Climatological Characterization of Tropical Cyclones Detected in the Regional Climate Simulations Over the CORDEX-SEA Domain

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In this study, a subset of the downscaled simulations of the Southeast Asia Regional Climate Downscaling/Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment—Southeast Asia (SEACLID/CORDEX-SEA) was analysed to examine the representation of tropical cyclone (TC) climatology over Southeast Asia, in terms of pattern, intensity, frequency, and lifetime. A modified vortex tracking algorithm is used to detect TCs over the SEACLID/CORDEX-SEA domain in the historical simulations from 1986 to 2005. Sensitivity tests for the detection method criteria, including vorticity, outer core wind strength, sea level pressure anomaly, and temperature anomaly at 300, 500, 700, and 850 hPa, were conducted to determine the optimum threshold configuration for each SEACLID/CORDEX-SEA simulation used in the study. Comparison with the best track data of the Joint Typhoon Warning Center showed that model simulations underestimated the total number of TCs east of the Philippines for the 1986–2005 period but captured the annual cycle of the total number of TCs. This underestimation of TCs is possibly due to the domain used, which does not extend further east to cover most of the TC genesis area in the Western North Pacific. The structure of a typical TC from the regional climate model simulation is comparable to observed TC structure. However, results indicate that the resolution of the simulations is still not sufficient to capture the fine details of the observed TC structure, which could explain in part the lower intensification rate of TCs in the model output.