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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 891260, 16 pages
Research Article

A Comparison of Southern Hemisphere Cyclone Track Climatology and Interannual Variability in Coarse-Gridded Reanalysis Datasets

1Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Saint Louis University, 3642 Lindell Boulevard, O’Neil Hall 205, St. Louis, MO 63108, USA
2NOAA/ National Weather Service, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Climate Prediction Center, 5830 University Research Court, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Received 20 August 2013; Accepted 5 November 2013

Academic Editor: Igor I. Mokhov

Copyright © 2013 Timothy Paul Eichler and Jon Gottschalck. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Southern Hemisphere (SH) extratropical cyclones have received less study than their Northern Hemisphere (NH) counterparts. Generating SH cyclone tracks from global reanalysis datasets is problematic due to data reliability, especially prior to 1979. It is therefore prudent to compare the climatology and variability of SH cyclone tracks from different reanalysis datasets. We generate cyclone track frequency and intensity climatologies from three reanalysis datasets: The National Center for Environmental Prediction’s Reanalysis I and Reanalysis II datasets and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts ERA-40 dataset. Our results show that ERA-40 produces more intense cyclones in the SH active cyclone region compared to NCEP reanalyses. More intense storms are also found in the SH active cyclone region in NCEP reanalyses data post-1979 reflecting the positive trend in the AAO in the past few decades. When evaluating interannual variability, our results show Rossby wave trains including the Pacific South American (PSA) and the East Indian Ocean pattern in response to anomalous heating linked to El Niño and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), respectively. Response to the AAO shows a robust annular structure for cyclone track frequency, but not intensity suggesting a weak relationship between cyclone frequency and cyclone intensity.