Tropical Cyclone Kinematic Structure Retrieved from Single-Doppler Radar Observations. Part II: The GBVTD-Simplex Center Finding Algorithm

Wen-Chau Lee, Frank D. Marks
2000 Monthly Weather Review  
This paper is the second of a series and focuses on developing an algorithm to objectively identify tropical cyclone (TC) vorticity centers using single-Doppler radar data. The first paper dealt with the formulation of a single-Doppler radar TC wind retrieval technique, the ground-based velocity-track-display (GBVTD), and the results are verified using analytical TCs. It has been acknowledged that the quality of the GBVTD-retrieved TC circulation strongly depends on accurately knowing its
more » ... y knowing its center position. However, existing single-Doppler radar center finding algorithms are limited to estimate centers for axisymmetric TCs. The proposed algorithm uses a simplex method to objectively estimate the TC vorticity center by maximizing GBVTD-retrieved mean tangential wind. When tested with a number of axisymmetric and asymmetric analytical TCs, the accuracy of the TC centers estimated by the GBVTD-simplex algorithm is ഠ340 m from the true center. When adding 5 m s Ϫ1 random noise to the Doppler velocities, the accuracy of the TC centers is nearly unchanged at 350 m. When applying the GBVTD-simplex algorithm to Typhoon Alex (1987), the estimated uncertainty varies between 0.1 and 2 km. When the overall velocity gradient is weak, the uncertainties in the retrieved TC centers are usually large. The GBVTD-simplex algorithm sometimes has problems finding a solution when a large sector of Doppler radar data is missing in conjunction with weak velocity gradients. The GBVTD-simplex algorithm significantly reduces the uncertainties in estimating TC center position compared with existing methods and improves the quality of the GBVTD-retrieved TC circulation. The GBVTDsimplex algorithm is computationally efficient and can be easily adapted for real-time applications.
doi:10.1175/1520-0493(2000)128<1925:tcksrf>;2 fatcat:ktqvhy5ebzfvjpc42ihobubtxu