Lifecycles of tropical cyclones predicted in global computer model

Dec 19, 2008

The initial results of the first computer model that simulates the global atmosphere with a detailed representation of individual clouds have been analyzed by a team of scientists at the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, Japan-Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), and the University of Tokyo.

The model, called the Nonhydrostatic ICosahedral Atmospheric Model (NICAM), was developed for the supercomputer Earth Simulator at JAMSTEC. Given the atmospheric conditions that were present 1-2 weeks before the observed cyclones formed, the model successfully reproduced the birth of two real tropical cyclones that formed in the Indian Ocean in December 2006 and January 2007.

The model captured the timing and location of the formation of the observed cyclones as well as their paths and overall evolution. "We attribute the successful simulation to the realistic representation of both the large-scale circulation and the embedded convective vortices and their merging," says Hironori Fudeyasu, lead author of the study and IPRC postdoctoral fellow.

Atmospheric computer models with sufficient detail to represent clouds have greatly added to an understanding of local and regional climate, but huge computational needs in the past have allowed these models to be run only for small areas. "The high temporal and spatial resolution datasets provided by NICAM in this and future simulations will allow detailed studies of tropical cyclone genesis and evolution, as well as other weather and climate-related phenomena," says co-author Yuqing Wang, UH meteorology professor and IPRC research team leader. He believes the results will usher in a new era in weather and climate prediction.

Citation: Fudeyasu, H., Y. Wang, M. Satoh, T. Nasuno, H. Miura, and W. Yanase (2008), Global cloud-system-resolving model NICAM successfully simulated the lifecycles of two real tropical cyclones, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L22808, doi:10.1029/2008GL036003. The study was selected by the journal editors as a research highlight. www.agu.org/journals/scripts/highlight.php?pid=2008GL036003

Source: University of Hawaii at Manoa

Explore further: NASA sees new depression forms near Solomon Islands

Related Stories

No major US hurricane landfalls in nine years

May 14, 2015

The United States hasn't experienced the landfall of a Category 3 or larger hurricane in nine years – a string of years that's likely to come along only once every 177 years, according to a new NASA study.

El Nino will be 'substantial' warn Australian scientists

May 12, 2015

Australian scientists Tuesday forecast a "substantial" El Nino weather phenomenon for 2015, potentially spelling deadly and costly climate extremes, after officially declaring its onset in the tropical Pacific.

Recommended for you

NASA sees new depression forms near Solomon Islands

12 hours ago

The Southern Pacific Ocean Tropical Cyclone Season just got an extension with the birth of a new tropical depression near the Solomon Islands. NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the new depression and saw ...

Monitoring volcanoes with ground-based atomic clocks

18 hours ago

An international team led by scientists from the University of Zurich finds that high-precision atomic clocks can be used to monitor volcanoes and potentially improve predictions of future eruptions. In addition, a ground-based ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.