February 17, 2024
Journal Article

A new method for predicting hurricane rapid intensification based on co-occurring environmental parameters


Tropical cyclones (TCs) that undergo Rapid Intensification (RI) can pose serious socioeconomic threats and can potentially result in major damaging impacts along coastal areas. Considering the complexity of various physical mechanisms that play a role in RI and its relatively low probability of occurrence, predicting RI remains a major operational challenge. In this study, we propose a simple deterministic binary classification model based on the co-occurrence of environmental parameters (MCE) to predict an RI event. More specifically, the model determines the possibility of RI based on a simple count of the number of environmental predictors deemed favorable and unfavorable. We compare our model results to logistic regression (LR) and decision tree (DT) models, well-trained using the same set of environmental predictors. Results reveal that at an RI threshold of 30kt, the MCE exhibits a critical success index (CSI) score of 0.233 which is 14% higher than DT and LR model performances. When tested at multiple RI thresholds, the MCE displays relatively higher skill scores across multiple metrics. By simultaneously evaluating the favorability of predictors, the MCE is able to comparatively reduce the number of false alarms predicted when certain predictors are unfavorable towards RI. Interpreting these model results to gain a physical understanding of how co-occurring environmental parameters can affect RI, we highlight future directions for using models based on the MCE approach to understand and predict TC RI as well as other meteorological extremes.

Published: February 17, 2024


Narayanan A., K. Balaguru, W. Xu, and L. Leung. 2024. A new method for predicting hurricane rapid intensification based on co-occurring environmental parameters. Natural Hazards 120, no. 1:881–899. PNNL-SA-180864. doi:10.1007/s11069-023-06100-z