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/h… php?pid=2008GL036003

Source: University of Hawaii at Manoa

Explore further: Arson to blame for Argentine forest fires

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Arson to blame for Argentine forest fires

10 hours ago

Fires that have ravaged some 20,000 hectares of forest in Argentina's remote Patagonia region were deliberately set, according to Argentine officials on Monday.

Water in smog may reveal pollution sources

11 hours ago

The chemical signature of water vapor emitted by combustion sources such as vehicles and furnaces has been found in the smoggy winter inversions that often choke Salt Lake City. The discovery may give researchers ...

Research cruise delves into Perth Canyon's depths

18 hours ago

A world-first expedition backed by Google billionaire Eric Schmidt is bidding to unlock the secrets of the Perth Canyon, the vast undersea gorge carved by the prehistoric Swan River.

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.