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Predicting Tropical Cyclone Intensity Using Satellite-Measured Equivalent Blackbody Temperatures of Cloud Tops

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  • 1 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clemson University, Clemson SC 29631
  • | 2 Laboratory for Atmospheric Science (GLAS), NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771
  • | 3 General Electric Space Division (MATSCO), Beltsville, MD 20705
  • | 4 Laboratory for Atmospheric Science (GLAS), NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771
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Abstract

A relationship between maximum winds and satellite-measured equivalent blackbody temperatures near tropical cyclones is investigated with data from both the Atlantic and western North Pacific areas. This investigation revealed not only a significant correlation between satellite-derived equivalent blackbody temperatures and maximum winds but also a strong lag relationship between these temperatures and maximum winds. From this latter relationship a regression technique was developed to forecast 24 h changes of the maximum winds for weak (maximum winds ≤ 65 kt) and strong (maximum winds > 65 kt) tropical cyclones by utilizing the equivalent blackbody temperatures around the storm alone, and together with changes in maximum winds during the preceding 24 h and the current maximum winds. Testing of these equations with independent data showed that the mean errors of forecasts made by the equations are lower than the errors in forecasts made by persistence techniques.

Abstract

A relationship between maximum winds and satellite-measured equivalent blackbody temperatures near tropical cyclones is investigated with data from both the Atlantic and western North Pacific areas. This investigation revealed not only a significant correlation between satellite-derived equivalent blackbody temperatures and maximum winds but also a strong lag relationship between these temperatures and maximum winds. From this latter relationship a regression technique was developed to forecast 24 h changes of the maximum winds for weak (maximum winds ≤ 65 kt) and strong (maximum winds > 65 kt) tropical cyclones by utilizing the equivalent blackbody temperatures around the storm alone, and together with changes in maximum winds during the preceding 24 h and the current maximum winds. Testing of these equations with independent data showed that the mean errors of forecasts made by the equations are lower than the errors in forecasts made by persistence techniques.

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