Systematic and Integrated Approach toTropical Cyclone Track Forecasting in the North Atlantic




Kent, Christopher S. T.

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Calhoun: Institutional Archive of the Naval Postgraduate School


A Systematic Approach for tropical cyclone track forecasting was introduced in 1994 by Carr and Elsberry to help forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Guam. The author was trained in the Systematic Approach as part of a reproducibility test for western Pacific cyclones as described in Chapter II. This study is the application of the meteorological framework of Carr and Elsberry to the North Atlantic. All North Atlantic tropical cyclones from 1990-1994 are examined using 500 mb Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System streamline and isotach analyses, geostationary satellite imagery, and the tropical cyclone best track information. Application of the Systematic Approach to the North Atlantic requires three modifications in the Environment Structure and TC- Environment transformation mechanisms: (i) A Low Synoptic Pattern is defined; (ii) a variation on the North-oriented Pattern is added; and (iii) a Weak Westerlies Synoptic Region is defined in the Standard Pattern. Subtropical Ridge Modification is found to be the most important transformation mechanism. A preliminary climatology of Synoptic Patterns, Regions, Pattern/Regions, and transitions is developed. While the Standard Pattern is the most common, it is surprising that the Weakened Ridge Region is so prevalent. Storm tracks in each Pattern/Region combination reveal a characteristic track motion for each Pattern/Region.



Weather, Tropical Cyclone, Meteorology