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Developing a Unified Superset in Quantifying Ambiguities Among Tropical Cyclone Best Track Data for the Western North Pacific

Title: Developing a Unified Superset in Quantifying Ambiguities Among Tropical Cyclone Best Track Data for the Western North Pacific.
Name(s): Lowry, Michael Robert, author
O’Brien, James J., professor directing thesis
Ahlquist, Jon E., committee member
Bourassa, Mark A., committee member
Hart, Robert E., committee member
Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: In the western North Pacific basin, several agencies archive "best track" data of tropical cyclones. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) in Hawaii is responsible for the issuance of tropical cyclone warnings for United States Department of Defense interests and has a record of tropical cyclones extending back to 1945. The Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) is the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) official Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) for the western North Pacific basin and has best track tropical cyclone data extending back to 1951. The Shanghai Typhoon Institute (STI) of the Chinese Meteorological Administration and the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region also have 6-hourly tropical cyclone data records from 1949 and 1961, respectively. Western North Pacific (WNP) data sets are investigated in order to quantify ambiguities in position and intensity estimates among the forecast institutions through the development of a unified Superset. Ambiguities among the two primary warning centers (JMA and JTWC) are presented in the context of a changing observation network, observational tools, and analysis techniques since the beginning of tropical cyclone records. Mean differences in position estimates are found between the two centers on the order of 60 km prior to the introduction of meteorological satellites in 1961 and near 50 km following the deactivation of aircraft reconnaissance in 1987. Results show a step function change among intensity in JTWC and JMA best track data from 1989 to 1990 due to varying applications of the Dvorak intensity estimation technique. Parsing best track data into landfall subsets does not ameliorate interagency differences in position or intensity estimates. Additionally, analyses from Superset data call into question the veracity of JTWC best track data during the period from 1995-1999. The applicability of adopting an individual data set in discerning long term climate trends is examined in light of these differences. Past efforts to analyze, assemble, and maintain a complete, reliable best track tropical cyclone data set for the WNP are discussed among topical methods of incorporating the Superset within a basin-wide re-analysis.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-1026 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Meteorology in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2009.
Date of Defense: November 26, 2008.
Keywords: Climate Change, Global Warming, Climate, Observation, Best Track, Superset, Western North Pacific, Pacific, Tropical Cyclone, HKO, Hong Kong Observatory, STI, Shanghai Typhoon Institute, JMA, Japanese Meteorological Agency, JTWC, Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Typhoon, Reconnaissance, Dvorak
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: James J. O’Brien, Professor Directing Thesis; Jon E. Ahlquist, Committee Member; Mark A. Bourassa, Committee Member; Robert E. Hart, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Oceanography
Atmospheric sciences
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Host Institution: FSU

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Lowry, M. R. (2009). Developing a Unified Superset in Quantifying Ambiguities Among Tropical Cyclone Best Track Data for the Western North Pacific. Retrieved from