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The Tropical Cyclone Extended Best Track Dataset (EBTRK)

Dataset Updates

  • September 3, 2021: The Atlantic, Central and Eastern North Pacific files now include all 2020 season cases. The following updates have also been released:
    • All data for every TC case included in the latest NHC Official Best Track of the 2020 season was added for the AL, CP and EP basins.
    • The incorrect eye diameter values in the 1998 IVAN TC case data have been replaced with the corrected values.
    • The EP062019 TC received updated RMW values for several time periods that are now more accurate.
    • The Extended Best Track Dataset documentation files have been updated with new information pertinent to the 2020 season cases.
  • April 6, 2021: The Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific files now include all 2019 season cases in this update, which also includes several major changes:
    • An entirely new database for the Central North Pacific basin has been added.
    • A new variant of each dataset file is now available with a new format incorporating additional data fields.
    • The Atlantic basin dataset now includes data from 1851 – 2019.
    • The Eastern North Pacific basin dataset now includes data rom 1949 – 2019.
    • The Central North Pacific basin dataset now includes data from 1950 – 2019. 
    • The datasets are now consistent with the years included in the NHC HURDAT2 file.
      • NOTE: The old EBTRK Dataset file format will be discontinued at a date in the future to be determined  with input from the research community.
  • January 2, 2020: The Atlantic and East Pacific Dataset files have been updated with data from 2018.
  • August 13, 2018: The Atlantic and East Pacific Dataset files have been updated with data from 2017.
  • January 22, 2018: The Atlantic and East Pacific Dataset files have been updated with data from 2016.
  • July 27, 2016: The Atlantic dataset file, which includes data from 1988 to 2015, has been updated with several corrections. The updated Atlantic file is available on this page in the Dataset Files section below.
  • July 5, 2016: The Atlantic and East Pacific Dataset files have been updated with data from 2015. Any CP portion of 2015 EP TCs are from the working Best Track.
  • August 6, 2015: 2014 Atlantic storm cases added.
  • September 10, 2014: 2013 Atlantic and East Pacific storm cases added.
  • February 22, 2013: 2012 Atlantic and East Pacific storm cases added. Note: many of the structure parameters in this file are from the new version of the official NHC HURDAT file, which is available here.
  • August 31, 2012: Correction: The missing 50 knot wind radii have been added to the 2010-2011 Atlantic cases.
  • August 16, 2012: The 2011 Atlantic and East Pacific storm cases have been added. A new distance-to-nearest major landmass field has also been added.

 


The National Hurricane Center (NHC) maintains a climatology of all Atlantic tropical cyclones since 1851, called HURDAT2. For each storm, HURDAT2 contains estimates of the latitude, longitude, 1-minute maximum sustained surface winds, minimum sea-level pressure, and an indicator of whether the system was purely tropical, subtropical or extra-tropical at 6-hour intervals. A limitation of HURDAT2 is its lack of any information about storm structure before 2004. The “extended” best track file was created by supplementing HURDAT2 with additional storm parameters determined by NHC. The additional parameters include the following:

  • 1. Maximum radial extent of 34, 50 and 64 knot wind speeds in four quadrants for the years 1988 – 2003
  • 2. Radius of maximum wind speed
  • 3. Eye diameter (if available)
  • 4. Pressure and radius of the outer closed isobar

These datasets were designed for easy importation into spreadsheets. The original development of the Extended Best Track datasets was supported by the Risk Prediction Initiative in Bermuda and by the NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research (StAR).  

Additional support have been provided by several project that use this dataset, including Joint Polar Satellite Applications (JPSS) Proving Ground Risk Reduction (PG RR), The Time‐Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Small-Satellites (TROPICS), and the Joint Technology Transfer Initiative (JTTI). The files below are routinely updated with data from the previous year, usually in February or March, after NHC finalizes the best track data.

The additional wind structure parameters are estimated in real time during the NHC forecast process. Starting in 2004 the National Hurricane Center produces post-storm best track estimates of the wind radii. The Extended Best Track includes best track radii from 2004 and later and operational radii estimates from 2003 and earlier.

A sample wind swath product based on wind radii estimates from the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

 


Extended Best Track Dataset Files

These datasets were designed for easy importation into spreadsheets. The original development of the Extended Best Track datasets was supported by the Risk Prediction Initiative in Bermuda and continued support is provided by the NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research (StAR). The dataset files below are routinely updated with data from the previous year between February and March, after NHC finalizes the best track data. The additional wind structure parameters are estimated in real time during the NHC forecast process. Starting in 2003 the National Hurricane Center produces post-storm best track estimates of the wind radii. The Extended Best Track includes best track radii from 2003 and later and operational radii estimates from 2003 and earlier.

Left click links below to display files in your browser window.

Right click links below, click “save as” to download the files.

Extended Best Track Dataset Files (September 3, 2021)

Extended Best Track Dataset Documentation Files (September 3, 2021)

The above two documentation files are identical except for their differing file formats, UTF-8 TXT and Adobe PDF, both of which are made available to facilitate ease of access when viewed within different operating systems and applications. These documentation files contain important information about the format and units of the data included in the Extended Best Track Dataset.


Extended Best Track Dataset References

  • Demuth, J., M. DeMaria, and J.A. Knaff, 2006: Improvement of advanced microwave sounder unit tropical cyclone intensity and size estimation algorithms. J. Appl. Meteor., 45, 1573-1581.

     


Project Team Members

  • Galina Chirokova – CIRA/CSU

  • Mark DeMaria – CIRA/CSU (formerly NOAA/NESDIS and NOAA/NHC)

  • John Knaff – NOAA/NESDIS

 

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