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Quantifying the existence of undocumented Atlantic warm-core cyclones in 20th Century Reanalysis Data

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Monday, 24 January 2011
Quantifying the existence of undocumented Atlantic warm-core cyclones in 20th Century Reanalysis Data
Washington State Convention Center
Ryan Truchelut, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL; and R. E. Hart

This study uses advances in global reanalysis methods to propose improvements to the tropical cyclone climatological record in the Atlantic Basin, specifically for the pre-satellite era. First, a series of characteristic proxies of tropospheric response to tropical cyclone passage in the 20th Century Reanalysis dataset are constructed for observationally verified track and intensity data. Next, thermodynamic signatures derived from these proxies and not corresponding to a known Best Track cyclone are identified within low-observation regimes. Cases meeting these criteria are classified as candidate events and subjected to further synoptic verification. Using land- and sea-based surface observations, there is evidence that a small but significant number of the candidate events are cases in which additions to Best Track may be indicated. The initial successes in locating “missing TCs” demonstrate that this technique is a useful tool to aid the ongoing efforts to revise and correct tropical cyclone climatology, allowing for an improved assessment of cumulative energy dissipation for Atlantic hurricane seasons prior to 1960.