Probabilistic Multiple Linear Regression Modeling for Tropical Cyclone Intensity

Lee, Chia-Ying; Tippett, Michael K.; Camargo, Suzana J.; Sobel, Adam H.

The authors describe the development and verification of a statistical model relating tropical cyclone (TC) intensity to the local large-scale environment. A multiple linear regression framework is used to estimate the expected intensity of a tropical cyclone given the environmental and storm conditions. The uncertainty of the estimate is constructed from the empirical distribution of model errors. NCEP–NCAR reanalysis fields and historical hurricane data from 1981 to 1999 are used for model development, and data from 2000 to 2012 are used to evaluate model performance. Seven predictors are selected: initial storm intensity, the change of storm intensity over the past 12 h, the storm translation speed, the difference between initial storm intensity and its corresponding potential intensity, deep-layer (850–200 hPa) vertical shear, atmospheric stability, and 200-hPa divergence. The system developed here models storm intensity changes in response to changes in the surrounding environment with skill comparable to existing operational forecast tools. Since one application of such a model is to predict changes in TC activity in response to natural or anthropogenic climate change, the authors examine the performance of the model using data that is most readily available from global climate models, that is, monthly averages. It is found that statistical models based on monthly data (as opposed to daily) with only a few essential predictors, for example, the difference between storm intensity and potential intensity, perform nearly as well at short leads as when daily predictors are used.


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Monthly Weather Review

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