Archive Compiles New Resource for Global Tropical Cyclone Research



The International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS) compiles tropical cyclone best track data from 11 tropical cyclone forecast centers around the globe, producing a unified global best track data set (M. C. Kruk et al., A technique for merging global tropical cyclone best track data, submitted to Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 2008). Best track data (so called because the data generally refer to the best estimate of a storm's characteristics) include the position, maximum sustained winds, and minimum central pressure of a tropical cyclone at 6-hour intervals.

Despite the significant impact of tropical cyclones on society and natural systems, there had been no central repository maintained for global best track data prior to the development of IBTrACS in 2008. The data set, which builds upon the efforts of the international tropical forecasting community, has become the most comprehensive global best track data set publicly available. IBTrACS was created by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center (NOAA NCDC) under the auspices of the World Data Center for Meteorology.