A 31-year climatology of tropical cyclone size from the NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

4 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e796-e806
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Climatology
Issue numberS1
Online published14 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


A 31-year tropical cyclone (TC) size climatology (1980–2010) is established using the NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis for the western North Pacific (WNP) and the North Atlantic (NA). The size of a TC, defined as the azimuthally averaged radius of 17 m s−1 wind near the sea surface, is estimated using the strong relationship between TC size and azimuthally averaged winds in the outer-core region of the TC. The estimation method is verified by comparing the TC size climatology established using the QuikSCAT satellite data. The monthly and annual variations in both climatologies agree with each other. 
Based on this 31-year data set, the mean TC sizes over the WNP and NA are 2.01° and 1.61° latitude, respectively. TC size in both basins exhibits temporal intra-seasonal and annual as well as spatial variations. Inter-annual TC size variations in the WNP are highly correlated (r = 0.816) with El Niño-Southern Oscillation events. In WNP, the highest percentage of large TCs occurs near 25°N, which agrees with previous modelling and observational studies.

Research Area(s)

  • reanalysis data, tropical cyclone, tropical cyclone size climatology