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Objective determination of the extratropical transition of tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere

Studholme, J; Hodges, KI; Brierley, C; (2015) Objective determination of the extratropical transition of tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere. Tellus , 67 , Article 24474. 10.3402/tellusa.v67.24474. Green open access

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Abstract

Extratropical transition (ET) has eluded objective identification since the realisation of its existence in the 1970s. Recent advances in numerical, computational models have provided data of higher resolution than previously available. In conjunction with this, an objective characterisation of the structure of a storm has now become widely accepted in the literature. Here we present a method of combining these two advances to provide an objective method for defining ET. The approach involves applying K-means clustering to isolate different life-cycle stages of cyclones and then analysing the progression through these stages. This methodology is then tested by applying it to five recent years from the European Centre of Medium-Range Weather Forecasting operational analyses. It is found that this method is able to determine the general characteristics for ET in the Northern Hemisphere. Between 2008 and 2012, 54% (±7, 32 of 59) of Northern Hemisphere tropical storms are estimated to undergo ET. There is great variability across basins and time of year. To fully capture all the instances of ET is necessary to introduce and characterise multiple pathways through transition. Only one of the three transition types needed has been previously well-studied. A brief description of the alternate types of transitions is given, along with illustrative storms, to assist with further study.

Type: Article
Title: Objective determination of the extratropical transition of tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3402/tellusa.v67.24474
Publisher version: http://www.tellusa.net/index.php/tellusa/article/v...
Additional information: Copyright: © 2015 J. Studholme et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.
Keywords: Tropical cyclones, extratropical transition, operational analyses, clustering.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1469356
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