EO4AgroClimate: Evaluating the structure and evolution of Australian East Coast Lows using a new Southern Hemisphere cyclone atlas

Lead Research Organisation: University of Reading
Department Name: Meteorology

Abstract

Australian agricultural production is greatly influenced by the weather and climate. The largest cropping region is located in the south-east of Australia where mild temperatures and abundant rainfall create an environment suitable for large crop yields. Several times a year intense low pressure systems, known as East Coast Lows, can bring heavy rain to southern Queensland, New South Wales and eastern Victoria. If this heavy rain is persistent or several lows pass over the same region in rapid succession, they can cause flooding and extensive crop damage. Therefore it is important to understand how these lows evolve in order to improve predictions of their motion and intensification. East Coast Lows can be difficult to forecast due to their small size and rapid intensification over the southern Pacific. Satellite derived data products are particularly important in these situations as they provide observations used as input to weather forecast models in regions where surface based observations are sparse. In this project we will investigate the evolution of Southern Hemisphere lows with a particular focus on the East Coast Lows that bring heavy precipitation to south-east Australia. By creating three-dimensional composites of their structure we aim to deepen our understanding of the mechanisms leading to their rapid development. We will create a southern hemisphere extratropical cyclones atlas that will be a tool for other researchers to study these high impact hazardous events.

Publications

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Zhong R (2023) Impact of Data Resolution on Tracking Southern Ocean Cyclones in Monthly Weather Review