An Object-Based Method for Tracking Convective Storms in Convection Allowing Models
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An Object-Based Method for Tracking Convective Storms in Convection Allowing Models

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    The steady-state assumption commonly used in object-based tracking algorithms may be insufficient to determine the right track when a convective storm goes through a complicated evolution. Such an issue is exacerbated by the relatively coarse output frequency of current convection allowing model (CAM) forecasts (e.g., hourly), giving rise to many spatially well resolved but temporally not well resolved storms that steady-state assumption could not account for. To reliably track simulated storms in CAM outputs, this study proposed an object-based method with two new features. First, the method explicitly estimated the probability of each probable track based on either its immediate past and future motion or a reliable “first-guess motion” derived from storm climatology or near-storm environmental variables. Second, object size was incorporated into the method to help identify temporally not well resolved storms and minimize false tracks derived for them. Parameters of the new features were independently derived from a storm evolution analysis using 2-min Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) data and hourly CAM forecasts produced by the University of Oklahoma (OU) Multiscale data Assimilation and Predictability Laboratory (MAP) from May 2019. The performance of the new method was demonstrated with hourly MRMS and CAM forecast examples from May 2018. A systematic evaluation of four severe weather events indicated 99% accuracy achieved for over 600 hourly MRMS tracks derived with the proposed tracking method.
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    Atmosphere, 12(11), 1535
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