Comparative performance of HWRF model coupled with POM and HYCOM for tropical cyclones over North Indian Ocean
Keywords:Tropical cyclones, HWRF, POM, HYCOM.
The demonstration of air-sea interaction in the high-resolution numerical weather prediction (NWP) model is the necessary condition to predict the extreme event like tropical cyclone. It is already established that the coupled mesoscale models are capable of forecasting the track and intensity of tropical cyclones with reasonable skill over North Indian Ocean (NIO) basin and over other ocean basins as well. The Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model is consequently operational by India Meteorological Department (IMD) for the forecasting tropical cyclones like many other National Meteorological and Hydrological Services.
Two different coupled versions of HWRF modeling systems with feature based Princeton Ocean Model (POM) and eddy-resolving Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) are employed for the real-time forecasting of tropical cyclones over NIO. In this study, the comparison of forecast skills between two coupled variants in predicting track and intensity for all eight cyclones during 2019 has been carried out. The results show that the track prediction of all cyclones by HWRF model coupled with HYCOM is comparatively better than that with POM. But the intensity prediction skills of both coupled models do not portray any obvious superiority for all forecast hours. The absolute intensity errors of HWRF model with POM coupling are large compared to HYCOM during initial phase up to 60 hours of forecast except for Vayu cyclone. But, the errors in intensity exhibited by POM are a bit smaller compared to HYCOM for longer lead period. However, the standard deviation is very large for both models and numbers of forecasts verified are also less. In case of two cyclones of 2020, the ability of coupled variant with HYCOM is superior to POM in forecasting the tracks of cyclones. Considering the skills of both the models for intensity prediction, it is clear that the use of coupled HCOM model for short-lived weaker storms is advantageous but the performance of the model is not consistently maintained with longer lead time for intense and long-lived cyclone. A brief assessment of surface fluxes and Sea Surface Temperature reveals that HYCOM portray more realistic ocean condition in turn surface fluxes compared to POM and therefore the coupled variant of HWRF with HYCOM is superior to the variant with POM while forecasting cyclones over deep Ocean.
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