Tropical Cyclone Research Group

Cloud Cluster Density
Number of cloud clusters that tracked within 55 km of a grid point each year (1980-2008). From Hennon et al. (2010).

The Tropical Cyclone Research Group at UNC Asheville consists of students who are interested in all types of research questions. We currently focus on 3 core areas of research. More details can be found by following the linked titles:

Tropical Cyclogenesis Prediction - Statistical methods of forecasting tropical cyclogenesis (tropical cyclone formation) currently outperform dynamical numerical models. We are continuing to refine and improve our own statistical model through the creation of large datasets and testing of better predictors.

Remote Sensing of Tropical Cyclone Surface Winds - We recently concluded a 4-year collaboration with the University of Central Florida and NASA to improve the ability of the SeaWinds scatterometer (an instrument that can determine surface wind speeds by measuring centimeter scale ripples on the ocean surface) to record surface winds in tropical cyclones. A new 4-year follow up project will investigate improving these measurements in the presence of rain, which contaminates the signal.

Tracking Tropical Cloud Clusters - One of the biggest problems with statistical prediction schemes is the small number of historical case studies. The IBTrACS project has provided funding to develop an automated, objective algorithm to create a global dataset of tropical cloud clusters. These data can be used to further tropical cyclogenesis prediction and the long time period (1980-2009) may be useful for climate studies.

Students in our undergraduate research program are also free to pursue their own research project, whether it be in tropical meteorology or another atmospheric science area. Please contact me if you would like more information about any of these projects or undergraduate research at UNC Asheville.

North Carolina's Public Liberal Arts University