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Ensemble-Based Error and Predictability Metrics Associated with Tropical Cyclogenesis. Part II: Wave-Relative Framework

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  • 1 National Research Council, Monterey, California
  • | 2 Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida
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Abstract

The predictability of selected variables associated with tropical cyclogenesis is examined using 10-day ECMWF ensemble forecasts for 21 events from the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Variables are associated with the strength of the pregenesis disturbance, quantified via circulation and thickness anomaly, and the favorability of the immediate environment via moisture and vertical wind shear.

For approximately half of the cases, the predicted strength of the genesis signal is directly related to the predicted favorability of the environment. For the remainder of the cases, predictability is more directly associated with the strength and location of the analyzed disturbance. Some commonalities among the majority of the sample are also observed. Forecast joint distributions demonstrate that 700-hPa relative humidity of less than 60% within 300 km of the circulation center is a limiting factor for genesis. Genesis is also predicted and found to occur in the presence of significant wind shear (~15 m s−1), but almost exclusively when the core and environment of the wave are both very moist.

The ensemble also demonstrates the potential to predict error standard deviation of variables averaged within 300- and 1000-km radii about individual tropical waves. Forecasts with greater ensemble standard deviation tend to be, on average, associated with greater mean error, especially for forecasts of less than 7 days. However, model biases, particularly a dry core and weak circulation bias, become pronounced at longer lead times. Overall, these results demonstrate that both the environmental conditions favorable to genesis and the genesis events themselves may be predictable to a week or more.

Corresponding author address: William A. Komaromi, Naval Research Laboratory, 7 Grace Hopper Ave., Monterey, CA 93943. E-mail: william.komaromi.ctr@nrlmry.navy.mil

Abstract

The predictability of selected variables associated with tropical cyclogenesis is examined using 10-day ECMWF ensemble forecasts for 21 events from the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Variables are associated with the strength of the pregenesis disturbance, quantified via circulation and thickness anomaly, and the favorability of the immediate environment via moisture and vertical wind shear.

For approximately half of the cases, the predicted strength of the genesis signal is directly related to the predicted favorability of the environment. For the remainder of the cases, predictability is more directly associated with the strength and location of the analyzed disturbance. Some commonalities among the majority of the sample are also observed. Forecast joint distributions demonstrate that 700-hPa relative humidity of less than 60% within 300 km of the circulation center is a limiting factor for genesis. Genesis is also predicted and found to occur in the presence of significant wind shear (~15 m s−1), but almost exclusively when the core and environment of the wave are both very moist.

The ensemble also demonstrates the potential to predict error standard deviation of variables averaged within 300- and 1000-km radii about individual tropical waves. Forecasts with greater ensemble standard deviation tend to be, on average, associated with greater mean error, especially for forecasts of less than 7 days. However, model biases, particularly a dry core and weak circulation bias, become pronounced at longer lead times. Overall, these results demonstrate that both the environmental conditions favorable to genesis and the genesis events themselves may be predictable to a week or more.

Corresponding author address: William A. Komaromi, Naval Research Laboratory, 7 Grace Hopper Ave., Monterey, CA 93943. E-mail: william.komaromi.ctr@nrlmry.navy.mil
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