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Greg J. Holland
,
Lance M. Leslie
,
Elizabeth A. Ritchie
,
Gary S. Dietachmayer
,
Peter E. Powers
, and
Mark Klink

Abstract

The design concept and operational trial of a fully interactive analysis and numerical forecast system for tropical-cyclone motion are described. The design concept emphasizes an interactive system in which forecasters can test various scenarios objectively, rather than having to subjectively decide between conflicting forecasts from standardized techniques. The system is designed for use on a personal computer, or workstation, located on the forecast bench. A choice of a Barnes or statistical interpolation scheme is provided to analyze raw or bogus observations at any atmospheric level or layer mean selected by the forecaster. The track forecast is then made by integration of a nondivergent barotropic model.

An operational trial during the 1990 tropical-cyclone field experiments in the western north Pacific Ocean indicated that the system can be used very effectively in real time. A series of case-study examples is presented.

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Russell S. Vose
,
Scott Applequist
,
Mark A. Bourassa
,
Sara C. Pryor
,
Rebecca J. Barthelmie
,
Brian Blanton
,
Peter D. Bromirski
,
Harold E. Brooks
,
Arthur T. DeGaetano
,
Randall M. Dole
,
David R. Easterling
,
Robert E. Jensen
,
Thomas R. Karl
,
Richard W. Katz
,
Katherine Klink
,
Michael C. Kruk
,
Kenneth E. Kunkel
,
Michael C. MacCracken
,
Thomas C. Peterson
,
Karsten Shein
,
Bridget R. Thomas
,
John E. Walsh
,
Xiaolan L. Wang
,
Michael F. Wehner
,
Donald J. Wuebbles
, and
Robert S. Young

This scientific assessment examines changes in three climate extremes—extratropical storms, winds, and waves—with an emphasis on U.S. coastal regions during the cold season. There is moderate evidence of an increase in both extratropical storm frequency and intensity during the cold season in the Northern Hemisphere since 1950, with suggestive evidence of geographic shifts resulting in slight upward trends in offshore/coastal regions. There is also suggestive evidence of an increase in extreme winds (at least annually) over parts of the ocean since the early to mid-1980s, but the evidence over the U.S. land surface is inconclusive. Finally, there is moderate evidence of an increase in extreme waves in winter along the Pacific coast since the 1950s, but along other U.S. shorelines any tendencies are of modest magnitude compared with historical variability. The data for extratropical cyclones are considered to be of relatively high quality for trend detection, whereas the data for extreme winds and waves are judged to be of intermediate quality. In terms of physical causes leading to multidecadal changes, the level of understanding for both extratropical storms and extreme winds is considered to be relatively low, while that for extreme waves is judged to be intermediate. Since the ability to measure these changes with some confidence is relatively recent, understanding is expected to improve in the future for a variety of reasons, including increased periods of record and the development of “climate reanalysis” projects.

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