. The impact of false positives on overall tropical cyclone activity is shown to be insignificant.