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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 720545, 13 pages
Research Article

Northern Hemisphere Climatology and Interannual Variability of Storm Tracks in NCEP’s CFS Model

1Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Saint Louis University, 3642 Lindell Boulevard, O’Neil Hall 205, St. Louis, MO 63108, USA
2Department of Soil, Environmental & Atmospheric Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
3The Climate Corporation, 419 Occidental Avenue S., Seattle, WA 98104, USA
4NOAA/National Weather Service, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Climate Prediction Center, 5830 University Research Court, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Received 13 February 2015; Revised 22 April 2015; Accepted 22 April 2015

Academic Editor: Igor I. Mokhov

Copyright © 2015 Timothy Paul Eichler et al. 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.


Evaluating the climatology and interannual variability of storm tracks in climate models represents an excellent way to evaluate their ability to simulate synoptic-scale phenomena. We generate storm tracks from the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Climate Forecast System (CFS) model for the northern hemisphere (NH) and compare them to storm tracks generated from NCEP’s reanalysis I data, the European Centre for Medium Range Prediction (ECMWF) ERA40 data, and CFS reanalysis data. To assess interannual variability, we analyze the impacts of El Niño, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). We show that the CFS model is capable of simulating realistic storm tracks for frequency and intensity in the NH. The CFS storm tracks exhibit a reasonable response to El Niño and the NAO. However, it did not capture interannual variability for the IOD. Since one path by which storm tracks respond to external forcing is via Rossby waves due to anomalous heating, the CFS model may not be able to capture this effect especially since anomalous heating for the IOD is more local than El Niño. Our assessment is that the CFS model’s storm track response is sensitive to the strength of external forcing.