Dataset Open Access

Historical Tropical Cyclone Along-track Potential Intensity (and Derived Quantities) for Six Ocean Basins from Reanalyses

Daniel Gilford; Allison Wing; Shannon Shields

Supporting derived data for Shields et al. (2020, GRL).

Derived tropical cyclone potential intensities and associated variables across the North Atlantic (NA), Eastern North Pacific (EP), North Indian (NI), South Indian (SI), South Pacific (SP), and Western North Pacific (WP) ocean basins, from MERRA2, ERA-I, and MERRA2 with SSTs replaced by HadISSTs. NA/WP basins also have potential and observed intensities calculated with NCEP/NCAR and ERA-20C reanalyses over 1950-2016 and 1950-2010, respectively.

All files are netcdf format, organized by basin, with suffixes on data variables to indicate reanalysis:

  • "_m": MERRA2 (Gelaro et al. 2017)
  • "_h": MERRA2-HadISSTs (Rayner et al. 2003)
  • "_e": ERA-I (Dee et al. 2011)
  • "_n": NCEP/NCAR (Kalnay et al. 2016)
  • "_c": ERA-20C (Stickler et al. 2014)

When using this data, please include the citation:

Shannon Shields, Allison Wing, and Daniel M. Gilford, 2020: A Global Analysis of Interannual Variability of Potential and Actual Tropical Cyclone Intensities. Geophys. Res. Lett.

Potential intensities calculated with the Bister and Emanuel (2002) algorithm (pcmin.m) by Kerry Emanuel (revised by Daniel Gilford, Gilford et al. 2019), available freely at:

MERRA2, ERA-I, and MERRA2 with SSTs replaced by HadISSTs calculations were performed by Daniel Gilford; NCEP/NCAR and ERA-20C calculations were performed by Dr. Suzana Camargo (many thanks!).

Please direct any questions or comments to daniel[dot]gilford[at]rutgers[dot]edu.

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  • Stickler, A., and Coauthors, 2014: ERA-CLIM: Historical Surface and Upper-Air Data for Future Reanalyses. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 95, 1419–1430,

  • Kalnay, E., and Coauthors, 1996: The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77, 437–472,<0437:TNYRP>2.0.CO;2.

  • Bister, M., and Emanuel, K. A., Low frequency variability of tropical cyclone potential intensity, 1, Interannual to interdecadal variability, J. Geophys. Res., 107( D24), 4801, doi:10.1029/2001JD000776, 2002.

  • Gilford, D. M., S. Solomon, and K. A. Emanuel, 2019: Seasonal Cycles of Along-Track Tropical Cyclone Maximum Intensity. Mon. Wea. Rev., 147, 2417–2432,

  • Rayner, N. A., Parker, D. E., Horton, E. B., Folland, C. K., Alexander, L. V., Rowell, D. P., Kent, E. C., and Kaplan, A. ( 2003), Global analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice, and night marine air temperature since the late nineteenth century, J. Geophys. Res., 108, 4407, doi:10.1029/2002JD002670, D14.

  • Gelaro, R., and Coauthors, 2017: The Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2). J. Climate, 30, 5419–5454,

  • Dee, D.P., Uppala, S.M., Simmons, A.J., Berrisford, P., Poli, P., Kobayashi, S., Andrae, U., Balmaseda, M.A., Balsamo, G., Bauer, P., Bechtold, P., Beljaars, A.C.M., van de Berg, L., Bidlot, J., Bormann, N., Delsol, C., Dragani, R., Fuentes, M., Geer, A.J., Haimberger, L., Healy, S.B., Hersbach, H., Hólm, E.V., Isaksen, L., Kållberg, P., Köhler, M., Matricardi, M., McNally, A.P., Monge‐Sanz, B.M., Morcrette, J.‐J., Park, B.‐K., Peubey, C., de Rosnay, P., Tavolato, C., Thépaut, J.‐N. and Vitart, F. (2011), The ERA‐Interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Q.J.R. Meteorol. Soc., 137: 553-597. doi:10.1002/qj.828

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