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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-180
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model description paper 23 Aug 2018

Model description paper | 23 Aug 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

TPVTrack v1.0: A watershed segmentation and overlap correspondence method for tracking tropopause polar vortices

Nicholas Szapiro and Steven Cavallo Nicholas Szapiro and Steven Cavallo
  • School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA

Abstract. A new modular, free software package is described for tracking tropopause polar vortices (TPVs) natively on structured or unstructured grids. Motivated by limitations in spatial characterization and time tracking within existing approaches, TPVTrack leverages the dynamics of TPVs to represent their (1) spatial structure, with variable shapes and intensities and (2) time evolution, with mergers and splits. TPVs are segmented from the gridded flow field into spatial objects as restricted regional watershed basins on the tropopause, described by geometric metrics, associated over time by overlap similarity into major and minor correspondences, and tracked along major correspondences. Simplified segmentation and correspondence test cases illustrate some of the appeal, sensitivities, and limitations of TPVTrack, including effective representation of spatial shape and reduced false positive associations in time. Tracked TPVs in more realistic historical conditions are consistent in bulk with expectations of life cycle and mean structure. Individual tracks are less reliable when discriminating between multiple overlaps. Modifications to track other physical features are possible, with each application requiring evaluation.

Nicholas Szapiro and Steven Cavallo
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Nicholas Szapiro and Steven Cavallo
Model code and software

tpvTrack v1.0 N. Szapiro and S. Cavallo https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1311001

Nicholas Szapiro and Steven Cavallo
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Latest update: 13 Nov 2018
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Short summary
Tropopause polar vortices (TPVs) are coherent (anti)cyclonic features based on the tropopause common in polar regions with typical radii of 100 to 1000 km, intensities of 1 to 50 K, and lifetimes of days to months. Towards furthering our understanding of TPV structure and dynamics and their linkages throughout the earth system, the tracker more robustly represents TPV shape as variable size and intensity undulations on the tropopause and lifetime as material eddies with similarity over time.
Tropopause polar vortices (TPVs) are coherent (anti)cyclonic features based on the tropopause...
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