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Saima Aijaz
,
Jeffrey D. Kepert
,
Hua Ye
,
Zhendong Huang
, and
Alister Hawksford

Abstract

Global ensemble prediction systems have considerable ability to predict tropical cyclone (TC) formation and subsequent evolution. However, because of their relatively coarse resolution, their predictions of intensity and structure are biased. The biases arise mainly from underestimated intensities and enlarged radii, in particular the radius of maximum winds. This paper describes a method to reduce this limitation by bias correcting TCs in the ECMWF Ensemble Prediction System (ECMWF-EPS) for a region northwest of Australia. A bias-corrected TC system will provide more accurate forecasts of TC-generated wind and waves to the oil and gas industry, which operates a large number of offshore facilities in the region. It will also enable improvements in response decisions for weather sensitive operations that affect downtime and safety risks. The bias-correction technique uses a multivariate linear regression method to bias correct storm intensity and structure. Special strategies are used to maintain ensemble spread after bias correction and to predict the radius of maximum winds using a climatological relationship based on wind intensity and storm latitude. The system was trained on the Australian best track TC data and the ECMWF-EPS TC data from two cyclone seasons. The system inserts corrected vortices into the original surface wind and pressure fields, which are then used to estimate wind exceedance probabilities, and to drive a wave model. The bias-corrected system has shown an overall skill improvement over the uncorrected ECMWF-EPS for all TC intensity and structure parameters with the most significant gains for the maximum wind speed prediction. The system has been operational at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology since November 2016.

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