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Visualizations - Hurricanes

Model Generated Hurricanes


Title Sandy-like storms in NOAA-GFDL Research Model
Description NOAA-GFDL's high-resolution global ocean-atmosphere-land-ice model (FLOR) for the understanding and prediction of global and regional climate on timescales of months to decades spontaneously generates Sandy-like storms, with the distinctive and unusual "left hook" into the U.S. east coast. This model can be used to explore the conditions that lead to "Sandy-like" storms in the Atlantic, and other unusual extreme events, to help improve our understanding and ability to predict unusual extreme events.
Model name GFDL-FLOR
Scientist(s) Gabriel Vecchi
Date created March, 2013
Visualization Personnel Dan Pisut
Files HTML5 Video
Flash
MP4 (37 MB)


Title Hurricane vortices in a global atmospheric model
Description A snapshot of the surface wind field in a version of GFDL's HiRAM model with 50 km horizontal resolution, a model that develops tropical cyclones with a realistic spatial distribution and frequency.  One such tropical cyclone can be seen off the coast of Florida in this snapshot.  This is an atmospheric model used in conjunction with the sea surface temperatures (SST) projected for the coming century by models of much lower resolution to provide an estimate of how tropical cyclones may change in the future.  The histogram indicates how the frequency of Atlantic hurricanes will change in the future, according to this model, given the SSTs projected by a variety of CMIP3 and CMIP5 models.  Differences in the spatial patterns of SST projections have large effects on these North Atlantic hurricane frequency changes, with some SST projections resulting in increases and some decreases in frequency.  This sobering result suggests that more definitive projections of the spatial pattern of ocean temperature changes are a prerequisite for better projections of changes in tropical cyclone statistics.  Results from Hi/RAM and 4 other GFDL models were provided to the community and the AR5 authors through the CMIP5 archive.  
Model name GFDL C180HiRAM
Scientist(s) Isaac Held, Ming Zhao, S.J. Lin
Date created February 22, 2011
Visualization Personnel Isaac Held, using ncview
Files Flash
HTML5 Video


Title Data-driven simulation of the peak 2008 hurricane season
Description The peak of the 2008 hurricane season is simulated using GFDL’s High Resolution Atmosphere Model (HiRAM), at 12.5km resolution. To keep the simulation as close to the true state of the atmosphere as possible, the large-scale component of the model's 3D flow is nudged towards the NCEP analysis, while the vortex-scale motion is nudged towards the observed hurricane tracks and intensity. This animation shows the cloud pattern (vertically integrated sum of cloud ice, cloud liquid water, snow, rain, and small hail) associated with hurricanes from August 25 to October 1 (one hour per frame).
Model name GFDL High Resolution Atmosphere Model (HiRAM) with a 6-category bulk cloud micro-physics
Scientist(s) S.J. Lin
Date created September 2011
Visualization Personnel Remik Ziemlinski
Files Flash
HTML5 Video

Simulated clouds and weather systems generated for a three-month period (Aug-Oct 2005) using the GFDL Zetac regional atmospheric model. These visualizations are also available as supplemental material for the Nature Geosciences letter Simulated reduction in Atlantic hurricane frequency under twenty-first-century warming conditions .


Title Model Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR)
Description An animation of simulated clouds and weather systems generated for a three-month period (Aug-Oct 2005) using the GFDL Zetac regional atmospheric model. The brighest shading in the tropical parts of the domain corresponds to high clouds associated with storms and deep tropical convection.

Land reflectivity image courtesy NASA

Reproduced as cover art in the June 2008 printing of Nature Geoscience.
Model name GFDL ZETAC
Scientist(s) Tom Knutson
Isaac Held
Steve Garner
Joe Sirutis
Gabe Vecchi
Date created 2008-05-15
Visualization Personnel Remik Ziemlinski
Files Avi (10 MB)
Mov (26 MB)
Wmv (15 MB)
Flash
HTML5 Video
Png (4.8 MB)


Title Model Surface Pressure
Description Two contrasting seasons are compared--an inactive (1994) and an active (2005) hurricane season. In this animation, model-generated tropical storms, hurricanes, and strong extratropical storms are apparent as intense low- pressure systems that travel through the domain. Bottom panels show the observed and simulated storm tracks for the two seasons. Note how the model produces highly contrasting overall activity levels for the two seasons, similar to that observed.
Model name GFDL ZETAC
Scientist(s) Tom Knutson
Isaac Held
Steve Garner
Joe Sirutis
Gabe Vecchi
Date created 2008-05-15
Visualization Personnel n/a
Files Avi (6 MB)
Mov (21 MB)
Wmv (6 MB)
Flash
HTML5 Video
Png (3.5 MB)


Title Boundary Layer Wind Speed
Description Animation of low-level wind speeds from a three month simulation using the GFDL Zetac regional atmospheric model. Model-generated tropical storms, hurricanes, and strong extratropical storms are apparent as wind speed maxima that travel through the domain. Red colors roughly denote surface wind speeds above hurricane strength (>33 m s-1).
Model name GFDL ZETAC
Scientist(s) Tom Knutson
Isaac Held
Steve Garner
Joe Sirutis
Gabe Vecchi
Date created 2008-05-15
Visualization Personnel n/a
Files Avi (5 MB)
Mov (14 MB)
Wmv (6 MB)
Flash
HTML5 Video
Png (608 KB)

Schematic Representations of Storms


Title Idealized View of Multiple Influences of Global Warming on Hurricane
Description This animation illustrates the factors likely to influence Atlantic hurricanes under CO2 induced global warming. On the one hand, the oceans are projected to warm, increasing the thermodynamic potential of hurricanes. On the other hand, vertical wind shear is projected to increase, the effect of which should be in the opposite sense to that of the warming oceans. What is the effect of both factors together?

Even though the effect of each factor in isolation is well established, the net effect of warming oceans and increased shear on Atlantic hurricane intensity and frequency is yet to be understood.

It is also important to note that the model-projected increase in vertical wind shear is limited to the East Pacific and Tropical Atlantic, with other regions showing a decrease in wind shear (see IPCC models and hurricanes website or Vecchi and Soden (2007) for discussion).
Model name Idealized Visualization
Scientist(s) Gabriel Vecchi
Brian Soden
Date created 2007-04-18
Visualization Personnel Remik Ziemlinski
Files Mpg (12 MB)
Mov (14.4 MB)
H.264 (7.1 MB)
Flash
HTML5 Video
Png (370 KB)


Title Effect of remote sea surface temperature change on tropical cyclone potential intensity
Description
Model name
Scientist(s) Gabriel Vecchi
Brian Soden
Date created 2007
Visualization Personnel Remik Ziemlinski
Files Flash
HTML5 Video

Katrina (2005)

Title Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR)
Description 5-day forecast of hurricane Katrina starting at 00Z August 26, 2005 using a global atmospheric model based on a cubed-sphere grid with 25km resolution.
Model name GFDL global atmospheric cubed-sphere (C360)
Scientist(s) Shian-Jiann Lin
Date created 2009-01-15
Visualization Personnel n/a
Files Mpeg (6.2 MB)
Flash
HTML5 Video
Png (1.1 MB)


Title Vertically Integrated Water Vapor
Description 5-day forecast of hurricane Katrina starting at 00Z August 26, 2005 using a global atmospheric model based on a cubed-sphere grid with 25km resolution.
Model name GFDL global atmospheric cubed-sphere (C360)
Scientist(s) Shian-Jiann Lin
Date created 2009-01-15
Visualization Personnel n/a
Files Mpeg (2.4 MB)
Flash
HTML5 Video
Png (765 KB)



Title
GFDL Operational Hurricane Model Forecast of Katrina
Description Several hurricane attributes are animated simultaneously for the GFDL Forecast Model of hurricane Katrina revealing a cooling wake in the Gulf of Mexico.
Model name GFDL Operational Hurricane Model
Scientist(s) Morris Bender
Timothy Marchok
Date created 2006
Visualization personnel Remik Ziemlinski
Hans Vahlenkamp
John Sheldon
Files Png 2520x1419 (3.4 MB)
Mpeg4 (5.6 MB)
Flash
HTML5 Video
Png (929 KB)



Title
GFDL Operational Hurricane Model Relative Humidity Loop of Katrina
Description

The three-nest structure of the GFDL Hurricane Model can be seen in this animation of vertically integrated relative humidity at half hour intervals between the model dates August 27-30, 2005. The magenta glyphs depict actual observed track positions.

Shown here is a model forecast of relative humidity, which can be compared to the actual satellite loop shown below.

Model name GFDL Operational Hurricane Model
Scientist(s) Morris Bender
Timothy Marchok
Date created 2006
Visualization personnel Remik Ziemlinski
Hans Vahlenkamp
John Sheldon
Files Mpeg4 (4.3MB)
Flash
HTML5 Video
Png (1.2 MB)



Title
Hurricane Katrina Infrared Satellite Loop
Description Infrared imagery from the NOAA GOES satellite system have been animated between August 24-30, 2005.
Model name Satellite Loop
Scientist(s) Morris Bender
Timothy Marchok
Date created 2006
Visualization personnel Remik Ziemlinski
Hans Vahlenkamp
John Sheldon
Files Mpeg4 (20MB)
Flash
HTML5 Video
Png (902 KB)

2004 Hurricane Season Model Forecasts



Title GFDL Operational Hurricane Model Forecast of 2004 Hurricane Season
Description This sequence shows the model tracks, precipitation and eyewalls for the 2004 hurricanes Charley, Ivan, Frances, and Jeanne.
Model name GFDL Operational Hurricane Model
Scientist(s)

Morris Bender

Timorthy Marchok

Date created 2005
Visualization Personnel Remik Ziemlinski
Files Mpeg (27.9 Mb)
Flash
HTML5 Video
Png (636 KB)

Isabel (2003)


Title Coupled Model Forecast
Description

This animation illustrates a three-dimensional view of Hurricane Isabel approaching the East Coast of the United States. Results were obtained from a 99-hour forecast made at 8:00am, September 15th using the dynamical Hurricane Prediction System developed at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory (GFDL). Hurricane Isabel, which struck the Outer Banks of North Carolina on September 19th, 2003, caused extensive damage over a large area of the mid-Atlantic coast stretching from North Carolina to northern Virginia.

The animation displays the 350K isosurface (light-colored sheet) of "equivalent potential temperature", which measures the combined effects of heat and moisture and is therefore a fundamental quantity of hurricanes, a heat engine-like phenomena dependent on warm, moist tropical oceans and cumulus heating. The white arrows indicate wind speed and direction near the earth's surface.

As the hurricane's strong winds move across the ocean the cooler waters from below are brought up to the surface resulting in significant decrease in the sea surface temperature. Since the 2000 hurricane season this effect has been included in the operational GFDL model, by coupling the atmospheric model to the Princeton Ocean Model. This effect can clearly be seen in the animation, with a wake of cooler waters trailing the storm, indicated by the blue colors. Inclusion of the ocean coupling is important for the hurricane model to properly forecast the storm's intensity.

Since 1995, the GFDL model has provided forecast guidance of track and intensity for forecasters at the National Hurricane Center. In 2003, the model's vertical resolution and physics was significantly upgraded and the forecast guidance has been extended out to 5 days. So far this season, the improved GFDL model has out-preformed all other computer guidance.

Model name GFDL Operational Hurricane Model
Scientist(s) Morris Bender
Date created 2003-09
Visualization Personnel John Sheldon
Hans Vahlenkamp
Remik Ziemlinski
Files Mpeg (34.4 MB)
Avi (31.1 MB)
Png (1.5 MB)
HTML5 Video

Title Coupled Model Relative Humidity
Description An animation of the Coupled Model's relative humidity parameter may be seen against the true observed locations.
Model name GFDL Operational Hurricane Model
Scientist(s) Morris Bender
Date created 2003-09
Visualization Personnel John Sheldon
Hans Vahlenkamp
Remik Ziemlinski
Files Avi (4.9 MB)
Png (216 KB)
HTML5 Video

Title GOES Infra-Red Tracking (CONUS)
Description GOES satellite imagery animation of Continental U.S.
Model name GFDL Operational Hurricane Model
Scientist(s) Morris Bender
Date created 2003-09
Visualization Personnel John Sheldon
Hans Vahlenkamp
Remik Ziemlinski
Files Avi (4.8 MB)
HTML5 Video
Png (186 KB)


Title GOES Infra-Red Tracking (Atlantic)
Description GOES satellite imagery animation of U.S. Atlantic coast.
Model name GFDL Operational Hurricane Model
Scientist(s) Morris Bender
Date created 2003-09
Visualization Personnel John Sheldon
Hans Vahlenkamp
Remik Ziemlinski
Files Avi (23.4 MB)
HTML5 Video
Png (233 KB)

Floyd (1999)



Title GFDL Operational Hurricane Model Forecast of Floyd
Description

Three-dimensional view of Hurricane Floyd as it approached landfall at Cape Fear on September 16, 1999. Results were obtained from a forecast made using the dynamical Hurricane Prediction System developed at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory (GFDL) and adopted as the official operational hurricane prediction model at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (formerly the National Meteorological Center) starting with the 1995 hurricane season. The model correctly forecast the path of Floyd up the East Coast of the United States.

In the figure, winds in excess of gale force are indicated by the magenta and white arrows at the surface and top of the storm, respectively. The color shading at the earth's surface represents the precipitation, with red indicating higher intensities. The gray three-dimensional “cloud-like” feature is the 80% relative humidity surface, cut away on its eastern side to reveal the hurricane's interior structure, including the tube-like eye down the center. The horizontal plane slicing through the middle of the storm, and the red vertical arrows, indicate the upward motion in the storm's interior. Note the north-south asymmetry of the storm, as Floyd gets swept up in the larger-scale southwesterly flow.

Model name GFDL Operational Hurricane Model
Scientist(s) Morris Bender
Timothy Marchok
Date created 2000
Visualization Personnel
Files Tiff
Mpg (8.5 Mb)
Avi (11.8 Mb)
Mpg (9.6 Mb)
Avi (10 Mb)
Avi (12.7 Mb)
Gif (294 Kb)
HTML5 Video

Mitch (1998)



Title GFDL Operational Hurricane Model Forecast of Mitch
Description

Deadliest hurricane to hit Central America in 200 years. A category 5 storm at one point, Mitch stalled off the coast of Honduras, then slowly moved through Central America, causing massive flooding.

Shown in this diagram are wind vectors (near surface winds). Grey shading indicates particular contour of Equivalent Potential Temperature that highlights the surface inflow layer and eyewall region.

Model name GFDL Operational Hurricane Model
Scientist(s) Morris Bender
Timothy Marchok
Date created 1999
Visualization Personnel
Files Avi (32 MB)
Flash
Jpg (199 KB)
HTML5 Video