Evaluation of causes of large 96-h and 120-h track errors in the Western North Pacific
Payne, Kathryn A.
Boothe, Mark A.
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Whereas the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) has ten track forecasts to 72 h, only four dynamical model forecasts are available at 96 h and 120 h. Forming a selective consensus (SCON) by proper removal of a likely erroneous track forecast is hypothesized to be more accurate than the non-selective consensus (NCON) of all four models. Conceptual models describing large track error mechanisms, which are related to known tropical cyclone motion processes being misrepresented in the dynamical fields, are applied to forecasts by the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS), U.S. Navy version of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Model (GFDN), United Kingdom Meteorological Office (UKMO), and National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS) during the 2005 western North Pacific typhoon season. A systematic error in the GFDN was identified in which the model built a false anticyclone downstream of the Tibetan Plateau, which explained over 50% of the large GFDN track errors. In the GFS model, 95% of the large errors occurred due to an incorrect depiction of the vertical structure of the tropical cyclone. The majority of NOGAPS and UKMO large errors were caused by an incorrect depiction of the midlatitude system evolutions. Characteristics of the erroneous forecast tracks and corresponding model fields are documented and illustrative case studies are presented. By applying rules of the Systematic Approach, the average SCON error was 222 n mi (382 n mi) less than NCON (JTWC) in 20% of all 120-h forecasts.
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