Sensitivity analysis of surface wind field reconstructions in tropical cyclones

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Madison, Emily Victoria
Hartley, Dana E.
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Accurate forecasts of tropical cyclone surface wind fields are essential for decisions involving evacuation preparation and damage potential. Towards addressing these actions, a comparison of the CFAN tropical cyclone surface wind field model with the H*Wind wind field reanalyzes is done to assess the accuracy of the CFAN algorithm and to determine potential limitations of its use. 16 tropical cyclones were assessed through correlation coefficient, mean bias, and root mean square error. The resolution of initial conditions to be ingested into the model was also analyzed, along with storm type and whether or not wind shear was a limiting factor. Results suggest that the CFAN wind model accurately predicts the H*Wind analyses in most regions of the TC. The center of circulation has the highest error due to the CFAN wind model treating the center of circulation as a point rather than having finite lateral extent. Results from the sensitivity analysis based on input resolution show that the minimum input resolution for the CFAN wind model to produce fine spatial resolutions with high fidelity is 0.25°. It is shown that the reproductions of weaker tropical cyclones have lower accuracy due to wind field asymmetries within these systems, while stronger TCs are better reproduced, as these systems are usually better organized. Finally, through the wind shear analysis, it is shown that the accuracy of reconstruction is not dependent on the magnitude of vertical wind shear.
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