EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Understanding precipitation extremes with a multi-feature tracking tool

Priscilla Mooney1, Andreas Prein2, and James Done2
Priscilla Mooney et al.
  • 1NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Climate and Environment, Bergen, Norway
  • 2National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA

We present a new method to track weather features that is designed to understand and evaluate regional climate processes and hydrological extremes in models. Tracked phenomena include extratropical cyclones, fronts, atmospheric rivers, high-pressure systems, mesoscale convective systems, tropical cyclones, and their relationship to extreme precipitation. The tracker is applied to ERA5 reanalysis data to explore specific historical events and build up climatologies of object frequencies and characteristics such as intensity, size, and trajectories. The key benefit of this multi-feature tracking method is to understand connections across features, such as the location of atmospheric rivers relative to extra-tropical cyclones or the role of blocking high-pressure systems in heat waves and downstream extreme precipitation. This provides a more process-based understanding of hydrologically relevant weather systems than can be obtained through Eulerian-based assessments. Future work will apply this multi-feature tracking method to Euro-CORDEX and Polar CORDEX simulations and compare with the more traditional Eulerian-based skill scores. This work contributes to the Big Data and Climate FRONTIER project that seeks to mitigate future challenges associated with the exponential increase in climate data expected over the next decade using smart design processes and big data methods.

How to cite: Mooney, P., Prein, A., and Done, J.: Understanding precipitation extremes with a multi-feature tracking tool, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-14895,, 2023.