Predicting Atlantic seasonal hurricane activity using outgoing longwave radiation over Africa
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Seasonal hurricane activity is a function of the amount of initial disturbances (e.g., easterly waves) and the background environment in which they develop into tropical storms (i.e., the main development region). Focusing on the former, a set of indices based solely upon the meridional structure of satellite-derived outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) over the African continent are shown to be capable of predicting Atlantic seasonal hurricane activity with very high rates of success. Predictions of named storms based on the July OLR field and trained only on the time period prior to the year being predicted yield a success rate of 87%, compared to the success rate of NOAA's August outlooks of 53% over the same period and with the same average uncertainty range (±2). The resulting OLR indices are statistically robust, highly detectable, physically linked to the predictand, and may account for longer-term observed trends.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2016. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 43 (2016): 7152–7159, doi:10.1002/2016GL069792.
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