Volume 10 (2014) Pages 199-203
The “Local deepening rate (LDR)”, the local surface pressure tendency, which is normalized by the sine of latitude and similar to the definition of an explosive cyclone, is introduced to extratropical cyclone activity analysis. The LDR has the advantage of being much simpler than conventional methods such as cyclone tracking and time filtering. The time average of positive LDR, which implies cyclone deepening, captures not only individual explosive cyclone's deepening but also the mid-latitude storm track climatology. The probability of explosive deepening, defined as LDR ≥ 1 hPa h-1 and based on ensemble forecasts, accurately represents the deepening potential and provides information regarding the influence area of storms—analogous to the strong wind area used in typhoon forecasts. The LDR can also be used to assess the quality of storm tracks in reanalyses products. In the 20th century reanalysis, the storm track activity, calculated from ensemble mean surface pressure, is too weak before 1910 in the North Pacific, and in the South Pacific low activity is observed up to the end of the 20th century, because of large ensemble spread due to few surface pressure observations.