Cyclone-track based seasonal prediction for South Pacific tropical cyclone activity using APCC multi-model ensemble prediction

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

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3209-3229
Journal / PublicationClimate Dynamics
Issue number9-10
Early online date20 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


This study aims to predict the seasonal TC track density over the South Pacific by combining the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Climate Center (APCC) multi-model ensemble (MME) dynamical prediction system with a statistical model. The hybrid dynamical-statistical model is developed for each of the three clusters that represent major groups of TC best tracks in the South Pacific. The cross validation result from the MME hybrid model demonstrates moderate but statistically significant skills to predict TC numbers across all TC clusters, with correlation coefficients of 0.4 to 0.6 between the hindcasts and observations for 1982/1983 to 2008/2009. The prediction skill in the area east of about 170°E is significantly influenced by strong El Niño, whereas the skill in the southwest Pacific region mainly comes from the linear trend of TC number. The prediction skill of TC track density is particularly high in the region where there is climatological high TC track density around the area 160°E–180° and 20°S. Since this area has a mixed response with respect to ENSO, the prediction skill of TC track density is higher in non-ENSO years compared to that in ENSO years. Even though the cross-validation prediction skill is higher in the area east of about 170°E compared to other areas, this region shows less skill for track density based on the categorical verification due to huge influences by strong El Niño years. While prediction skill of the developed methodology varies across the region, it is important that the model demonstrates skill in the area where TC activity is high. Such a result has an important practical implication—improving the accuracy of seasonal forecast and providing communities at risk with advanced information which could assist with preparedness and disaster risk reduction.

Research Area(s)

  • Cyclone track clustering, Multimodel ensemble, Seasonal tropical cyclones, Southern Pacific