- Meteorological Society of Japan
- SOLA (ISSN:13496476)
- pp.2020-001, (Released:2019-12-17)
Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) best track data indicate that the number of rapid intensification (RI) tropical cyclone events in the western North Pacific increased from 1987 to 2018. To clarify whether this increase is due to climatological changes or qualitative changes in the data, the long-term trend of RI events in JMA operational Dvorak data, which have been used as the first guess for best track analysis, was investigated. Because the JMA Dvorak analysis procedure has remained almost unchanged since 1987, the temporal homogeneity of the Dvorak data is expected to be much better than that of the best track data. The results showed no discernable trend in Dvorak-based RI events over the 32 years. Although the frequency distribution of 24-h intensity changes changed slightly in the Dvorak analysis, that of the best track data changed significantly; as a result, the frequency of best track-based RI events increased after 2006. JMA started using microwave satellite imagery for best track analysis in 2006. This change likely affected the temporal homogeneity of the best track data. These results suggest that the increase in best track-based RI events was due mainly to qualitative changes related to advances in observational techniques.