A Description and Evaluation of an Automated Approach for Feature-Based Tracking of Rossby Wave Packets

Matthew B. Souders School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York

Search for other papers by Matthew B. Souders in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Brian. A. Colle School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York

Search for other papers by Brian. A. Colle in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Edmund K. M. Chang School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York

Search for other papers by Edmund K. M. Chang in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

This paper describes an automated approach to track Rossby wave packets (RWPs), and the sensitivity of various tracking parameters and methods used in filtering the raw data in the feature-based tracking. The NCEP–NCAR reanalysis meridional wind and geopotential height data at 300 hPa every 6 h were spectrally filtered using a Hilbert transform technique under the assumption that RWPs propagate along a waveguide defined by the 14-day running average of the 300-hPa wind. After some spatial and temporal smoothing, the local maxima in RWP amplitude (WPA) were tracked using two objective techniques: a point-based cost optimization routine and a hybrid approach using point identification and object-based tracking following rules. A variation of the total energy flux term of the eddy kinetic energy equation was used to subjectively verify RWP tracks in order to compare the performance of each tracking method. When tracking methods are verified over two winter seasons, the hybrid technique outperformed point-based tracking, particularly for track duration and propagation. Problems with tracking were found to be most common during periods when two RWPs merge, one RWP splits into multiple packets, or an RWP moves from one storm track to another. RWPs are found to move irregularly rather than linearly, with their motion and intensity best described as pulse like. The sensitivity to some of the parameters used in the tracking was also explored.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Brian A. Colle, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5000. E-mail: brian.colle@stonybrook.edu

Abstract

This paper describes an automated approach to track Rossby wave packets (RWPs), and the sensitivity of various tracking parameters and methods used in filtering the raw data in the feature-based tracking. The NCEP–NCAR reanalysis meridional wind and geopotential height data at 300 hPa every 6 h were spectrally filtered using a Hilbert transform technique under the assumption that RWPs propagate along a waveguide defined by the 14-day running average of the 300-hPa wind. After some spatial and temporal smoothing, the local maxima in RWP amplitude (WPA) were tracked using two objective techniques: a point-based cost optimization routine and a hybrid approach using point identification and object-based tracking following rules. A variation of the total energy flux term of the eddy kinetic energy equation was used to subjectively verify RWP tracks in order to compare the performance of each tracking method. When tracking methods are verified over two winter seasons, the hybrid technique outperformed point-based tracking, particularly for track duration and propagation. Problems with tracking were found to be most common during periods when two RWPs merge, one RWP splits into multiple packets, or an RWP moves from one storm track to another. RWPs are found to move irregularly rather than linearly, with their motion and intensity best described as pulse like. The sensitivity to some of the parameters used in the tracking was also explored.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Brian A. Colle, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5000. E-mail: brian.colle@stonybrook.edu
Save
  • Anderson, J. R., and J. R. Gyakum, 1989: A diagnostic study of Pacific basin circulation regimes as determined from extratropical cyclone tracks. Mon. Wea. Rev., 117, 26722686, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1989)117<2672:ADSOPB>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Archambault, H. M., D. Keyser, and L. F. Bosart, 2010: Relationships between large-scale regime transitions and major cool-season precipitation events in the northeastern United States. Mon. Wea. Rev., 138, 34543473, doi:10.1175/2010MWR3362.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arnaud, Y., M. Desbois, and J. Maizi, 1992: Automatic tracking and characterization of African convective systems on Meteosat pictures. J. Appl. Meteor., 31, 443451, doi:10.1175/1520-0450(1992)031<0443:ATACOA>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blackmon, M. L., Y. H. Lee, and J. M. Wallace, 1984: Horizontal structure of 500 hPa height fluctuations with long, intermediate and short time scales. J. Atmos. Sci., 41, 961980, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1984)041<0961:HSOMHF>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brennan, M. J., and G. M. Lackmann, 2005: The influence of incipient latent heat release on the precipitation distribution of the 24–25 January 2000 U.S. east coast cyclone. Mon. Wea. Rev., 133, 19131937, doi:10.1175/MWR2959.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cassity, M. M., and S. G. Colgan, 1973: An automated objective technique for constructing tropical cyclone best tracks. Mon. Wea. Rev., 101, 824829, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1973)101<0824:AAOTFC>2.3.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chang, E. K. M., 1993: Downstream development of baroclinic waves as inferred from regression analysis. J. Atmos. Sci., 50, 20382053, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1993)050<2038:DDOBWA>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chang, E. K. M., 1999: Characteristics of wave packets in the upper troposphere. Part II: Seasonal and hemispheric variations. J. Atmos. Sci., 56, 17291747, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1999)056<1729:COWPIT>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chang, E. K. M., 2000: Wave packets and life cycles of troughs in the upper troposphere: Examples from the Southern Hemisphere summer season of 1984/85. Mon. Wea. Rev., 128, 2550, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(2000)128<0025:WPALCO>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chang, E. K. M., 2001: The structure of baroclinic wave packets. J. Atmos. Sci., 58, 16941713, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(2001)058<1694:TSOBWP>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chang, E. K. M., 2005: The role of wave packets in wave–mean flow interactions during Southern Hemisphere summer. J. Atmos. Sci., 62, 24672483, doi:10.1175/JAS3491.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chang, E. K. M., and I. Orlanski, 1993: On the dynamics of a storm track. J. Atmos. Sci., 50, 9991015, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1993)050<0999:OTDOAS>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Charles, M. E., and B. A. Colle, 2009a: Verification of extratropical cyclones within the NCEP operational models. Part I: Analysis errors and short-term NAM and GFS forecasts. Wea. Forecasting, 24, 11731190, doi:10.1175/2009WAF2222169.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Charles, M. E., and B. A. Colle, 2009b: Verification of extratropical cyclones within the NCEP operational models. Part II: The Short-Range Ensemble Forecast system. Wea. Forecasting, 24, 11911214, doi:10.1175/2009WAF2222170.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cordeira, J. M., and L. F. Bosart, 2011: Cyclone interactions and evolutions during the “perfect storms” of late October and early November 1991. Mon. Wea. Rev., 139, 16831707, doi:10.1175/2010MWR3537.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Davis, C., B. Brown, and R. Bullock, 2006: Object-based verification of precipitation forecasts. Part I: Methodology and application to mesoscale rain areas. Mon. Wea. Rev., 134, 17721784, doi:10.1175/MWR3145.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Endlich, R. M., and D. E. Wolf, 1981: Automatic cloud tracking applied to GOES and Meteosat observations. J. Appl. Meteor., 20, 309319, doi:10.1175/1520-0450(1981)020<0309:ACTATG>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Froude, L. S. R., 2009: Regional differences in the prediction of extratropical cyclones by the ECMWF Ensemble Prediction System. Mon. Wea. Rev., 137, 893911, doi:10.1175/2008MWR2610.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Glatt, I., and V. Wirth, 2013: Identifying Rossby wave trains and quantifying their properties. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 140, 384–396, doi:10.1002/qj.2139.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Glatt, I., A. Dornbrack, S. Jones, J. Keller, O. Martius, A. Muller, D. Peters, and V. Wirth, 2011: Ultility of Hovmöller diagrams to diagnosis Rossby wave trains. Tellus, 63, 9911006, doi:10.1111/j.1600-0870.2011.00541.x.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hakim, G. J., 2003: Developing wave packets in the North Pacific storm track. Mon. Wea. Rev., 131, 28242837, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(2003)131<2824:DWPITN>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hakim, G. J., 2005: Vertical structure of midlatitude analysis and forecast errors. Mon. Wea. Rev., 133, 567578, doi:10.1175/MWR-2882.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Haraguchi, P. Y., 1967: Accuracy of weather satellite estimates of tropical cyclone locations and maximum wind speeds in the western Pacific. J. Appl. Meteor., 6, 731739, doi:10.1175/1520-0450(1967)006<0731:AOWSEO>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harr, P. A., and J. M. Dea, 2009: Downstream development associated with the extratropical transition of tropical cyclones over the western North Pacific. Mon. Wea. Rev., 137, 12951319, doi:10.1175/2008MWR2558.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hodges, K., 1994: A general method for tracking analysis and its application to meteorological data. Mon. Wea. Rev., 122, 25732586, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1994)122<2573:AGMFTA>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hodges, K., 1999: Adaptive constraints for feature tracking. Mon. Wea. Rev., 127, 13621373, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1999)127<1362:ACFFT>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Holton, J., 2004: An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology. 4th ed. Elsevier Academic, 535 pp.

  • Hoskins, B. J., and K. I. Hodges, 2005: A new perspective on Southern Hemisphere storm tracks. J. Climate, 18, 41084129, doi:10.1175/JCLI3570.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hovmöller, E., 1949: The trough-and-ridge diagram. Tellus, 1, 6266, doi:10.1111/j.2153-3490.1949.tb01260.x.

  • Kalnay, E., and Coauthors, 1996: The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77, 437471, doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1996)077<0437:TNYRP>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ko, K.-C., and H.-H. Hsu, 2010: Downstream development of the summertime tropical cyclone/submonthly wave pattern in the extratropical North Pacific. J. Climate, 23, 22232229, doi:10.1175/2009JCLI3248.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lee, S., and I. M. Held, 1993: Baroclinic wave packets in models and observations. J. Atmos. Sci., 50, 14131428, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1993)050<1413:BWPIMA>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lombardo, K., and B. A. Colle, 2010: The spatial and temporal distribution of organized convective structures over the Northeast and their ambient conditions. Mon. Wea. Rev., 138, 44564474, doi:10.1175/2010MWR3463.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Machado, L. A. T., W. B. Rossow, R. L. Guedes, and A. W. Walker, 1998: Life cycle variations of mesoscale convective systems over the Americas. Mon. Wea. Rev., 126, 16301654, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1998)126<1630:LCVOMC>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Martius, O., C. Schwierz, and H. C. Davies, 2010: Tropopause level waveguides. J. Atmos. Sci., 67, 866879, doi:10.1175/2009JAS2995.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nielsen-Gammon, J. W., and R. J. Lefevre, 1996: Piecewise tendency diagnosis of dynamical processes governing the development of an upper-tropospheric mobile trough. J. Atmos. Sci., 53, 31203142, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(1996)053<3120:PTDODP>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Piva, E. D., M. A. Gan, and V. B. Rao, 2008: An objective study of 500-hPa moving troughs in the Southern Hemisphere. Mon. Wea. Rev., 136, 21862200, doi:10.1175/2007MWR2135.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sanders, F., 1988: Life history of mobile troughs in the upper westerlies. Mon. Wea. Rev., 116, 26292648, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1988)116<2629:LHOMTI>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Souders, M. B., B. A. Colle, and E. K. M. Chang, 2014: The climatology and characteristics of Rossby wave packets using a feature-based tracking technique. Mon. Wea. Rev., 142, 35283548, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-13-00371.1.

  • Wang, X. L., V. R. Swail, and F. W. Zweiss, 2006: Climatology and changes of extratropical cyclone activity: Comparison of ERA-40 with NCEP–NCAR reanalysis for 1958–2001. J. Climate, 19, 31453166, doi:10.1175/JCLI3781.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wilks, D. S., 2011: Statistical Methods in the Atmospheric Sciences. International Geophysical Series, Vol. 91, Academic Press, 627 pp.

  • Zimin, A. V., I. Szunyogh, D. J. Patil, B. R. Hunt, and E. Ott, 2003: Extracting envelopes of Rossby wave packets. Mon. Wea. Rev., 131, 10111017, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(2003)131<1011:EEORWP>2.0.CO;2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zimin, A. V., I. Szunyogh, B. R. Hunt, and E. Ott, 2006: Extracting envelopes of nonzonally propagating Rossby wave packets. Mon. Wea. Rev., 134, 13291333, doi:10.1175/MWR3122.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 323 69 5
PDF Downloads 265 36 6