Effects of moist convection on hurricane predictability

Fuqing Zhang, Jason A. Sippel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study exemplifies inherent uncertainties in deterministic prediction of hurricane formation and intensity. Such uncertainties could ultimately limit the predictability of hurricanes at all time scales. In particular, this study highlights the predictability limit due to the effects on moist convection of initial-condition errors with amplitudes far smaller than those of any observation or analysis system. Not only can small and arguably unobservable differences in the initial conditions result in different routes to tropical cyclogenesis, but they can also determine whether or not a tropical disturbance will significantly develop. The details of how the initial vortex is built can depend on chaotic interactions of mesoscale features, such as cold pools from moist convection, whose timing and placement may significantly vary with minute initial differences. Inherent uncertainties in hurricane forecasts illustrate the need for developing advanced ensemble prediction systems to provide event-dependent probabilistic forecasts and risk assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1944-1961
Number of pages18
JournalJournals of the Atmospheric Sciences
Volume66
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

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hurricane
convection
cold pool
cyclogenesis
prediction
systems analysis
vortex
risk assessment
timescale
disturbance
effect
forecast
need

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Zhang, Fuqing ; Sippel, Jason A. / Effects of moist convection on hurricane predictability. In: Journals of the Atmospheric Sciences. 2009 ; Vol. 66, No. 7. pp. 1944-1961.
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Effects of moist convection on hurricane predictability. / Zhang, Fuqing; Sippel, Jason A.

In: Journals of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 66, No. 7, 2009, p. 1944-1961.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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