Explosive cyclones, which have rapidly intensifying winds and heavy rain, can seriously threaten life and property.
These "meteorological bombs" are difficult to forecast, in part because scientists need a better understanding of the physical mechanisms by which they form. In particular, the large-scale circulation conditions that may contribute to explosive cyclone formation are not well understood.
Black and Pezza analyzed broad-environment energetics in creating a global climatology of explosive cyclones.
They identify global hotspots for explosive cyclones and find that explosive cyclones in different geographical locations share a similar characteristic energy-conversion signature that can easily be identified in satellite data.
The study could help improve storm track prediction.
Explore further: New NASA animations show massive rainfall totals from 2013 Philippine Tropical Cyclones
More information: A universal, broad-environment energy conversion signature of explosive cyclones Geophysical Research Letters, doi: 10.1002/grl.50114, 2013 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50114/abstract