System for numerical forecast of intensity and trajectory of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic basin

Albenis Pérez-Alarcón, José Carlos Fernández-Alvarez, Oscar Díaz-Rodríguez, Alfo José Batista-Leyva, Ramón Pérez-Suárez

Abstract

A system for the numerical forecast of tropical cyclones (TCs) named Numerical Tools for Hurricane Forecast (NTHF), that uses movable computing meshes, was implemented in a small computing cluster. The simulations are initialized with the forecast outputs of the Global Forecast System at 0000 UTC and the storm position provided by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and are extended up to a period of 5 days. For the evaluation of the system, tropical cyclones formed in the North Atlantic basin in the seasons from 2016 to 2018 were used. The mean error in the NTHF trajectory forecast ranged between 56 km for 12 hours and 356 km for 120 hours; however, NTHF does not perform as well as NHC official forecast. Nevertheless, the system showed good ability to predict the track of intense hurricanes. Besides, it is useful for the forecast of the intensity of tropical cyclones from depression to category 3 hurricanes on the Saffir-Simpson scale between 36 and 120 hours, while for intense hurricanes (category 4 and 5) the lowest errors are between 72 and 108 forecast hours, with an error in the maximum wind speed close to 25 kmh-1. Moreover, NTHF is adaptable to low computational resources and will allow the development of studies to deepen the knowledge of the physical and dynamic mechanisms that control the intensification or weakening of TCs.

Keywords

intensity forecast; track forecast; tropical cyclone; numerical modeling; statistical validation

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