Climate Dynamics

, Volume 49, Issue 7–8, pp 2585–2603 | Cite as

A climatological model of North Indian Ocean tropical cyclone genesis, tracks and landfall

  • Mohammad Wahiduzzaman
  • Eric C. J. Oliver
  • Simon J. Wotherspoon
  • Neil J. HolbrookEmail author


Extensive damage and loss of life can be caused by tropical cyclones (TCs) that make landfall. Modelling of TC landfall probability is beneficial to insurance/re-insurance companies, decision makers, government policy and planning, and residents in coastal areas. In this study, we develop a climatological model of tropical cyclone genesis, tracks and landfall for North Indian Ocean (NIO) rim countries based on kernel density estimation, a generalised additive model (GAM) including an Euler integration step, and landfall detection using a country mask approach. Using a 35-year record (1979–2013) of tropical cyclone track observations from the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (part of the International Best Track Archive Climate Stewardship Version 6), the GAM is fitted to the observed cyclone track velocities as a smooth function of location in each season. The distribution of cyclone genesis points is approximated by kernel density estimation. The model simulated TCs are randomly selected from the fitted kernel (TC genesis), and the cyclone paths (TC tracks), represented by the GAM together with the application of stochastic innovations at each step, are simulated to generate a suite of NIO rim landfall statistics. Three hindcast validation methods are applied to evaluate the integrity of the model. First, leave-one-out cross validation is applied whereby the country of landfall is determined by the majority vote (considering the location by only highest percentage of landfall) from the simulated tracks. Second, the probability distribution of simulated landfall is evaluated against the observed landfall. Third, the distances between the point of observed landfall and simulated landfall are compared and quantified. Overall, the model shows very good cross-validated hindcast skill of modelled landfalling cyclones against observations in each of the NIO tropical cyclone seasons and for most NIO rim countries, with only a relatively small difference in the percentage of predicted landfall locations compared with observations.


Tropical cyclone Genesis Tracks Landfall North Indian Ocean Generalised additive model Kernel density estimation 



We would like to sincerely thank the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments that helped us to significantly improve the quality of this manuscript. Mohammad Wahiduzzaman was supported by a Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) for this PhD research undertaken at the University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. This paper makes a contribution to the objectives of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (ARCCCS).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Wahiduzzaman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eric C. J. Oliver
    • 1
    • 3
  • Simon J. Wotherspoon
    • 1
    • 4
  • Neil J. Holbrook
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS)University of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Geography and EnvironmentJahangirnagar UniversityDhakaBangladesh
  3. 3.Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate System ScienceUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  4. 4.Australian Antarctic DivisionKingstonAustralia

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