Objective Measures of Tropical Cyclone Intensity and Formation from Satellite Infrared Imagery
AuthorPineros, Miguel F.
AdvisorRitchie, Elizabeth A
Tyo, J Scott
Committee ChairRitchie, Elizabeth A
Tyo, J Scott
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis document proposes an objective technique to estimate the intensity and predict the formation of tropical cyclones using infrared satellite imagery. As the tropical cyclone develops from an unstructured cloud cluster and intensifies the cloud structures become more axisymmetric around an identified reference point or center. This methodology processes the image gradient to measure the level of symmetry of cloud structures, which characterizes the degree of cloud organization of the tropical cyclone.The center of a cloud system is calculated by projecting and accumulating parallel lines to the gradient vectors. The point where the highest number of line intersections is located pinpoints a common point where the corresponding gradients are directed. This location is used as the center of the system. Next, a procedure that characterizes the departure of the weather system structure from axisymmetry is implemented. The deviation angle of each gradient vector relative to a radial line projected from the center is calculated. The variance of the set of deviation angles enclosed by a circular area around the center describes the axisymmetry of the system, and its behavior through time depicts its dynamics. Results are presented that show the time series of the deviation angle variances is well correlated with the National Hurricane Center best-track estimates.The formation of tropical cyclones is detected by extending the deviation-angle variance technique, it is calculated using every pixel in the scene as the center of the cloud system. Low angle variances indicate structures with high levels of axisimmetry, and these values are compared to a set of thresholds to determine whether a cloud structure can be considered as a vortex. The first detection in a sequence indicates a nascent storm. It was found that 86% of the tropical cyclones during 2004 and 2005 were detected 27 h on average before the National Hurricane Center classified them as tropical storms (33kt).Finally, two procedures to locate the center of a tropical cyclone are compared to the National Hurricane Center best-track center database. Results show that both techniques provide similar accuracy, which increases as the tropical cyclone evolves.
Degree ProgramElectrical & Computer Engineering