Accessibility navigation

A 4D feature tracking algorithm: a multidimensional view of cyclone systems

Lakkis, G., Canziani, P., Yuchechen, A., Rocamora, L., Caferri, A., Hodges, K. and O'Neill, A. (2019) A 4D feature tracking algorithm: a multidimensional view of cyclone systems. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 145 (719). pp. 395-417. ISSN 1477-870X

Text - Accepted Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/qj.3436


An objective 4D algorithm developed to track extratropical relative vorticity anomaly 3D structure over time is introduced and validated. The STACKER algorithm, structured with the TRACKER single level tracking algorithm as source of the single-level raw tracks, objectively combines tracks from various levels to determine the 3D structure of the cyclone (or anticyclone) events throughout their life cycle. Stacker works progressively, beginning with two initial levels and then adding additional levels to the stack in a bottom-up and/or top-down approach. This allows an iterative stacking approach, adding one level at a time, resulting in an optimized 4D determination of relative vorticity anomaly events. A two-stage validation process is carried out with the ERA-Interim dataset for the 2015 austral winter. First the overall tracking capability during an austral winter, taking into account a set of climate indicators and their impacts on Southern Hemisphere circulation, was compared to previous climatologies, in order to verify the density and distribution of the cyclone events detected by STACKER. Results show the cyclone density distribution is in very good agreement with previous climatologies, after taking into account potential differences due to climate variability and different tracking methodologies. The second stage focuses on three different long-lived events over the Southern Hemisphere, during the winter of 2015 spanning seven different pressure levels. Both GOES satellite imagery, infrared and water vapour channels, and ERAInterim cloud cover products are used in order to validate the tracks obtained as well as the algorithm’s capability and reliability. The observed 3D cyclone structures and their time evolution are consistent with current understanding of cyclone system development. Thus, the two-stage validation confirms that the algorithm is suitable to track multilevel events, and can follow and analyse their 3-D life cycle and develop full 3D climatologies and climate variability studies

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:80947
Publisher:Royal Meteorological Society


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation