The Enhanced Vortex Message Dataset: Structure, Intensity, and Environmental Parameters from Atlantic Tropical Cyclones

This document describes the Enhanced Vortex Data Message Dataset (VDM+), including the input data sources, the dimensioning structure and organization for the resulting three tiers of dataset products, and a detailed manifest of each included parameter. A VDM is a succinct summary of crucial vortex parameters sampled by aircraft as it flew through a tropical cyclone. The VDM+ dataset includes intensity, thermodynamic, and structure parameters derived from 5616 VDMs from tropical cyclones that occurred in the Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, and Central Pacific basins during the period 1989-2012. VDMs include several parameters that are difficult to characterize from other data sources, including the location and velocity of the maximum observed winds at flight level and the surface, the diameter and character of the eye (if present), the minimum central pressure, the maximum flight level temperature, and many other structural aspects from the free-form remarks. The VDM+ dataset aggregates all of the data from VDMs, as well as the Best Track parameters and the extensive development dataset of the Statistical Hurricane Intensity Prediction Scheme (SHIPS). By making all of these data easily accessible in one structured NetCDF dataset (~340 MB), VDM+ offers the research community a wealth of data useful for wind risk applications and further research into the TC life cycle and the challenging problems of rapid intensification and structure change.

Vigh, J., 2015: VDM+: The Enhanced Vortex Message Dataset: Structure, Intensity, and Environmental Parameters from Atlantic Tropical Cyclones. NCAR Technical Note NCAR/TN-517+STR, 72 pp, doi:10.5065/D6PR7T26.