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Huang, XM, Hu CQ, Huang X, Chu Y, Tseng YH, Zhang GJ, Lin YL.  2018.  A long-term tropical mesoscale convective systems dataset based on a novel objective automatic tracking algorithm. Climate Dynamics. 51:3145-3159.   10.1007/s00382-018-4071-0   AbstractWebsite

Mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) are important components of tropical weather systems and the climate system. Long-term data of MCS are of great significance in weather and climate research. Using long-term (1985-2008) global satellite infrared (IR) data, we developed a novel objective automatic tracking algorithm, which combines a Kalman filter (KF) with the conventional area-overlapping method, to generate a comprehensive MCS dataset. The new algorithm can effectively track small and fast-moving MCSs and thus obtain more realistic and complete tracking results than previous studies. A few examples are provided to illustrate the potential application of the dataset with a focus on the diurnal variations of MCSs over land and ocean regions. We find that the MCSs occurring over land tend to initiate in the afternoon with greater intensity, but the oceanic MCSs are more likely to initiate in the early morning with weaker intensity. A double peak in the maximum spatial coverage is noted over the western Pacific, especially over the southwestern Pacific during the austral summer. Oceanic MCSs also persist for approximately 1h longer than their continental counterparts.