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Ocean coupling in tropical cyclone forecasts

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Tropical cyclones are one of the deadliest weather phenomena. Typhoon Haiyan, for example, caused more than 6,000 fatalities when it struck the Philippines in November 2013.

One of the avenues being pursued at ECMWF to improve forecasts of tropical cyclones is to better take into account interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere during the forecast period.

Experiments have shown that coupling the ocean and the atmosphere in the forecast model leads to better predictions of tropical cyclone intensity.

Coupling does not improve the forecast in all circumstances. It is particularly important when there is only a relatively shallow top layer of warm ocean water.


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