Robustness of best track data and associated cyclone activity over the North Indian Ocean region during and prior to satellite era

Abstract

There are few studies focusing on analysing climatological variation in cyclone activity by utilising the best track data provided by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) over the North Indian Ocean (NIO). The result of such studies has been beneficial in decision-making by government and meteorological agencies. It is essential to assess the quality and reliability of the currently available version of the dataset so that its robustness can be established and the current study focuses on this aspect. The analysis indicates that there is an improvement over the years in the quality and availability of the data related to cyclones over NIO, especially in terms of frequency of genesis, intensity, landfall etc. The available data from 1961 onwards has been found robust enough with the advent of satellite technology. However, there can be still missing information and inaccuracy in determining the location and intensity of cyclones during the polar satellite era (1961–1973). The study also indicates undercount of severe cyclones during the pre-satellite era. Considering the relatively smaller size of NIO basin, these errors can be neglected and thus, the IMD best track data can be considered as reliable enough for analysing cyclone activity in this region.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the India Meteorological Department (www.imd.gov.in) for providing the TC best track data. This work is partly supported by the project funded by Space Applications Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation with Grant Number SAC/EPSA/4.19/2016. The authors would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions and comments, which helped to improve the paper further.

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Correspondence to Jagabandhu Panda.

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Corresponding editor: A K Sahai

Communicated by A K Sahai

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Singh, K., Panda, J. & Mohapatra, M. Robustness of best track data and associated cyclone activity over the North Indian Ocean region during and prior to satellite era. J Earth Syst Sci 129, 84 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-020-1344-x

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Keywords

  • Tropical cyclones
  • best track
  • satellite
  • North Indian Ocean