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Tropical cyclone track forecasting techniques: A review
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3997-1088
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, MDALAB - Human Computer Interfaces. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2801-7050
2012 (English)In: Atmospheric research, ISSN 0169-8095, Vol. 104-105, 40-69 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Delivering accurate cyclone forecasts in time is of key importance when it comes to saving human lives and reducing economic loss. Difficulties arise because the geographical and climatological characteristics of the various cyclone formation basins are not similar, which entail that a single forecasting technique cannot yield reliable performance in all ocean basins. For this reason, global forecasting techniques need to be applied together with basin-specific techniques to increase the forecast accuracy. As cyclone track is governed by a range of factors variations in weather conditions, wind pressure, sea surface temperature, air temperature, ocean currents, and the earths rotational force-the coriolis force, it is a formidable task to combine these parameters and produce reliable and accurate forecasts. In recent years, the availability of suitable data has increased and more advanced forecasting techniques have been developed, in addition to old techniques having been modified. In particular, artificial neural network based techniques are now being considered at meteorological offices. This new technique uses freely available satellite images as input, can be run on standard PCs, and can produce forecasts with good accuracy. For these reasons, artificial neural network based techniques seem especially suited for developing countries which have limited capacity to forecast cyclones and where human casualties are the highest. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2012. Vol. 104-105, 40-69 p.
Keyword [en]
Artificial neural networks; Cyclone forecasting models; Cyclone forecasting techniques; Cyclone track forecasting; Hurricane; Typhoon
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-74115DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2011.09.012OAI: diva2:480546
Available from: 2012-01-19 Created: 2012-01-19 Last updated: 2016-01-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. An Informed System Development Approach to Tropical Cyclone Track and Intensity Forecasting
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Informed System Development Approach to Tropical Cyclone Track and Intensity Forecasting
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Tropical Cyclones (TCs) inflict considerable damage to life and property every year. A major problem is that residents often hesitate to follow evacuation orders when the early warning messages are perceived as inaccurate or uninformative. The root problem is that providing accurate early forecasts can be difficult, especially in countries with less economic and technical means.

Aim: The aim of the thesis is to investigate how cyclone early warning systems can be technically improved. This means, first, identifying problems associated with the current cyclone early warning systems, and second, investigating if biologically based Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) are feasible to solve some of the identified problems.

Method: First, for evaluating the efficiency of cyclone early warning systems, Bangladesh was selected as study area, where a questionnaire survey and an in-depth interview were administered. Second, a review of currently operational TC track forecasting techniques was conducted to gain a better understanding of various techniques’ prediction performance, data requirements, and computational resource requirements. Third, a technique using biologically based ANNs was developed to produce TC track and intensity forecasts. Systematic testing was used to find optimal values for simulation parameters, such as feature-detector receptive field size, the mixture of unsupervised and supervised learning, and learning rate schedule. Five types of 2D data were used for training. The networks were tested on two types of novel data, to assess their generalization performance.

Results: A major problem that is identified in the thesis is that the meteorologists at the Bangladesh Meteorological Department are currently not capable of providing accurate TC forecasts. This is an important contributing factor to residents’ reluctance to evacuate. To address this issue, an ANN-based TC track and intensity forecasting technique was developed that can produce early and accurate forecasts, uses freely available satellite images, and does not require extensive computational resources to run. Bidirectional connections, combined supervised and unsupervised learning, and a deep hierarchical structure assists the parallel extraction of useful features from five types of 2D data. The trained networks were tested on two types of novel data: First, tests were performed with novel data covering the end of the lifecycle of trained cyclones; for these test data, the forecasts produced by the networks were correct in 91-100% of the cases. Second, the networks were tested with data of a novel TC; in this case, the networks performed with between 30% and 45% accuracy (for intensity forecasts).

Conclusions: The ANN technique developed in this thesis could, with further extensions and up-scaling, using additional types of input images of a greater number of TCs, improve the efficiency of cyclone early warning systems in countries with less economic and technical means. The thesis work also creates opportunities for further research, where biologically based ANNs can be employed for general-purpose weather forecasting, as well as for forecasting other severe weather phenomena, such as thunderstorms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping, Sweden: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 160 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1734
Biologically based artificial neural networks; bi-directionally connected networks; temporal sequence learning; accurate tropical cyclone forecasting; informative warning message;
National Category
Other Computer and Information Science
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123198 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-123198 (DOI)978-91-7685-854-7 (Print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-02-17, Alan Turing, Hus E, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2016-01-13 Created: 2015-12-06 Last updated: 2016-01-28Bibliographically approved

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