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Study Develops Framework to Improve Tropical Cyclone Modeling and Projections


Researchers at Princeton University and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab, supported by CPO’s Climate Observations and Monitoring (COM) Program, have developed a new framework to improve how global atmospheric models represent tropical cyclones. The study describing their work was recently published in Climate Dynamics.The researchers separated the development of a tropical cyclone into three stages: a non-rotating cluster of convection, a weakly rotating seed (tropical cyclone precursor), and a strongly rotating tropical cyclone. They then performed a series of experiments to test their framework, which found it can help to explain the variety of tropical cyclone projections seen across models. The authors show that by breaking down a complex probability like tropical cyclone frequency into a series of probabilities, it can be interpreted more easily. Their framework has useful applications for analyzing tropical cyclone forecasts and could help improve understanding of where and how often tropical cyclones may occur in the future under a changing climate.

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