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Tropical Cyclone Formation Probability Product

Developed by the
Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch at CIRA

Cooperative Research Program | Office of Research and Applications/Center for Satellite Applications and Research

July 1, 2008:  The Tropical Cyclone Formation Probability (TCFP) product has been updated (see NEW FEATURES pdf file - 18Kb).  However, promotion to operational status for TCFP will be delayed until temporary testing at the NESDIS Satellite Environmental Processing System (SATEPS) is complete (est: mid-August 2008).  Until then, the TCFP will run as a pre-operational product with 1) limited, 8 hours x 5 days support and 2) a backup system located offsite at CIRA.  In the case of a product outage, a backup website is available at

Combined image of all basins
24-Hour Water Vapor Loop
Water Vapor
Combined image of all basins
TD/TS Symbol Tropical Depression / Tropical Storm Hurricane Symbol Hurricane
Identifies regions of relatively-enhanced summation TC formation probability (see below). To dinstinguish between TC formation and non-formation cases, uses nearby TC formation (see below). Hence, provides a broad-scale "first guess" at regions with the potential for TC formation. The threshold summation probability values that define each potential category were chosen so that 100%/75%/25%/5% of dependent sample set cases meet or exceed the threshold values. Basins were treated independently, so corresponding dependent sample set occurrence frequencies may vary by basin.
Color bar TC Formation
Occurrence Frequency
Dependent Cases
Possible (Blue) 4% 7% 5% 75%
Fair (Orange) 10% 26% 12% 25%
Good (Red) 20% 46% 18% 5%
Nearby TC Formation
Describes TC formation that occurs within 20° of a given point. This is less stringent than the 5° criterion used by the main TC Formation Probability product.
Summation TC Formation Probability
The sum of the TC formation probabilities at all grid points within a 20° lat by 20° lon subregion centered on that point.
Occurrence Frequency
For all points exceeding a given summation probabilty threshold, the percent of those cases that resulted in a "nearby" TC formation (as defined above).


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