A comparison of the MATCHES and NCEP1 databases for use in Australian east coast low studies
journal contributionposted on 2022-03-08, 03:57 authored by Jessie GrayJessie Gray, JBD Jaffrés, DC Verdon-Kidd, Michael HewsonMichael Hewson, JM Clarke, A Pepler, Nathanael Brooks-EnglishNathanael Brooks-English
For Australia, there are only a few east coast low (ECL) databases that have been generated to explore aspects of ECL development, movement and subsequent impacts. Improved databases that include ECL track data will enhance future forecasting and damage mitigation on the east coast of Australia. This paper compares ECL track characteristics of a new low-pressure dataset, NCEP1 (1950–2019), to the recently updated MATCHES (Maps and Tables of Climate Hazards of the Eastern Seaboard) database (1950–2019) in order to identify similarities and differences of track characteristics that may be important for future ECL research. To achieve this, defining parameters such as intensity – used to make the MATCHES database – were applied to NCEP1 to ensure a direct comparison of historical ECL events. Although both databases display similar patterns in ECL seasonality and track characteristics, we show that the NCEP1 database identifies additional events not captured in MATCHES and provides improved track morphology of certain well-known historical events (such as the 2007 Pasha Bulker storm and the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race). Importantly, this research builds upon Australian ECL research and notes an improvement on the MATCHES database, with NCEP1 offering an almost two-fold outperformance in storm tracking (track length and duration) and greater spatial coverage outside the traditional ECL box.