Aims of the project

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Bild: M. Bolliger

The main goals of the project are

  • to provide a quantitative comprehensive assessment of all types of uncertainties inherent in the mid-latitudinal storm tracking by comparing different methodologies with respect to data of different resolution (time and space) and limited areas, for both cyclone identification and cyclone tracking respectively.
  • to intercompare the metrics of mid-latitudinal cyclone activity (identification/tracking) used for different purposes
  • to provide definitions of "storms" and "cyclones" and point out the informations that can be drawn from specific methods, depending on data availability (time/space resolution)
  • the intercomparison establishes a multi-method storm climatology that could serve as a baseline for climate impact studies

In order to achieve these goals the following objectives are to be met:

  • to provide an inventory of the existing methods for cyclone identification and tracking (catalogue), including their data needs
  • to compare the existing identification and tracking methods using data of different space-time resolutions, both in terms of climatologies and in terms of the identification of single storms
  • to compare the algorithms' sensitivity to spatial and temporal resolution of the underlying data and to provide information of the relative uncertainties arising from different methods, reanalysis products and model simulations (including results for limited areas).
  • to estimate and intercompare the information content provided by the methods
  • to provide a systematic intercomparison of different quantities used for describing cyclone activity and strength from a dynamical viewpoint, and to relate them to impact related weather parameters.
  • to provide a "users' guide" explaining the information that can be taken and the restrictions related to the individual standard
  • discuss the possibility of recommending specific methods for different purposes and settings

Final Report containing

  • an overview of existing methods, including a description of the information contained in the results and the limitations of each individual standard method
  • an overview of standard parameters for the quantification of cyclone activity and intensity characteristics, including their limitations
  • comments on further work to be done

Urs Neu
Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT)
Laupenstrasse 7
3008 Bern
Tel.: +41 31 306 93 52