, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 515-530

The effect of Doppler correction on measures of storm track intensity

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Abstract

In climate research, the intensity of a storm track is often measured by the band pass filtered eddy kinetic energy, geopotential variance or related variables. The interpretation of such fields disregards the influence the advection speed might have on these measures. In this paper the need for a Doppler corrected storm track measure is discussed. A Doppler corrected measure is defined and applied to 10 years of ECMWF reanalysis data, correcting the storm track measure for spatial and temporal variability of the advection speed. The storm track intensity is also calculated correcting only for the temporal variability of the advection speed. It is also related to fluctuations of the NAO teleconnection pattern. The Doppler correction suggests that (1) maximum and minimum baroclinic activity is found somewhat downstream of the locations indicated by non-corrected measures, (2) the storm track activity estimated by conventional measures is much too low in the areas of the eastern ends of the storm tracks, (3) the monthly mean time series of the strength of a storm track, as estimated by conventional measures, is strongly influenced by the variability of the advection speed at times, (4) the strength of the storm track seems to be less strongly connected with teleconnection patterns such as NAO or with the background mean flow speed than usually thought on the basis of conventional Eulerian statistics.