S172 Accuracy of Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit Intensity Estimates in Hurricanes

Sunday, 22 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Krista R. Dotterer, The Pennsylvania State University, Hamburg, PA

Accurate methods to estimate tropical cyclone intensity using satellite data are crucial for forecasters, as aircraft and scatterometer data are not always readily available. Two new methods have been developed by the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) and the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) using the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) to indirectly estimate tropical cyclone intensity. To test the accuracy and operational value of these methods, a database of tropical cyclone intensity estimates for storms from 2009-2015 was created, and each method was compared against the Best Track data from HURDAT2. Only data points within two hours of a synoptic time were included, and there must have been an aircraft or scatterometer observation within two hours of that synoptic time to guide the Best Track. Intensity estimates using CIMSS and CIRA were also compared to the Dvorak technique, the traditional method for estimating intensity via satellite that uses visible and infrared imagery. Various consensuses of these methods were also tested against the Best Track. For all data points, a 3-Member Consensus of CIMSS and the two Dvorak estimates had the lowest mean absolute error, 7.00 knots, and highest R2, 0.89. The data was then stratified by Best Track Intensity, 34-kt wind radii, tendency, and intensity predicted by each method, to see which guidance was most useful for each stratification.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner