Skip to main content

Understanding and predicting high-impact tropical cyclones

Academic lead
Dr Juliane Schwendike, Earth and Environment
Dr Stephen Griffiths, Mathematics, Dr Andrew Ross, Earth and Environment
Project themes
Environmental Flows

Each year tropical cyclones cause enormous amounts of damage due to their destructive winds, heavy precipitation and their effects on the sea. Two particularly intense tropical cyclones have recently affected the Philippines. In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan killed over 6,300 people and caused £1.8 billion in total damage. In December of the following year, Typhoon Hagupit killed 18 people and caused £71 million of damage to infra structure and agriculture. Being able to accurately forecast the track and intensity of these high impact weather systems is crucial to enable people, to take appropriate action in time to minimise the damage to livelihood, property and economy. The aim of this project is to investigate how these two tropical cyclones are represented in the Met Office numerical weather prediction model, the Unified Model (UM), by addressing the following questions: What is the role of diabtic processes on intensity and track? Why is there larger spread in the ensemble of forecasts for Typhoon Hagupit than for Haiyan? What are the key dynamical processes that need to be represented in order to correctly capture the development, the intensity and track of tropical cyclones in the UM? How do the tropical cyclone and the surrounding environment interact with each other?