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Munehiko Yamaguchi and Sharanya J. Majumdar

Abstract

Ensemble initial perturbations around Typhoon Sinlaku (2008) produced by ECMWF, NCEP, and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) ensembles are compared using The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) Interactive Grand Global Ensemble (TIGGE) data, and the dynamical mechanisms of perturbation growth associated with the tropical cyclone (TC) motion are investigated for the ECMWF and NCEP ensembles. In the comparison, it is found that the vertical and horizontal distributions of initial perturbations as well as the amplitude are quite different among the three NWP centers before, during, and after the recurvature of Sinlaku. In addition, it turns out that those variations cause a difference in the TC motion not only at the initial time but also during the subsequent forecast period. The ECMWF ensemble exhibits relatively large perturbation growth, which results from 1) the baroclinic energy conversion in a vortex, 2) the baroclinic energy conversion associated with the midlatitude waves, and 3) the barotropic energy conversion in a vortex. Those features are less distinctive in the NCEP ensemble. A statistical verification shows that the ensemble spread of TC track predictions in NCEP (ECMWF) is larger than ECMWF (NCEP) for 1- (3-) day forecasts on average. It can be inferred that while the ECMWF ensemble starts from a relatively small amplitude of initial perturbations, the growth of the perturbations helps to amplify the ensemble spread of tracks. On the other hand, a relatively large amplitude of initial perturbations seems to play a role in producing the ensemble spread of tracks in the NCEP ensemble.

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Munehiko Yamaguchi, Takeshi Iriguchi, Tetsuo Nakazawa, and Chun-Chieh Wu

Abstract

An Observing System Experiment (OSE) has been performed to investigate the effectiveness of dropwindsonde observations and a sensitivity analysis technique on a typhoon track forecast. Using dropwindsonde observations for Typhoon Conson at 1200 UTC 8 June 2004, which are derived from Dropwindsonde Observation for Typhoon Surveillance near the Taiwan Region (DOTSTAR), four numerical experiments are conducted, which are different only in terms of the number of dropwindsonde observations used in a data assimilation system: (i) no observation is assimilated; (ii) all observations are assimilated; (iii) observations within a sensitive region as revealed by a singular vector method at the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) are assimilated; and (iv) observations outside the sensitive region are assimilated. In the comparison of the four track forecasts, Conson’s northeastward movement is expressed in the second and third simulations while in the first and fourth experiments Conson stays at almost the same position as its initial position. Through the OSE, it is found that DOTSTAR observations had a positive impact on the track forecast for Conson, and that observations within the sensitive region are enough to predict the northeastward movement of Conson, indicating that the JMA singular vector method would be useful for the sampling strategy of targeted observations like DOTSTAR.

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Munehiko Yamaguchi, Ryota Sakai, Masayuki Kyoda, Takuya Komori, and Takashi Kadowaki

Abstract

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) Typhoon Ensemble Prediction System (TEPS) and its performance are described. In February 2008, JMA started an operation of TEPS that was designed for providing skillful tropical cyclone (TC) track predictions in both deterministic and probabilistic ways. TEPS consists of 1 nonperturbed prediction and 10 perturbed predictions based on the lower-resolution version (TL319L60) of the JMA Global Spectral Model (GSM; TL959L60) and a global analysis for JMA/GSM. A singular vector method is employed to create initial perturbations. Focusing on TCs in the western North Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea (0°–60°N, 100°E–180°), TEPS runs 4 times a day, initiated at 0000, 0600, 1200, and 1800 UTC with a prediction range of 132 h. The verifications of TEPS during the quasi-operational period from May to December 2007 indicate that the ensemble mean track predictions statistically have better performance as compared with the control (nonperturbed) predictions: the error reduction in the 5-day predictions is 40 km on average. Moreover, it is found that the ensemble spread of tracks is an indicator of position error, indicating that TEPS will be useful in presenting confidence information on TC track predictions. For 2008 when TEPS was in operational use, however, it was also found that the ensemble mean was significantly worse than the deterministic model (JMA/GSM) out to 84 h.

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Linus Magnusson, Jean-Raymond Bidlot, Simon T. K. Lang, Alan Thorpe, Nils Wedi, and Munehiko Yamaguchi

Abstract

On 30 October 2012 Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the U.S. East Coast with a devastating impact. Here the performance of the ECMWF forecasts (both high resolution and ensemble) are evaluated together with ensemble forecasts from other numerical weather prediction centers, available from The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) Interactive Grand Global Ensemble (TIGGE) archive. The sensitivity to sea surface temperature (SST) and model resolution for the ECMWF forecasts are explored. The results show that the ECMWF forecasts provided a clear indication of the landfall from 7 days in advance. Comparing ensemble forecasts from different centers, the authors find the ensemble forecasts from ECMWF to be the most consistent in the forecast of the landfall of Sandy on the New Jersey coastline. The impact of the warm SST anomaly off the U.S. East Coast is investigated by running sensitivity experiments with climatological SST instead of persisting the SST anomaly from the analysis. The results show that the SST anomaly had a small effect on Sandy’s track in the forecast, but the forecasts initialized with the warm SST anomaly feature a more intense system in terms of the depth of the cyclone, wind speeds, and precipitation. Furthermore, the role of spatial resolution is investigated by comparing four global simulations, spanning from TL159 (150 km) to TL3999 (5 km) horizontal resolution. Forecasts from 3 and 5 days before the landfall are evaluated. While all resolutions predict Sandy’s landfall, at very high resolution the tropical cyclone intensity and the oceanic wave forecasts are greatly improved.

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Chun-Chieh Wu, Jan-Huey Chen, Sharanya J. Majumdar, Melinda S. Peng, Carolyn A. Reynolds, Sim D. Aberson, Roberto Buizza, Munehiko Yamaguchi, Shin-Gan Chen, Tetsuo Nakazawa, and Kun-Hsuan Chou

Abstract

This study compares six different guidance products for targeted observations over the northwest Pacific Ocean for 84 cases of 2-day forecasts in 2006 and highlights the unique dynamical features affecting the tropical cyclone (TC) tracks in this basin. The six products include three types of guidance based on total-energy singular vectors (TESVs) from different global models, the ensemble transform Kalman filter (ETKF) based on a multimodel ensemble, the deep-layer mean (DLM) wind variance, and the adjoint-derived sensitivity steering vector (ADSSV). The similarities among the six products are evaluated using two objective statistical techniques to show the diversity of the sensitivity regions in large, synoptic-scale domains and in smaller domains local to the TC. It is shown that the three TESVs are relatively similar to one another in both the large and the small domains while the comparisons of the DLM wind variance with other methods show rather low similarities. The ETKF and the ADSSV usually show high similarity because their optimal sensitivity usually lies close to the TC. The ADSSV, relative to the ETKF, reveals more similar sensitivity patterns to those associated with TESVs. Three special cases are also selected to highlight the similarities and differences among the six guidance products and to interpret the dynamical systems affecting the TC motion in the northwestern Pacific. Among the three storms studied, Typhoon Chanchu was associated with the subtropical high, Typhoon Shanshan was associated with the midlatitude trough, and Typhoon Durian was associated with the subtropical jet. The adjoint methods are found to be more capable of capturing the signal of the dynamic system that may affect the TC movement or evolution than are the ensemble methods.

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