Ensemble Based Diagnosis of the Track Errors of Super Typhoon Mangkhut (2018)


  • Super Typhoon Mangkhut (2018) was the most high-impact typhoon in 2018 because of its long lifespan and significant intensity. The operational track forecasts in the short-to-medium range (deterministic and probabilistic forecast) showed a great uncertainty and the forecast landing points varied with different lead times. This study applied ensembles of high-resolution ECMWF forecasts to investigate the major factors and mechanisms of the bias production of the Mangkhut forecast track. The ensembles with the largest track bias were analyzed to examine the possible bias associated factors. The results suggested that environmental steering flows were the main cause for the erroneous southward track error with a variance contribution of 72%. The tropical cyclone (TC) size difference and the interaction of the TC with the subtropical high (SH) were other two key factors that contributed to the track error. Particularly, larger TCs may have led to a stronger erosion of the southern part of the SH, and thus induced significant changes in the large-scale environment and eventually resulted in an additional northward movement of TC.
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