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Comparison of a manual and an automated tracking method for Tibetan Plateau vortices

Curio, J., Chen, Y., Schiemann, R., Turner, A. G., Wong, K. C., Hodges, K. and Li, Y. (2018) Comparison of a manual and an automated tracking method for Tibetan Plateau vortices. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 35 (8). pp. 965-980. ISSN 0256-1530

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00376-018-7278-4

Abstract/Summary

Tibetan Plateau vortices (TPVs) are mesoscale cyclones originating over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) during the extended summer season (April-September). Most TPVs stay on the TP while a small number can move off the TP to the east. TPVs are known to be one of the main precipitation-bearing systems on the TP and moving-off TPVs have been associated with heavy precipitation and flooding downstream of the TP (e.g. Sichuan province, Yangtze River Valley). Identifying and tracking TPVs is difficult both due to their comparatively small horizontal extent (400 – 800 km) and the limited availability of soundings over the TP, which, in turn, constitutes a challenge for short-term predictions of TPV-related impacts and for the climatological study of TPVs. In this study, (i) manual tracking (MT) results using radiosonde data from a network over and downstream of the TP are compared with (ii) results obtained by an automated tracking (AT) algorithm applied to ERA-Interim reanalysis. Ten MT-TPV cases are selected based on method (i) and matched to and compared with the corresponding AT-TPVs identified with method (ii). Conversely, ten AT-TPVs are selected and compared with the corresponding MT-TPVs. In general, the comparison shows good results in cases where the underlying data are in good agreement, but considerable differences are also seen in some cases and explained in terms of differences in the tracking methods, data availability/coverage and disagreement between sounding and ERA-Interim data. Recommendations are given for future efforts in TPV detection and tracking, including in an operational weather forecasting context.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:76150
Uncontrolled Keywords:Tibetan Plateau Vortices, Yearbook of TPVs, TRACK, mesoscale cyclones, manual tracking, automated tracking
Publisher:Springer

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