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An Examination of the Predictability of Tropical Cyclone Genesis in High-Resolution Coupled Models with Dynamically Downscaled Coupled Data Assimilation Initialization

An Erratum to this article was published on 09 October 2020

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Predicting tropical cyclone (TC) genesis is of great societal importance but scientifically challenging. It requires fine-resolution coupled models that properly represent air-sea interactions in the atmospheric responses to local warm sea surface temperatures and feedbacks, with aid from coherent coupled initialization. This study uses three sets of high-resolution regional coupled models (RCMs) covering the Asia-Pacific (AP) region initialized with local observations and dynamically downscaled coupled data assimilation to evaluate the predictability of TC genesis in the West Pacific. The AP-RCMs consist of three sets of high-resolution configurations of the Weather Research and Forecasting-Regional Ocean Model System (WRF-ROMS): 27-km WRF with 9-km ROMS, and 9-km WRF with 3-km ROMS. In this study, a 9-km WRF with 9-km ROMS coupled model system is also used in a case test for the predictability of TC genesis. Since the local sea surface temperatures and wind shear conditions that favor TC formation are better resolved, the enhanced-resolution coupled model tends to improve the predictability of TC genesis, which could be further improved by improving planetary boundary layer physics, thus resolving better air-sea and air-land interactions.

摘 要

热带气旋生成的预报预测具有重大的社会经济价值和科学意义, 是一个极具科学挑战性的课题. 在实现方法方面, 需要具有耦合同化功能的高分辨率耦合模式, 恰当地描述诸如大气对局地暖海表温度的响应和反馈这样的海气相互作用过程. 本研究采用三套覆盖亚太地区 (AP) 的高分辨率区域耦合模式 (RCMs) 来评估西太平洋热带气旋生成的可预报性, 这些模式都通过动力降尺度耦合同化来融入本地观测进行初始化. AP-RCMs 分别由三套高分辨率的 WRF-ROMS (Weather Research and Forecasting – Regional Ocean Model System) 耦合模式组成: 27-km WRF 与 9-km ROMS, 9-km WRF 与 3-km ROMS, 以及 9-km WRF 与 9-km ROMS. 结果表明, 适当分辨率的耦合模式配合平衡协调的耦合初始化方案可以提前 1-5 天预报出该区域内 80% 的热带气旋生成, 更高分辨率的耦合模式可以更好的解析有利于热带气旋形成的局地海表温度和风切变条件, 因此具有提高热带气旋生成可预报性的趋势. 未来通过改善模式行星边界层的物理过程, 更好地解析海-气-陆之间的相互作用, 可以进一步提高热带气旋生成的可预报性.

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  • 09 October 2020

    In the figure legends of Fig. 8, the solid-dot and dashed lines should be switched over. The correct figure is shown below. We apologize for that.


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Correspondence to Shaoqing Zhang.

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Article Highlights

• Three sets of high-resolution coupled models with coupled data assimilation are used to study the predictability of tropical cyclone genesis.

• With coherent coupled initialization, high-resolution coupled models resolving mesoscale air-sea interactions can predict TC genesis a few days in advance.

• A high-resolution coupled model that better resolves local warm SSTs and weak wind shears that favor TC formation can improve the predictability of TC genesis.


We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their thorough examinations and useful and helpful comments on the early version of the manuscript. This research was supported by the National Key Research & Development Program of China (Grant Nos. 2017YFC1404100 and 2017YFC1404104) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41775100 and 41830964), as well as Shandong Province’s “Taishan” Scientist Project. Data used to produce the figures and analyses in this work are available at: (password: 25jz) or by sending a written request to the corresponding author (Shaoqing ZHANG, This research is also within the collaborative project between the Ocean University of China (OUC), Texas A&M University (TAMU) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and completed through the International Laboratory for High Resolution Earth System Prediction (iHESP)—a collaboration among QNLM, TAMU and NCAR.

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Li, M., Zhang, S., Wu, L. et al. An Examination of the Predictability of Tropical Cyclone Genesis in High-Resolution Coupled Models with Dynamically Downscaled Coupled Data Assimilation Initialization. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 37, 939–950 (2020).

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Key words

  • high-resolution coupled model
  • tropical cyclone formation
  • predictability
  • TC genesis
  • coupled data assimilation


  • 高分辨率耦合模式
  • 动力降尺度耦合资料同化
  • 热带气旋成因
  • 热带气旋生成
  • 可预报性