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Storm tracks from satellite-based observations

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Project Description

Pictured: Ten years of aggregated storm trajectories June-August

Storms are integral to water and energy transport across Earth’s atmosphere-ocean-land system. Using the Lagrangian framework, researchers can follow the movement of individual precipitation events to examine how their properties evolve over time. Additionally, this analysis elucidates where (and when) storms form and decay. Satellite-based observations are now mature enough to permit a global, high-resolution, and long-term record of storm trajectories across a variety of scales.

To follow storm trajectories over time, we use the ForTrACC algorithm (Vila et al, 2007) and globally merged IR cloud top brightness temperature (NCEP/CPC 4km IR dataset). The resulting "Sigma Stormtracks" are available on request.

More information can be found in our manuscript:
R.B. Esmaili, Y. Tian, D.A. Vila, K.-M. Kim, 2016: Lagrangian analysis of cloud clusters and their life cycles with satellite observations. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, 121: [doi: 10.1002/2016JD025653]

Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center
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