May 19-23, 1997, Ft. Collins, Colorado
Scott Spratt and Steve Hodanish
NWSO Melbourne, FL
This American Meteorological Society tropical conference was the largest to date. There was a total of 389 presentations, including 326 papers and 63 posters. It was speculated that the increase over previous years was due to the recent completion of the TOGA COARE field experiment in the tropical Pacific, the recent increase in Atlantic Basin tropical cyclones, and additional interest from student researchers. Although the total number of papers was large, NWS forecasters were lead authors on only ten of them; eight of those papers were from Southern Region authors, and three of them were from NWSO Melbourne. The next tropical conference will be held in 1999, either in conjunction with the AMS Annual Meeting in Dallas (January), or in Miami (April).
A significant improvement in tropical storm track forecasts has occurred over the past few seasons due to the GFDL hurricane model. In fact, the GFDL model popularity has resulted in minor modifications to fit other basins, and now it is in use operationally in all basins. Work is also underway to enhance the GFDL model for the Atlantic over the next few seasons, and to extend output to the 3-5 day period. Ensemble forecasts are also beginning to be examined for hurricane track prediction. Additional track forecast improvements are likely, beginning this year, as data from the NOAA Gulfstream IV aircraft are input to the forecast models.
A shift of emphasis seems to be underway within the research and forecast communities, from track forecasting to intensity forecasting. Historically, best track intensity forecasts have not been much better than climatology. A better understanding of the causes of intensity trends is needed to develop dynamic intensity models.
Listed below are the 25 papers from the conference preprint volume which, in our opinion, are the most relevant to tropical cyclone forecast operations at offices such as ours. The papers are grouped by topic, and the symbol *** indicates "highly recommended" reading.
Update on high density satellite-derived multispectral winds produced by UW-CIMSS over the tropics; (Veldon) pp 35-36.
Tropical cyclone surface wind information from satellite scatterometers and SSM/I data; (Hawkins, et al.) pp 55-56.
*** A proposed mechanism for TC deintensification: "Back-door" vertical wind shear. Concept and observational evidence; (Veldon) pp 131-132.
Satellite-based objective estimates of tropical cyclone intensity; (Olander, et al.) pp 499-500.
Composites of surface marine observations for hurricanes during 1975-1996; (Murillo, et al.) pp 78-79.
Synthesis of eyewall mesovortex and supercell convective structures in Hurricane Luis with GOES-8/9 stereo, concurrent 1-min GOES-9 and NOAA airborne radar observations; (Hasler, et al.) pp 201-202.
The effect of trough interactions on tropical cyclone intensity change; (Hanley) pp 354-355.
Operational tropical cyclone track forecast verification at the National Hurricane Center; (Lawrence, et al.) pp 475.
A component of tropical cyclogenesis: convective redevelopment within a warm-core mesovortex; (Rogers) pp 555-556.
A study of three "hybrid" storms; (Beven) pp 645-646.
Wind Field Asymmetries
Surface wind fields of 1995 Hurricanes Erin, Opal, Luis, Marilyn, and Roxanne at landfall, and Surface wind fields in 1996 Hurricanes Bertha and Fran at landfall; (Houston, et al.) pp 90-93.
The asymmetric distribution of vertical motions and precipitation in the hurricane eyewall; (Black, et al.) pp 100-101.
Hurricane concentric eyewall characteristics as revealed by airborne Doppler radar analyses; (Marks, et al.) pp 102-102.
*** Convectively-induced mesocyclonic vortices in the eyewall of tropical cyclones as seen by WSR-88D Doppler radars; (Stewart, et al.) pp 106-108.
*** Utilization of airborne and NEXRAD data in the analysis of cloud-to-ground lightning in 1995 and 1996 tropical cyclones; (Samsury, et al.) pp 125-126.
Electronically active mesoscale convective complexes and their link to explosive tropical cyclogenesis; (Henning) pp 129-130.
NOAA Gulfstream IV
*** The NOAA G-IV and the tropical cyclone environment; (Parrish, et al.) pp 123-124.
GPS dropwindsondes and the NOAA G-IV jet aircraft: new opportunities for forecasting and research; (Franklin, et al.) pp 135-136.
Track, Intensity, and Storm Surge Forecasting
An operational evaluation of a statistical hurricane intensity prediction scheme (SHIPS); (DeMaria, et al.) pp 280-281.
Combining data assimilation and ensemble techniques for tropical cyclone forecasting; (Morison, et al.) pp 304-305.
*** Extended range prediction and simulation of Atlantic hurricanes using the GFDL model; (Tuleya) pp 312-313.
A study of the hurricane storm surge by the ADCIRC model; (Fitzpatrick, et al.) pp 413-414.
*** Development of a coupled hurricane-ocean forecast system in the North Atlantic; (Ginis, et al.) pp 443-444.
A preliminary analysis of the TRANTECH tropical cyclone forecasting technique; (Gray, et al.) pp 469-470.
Optimal use of a large-scale boundary and initial fields for limited-area hurricane forecast models; (Horsfall, et al.) pp 571-572.
*** National plan for tropical cyclone research and reconnaissance; (Dumont) pp 657-658.
Note: The NOAA plan has also been distributed to all offices.
NWSO Melbourne Papers
A spectrum of outer rain band mesocyclones associated with tropical cyclones; (Sharp, et al.) pp 117-118.
Hurricane operations at NWSO Melbourne: applied research and real-time operations; (Spratt, et al.) pp 659-660.
WSR-88D characteristics of tornado producing convective cells associated with tropical cyclones; (Hodanish, et al.) pp 675-676.